A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Review: Fogbelt Station in Healdsburg

Sean Shanks
Fogbelt Station has a nice variety of beers on tap with wines and ciders also available.

Fogbelt Station in Healdsburg, the railway-themed Fogbelt Brewing Company restaurant and bar, serves quality brews and appetizing, affordable food in an unconventional outdoor atmosphere.

Fogbelt is near the historic Northwestern Pacific Railroad Depot, within walking distance of the main drag in Healdsburg. The outdoor beer garden was built from shipping containers and a railway car. It makes for a compelling piece of architecture, standing alone with the old tracks behind the building. The parking lot is quite small, so anyone with a larger vehicle may want to park at the public lot about 50 yards down the street.

The dining space is open and airy, yet covered so rain isn’t an issue. The outside “walls” are currently made up of plastic sheeting, which dampens the aesthetic a bit but should keep the area nice and warm on colder days. It will feel wonderful on a summer afternoon, once the sheets have been taken down. The sun hits the back patio, but it is a walk around the building and there is no table service back there, so bringing friends to help carry beers might be a wise choice.

It is a family and dog friendly establishment. One couple enjoyed beers while their mid-size pup hung out next to them on a leash. Despite it being outdoors there was a surprisingly high level of noise at the bar, which could have been due to the architecture, but could have simply been the product of a family with some rowdy youngsters. 

Two large TVs played sports behind the bar; however, the glare from the plastic sheeting made it hard to see the game in the early evening sun. An indoor establishment may be a better choice if the priority is to watch a primetime game, at least until Fogbelt takes down the plastic.

The plastic sheeting can cause some glare on the TVs, but the overall aesthetic is great. (Sean Shanks)

Beers come in both 16- and 8-ounce pours, and can be bought in cans or growlers to go. Foglite had a wide selection, with 15 beers and one hard seltzer on tap. The “Javelin,” a barrel aged Berliner weisse, is a wonderful sour brew with perfect balance of acidity. “Atlas,” a blonde ale, and “Hyperion,” a dark red ale, were both excellent. The blonde was very refreshing, but not too light, and had a touch of hoppiness. The red ale was dark and rich in flavor with a maltiness somewhat akin to a porter. The Foglite, the only lager selection, was on the lighter side and had a somewhat bitter aftertaste.

The food menu was simple with a selection of burgers, pizzas and salads. Prices are slightly better than expected for a restaurant in Healdsburg, with most items in the $15-20 range. The cheeseburger was certainly meant to be a bar-style burger. It is a greasy, cheesy, delicious mess, and it makes you want to reach for another dark beer that can hold up to the burger’s rich flavor. The fries were nice and crispy, and the order came out in less than fifteen minutes.

The service was excellent, the setting was lovely, and everything was delightful. Fogbelt Station is a great place to enjoy a micro-brew and get some food in an outdoor setting.

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About the Contributor
Sean Shanks
Sean Shanks, Reporter
Sean is in his first semester at the Oak Leaf. He would like to travel and tell people's stories, partially because life can be so insufferably boring, but mostly because people's stories are beautiful and accountability is awesome.

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