Russian River's New Brewery Opens in Windsor This Week

Discussion in 'Article Comments' started by BeerAdvocate, Oct 9, 2018.

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  1. BeerAdvocate

    BeerAdvocate Admin (17,075) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Society

  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,614) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “A 75-barrel brewhouse, 12 new conical fermentors, six open top fermentation tanks, a 13 foot square coolship, and several oak foeders will enable the company to grow its annual production from approximately 17,000 barrels to 35,000 barrels and potentially as high as 75,000 in the future.”

    As a big fan of Russian River beers I am very happy to read this news. From my personal perspective more Russian River beer = better.

    Cheers to Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo for making this happen!!!!!
    THANAT0PSIS and lovindahops like this.
  3. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (245) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Damn that place looks state of the art and just beautiful! Next vacation out west it's on the list!
  4. LeRose

    LeRose Poo-Bah (1,746) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts

    This sounds eerily familiar... Smuttynose purchased a 17 acre parcel, built a state of the art LEED certified brewery with a 75,000 BBL maximum capacity, with a restaurant and other amenities...

    Hopefully RR has a better business plan and enjoys continued success. Yes - everyone will say Russian River makes better beer, but in the New England area Smutty was an iconic, albeit "tame", brand.
  5. Prager62

    Prager62 Poo-Bah (2,380) May 7, 2010 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Ship more Pliny to Colorado and I'll do my part to help pay for it. :money_mouth:
  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,614) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania


    From the article:

    “…the couple was able to realize this goal on their own terms.”


    “I think a lot of people will be surprised when they see how big the brewery is, but we did it independently,” he adds. “It wasn’t by bringing on an equity partner or by expanding distribution.”

    My understanding is that Smuttynose ‘overbuilt’ (i.e., a LEED facility) and took on lots of debt.

    My guess from the above is that Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo took a differing business approach in creating this new, expanded facility.

    Getting heavily in debt and bringing on partners exposes a business to lots of pressures.


    P.S. And yes, Russian River beers are notably ‘better’ than Smuttynose beers.:slight_smile:
  7. SpruceFish

    SpruceFish Aspirant (221) Jan 18, 2009 Washington

    One of my all time favorite breweries, Vinnie has claimed many times he didnt want to expand due to fear of decreased quality. I just hope this doesn't come to fruition, that being said it will be great to have more access to RR
    stevesbeer and LeRose like this.
  8. LeRose

    LeRose Poo-Bah (1,746) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts

    Agreed - from the read it certainly looks structured differently. In my opinion, the Smutty facility was not overbuilt - they really should have installed a can line which they had more than enough space to add I don't think the blame can be pointed to LEED certification. Their LEED additions seemed pretty tame compared to some I have seen and actually should have helped with the bottom line, at least by what I learned there (assuming they were speaking the truth). They did take on a ton of debt up there in New Hampshire and were wildly optimistic about their total cost to build - just a series of poor decisions as we've discussed before.

    Just struck me as "wow - I've seen these numbers (almost exactly) before"...
  9. CUBeerBuff

    CUBeerBuff Aspirant (200) Jun 11, 2013 Washington

    Looks very similar to the new location and expansion at Avery in CO a few years ago. That's been working out very well for them. Hope it goes the same for RR.
  10. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Well, I've not seen actual numbers, but I'd say the demand for RR beers has been higher over the years than it was/has been for Smuttynose. How high is the demand for RR? Well, it's high enough that if you are a retailer in their distribution footprint and they find out you are not keeping beers such as Pliny refrigerated as asked by the brewery you won't get any more to offer for sale.
    LeRose likes this.
  11. gabea

    gabea Initiate (109) May 5, 2009 New York

    Have they posted details on hours? I am in CA next month and trying to see if I can fit this in.
  12. Keene

    Keene Initiate (0) Sep 11, 2009 Washington

    I believe they intend to have the same hours as Santa Rosa: Open daily 11am to midnight.

    UPDATE: Windsor is open daily 11am to 10pm.
    #12 Keene, Oct 10, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  13. TheBrewsky

    TheBrewsky Initiate (0) Apr 23, 2017 California

    Man, I didn't realize the new location was opening so soon. I might have to go out there and check it out this Thursday. Looks really awesome, and I am glad it is finally done. Might be worth trying to go to PtY release at the Windsor location.
  14. CheapBeerBuzz

    CheapBeerBuzz Champion (884) Dec 20, 2011 California

    It's on!!!! Can't wait to crush some 2019 Younger without a 4 hour wait.
  15. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,460) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    I wish them the best. I was on business about a month ago out the the bay area and drove up to Santa Rosa to visit. On a Wed. evening at 6pm I couldn't even get a seat in brewpub at downtown so the bigger facility will be much better. Got some Bling Pig, Pliny and Happy Hops to go (along with assortment of sours). Something seemed quite off with all of the 3 hop forward beers. Even my friends whom have had Pliny many times in the past and I've shared with said something seemed way off with these beers (it wasn't even tasting like a mediocre IPA which is quite scary). I'm hoping that I just got a bad batch and problem is now fixed.
    MonkeyBread likes this.
  16. lovindahops

    lovindahops Meyvn (1,028) Mar 26, 2010 New York

    I'll never forget jumping into the craft scene in 2009 and always hearing about this brew called Pliny the Younger. I was able to get a trade for some and it truly was an epiphany moment. The only other time I can recall that type of moment was having my first Hill Farmstead at Prohibition Pig back in 2012.

    A few years later, I flew out to California to climb the Half Dome for work. The next day, nothing was sweeter than making the drive to Russian River and having Pliny on site. In these times of the pursuit of New England Juice, I can happily say I appreciate what Russian River means to me from almost a decade ago. I'm very happy for their team and look forward to getting back out there someday!
    rozzom, Tucquan and JackHorzempa like this.
  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,614) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I feel exactly the same way!

    I enjoy drinking the 'new' style of Hazy/Juicy IPA but I also greatly appreciate the hoppy beers (e.g., Pliny the Elder) of Russian River. Ten years from now I will still be a fan of a beer like Pliny the Elder. Will I still be enthusiastic about Hazy/Juicy IPAs ten years from now?:thinking_face:

    I would be remiss in mentioning that I am also a big fan of the Russian River Belgian style beers.

    Oh, and I have heretofore only had one draft pint of STS Pils but I really enjoyed drinking that beer. Hopefully STS Pils will be more readily available once this expanded brewery really gets going.

    Tucquan and lovindahops like this.
  18. moshea

    moshea Initiate (0) Jul 16, 2007 Michigan

    If only it were Windsor Ontario
    Lahey likes this.
  19. lovindahops

    lovindahops Meyvn (1,028) Mar 26, 2010 New York

    Such a great point Jack. In a decade, which breweries will still be in our minds as the best of the best and favorites? Similar to how Russian River always comes mind even though I have a hard time accessing them. Cheers Brother!
  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,614) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I am fortunate that Russian River beers are available in the Philly area:
    • Draft: Blind Pig, Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger
    • Bottles: bottled Belgian Ales
    Hopefully with the new, expanded brewery we will obtain more frequent deliveries and perhaps expanded portfolio of products.

    lovindahops likes this.
  21. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Poo-Bah (4,426) Dec 11, 2006 California
    Society Trader

    I’m in the LA/OC market and I kind of like the fact that bottles only show up once a week or once every two weeks - and it’s pretty much the same on draft. A few years ago they cut Blind Pig distro bottles down here, and I’ve also seen a decrease of it on tap. Anyway, Pliny is a treat for me. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
  22. Dandrewjohn

    Dandrewjohn Initiate (140) Apr 13, 2013 Texas

  23. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (2,829) Sep 3, 2008 California
    Society Trader

    Sign me up for STS year-round... especially since I can't get fresh Pivo. Hell, local distributors don't even seem to be stocking it since FW released their Lager. Boo

    Though maybe the new RR facility will bring some more STiVO. Please, please, please....
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  24. Giantspace

    Giantspace Savant (982) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania


    Supplication and other tion beers are on tap fairly regularly at Monks. Cans of Elder and Pig would be pretty sweet if they were fresh.

  25. ypsifly

    ypsifly Initiate (0) Sep 22, 2004 Michigan

    Yeah I got a little excited their for a second, lol. I could just see the Ambassador Bridge collapsing under the weight of an ensuing mule train.
    moshea likes this.
  26. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Am I the only one who thinks that his job is probably WAY better and WAY scarier than mine?
    jakecattleco and lovindahops like this.
  27. lovindahops

    lovindahops Meyvn (1,028) Mar 26, 2010 New York

    it was a team building exercise lol. Couldn't say no.
  28. MonkeyBread

    MonkeyBread Defender (632) Apr 26, 2014 Nevada

    Yea I’m not sure they have their quality consistent. I’ve had two Pliny the elder in the last 6 months one on draft and one in bottle and both had a notable off taste. Russian River still has a lot of hype so I’m sure they will do ok but I’m not sure their beers are keeping up with today’s market. Glad they don’t seem to be over extending and distributing like crazy because I think they would get crushed like most bigger craft beer companies are lately. Better to maintain their mystique and be hard to get. The secret is starting to come out that most of their beers were amazing 5-10 years ago but today are average. They can keep riding the mystique and hype for many years still if they play it right.
    bubseymour likes this.
  29. TriggerFingers

    TriggerFingers Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2012 California

    One of my good buddies lives in Windsor. Now I have another excuse to visit him.

    THANAT0PSIS Champion (815) Aug 3, 2010 Wisconsin

    Of all the breweries one could say this about, Russian River is one that would never come to mind for me. In my opinion they still make some of the best sours, Belgians, and IPAs in the country, and I have and continue to have plenty of super-hyped stuff to compare RR against, a comparison that they come out favorably in more often than not.
    LeRose, drtth, jakecattleco and 2 others like this.
  31. RocketFrogDavid

    RocketFrogDavid Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2010 Virginia

    Happened to be in Santa Rosa and visited on day 2, it is a damn impressive facility and the service was very good. They seemed to have been well prepared for the crowds. Beer of course was amazing.
    JBogan and JackHorzempa like this.
  32. distantmantra

    distantmantra Meyvn (1,197) May 23, 2011 Washington

    I know their priority is meeting demand in California, but it sure would be nice to see them return to Washington after leaving here in 2012.
  33. micada

    micada Meyvn (1,341) Jul 13, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    No! Buffalo, NY area first! It’s toooooo faaaaarrrrr to California or Philadelphia!
  34. Tdizzle

    Tdizzle Devotee (445) Dec 19, 2006 California

    Hopefully the staff at the new facility won't have the smug, dismissive attitudes that I experienced at the Santa Rosa location a few years ago.
  35. JBogan

    JBogan Savant (911) Jul 15, 2007 California

    That's unfortunate. I've only been there (Santa Rosa location) a few times, but have to say that every single one of the staff was always as nice as could be. It may be a while before I'm able to make it up north again, but I very much look forward to visiting the Windsor facility some day.
    Tdizzle likes this.
  36. Tdizzle

    Tdizzle Devotee (445) Dec 19, 2006 California

    I’ll chalk it up to that they were maybe just having a rough day. I would relish another chance to go back to the original location and the new location.
    JBogan likes this.
  37. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (2,829) Sep 3, 2008 California
    Society Trader

    Anybody been to the Windsor location yet? Wondering if the Beers On Tap List represents both locations or just the original pub? Also curious how the food compares to the pub menu? TIA
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