According to residents in Ashbourne, the star was so taken by Porter ale, made by the town's Leather Britches brewery, he and a group of friends drank all of nearby Callow Hall hotel's stock.
And when he found out the tipple was brewed just a mile or so down the road, Russell and his group decided to visit the brewery themselves.
His visit caused quite a stir for brewer Edward Allingham and staff at The Green Man pub, behind which the brewery is based.
Mr Allingham said: "Callow Hall sells our beer and apparently Russell Crowe and his friends really took to it – so much so they drank the hotel dry.
"He asked if it was local and when he found out it was he came round to have a look. He was very interested in the whole process.
"I showed him the fermenters and he lifted the lids and had a good sniff inside. He said he likes Guinness and the Porter is similar, it's quite malty with caramel tones.
"We get people from all over the world coming but this is the first celebrity we've had. He was great, really nice, down to earth and just a friendly guy."
The Oscar winner has been in Derbyshire shooting for Ridley Scott's film Robin Hood, in which he plays the title role.
It is understood that the shoot, at Thorpe Pastures, near Ashbourne, involved more than 160 horses and will amount to about five minutes in the lavish film.
Barman Andy Selmes served Mr Crowe at The Green Man and said he was surprised but treated him like any other customer.
The 27-year-old, who lives at the St John's Street pub, said: "I was looking at him thinking, 'you look like Russell Crowe' and he had an Australian accent.
"He paid for the first round. He bought three pints of Fosters, three pints of Guinness, a double vodka and two pints of coke.
"He sat outside. It was a quiet night so not many people were about.
"But there were a few people going to windows to see if it was true."
Universal Pictures refused to comment on the filming.
Read more: http://legacy.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Hollywood-film-star-Russell-Crowe-comes-Derbyshire/story-11605880-detail/story.html#ixzz2v6C0QnYI