On Wednesday, July 22, Shat the Producer, Yann (French guy 1), Mathieu (French guy 2) and I hit the road to begin our journey to the Pacific Northwest from glorious Pacheco. The plan is to hit a few breweries on the way, video some of the events surrounding the Oregon Brewers Festival, and explore the amazing coast of California with our European brothers. Day one of the trip brings us to familiar territory though; Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa California for the brewing of Tasty McDole's GABF Pro Am entry collaboration with Vinnie Cilurzo.
The day starts early at Russian River's brewpub brewery where Tasty, Eric and Guy (RR Brewers) and Randy Griggs have already begun and are doughing in to create one of Tasty's best and most desired beers, Janet's Brown Ale. Randy is milling grain, Eric is attentively monitoring the mash temp (154) and Tasty is, well....running the show. Its the start of a beautiful day at a brewery in wine country.
After the mash and capturing some video of the process for a soon to be released super-mini documentary of the brew day, the crew and I, minus busy Randy and managerial Tasty, headed over to Russian River's new and larger production brewery to catch a glimpse of Vinnie and Natalie's new digs. As you can see below, we were not disappointed in what the new brewery had to offer; tons more space for more Russian River beer, cool brewing gadgets to play with, a massive new barrel room, and...some fresh samples of Temptation and Pliny The Elder on tap to wet our whistles.
Lots more glass for that Pliny!:
The Funk Tank (Brett and funky beer only):
The new HUGE barrel room:
Â After a full tour of the new brewery and a short trip back to the brewpub, we arrived just in time to catch Tasty adding the last of his hops to the boil and waited patiently (pints in hand of course) to find out if the boys nailed the last of their tricky numbers. Tasty is a real stickler about his gravities so Eric would have to answer for any changes in the genius' plans for Janet's Brown.
The beer and the day kicking off our 2009 Pacific Northwest tour was a success. We head north with beer and smiles in tow. If only I can remember where I left my pants...
Although I do remember one more thing worth noting: There is a video portion of this blog still to come. One short video of the whole day and a couple very short interviews with Vinnie, his crew and Tasty that will follow in another blog so you get the live experience too.