Russian River Brewing Co.

Russian River Brewing Co.

Sonoma, California is home to much more than world class wine. Some of the best craft breweries in the nation lie along the Sonoma-Medocino corridor. Owned and operated by husband and wife team Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa is considered by many to be the epitome of American craft beer. Although made famous by the aggressively hopped California style ales, brewmaster Vinnie also churns out batches of Belgian inspired ales with names like Damnation, Mortification, and Rejection, along with barrel aged beers. Russian River Brewing Co.’s flagship beer is the Double IPA known as Pliny the Elder. The name comes from the first century naturalist who either created the botanical name for hops (Lupus Salictarius) or first referenced it in his writings. The beer named after his son, Pliny the Younger, creates quite a scene each year during its springtime release. An imperial India pale ale offered just once a year (normally in February and only on draft), sees throngs of hopheads from all over world queue up to get a taste. Many years, the entire batch (600+ gallons) is gone within a matter of hours. As it turns out, demand is still greater than supply, but Russian River Brewing Co. prefers to grow their business organically while focusing on quality – after all, it is easier to make better beer than it is to make more beer. So when you grow tired of sipping Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, head to downtown Santa Rosa to cleanse your palate with a pint and a pie.

Amy Jurries

Amy is a freelance travel writer and editor.

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