Took me a while, since I wanted to wait until the opening hoopla died down, I finally checked out the new Whole Foods in Santa Rosa's Coddingtown Mall. It features the chain's first on-premise beer bar called the Tap Room. I had a taste of my friend's sampler, and as a non-beer drinker, couldn't stomach Sierra Nevada's Hoptimum IPA: so bitter, hot and alcoholic. More to my liking was the Monstre Rouge: not nearly as funky with brett as the warning given me, better balanced and lively, many layers of elusive flavors, very long and refreshing.
Near the end of the evening, it was quite slow and we had a chance to talk to the barkeep. He said that this is an experiment for Whole Foods to encourage appreciation of craft beer and he has regular visits from WF big wigs. The Tap Room just started serving hot food in the bar, here's the menu:
If anyone tries the sandwiches, please let us know.
P.S. The housemade gelato is gawdawful. The Hoptimum served to wash the taste out of my mouth.
390 Coddingtown Mall, Santa Rosa, CA 95401