last thursday AP and I packed our bags and made our annual pilgrimage north for the russian river beer revival.
- CB picked us up at SFO with a cooler full of surprises that we dug into as soon as we got our campsite set up and a fire going. he really pulled out all the stops with rarities like the latest batch of russian river’s beatification, some ’08 dissident from deschutes, and the bruery’s tart of darkness, and I managed to bring along a bottle of the conflux/collage collaboration between hair of the dog and deschutes (which I highly recommend snapping up if you get the chance).
- the next day we headed out to russian river brewing for some eats and more spectacular beers, like the great toronado 25th anniversary and the equally impressive compunction. after zoning out on their front patio for a few hours we took off for occidental to visit our old friends at barley and hops tavern. after perusing a fantastic farmer’s market downtown, we crossed the street to the busy tavern, where I grabbed a pint of an old favorite, moonlight’s death and taxes, and cooled off on their front balcony. a round of intense hot wings merited some of bear republic’s berliner weiss, tartare, before we headed back to camp for some excellent homebrew selections.
- the next day we crawled out of our tents, mentally prepared for the intense afternoon to follow. after braving the line in the midday sun and setting up a base camp at stumptown brewery, our group split up and started tearing our way through some hot ribs and cold beers. highlights included a steady stream of supplication from the russian river tent and the always awesome working for tips from moonlight. as usual, the guys from bear republic were in great form, and were serving up a ton of hoppy selections. the tenth iteration of this great event was over in a heartbeat, and before long were were back by the fire, full to the brim and completely satisfied.
- the next day everyone dusted themselves off before heading back down to the city, but not before a quick stop off at lagunitas for a sampler or two and a chance to check out their ever-expanding facility. by the time AP and I made it on the plane we were borderline catatonic, and I can’t recall sleeping as soundly as I did that night, but fatigue is a small price to pay to revel in the glory of some of the finest events and locations northern california has to offer!