My Personal Mecca: A Visit to Russian River Brewery

When my boyfriend’s brother moved to Napa, CA I was thrilled:I knew a visit would be in order and that meant one thing: RUSSIAN RIVER!! I know most people would have been excited to tour wineries and sample fancy wines; I just wanted Pliny out of the tap.

In late September we headed West and spent a glorious afternoon in Santa Rosa. I wasn’t prepared for the intiail look and feel of the Brewery itself, I was expecting a different vibe, but our approach left us apprehensive. Were we heading to the home of Pliny, or to a Buffalo Wild Wings?

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Rest assured, inside was a brew-pubby as a place could be. Two giant chalkboards are the focal point behind the bar, loaded with all your delicious drinking options. Vintage signs from beer brands of yore cover the walls, and the place was packed. Granted it was 11am on a Saturday, but I understand it’s pretty much always busy. We wait 20 minutes for a table, and didn’t waste any time heading straight to the bar to order our first drink.

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Recognzing the the afternoon was a marathon not a sprint I ordered a 1/2 pint of Pliny the Elder. The beer was delicious, a perfect Pliny. Piney, hoppy, cirtrusy and bright. If you love IPAs and are ever near Santa Rose pop in – I’ve had it on tap before, but this was the best I’ve had (straight from the maker’s teat, if you will.)

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(Cool note: to encourage sampling beers can be ordered in 1/2 pint, pint, ptichers and goblets, depending on the variety.)

 

We settled into a small table and perused the menu – I’ve included both sides of the beer selection here for you. Our server was vaery nice, and probably accostomed to pilgroms like me – when she noticed all the photos I was taking she said I should take the menu home.

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The beer was delicious, a perfect Pliny. Piney, hoppy, cirtrusy and bright. If you love IPAs and are ever near Santa Rose pop in – I’ve had it on tap before, but this was the best I’ve had (straight from the maker’s teat, if you will.)

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Of the 18 I wasn’t surprised by my favorites – I love the aged sours: Tempetation, Consecration and Supplication (my favorite) but it was nice to try everything they had on tap that day.

While this wasn’t a typical brewery experience (no tour, located in a strip mall type area) I would highly recommened it to any beer fan. The wide variety of beer on tap alone is a reason to go, if you’re in the Santa Rosa area don’t miss it.

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PS: The crowd was super diverse – including a group of bikers with sweet rides like this one!

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