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

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