In my stubborn quest to retain total control over all media channels, including this blog, my posts have become even more infrequent. That is what happens when you try to run a business, build a brewery and remodel a house at the same time. I definitely do NOT recommend it! Fortunately, the house is done and we are all settled in to our new home. Now all we have to do is build a brewery!
2017 was the year of extremes. We were extremely excited to break ground and started building our dream brewery in Windsor. In September, we went to Germany to inspect our new brewhouse, which was successfully delivered and installed in December. You may have seen my Instagram and Facebook post on the day our “ship came in”. I camped out at the Marin Headlands for 3 hours waiting for the MSC Silvia, the container ship carrying our brewhouse, to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge for the perfect photo op. I had a blast taking pictures of tourists while watching the horizon for that ship we had been following (there is an app for that!) for 6 weeks. It was really dorky and extremely exciting!
On October 8th, we arrived home from GABF, taking an airport shuttle from SFO with some employees from Bear Republic. Little did any of us know that later that night the most devastating fire in California’s history would tear through Santa Rosa in a matter of hours, leaving countless friends, family, employees, and customers running for their lives and ultimately homeless. The following weeks were surreal, and the support and concern from our beer industry friends from all over the world was truly humbling. Within a few days, Vinnie and I partnered with a local non-profit, King Ridge Foundation, and started licensing our Sonoma Pride brand to breweries who wanted to help out. The effort was remarkable, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars within just a few weeks. RRBC raised over $114K with our Pliny the Younger line cutting raffle, and over $116K with our donation from sales of Sonoma Pride. As of today, we have raised $708K! Jacob Totz, our pub brewer, was so inspired that he helped coordinate a comedy show last week which may put us over the $800K mark! Thank you to everyone who donated and is participating in the Sonoma Pride beer part of the fundraiser. There are still several breweries who have yet to sell out of their beer, so the donations are still rolling in.
Finally, it’s that time of year again! Pliny the Younger is fermenting away so I don’t have much to report other than the recipe is quite similar to last year, which was awesome. If you are planning to come for this year’s 14th annual release, please visit our website for the full scoop including lots of deals on hotels. While you are here, feel free to visit many of our other local breweries and wineries. And take a drive by the new Windsor property at the corner of Conde and Mitchell! Thank you, and cheers to a fantastic 2018!