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US - Russian River

DK PublishingDK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks

Russian River

1812 Ferdinand Court, Santa Rosa, California, 95404, USA

Owner-brewmaster Vinnie Cilurzo’s creative use of hops, yeasts, and wine-barrel-ageing make it seem incredible that all his beers come from the same brewery. He was the first to brew an Imperial India Pale Ale commercially, when he was at Blind Pig Brewing. That beer is now called Pliny the Elder and has become the benchmark for the style.

Cilurzo and his wife, Natalie, have built a production brewery separate from their popular downtown brewpub, giving more space for a wider range of barrels and ageing. Each variety (the base beer and barrel type differ) spends at least a year on wood.

Brewing secret

Cilurzo uses varieties of wild yeast in his beers. They need careful handling by a master brewer, but give great results.


beer style: Sour Ale
alcohol content: 6% ABV

A spontaneously fermented blended beer. Complex, tart mix of fruit and wood. Just right acidity at the finish.

Pliny the Elder

beer style: Imperial India Pale Ale
alcohol content: 8% ABV

Hoppy aroma, hoppy flavor, and a hoppy bitterness—all supported by a firm malt base.


beer style: Belgian Strong Ale
alcohol content: 7.2% ABV

Aged in Chardonnay barrels with wild yeast. Complex and vinous. Sharp nose; Chardonnay and oak emerging as it warms.

Blind Pig IPA

beer style: India Pale Ale
alcohol content: 6% ABV

Explosive floral, citrus, and pine aromas. Sturdy malt accents the fruit character. Clean tangy finish.

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