Fact: I really like beer tastings. While I am not a beer guy in the traditional sense of it, I never really crave a beer in and of itself, I find beer tastings to be great experiences.
Recall, one of my favorite Denmark activities:
I think the pleasure I get out of beer tasting stems largely from the variety of sensations that a good beer tasting invokes. Unlike tasting wine (which is still fun for other reasons;), with a good beer tasting, the spectrum of flavors is huge. This allows those of us with less sophisticated palettes to actually understand what we should be tasting, instead of nodding our heads in agreement while secretly having no conception of what “aged oak with a strong terroir” actually even means( definitely no clue what it tastes like..). This is why we can try everything from a Chocolate Milk Stout( https://www.odellbrewing.com/beer/lugene/) t0 a Bacon Flavored Porter that was actually brewed with pig parts (http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/16503/72900/)….
What a time to be alive..^
“So… like why are you telling us this?” Good question. The reason is, one of the most fun adventures I have been on in the Bay Area since moving to SF, was to Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa. Yes yes I know.. I know.. I lied. I said these would be SF adventures only. My b world. but…. it’s that good so.. I have no regrets.
10 Second History: So Russian River Brewery started out as the side project of Korbel Champagne Cellars in 1997. They brought in legendary brewer Vinnie Cilurzo(the guy that invented the double IPA) and basically made a bunch of hoppy beers that have since won every beer award in existence.
The flagship Russian River Brew is called Pliny the Elder and it is Nom.Com. You can only get it in certain (not-so-common) locations, and is consistently named one of the best beers money can buy. Far more interesting though, is Pliny the Younger. Pliny the Younger is a seasonal version of the Elder. It is only released for one week in February, and the line to get a glass can be up to 8 hours long. This is the Mecca of beer, and has a sort of legendary status in the brew world. Since Pliny the Younger is so rare, it has built a cult-like following, fueled by a combination consisting largely of exclusivity and good old fashioned quality.
I would love for this to be the part of the blog where I tell you how Pliny the Younger changed my life. Alas, it was not to be.. We were off by a month or so, but rest assured I will scratch this one of the bucket list in good time.
The good news is that even without Pliny the Younger, a beer tasting and dinner at Russian River is one of the more fun ways you could possibly spend an evening.
Look at this and tell me it doesn’t look like a good time:
This is definitely a splittsies thing. You basically find each logo on the card in the top right, and read the description. As you go the beers get hoppier, and you get fuller. The tasting finishes with a delicious Pliny the Elder.
So.. Russian River.. Very cool. Would recommend. In the meantime, my goal is to go to tastings in all the best spots in SF.
PLEASE TELL ME ANY THAT I MUST VISIT!
My current (SF) tasting list:
- Mikkeler Bar (duhh): Mikkeler is beer legend in Denmark, and his tenderloin beer hall is likely to steal my heart. It also has a separate Danish themed tasting room… ❤
- Fat Angel
- Monks Kettle: 27 beers on tap and 180 in bottles.
- Hopwater Distribution
Ok. Sleep time. Ill let y’all know when I defeat that list.