Russian River’s New Brewery Construction

February 26, 20082


On Tuesday, my friend Pete Slosberg and I headed up to Russian River Brewing to take a look at how the construction of the new brewery was coming. He had just returned from four months living in Buenos Aries, Argentina. He and his wife Amy wanted to immerse themselves in the culture and attended classes while there to learn Spanish. But now that he was back, Pete wanted to immerse himself back into the world of good beer. So he picked me up and we drove to Santa Rosa.

When we arrived, Vinnie was running errands while Travis was in the back bottling Damnation.

So Natalie was kind enough to take us over to see how the construction was going at the new production brewery, which is less than two miles from the brewpub. It’s located in an industrial park and is a nondescript large warehouse-sized building. Apparently, it was a completely empty shell when they took possession.

As you enter the building, immediately to your right is a large barrel room. Larger than the cold storage room, it will be temperature controlled.

Vinnie recently acquired 400 used wine barrels and most of them are stacked in the barrel room.

Adjacent to the barrel room is the cold storage room, which is where they’ll store kegs and packaged beer ready to be delivered. For now, it was filled with more empty barrels and kegs.

The bottling machine arrived the morning of our visit. While Russian River will continue to bottle their Belgian-style beers in 750 ml and 375 ml bottles, their other beers, like Pliny the Elder, will be packaged in a proprietary 16 oz. bottle and sold individually.

The new equipment is now in place, waiting to be hooked up. Vinnie estimates the first batch will be brewed in around three weeks.

Old and new equipment shares the brewery space. The old equipment came from Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware.

The view of the brewery from the far wall, looking back at the entrance. Look closely to the left of the sun-streaked square door at the other end, and you can see the barrel room with it’s roll-up door. Move your eye back a little and that flat door that’s on the upper half of the wall is the cold storage room. On the right-hand side you can see the wooden staircase, which leads up the newly built offices. Below them on the ground floor will be a tasting room and other dry storage.

Back at the brewpub, Pete Slosberg and Vinnie Cilurzo.