Thursday, December 23, 2010

San Fransicko, Day 1

Hello again, all you happy people. Sorry for the excessive absence. A combination of this trip to San Francisco and catching a minor bug had me feeling less than motivated. That's even less than my normal state of "less than motivated", which means I have been just about comatose this week. So. There's the Golden Gate Bridge, which means we were able to actually leave the San Fran airport. They don't make it easy on you. We had to the train and go allll the way around the airport to get to the rental car section, only to get fitted with a Kia Rio: Lawnmower engine, no power anything edition. Then we had to drive all the way through the actual city to reach the bridge, which wouldn't be a bad thing since it is such an interesting place, but the first day's destination couldn't wait: Russian River Brewery!

Long hailed as one of the greatest breweries in the country, Russian River sits about an hour north of San Fran in the city of Santa Rosa. It's a pretty drive between the two cities, one that even a Kia Rio couldn't ruin. Once we got into town, I was once again reminded why it is wrong to book travel accommodations while drunk. My careful planning involved booking the closest hotel in walking distance to the brewery, in this case the Travelodge, aka the Kia Rio of the hotel industry. Whatever, a motel where we were bound to use just to pass out that's less than a half-mile walk to Russian River seemed ideal. However, I accidentally booked us at the town's other Travelodge, which is a 1.8 mile walk. So off we trudged down Santa Rosa Avenue, passing scenic auto mechanic shops aplenty along the way.

The walk rewarded us in the end, though! We arrived at the bar during the busy happy hour but managed to grab a couple of front row bar seats anyway. I wasted no time in putting Omar the bartender to work, getting us a sampler of all 16 beers on tap that day. Those guys must get sick of constantly filling orders of samplers for beer tourists like us, evidenced by Omar's response when we ordered ours: "Nothing would give me more pleasure", he replied sarcastically. I liked him. The sampler included sours galore, aged in chardonnay, cabernet, and pinot barrels, and also one brewed with pluots, which I believe is the dog of Disney fame. Met some nice locals, and drank plenty of Pliny the Elder, Russian River's heralded DIPA. Picked up a growler of Pliny for good measure. Dropped over $100 at the bar, which makes that economy hotel choice look pretty smart after all. And we took a 1957 Chevy cab back to said hotel. Who knew that this budget motel would turn out to be one of the nicer ones we stayed in during the trip? It only gets worse from here! To be continued...

3 comments:

il said...

So you drove right past Marin Brewing co.... tisk, tisk

Tim Wise said...

Nice, We are just back from Magnolia on the Haight. We are here from Santa Fe for the holidays.

ABQbeergeek said...

il- We sure did, and more than once, as you'll see in upcoming posts. They don't list their current beer on tap on their website so I didn't feel like stopping. I do love their White Knuckle DIPA and I have a bottle of Barrel-Aged Old Dipsea Barlwywine. Should have bought some Hoppy Holidaze.

Tim- We didn't go to Magnolia for some reason. I was talking to La Cumbre brewer Jeff Erway about it last night and he was saying it is a cool place.