Tuesday, August 2, 2016

All Hands to the Plow

Review: Plow Brewery Tasting Room, Santa Rosa, California

We headed the back way to visit Harbor Freight on Sunday, and overshot the turn by a block. No problem! We'll just scoot through the parking lot west of the store and... What's that?! A new brewery tasting room?

Not even Harbor Freight can trump beer; we diverted immediately, and ducked inside Plow Brewery to find a cool space with tractor-seat bar-stools and fruit-scented air. The beer here is hoppy—a wall outside the front door is covered with hop vines—and fresh, with plenty of taps to accomodate future brews.

Right now, though, there are only four: a pilsner, an IPA, and an IIPA ("Intense" is the extra "I"), plus a porter.

Not being fond of hops, we went straight for the porter. I must admit, I did not expect to like it. Most dark beer tastes burned to me, and the promise of "plenty of hops" was not a selling point. But this was like the finest Bavarian-brewed Löwenbräu Münchner Dunkel, with a winey fruit finish on the rear of the palate. Plum? Blackberry? I'm not sure, but I'm fairly certain this was the source of the intense fruit aromas that greeted us when we entered.

The barkeep was discussing the cost of the quart-sized beer cans and sealing equipment with a customer who saw a business opportunity in it. The cans, it seems, are the product of Ball Manufacturing, of Mason jar fame. Ball sells the cans only by the container-load, but some enterprising fellow had bought a container-load to break bulk and supply the local micro-brewerys.

We had to raid the coin-cups in the car to pull together the $2 for a 4-ounce tasting portion, so we vowed to return for an entire glass some hot afternoon. Soon.

Address: 3334 Industrial Dr, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Phone: 707-843-4583
Hours: Mon-Fri 4–8 PM; Sat 2–7 PM; Sun 2–6 PM