Russan River Brewing Co. of Santa Rosa, California was named brewery of the year by Malt Advocate. The announcement was made today with the publication of the latest issue of the magazine. Malt Advocate is primarily a magazine for the whisky enthusiast but they do cover beer, as it does contain a considerable amount of malt, after all. The Malt Advocate Whisky Awards are given each year in a variety of categories including brewery of the year. This year marks the 12th year awards have been given by the magazine. Previous winners include Stone Brewing, Deus Brut des Flandres, Victory Brewing, and New Glarus Brewing. Congratulations to Vinnie and Natalie at Russian River.
John Hansell, Publisher & Editor of Malt Advocate, had this to say about Russian River Brewing:
Beer without boundaries. I’m not sure if the Russian River Brewing Company has a motto, but this one would certainly work. One glance through their beer portfolio and you’ll understand why: Supplication, a brown ale aged for 12 months in pinot noir barrels, produced with sour cherries and wild bacteria and yeast; Beatification, a blond ale aged in New Belgium Brewing Company’s La Folie Barrels for 22 months; Pliny the Elder, a high-alcohol, high-gravity, super-hopped double IPA. Their list of beers seems endless, restricted only by how many hours a day brewing craftsman Vinnie Cilurzo (pictured) is willing to brew, and not willing to sleep.
Vinnie first started brewing Russian River beers at the Korbel Champagne Cellars in 1997, and there is indeed a wine influence in many of the beers he produces today—both in his production methods and flavors. Since 2003, he has been producing his cutting-edge beers in downtown Santa Rosa, California. Within the past two years, he has already garnered many awards and accolades from the beer industry. It’s time that the rest of the world discovers his beers. He doesn’t make much, so it will make his already scarce beers even more coveted. But in the long run, we will all benefit.
Russian River beers transcend styles and marry cultures. Truly, beer without boundaries.