My only New Year’s Resolution is to blog at least 6 times over the next 12 months, a seemingly reasonable and obtainable goal. Oh, and to avoid any major construction projects. That one is easy since we ran out of money!
2018 proved to be the most exhilarating, educational, challenging and busiest year of our lives! I still pinch myself, and often laugh out loud, when driving up to our new brewery in Windsor and wonder how the heck we managed to build this beautiful and relatively massive brewery in just 18 months. Granted, we had 2 ½ years of preparation beforehand, which definitely helped expedite the building process. Nevertheless, it is not surprising that most of us were limping across the finish line when we finally opened our doors to the public in early October. But we did it!
If you have not yet had a chance to visit, we hope to make your 2019 travel itinerary. Windsor is the next town North of Santa Rosa, and we are only a 5-minute drive from both a SMART train station and the Sonoma County Airport (STS). New this March is direct service on United from Denver to Santa Rosa, which is extremely exciting to nearly every brewer in the North Bay! While Windsor is the new kid in the family, our Downtown Santa Rosa pub continues to rock steady with many of our original employees, now affectionately referred to as the “OG’s”, and our usual fun local crowd. The wait times have definitely lightened up a bit making it easier to get a table or a comfortable seat at the bar. But the beer and pizza is still as good as it gets!
With just 3 months under our belts, we have worked through most of the kinks that are destined to accompany a project of this scale. We opened on October 11th with the entire funky brewery still under construction, including the guided tours. We finally started filling the koelschip late December with the first batch already fermenting away in barrels. Our tours are also now fully operational and available for booking on our website through February. Yes, we will offer a taste of Pliny the Younger for no additional cost on all tours during the 2-week release!
Speaking of… Pliny the Younger was brewed at both breweries just last week and is happily fermenting away. We are even doing something completely different in Windsor and fermenting a few batches in the open-top fermenters. I can’t wait to try it since every other beer coming out of the open-tops has been fantastic! Our annual release is scheduled for the first Friday in February lasting for 2 weeks- February 1st-14th, 2019, and will be at BOTH breweries! Being our first year hosting the Younger release in Windsor, we simply plan to run it the same as we do Downtown with the 3 hour/3 Younger max to help with responsible alcohol consumption and to keep the line moving. One main difference is the Windsor event is on our own property with 2 acres of free parking. There are also no other bars, restaurants or shopping within walking distance. Keep that in mind if you are planning to attend the Windsor release. You might want to attend both just for fun! On separate days, of course. We are definitely not serving anyone 6 Youngers if we can help it! I will provide more information very soon with all the burning details about Pliny the Younger, the release, distribution, hotel discounts, etc.
It looks like our plane is about to touch down in Atlanta so I need to sign off. Vinnie and I are brewing a collaboration beer with our friends at Creature Comforts Brewing in Athens this week, the proceeds of which will go to a local charity of their choice. Excited to see their brewery, drink Athena, and check out Athens! Wishing you and your families a very happy and healthy New Year!