We had a great day trip to Santa Rosa on Wednesday to work on my story about the cult of Pliny the Younger and Pliny the Elder.
It was quite a sight to witness folks standing in line well before the Russian River Brewing Co. opened its doors. I interviewed Natalie Cilurzo about the phenomenon and had my first Pliny the Younger at, ahem, 10 .m., an hour before the brew pub opens for business. Natalie's husband, Vinnie, is a brewmaster legend in the craft beer world and his beers are so coveted that folks travel from around the world to experience them. Indeed, three of the guys I met later at the pub were brewers from Japan who came to Santa Rosa specifically for the Pliny the Younger experience. I also met some folks from Sacramento enjoying their Plinys.
If you're into good beer -- and we have more and more good beer here in Sacramento -- you should consider making the trip. They only pour Pliny the Younger the first two weeks of February, and then that's it until next year.
You're limited to three 10-ounce pours at $4.50 each. But trust me, you don't need any more than that.
What compels people to line up for up to seven hours for a chance to drink this beer? I'll try to answer that and more in my story, which will run in The Bee next Wednesday.
Blair Anthony Robertson is The Bee's restaurant critic. Follow him on Twitter, @blarob.