Move along snooty wine drinkers, the beer snobs are coming! Northern California is home to some of the best breweries in the nation. Russian River Brewing has to be one of my favorite places to visit. Located in Santa Rosa, this place brews some of the most highly-acclaimed beers sought after by my fellow craft beer compadres. Their distribution is limited to California, Oregon, Colorado and Philadelphia (works to my favor for those seeking their beer in the other 46 states *smirk*).
When I ventured into craft beers, my good buddy Bryan had told me about Pliny the Elder. This double IPA is probably their most popularly known beer. I remember having to call in every Wednesday to my local Whole Foods Market and asking if it was in stock. It became a scavenger hunt trying to locate them and when I’d find them, you were only allowed to purchase 1 bottle per person, so I had to roll deep. I must say that the hype is real and everything about the beer is special. But Russian River also has a special annual release of Pliny the Younger which is very limited. Outside of the actual brewery, only a handful of bars are granted access to tap this beer. Some of these places run a ticket system which allow you to get an 8oz. serving of this extraordinary triple IPA, or do what I did. My first rodeo trying to sample this beer was a 4 hour wait (yes, I know). Nonetheless, my cherry for this brew has been popped and it was GLORIOUS.
The one thing I will say about Russian River is that they have stayed true to themselves. Unlike other breweries out there, they’ve managed to stay away from some of the latest trends others have adopted to doing (at least for now). Their beers are like In and Out burgers, located on the west coast and no matter where you try it, it’s consistently amazing.
Pliny the Elder (IPA), Blind Pig (IPA), Damnation (Belgian Strong Golden Ale), Supplication (Sour), Consecration (Sour), Temptation (Sour), Pliny the Younger (IPA), Sanctification (Sour), Redemption (Blond Ale), Salvation (Belgian Strong Dark Ale), Happy Hops (Pale Ale)