Last week Whisk and I traveled up to Northern California for my work. I had a class to take on Saturday so we thought it was a good opportunity to go up a little earlier and have some fun. Even though my class was in St. Helena, the closest room we could find was in Santa Rosa, lucky for us the hotel was only about 2 miles away from Russian River Brewery.
The first time I ever tasted a beer from Russian River Brewery was back in 2009 at Hollingshead’s Deli in Orange, CA. One of my good friends took me there and introduced me to Pliny the Elder. I was hooked after the first taste. So when Whisk told me that we would just be up the street from the brewery, I knew we had to go.
List of Russian River Brewery beers on tap. Pliny the Elder on the bottom left is my favorite.
We arrived to the brewery on a busy Thursday night. When you walk into the brewery the first thing you notice is the long bar and the big chalk board behind the bar with all the current beer offerings. They also have plenty of tables for seating if you prefer a seat away from the bar to enjoy your beer and food. Russian River Brewery is also family friendly if you have children with you to sit at tables away from the bar.
Whisk and I got a spot at the bar for our beer tasting and dinner.
Whisk and I found a spot at the bar and decided to take a seat there. We each ordered a pint of Pliny the Elder to start off with. This beer got its name from Pliny the Elder, who lived from 23 AD to 79 AD. He was a Roman author, naturalist, philosopher, and is believed to have discovered hops. This beer is one of my all-time favorites, it is a double IPA that has an incredible balance of alcohol, hops, and citrus. The brewery recommends enjoying this beer young and fresh.
We each started with a pint of Pliny the Elder.
Whisk and I split a salad and a pizza while enjoying our beer.
While enjoying our beer we decided to have some dinner. The brewery offers up a variety of appetizers, chicken wings, salads, sandwiches, calzones, and pizza’s. We decided to split a salad and a pizza.
The “Mikey”: Mozzarella, marinara, pepperoni, sausage, and caramelized onions. Delicious!
Along with dinner we ordered up a beer sampler. A friend of ours from my work who had visited the brewery in the past recommended that we share a sampler, I am glad that we listened to her. For $15 we got a sample of 16 different beers that they currently offered.
The Russian River Brewery beer sampler.
Russian River Brewery makes a wide variety of beers focusing on Belgian inspired ales, IPA’s, as well as barrel aged beers. There were also three sour beers on the sampler. Whisk and I tend to gravitate towards the Belgian style beers, IPA’s, and Stouts, but for those of you who like sour beers this would be a great place to tryout.
We decided to split the 16 beer sampler.
After finishing our sampler we both agreed that our favorites were Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig, both are IPA’s. Individual bottles are available for purchase to take home with you, which is great because it is hard to find these beers here on the Central Coast.
Whisk and I both agreed that are two favorites in the tasting were Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig. We ended up taking 3 of each home with us.
If you’re a beer lover and find yourself in the Santa Rosa area then Russian River Brewery is a must visit. Also keep an eye out at restaurants and bars, you never know when it could be your lucky day and Pliny the Elder will show up on the menu.
Russian River Brewery
Santa Rosa, CA 95404