Posted on December 2, 2013:
I’m excited to report that at least 14 people let me know that they still read my blog! This weekend my Mom and her boyfriend, Jeff, were visiting for Thanksgiving and told me that they, too, enjoy reading the blog. For that, I am grateful and will continue to write to YOU, dear readers!
Our fundraising efforts for the Sutter Breast Care Center were a huge success this year. We donated just over $100,000, up nearly $25K from last year! That significant increase can be attributed to the additional “Framboise For A Cure” we sold at the pub, Tom Peters at Monk’s Café in Philly and his extraordinary generosity, Toronado SF and SD, Willie Birds, Encinitas Ale House, and the kindness of our many friends and customers. The beautiful Ribbecke Guitar was, once again, the HOT ticket for the raffles. Thank you for making this year’s “Big Check” the most amazing ever!
We are finally releasing the next batch of Beatification on draft and in 375ml bottles on Saturday, December 14th, 2013! This is a brewpub ONLY release. Beatification is our spontaneously fermented beer, meaning that we add no yeast and allow the beer to naturally collect any wild yeast and bacteria in the air and barrels. We call this style of beer “Sonambic”- a nod to the traditionally spontaneous beers brewed in the Lambic region of Belgium. The pub will open at 9AM on the 14th for bottle sales as well as draft beer at the bar. Customers wishing to purchase just bottles (and be on their way) will have a separate “queue”, while anyone wanting to enjoy a morning beer will be seated on a first come, first served basis. The kitchen will open at 11AM as usual. Bottles are $18/each, limit one case per person (subject to change). Vinnie and I will also be there to wish you all Happy Holidays!
Holiday schedule and beyond:
Brena and Aura, Pliny’s little elves, are folding, boxing, taping, and shipping away your online Gift Shop orders everyday this month. Check out our Gift Shop for fun gift ideas for the beer lover in your life. Or yourself, or course J
Happy Holidays to you all from our family to yours! We wish you a safe and happy Holiday Season!
It has been some time again since my last blog. With more than 75 employees, 2 maxed out breweries, and a crazy busy brewpub, it's definitely getting harder to find time to do the things I enjoy the most. Although I do post on Facebook (more often but relatively infrequently), some of you have expressed that you still actually enjoy reading my blog. For that, I thank you!
So here we are and it's already October, my favorite month of the year. Aside from it being beautiful in Sonoma County, we host our annual month-long fundraiser for the Sutter Women's Health Care Center of Santa Rosa, which brings me great joy! All of the money we raise/donate goes directly to help uninsured or underinsured women AND men in our community receive life saving screening and treatment for Breast Cancer. Recently we have become acquainted with several recipients of our fundraising efforts. Some of their lives have been changed or even saved by the services offered by Sutter. That said, I'm super excited to announce that a dozen of these amazing women are coming to our big kick off party on October 1st and will be our very special VIP guests! The festivities kick off around 7ish with my favorite ladies from Wild Card Belly Dance performing 2 sets at 8pm and 9pm. Check out our special Breast Cancer Awareness Month page on our website during October for more info on raffle items, how to get this year's cute shirt and other interesting things! Last but not least, we are releasing "Framboise For A Cure 2013" on October 1st at the pub on draft and in bottles to go. Vinnie makes this very special beer solely for our fundraising efforts so we could make even more money to help people in their battle with Breast Cancer. Last year the Framboise alone netted nearly $40,000!
In other news, Vinnie and I are attending our 20th Great American Beer Festival next week. There is a ridiculously dorky picture of us at one of our very first GABF's in the vault at the pub for all employees to see each and every day. I'm wearing kind of baggy super high wasted jeans with my shirt tucked in and a really cheap belt. Vinnie has no gray hair and looks like he is 12. It's awesome! For those of you attending, we are pouring Pliny the Elder, HopTime Harvest Ale, Shadow Of A Doubt, Propitiation (sour barrel-aged porter), and Framboise For A Cure. If you do come by our booth, please let me know that you still read my blog! You will probably make my day :-)
June 28, 2013
Our company policy regarding filling growlers:
Due to a recent reinterpretation of an existing liquor law by the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, breweries holding Type 23 licenses are now allowed to fill other breweries growlers with the proper legal information and state label approval. We, along with several other California breweries, have decided to continue to fill ONLY our own growlers at this time for the following reasons:
Thank you very much for your understanding and enjoying our brews!
Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo
Russian River Brewing Company
Santa Rosa will be getting a little Younger in just 2 weeks! Pliny the Younger will be tapped at our brewpub at 11am February 1st and will be available for 14 days until Valentine's Day! A certain amount will be allotted for each day so we can make it last the entire 2 weeks. Last year we mostly ran out late evenings or sometimes not at all. This just in: The Flamingo Hotel has graciously offered a special "Pliny the Younger" rate for our out of town visitors! How nice was that?! Check out the Brewpub section on our website for details about The Flamingo as well as other lodging recommendations. In regards to which accounts will be receiving Pliny the Younger, we have not set those allocations yet but will do so in the next week. We will have a list available at the pub during our 2 weeks of Younger. We are also sending a few kegs to our distributors on their regular February shipments. But at this time, we don't know who else is getting what and when (other than our pub!). I imagine most Bay Area accounts will likely tap their kegs during SF Beer Week which kicks off February 8th. Of course, we kindly ask all of our accounts to tap it in February so the beer is served at it's best! We look forward to seeing some of you in just a couple of weeks! Cheers!
Dear RRBC friends and family:
Vinnie and I have recently made the difficult decision to stop distributing in the state of Washington. Unfortunately, the letter we drafted and addressed to our Washington accounts made it's way to the media and is online for the whole world to read! If you have not yet read it, go to the Seattle Beer News website. It's clear and it's honest. There is a lot of chatter and speculation on the internet about what's "really" going on. The truth is spelled out and not between the lines. We just don't have the beer. For those of you who have been to our brewpub, you are well-aware of how busy it is all of the time. Our brewpub accounts for more than 50% of our revenue, which is extraordinary for a brewery our size! The beer we are not sending to Washington is going straight to Downtown Santa Rosa to feed the machine we call our brewpub. It will not be distributed to other wholesalers. I did, however, address the difficulty we have had managing our brand in Washington, which appears to be due to some unique state liquor laws. But that's not why we pulled out. That only helped us decide which market. If we had the beer, we would absolutely be happy to continue our relationship with Click and ship our beer to the beautiful state of Washington regardles of state liquor laws. To squelch any other rumors: we have NO plans for expansion at this time. Those conversations are still at the "Vinnie and I chatting on the couch in the evening over a couple glasses of wine" phase. As for the rumor that we are pulling out of Oregon or any other market: those aren't true at all! Any other rumors, probably not true either :-)
I hope this clears things up. We are most apologetic to our fans and friends in Washington. We also hope to return someday if you will have us back!
Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo
Season's Greetings from beer and wine country! Our cute little elves, Brena and Aura, are merrily shipping your orders of shirts and hats and glassware around the country every day. It's been our biggest year ever for online gift shop purchases! Thank you to everyone who has included us in your gift-giving this Holiday Season!
Brena Kennedy and Aura Helwick - RRBC brewery elves in their "workshop".
So the questions, phone calls and emails are already coming in regarding you know what, so here is the scoop: Pliny the Younger will be released at our brewpub in Downtown Santa Rosa on February 1st, 2013 (always the first Friday in February)! Younger will be available on tap in 10 ounce glasses (no growlers or bottles) for 2 weeks, or 14 days. We will allocate a certain amount each day until we run out for the day. Last year we had very few days where we ran out at all! The last day we will have it at the pub will be February 14th. Last year the wait was up to 5 hours, and sometimes there was no wait at all. It's a bit unpredictable, however, except on weekends where you can definitely expect the longest wait. We have learned that waiting in line can be fun and can even lead to new relationships, especially after several glasses of Younger! So please use the buddy system while getting "Younger" at our pub (your friends will hopefully look out for you!). As far as distribution is concerned, we usually start distributing a small amount of kegs to our accounts and distributors right after we release it at the pub. We are planning to brew the same amount this year and release the same quantities for distribution, but who gets what is yet to be determined. First batch of Younger will be brewed this Thursday at the pub! I saw the man himself hand-selecting this year's Younger hops just last week... artist or mad scientist? Probably a lot of both :-)
Last but not least, on behalf of everyone here at Russian River Brewing Company, we would like to thank you for another wonderful year and wish you and your family a very Happy and Healthy Holiday! Cheers!
Russian River Brewing Co. Christmas Party December 10, 2012!!!
Our Annual Halloween Bash and culmination for our month-long fundraiser was a blast on Saturday night! I spent 6 hours getting ready for the party- 2 hours on hair, almost 3 hours for make-up, and 1 hour to get dressed. And it was all well worth it! My Bride of Frankenstein costume was a huge hit and really fun! Thank you to Melinda and Lainy for piecing me together!
And the winner is.... The drawings were held publicly on October 27th at our brewpub in Santa Rosa. I had someone neither involved with the brewery nor participating in the raffles draw the tickets. Pat Jordan drew the winning tickets for all our raffle prizes on stage in front of 200 people and I read the winning names! It was as random as random can be! A big thanks to The Pat Jordan Band for rockin' the house, and Wild Card Belly Dance for just being fabulous! Also, thank you to everyone who contributed to our fundraiser all month long. Here is the list of winners and corresponding photos:
Pink Vespa LX50- Kai Schade (and it was her birthday!)
Pink Beach Cruiser- Nicole Buwen (so excited!!!)
West Coast Pedal Board- Krysten Hommel (husband will love it!)
Custom Pink Electric Ribbecke Guitar- Gabe Rivera as Mexi-Finn (the picture says it all!)
Congratulations and thank you to everyone! We are all winners for helping others in their fight against Breast Cancer! Opening the barrel and talleying everything up later this week. Presenting the "BIG CHECK" to the Sutter Breast Care Center on Wednesday, November 7th at about 7pm. Please come by for the big presentation on my favorite night of the year!
We hit the ground running this year with our fundraising efforts for the Sutter Breast Care Center! The raffle items have all finally arrived and are on display at the pub. Tickets are available at our brewpub but if you live out of the area and really want a chance to win the Pink Vespa, Ribbecke Guitar, or Adorable Pink Bicycle, shoot us an email and we can help you out! Raffles will be held at our Halloween Party on October 27th. You need not be present to win, but it's a lot more fun if you are, or at least answer your phone when I and 200 costumed revelers call the lucky winners that night!
Pink Vespa LX50 donated by RRBC and Revolution Moto
Custom Ribbecke Electric Guitar hand-made by Timmy Lovold at Ribbecke Guitars and a whole community of good people in the guitar biz!
Robert Malta from HUGElarge with Gabe Rivera of The Mud, The Blood, and The Beer last night playing the guitar for the very first time! Yes, it sounded awesome!
Adorable Pink Cruiser graciously donated by Cambria Bicycle Outfitters
Framboise update: we are nearly out of bottles at the pub and about halfway through the draft. We will probably go down to a smaller limit again to make it last just a little longer! I will update the Chalkboard on our website when it runs out. Thanks to those of you who are buying the Framboise, we have raised nearly half our goal for the Breast Care Center! We also have really cute shirts online and at the pub! Thanks again to everyone who is helping us raise money for a wonderful cause!
I gotta run. Time to do laundry and start packing for the Great American Beer Festival. This year we are pouring Pliny the Elder, Row 2 Hill 56, HopTime Harvest, Toronado 25th Anniversary, and Framboise For A Cure. Hmmm... think I will just stay in our booth! Cheers!
October is here and we are, for the 6th year, raising money all month long for the Sutter Breast Care Center of Santa Rosa! This morning we released Framboise For A Cure on draft AND in 375ml bottles at the pub and are off to a great start for our fundraising efforts this month. We made a little extra Framboise this year so we could have enough for sale on tap. It was a very pretty sight today with all those pink glasses of beer everywhere! We will not be distributing this beer as 100% of the proceeds will be donated to our local Breast Care Center and we need to make as much money as possible. That said, however, Tom Peters at Monk's Cafe in Philly and Chris Black at Falling Rock in Denver have agreed to help us raise money for our cause with a keg of Framboise each at their establishments! Not sure of the details of those events, but they will be serving it for our charity at some point this month!
We also have 3 different styles of commemorative "All Hopped Up For The Cure" shirts available for purchase at the pub and in our online gift shop! Original design on this year's shirts is by local tattoo artist, Joe Leonard, and Matt Morgan from Farm Fresh Shirts. In addition to the beer and the shirts, we are raffling off some very cool items later in the month. The Pink Vespa, Pink Guitar, and Pink Bicycle are being delivered this week for our raffle on October 27th. Raffle tickets available and items on display at the pub all month long. I will post pictures once they show up- I have only seen the scooter in person, but the guitar and bike remain a mystery. And NEW this year is the 2013 Pin-Up Calendar also available for purchase at the pub!
Last year we donated over $67,000 to the Sutter Breast Care Center from our efforts in October! This year we plan to meet and exceed expectations and raise even more money for a great cause. Our money goes directly to help men and women with little or no insurance get the screening and treatment they need in their fight against Breast Cancer. Aside from raising lots of money to help others, my favorite thing about this month is the coming together of so many businesses and individuals in our community to make it all happen. So I would like to give a big thank you to the following for all their help in making our fundraiser so successful:
Clone Digital Print And Copy
Timmy Lovold and all the businesses and people who contributed to building the guitar
Cambria Bicycle Outfitters
Custom Culture Images
Farm Fresh Shirts
Every Russian River Brewing Employee for being champions for Breast Cancer Awareness Month year after year!
Our wonderful customers and community for helping us with this great cause year after year!
Check out our music calendar for all the fun shows this month starting with The Mud, The Blood, And The Beer Saturday, October 6th! Cheers!
It's HopTime here at Russian River Brewing Company! After a 5 year hiatus, HopTime Harvest Ale has made its way back into our brew schedule. We recently connected with a local hop source in Clearlake, which is about 1 1/2 hours away from Santa Rosa. So Monday morning, Vinnie drove to Clearlake to pick up almost 200 pounds of freshly picked Chinook, Cascade, and Gargoyle (aka California Cluster) hops. Then he rushed back to the pub where Eric had already begun the brew and finished it with all of those fresh, beautiful, locally grown organic hops! About 4 hours from vine to kettle. To be released in a few weeks at the pub. Stay tuned...
We would like to wish Dave, Jennifer, and the entire gang at the Toronado San Francisco a big Happy 25th Anniversary! You might remember when we made a special beer for their 20th Anniversary (I think I remember parts of that week ;-). Of course, we could not resist the temptation to honor them again with another special concoction. What style of beer is it? Vinnie, the mad scientist, says it is a "sour barrel-aged disproportionate blend of 6 different beers". Upon tasting it this morning, I would say the beer itself is as big a mouthful as the description! The 6 different components were brewed separately with distinctly different processes, then Vinnie and Dave decided on the final blend together. It is 100% bottle conditioned and has brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus. ABV is 8.75%.
Toronado 25th Anniversary beer will be released on Thursday, August 9th, on draft and in the bottle at the pub. The kegs will be tapped when we open at 11am. Then we will release the 750ml bottles when the bus arrives from the Toronado that night for the big shindig and Big Daddy is in the house! Bottles are $25 each, limit 2 per person. We are going to release about 25 cases (appropriately, but not planned) every day starting Thursday night, then Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning upon opening. If you want to stop by just to buy bottles, please come Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. We will not be allowing folks in just to buy bottles on Thursday night as we will be focused on throwing the best party ever!
Thursday nights event is open to the public and FREE, but the semi-private Toronado Party will be taking over the entire dining room starting at about 6pm. If you are planning to come, please be prepared for a busy night and perhaps a wait to get in. It is definitely 21 and up on Thursday. American Dog takes the stage at 9pm! We will be handing out FREE earplugs for anyone interested!
Toronado San Francisco will, of course, also be serving this special beer but not until their official Anniversary Party on Saturday, August 11th. If you would like more information about their event, please contact the Toronado.
That's it for now. I have a lot to do to get ready for Thursday's festivities!
Each bottle of the Toronado 25th was hand-labeled by our brewer, Al! Talk about hand-crafted beer!
Toronado 25th Anniversary 750ml bottle. It's a tasty beverage!