Brewer Bytes with Russian River Brewing Co.
An Interview with Vinnie Cilurzo, Brewer and Owner
Posted on 7/20/2012 by Chops
What else is there to say about the Russian River Brewing Company? This is a brewery that bestows upon us the Pliny The Elder Imperial IPA, widely regarded as one of the finest brews on the planet. You could definitely say that we are quite honored that owner and brewer Vinnie Cilurzo would happily agree to partake in our Brewer Bytes section. After all, few breweries in the US are as highly revered as Russian River. They focus on "traditional aggressively hopped California style ales, Belgian style ales, and barrel aged beers." We focus on enjoying as many of them as possible.

What inspired you to get into brewing?

I have a wine making background and at some point got into making beer, I liked the idea of a shorter production time. The funny thing is, now, I am making beers that take a year or longer to brew.

How do you feel about your overall success today?

We are very fortunate to brew at 100% capacity and are so appreciative of our customers and friends who support our brewery.

Where do you see your brewery in the future?

Natalie and I are trying to figure that out right now...

What is your favorite beer or style to brew?

I love Brettanomyces finished beers, IPAs and Pale Ales.

What is the most challenging beer for you to brew?

Sour/funky beers, they are always difficult to make and when you think you have them figured out, they surprise you and throw you a curve ball.

What was your best or most rewarding brewing experience?

Probably all the friendships I have developed which have in turn made me a better brewer and in turn, helped me make better beer.

What are your favorite beers outside of your own?

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Orval, Duvel, Sierra Nevada Pilsner

What are your favorite breweries outside of your own?

Sierra Nevada, Orval, Duvel

What breweries do you most respect?

Sierra Nevada, Orval, Duvel

What are your favorite beer styles?

Brettanomyces finished beers, Saisons, IPAs

Where is your favorite place to enjoy a cold pint?

At my home, I put in some pretty long hours, getting home and enjoying a beer is a nice way to end the day.

What advice would you give to a new home brewer?

Sanitation and quality ingredients are the most important thing when brewing.

What is the best thing about being part of the beer industry?


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Vinnie Cilurzo, Brewer and Owner of the Russian River Brewing Company
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