Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Russian River Brewing CompanyRussian River Brewing Company
BEER AVG
4.12/5
Based on:
52 Beers
14,044 Reviews
Place Score: 98
Reviews: 324
Visits: 795
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

725 4th St
Santa Rosa, California, 95404-4407
United States
phone: (707) 545-2337

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 324 | Visits: 795
Photo of T100Mark
4.06/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Vibe - Lots of Hipsters in this place.

Quality - Great beer!

Service - Plenty of friendly help.

Selection - Many beers to choose from.

Food - My margherita pizza was tasty.

Overall - A cool space in downtown Santa Rosa (a great little town). The place is half dive bar/half retro watering hole. Plenty of seating inside and a nice outdoor patio in front. If you're in the area, stop on by. (394 characters)

Photo of JamLand
4.36/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75

Typical brewpub atmosphere. Service is usually solid. The food is consistently disappointing. The best sampler of any brewery you'll ever go to. And you can follow it up with extra Elder and usually Supplication and Consecration. (229 characters)

Photo of M_chav
5/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Best brewery I have ever had the pleasure to visit, during the PtY/SFBW they were awesome for how many people are trying to enter, the staff was incredibly welcoming and their food was insanely good - pliny bites! The beer, well that speaks for itself... An absolute must visit for any beer lover (296 characters)

Photo of Crafty-Individual
5/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Great service especially at the bar. The food is great! Their savage sauce is really good with the pizza. The pliny bites are always a hit (tip: ask for pepperoni to be added, it's free). Very reasonable prices for exceptional beers! I highly recommend you get a sampler with all the beers. Really great deal! (311 characters)

Photo of CJNAPS
4.81/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Live music on Fridays and Saturdays, very nice staff a little slow but the place is crazy busy
and Pliny is on tap there, what else do you need.

Go there for the first two weeks of February and be a part of the Pliny the Younger scene, it's crazy (247 characters)

Photo of RyanK252
4.85/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

It can get a bit busy and noisy, but the food is outstanding, not to mention the beer. Pints and chalices of world class beers at unbelievable prices, especially on happy hour. I keep coming up with excuses to stop hete. (220 characters)

Photo of kdpcp22
5/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place is awesome. I make the 2 hour drive up here fairly regularly and it never disappoints. Yes, it gets EXTREMELY crowded extremely quickly. It opens at 11 so I recommend getting there right at opening, get your haul and stash it in your car. Then go back in and enjoy some pints, some pizza and the great atmostphere. (329 characters)

Photo of Ann-lise
3.65/5  rDev -18%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I used to go here a lot when I was in college and it was a fun place to grab a bite and a beer with a friend. Since Pliny has gained in popularity I only stop in to fill a growler or grab some bottles. It's always packed and the service has never been very good. But you're not going to the Russian River for the service or the food, you're going for the beer. (360 characters)

Photo of almostjay
4.28/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I've been lucky enough to be "forced" to travel to Sonoma County for work. RR brewing is a pretty great place on random weeknights when it's not insanely busy. It's always busy, but you can actually find a seat at the bar on random weekday afternoons, and that's pretty important to me.

There are plenty of California trucker hat/hoodie types here, but they don't really bother me. The bar staff are pretty nice when they're not slammed with people. The beer is obviously amazing. This is one of those places that I wish would expand just a little bit, but I fully understand why they don't want to. If you're in the area, you should definitely go, but I'm sure my rating isn't what will compel you in the end. (712 characters)

Photo of Docrock
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Got there as they opened and a line already formed outside. Service was quick and friendly. Food was good but not great. Beer was obviously exceptional. Sampler option is insane with 18 beers offered. Never seen a sampler like this before. Would definitely recommend but understand there will be a line on the weekend and the wait can be lengthy. It is a pretty small seating area. (381 characters)

Photo of dbannister
5/5  rDev +12.4%

There is no better place for IPAs or Sours in Northern California (probably anywhere actually).

Russian River Brewing Company is 1 hour north of San Francisco, and is nestled in some of the finest wine country in the world. If you are looking to have lunch, you need to get there on or near 11am. Otherwise you are risking a lengthy wait in line.

A rookie mistake to avoid is to try the entire beer sampler by yourself, because if you finish it, you will be hammered. If you have >3 people, its definitely a great option though.

This is a must visit place if you are anywhere near San Francisco. Just an amazing selection of beers and the people there are extremely nice. (678 characters)

Photo of RogueOz
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

I visited on a recent weekday and walked right in at opening time. Checking in for a few brews and a bite to eat. Sat at the lengthy bar near the register for quicker all-round service/attention. Nice selection of house brews and select others. Great service at the bar with facility full by 12p. Ample parking outside (cheap meters or close parking structure) and bathroom small but meets the need. Great food selection and great food in general. I love this place for the mellow yet vibrant ambiance. Easy to strike up a conversation with those local, and not so local. The combination of food/beers/service/take home bottle selection/ parking/bathrooms make this a go to on my list when in the area. Hope this helps. Cheers. (727 characters)

Photo of ESCO138
5/5  rDev +12.4%

What can I say about this place that hasn't already been said. World class beers, great food and great customer service. I recommend a Blind Pig IPA with a Paisano pizza or Pliny Bites. This place is superb in every which way and form. (239 characters)

Photo of Vlaminck
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

I'm not a big fan of Belgium beers but i tried a flight of beer, which was primarily Belgium and huge for only 16 bucks. My wife and I tried them all but just couldn't find a Belgium we liked. If your a fan of wine then this is the brewery to turn you into a beer fan. After all its in wine country. I mostly came for Pliny fresh off the tap and the experience which did not disappoint. PTE and blind pig are great. We also had linner, lunch/dinner. The pizza was surprisingly good, the crowd friendly and talkative. Not beer snobbish, which was nice. Overall I got what I can for, the experience which was very good. I just wish PTY was much more available, but luckily I found a spot that has PTE sporadically to get my fix. (727 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

so as beer goes, there is no place better than russian river, these guys absolutely kill it, we all know about the ipas and the sours, those are some of the best in the world. the place though maybe isnt quite as good as the beer. overly crowded all the time from what i gather. service was awesome, we had a friendly girl who handled here huge workload with grace and ease, but it was noisy and unrelaxing inside. beer medals are strewn about the place like they come pretty easy, other decor is unremarkable. the beer list is impressive, they had all the heavy hitters pouring. the beers of theirs that werent sour or hoppy didnt do much for me sadly. i had higher hops for some of the base beers, but i suppose thats not really a focus here. prices were fair, food looked good, cooked all in a pizza oven, but we didnt eat. a place that has been demystified a little for me, having visited and seen its run by humans. a place of lore that is somewhat of a beer lovers mecca, but the beer is better than the location, hands down. (1,031 characters)

Photo of ELS
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Probably the best beer drinking experience I've ever had was at Russian River Brewery! Arrived two days after the Younger release was over so we had no problems with crowds. Yes, we missed a great beer but I'm not willing to wait 4-8 hours. The pub has a great atmosphere with a lot of energy, between the locals at the bar and the out-of-towners sitting at the tables. The people next to us drove up from LA just for the beer. The flight of 17 beers was the best I've ever had and included some great sours like Supplication and Consecration. The pizza is great, the Pliny was good as expected and I took a bottle of Consecration home. Next stop was Laganitas. (667 characters)

Photo of sidewaysscott
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Took a vacation to Santa Rosa for a nice three day getaway. Fucking place was phenom. Super busy and had to wait 45+ minutes to get a decent seat 3/3 visits, but certainly didn't stop me. a+ (193 characters)

Photo of Port_Seat
3.61/5  rDev -18.9%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

A lot of the best beers in the world under this roof, but the brewpub is always a busy shitshow in the evening. To me, not worth the pilgrimage unless there is a major release. If you must come, I'd come in during a weekday afternoon if you want a table. (254 characters)

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

My wife and I stopped in on a Sunday evening for dinner and drinks. My review is written purely from a tourist and I hope it can be an asset to others visiting for the first time. We stayed at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek, about 10-12 minute walk through downtown Santa Rosa to Russian River.

Sunday is their all day happy hour ($3.50 for any draft = insane) and it feels like everyone in Santa Rosa was there. We got there about 7:30pm and there was an estimated 60-75 minute wait for a table and at least two-three deep at the bar. We didn't mind at all, so we posted up near the bar and enjoyed some pints. It was crowded, but the bartenders are pros and handled it perfectly.

Our wait ended up being closer to 90 minutes, but they have a text messaging system that has a webpage so you can see how many people are ahead of you, so we didn't mind.

The beer is as advertised (delicious) and you can order a flight, which gives you a sample of every beer on tap. They sell bottles to go.

Food is simple, mostly pizza. We had the pizza bites and they were great. (1,070 characters)

Photo of Drogon
3.93/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I went here the week after 4th of July, on a Saturday after Visiting Ranch Obi-wan which is not far. We had to wait about an hour to get in but unlike Seattle which doesn't let kids in, it was fine here in California! I had my two year old with me and he entertained the people outside while we were waiting. And the girl at the front gave him an apple juice to sip on too. Finally sat down and ordered some Pliney which was great and some Damnation which was better. Bought some to take back to Texas since they don't sell there"WHY NOT?" I wish you guys would sell in Texas like some other local Breweries in your same town. Anyway Pizza and beer was awasome and had a great time. I'm from California, but in Texas now....miss it sometimes but don't miss the high cost of living! (781 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

Visited on a Sunday in July (2014).
Quite crowded even at noon and I was lucky to get a seat at the bar after about 10 minutes of standing. Seemed a bit understaffed for the size of the crowd (and the crowd was predictable, I expect, given summertime and a discount on pints on Sundays). A fine range of beers available on tap, as well as some bottles to go. Bottles of Pliny were selling like crazy. Bar reached capacity during my visit and there was a small line when I left. Tasters are available, including a large rack featuring all 18 or 20 of their beers. (563 characters)

Photo of Mothergoose03
4.9/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This was stop #7 for my wife and I on a 21-day pub-crawl from Michigan to N. CA and OR. We arranged our trip to Oregon just to be able to visit this brewery, so we completed our quest. The pub is located in a downtown setting with a large city parking lot at the rear. (Use this lot if you are buying very much beer to go.) We arrived at the brewery on a Friday just after opening to have lunch and to experience the beers. And it was an amazing experience. We were seated right away, but the place filled quickly, and soon there was a wait to be able to get seated.

We ordered the full flight of samplers (19 that day) along with lunch, and began the process of enjoying the near perfection of this place. The vibe, the people, the servers, etc. were all part of a wonderfully complete experience.

On to the beers and food: About a third of the flight consisted of the sours that are brewed here, and this was our first real exposure to this kind of beer. We liked some better than others, but we discovered that sours are nothing to be scared of. All of the beers were readily consumed and enjoyed, and so was our lunch. The food menu was full of tempting dishes from which to choose, many items having an unusual twist to what would be normally found as standard pub fare at other breweries. And what we ordered was enjoyed immensely. Kudos to the kitchen.

We asked our server how to arrange for beer to go, and he said that he would handle it for us. So we bought our limit of Pliny and Blind Pig, plus a couple bottles of the sours, and proceeded to finish our penultimate brewery lunch experience. All that I can add further here is to say that if you get a chance to go here….GO! (1,693 characters)

Photo of amano_h
4.83/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Always a great time at Russian River Brewing Company.

Once you've gotten past the fact that there is always going to be a wait here purely because of the calibre of the food and drinks they sell here, this place is nothing short of paradise.

I won't speak for the beer, because any idiot with an internet connection can actually look up reviews on the "Beers" section of this site and read about the A/S/T/M/O of all their excellent offerings. What they don't typically tell you on the internet is that you can order a sampler of all their offerings (which includes all their current bottle releases, their sours, and their non-bottled offerings) for a bargain.

The food here is something that's often overlooked and phenomenal. The wait staff (more like beer geniuses in disguise) is very knowledgeable on food pairings that go with RRBC brews and they paired up our Blind Pig with the Paisano (Mozzarella, Feta, Pesto, Salami, Garlic) and our Pliny with the Pliny bites. Before that fateful night, I never really paired up my beer with my meals or had drinks by the table because my chief interest when it comes to drinking beer is well... beer over food. But the Pliny bites turned me into a believer.

One thing that the RRBC Brewpub didn't have were obnoxious sports bros like the rest of Santa Rosa does; Game 7 of the Western Conference Playoff tie between the Warriors and Clippers were on, and myself being a Clippers fan have been threatened to be kicked out of a few bars upon other people realizing that I don't root for their home team. Not a single drunken unpleasantry was shared at RRBC, however, and people just watched their game and enjoyed their beer as any cultured beer aficionado slash sports fan would.

They also have cool little water cups that have the RRBC logo on them, nice branded glassware you can purchase for 8 dollars, and a whole array of shirts. The only shirt I really wanted to buy was unavailable that night, but I guess that just gives me one more reason to go back!

I love you, RRBC. Never leave me. (2,045 characters)

Photo of reefer_bob
4.63/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

I'm local to Russian River, and go there at least once a month.

Russian River has amazing quality beer and food. The bar is always clean, and nice. The bartenders and servers are all very friendly and helpful.

Here's my only complaint, is over the years it's gotten so crowded. There is always a long wait for a table. The bar is really crowded and you have to muscle in to get a drink. I suppose they're a victim of their own success, but it gets a little old after a while.

Having said that, it's still worth a trip there. Just expect to be there for a while to either wait... (581 characters)

Photo of WheelsPSU
4.58/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I was fortunate enough to find myself out in the Napa Valley for a weekend last weekend so I bugged the Mrs. to go to Russian River. So I drove my beast of a rental car over to Santa Rosa and enjoyed the hell out of a Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig. And the kicker was since it was a Sunday, it was happy hour all day. $3.50 for a Pliny? Yes please. Also picked up a tshirt ($16). The only negative was the 45 minute wait for a table and no room at the bar or out front. The wait went quick though when you get to drink a Pliny.

We got the big Caesar salad and a pizza that was half and half. It was much much better than I was expecting. All in all, i was thrilled to finally make it to RR as we do not get their beers in NYC. If you ever find yourself in the area, do yourself a favor and stop in. Well worth it. (814 characters)

Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, CA
98 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.