Plinyland®

While in Sonoma County recently visiting my mother for the holidays, my surrogate dad, adventure pal and winemaker extraordinaire Bruce Patch invited me to go pick up some samples at the local wine storage facility in Windsor.

“It’s right across the street from the new Russian River Brewing Company brewery!” he announced excitedly.

Beer aficionados and IPA nuts will recognize Russian River as the brewer of the difficult-to-source double-IPA-of-legend, Pliny the Elder, of which I have done several posts in my own Quixotic pursuit of. More

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The New Other Best Beer

I like to do beer reviews from time to time, especially when I discover a new beer that sets my heart a flutter.

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Such was the case recently when I was out to lunch at a beer chain place called Yard House with my father and brothers. I was looking over the comprehensive list of beers on tap, including plenty of favorites and plenty I’d never heard of, when I spotted a chalk board with some special selections. I picked one whose name I liked, and which was local — Ballast Point Sculpin IPA from San Diego. And imagine my surprise when here, in my glass, was one of the best beers I’d ever tasted! More

Pliny, Deconstructed

The third in the author’s three part series about his all-consuming obsession with locating and purchasing at any cost Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Elder beer.

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Driving home with my big game prize — six bottles of Pliny the Elder — I began contemplating the grand ordeal that had been my barely one-month relationship with the beer.

A few days before, I’d called my favorite wine store, which was listed on the Russian River Brewing Company’s distribution list, but where I’d never actually seen Pliny before. I asked the gentleman if they carried Pliny.

Pliny, crowding out the other beers in my fridge

Pliny, crowding out the other beers in my fridge

“We get it sometimes, usually on Tuesdays.” This was a Monday. “The delivery usually comes around 1 p.m. Why don’t you call sometime after that and see if we got any. It sells out fast.” More

Pliny Found

After my woeful post about my growing preoccupation with Pliny the Elder beer and my utter inability to get ahold of any, I was overwhelmed by an outpouring of support and allegiance from family, friends and assorted wellwishers.

“Sometimes Haven has Pliny on tap,” commented friend Joe.

“Have you checked the Green Jug?” friend Tina emailed. “I called and they said they get it usually once a week. But it goes fast.”

“I’m on a mission to find some Pliny for you,” emailed another friend, Nadine, who is president of a company and likes to make things happen.

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My mom, in characteristic told-you-so fashion, offered up these words of encouragement:

“I found 3 on the door of the fridge when I was on a cleaning binge today. I would have happily sent you off with a couple of them but you still seem to be in a rebellious stage where you think you know more than I do. Nobody made a fuss when I insisted you try it here. We have had people in N. Carolina beg us to send them some but I got the ‘sure, sure’ look from you when I tried to make a case for it.” More

In Search of Pliny the Elder

While in Sonoma for a holiday visit, my mother said, “I was just telling Leslie about Pliny the Elder. She didn’t know about it.”

Pliny the Elder, the guy

Pliny the Elder, the guy

According to Wikipedia, Pliny the Elder was a Roman author, naturalist and philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire and close personal friend to emperor Vespasian. Why my mother was telling my wife about Pliny the Elder was lost on me. Until she said, “It won best beer in the world!” And I realized she was talking about beer. More