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The Freewheel line with a couple of English friends.

It takes a lot of beer to keep the wine business running smoothly. Here in Redwood City, we are very fortunate to have a great English style ale producer right in our backyard: Freewheel Brewing Company. The staff of K&L are fictures at our local pub, and it is a rare moment when one of us isn't there having a pint and a bite of their excellent food. We are also lucky enough to be the first place to offer their bottled beer for sale. If you have never had it, the Freewheel Brewing "FSB" Freewheel Special Bitter, California (500ml) is the benchmark in fresh, balanced, smashable ale. We will do our best to keep some in stock for you, the customer too!

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Tasting with Oliver Krug

Upcoming Events

We host regular weekly and Saturday wine tastings in each K&L location.

For the complete calendar, including lineups and additional details related to our events, visit our K&L Local Events on or follow us on Facebook.  


Visit our events page on Facebook or the K&L Spirits Journal for more information.

>>Upcoming Special Events, Dinners, and Tastings

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Entries in craft beer (4)


Sonoma Road Trip Stories, Part II: Russian River Brewing Co.

Russian River Brewing CompanyBy: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member

A Visit to Russian River Brewing Co.

When our domestic buyer Bryan Brick sent us a list of places we would like to see on our first Sonoma Valley work trip, my immediate response was “Russian River Brewing"! After all, when serious fans of adult beverages--beer, wine, or the hard stuff-- are anywhere near Santa Rosa, making a stop at Russian River Brewing Co for a beer, some snacks, and growler fills is an absolute priority. Russian River was originally owned by Korbel Cellars until they offered the brand to brewmaster Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo in 2003. The Cilurzos opened the brewpub in Santa Rosa in 2004, and it didn't take long for them to build a huge local following. In 2008, they opened a production brewery nearby, allowing them to triple production and distribute to new crowds. The pub is now a destination (beer) tourist attraction and continues to produce plenty of delicious beers without compromising an iota of quality. As they state on their website, demand continues to grow “but they prefer to grow their business organically while focusing on efficiencies and quality.”

At K&L we are asked every day if we carry Russian River's Pliny the Elder, one of the most popular beers in the world. Ninety-nine percent of the time that answer is “sorry, we’re sold out.” We receive a generous allocation of five cases a week, but we still sell out within an hour of receiving them, and that happens despite our efforts to keep it fair for all beer lovers by enforcing a three bottle per person sale limit. This should give you a sense of how loved and sought after this beer truly is.

For many traditional “American clear beer” drinkers, Pliny the Elder was the gateway beer that launched them into the world of craft brews. Anyone who is new to the craft beer scene or unfamiliar with Russian River Brewing should absolutely hunt a bottle of Pliny down. At K&L, we have a system of notifying our customers when a specific product becomes available, and it is through this system that our Pliny customers get their beer. Simply go to, create an account (if you don't already have one), and click on the Waiting List link in My Account Center. Use the key word option to and enter "Pliny" and save. Now, you will receive email from K&L when we receive Pliny into stock, at which point you can make your online purchase. Online or calling in your order immediately after receiving the email notification is recommended. Since the bottles sell out within the hour you will likely be disappointed if you plan to drive to the store to pick some up! You can place your order as a Will-Call pick up in an any of our three retail locations (we transfer to all stores for free) or for shipment to any place where we can legally ship beer.  

While Pliny is a great beer, I personally think the majority of Russian River's beers are even better! At the store, we currently carry Damnation Golden Ale and Salvation Belgian Dark Strong Ale with the newer Row 2, Hill 56 Pale Ale hopped with Simcoe hops soon to return. At Russian River, there are about fifteen beers on tap. One of my favorites is Perdition, their “Biere de Sonoma,” which comes home with me in a growler every time. At this last visit, we grabbed a round of Gaffers, their English Pale Ale. The fruity malts and biscuity hops made for a great brew to wash down the Pliny Bites, pizza dough bites topped with mozzarella, garlic, cheddar, and jalapenos. As they brought out the Clipper (dipped in savage sauce is a hell of a combo) and Mikey pizzas we ordered a round of Erudition Saison, which is a favorite style of mine. Bright citrus, floral notes and spicy pepper make this beer quite refreshing.

Long story short: visit the brewery if/when possible, taste as many beers as you can muster, and take in the atmosphere. The bartenders are great and the pub food is solid. Russian River Brewing Co. is a gem of north-west California, don’t miss it!



Brick on Beer: Newness Abounds and Another Craft Beer Tasting

By: Bryan Brick | K&L Beer Buyer

Hey All,

Coming off the success of last week’s beer tasting, and the last minute cancellation from a producer, we decided to schedule another Friday Night Beer Tasting. It will be held in the Redwood City location from 5-6:30 on Friday, November 11th. Cost and line up TBD, but you can bet that some of the new Holiday beers that are rolling in quickly will certainly be featured!

Speaking of which here is the list of new gems that are rapidly disappearing from our shelves:

Aecht Schlenkerla "Oak Smoke" Rauchbier, Germany 500 ml $5.99

AEppelTreow Winery "Barn Swallow" Draft Cider, Wisconsin 750ml $9.99

AEppelTreow Winery "Sparrow" Spiced Cider, Wisconsin 750ml $9.99

2011 Alaskan Brewing Company Smoked Porter Alaska 22oz $7.99

AleSmith "YuleSmith" Holiday Ale, California 22oz $7.99

Anchor Brewing Co. "Brekle's Brown" Single Hop Brown Ale 22oz $3.49

Birrificio Montegioco "Dolii Raptor-The Barrel Theif" Ale Aged in Wine Barrels, Italy 11.2oz $13.99

Brasserie de Blaugies "La Moneuse Spéciale Noël" Holiday Saison Ale 750ml $10.99

Brasserie De La Senne/Allagash "Very Special Belge" Pale Ale, Belgium 330ml $5.99

Brasserie des Géants "Noël Des Géants" Spiced Ale, Beligum 750ml $10.99

Brasserie Fantome "Noel" Saison, Belgium 750ml $14.99

Brouwerij De Ranke "Cuvee de Ranke," Belgium 750ml $15.99

Brouwerij De Ranke "Kriek De Ranke," Belgium 750ml $15.99

2005 De Struise Brouwers "Pannepot Grand Reserva" Old Fishermans Ale Aged in Oak Casks, Belgium 11.2 oz (6 bottle limit) $9.49

2008 De Struise Brouwers "Pannepot Reserva" Old Fishermans Ale Aged in Oak Casks, Belgium 11.2 oz (6 bottle limit) $7.99

2011De Struise Brouwers "Pannepot-Old Fisherman's Ale" Ale Brewed with Spices, Belgium 11.2 oz (6 bottle limit) $6.99

De Struise Brouwers "Tsjeeses Reserva" Belgian X-Mas Ale, Beligum 330ml $8.99

De Struise Brouwers "Tsjeeses" Belgian X-Mas Ale, Beligum 330ml $7.49

Deschutes Brewery "Hop Trip" Fresh Hop Pale Ale, Oregon 12oz $1.59

2011 Deschutes Brewery "Jubelale" Winter Warmer, Oregon 12oz $1.49

Dugges Ale & Porterbryggeriet "1/2 Idjit!" Baltic Porter, Sweden 500ml $8.49

Dugges Ale & Porterbryggeriet "Hiphiphooray!" Pale Ale, Sweden 500ml $8.49

Green Flash Brewing Company Imperial India Pale Ale, California 22oz $5.49

Hook Norton Brewery Co. "Twelve Days" English Christmas Ale, England 500ml $5.49

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales "Noel de Calabaza" Special Ale, Michigan 750ml $14.99

LoverBeer "BeerBrunga" Sour Ale Brewed With Plums, Italy 375ml $21.99

LoverBeer "DuvaBeer" Ale Brewed With Grape Juice, Italy 330ml $17.99

Mikkeller "Barrel Aged Chipotle Porter," Denmark 375ml $13.99

Mikkeller "Bourbon Barrel Aged From Via To" Holiday Ale, Denmark 750ml $14.99

Mikkeller "From/Via To" Christmas Porter, Denmark 750ml $14.99

Mikkeller "Monk's Brew" Dark Ale, Denmark 750ml $14.99

2010 Mikkeller "Santa's Little Helper" Belgian Ale Brewed With Spices and Aged in Rum Barrels, Denmark 750ml $13.99

2011 Mikkeller "Santa's Little Helper" Belgian Ale Brewed With Spices and Cocoa Powder, Denmark 750ml $14.99

Ninkasi "Sleigh'r" Dark Doüble Alt, Oregon 22oz $3.99

Nøgne-Ø Peculiar Yule, Norway 500ml $8.99

Nøgne-Ø Winter Ale, Norway 500ml $7.99

Ridgeway Brewing "Criminally Bad Elf" English Barleywine, England 500ml $6.99

Ridgeway Brewing "Reindeer's Revolt" English Christmas Ale, England 500ml $5.99

Ridgeway Brewing "Santa's Butt" Holiday Porter, England 500ml $5.99

Ridgeway Brewing "Very Bad Elf" Special Reserve Ale, England 500ml $5.99

Scheldebrouwerij "Lamme Goedzak" Blonde Ale, Belgium 750ml $15.99

Scheldebrouwerij "Zeezuiper" Triple, Belgium 750ml $15.99

2011 Sierra Nevada "Northern Hemisphere Harvest Ale" IPA, California 24oz $4.99

Stone Brewing Company/The Bruery/Elysian "La Citrueille Celeste De Citracado," California 12oz $2.99

Teufelweizen Weizenbock, California 750ml $13.99

Thornbridge Brewery "St. Petersburg" Imperial Russian Stout, England 16.9oz $8.49


As always please let me know if you have any questions about the above beers or need any recommendations!




K&L Wine Merchants

Redwood City

(650) 556-2758


Wine Wednesday: Hop in the Dark

Cascade hops at Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon. Photo by Leah Greenstein.

Sure it's "Wine" Wednesday, but it's raining and I spent most of the night dreaming about beer. Beer from the Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon, to be specific. Deschutes has been brewing craft beers since 1988, back when Bend was just a small Central Oregon town in the high desert foothills of Mount Bachelor and the term "craft beer" hadn't been invented yet. They started out with three beers: Black Butte Porter, Bachelor Bitter and Cascade Golden Ale. It's that first beer, the Black Butte Porter, that got me interested in beer, with its incredibly balanced but rich profile full of espresso, cocoa and a hint of hoppy bitterness. It quickly replaced Guinness as my beer of choice.

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