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Pliny The Younger In San Diego

Reader Comments (1)

I'm really torn about craft beer hype. In one respect, it's hype... about craft beer. Nothing wrong with that, right? When there's a line around the block at the Surly Goat and people walking by ask what's up, and a line of beer fanatics say it's all because of one amazing beer... that kinda gives craft beer more visibility and credibility to the "non-believers", right?

At the same time... is it REALLY the perfect beer? The Library Alehouse in Venice (technically, it's Santa Monica, but oh-so-barely) has been doing their Hophead Heaven festival from Valentine's Day through the 24th. I've gone several times and I've hd some of the best hop bombs I've ever had. Stuff that almost never leaves their breweries in kegs. Like Alesmith's My Bloody Valentine (a lot like the summer Yulesmith), or Lagunitas Hop Stoopid, Drake's Hop Salad and Drakes Hopocalypse. Damn fine beers worthy of seeking out if you've never had them.

So, why Pliny the Younger over any other beer? Why are Russian River beers so highly valued over most other beers? I'd really like to try it, just to have tried it. But the hype is so overwhelming, I can't help but think that finally tasting it will be underwhelming.

It was available for an hour at Blue Palms Friday night. It was at the Surly Goat on Tuesday. They had it on Wednesday at Library. The owner there, Tom Kelly, is a certified Cicerone and has a good relationship with Vinnie at Russian River, so he actually has more kegs for another pouring this upcoming Wednesday. Naja's Place will have it Thursday. And then that's it until next year. If I get some, great. If not, well, I'm not going to give up a whole night standing in line to try one beer. There are dozens of other stunningly tasty brews to try for the first time that won't require me to stand in line like it's an amusement park ride.

A really good article about the phenomenon:


February 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTom in L.A.

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