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Pliny the Younger makes splash at PourHouse, but is craze waning?

Published: Tuesday, Mar. 4, 2014 - 12:06 pm

Chris Cook had camped out since 11:30 a.m. and endured the drizzly weather for more than four hours. All of this anticipation was for a mere 8 ounce pour of beer - but this wasn’t just any beer. On Tuesday afternoon, midtown’s PourHouse tapped a 5 gallon keg of Pliny the Younger, a Triple IPA from Russian River Brewing Co. that’s turned into a cult-ish craze on the craft beer scene.

The formula goes like this: Highly rated beer ( currently ranked #2 in the world by BeerAdvocate) + limited production (only six or so kegs are allocated in the area for Sacramento Beer Week) = a line stretching down Q St. for a taste at PourHouse. The entire keg was tapped within 32 minutes.

Despite all the folks pining for a taste of Pliny, the scene was actually a bit more subdued compared to last year at PourHouse. That keg in the 2013 edition of Sacramento Beer Week was emptied in a mere 17 minutes, and the line this year was only a couple dozen deep about an hour before a $7 pour of Pliny the Younger went on sale at 4 p.m.

Perhaps those who were curious about the elusive Pliny the Younger have received their taste by now, and while this is no doubt a fine and impeccably fresh brew, there might be better things to do than wait in line for hours for a small pour of beer. Call it the “been there, done that” syndrome?

Cook, who loves his craft beers, still had Pliny the Younger on his checklist of must-try brews. So after his four and a half hour wait, he plunked down $7 at the bar and took his pour of Pliny the Younger to a nearby table. Finally, the moment of truth. He took a sip, and took a moment to consider.

So, was all that time in line worth it?

“Yeah it was,” said Cook, savoring that first taste. “It’s clean, fresh, and kind of citrusy and piney. It is good.”

Speaking of Sacramento Beer Week, don’t forget to tweet your photos of your favorite brews and bites with the hashtag #sacfeast. We’ll publish our favorites here on “Appetizers” and possibly in the paper itself. Cheers!


* Sacramento Beer Week gains a head of steam

Read more articles by Chris Macias

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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Note: The Appetizers blog switched blog platforms in August 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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