- James Knight
Beer of the Gods Norse mythology adds a sense of adventure to this Windsor brew pub.
Though you might think Russian River Brewing Company's new brew palace in Windsor is surely the Valhalla of craft brewing, an upstart little brew pub in an unassuming shopping center spot has a solid claim as the best place in town to sit down and have a brew with Odin and friends.
No Quarter Brewing, which I'd never heard of until last week, has a bit of a viking theme going on, thanks to the brewer's interest in Norse mythology. Decor includes an antler chandelier, antler tap handles—antlers everywhere, as a matter of fact—plus a lineup of Nordic coats of arms along the bar, and a detailed depiction of Asgard, the mythical home of Norse gods, filling a wall. The opposite wall is filled with neon beer signs, a tribute to craft brew forebears like Sierra Nevada, and record albums—the brewery's name comes from a Led Zeppelin song, so there's a bit of a Zep theme going on here, too.
But that's as far as the heavy stuff goes. No Quarter is set up like a casual, neighborhood pub and serves beer, brats, kettle chips and more (from a soon-to-expand menu, I'm told), along with nonalcoholic black tea kombucha, eclectic wines from a little local brand, Rootdown Wine Cellars, and yes, of course mead, the drink of champions. Ancient, Nordic champions. The Brewdriver is a beer, mead and orange juice "cocktail" for breakfasting champions.
The setup is part corner bar—see the sign that says, "In dog beers I've only had one"—with some quality upgrades, such as the table seating, and, likely because the two partners who started the brewery after years of hobby homebrewing are in the concrete business, a bar that looks a cut above your average concrete countertop and evokes a sandy beach.
Pints are $7, a lineup of 2-ounce samplers can be had for the same price, and custom cans to go are available. Agreeing with the crowd, I'll have to recommend the double IPA and hazy IPA, since they were all drunk up and sold out during my visit. Remaining was Loa of Thunder IPA, a traditional beer drinker's IPA that skips the citrus, fruity hops and all that, and just provides a nice, bitter finish. There's more banana, saison character than citrus showing in the Key to the Highway key lime saison. Dark beer lovers will cry for more Tears of Baldr, a smooth and rich salted caramel porter, while Locks of SIF blonde ale is sure to quench thirst after a long day at the oar.
No Quarter Brewing, 8786 Lakewood Dr, Windsor. Open daily, 12–9pm. 707.687.5840.