The Russian River Brewing Company was founded in 1997 by Korbel Champagne Cellars in Guerneville, CA. Their IPA “Pliny the Elder” was one of the first commercially brewed Double or Imperial IPAs in America and has won numerous awards over the years. It continues to be their most popular beer nearly 20 years after it was introduced. In 2003, Korbel decided to get out of the beer business and transferred the rights to the Russian River Brewing Company to Vinnie Cilurzo. In the past 15 years, the brewery has won dozens of awards from the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup. Cilurzo and the brewery were twice named Brewery and Brewmaster of the Year at both the GABF and World Beer Cup. In 2007, Cilurzo was awarded the Russell Scherrer Award for Innovation in Brewing.