We drove across the Golden Gate Bridge to Santa Rosa to visit the “Russian River Brewing Company”:http://www.russianriverbrewing.com/web/home.html, one of my current favorite brewers and brewer of the famous “Pliny the Elder”:http://troyandgay.com/blog/2008/12/26/pliny-the-elder/. It’s hardly a brewery, mostly a brewpub, which would explain their very limited availability even in San Francisco. We ordered their sampler, which is a set of 2 oz. samples of all their current beers, 14 in total, most of which I’ve never had. Half of them were Belgian-style including a beer brewed with “brettanomyces”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brettanomyces which was incredibly sour, like drinking liquid Sweet Tarts and not very good in our opinion. Another sour beer, called Consecration, but aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels and brewed with currants that was much better, you can really taste the wine barrel flavor. So good that we bought two 750ml bottles to take home.
We walked off the beer by strolling around Santa Rosa to a park where Havana could play. We weren’t there long before a group of older kids showed up to take over the play area and amaze Havana.
We drove back towards San Francisco down 101 to visit the “Lagunitas”:http://www.lagunitas.com/ brewery, another favorite of mine. This is mostly a warehouse that does tours at 3pm, right when we happen to get there. They have a beer tasting in a loft area in the warehouse which seems like a place the employees hang out in after a day’s work. A group of a dozen or so college-age (or college-age mentality) people showed up to try and fail to hide their amazement that they were drinking free beer. We sat on the couch with Havana and Hudson and a few other people to taste their beers. They served their pilsner (great for a pilsner), their “Censored” beer (the Federal Govt wouldn’t let them call it “Kronik” so they called it “Censored”) their flagship IPA (a great IPA), Maximus (I love it) and a seasonal called “Undercover”, which was pretty good. Unfortunately, the last two were served from bottles rather than draft. And they only sell beers by the case, which was just too much for us to carry home so we left empty-handed.
After that we drove through downtown Petaluma, stopped at Starbucks for coffees and milk for Havana and headed back to San Francisco.