Russian River Brewing
Cleaverly hidden amidst the Sonoma County redwoods and the vineyards of the famous Korbell Champagne Cellars, Russian River Brewing Company is off to an impressive start. Less than five months old, the new operation is following in the footsteps of wine and champagne makers who started here over a century ago. The shiny Liquid Assets brewing system is housed in its own new building, between other structures that date to the turn of the century. Crushed grain falls through the 12 foot ceiling to enter the berwhouse. The Mash/Lauter Tun is joined by the Brew Kettle and four copper uni-tank fermenters. Yes, even the fermenters are copper. The beer gets a plate filtering followed by a trip to the cold storage room. Look for future product in standard bottles as well as half-gallon and gallon jugs. For the present, tasting is possible at the nearby Korbell Delicatessen & Market. The inside offers beautiful white wooden beams and lots of windows to showcase the racked wine selection. A six-place marble bar adjoins the deli while the outdoor patio offers a spectacular view of the surrounding vineyards and redwoods. The bins of cheese and fresh breads make it hard to leave, plus there's beer. Their four house brews are sold for $3.50 a pint, $11.50 a pitcher, $1 per six ounces, and $3.50 for samplers.
The Golden Wheat Ale (4.8%) is a golden color with a clean, crisp malty flavor, light hoppy finish, and crisp dry aftertaste. The Anmber Ale is a deep amber color with a medium body even flavor balance of caramel malt and hops, and a dry finish. The Pale Ale (5.3%) is a clear amber color with early hops in the aroma that last through the finish. The malty character and medium body combine to make this one memorable! The Porter (5.5%) has a chocolatey aroma and flavor with a smooth creamy mouthfeel and medium body. If touring through California's north coast, make it a point to locate Korbell Champagne Cellars and their new neighbor, the Russian River Brewing Company. The brewery is now included on the excellent cellar tour, check it out.
Russian River Brewing
13250 River Rd.
Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - August, 1997
NM Virtual Brewpub