Pliny the Younger
Every year, the Russian River Brewing Company releases the phenomenally popular Pliny the Younger—their limited release hoppy triple IPA—for just two weeks starting the first Friday in February (that's tomorrow, February 6). And fans from all over the country are already linimg up for hours to get a taste of the unbottled brew.
He comes only once a year, popping up in watering holes across the Bay Area. People line up to see him even before the bar is open. He is not post-mall-shift Santa Claus — he's Russian River Brewing Company's Pliny the Younger, the stronger, hoppier nephew of the same brewery's Pliny the Elder. But why the craze over a beer? The brewery releases Pliny the Younger only once a year, and as with most small batch beers, the flavor varies slightly every time they brew it. The February release also happens to coincide with San Francisco Beer Week.
Although Santa Rosa's Russian River Brewing Co. may look like any other pub, it's somewhat of a mecca and home to some of California's finest craft beers, including the cult favorite, Pliny the Younger. Released every February, (Growlers only, no bottles) for a brief one-time brewing, it's why many beer lovers (including myself) make an annual trek from SF up 101 N. I liken its taste to a sloppy kiss from a Redwood mixed with a fresh bitterness.