Northern California’s most prestigious microbrewery is bringing their best to Los Angeles this Monday for a special LA Beer Week Event. Russian River, producers of the impossibly-popular Pliny (the Younger and the Elder) will take over the taps at The Bottle Room (6741 Greenleaf Avenue) in Whittier for an evening of effervescent excellence.
All of the usual suspects will be in attendance, including–of course–Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig, and a slew of Russian River’s acclaimed Belgian-style ‘tion’ beers: Temptation, Supplication, Damnation, Consecration, to name a few. As a former Bay Area resident, I used to frequent their Santa Rosa brewpub with emphatic regularity. So it’s somewhat of a dream come true to have this rare and special occasion come south to Los Angeles.
Russian River brewmaster Vinnie Cilurzo made a name for himself years ago in Southern California, where he was credited with inventing the Double IPA. He enjoys a reputation amongst hopheads that is nothing short of monumental, his innovative techniques ensuring him a lasting legacy in the ever-evolving world of craft brewing.
For the purposes of quality-control, his beer is distributed to a very limited range of markets, concentrated almost exclusively in the Western parts of the United States. If you are lucky enough to live along the Pacific, or in and around the Denver area, you probably already know just how precious Russian River’s products are. If you have yet to experience any of these meticulously crafted ales, lagers and sours, I suggest going out of your way to try them.
Not only does Cilurzo excel at the IPA, which he helped redefine, he also crushes it when it comes to traditional Belgians and more progressive styles, like the American Wild Ale, relying heavily on exotic, yeast strains like Brettanomyces. Bret, as it is known, typically yields a sour flavor profile and is reviled by many a brewer for its unpredictable nature. Particularly difficult to contain, Bret can contaminate a brewhouse if not handled properly.
The wizardry of Vinnie and crew is evidenced in every sip of their world-class products. One taste and you’ll know what all the fuss is about. If you’re lucky enough to be in Whittier, CA this Monday, you are certain to buy into the hype.