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Monday, July 25, 2011

My Trip to Russian River

Hello Citizens!  Not only did I get to visit Bear Republic on my road trip to sunny California, but I also sampled some of Russian River's finest beverages and grub.  Their pizza is amazing and mmmmm... Pliny Bites...
Anyway, some of the most elusive brews for us East Coasters are on tap all the time at their point of origin, Russian River Brewing Company.

I am ashamed to admit that I didn't get a chance to taste everything.  Hey, it was a long week of wineries and breweries so I could only go so far without ruining my ability to taste more luscious drinks the following day.  Brief recap:
Pliny the Elder: Quite nearly perfect.  The balance was not upset by the gratuitous use of hops and I'll be trying to catch up with any bar that's lucky enough to grab a keg of this delightful Double IPA.  8% abv and 100 IBUs.
Russian River IPA: Really awesome brew with a bit more malt than hops.  Hop Heads won't be disappointed... unless they drink Pliny first.  62 IBUs and 6.5% abv.
Consecration: My fave of the bunch, Consecration is aged in American Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.  Along with the wild yeast, currants added during the aging process add lots of tartness.  My first encounters with sour ales some years ago weren't so hot, but Consecration grabbed my attention because of its complexity.  Oh, that and the 10% abv.
Supplication: 7% brown ale aged in French oak Pinot Noir barrels.  Made with brettanomyces and some other wild yeast strains that I simply can't type.  Sour cherries also make their presence know in a big way.  Only 27 IBUs but outrageous flavor.

Overall, I was supremely impressed by the brews and pizza at Russian River.  It's only about 2700 miles from where I live, so maybe I'll get back there someday.  I certainly hope so.  Russian River is where I met Andy, the citizen reviewer who brought you his thoughts on Jack D'or.  Cheers, Andy!

Anybody who gets a chance to sample any brews from Russian River are welcome to submit their pics and reviews, but in the meantime, check out the pictures in the slideshow.  I even included a picture from our canoe trip down the actual Russian River.  It's beautiful, by the way, and relaxing canoeing for those who are interested in such things.  Cheers!


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