Russian River Brewing Company host Alex McLaughlin, right (back to camera), handles a long line of patrons Wednesday, Feb. 6. The Santa Rosa brewpub opened at 11 a.m. and people lined up for hours for a chance to drink Pliny the Younger, a legendary India pale ale that’s available only two weeks a year. Photo by Randall Benton, Sacramento Bee
Great article in today’s The Sacramento Bee about incredible demand, and sheer madness, for a seasonal craft beer called Pliny the Younger: Beer fans line up for the limited Pliny the Younger – Food & Wine – The Sacramento Bee. Some beer connoisseurs call Pliny the Younger “the perfect beer.” The challenge is getting your hands on a glass of Pliny the Younger, or even the Russian River Brewing Co.’s other popular beer, Pliny the Elder (brewed year-round).
Here’s an excerpt…
You could be in and out of the Russian River Brewing Co. in an hour. Or you could wait, as many have, for up to seven hours, in a line that stretches down the sidewalk on Fourth Street, around the corner and into oblivion.
Due to the enthusiasm — no, the madness — that accompanies Pliny the Younger, an India pale ale that’s available for just two weeks at the beginning of February every year, the brewery has had to post a list of expectations and rules.
Here, for example, is No. 6: “If you have a compelling reason for not waiting like everyone else, you will have to take that up with the 300 folks in line BEHIND you. Good luck with that!”
A 10 oz. glass of Pliny the Younger beer.
Beer aficionados know it as a triple IPA – meaning Pliny the Younger has triple the amount of hops in a regular IPA, which pushes the limits of flavor, intensity and alcohol content. The name Pliny refers to the Roman author and naturalist Gaius Plinius Secundus – Pliny the Elder – whom many credit with having a hand in creating the botanical name for hops, a key ingredient in beer. Pliny the Younger is his nephew.
The hype, the long waits, the obsession. It’s all very real and, in this case, makes perfect sense. Pliny the Younger is impossibly clean, crisp and smooth for a beer that’s 10.8 percent alcohol. The hops — a maestro’s blend of six kinds — offer a pleasing bitterness without being harsh or chewy. The beautifully balanced beer has an intense taste, but it’s also subtle. There’s a hint of fruitiness without being sweet.
The last day for the Pliny the Younger until 2014 is Thursday. If you miss it, the pub serves many other highly regarded beers with national reputations, several of which have provocative names like Sanctification, Perdition, Damnation and Consecration.
And for the diehards who wait too long to seek out the greatness and mystique of Pliny the Younger, there’s no more fitting name than a seasonal beer the pub will release soon: Procrastination.
Read the SacBee article by Blair Anthony Robertson here
Check out the Beertone
(named for the color guide, Pantone).
Beertone features 200 different kinds of beer with a color swatch representing each variety. The color tabs are packed with particulars for the beer connoisseur, including brewery info, alcohol content, a flavor description, and detailed color information—think RGB, CMYK, HTML, and SRM (the beer color scale).
Created by the self-described “Swiss Guy” (Daniel Eugster) and “Brazilian Guy” (Alexander Michelbach), Beertone is currently offered for Swiss beers only, but it’s rumored Brazilian and German versions are on the horizon.
Source: Webdesigner Depot