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Happy Hour @ Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa

Melanie Wong | Jun 27, 200502:46 AM

It cracked me up to read the account of a figgy brunch in Sonoma. My own Sunday repast was much more basic --- pizza and beer in Santa Rosa. But not just any ol' beer, this was Vinny Cilurzo-brewed beer at one of Sonoma County's best microbrewpubs. Plus, all day Sunday is happy hour with imperial pints (20 oz.) for $2.75.

The snacks menu includes a selection of pizza combinations (rosso or verde), focaccia, salads, calzone, wings, pizza sticks, and even kid-sized pizzas for those 12 and under. Shown below is my small (8") Monogram Pizza Verde, $9.05, topped with mozzarella, pesto, and herbs. Very thin and chewy, the crust was slightly underfired but otherwise very good. The buttery-tasting mozz was just the right amount to blend with the garlicky basil sauce and I liked the dusting of dried oregano and chopped fresh parsley.

To wash this down, I had "Erudition", described as a Belgian-style farmhouse saison ale. For those who care, the stats are O.G. 1.060, A.B.V. 6.00% and 24 B.U.'s. The Belgians are served in 14 oz. glasses, priced at $5.50, but half price during happy hour. Medium gold, slight skunk/funkiness in the aroma, very mouthfilling with a smooth and almost creamy texture, ending with a gentle lift of tanginess that gave it a refreshing personality. Something a little lighter might have been a better choice for my 'za, but this was interesting to drink nonetheless.

For wine drinkers, the chalkboard offers about a dozen locally made choices by the glass or bottle, topping out at $29 for Murphy-Goode Cab. A handful of tables outside on the sidewalk were filled with customers soaking up the early summer sun. Next door at Sawyers News, you can pick up a NYTimes for Sunday reading, also The Chowhound's Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area (the shelf under the cash register).

The kitchen stays open until last call, about 20 minutes before closing, making it the place to get a late night bite in Santa Rosa. One other great thing, all prices include sales tax.

Notable pizza and excellent beer, hard to beat that.

Russian River Brewing Co.
725 4th Street
Santa Rosa, CA, 95404
Fax: 707.545.2338
Hours: Sun. through Thurs. from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. - Fri. and Sat. from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.



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