ABS (28) Kristiansand, Norway | September 15, 2016
Crowded, had to wait a while to get in on a regular working day afternoon. Great selection of Russian River beers, and a very cool sample menu. They didnít have my favorites on bottle, but got them on growlers instead. Great.
Visiting Russian River Brewing was a kind of a beer pilgrimage for me. I had really been looking forward to this visit. A brisk, 25 minutes walking from Best Western Garden Inn, was part of this pilgrimage. I did not meet anyone else walking in Santa Rosa Ave. I guess people driving by thought: "You crazy foreign tourist!" When I arrived, the brewpub was packed. No seating inside or outside. I guess itís always like this. But, a couple of minutes hanging around the bar, I got a seat. Just what I wanted, siting at the bar. I did the flight with all 19 beers. Awesome! I split the flight in two parts, didnít want all 19 3oz glasses at the same time. First "Californian Ales" (hoppy) and the "Belgian inspired Ales" Staff were superfriendly and attentive. I also had a nice chat with one of the local patrons sitting next to me, who happend to be of Norwegian descent . A small shop adjacent offered bottles to go, growlers, t-shirts and other Russian River merchandise. I did my order at the bar: a t-shirt, two bottles Pliny the Elder (super fresh!), Sonoma Pride Amasa, Sonoma Pride Dauenhauer, Sanctification and a bunch of coasters for free. (Visited June 30th 2016)
Finally got to visit and was not disappointed. We arrived shortly before opening on a Wednesday and there ended up being 10 others that showed up prior to open after us. The place got pretty full by noon. Service was fantastic and the flight deal is the best in the business. Beers are fantastic and they had quite a bit available for take-out, which we were happy to oblige. Hopefully, I will get a chance to come back and I would be a frequent visitor if I lived close. This is a must stop for any beer geek.
Ambiance: very good, even if you are drinking outside
Service: was prompt they tell you what to expect
Selection: 23 beers on tap
Food: not the best pizza
Value: Beer is super excellent, food can be improve
Overall: i still give it a 20, because I am rating it as a brewery, not an eatery
I am from seattle, and everytime i have driven to the bay area, i go north to visit this brewery
A tough place to rate. The quality and quantity (23 unique beers during most of my visits over the course of a week) of the beer on offer is fantastic. Russian River simply donít make bad beer. Itís almost comical to have such a great selection of house beers for customers to choose from. The price of the beer is also more than reasonable. Pints for most non-sours are $5. Happy hour pricing brings the cost of a Pliny the Elder to under $4. A flight of over 20 beers will run you only $20. However, despite all of the fantastic things about this place, itís hard to give an unqualified recommendation. The brewpub is tiny (125 person capacity) and almost always filled to the gills. Waits for tables can be hours long and thereís little space to stand. The staff are prompt, but generally overextended. This means that during peak times they resort to being impersonal, transaction-oriented and uninterested in talking about their product. Donít expect to come here and feel like your patronage is warmly appreciated. Additionally, the foodís pretty mediocre brewpub pizza. Given that breweries such as Wicked Weed and Surly offer dining experiences that match the quality of their beer, thereís room for Russian River to raise their game in this area (Iím sure their tiny kitchen somewhat limits their options). Overall, Russian River is a great brewpub, but not without some flaws. This place is a must-visit, a bucket list stop for any beer enthusiast. However, despite saying that, Iím not sure that Iíd visit Russian River often if I lived in Northern California.
Bucket-list place tick, one of the biggest that remained. Nice relatively large (but never large enough!) brewpub in downtown Santa Rosa. They have a large number of very high quality beers on tap including a lot of sours. They do happy hour on their non-sour offerings, so it can be quite cheap. Food is not the emphasis here but they have some nice pizzas for you to have a bite to eat and be able to stay longer. I visited it 4 times during my one week stay and it was worth it every time.
Beer heaven. Lots of good beers on taps. Ultimate beer flights available. Best beer place visited so far. Friendly staff. Only bad thing was high number of beer geeks inside but good places are always crowded.