Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Ratings: 31 | Reviews: 10 | Display Reviews Only:
3.23/5 rDev -18.6%
From the outside it appears to be something of Germania, with rolling hills with whate'r growing on them. After re-orientating myself after the roller coaster drive, I headed in. A few people were at the bar, and the inside was not at all like the outside feeling empty with open ceilings and lighter colored walls and floors. I got a flight and the beers ranged from OK to good but not great and there was not much if any for rarities. If you're looking for a kindred place in the hills and meadows, there are probably better alternatives and with other great breweries within hours away this place is lost in the fierce competition of proteges.
03-15-2013 22:24:42 | More by MilwaukeeCrusher
4.14/5 rDev +4.3%
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.
08-16-2013 14:15:15 | More by FightingEntropy
3.29/5 rDev -17.1%
Been up this way many of times, always an adventure. Tucked away in an area more known for its marijuana cultivation, comes the Boonville dialect. Imagine what happens when redneck meets California culture, this is what you get.
Back in the day, the brewery was distinct and located away from the 'brewhouse' which is really just a tavern in the 'city' that carries all their beers. It had a cool horseshoe pit down below and was a neat vibe. The tour now costs $$, it was free before. Disc golf is the highlight, not the beer, but whatever gets your atmosphere points up.
The place is really just a warehouse with a gift shop and tasting room alongside a brewery production facility.
Be careful not to get car sick, I've had it happen a few times on these roads. Look at something off in the distance, not something close like your dashboard.
12-12-2011 19:40:15 | More by Beerandraiderfan
3.88/5 rDev -2.3%
Stopped in here on the way to the coast on 30 Aug 2012.
Just off the highway to the right before you hit town. Largish bar with 12-15 beers on tap. All Anderson Valley, several that are one offs or brewery only. Bar area is not much to write home about (in terms of style), a few tables, small gift shop area, only some peanuts (gratis w beer purchase) and small bags of Doritos, etc. for food. Beer in bottles is available to go.
We sat outside because we had the dog with us. Was an amazing late summer day, sitting in the shade of some live oaks sipping a beer was a perfect way to spend a rest stop.
09-18-2012 18:32:14 | More by htomsirveaux
Anderson Valley Brewing Company in Boonville, CA
89 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.