FLIGHTS: Grav South Brew Co. in Cotati, CaliforniaFebruary 9, 2017
Beer travelers visiting San Francisco often take the trip north on Highway 101 to Russian River Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa. There’s now another solid brewery stop along the way. Grav South (7950 Redwood Drive, Suite 15) held its grand opening in October, its brewing headed by highly acclaimed local homebrewer Greg Rasmussen. You may have tried Greg’s porter—Raspy’s Robust Porter—as part of the 2015 Samuel Adams LongShot variety pack. This tucked-away spot is the only place to try his commercial venture, and growlers are still a ways off. The housemade pozole (Thursdays!) is worth a visit. A flight of four 5-ounce pours starts around $7. –Ken Weaver
Red Barn Red IPA
7.4% | Red IPA
Bright, familiar grapefruit and dense citrus get underpinned well by the additional malts here (seven varieties total). Toasty and tongue-numbing, this finishes with a pop of dried orange. Laser focused.
*7 Figure IPA
7.6% | India Pale Ale
This feels extra tropical after the Red Barn, showcasing Belma, Cascade, Citra and Mosaic hops. Everything from deep and dry pithy grapefruit to more robust ripe mango and passion fruit. Hop oils, lush, satisfying. An ideal pre-Pliny the Elder pint.
8.6% | Double IPA
This is more orange- and pine-directed than the other IPA variations on this flight: juicy and with a pine-focused bitterness that builds. Dank, forward, never close to astringent. Each of these three hoppy Grav South tastes packs a different bitter punch.
Strong Scotch Ale
8.8% | Scotch-Style Ale
A strong divergence down the malty path. This seems a bit worty, like a chomp of fresh malt, with plenty of core caramel, cola and red fruit. A solid take on the style, reasonably complex within a sweet focus, but a bit scattered beside the IPAs.
Packing House Porter
6.3% | Porter
A generous, on-point, highly traditional porter, piled high with roast and complex chocolates. Fuggle and Kent Golding hops afford just enough of a spicy edge to focus things. The robust malt landscape is rendered more clearly here than in the Strong Scotch Ale, feeling expansive and enlivened by a touch of smoke.
*Order the full pint