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Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anderson Valley Brewing CompanyAnderson Valley Brewing Company
Based on:
40 Beers
18,210 Ratings
Place Score: 89
Ratings: 46
Reviews: 10
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar ]

17700 Highway 253 - P.O. Box 505
Boonville, California, 95415
United States
phone: (800) 207-BEER

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @avbc

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 10
Photo of Barkley912
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of Liondiscs
4.76/5  rDev +21.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

The brewery was an awesome experience. I showed up to the brewery wanting to try out some of there unique beers and at a round of disc golf on the property. I went to the tasting room and was pleasantly surprised by the selection. They do have 6-8 beers on tap that aren't offered anywhere else, along with there standard beers. They have a nice selection of disc golf discs for you to buy if you want. I was happy to traverse the brewery's property while playing 18 holes of disc golf and drinking there oatmeal stout. Great place to hangout or tour or play some frisbee with the family. Definitely the highlight of my trip.

Photo of GraduatedCashew
4.71/5  rDev +19.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Salvage the day right.

Nothing beats hitting a windy road in a low to the ground, manual transmission except doing so en route to a quality brewery. In fact, there is no other way to find Anderson Valley Brewing Company nestled in its namesake Anderson Valley just a mile from the heart of Boonville, CA.

This secluded brewery touting the infamous Barkley logo, (Bear + Deer = Beer), has been producing quality beer since 1987 and currently produces around 36,000 barrels per annum.

The current brewing facility and tasting room combines this sort of production with the local small-town aesthetic. The tasting room is spacious and well stocked with brewery history and a stuffed life size version of Barkley the Beer. The sample offerings were truly impressive served by knowledgeable staff. I was even invited to sample various versions of a new sour in production to determine public opinion on the upcoming release.

The barrel aged collection is fantastic with a fair amount of variety. With the other styles and upcoming sours, I can’t wait to go back.

Try all the beers.

Photo of sybian
4.6/5  rDev +17%

Photo of JSails
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of Kbooth8
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of kristianhansen
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of jjveverka
4.4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of pimanac
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of arcman001
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of KStark
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of DonWeymouth
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Ryan82
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of hayesjw
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of scottfrie
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I’ve been to this brewery more times than any other brewery (except maybe Russian River). Why? My aunt lives down the street so I’ve been coming up to Boonville for years. I can even remember when the brewery was at its original smaller location down the street, although I was too young to drink back then.

The tasting room/bar/gift shop/seating area is all housed in one large warehouse style room and is very sterile and under-decorated. There is a bar along one wall. Beside it are coolers full of six packs, bombers and cases of their beer. There are tables and seating throughout the majority of the room, and there is a little side area full of clothing, Frisbees, and glassware available for purchase. There is no kitchen, only prepackaged salty snack food, so don’t come here expecting a meal.

The brewery tour is entertaining and detailed yet straightforward. It costs a small fee to attend but I got a voucher for a free pint along with a few free tasters out of it.

My favorite part about the brewery is the huge chalkboard over the bar which lists all the beer they currently offer on tap. They usually have just as many brewery-only releases flowing as they do beers that they bottle, which is why I get excited looking at a chalkboard. Every time I go here there is something brand new that hasn’t made it outside the brewery yet. They also occasionally offer things on cask.

Overall, I love the beer and I love the town, but the lack of a kitchen and the extremely sterile atmosphere are worth (negatively) noting. They do have a full disk golf course though, and you can drink beer outside on the course as well as anywhere on their property. Definitely stop here if you’re heading up to Mendocino for the weekend, you love disk golf, or if you’re in town for the epic beer festival they host every summer.

Photo of FightingEntropy
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4


Gloria and I drove through Boonville twice on this trip, criss-crossing Mendocino county, including the Mountain View Road to the coast that was so small and winding that we stopped abruptly at one point thinking that we were driving on a bike path. Clearly remote and not hit by accident, Anderson Valley Brewing is very pretty drive with good beer at the end (or middle) of it.

With time before the tour, we headed to the bar to order a sampler tray, ingeniously individualized by checking choices on a provided sheet that our bartender delivered to our table nearby. At least we choose to sit at a table because the steel saddle bar stools looked uncomfortable for my "fuller" figure.

I started with standards I've had in Minnesota. Hop Ottin' IPA is well brewed but average and the Brother David's Tripel is a more than solid brew, matching my expectations. Similar to Lagunitas, only the basics get out of the valley to Minnesota. Dipping into the barrel aged offerings, all were of a new level that I don't associate with AVBC The best of the three was Gaitlan Damnosus, a sour bourbon barrel aged barleywine: dirty white head over a brown ale with copper highlights; light cherry, dark malt, raisin, fig, and dark cherry to build a Flemish sour brown nose; clean and bright for a sour while still being complex. Beautifully integrated barrel aged beer that warms exceedingly well when we ordered a draft after the tour.

Not wanting to push through our samples, the bartenders offered to keep our extras in the fridge until we returned. For me, the highlight of the tour was the beautiful view past the copper kettles towards the taproom. An unusual addition to the tour was seeing the beer catalog of samples brewed over the last thirty days in case of a quality control issue. Our tour guide was bubbly, informative and entertaining, though she didn't speak any Boontling (the local folk language native to the valley). My wife and I speculated that it might be a part of the tour, but our guide was new; however, she thought she might have to learn some for the future.

Based on tour information, we sampled a few more beers. First, I tried the Poleeko Pale Ale and Belk's ESB, each using the hopback. Both were very aromatic, as expected, but the pale ale seemed unbalanced while the ESB was exceptional for a style I don't admire. My wife tried the Fall Hornin' Pumpkin Ale, which she says is the best pumpkin beer to date; I disagreed but found it interesting in that it tastes like the fresh local pumpkins used rather than the all-spice route of most.

The most unusual beer was the El Steinbeer, a Mexican style dark lager with 20% blue corn. Similar to Negro Modelo, especially the nose, but the blue corn comes through lightly in the background to give it a very unique taste. In the right circumstance, I would happily drink this lager.

While finishing our samples, we walked around looking for a suitable souvenir, preferably with the horned bear icon. We settled on a new glass that looks like a beer can with its top cut off, which fits nicely in my collection. As we were about to leave, Dave and Meredith that we met at Lagunitas walked in, so we sat to chat again. I took the opportunity to add one last draft of the Hwy 128 Session Pale Ale: dark amber ale with an off white head; floral nose with a dark, muted malt underneath; caramel and solid hop bite to compliment the nose. Very nice and a fun finish our day at AVBC with new friends.

It's a beautifully scenic and hilly drive from any direction to Boonville. We drove through without staying over night in both directions, but a a longer visit with stops at wineries can easily be added to this beer run. A remoteness that explains the formation of their own language in the Boonville area also informs the beer. While true of all breweries to a degree, Anderson Valley Brewing is truly born of the area and it continues to feed their creativity today.

Pictures at http://pintsizedrevelations.blogspot.com/2013/08/anderson-valley-brewing-boonville-ca.html.

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4

4.04/5  rDev +2.8%

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4.04/5  rDev +2.8%

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4/5  rDev +1.8%

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4/5  rDev +1.8%

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4/5  rDev +1.8%

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4/5  rDev +1.8%

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4/5  rDev +1.8%

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4/5  rDev +1.8%

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Anderson Valley Brewing Company in Boonville, CA
89 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.