Pliny The Younger – 2015 Shitstorm

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Hello all,

If attending the Kiwi Herman release at Alpine a few weeks back was any indication of how craft beer events will go in 2015, I expect an all out shitshow with the highly anticipated release of Russian Rivers’ Pliny the Younger. San Diego is pretty lucky to receive as much Pliny as it does, but even then, you guys swallow it up as if there are not any other Double/Triple IPA options in the double digit ABV range. Having started this tracking thing two years ago, it seems pretty consistent that places that got Pliny last year will again see it this year. However, I do expect more locations to be pretty hush-hush about its tappings along with ticketed events that sold out rather quickly and a lot easier to manage.

I’d like to preface this post by saying that I do not have any kind of insider information. People do email and tweet me with leads and insights, however, don’t blame me when all the bros drank all the Pliny while you were standing in line outside the bar. So here it goes, your annual list of Younger tappings:
(I’ll post the list later), but thought I’d like to get out some preliminary info on a few locations.

O’Briens: Saturday the 14th @5PM and lunch time Tuesday the 17th. There will also be a charity keg that will be tapped on Wednesday the 25th at 5pm. The charity keg will be tickets only, starting to go on sale on Friday the 13th at the pub. Tickets are $20 for a 10oz glass with a max of 2 tickets per person.

Churchills: March 7th for their annual Renaissance festival starting at 11am. Taplist is crazy, expect a line starting early in the morning.

Thanks for reading and happy hunting,
-Manny

Feel free to email me updates at sdbeergeeks@gmail.com or through my Twitter account.

Henebery Whiskey Dinner Party at Saltbox

Henebery Whiskey

Local San Diego spirits company Henebery is teaming up with gastro-lounge Saltbox for a 6 course small plate and cocktails pairing this Thursday May 22 at 7:00 pm. We will be there. There are only a few seats left, but you can buy tickets here before they’re gone. Tickets are $35 plus a small service fee. Partial proceeds are going to Rachel’s Women’s Center. Below, click to see a copy of the menu for Thursday’s event.

Saltbox Henebery Dinner

While most of the events we go to are about the San Diego craft beer community, we are happy to support local craft distillers Henebery. Henebery Whiskey is a 90 proof Rye whiskey infused with organic spices. They are currently doing their own distribution in San Diego. You can find them in a lot places in San Diego. They have a list here.

 

Follow Henebery on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

Follow Saltbox on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

Rip Current Brewing 1st Anniversary Recap

Congrats to the crew at Rip Current Brewing on their 1st Anniversary. There were 20 beers available on their taps and 2 available via cask. The IPAs were the ones that stood out the most. By far, my personal favorite was the Caught In a Rip IIIPA. As we posted before, we fully believe that Caught In a Rip can compete with Pliny the Younger. See our Pliny the Younger Alternatives post here. Beer Advocate rates Caught In a Rip as Outstanding, and we are in complete agreement. See the tower of our scrumptious tasters.

Caught In a Rip

Caught In a Rip IIIPA by Rip Current Brewing

While Caught In a Rip was the highlight of the event, the most eye-opening beer was the Lupulin Lust IPA. The Rip Current chalkboard captioned the beer with “Big Citrus + Pine / F*CK YEAH.” I nodded my head in approval after the first taste.

Lupulin Lust IPA by Rip Current Brewing

Lupulin Lust by Rip Current Brewing

Mid way through our tasting, we were graciously greeted by Co-Owner Guy Shobe. As a group, we thanked Guy and the staff for brewing quality product, and contributing to the amazing Craft Beer community in San Diego. Guy also intimated that Rip Current should have some big news to announce very soon. We were told that a plan for a North Park tasting room is close to fruition. What exciting news for us craft beer lovers living south of Interstate 8.

While the Rip Current IPAs were quite impressive, their collection of Porters, and Stouts were also very delicious. As seen below, the Vanilla Rescue Buoy, their Vanilla Russian Imperial Stout, was the stand out of the Stout selection. It was a treat to taste the beer side-by-side along the regular Rescue Buoy to see just how the vanilla had imparted a nice sweetness to complement the beers roasty coffee and dark chocolate notes.

Vanilla Rescue Buoy by Rip Current Brewing

Rip Current Vanilla Rescue Buoy Impenetrable by light

Lastly, we’d like to thank Rip Current Brewing for hosting everyone and producing such amazing beers. As a parting gift, each attendee was gifted a bottle of Bourbon Wood Aged Old Man Ale. They hand bottled 332 of the 1st Anniversary brews. Cheers to Rip Current and their continued prosperity.

Cheers to Rip Current's 1st Anniversary

Cheers to Rip Current’s 1st Anniversary

 

-David E. and Manny O.

Pliny the Younger San Diego – 2014 (updating)

February is Younger season! Its the time of year that sees the release of the most anticipated beer made in America. Currently ranked #2 in the world according to beeradvocate.com, Pliny the Younger is a triple IPA. It’s annual release garners multiple hour waits at its brewpub at the Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, CA. Luckily in San Diego we are lucky to receive a good number of kegs. Most places will be pretty hush-hush about its tappings to avoid madness so do not be alarmed to hear about a keg getting tapped, a pub full, and a blown keg in a matter of minutes. I tried to keep up with news as it came out last year, but sometimes once I hear of a keg going on tap, it was tapped before most were able to make it there. Stone Distributing will be handling Younger this year and kegs according to sources will not be arriving in San Diego until February 18th. Here is a twitter list I put together for the bars listed below.

Here are the places that received kegs last year along with any speculative info about this year:

Toronado2 kegs going on Tuesday, 2/18 at opening, about 400, 10 oz servings. A third keg it will go on Sunday at 11:30am.

Hamiltons Hamiltons announced their PTY tapping for Feb 19 at 3pm. Expect there to be a line of 100+ thirsty patrons. See their post here1 keg blew in 40 minutes.

O’Brien’s: Last year got 3 kegs. 1st keg will go on Saturday the 22nd at 4pm. The charity keg will go on tap on Wednesday the 26th between 5-8pm. Tickets for the charity keg will go on sale on Thursday, the 20th, and is $15 for a 10oz pour. 100% of sales will be going to charity, 2 tickets per person, and cash only. Link to the newsletter can be found here.

Stone World Bistro & Gardens: Received 3 kegs last year. With the addition of Liberty Station I would like to think a keg would make it to Point Loma. Stone keeps their tap list up to date on their website, but did not post anything when their first keg went on. 1st of their kegs went on at their Escondido location 2/18 at 5pm.

San Diego Brewing Co: Sunday 2/23 at noon. The pub opens up at 11am and will begin handing out tickets for fills. One per person.

Neighborhood: Put on a keg at around 3:30pm 2/19, killed by 5:15.

Pizza Port Carlsbad: Single keg last year. Not sure if they will put it up on their draft menu as they do have a tap cam you can check on.

Pizza Port Ocean Beach: Single keg, went on tap without notice.

Pizza Port Solana Beach: Commenter, Scott, with a tip that it will be tapped at 6pm, 2/20.

Pizza Port San Clemente: Keg tapped at noon on 2/19, killed in an hour.

Churchill’s: Younger will be tapped at their annual Renaissance March 1st and noon.  Got the taplist for Renaissance here.  Looks like they will be a bit more strict on the Churchills Finest Hour bottle release. More info as it becomes available on their website.

Blind Lady Ale House: Last two years they have been ticketed events. Follow their Facebook and Twitter feeds for updated info.

Downtown Johnny Brown’s: Not sure how a change of ownership will affect if they get a keg of Younger or not. Last year notified the public via twitter for news of its tapping.

Encinitas Ale House: Used pre-paid tickets (already sold out) for a glass of Younger on Sunday, 2/23 anytime between 12-9pm. If there is any left over, it’ll go on to the public Monday at opening, 4pm.

Tap Room: Going to be tapped for their Anniversary party on February 22nd at 11am. Quite an impressive taplist for that day, more info can be found here.

Urge Gastropub: Received a keg last year and likely without prior notice. They did tweet out when it was put on however. 

Tiger!Tiger!: Like Blind Lady Ale House, a ticketed event. Follow their Facebook and Twitter feeds for more updated news.

Breakwater Brewing: Follow their twitter for notice of its tapping.

Livewire: They put their kegs on without notice, you’ll get it if you’re lucky.

Update log: 02/14/14 00:34am; 02/17/14 17:29; 2/18/14 02:57am; 2/18/14 15:53; 2/18/14 17:37; 2/19/14 13:58; 2/19/14 15:47; 2/20/14 16:57

If anyone has any information regarding a date/time by which Pliny the Younger will be tapped, send me an email to update the list.

Happy Hunting

Pliny The Younger San Diego Alternatives

Well, we all know it’s coming. Pliny The Younger season is upon us and we are all salivating in wait. While we still do not know when or where the kegs of PTY will be blowing at record pace, we do, however, know the best 5 alternatives in San Diego.

Pliny The Younger San Diego Alternative Exponential Hoppiness

Exponential Hoppiness Double IPA by Alpine Beer Company

Exponential Hoppiness – Alpine Beer Company

If there is one IPA in San Diego that is more sought after than Pliny the Younger, it’s Exponential Hoppiness from Alpine Beer Co. As a biannual release, Exponential Hoppiness garners huge lines outside its brewery for people seeking to snag a few bottles and/or enjoy it on tap at its neighboring pub. What sets “Expo” apart is its massive dry hopping and conditioning on oak chips that adds both an additional dryness to the beer followed by vanilla notes. Get it while you can. I encourage you to take the hike out to Alpine, and hope you’re lucky enough to try this beer since it is usually released without prior notice. It is only available in very limited quantities: 22 oz bottles and draft. On occasions, Alpine Beer allows just a few kegs to sneak out to local bars for special events.

Pliny The Younger San Diego Alternative Roustabout Double IPA

Roustabout Double IPA by Societe Brewing Company
Photo cred: Instagram user societebrewing

Roustabout – Societe Brewing Company

The Roustabout is the lowest ABV beer on this list clocking in at 9.2%, but it packs a hop punch that few beers can rival. The Roustabout took gold medal at last years San Francisco Beer Week IIPA festival where it beat out the likes of Double Jack and Pliny the Elder. Societe recently brewed another batch to send up to San Francisco to defend its gold medal so drink it while you can. Very limited draft offering.

Pliny The Younger San Diego Alternative Caught in a Rip Double IPA

Caught in a Rip Double IPA by Rip Current Brewery
Photo cred: Untappd user davidelizarraga

Caught in a Rip – Rip Current Brewery

Newcomer, Rip Current Brewing, has hit the ground running and they have brewed a winner with their Caught in a Rip IIPA. Founded by National Homebrewer of the year, Paul Sangster, the San Marcos brewery has produced an exquisite beer that typifies an IPA. Caught in a Rip IIPA has huge hop presence, and is high in alcohol content without having to sweeten up the beer with a larger malt bill. Available occasionally, draft only.

Pliny The Younger San Diego Alternative Green Bullet Double IPA

Green Bullet Double IPA by Green Flash Brewing Company
Photo cred: Instagram user greenflashbeer

Green Bullet IPA – Green Flash Brewing Company

The Green Bullet by Green Flash Brewing Company is the only IPA on the list using New Zealand hops. These hops from down under provide unique nuances of honey-dew and melon. Green Bullet was first introduced as Green Flash’s 9th Anniversary ale, and they decided to keep this beer around and for good reason. The fresh citrusy hop flavors mask the bitterness otherwise an attribute to most massive IPAs. Green Bullet is available on a rotating basis in both 22oz bottle and draft forms.

Pliny The Younger San Diego Alternative Dorado Double IPA

Dorado Double IPA by Ballast Point Brewing Company

Dorado Double IPA – Ballast Point Brewing Company

After a few years on hiatus, Dorado Double IPA is back. This gem by Ballast Point is easily found around the year as opposed to the past. Dorado utilizes hops in just about every stage of the brewing process: Mash Hopping, First Wort Hopping, Kettle Hopping, and Dry Hopping to produce a beer bursting in hop flavors and aroma. The beer does well to hide its 10% ABV. Dorado is available both on draft and 22oz bottles.

There you have it. If you want to escape the madness of Pliny the Younger this year or if the keg blows as its your turn to order, we leave you with some great San Diego alternatives.

-David E. , Manny O.

Barrel Aged Stoopid Stout Release

Barrel Aged Stupid Stout

Coronado Brewing is getting into the barrel aged game with their first Coronado Collection release of 2014, their Barrel Aged Stoopid Stout. The release is set for January 23rd at their tasting room located on Knoxville St. Bottles will be 2 per person, $14.99 a piece, and with only 240 bottles being released, I expect an early line. Along with the bottles being released, you will also be able to sample it in both taster and half pint sized portions. No growler fills will be available with a beer so limited as this. Tasting room opens at 11am. More info could be found on their Facebook page.

Coronado Brewing Tasting Room

1205 Knoxville St

San Diego, CA 92110

11a-9p (on 1/23/14)

-Manny

Cable Car Kriek

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Easter Sours

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Did this little sour tasting with family over Easter. The Bruery sours were a hit and if I’d to rank them: 1. Rueze 2. Oude Tart 3. Sour In The Rye. The Cuvée de Tomme was a 2011 vintage. Flat, but tasted good. Timmermans was meh, watery, with moderate funk/sour. The Denogginizer was a nice hoppy break.

Bourbon Maple Victory at Sea

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It’s maybe a good thing no one drinks cask ale in El Cajon and a great cask like this can hang around for a day. Bourbon maple added a caramel/toffee like sweetness. One of the better Victory at Sea casks I’ve had.

Exponential Hoppiness 2013

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22oz single serving

EH=PH^2. Most of my readers know that equation to Exponential Hoppiness. The biannual release is the most popular beer at Alpine Beer Co. and one of the most coveted. This year’s batch as compared to others seems a little more juicier. No big hop bite, but full of that grapefruity citrus hop flavor. The oak I think also plays a big role as compared to years past. Perhaps the result of extra conditioning time. Would reccomend. 10/10. Thought I missed the boat on Bad Boy this year. They had the nitro version on at the pub. I liked the regular CO2 version better. Also pictured is Token and Nitro BA Odins Raven (non-infected, and really good). I haven’t gotten any Pliny the Younger despite my efforts of tracking the releases, but Expo will do.

Awesome Alpine flight