Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sonoma Trilogy #3: Russian River

Last stop in the 2011 TrilogyRussian River, in Santa Rosa (north county).  Save the best for last? Yep.

725 4th Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Matt loved it here, but I'll take it a step further.  Maybe it's the wall covered in World Beer Cup medals, or the pleasant, non-pretentious atmosphere, but I'll claim that this is the best brewpub I've ever been too.  Not only do they have the most amazing sampler ever (two ounces of every beer they're serving at the moment, at ~$1 per sample, with nothing off limits), but they pour everything in big glasses, including sours.  It makes me never want to step foot in Stone's tasting room (in South Park) ever again.  Seriously, seriously, seriously, Stone can go play Ping Pong in Ding Dang with their stupid-ass tasting rules (because we're so cool, we only let you taste one above 8%, and we're going to act like retarded beer snob children the whole time).  Did I mention I was serious?

My love child, the RR sampler.
There's no possibly way to do the RR sampler justice, other than saying it's truly impressive.  I also agree with Matt about the stout, but I assume the way it tastes is likely the way they wanted it to taste: like the best Guinness you've ever had (far from an imperial stout).  The IPA suite is fantastic, and I'm actually starting to enjoy sours because of them.  At the end of the sampler I ordered a Consecration (14oz for $6, are you kidding me!?) to develop my palate for sours further.  Brettanomyces fo' life!!

But it didn't take long to realize this is not a place to pick up women.  Just look at the distribution of men posted up at the bar:

Notice any females?  Not to detract from craft beer, but why is it such a male dominated field?  Maybe beer is the answer to world peace.  Have you ever seen a brawl in a beer bar?

If this brewery has no plans to expand, as their website claims, I hope they stick to it.  Their biggest asset to me is their true micro-brewery status, because it's shocking how many great beers they produce in such an apparently small space.  I will say though, that expansion might be a much needed boost to the Santa Rosa economy.

And with that, we completed the Sonoma Trilogy.  I really hope to get up to Bear Republic one of these days, because it certainly deserved a spot in the lineup.  Maybe next year...

The aftermath.


  1. One of my favorite breweries and a damn impressive bar too!

  2. I like the hall of fame/hall of shame on your site. It would be interesting to see what all of the contributors put as the best and worst beers. You need to give Beer 30 Ice a try for the hall of shame or Lion Imperial.

  3. I'm truly impressed you took notes on all those beers! Nice post.