Bierfestens Beer Tour – Day 5 – Anderson Valley & North Coast

Posted on March 27, 2011


This will be a short post as we have had a rough 5 days of beer drinking. Anderson Valley Brewing Company was our first stop today that was about lunchtime. Before settling into a Dive Hotel in Fort Bragg to hit up North Coast Brewing.

The best way to describe Anderson Valley was the blind date that you’d only really heard about, but you ended up wanting to go “steady” with or even bang. Though you had to get through the hilly parts of these windy roads it was definitely a shock to walk into this empty bar in ‘Booneville”. No it has nothing to do with Aussie legend David Boon (pic below or side). The town of Booneville is one that I think most Aussies would know the joke. But Boony is a legend ex-cricketer who is ”  alleged to have once consumed 52 cans of beer on a flight from Sydney to London in 1989, in a story that is considered by some to be part of Australian sporting legend. This has never been confirmed by Boon however though Geoff Lawson did confirm it“.

So we arrived in Boonville to hit Anderson Valley and what a great find it was. We both experienced the Oatmeal stout previously but weren’t that impressed due to reasons that could have been related to bottle variation or storage/transport issues. But we ended up loving the visit to Anderson and would recommend that before you RATE the beer, or make opinions is to actually visit the brewery and try the beer fresh.


We made our way to this dumpy town of Fort Bragg that all we know it for is North Coast Brewing, but used to be a Russian Colony. But I’m no historian and it was something that we only heard in a pub conversation. We also learnt that the brewery used to be a ‘Funeral’home and a college and a church.. apparently to another local.

North Coast ended up being a brewery that was okay, but we both left wondering if it was the worth the journey for the Rasputin Imperial Stout.. as yes it is one of the great stouts in the world, but the brewery itself was abit lacking in many regards with many of the beers seemingly to be average if not pedestrian. But as one local told us he earns $16/hour in the town and he’s considered highly paid. It is a smaller working class town with a world class beer. We weren’t that impressed with the other beers on offer, but that could just be to our taste.



Day 6 will bring us back to Petaluma to get back to Russian River brewing, Moylans, Lagunitas and Marin County.

We’re having lots of fun on this 3 week tour and we’re hitting so many high quality breweries and brewpubs that we have no idea what to expect when we head to San Diego and Los Angeles in the next week.

Our trip now is about staying power as we have been drinking pretty heavy for every day thus far. with 16 days remaining until we fly back via LAX to Sydney we need to conserve our beer drinking palattes and continue having as much fun in the US as we’re having now.