Younger Day 2010 was wild. People lined up for hours, cases of growlers getting packed into cars, standing room only at the bar, and after 8 hours, angry people who were told there would be no more Pliny the Younger for 2010. If you were in the pub early in the day, it was a scene you’ll not forget any time soon. If you were waiting in line at 9pm, it sucked.
Having seen the madness first hand, owners Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo were quick to respond. This week, amid little fanfare, the Russian River FAQ was updated with this small bit on Pliny the Younger:
Younger is brewed once a year and is generally available around the first week of February. Given the overwhelmingly unexpected turnout at this year’s release, we are making some changes for next year. There will NO GROWLERS available to go. We will not be bottling it, either. Chances are we will still distribute a very small amount to key accounts in some or all markets in which we are distributed. That is still up for discussion. It will be available at our brewpub sometime in February to be consumed on-premise only, 10 ounces at a time. Perhaps this way it will last more than 8 hours and we won’t see it for sale on Ebay!
When contacted about the new rule, Vinnie had little to add but suggested availability within the Santa Rosa pub would be ensured throughout the week of the Younger release.
The question then goes to you, the enthusiastic beer geek. What do you make of the new rule regarding growlers?
As a local to Santa Rosa I really don’t mind. I buy surprisingly few growlers from the pub, preferring to enjoy a pint of whatever may be special that day in the pub while it’s fresh. With Pliny, Pig and various -Tions in the bottle now, the growler feels inefficient and sloppy.
My hope is that this will lead to a more casual enjoyment of this rare beer. People will be able to walk into the pub, sit down at the bar and enjoy a 10 ounce glass of hop nectar. They will then turn to their friend and be able to communicate without shouting. Isn’t this a better setting for fully appreciating a beer of this caliber than standing shoulder to shoulder, trying to pull out the rich aroma of hops and sweet malt against bad breath and body odor?
I also think this benefits those traveling long distances to drink the beer. I shared the table from a beer geek who joined us from Scandinavia. I talked to the first people in line who started waiting at 6:30 that morning and had driven from Santa Barbara (a solid 5-6 hour drive). These were success stories, but I am sure there were others who never got to try the beer. (Not to be cold-hearted but I don’t really sympathize for those who missed out, if someone came from Europe and was there in the morning, evidently there were others willing to do more to ensure they drank the beer).
Finally, I’m glad this shuts down the eBay trade. I’ve never been a fan of profiteering. People who have done nothing more than be present are making larger profits off of the product than those who put the effort into making the product. Whether it’s beer, baseball cards or life-sized military characters complete with vehicle, I’m just not a fan.
So let’s hear it!
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