Friday was the brewery tour. I was not there for all the fun so I am turning the reporting duty over to Coreen. Take it away Coreen:
Platypus tour bus with Scott for our second tour date. Today, September 28, Scott picked us up outside of our hotel and we headed off to the first stop for brew!
We went to Russian River Brew Pub in Downtown Santa Rosa. Here, we tried 32 different beers ranging from stouts, to blondes, to IPA’s, and even some sours aged in pinot noir barrels. For some of us, (me) it confirmed our love for the hoppiest IPA’s with Pliny the Elder, one of the most fantastic brews I had all day, (at this brew pub anyway).
Then there was Redemption, Benediction, Damnation, Temptation, Salvation, Consecration....all the lovely ations made me salivat-ions. We worked on a pretty nice buzz at this pub.
We “MOO”-ved on to a photo shoot of a pastured cow and hot air balloon mural on our way over to the second watering hole … Third Street Aleworks. We did a couple of flights of 7 here, but it was really about coating our guts for the next stop. So we all shared some parmesan fries, zucchini sticks, and calamari and then headed to our third stop for the day.
Next stop, Lagunitas in Petaluma, CA. We met up with our ever loving Sally here, who set up a tour for us...it just seemed like one heavenly sight after the other after that! Met up with Don (Mr. Nice Guy), our tour guide for the day, he brings us upstairs to this loft rock star hang out and cranks on some music and goes to town hanging out with us and pouring us samples of beer while we stroll around and take in all the funky sets and props. He makes us an Imperial Stout Ice Cream Float, and float we did, it was amaze-balls! So there we are overlooking the brewery on one side of us with all the fermenting tanks, that to any brewer or brew patron, just looked like castles amongst this fantasy world we are all in with Don, our Unicorn Tour Guide! Once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us, sincerely.
We unsaddled from the bar stools (literally) and went on a tour of the place. One stop after the other learning and cruising around this place was amazing. Fermenting warehouse, control center, on to the bottling house where we all donned safety glasses and got this funky bottle beat going from all the noises of clanking and clunking bottles. Don screams out “Everyone go ahead and grab a Hop Stoopid off the line!!!”Whhaaaaa???? We were giddy! So there we are drinking Hop Stupid in its birthing room!
Hard to move on from that huh? But we did, he then brought us into the warehouse area showed us the process of bottling and packing their delicious brews. Then he takes us to the tap room and pours us a ton of free beers and sends us all on our way without taking a single penny for a tip or anything! I swear, even the guys were swooning over our unicorn by the end of the day!
Our amazing, patient and tenacious tour guide Scott then brought us back to our hotel, let us drop off all of our items and left us off safely at Bear Republic Brew House in downtown Healdsburg where we proceeded to get nice and toasty. Well, I did, anyway.