Pints With Pedigree

To say that Kevin Robinson is qualified to join the illustrious ranks of Santa Rosa’s brewing scene would be an understatement.

UC Davis, Lagunitas, Speakeasy Ales and Lagers, Russian River Brewery and a couple of years making wine in Napa (to learn about barrels) makes for an impressive resume to bring to his own brewery.

20150806_182945-01Hell, even his new brewhouse system has a pedigree. Originally purchased by Sam Calagione from the famous Dogfish Head Brewery, Sam sold the brewhouse system to Vinnie Cilurzo​at at Russian River Brewery when he grew capacity a few years back.

In turn, Vinnie sold the brewhouse system to Kevin at Plow this year, and the cycle of magic that turns out some of the best beer in the world continues.

20150806_183852-01The whole system should be in the beer brewer’s hall of fame with a track record like that. But here it is in Santa Rosa with Kevin – the mechanics behind his two new projects, Divine and Plow.

Originally from the San Diego area, you can say that Kevin didn’t choose Santa Rosa as much as Santa Rosa chose him. It seems that Santa Rosa has a way of attracting the best and brightest flavor-oriented people and keeping them here. The beaches, the woods, the wineries, the biking, and the list goes on.  It’s no wonder things keep getting more and more interesting in Santa Rosa, with master artisans like Kevin continuing to add to the mix.

20150806_184858-01A trend that is repeating itself over and over in the craft brewing industry, but might not be familiar to everyone, is the opening of tasting/tap rooms in industrial sections of cities. For me, eschewing the typical idea of a brewery opening near well-established restaurant areas, and seeking out the new in non-traditional places adds to the fun of trying all of these new beers.

Plow and Divine fall into this area of warehouse tap room, and I would encourage people to seek them out. Think of it as an adventure into the unknown where you approach a nameless/faceless industrial park and then open the door into a wonderful world of beer and friendly faces. Like-minded people after the same ideas and sharing the history, flavors and craft that makes beers and breweries so much fun.

From day one Kevin has taken a lesson from the wine industry in serving up to different labels under the same roof.

20150806_184848-01Devine is the sophisticated, more experimental, older brother of Plow. Devine does special edition beers that are a bit more refined than your basic everyday brews. A label for a special occasions.

Plow is the label that turns out your daily drinking beer. The Steel Share IPA and OX IIPA (double IPA) beer are brewed with the everyday drinker in mind. More refreshing and approachable than Divine, Plow is intended to be consumed today and make you happy now.

20150806_184632-01When you come to visit Santa Rosa, put Plow on your list of places to try. There’s something to delight every beer lover’s palate.

Hello Nomad Roadside Biscuits 

The other day, while trolling facebook, a picture caught my eye. It was of a menu on a chalkboard sign. A menu for biscuits. I love biscuits. I had to know more.

IMG_8882This menu, which listed smoked gouda with prosciutto caramelized onions, and vanilla bean with lemon cream and boysenberry preserves, was of this weeks offerings from the new biscuit pop-up, Hello Nomad Roadside Biscuits.

After following all of her social media accounts, I learned that she normally set up shop out in West County, at either the Camp Meeker fire station or the Occidental Farmers Market, but she was going to be in Santa Rosa the next day. So in the morning, I bustled out early, urged by the desire for delicious baked goods and sought them out in the alley behind Monkey Wrench tattoo.

in alley behind Monkey WrenchI got both a savory and a sweet biscuit, and hurried home with a stamped paper bag to sample my treats. They were both amazing, but the combo of the vanilla lemon cream and preserves on the slightly warm biscuit was what sold me. I came back the next week, this time just getting the sweet combo (navel orange biscuit with honey cream and boysenberry preserves). This week, she was at Sonoma County Meat Company, and I quickly munched up a a delicious cheddar and scallion biscuit with mustard and SCMC bacon.

victoria in front of scmcHello Nomad is the brainchild of artist and pastry purveyor Victoria Wagner. She bakes buttermilk biscuits, fills them with amazing combinations at her home in Camp Meeker, then loads up the back of her car and sets up shop at various locations around the county. Her locations are advertised by social media. Once there, she sets a table out with coffee and props open her car’s hatch to share her biscuit creations. Victoria is a trained pastry chef, but has been working in the art scene in SF for the past several years. She missed the community of Sonoma County, and decided to start Hello Nomad as a way to bring people together. And I’m so glad she did, because I can't think of a better way to spend my Wednesday mornings than gathered with people who love good food!

savory SCMC biscuitFollow Hello Nomad on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for locations and current offerings.


twitter: @_hello_nomad

Instagram: hello.nomad.roadside.biscuits

Railroad Square Music Festival

On June 7th, Santa Rosa's own Josh Windmiller's NORTH BAY HOOTENANNY is hosting a free day of music in the heart of Santa Rosa.

RailroadSquareLogoComp3The Brothers Comatose will be headlining. In the unlikely event you're not familiar with The Brothers Comatose, besides being one of the Bay Area's hottest bands over the last few years, they're also co-founders of the North Bay Hootenanny. You can have a listen here:

Also on the bill is a line-up of the North Bay's very best. You can catch a tune from the entire line up here:

This free event is a celebration of all the things we love about Santa Rosa.  A portion of proceeds will benefit The Arlene Francis Center and the Historic Railroad Square Association, two groups that are committed to keeping this area of town a vibrant and fun place for artists of all walks.

It's a full day of music you won't want to miss. And be sure to stop by the Santa Rosa Out There Welcome Wagon.

Now, to get you primed for the day, we'll leave you with this little number by The Brothers Comatose.