Pliny the Younger will make his 15th Annual return to Russian River Brewing Company February 1st through February 14th, 2019! For the first time Younger will be available at our new Windsor brewery as well as the original Downtown Santa Rosa location!  It will be available on draft each day at our brewpubs until we run out of that day’s allocation. Younger is neither bottled nor available in growlers so more people will have the opportunity to enjoy it right from the source, or at a handful of select draft accounts. Following is some helpful information to make next year’s Younger Release fun and safe for everyone!

The Beer:

Pliny the Younger is considered a “triple” IPA, simply meaning that it is higher in alcohol and has tons of hops. The alcohol should finish at about 10.25%, although it is remarkably dry for the amount of malt used in the recipe. It is loaded with hop flavors, bitterness, and aromatics. The hops used in this year’s recipe are of excellent quality: TBD fresh from the 2018 crop. We brewed Younger for the first time in 2005 as a winter seasonal, building upon the Pliny the Elder recipe while pushing the envelope with malt, hops, and alcohol just to see how far we could go! It is always brewed only once a year and released the first Friday in February, rain or shine.

The Man:

Pliny the Younger was the nephew and adopted son of Pliny the Elder. He was a lawyer and an author in Ancient Rome and witnessed the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD, which took the life of his uncle. Pliny the Younger lived from 61 AD to 112 AD He wrote many letters which survive today and have great historical value. We thought it appropriate to also pay tribute to Pliny the Elder’s nephew by naming this special beer after him!

What to expect if you come to one (or both) of our brewpubs:

We have made some positive changes which reduced wait times and kept the line moving, albeit slowly, but better than years past! There is now a 3 hour/3 Younger maximum to ensure that our guests will get in sooner. This new policy has cut wait times by up to 4 hours on the first weekend! But still plan on waiting especially if you are coming on a weekend, sometimes up to 8 hours. And if it rains, as it generally does in February, we will be forced to close our outdoor patio reducing our available seating. There are 2 things we simply cannot control: the weather, and how many people will show up to our brewpubs in February. Our Santa Rosa pub’s capacity is 135 people plus a few more on the patio during nice weather.

The new brewpub in Windsor can hold up to 200 people.  If the weather is nice you can also enjoy a beer in our large outdoor beer garden.

Younger is served in a 10oz. glass with a maximum of 3 per person. We are bound by law to promote the responsible consumption of alcohol and may NOT serve anyone who is obviously intoxicated. This beer is only available for on-premise consumption. In addition to Pliny the Younger, we will have about 20 other excellent beers on tap for your enjoyment, many of which are available in growlers or bottles to go!

The Line:

Every year the majority of our issues come from the very long line of people waiting to get in to our pub for 2 solid weeks. In an effort to remain neighborly and responsible business owners, we kindly ask you to respect one another and our neighbors by complying with the following courtesies and code of conduct:

  • Open container laws are alive and well in Santa Rosa. There is no drinking in line, period.
  • The City of Santa Rosa has a No Smoking Ordinance, stating there is no smoking ANYTHING within 20 feet of business entrances or where people gather. Therefore, NO SMOKING in line.
  • Our neighboring businesses are often upset with the line blocking their entrances or the parking lot driveways. Please do not camp out in business doorways and be courteous when customers are trying to get by. Please remember our Downtown neighbors are putting up with an unrelenting line of people for 2 solid weeks! If you are asked to move because you are blocking an entrance, please just MOVE!
  • Hey man, no cuts! Does that sound like something you heard in grade school? Same rule still applies. Show up with your whole party, then take turns getting coffee, food, haircuts, shopping, or whatever. We have many great businesses in Downtown Santa Rosa that would love your support and can help make the time waiting a little more enjoyable!
  • Please leave your easy-ups, tents, and other structures at home. We have had many problems with these blowing around, crashing into windows, and blocking business entrances, and left behind. Chairs, umbrellas, rain gear, warm clothes, hot coffee, and a really good book (or 2) are strongly encouraged!
  • Bottle sharing is not allowed in line or in our pub. Our brewpubs will have about 20 other excellent beers on tap, most of which you can get nowhere else!

Getting Here:

By Air: Sonoma County Airport (STS) Located in the heart of Northern California’s world renowned Wine Country, STS is the only airport that offers scheduled air service into the North Bay region. Daily nonstop flights include: Alaska Airlines to Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Portland, and Seattle; American Airlines to Phoenix Sky Harbor; and United Airlines to San Francisco. Twice a week nonstop flights will soon be offered by Sun Country Airlines™ to Minneapolis (starting this August). All Airlines offer a wide-range of connecting flights to destinations in the continental U.S., Mexico, and beyond. Book flights now.

By Train: Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) is the San Francisco Bay Area’s newest transportation option for travel, offering passenger rail service in Sonoma and Marin counties. SMART’s initial 43 miles of rail corridor includes 10 stations, from the Sonoma County Airport to Downtown San Rafael. For more schedules and routes, check out the SMART website.

By Car: Both breweries are easily accessibly and right off HWY 101. Pick your favorite navigation app of choice and plug-in our address: 725 4th Street Santa Rosa, CA 95404 AND 700 Mitchell Lane, Windsor, CA 95492.

Parking:

The City of Santa Rosa has implemented NEW parking rules effective January 1, 2018. Hours of operation for paid parking are now 10AM to 8PM. The price went up in our lot from $1 to $1.50/hour, with an ENFORCED maximum of 3 hours. The garage behind us went down in price with no time limit. Street parking as well as the lots are still FREE on Sundays. Your best bet is to park in the garage, or better yet, have someone else drive you.

There are plenty of taxis, Uber and Lyft drivers around town. If you want to learn more about the city’s new parking rules, visit their website at https://www.srcity.org/2591/Downtown-Parking. We don’t want your visit to our brewpub to be spoiled by an annoying parking ticket!

Our new Windsor brewery has 2 acres of FREE parking!  But please take public transportation if you are planning to drink.

Lodging:

Many local hotels offer discounted rates during our 2 week release.  More details to come!

Distribution:

We start distributing Younger on draft the week after we release it at our pubs. You will see it pop up in the Bay Area, Sacramento, So Cal, Oregon, Colorado, and Philadelphia generally by the end of February.  It is our recommendation that our accounts tap it as soon as possible after receiving their delivery to preserve the freshness and integrity of the beer. This beer is not meant to age AT ALL! Pliny the Younger is very much like the fresh catch of the day and best enjoyed right away! If you are served old Pliny the Younger from one of our distributed accounts, please notify us so that we can educate them, too!