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2020’s Batch of Cult IPA Pliny the Younger Is Finally Available

Fans have been told to expect six-hour-long lines

Popular Limited Release Beer Draws Huge Crowds To Russian River Brewery In Windsor, California Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The brief window to score this year’s batch of Russian River Brewing Company’s fervently adored Pliny the Younger Triple IPA opens today.

Beer lovers are well aware that Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Younger is considered the most desirable in the country, due in no small part to its relative scarcity: For 15 years, the brew has only been served for two weeks, starting on the first Friday of February. That’s today, and Russian River confirms that the Pliny will start flowing at 11 a.m., and will be sold through February 20.

Pliny’s brewers set fans buzzing late last year when they announced that for the first time ever, the beer would also be made available in bottle form. This is a huge switch from the past, when the only way to quaff Pliny was to drink it as it’s poured at Russian River Brewing Company’s taprooms in Santa Rosa (725 Fourth Street) and Windsor (700 Mitchell Lane).

That doesn’t mean Pliny fans can just waddle on down to the 7-11 and pick up a case, however. Russian River is quite firm on the matter, in fact, saying that to buy a bottle, one must still wait in a (one to six hour!) line at their taprooms and take a seat at the bar or a table, where they will be allowed to buy a maximum of two 510 ml bottles to take home — that is, if Russian Rover hasn’t already run out. (It’s worth noting here that this year’s beer is estimated to pack a 10.25 percent ABV punch, so consume wisely.)

The obvious question is if Pliny and the theater around how to score it is all hype. Many beer aficionados say that the brew, which is reportedly created via a labor-intensive process that blends five different hops and malt, is everything folks say it is, while others say that in blind taste tests, its ratings fall. Maybe beer just tastes better if one has to wait in line for six hours before one gets a drink.

And in other news...

  • Bay Area autonomous food delivery vehicle startup Nuro has gotten federal approval to test their vehicles on U.S. roads, but don’t expect to see them on SF streets any time soon: for now, Nuro says they’ll just be traveling through Houston, delivering groceries for Walmart and pizza for Domino’s. [Reuters]
  • The notorious McDonald’s at the end of Haight Street is no more, finally demolished about two years after the city bought it with a plan to shut it down. [SFist]
  • Palo Alto’s Babka by Ayelet, which was said to be country’s only babka-only bakery, has closed after “insurmountable disagreements with her landlord.” Its owner hopes to reopen in a new Los Altos space. [SF Chronicle]
  • City officials say that they’ve gotten numerous complaints about the quality of meals from SFUSD school lunch provider Revolution Foods, but its contract has been extended for another three to five years anyway. [SF Examiner]
  • Alyssa Nakken, the SF Giants’ new coach, has lived in the city for a good while, so when the team elevated her to the coaching staff, it was she who led her new colleagues on a food tour around SF that included Myriad Gastropub and Tacolicious. [East Bay Times]
  • San Francisco-based Uber lost $1.1 billion in the last three months of 2019 alone, and its food delivery service Uber Eats was responsible for much of that shortfall. “Right now, the Eats business has had a tornado-like impact on profitability,” one analyst said. [New York Times]
  • Guy Fieri isn’t just a NorCal food icon, he’s apparently a basketball player? The man who put Flavortown on the map is facing off against fellow celebrity chef José Andrés as part of the the NBA’s All-Star Weekend. [Eater]


2250 Chestnut Street, , CA 94123 (415) 649-6077

Russian River Brewing Company

725 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 (707) 545-2337 Visit Website

Myriad Gastropub

2491 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 525-4335 Visit Website