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Russian River Brewing Company
Active Beers: 46
Beer Ratings: 33,150
Beer Avg: 4.09
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
725 4th St
phone: (707) 545-2337
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 274 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I just got back from a trip to California to visit some friends that lived in Vacaville. On my journey through wine country, I had to make the slight detour to Russian River.
I knew I would not have as much time as I wanted to spend here, which goes without saying I could have spent the whole trip there. But anyways, there was a decent crowd there for a Sunday afternoon. I look over the tap list, DAMN, 10 beers on tap and I have people in the car waiting on me. I ordered the sampler to get the most out of here. I start to work my way down the list, my mouth watering in anticipation for Pliny the Elder at beer 5 and the "ation's" after that. Finally, I get to Pliny and that beeralone was worth the flight from Ohio. It lived up to every expectation I had of it.
Once I finnished the samples, I let the bartender know I want two of each 750 ml bottle to go (Damnation, Redemption, and Salvation) which he lets me know that they also have Temptation bottled, if I want. Of course I want, I just wish I could get more than what I got from them.
03-26-2006 15:22:32 |
More by brotherfraz2
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
When I visited they were offering Pliny The Elder and Damnation among others. For me this was the best I have had, especially Pliny The Elder, heaven, pure heaven !!.
The pizza was good and it is nice that they put the small salad on on the side, instead of just a slice of pizza. I went two days in a row and the service was good, I was not there later in the evening but I understand that it gets packed.
A few hints, if one wants more that their limited menu just walk a few minutes to Flavor Bistro which has a full menu and features Moonlight products. Also if parking in a metered spot be carefull as the local police watch very close and if just a minute or two over the metered time a ticket will likely be on the way.
03-26-2006 08:26:16 |
More by VegasBill
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
During a 3 day wine country trip with my girlfriend, we managed to hit the Russian River Brewing Company 3 times. This is an amazing brewery that also produces some incredibly good pizzas in a very cozy venue.
The dining room/bar area features lots of brewerania from the ages with various vintage beer cans, various awards from beer competitions and huge empty burlap sacks adoring the names of hop varieties like Cascade, Simcoe, Centennial. I can only imagine what those sacks must have smelled like when they were full of hops. The top of the main bar is actually made of wood from a bowling lane, as were the tall tables around the bar, which I thought was a really great idea. Behind the bar is a large window showing a room where several oak barrels sit aging various "*tion" beers and behind them are the large stainless steel vessels used to mash, boil and ferment Russian River's offerings. Also, to the right of the main entry is a small stage where you might be able to catch a live music act.
Quality between the service, beers and food was outstanding, I wouldn't have been here 3 times in 3 days if that were not the case.
Service was exceptional on all fronts, our waitresses were both very nice. The assistant brewer Travis took time out of his busy brewday to give us a tour of the brewing facilities and answer some questions. I was pleased to hear that he was in the middle of brewing up a batch of Blind Pig IPA that would be heading down to O'Brien's in San Diego.
Selection was great, on the first visit I opted for the sampler which included Aud Blonde, Nitro O.V.L. Stout, IPA, Pliny the Elder, Old Gubbillygotch, Redemption, Perdition, Damnation, Benediction, Deification, Rejection & Erudition. I think the Old Gubbillygotch was my favorite, an unusually light colored barleywine with a really complex malt backbone and a well balanced hoppy flavor and bittering. Quite the variety of choices, the only guest tap being a Cider. All brews were served in appropriate glassware too, 14oz goblet for Belgian styles. Non-Belgian styles are served in either 10oz or 20oz imperial pint glasses.
Food was excellent, I found Russian River's pizza to be just awesome. The "New Yorker" and the "Mikey" pizzas were both outstanding, as was the Beer Bites appetizer. Nice NY influenced thin crust pizzas, very good red sauce, fresh cheese... I think this place could stand on its own as just a pizza joint.
Food and drink prices were reasonable. 10oz pours of most beers were $2.75 and larger pours were $4, with the exception of the barleywine @ $4 for 10oz. The most expensive food items on the menu are the large pizzas, which are $20.75 and well worth it.
This is a must stop if you are in the area, there's no excuse for passing it up.
03-08-2006 07:56:57 |
More by kmcnair
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I visited back in November of 2005 and I am just getting a chance to post a review. I was on business in the Bay area and made a cohort of mine go on a beer tour of Sonoma. I loved his expression when I told him we would be visiting breweries and not wineries, although we did stop a V Sattiu in Napa on the way back. The brewpub was very typical of brewpubs across the country in appearance. I was really bummed out when I arrived because Pliny the Younger and Elder were not on tap. The Younger was coming on tap the next day! I had lunch and several beers, which were exellent and bought a few Temptations to take home with me. I wish I had more time to spend there but had to press on to Bear Republic and make a long drive back that night. I will definitely go back next time I am in the area.
03-07-2006 04:05:03 |
More by ddarden
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Stopped in back in October when we were in the area visiting some wineries. For beer lovers, this is a bit like the pilgrimage to Mecca. Located on a main street in Santa Rose, with a small patio area out front. The main brewpub area is long and relatively narrow, with a good sized bar on one side. There are quite a few tables scattered throughout as well. All the beer selections are plainly listed on the large chalkboard behind the bar. The also have a great sampler, with something like 10 diferent varieties to try (depending on what is currently on tap). Food was decent, but not great. Mainly pizza and salads. Service was very helpful and friendly, more than willing to describe the beers. Definitely worth the trip, simply to try the great beers Vinnie brews up that never make it past the brewpub.
01-24-2006 21:23:18 |
More by rowew
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Many months of wishing to get here, and at long last, after a 6½ hour drive north from Long Beach, with a few beery stops on the way, I finally made it. Once I got booked into the nearby Best Western, after a short 1 mile walk into downtown I soon found myself on 4th Street in no time. I didnt know exactly where the place was but I knew roughly, and thanks to the distinctive blue & gray color scheme it was easily spotted from a distance.
A small overhead projection at the front provides a covered area for some outside tables & chairs, though on a wet weekend in December it was only playing host to a hard core band of smokers when I arrived. Once inside the atmosphere is of an opened out brick warehouse, but an ex-Bank allegedly. Has a Utilitarian atmosphere with its own character that is definitely not from any chain, RRBC has its own unique feel. The bare exposed brick walls are painted with light pastel colors, empty Hessian sacks hang everywhere and are printed with the names of a variety of hops. Lots of colorful old tin signs from defunct long gone breweries also help break up the open airy feel. I couldnt help but notice some old beer cans and one of those moving picture adverts from Hamms Brewery high up above the bar. The Bar itself runs down the left hand side of the pub area, taps are on the back wall. The Brewery itself can be seen as you walk past outside & to your left as you enter, as can the stacked Casks all aging some of the next generation of *tion brews. Bar stools (no backs) seat a good number, a small dividing wooden wall in of the Bar front provides a defined walkway and separates the tables opposite the bar. Kitchen and Restrooms are at the back. Atmosphere would typically be a 3.5, but the staff here raise it to a warming 4.0.
As for Selection: Where else could you get such brews ranging from an American Blonde, through a Brown, Stout, Pale Ale and a brace of top drawer IPAs, all complimented with some wonderful Belgian style & barrel-aged brews like Redemption, Perdition, Damnation, Benediction, and the simply awesome Deification. The Coming Next list is sheer torture if you are only here for a day or so. Would be great to have a Beer Engine for a Cask brew though. However, Food range is so-so; Salads, Pizza and a smattering of simple Italian fare, above average good pub food but the range/quality could be better I think (my only beef about RRBC by the way).
Top Marks for Quality & Service! Our main server over the few days that I frequented here was Matt, just a really nice guy, consummate gentleman and a solid performer behind the bar. I can best sum up the service with just how quickly and efficiently my Growlers were filled on my last day, perfectly filled to the brim, washed and cleaned off and each marked for the different brews inside, & put away for chilling whilst I drank at the Bar, all without asking. Russian River is not just about the beer it is equally as much about the people on both sides of the bar, but the people that work here are just as much a reflection of the high quality of Russian River as the beers themselves are.
I spent nearly all of my time here with fellow BA Rapapoda, but we got to meet BA Watermelonman and his girlfriend Stacy for a few brews too on the New Years (Sun)Day. One of the highlights was getting to play Washers with Vinnie and crew back in the Brewery/Warehouse area that day, serious stuff that Washers, notice I didnt call it a game!!
Overall: What to say about Russian River that has not already been said? Well the damp wet weather was utterly crap over the 05NYE weekend, but that did not dampen my love of the place one iota. The visit to NoCals beery Mecca in Santa Rosa was a 6½ hrs motorized crusade there and 10½ hrs back, but well worth it. I intend to make sure that I get back here at least twice a year, if not more, from hereon.
No pretensions here at all, Vinnie and Natalie are the nicest hosts, mingling and chatting with everyone and anyone. The staff is of the highest caliber, and so are the beers. What a place to spend (a Happy) New Years! Cant wait to get back!!
Last Visit: Saturday 31st December, 2005 - Monday 2nd January, 2006.
01-08-2006 07:34:18 |
More by TheLongBeachBum
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5 | $$
Located in downtown Santa Rosa, on the outskirts of wine country, Russian River is brewing up some of the most diverse and exceptional beers, anywhere.
The facade is a bit like a storefront, with outside seating.
Longish bar on the left, seating to the right, with hop sacks on the wall.
A "New Albion" vintage sign looks down on the bar, attesting to the deep brewing roots in the area.
At the time of our visit back in June, the beer supply was running low, quite a few were out, but it didn't matter- Pliney the Younger was in the house.
Others on at the time were the IPA, Little White Lie, Erudition, Sanctification, and we were able to preview a sample of Temptation. All outstanding.
Definately a place for locals. Quite crowded at times, with a lot of people just outside the doorway, being quite boisterous.
Managed to wrangle a quick conversation with Vinnie as he was bustling from here, there, everywhere. Big ups to a guy who takes time out to chat, when obviously, he is incredibly busy.
RR also scores big points for growlers being available on all thier beers, not just the "house beers" as is the case in a lot of brewpubs.
Food is limited to Pizzas mostly, but they looked real good.
Highly recommended, just keep the meter fed.
12-26-2005 16:24:25 |
More by brewandbbq
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Russian River Brewing on Sunday at noon is a quiet sleepy place that slowly warms to the level of "laid back". Santa Rosa's downtown on Sunday is quaint; filled with modest boutiques, bars, and restaurants. A crafts fair was going on, but it was so small they blocked off just 1 or 2 intersections.
The brewing company is set in light brown wood tables and bartables. The bar is quite long. RR growlers resemble Stone's growlers in shape. They have a big 3L magnum on display behind the bar. Huge sacks formerly full of hops, each labelled in block capital letters with "Saaz" or "Columbus", hang in a staggered fashion on the walls. Vintage beer advertisements adorn the walls. Ironically, several are of the sort "beer X $2 per sixpack, a great value". In another corner the brewery's clothing merchandise is hung, including a nice button down metallic grey shirt which talks on the back about the Lupulin shift... The brewery is adjacent/behind the bar. Great barrels are stacked in one corner of the brewery. I believe they were filled with Vinnie's new Belgian style ales, though it was impossible to read the writing on them. A couple regulars were there before us; as the sun climbed, a few families dropped in for the pizza, and quite a few young customers dropped in (20-30s).
The beer list was a bit thin when we went, no doubt because of Vinnie's vacation:
RR golden ale
Blind pig IPA
Pliny the Elder
Two Rivers Cider, guest brew
Oddly, the Blind pig and Pliny tasted strikingly similar. Moreover, Pliny tasted a bit different from when we get it at O'Briens in San Diego. Close but not quite what I remember. The RR IPA was lusciously juicy, surprisingly beating Pliny as my favorite. I'll have to try it again at O'Briens. The OVL stout is a Guinness clone, and the ESB is alright (hard to follow 3 IPAs).
Service was excellent. The bartender and our waittress Rachel took care of the whole place and made it look easy even as it filled up.
They offer a few appetizers, but pizza is the only entree. Thin crusted and delicate, but greasy and delicious. Big thumbs up on the Mikey pizza. $20 for a large 16" fed 3 guys satisfactorily, leaving us some room for the next brew stop.
Lastly, Sundays are all day happy hour -- $2.75 per 20oz imperial pint, and $0.50 per 2oz sample. Even when it's not happy hour, $2.75 gets you a 10.5oz half pint, which is still good (I forget the regular 20oz price). Growlers I think were $16 with $12 refills or something.
11-14-2005 18:34:00 |
More by oggg
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I just visited the Russian River brewpub over the weekend with my wife while going through Sonoma wine country. I have been looking forward to heading there for a long time and I was not disappointed. The atmosphere there is really cool with all the old breweriana that is hanging on the walls. When we were there they were out of Supplication but they had Temptation, Damnation, Predition, Plyney the Elder and some other pouring and I tried most of them and loved all of them. We sat at the bar and talked shop with the bartender for awhile which was informative.
We were also lucky enough to get a personal tour of the brewery from Vinnie the brewer. Although he was busy working, he was very gracious enough to give us a tour of the facility and the barrel aging room which was really cool. After seeing the operation and hearing what they have in store currently and in the future, I can't get enough of their beers. I left the brewpub with a magnum of Supplication which I can't wait to crack open at the right time.
The food was also really good. We only had lunch there but the pizza was right on point and the caesar salad was also a nice lunch treat.
It is definitely worth taking a trip to the brewpub if you are in the Northern California area.
10-31-2005 16:52:46 |
More by ggaughan
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $
Santa Rosa is not my favorite place. Its a little crowded, not a lot of great food, and the parking meters take TOO MANY DAMN QUARTERS. Still this is a great place that everyone has to go to sometime in their life. Its set up on 4th street one, of the main drags in the city. It has a store-front look with a few tables out front. Nice, large bar, and a decent sized dining area. Service is great. Attentive staff, all knowledgeable about the offerings (both food and beer).
The food selection is not that broad, but the pizza, calzones, etc are hot and tasty, and the produce I had (in the form of a salad) is very fresh.
Now to the beer. What more can you say when you walk into a place with 2 IPAs(Russian River, Blind Pig), a harvest/fresh hop ale, a double IPA (Pliny the Elder), and a triple (Younger) all on tap at the same time. My dentist is salivating at the money he will make to replace the enamel on my teeth. Those, and the Belgians I had were fresh, and of the highest quality. I think being so close to the source of great ingredients as well, and having a commitment to doing things right, makes this place stand head and shoulders above any other brewer/pub out there.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Nice looking growlers
They have Happy Hour every afternoon and all day Sunday ($2 pints for sake)
Go Just go, get on a plane and go
10-02-2005 20:41:28 |
More by carln26
Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, CA
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