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Work/Life/In Focus: Bigger & Better

Russian River Brewing Co.—Bigger and Better

It’s finally here, Russian River Brewing Company’s long-awaited new facility in Windsor, famous for their Pliny the younger, released annually on the first Friday of February for two weeks. The brewery will now release the globally recognized hoppy beer at both locations. “We’re hoping it will relieve the pressure from downtown [Santa Rosa],” says Vinnie Cilurzo, co-owner in a KSRO The Drive interview.

The new brewery consists of three buildings, including their 200-seat restaurant, one-acre beer garden featuring a large grass area for pets to play, two acres of parking, a production facility and a funky brewing facility. In the restaurant, guests can enjoy a gastro-pub menu, including popular items such as the double-fried Kennebec fries, a charbroil bacon burger and spicy and sweet chicken wings. They even have a dog water-refill station, the first of its kind and imported from Australia—one of the most expensive features on property, Vinnie shares. A special addition to their property is the four acres of conservation wetlands, home to red tail hawks, white egrets and other species of Sonoma County wildlife, which will remain untouched and undeveloped. “Brewers tend to be pretty green people,” says Natalie Cilurzo, co-owner, who shares the brewery’s sustainability efforts. In fact, Natalie shares that the town of Windsor uses the purple pipeline—a recycled water system that treats wastewater and re-sells it to businesses.

The new facility will also bring an influx of tourism to Sonoma County, and with the production line already cranking out massive amounts of beer, they’re ready for the business boom. “The annual production at the pub [in Santa Rosa], we’ve already done here in one month,” says Vinnie. “I can’t tell you how much grain on the floor I’ve shoveled.” They’re serving up all the favorites such as Blind Pig, Pliny the Elder, STS Pils, Damnation, and new brews like the Windsor Porter—the first beer brewed at the new facility. Try a light beer, Aud Blonde, with an ABV of 4.5 percent, or get your buzz on with Consecration, 10 percent ABV.

For an unforgettable pub experience, visit the brewery at 700 Mitchell Lane in Windsor, while hopefully enjoying a cold beer. “We envisioned that families, kids, dogs would come and enjoy,” says Natalie. “While adults have a beer in a stainless-steel cup and watch the sunset over the wetlands.”

Terms to Know

When visiting the brewery, be in the know with sophisticated beer terminology, fitting for the brewpub.

Brettanomyces, also known as brett, is a yeast feared by winemakers and brewers, as the yeast ferments and can become out of control in the wine or beer-making process. If used properly, brett can add richness and bold flavor profiles in beer.

Lactobacillus (lacto) and pediococcus (pedio) aren’t strains of yeast like brettanomyces and conventional yeast. When successfully used, these bacterias add a tasteful sourness to beer. If used in excess, it can add too much, it can result in an overly sour and unpleasantly tart beer. 


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