June 14, 1999 (Updated 6/20/99).
I finally stopped into this place yesterday on Center Ave. in Fairfax. I was on my bike, saw some other fellow racers enjoying food & brew outside so I checked the place out. I figured one brew won't kill me and the weather outside was as good as it gets (though windy).
It's really nice inside, lots of seating, TVs with sports on, and a nice looking bar. They had 6 different beers of theirs on tap and I went for (naturally) a pint of IPA. The interior was not what I expected of Fairfax. It's really nice inside - not a latent hippy place or anything like that.
First of all about the pint -- it's a REAL pint glass! Not one of those so-called "pints" that 90% of the brewpubs in NorCal sell you. The IPA was splendid - fresh tasty, very hoppy, nicely colored but not that strong (less than 6%). A PINT of it was a bargain for $3.25. A nice example of a West Coast style IPA. Yum!
This place isn't open (yet?) for lunch during the week. :-( Ross Valley Brewing is pretty new - they opened only 2-3 months ago.
I definitely recommend this place to go back to, or for you to go to for the first time if you're exploring Bay Area and/or Marin County brewpubs. If this "review" sounds funny it's because it is -- I am doing it as fast as I can type (and then post it).
Ross Valley's homepage
On Saturday, 6/19/99, I had dinner at Ross Valley with two good friends and beer aficianados - both have been homebrewing for 7+ years and visiting Bay Area brewpubs for even longer. Our general impression was highly favorable. We sat in a crowded corner table top area. The 7pm dinner crowd had the place packed and noisy. We sampled 7 beers, including the $6 Beer Paddle with 6 tasters on it. Every beer we had was well made and rather tasty (only complaint was that the scotch ale wasn't malty enough). The IPA was still spectacular and the belgian seemed pretty authentic for its style. Other beers sampled and enjoyed were a wheat beer, an organic (pale ale?), Repack Red (hoppy!) and their stout.
The food is prepared with care and style and quality (but not quantity). We ordered several of the mushrooms and greens appetizers along with our entrees. Our bill for the three of us came to $75 (not that bad for a Saturday night). This place is a winner and I look forward to many return visits.
-- Ken Papai Marin County, California firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.rahul.net/kpapai/cycling www.rahul.net/kpapai/beer