Calistoga Inn & Brewery



The Calistoga Inn is quaint in a funky sorta way. It may appear a bit old fashioned, but don't let that fool you. It's a great food and beer venue stuck right dab in the middle of prime Napa County wine country.

While it may be located just a short hop from Chateau Montelena, the winery that put Napa County on the wine map with its 1976 chardonnay victory over the French, they don't make wine at the Calistoga Inn; they make beer -- good craft beer.

Brewmaster Brad Smisloff brings a fresh energy to the little in-house brewery, which was actually the first brewery in Napa County. You see Brad is a relatively young guy, with new ideas, but with solid grounding in the industry. (He apprenticed at some other name craft breweries.) You'll really like what he is doing with the beers,

The Calistoga Inn tries to keep four regular house brews and two rotating seasonals on tap, but this is a chore, as Smisloff admits, due to the popularity of the beers. Keeping up production with the small seven-barrel brew system and limited storage, keeps him hopping, so to speak.

They do not distribute their beers so you will definitely have to visit the Calistoga Inn to try them. Consider taking a room at the inn so you can sit at the bar and really delve into the brewer's art.

Some beers to look for

Barley Wine -- A perfect match for the winter months. Big and mellow. ABV 10.4%

Blitzen I.P.A. -- A pale ale with extra malt richness balanced by a pleasant bitterness from the hops.
ABV 7.3%

Porter -- Calistoga’s take on the classic English with a Napa edge. Dark and flavorful. ABV 6.3%

Wheat Ale -- American styled with nice body; very clean with an apricot-like fruit sensation. ABV 4.4%

Pilsner -- So clean and crisp; an easy-drinking American pils. ABV 4.8%

Dugan Oatmeal Stout -- Medium roasty bitterness, good and dry; pours with an attractive, lasting tan head. ABV 5.5%

Red Ale -- Deliciously smooth with full roasted malt taste. Great color. ABV 5.4%

Specialty and Seasonal Beers -- always check the beer list for the latest, such as Belgian Ale, Blackberry Pale Ale, Octoberfest and Pumpkin Wit.

The Restaurant

To start with, the Vietnamese Banana Blossom Salad is awesome (banana blossoms, grilled chicken, peanuts, cucumber, onion, cilantro, mint, basil & dill layered with baby field greens and sweet-sour lime dressing). Seeing this menu item should give you a feel for the Calistoga Inn menu -- it is eclectic and interesting.

Since the menu is prepared daily, items change regularly. Suffice it to say, it is generally solid Cal wine-county/Provencal cuisine with a Pacific Rim influence thrown in here and there. It affords superb opportunities to pair with the delicious beers.

Now open again following restoration from fire damage.

Calistoga Inn houses boutique brewery


It is located on Lincoln Avenue in the main business district of Calistoga. If you can get to Calistoga, you can find it. It's a small town. [Above Photo: the classically decorated, and air conditioned, main bar.]

Tours: Nothing too formal here. Just call ahead, Monday-Friday, to see when the brewer will be available. It's a very friendly place.

Address: 1250 Lincoln Av., Calistoga, CA 94515

Phone: 707-942-4101

Go To: Calistoga Inn & Brewery Web Site

The classic barroom has loads of atmosphere.

The outdoor restaurant area along the Napa River allows for alfresco dining (and beer tasting). It’s a free Wi-Fi hotspot so bring your laptop and make some tasting notes.


Calistoga Inn & Brewery is located on Lincoln Ave. (the main drag) in downtown Calistoga. It sits adjacent to the Napa River.

Calistoga Inn & Brewery brewmaster Brad Smisloff empties the spent grains from the mash tun. Running pretty much a one-man operation means you have to be a hands on sort of guy.

Calistoga Inn Brewmaster
Brad Smisloff 
featured in 
Wine Country Beer People

Follow this LinkSmisloff.html