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.

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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.

Pliny the Younger – San Diego 2013

February is Younger season, the time of year that sees the release of the most anticipated beer made in America. This triple IPA is currently ranked #2 in the world according to beeradvocate.com. 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 and shed some of the craziness that goes along with a beer release like this. According to the sandiegobeerblog.com (@SDBeer on twitter) 19 places received kegs last year. This year I am not quite sure if that number will increase or drop. 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.

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

Toronado:  Got 4 kegs, all done. 1st two kegs will be tapped consecutively on Thursday 10:30am and you guys killed the first one in 50 minutes.  They announced another keg for Thursday at opening, 11:30. Another scheduled keg is supposed to be tapped Sunday the 17th at opening.

Hamiltons: Pliny going to be tapped 2/14/13 at opening, 3pm. No info yet if they will get another keg, they blew through two of them on the 14th.

O’Brien’s: 1st keg will go on Saturday, the 16th at 5pm. Second keg is being reserved for charity on Wednesday the 20th, which I believe is already sold out. Another keg is scheduled for March 1st at 11am.

Stone World Bistro & Gardens: Website currently lists a “Seasonal release” imperial IPA from Russian River available at 5pm, finishedA keg is confirmed for their beer and cigar dinner March 5th, 7pm. Info here . Cigar dinner sold out. They also put out another keg 2/21.

San Diego Brewing Co: Tapping their keg Saturday  Feb 23rd at 10am.

Neighborhood: Keg went on at 2:30pm 2/18 . Tweet  Hinted that they got another keg to be put on. Saw some checkins on 2/25

Pizza Port Carlsbad: Went on tap 2/22 at noon.

Pizza Port Ocean Beach: Went on tap 2/26

Pizza Port Solana Beach: No info yet.

Pizza Port San Clemente: Posted via twitter that they tapped it. Killed the keg in 2 hours (02/15/13).

Churchill’s: Confirmed via twitter that they got kegs. March 2nd will be the tapping coinciding with Renaissance March 2nd. Tap list is crazy. I hope to be there.

Blind Lady Ale House: March 10th 11am. Ticketed event. Tickets can be purchased March 1st 6pm here . $15 gets you .25L of Younger and Elder

Downtown Johnny Brown’s: Keg went on tap Friday 2/15/13 at 6:00pm. Confirmation tweet

Encinitas Ale House: 2/25 at 4pm. Members of their “80 beers in 80 days” will be allowed first crack. Info here.

El Take it Easy: No info yet.

Tap Room: Will have two tappings: 2/25 at 11am and 3/4 at 5pm. Limiting to one serving per customer. More info can be found on their website

Urge Gastropub: Tapping on 2/21 5pm along with a number of other IPA’s.  Confirmation tweet

Tiger!Tiger!: Saturday March 9th 11am. Tickets go on sale here on March 1st 5pm. $12 gets you a .4L glass of Younger.

Breakwater Brewing: Breakwater posted via twitter that they got a keg. Scheduled for 2/21/13 4:30pm.

Eleven: Got sold, I say no kegs this year for them.

Livewire: Tapped a keg 2/24 at 1:00pm

Newport Pizza and Alehouse: No info yet

Thats it. With Eleven being sold, I would not be surprised to see a keg surface at either Small Bar or Monkey Paw.

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.

Updated 03/1/13 at 12:37pm