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Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Russian River Brewing CompanyRussian River Brewing Company
BA SCORE
100
world-class

607 Ratings
Ratings: 607
Reviews: 311
rAvg: 4.57
pDev: 8.75%
Active Beers: 54
Beer Ratings: 44,689
Beer Avg: 4.06
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
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:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 607 | Reviews: 311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tjensen3618
4.15/5  rDev -9.2%

In a great part of, i guess it would be, downtown Santa Rosa. I was in here at dinner time on a Thurs. it was busy but we were able to get a table right away.

Small outdoor area, small stage in the corner of the place, giant beer board with 20 or so selections, you can catch a small glimpse of the barrel room from the dining area. The brewing/barrel area looks so small, do they have an offsite production brewery somewhere?

Checked out the beer board and of course I ordered a few draft only RR beers. Beers of course were world class, I kinda wanted to try the flagship dish here, which happens to be pizza. The pizza was decent, I'd rank it above average, but honestly if it weren't for the beer, I probably wouldn't come back for the pizza alone.

I can see myself making several beer geek trips to this part of CA, and Russian River would have to be a stop on every one of them.

tjensen3618, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.53/5  rDev -0.9%

First time here and super happy about it. It kinda reminds me of a Portland bar, which is a good thing.

The beer of course is world class. My buddy is a quality beer rookies so we ordered the sampler. This includes everything that is on tap. Pliny, Temptation, Porter, Stout, Consecration, damnation, and damn 23, etc. wow.

We had the Pliny bites which are good and spicy. I had a Caesar and a meet all sandwich. He had a salad and the wings. All good.

Service was kinda slw, but they were pretty busy. The kept bring us the wrong shirts and sizes. Finally we got it worked out. Four bottles of 23 , three men's tees, a tiny Pliny tee, two glasses, and we were out the door.

I can't wait to come back. Check this one off the beer bucket list.

HuskyinPDX, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of jvillefan
3.48/5  rDev -23.9%

A: The atmosphere is a crowded little restaurant that is incredibly noisy. There are constantly trying to sell you their stuff that is hung on every wall while you eat. A tour of the actual brewery is difficult if not, impossible, to do.

Q: The food and beer were very good. The menu is all of the beers that they are currently brewing as well as pizzas, salads, and wings.

Ser: Not great. Very slow and when our party of 8 was at the table for about 45 min (we had just gotten our food) the put a sign that said reserved on our table and told us that the next party would be there soon.

Sel: They had an enormous selection of their own beer there. We got a tasting that consisted of about 15 different beers.

F: The calzone that I had was delicious and everyone else in my party enjoyed their food tremendously.

V: The food as a little pricy but the beer was a steal. To purchase a growler and fill it with Pliny the Elder was only $20 and if I go back it is only $14 to refill it.

jvillefan, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of cbutova
4.6/5  rDev +0.7%

Made the trip to San Francisco and this place was on my must-visit list. Rented a car and checked out a few awesome breweries north of SF.

Like most brewpubs I have visited, Russian River had a great atmosphere with a mixed crowd, which I love to see at beer establishments. Everyone was there watching the Raiders get demolished but still having a good time. Families, beer reviewers, football fans and people just out to get some lunch were all present and the pub was completely full with a line out the door. The place was still decorated with the FfaC decor, which was awesome.

Service was fast and our waiter was friendly and knowledgeable about both the food and the beer being served. As you would expect, proper glassware was used to serve each different style.

It happened to be Sunday and that is all-day Happy Hour (8oz/pints are the same price and mostly all pints were $3.25, this obliterates any MA pricing, anywhere). It probably doesn't need to be repeated but Russian River has an amazing selection. IPAs, an amazing porter, sours and Belgian beers with unique twists. I'm not sure I have tried so many diverse and delicious beers in one place before. We stopped in to get beers but after a few rounds we worked up an appetite and tried one of their pizzas, it turned out being awesome and had a nice mix of flavors.

I ended up leaving with 2 bottles of Framboise for a Cure, Redemption, It Takes a Lot of Great Beer... and Damnation 23, the ones I didn't get to try in the pub itself.

I would love to visit RR again in the future, it will be a must if I ever make it back to that region of CA. I suggest it to anyone who makes it out to SF and whoever lives there should take advantage of it as much as possible, not much to compares to it that I have seen in Boston, New England (Alchemist did but is no longer), Philly or NYC. A true gem.

cbutova, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of mkotsayfan
4.33/5  rDev -5.3%

Finally got a chance to come down from the Sacramento area to enjoy this great brewery.

The atmosphere is what you would expect for a nice brew pub, everyone there is chill and having a good time drinking great beers. While waiting outside for a table there were a couple of friendly people who came by and chatted.

Service was solid considering how busy it was (around 5pm on a Sunday). We had a friendly waitress, and both the food and beer were brought in a reasonable amount of time, sometimes within a couple minutes.

A very solid selection of beers to choose from; outside of the normal year rounds, there were all the favorites that you can find in stores along with some you can't find in stores, like Little White Lie and Aud Blonde.

Food was good, we had the pizza bites and the omni pizza, both were enjoyable, but not mind-boggling.

A must-go if you are anywhere nearby. Not only can you pick up some of their beers as bottles to take home, but you can enjoy some already great beers that are even better on tap.

mkotsayfan, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.6/5  rDev +0.7%

Finally made the pilgrimage here, and it was extremely worthwhile.

The bar was big yet still cozy, cool vintage breweriana was scattered all over, and the famed double chalkboard above the bar inscribed with colored chalk was a sight to behold. Barrel racks were visible through narrow windows behind the bar also. Lunchtime crowd was relaxed and friendly. We even met another couple from Chicago at the bar, and it turned out we had mutual friends.

Service was also friendly, quick and attentive too. Our bartender handed us a few samples and was free with recommendations and beer talk. All the beers on tap were good to great, quality stuff all around. The bottle selection was not shabby either.

The pizzas here looked really good, just the right size for bar snacking. Made the way through a sampler and a couple other drafts before heading over to Flavor to eat a couple bites there and drink some Moonlight.

Overall a highly-recommended destination you have to visit at least once in your beer career... easy trip up from the bay area.

emerge077, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of bryanole27
4.78/5  rDev +4.6%

Coming all the way from FL, I was very excited to make it to Russian River during vacation last week. Obviously my expectations were very high, but I have to say, Russian River still exceeded them. What else can you say about the beer...Pliny on tap...best beer I have ever tasted. Not to mention the 15 beer flight we started the day with...man what a line-up.

Moving on from beer, which I expected to be awesome, I was very pleasantly surprised by two things: 1. the food! Awesome food and everything we had was great. 2. the service and staff. To be honest I was expecting a bit of 'snobbery' or 'elitism' but honestly saw none of that. The staff really works their ass off and it shows in the quality of both beer and food.

We went twice during vacation and I wish I could have gone back again. I ended up walking out with a hoodie, t-shirt, pint glass, key chain, and a box of Pliny's...haha

bryanole27, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of slaphappysnark
4.43/5  rDev -3.1%

I've been to Russian River maybe six times in the past six months or so, and it's always been a good experience. The atmosphere is nice, although I miss the hops sacks right now during the renovation--they look awesome as well as dampening sound a bit. The service can be a little slow at times, but the staff has always been really helpful and polite (on Zwanze day, I overheard a waiter describing every beer on the menu to some folks with less beer experience who'd happened to show up, even though he must have been quite busy).
On tap, there are consistently most of their bottled beers, in addition to some other IPAs, pale ales and belgians--basically, something world class for almost everyone. They have tasty pizzas, and the various beer bites are basically a must-have when we go.

slaphappysnark, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of Brophmonster
4.33/5  rDev -5.3%

Visited on September 15 and 16, Thursday and Friday nights.

Atmosphere is relaxed, despite how crowded this place gets. Cool, vintage beer signs, etc. all over the walls, lots from the Midwest, which was very cool to see. Comfortable seating, enough standing room space. VERY mixed crowd, speaks to the quality of their wonderful beers.

Service was prompt, despite the crowd. Consequently the bartenders didn't have much time to chat, but as the place emptied out later in the nights the staff were very friendly and eager to talk beer. Good people.

The selection was good, not great. All the RR standards, plus some draft only stuff, however 3 or 4 taps were out both nights I was there and there wasn't much in the way of guest drafts, just SNPA I think...

I didn't try the food, as I had gone straight from dinners at wineries to the pub. The pizza, however, looked amazing.

Value here was pretty good. Drafts were only $4-$6 and growlers of Pliny, with the new growler, only $20, which is considerably less than growlers of some stuff around Chicago.

Overall loved the place. Will be back every time I find myself in SF/Napa/Sonoma.

Brophmonster, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of GJ40
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

I'd been dreaming about a visit to Russian River and I finally got there during a business trip to SF. And it didn't disappoint.

RR is in a quaint, interesting downtown area with lots of shops and restaurants. It's in an old building and makes use of the age very well. The exposed walls really shine with vintage beer signs displayed. It has a very authentic feel.

The tap list is solid with most of their beers available and one guest (Sierra Nevada when we were there). We had the full sampler with one of each beer on tap. It leads you first through the American styles then the Belgians. There were no disappointments. I followed that up with a Pliny.

RR has a great atmosphere, interesting crowd and outstanding beer. I highly recommend a visit. And if you want to eat somewhere else afterwards, try Tex Wasabi's (Guy Fieri's place) just down the street.

GJ40, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of Billolick
4.47/5  rDev -2.2%

Made a day trip up to this mecca of quality brew from Berkeley....a pleothora of mostly gushing reviews what can be added?....a warm and sunny day in Santa Rosa, Ca. enyoyed with my daughter (not a huge fan of upscale beer) Warm, bright and inviting space, a boat load of world class beers, friendly staff, friendly and warm locals, friendly and excited to be there beer travelers..bottles of Pliny to go..1/2 pints of redemption, temptation, supplication and the beat goes on...a must visit temple of high quality mostly only found in this one place destination....I enjoyed 3 or 4 1/2 pours, couldn't get 19 y.o. Jane to buy in and we were gone...the Pacific beckoned...the glow lasted...the memories linger...I'll be back...

Billolick, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of shwillivanilli
4.53/5  rDev -0.9%

i visited here in April, and it was like taking a 5 year old to Disney!

walking up it pretty small, but you what your in for. i was a large bar with plenty of seat, and far amount of tables. we sat immediately. typical bar atmosphere. you can see a small part of the tanks, and the barrel room.

as soon as we sat we had a waiter. very friendly and helping. immediately got beers to us, which i was dying for!

the selection of beer was awesome. anything you could really want. except the obvious pliny the younger, and beatification. all the barrel aged sour, blind pig, pliny the elder, and the other Belgians. plus a few brewery exclusives. russian river beers are fantastic, but having them on tap was a treat. not to mention the fact you can get bottles for cheap to go! i bought almost 2 dozen!

the food was good as well. i enjoyed the pizza we got a lot. they had some different and cool sounding pizza. the rest of the menu was pretty standard.

shwillivanilli, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

Second stop but first review of my brew hopping trip in norcal. Visited today!

Cool atmosphere. Some older people, some young bearded hipster/hippie locals. Got there pretty early, and found a table just on the other side of the bar with perfect view of the chalk board and taps.

I got a mini-flute sampler of their sour beers that were currently on tap, plus a few other random tasters of some belgians, and some other stuff I can't get at home--which is most of their beers. Service was quick, friendly, and the server was knowledgeable.

Selection was good, but they were running out of beers faster than I could count! Not really, but 3 beers were out, and a 4th was just taken off the chalkboard when I got there. Didn't try the food, but the pizza looked great.

I wasn't a big sour fan until I came to RR, because frankly most american brewers think they can dump some brett, pedio, or lacto into a beer and call it a sour.. and most are a fucking disgrace to the style. Russian River is VERY serious about their wild ales, and they are VERY very good. Even without the Pliny twins and Blind Pig (the latter of which I think is over rated, but for highly regarded by most people) Russian River is a serious force in the craftbrewing industry to be reckoned with.

AWolfAtTheDoor, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of maxhock
4.7/5  rDev +2.8%

I had the opportunity to visit the brew pub back in Mid-July after hearing about it for quite some time. I'll see the occasional Pliny show up in SF bars, here and there, but was eager to check out the other offerings. Needless to say, after my visit I'll be back here every chance I get. I had a couple of elders, shared a flight, a basket of bites and a pizza. I could hardly walk afterwards from being so full of goodness, but it was well worth it and I wish I could stroll by every day....Until next time Russian River!

maxhock, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of Goldstar81
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Hands down my favorite brewery to visit that I've been to. I live in LA so I just wish it wasn't so damn far away but I try to visit at least twice a year. Located in the middle of downtown Santa Rosa which in itself is beautiful. It really looks like a restaurant or brewpub but of course its a brewery with lots of tables and places to sit at the bar. On my last trip I was able to convince my in-laws to stop here for lunch on our winery tour. We ordered salad and a couple pizzas along with a 15 dollar beer flight which was a 2-3 oz sampling of ALL of the beers. The beer menu is split in half-the left side is all IPAs and basically beers with hops in them that range in IBUs from a rather light blond to Pliny the Elder. The right side of the menu is all Belgian style sours-half of which are only available here but are honestly not as tasty as the bottled sours-sanctification, supplications, consecration, temptation, redemption. This place is a must visit if you are nearby.

Goldstar81, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of Dogbrick
4.33/5  rDev -5.3%

(Visited 01/2011): Made the drive from Larkspur to Santa Rosa to visit Russian River. It is located in the Cherry Street Historic District on 4th Street. Parking seems to be pretty much metered street parking in the immediate vicinity.

The brewpub was packed on a Tuesday evening during the OSU/ Arkansas Sugar Bowl. The bar is along the left side of the space, with table seating elsewhere. TVs are located around the bar, and there is a large chalkboard listing the current beers.

As for those beers, thank goodness for the chalkboard because the list is pretty extensive, and they have one of the largest sampler paddles I have ever seen, segmented by style and bottle cap markers. Several of their flagship beers are readily available such as the IPA and Blind Pig, and on our visit they also had goodies like Redemption, Rejection, Mortification, Perdition, Consecration, OVL, Little White Lie and Dead Leaf Green. All of the beers were top notch. They also sell bottles to go.

Service during the busy bowl game was better than expected. The bartenders knew their stuff and were on top of their game. One of them even snuck us sips of Younger out of the fermenter. Awesome.

Russian River's food is fairly standard brew pub food. Our pizza was good.

Overall this place is highly recommended and I would make it a point to visit again on any return trip.

Dogbrick, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of AdamBear
4.78/5  rDev +4.6%

This is where the magic happens...

Atmosphere: the brewery as a whole was much smaller than I imagined. The restaurant itself was fairly large. its very clean and beautiful inside. it has a woodsy feel to it.

Selection: 15 different Russian River beers on tap....what else in the world could you want when you visit a brewery??? they did have a guest tap...sierra nevada's california common ale when i was there. there is a really awesome sampler you can do: 15 samples for $15...amazing.

Service: amazing. even though it was extremely busy, the staff was patient enough every time i needed help or assistance.

Food menu isn't large, but their pizza is all you need. it was amazing.

The prices are the best you can get for Russian River beers.

Visiting this place was reminiscent of my first trip to Disney World.

AdamBear, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of Retsinis
4.38/5  rDev -4.2%

Could have sworn I posted my review of this place. Maybe it was purged, or I'm dead wrong. Either way. I very clearly remember the trek to Russian River.

My wife and I were on vacation, staying in American Canyon for our 1 year wedding anniversary. The trip's focul point was mostly on wine tasting to be honest, however, a trek down to Russian River in Santa Rosa was never in doubt.

Even though I live in so-cal, the few blocks around Russian River reminded me of a cross between Burbank & Santa Monica, which made me feel right at home just parking the car. Then I walk up, clad in my green Beer Advocate T-shirt, and we get a small table for two at the back. The place was pretty packed, and the crowd was pretty diverse, which was cool. We ordered up their mammoth beer sampler, that was delivered on this wooden plank, with a metal handle in the middle, about 12 4 oz tasters filled, each denoted by a their matching bottle cap, imbedded into the wooden slab. Very impressive display.

Great beers, no question there. The pizza we ordered & shared was also very good, and I hadn't expected the food to be as good as it was. Also picked up a Brown Russian River T-shirt as well.

In short, a great local spot, and one I could tell they love, enjoy, and are proud of, and is a great destination for the BA.

Retsinis, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of kaidasz
3.75/5  rDev -17.9%

in town for last part of vacation w/non BA family members.

we had a bit of a wait for 6+ people but no prob as i enjoyed a blind pig RR IPA, neither were familiar to me. what happened next was somewhat comical as we had multiple food order problems that with patience were not big deals. the beers were great and overall was satisfied, the 'mecca' came through. my wife did ask if 'svc was bad like tonite, whaddabout fri/sat'? i do not care as we are not talking about GUY whatever in Paris, i want great beer and some decent food alongside. the pizza was better than decent, maybe even great for us thin crust fans, yes!

kaidasz, Jun 21, 2011
Photo of prg1976
4.47/5  rDev -2.2%

In San Fran for the week for a conference, so I made the trip up to Santa Rosa. The drive was great, lots of fresh air. It got progressively warmer during the ride, from about 68 at the airport to the low 90's in downtown SR.

Atmosphere....kindof typical brewpub. I snagged a seat at the bar and enjoyed watching the regulars come in for their growler refills. Most of them were drinking something other than pliny.

Service was decent. It was crowded, so I got what I expected to get.

Selection gets a 4.5 only because younger wasn't available. I did try most of the Belgians and 3 or 4 others.

Food was good, I only had a pizza for lunch, and it hit the spot.

Prices were good. Sunday all day "happy hour".

Overall, I'd go back any chance I get. Well worth the trip.

prg1976, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of JISurfer
4.61/5  rDev +0.9%

Got to visit the brewpub today, on my trip to three total brewpubs. This one wasn't my favorite, but it wasn't my least favorite. While the beer selection and service were stellar, the atmosphere was kind of a let down. I don't know, maybe I was a little ticked off by the table of pretentious hipsters that insisted on using profanity throughout their conversation, but to each their own I guess. Other than than, it was just your average brewpub inside, ie bar, crap on the wall, barrells in the background, lots of noise. The atmosphere isn't what I went for though, and the beers delivered. Very glad I went, hope to go again sometime. Maybe the hippsters won't be there.

JISurfer, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of stupac2
4.78/5  rDev +4.6%

What can you say about Russian River? Perhaps the best brewery in the country, and a damn fine pub too. The only real downside is that people know it's good, so it get crowded. Anyway, the pub is a great place, the main piece of decor is old hop bags, and you can get either a bar feel or a restaurant feel, depending on what you want. I've never had an issue with the service, except that it's so busy whenever I've been that the staff are clearly swamped. Nonetheless waiters visit your table frequently and are knowledgeable about the beers, and the bartenders take and fill your orders quickly.

The beers are obviously spectacular, and run the gamut from the best IPA on the planet to some of the best sours, and solid belgians. The food is also good, although it's bar food, so expect greasy and unhealthy but delicious. And nothing's particularly pricey for Ca, considering what you're getting.

If you get a chance to stop by this place, do it. You will not be disappointed.

stupac2, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of WillCarrera
4.4/5  rDev -3.7%

Atmosphere - Great, simple interior layout. Empty hop bags hanging from the ceiling. Seems chill and welcoming. Unfortunately they don't have a brewery tour, but hopefully someday they will.

Quality - I don't even really have to say it, the beer at this place is nothing less than outstanding, I drove over an hour from San Francisco and it was definitely worth the trip.

Service - Good service, the bartenders really took care of us and never made us wait for very long at all, the waiters were also very friendly.

Selection - Pretty good selection, it's definitely a plus that they always have Pliny the Elder on tap, I definitely recommend their sampler, for like $20 you get about 2oz of every beer they have on tap.

Food - Not bad, mostly pizza, its totally decent food but is really the only part of this brewery that isn't really outstanding.

WillCarrera, May 28, 2011
Photo of hargettf
4.35/5  rDev -4.8%

Lucky enough to be there on the last day Pliny the Younger was available this year. Of course, it was amazing, but the bar was more than that. The decor is wood and paraphenalia. Since it was the last day, it was very crowded, but we were still able to get a table, which we shared with others. You need to get a sampler, which has sixteen of their beers. Service was friendly and pretty fast, especially considering the crowd. The food as average bar food, adequate without being impressive. All in all, well worth the one hour drive from San Francisco.

hargettf, May 24, 2011
Photo of BigB415
3.53/5  rDev -22.8%

Stopped in after my first final was finished. I was hoping to get a Pliny, a small pizza and a pint glass from the gift shop. What should of been 30 minutes to an hour turned out to be almost 2 hours. I stepped inside and waited at the hostess table for about 5 minutes with the hostess no where in sight, it was pretty busy after all. She finally came in and sat me in the room with at least 5 crying babies.

The smallest pizza I wanted was almost 12 bucks and since I only had 20 bucks on me I opted for the Meatball Sandwich which was 8 bucks since I had to get a Pliny and a pint glass to go I didn't want the bill to come to 19 bucks and only give her a dollar tip. The waitress finally showed after 5-10 minutes and took the people who got there after me drinks orders first.

When I ordered I just ordered everything to save time since I knew what I wanted. Beer came several minutes later and food at least another 20 minutes later. Of course the beer was good, I need to get something other than Pliny next time I go. The food was alright, it filled me up which is what I was hoping for. I don't really have meatball sandwiches that much.

I asked for the check and the pint glass together. They spent a little bit looking for some pint glasses since they thought they were out but they finally found some and I was able to leave the waitress with more than a 1 dollar tip so everyone was happy. I got my beer and my pint glass so I have another pint glass to add to the growing collection. Next time I go I'm bringing more than 20 bucks so I can get that pizza. I heard it is great.

BigB415, May 24, 2011
Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, CA
100 out of 100 based on 607 ratings.