Russian River Brewing: Great Selection/Awesome Place (Beer Mentor’s 100 Places)

Hello Beer Mentees!  As I have moved away from completing my “Growler List” I still have a couple of tasks on my list to complete … first, I’d like to post the entries for those places I did visit.  Secondly, I intend to build my own list of “100 Places to Drink Beer.”  This place is on that list!  Russian River Brewing!

Entrance to the Russian River Brewing “Brew Pub.”

If you are in San Francisco or are visiting Napa Valley or Sonoma Valley you can make a quick detour over to Santa Rosa, CA and stop at the BrewPub for a bite to eat and a few brews.   You can order a sample flight … and what a sample flight!

All the beers on the tap list at once … 18 beers.  Did anyone say Pliny the Elder?  Yes!  All the beers are excellent but there is an obvious focus on the Hops.  If you are a West Coast Hophead you definitely want to visit!

Not only is it a great place for beer, the food was excellent (and so is the service).  If you visit on the weekend you should plan on standing in line for a little while — and that includes your whole group!  They have a “no cut” policy in their line — so, if you think you might show up early and hold a spot you’ll be drinking alone for a while waiting on your group to clear the line!  However, it’s worth the wait!  There’s parking in back.

Here’s a look at the bar … even that takes standing in line!  🙂  Within 50 miles or so?  Worth a drive over.  If you don’t want to stop at just one place on the detour, you can also add Fogbelt or Third Street Aleworks to your list of places too.  Enjoy Santa Rosa!

Beer Mentor

Summary Update #5: Growler List – Final

FINAL ENTRY on the Growler List

Reference:  All About Beer Magazine’s “Growler List.”  125 best places in the world to have a beer.   As I’ve watched the Craft Beer explosion happen over the last 10 years (or so), the number of places to buy as well as drink beer has also exploded!  That’s why I’ve decided to stop pursuing all 125 places on this list.  I will scout out the classic places on the list but not the places I would consider the trendy spots.  For instance, of the four places I’m describing below, three of them (29, 32, and 38) would be classics … they don’t seem to change and are still great.  The fourth (as you can see) is a modification … so, this is my final entry about this particular list.  I will continue to update/describe places and beers … don’t worry.  The Beer Mentor is not going anywhere.  LOL.

Summary: Total (actual) places visited: 66 (59 remain on the list).  I visited 4 places since my last post:

29) Toronado (San Francisco) — well worth the effort … cool place with interesting vibe … cash only so be prepared!  The beer selection is exceptional.

Enjoying a cold one at Toronado in San Francisco.

32) Rogue Brewery (Newport, OR) — Wow!  Absolutely a great tour, wonderful location … and excellent beer!  The menu is also excellent.  I recommend an early stop, have lunch, stay for the tour and enjoy yourself!

Classic Entrance into Rogue Brewery

38) Anchor Brewing “tasting room” (San Francisco) — the history combined with the unique tour location makes this a must do on this list.

Tasting Room at Anchor Brewing

Special instance: #42) Sandlot Brewery … I’ve been to this place four times now and each time it’s been closed … I’m replacing it on my list with one of the newer places in Denver just down from there … the Great Divide Brewing Barrel Bar.    This is a great example of a new place that’s opened since the growler list first appeared.

Here’s the complete list of places I’ve visited …

1. Great American Beer Festival, Denver, CO (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2016)
2. The Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium (2010) (2012)
3. U Fleku, Prague, Czech Republic (2012)
5. Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany  (1998) (2012)
6. Augustiner Keller, Munich, Germany (2012)
7. Abbaye de Notre-Dame d’Orval, Orval, Belgium (2009) (2012)
11. Hofbrauhaus, Munich, Germany (1997, 1998, 2001, 2012)
12. The Brickskeller (now Bier Baron), Washington, DC (2005, 2011)
14. The Market Porter, Stoney Street, London, England (2010)
15. Cat’s Eye Pub, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD (2011)
16. Camden Yards (Baltimore) [Substitute] (2008, 2009)
18. Horizon’s Cafe – CN Tower (Toronto, Canada) (2016)
19. Glengarry Highland Games Beer Tent (Maxville, Ontario) (2003, 2011) [Substitute]
22. German Bundesliga (Kaiserslautern) (1997) [Substitute]
24. Hopleaf, Chicago, IL (2014)
25. World Beer Festival, Durham/Raleigh, NC (2011)
28. Zum Uerige, Düsseldorf, Germany (2012)
29. Toronado, San Francisco (CA) (2017)
30. The Olde Mitre Tavern, Ely Court, Hatton Garden, London, England (2010)
31. Cowboys/Redskins, FedEx Field Skybox (DC) (2009)
32. Rogue Brewery, Newport (OR) (2017)
33. The Wynkoop Brewery, Denver, CO (2011)
37. Atelier am Dom, Cologne, Germany (2012)
38. Anchor Brewing, San Francisco (CA) (2017)
39. The Flying Saucer, NC, SC, TN, AR and TX (2010, 2013)
41. Blues Bar, Stone Town, Zanzibar (closed) [sub: mercury’s] (2013)
42. Sandlot Brewery (substitute: Great Divide Barrel Bar), Denver (CO) (2016)
43. Clark Street Ale House, Chicago, IL (2014)
44. Tailgating Frankfurt Galaxy NFL Europe Game (1996, 1997)
45. Selin’s Grove Brewing, Selinsgrove, PA (2010)
47. The Map Room, Chicago, IL (2014)
48. The Blue Tusk, Syracuse, NY (2010)
51. The White Horse Pub, Parsons Green, London, England (2010)
54. Falling Rock Tap House, Denver, CO (2011)
57. Andechs Monastery, Andechs, Germany (2010) (2012)
61. Krcma, Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic (2012)
66. Delirium Café, Brussels, Belgium (2010) (2012)
68. Gösser Bierklinik, Vienna, Austria (2012)
71. Brewer’s Art, Baltimore, MD (2010)
73. Schlenkerla Brewery Tavern, Bamberg, Germany (2012)
77. Die Weisse, Salzburg, Austria (2012)
78. Halve Maan Brewery, Bruges, Belgium (2012)
80. Le Bier Circus, Brussels, Belgium (2010) (2012)
82. Irseer Klosterbrauerei, Irsee, Germany (2010) (2012)
84. Goose Island Brewing, Chicago, IL  (2014)
85. Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2014)
88. Baumgartner’s Cheese Store & Tavern, Monroe, WI (2014)
90. Cantillon Brewery and Gueuze Museum, Belgium  (2012)
91. Dogfish Head Ale House, Rehoboth Beach, DE (2010)
92. Belgo Centraal, London, England (2010)
97. Clark’s Ale House, Syracuse, NY (2010)
100. Steamworks Brewing, Vancouver, Canada (2015)
103. Kelly’s Caribbean Bar, Grill & Brewery, Key West, FL (2007)
104. Rose & Crown Pub, Epcot Center, Orlando, FL (2006)
106. Brick Store Pub, Decatur, GA (2011)
108. The Ghost Bar at the Palms Hotel, Las Vegas, NV (2015)
110. The Gingerman, Austin, TX (2010)
113. beerbistro, Toronto, Canada (2016)
114. The Dubliner, Washington, DC (2010)
115. John Barleycorn, Chicago, IL (2014)
118. Top of the Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Chapel Hill, NC (2011)
121. Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington, DC (2010)
122. 5 Seasons Brewing, Atlanta, GA (2011)
123. Tim Schafer’s at Lake Norman, Sherrills Ford, NC
[CLOSED] Sub–In de Vrede (Belgium) (2010, 2012)
124. Stumbling Monk, Seattle. WA (2011)
125. The Happy Gnome, St Paul, MN (2014)

Beer Mentor

 

#43: Krcma v Satlavske (Český Krumlov) #61

I apologize in advance for the tardiness of this post!  As part of “The Gypsy Beer Experience” in October 2012 I visited #61 on All About Beer’s Growler List, Krcma v Satlavske (Český Krumlov).

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This was my 43rd place on the list.  It is located in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic.  What a beautiful locale … check on google maps here.

It was an awesome place to eat AND drink beer.  Really quaint, down a narrow alley.

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The beer was excellent and the food was quite tasty!  We had just visited Pivovar Eggenberg (taken the tour actually … really cool).

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After we enjoyed our lunch, we went over to Budějovický Budvar Brewery, Karolíny Světlé, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic.  Wow. This was an awesome day … two brewery tours and two places on the All About Beer Growler List: U Fleku was our final stop.

I will add posts for these other stops soon.  Again, apologize for my delinquency in posting.

Enjoy!

Beer Mentor

Brazil Microbrewery: Hop n’ Roll!

I visited Curitiba, Brazil (a city of 5 million) last week and my girlfriend and my new friends took me to a Cervejaria … Hop n’ Roll!

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Who knew Brazil was starting to brew beers other than Lagers?? Actually, Brazil is the fourth largest producer of beer (recently surpassing Germany in production).  Apparently there are microbreweries in all of the large cities … some notable ones are Cervejaria Colorado and Choperia Baden Baden.  

This was a very cool place — great layout and decor … check the photos here.  They had an outdoor beer garden and a nice indoor pub.  They had parking in the rear … no problem.

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Great artwork.  Below pictures show the chalk board with the available beers.  You could get local craft beer, American microbrews, and several Belgian options to include Trappists.  Really a nice selection of beer!

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Not only could you drink there, you could also brew!  They had a brew your own set up … it takes about 4 hours — if we had more time I was going to brew a batch for my friend to drink later.  Here’s a few photos of the setup …

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I can’t say enough about how nice the folks were — great location.  The food was good too.  They had an interesting way of tracking your consumption (thank goodness for my Portuguese dictionary … haha).  Here I am paying the tab … inexpensive too … $58 for all of us to have a bite and drink a few beers.  Very nice.  If you are in the area, stop in for a brew!

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Enjoy!

Beer Mentor

 

#56: Copacabana Beach (85)

I took the opportunity to travel to Brazil in January — you always need a break from the cold, right?  Soooooo … since I’m working through The Growler List, I figured I might as well add another to my list … #56 for me  … drink a beer on Copacabana Beach.

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I gotta tell ya, I wouldn’t put this place on the Growler List for “best places to drink a beer in your life.”  I would put it on there for “best places to drink a Caldo de Coco or a Caipirinha.”  IMG_2570

Definitely put it on your Bucket List.  Let’s be honest, Brazil is not really know for great beers … however, they do sport a wide array of Lagers/Pilsners due to a large German population the South.  As a matter of fact, the Blumenau Oktoberfest is one of the largest in the world.  Brazil is experiencing a small renaissance of microbreweries — we will see if they take hold.  I visited one in Curitiba and will have another post about it.  But back to Copacabana.  Wow.  What a great location and a great beach.  Whatever you choose to drink here, it will be memorable!  Highly recommend,

Beer Mentor.

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#51: John Barleycorn (115)

First, I have to apologize to my legions of fans for slacking on my posting for the last month … I have no excuse.  Just accept it and let’s get on with it.  LOL.  Secondly, sorry to disappoint you, but I put the hiatus on my 365 beers in 365 days.  I couldn’t stand the pressure … plus, sometimes I like drinking the same beer.  Oh well.  So life goes.  But let’s get back to the task at hand!  The Growler List.   This last weekend I had to be in Chicago.  Sweet!  Why is this sweet you say?  Well … there are 5 places on the Growler list in Chicago … yes. I knocked out all 5.  Today’s post is the first one I visited … #115 on the list — John Barleycorn.

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There are four versions of this place in Chicago.  Although not the original, this one was outstanding.  I showed up a few minutes before they were supposed to open and they welcomed me right in!  The manager, Mr. Brett Mizera, was very knowledgeable and really set the tone.  He handed me over to Miko and she was also well informed.

They had a great selection of local brews, so I had the sampler (with a couple of subsitutions … thanks Miko).

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I chased down my beers with the Patty Melt on Texas Toast. Of Course!  haha.  Definitely deserves to be on the list.  Worth a visit if you are in the city.

Enjoy!  Beer Mentor

 

Beer 52: Perennial Artisan / 4Hands Marathon

Today Mike and I hit two local breweries making excellent beers!

First on the list was Perennial Artisan Ales.  This place (as I’ve mentioned before) is awesome!  You never know what will show up on tap!  So, we ordered a sample of all 8 (two samplers actually).  The beers on tap this night were: 1) Coffee Abraxas, 2) Abraxas (Mexican Chocolate Stout), 3) Seventeen (Mint Chocolate Stout), 4) Fantastic Voyage (Coconut Milk Stout) [Beer 52], 5) Fete de Noel (Belgian Strong w/ Rosemary, Orange Peel, and Raisins), 6) Hereafter (Witbier (I think) with Sage and Pear), 7 Aria (Belgian Pale Ale with Brett Yeast), and 7) the Saison de Lis.   Wow!  These beers were awesome and they kicked our butts!  Oh, one of the owners/brewers was there and gave us a quick tour.  Score!  The beer was so good we forgot to pay our tab.  lol.  Gave me an excuse to go back and drink some more …

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WP_20131127_023 Here was a look at their current stock and beers.  Small volume through the brewery but they are expanding.  They have good demand.

WP_20131127_022 This set of barrels are from the Side Project work … you gotta get your hands on some of these beers.  Most Excellent.

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From Perennial we went to 4Hands for their twice monthly (on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays) “Beer Swap meet.”

I really enjoy everything about 4 Hands.  Of course, we got the complete sampler here too … The folks are awesome, beers are good, and you can sample so many different beers … all so good!  Come on over and enjoy with them.

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Beer Mentor

#40: Blues Bar (Stone Town, Zanzibar) (#41)

This is the first of several entries to catch you lucky readers up with my Growler List visits. This is my 40th stop on the Growler List (#41 on their list).   I was in Africa for most of 2012 and decided to spend my New Year’s in Zanzibar.

There were several reasons, but chief among them was the desire to visit the Blues Bar.  Imagine my chagrin when I realized this place was closed… if you look closely at this photo you can see the fallen down building that used to be the Blues Bar.

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Of course, I didn’t realize it was closed until I had already booked my trip.  No problem!  I knew it would be an awesome time anyway and it was.  Fantastic even.  We stopped in at Mercurys right on the beach.  This place was named in honor of Freddy Mercury who was born in Zanzibar.  The picture above was taken from the deck.  Here’s a series of photos of the place so you can see the feel is quite awesome.

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Great place to drink a beer … and even better when you are drinking a Gin and Tonic!  Hey, I like other things besides beer!  Although this place was spectacular, I would probably rate the sunset cruise (with beer) even better … or even the Sunset Bar at the Africa House.  Both of those were awesome!

DSC_0942 DSC_0951 Nope, not pirates … thank goodness!

What kind of beer you ask?  What everyone drinks in Africa … a lager.  Haha.  Another one off the Growler List … I will keep them coming!

Beer Mentor

 

Beermentor’s Neighborhood: Tripel Brasserie (Beer 41)

My favorite restaurant/bar in St Louis is Tripel Brasserie.  To understand why, I need to tell a short story.  I will keep it simple:  Before I moved to St Louis in June I thought I was moving to Belgium.  My mind was wrapped around all those Belgian beers (supplemented with some good German ones).   When I found out that, no I’m not going to Belgium, I’m going to St Louis it was quite the letdown.  However, once I got here and saw the thriving Craft Brew scene I was immediately cheered up!  I went to the Heritage Beer Festival in June and it was even better!  As I was making my way back to my apartment from the fest I stumbled across this restaurant (Tripel) that wasn’t open yet … but they invited me in and I was hooked ever since.  Great Belgian/French food paired with Belgian beer (and local Belgian-style beers) matched with great folks?  Who can pass that up?  I make it a point of hanging out there at least once a week (usually Tuesday) … many times I’m there a couple of times.  Here are a few pictures to show how great the place is:

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 Oh look, Jim is coming out to meet me!

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 A little welcome mat …

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Plenty of beers on tap (local and Belgian)! And plenty in the bottle … they have a very nice selection.

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 Matt and Darla hanging behind the bar.

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A great space to have dinner — awesome decor.

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Terry getting ready to put together the day’s special cocktail!

Oh, I guess I should go ahead and list my 41st beer in my quest:  The Petrus Aged Red.  On Tap.  They keep their beers moving in here … this is a new one on tap.  Another nice thing about Tripel — they have the right glass for each beer.  Definitely a plus.  Oh, did I mention it is less than a mile from my place?  An easy “walk” home … 

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Enjoy!  Beer Mentor

 

Beer 40: Schneider-Weisse Tap 7!

Beer 40 is a German Hefeweizen: The Original.  I have a great fondness for this Brewery (Schneider-Weisse) having visited both the Brewery in Kelheim and the Weisse Brauhaus in Munich (site of the original Brewery).

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I’m a big fan! Why is it called Tap 7? If you go to the Weisses Brauhaus, it is Tap #7.  Go give it a try!  Beer Mentor