Russian River’s new Windsor Brewery opens today


The eagerly-awaited new Russian River Brewing Co. production brewery and brewpub opened its doors today in Windsor. The 85,000-square-foot building houses a 75-bbl state-of-the-art brewhouse, a tank farm, barrel room and coolship, a type of fermentation vessel. Eventually, they’ll offer both a guided tour and a free self-guided tour that will give visitors a behind-the-scenes view of the brewery’s operations.

(Photos courtesy of Natalie Cilurzo)

The restaurant and brewpub, which owners Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo refer to simply as The Pub, have a warm, rustic feel, with seating for nearly 190 guests. You’ll also find a large gift shop, in addition to a separate tasting room and future tour lobby. Growler fills will be available in three locations.

I visited the brewery in the days leading up to the opening. Here’s what you can expect to see inside:

A larger circular fireplace and comfy chairs makes a great spot to sit with a beer and wait for your table, or just sit and converse with friends.

Of course, you can just sit at the bar, too.

The Pub offers several dining areas.

The menu is quite different from the original brewpub in downtown Santa Rosa. No pizza, but they offer a selection of salads, nibbles and entrees, including delicious burgers topped with malted bacon and cheddar fondue.

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Guests can sample beer at a second bar in an adjacent dining area. In summer, this space will open up to the outside with views overlooking several acres of wetlands.

The first beer brewed at the new place was Windsor Porter, a variation on Vinnie’s award-winning porter. Fun fact: Russian River’s very first medal at the Great American Beer Festival was for that porter. It was also the first beer he brewed at the original brewery at Korbel, and the first when he opened the Santa Rosa brewpub in 2004. It’s on tap now at the Windsor brewpub, along with the first batch of Pliny the Elder, with many more to follow.

Pick up bottles of the Windsor Porter — labeled “Batch 1” — in the gift shop.

Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo’s new brewhouse is 75-bbls, a little larger than their previous one, which was 50-bbls.

But the new brewhouse is a cathedral of beer. To get an idea of the scale, look for Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo, who are looking down from the top of the spiral staircase in this photo.

The new Russian River Windsor is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and until 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at 700 Mitchell Lane, Windsor;

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Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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