Northern California is home to some of America’s best brews. Travel the 101 Highway to Russian River Brewery, Santa Rosa, home of the world famous Pliny the Elder Double India Pale Ale.
The beer can be purchased from the tap or you can get take aways by the case or growler (a big fucking bottle). Pliny comes as the ‘Elder’. Pliny the ‘Younger’ is released for 2 weeks only every year. People camp out for days to get the Younger.
The brewery sits right in heart of downtown Santa Rosa. We arrived at 12.00pm on a Sunday. There was a 40 minute wait before we were seated at a table. A friend of mine, a local, told me that this sort of wait is normal. In fact, people sleep on the streets for days when the brewery is going to do a limited batch release.
A friend of mine camped out all morning in the rain for the last release of Pliny the Younger. She said that they enforced a thee drink minimum on the people inside. But she said it was worth it and she will go back to do it again. She thinks this happens around February every year.
There’s a nice mix of people inside. Tattoo covered rotund middle aged men carry cases of beer to take home past a busy bar.
Everyone is here for the beer. Names like procrastination, salvation, damnation, rejection give you an insight into the range of brews on offer. I mainly stuck to the Pliny, but you can order a flight too. This is a sample selection of 20 beers or so that the brewery has on offer.
If you want to try something a little different, you can try the reserve bottle program. They have a beer called Consecration. 2nd Batch sour aged in Cabernet barrels. It’s $50 per beer and it must be consumed on site.
Notes on prices.
Happy hour all day Sunday. Half pints for $3.50 and pints for $5.00.