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Everything You Need to Know About Pliny the Younger 2021! Happy New Year!

Out With the Old and In With the New!

If you live on this planet, you are likely ready to bid 2020 a not-so-fond farewell, and welcome new beginnings and hope for 2021! In lieu of reflecting and rehashing everything this year has dumped on all of us, we would like to take this moment to sincerely THANK YOU for your continued loyalty and support during these most difficult of times. We have all had to make huge sacrifices, completely modify our lives, and been faced with some very tough decisions. But there are some silver linings gained through this whole experience of navigating business and life during a year filled with seemingly endless challenges. And you have been there with us every step of the way. When we started selling online direct to consumer out of necessity, you responded more positively than we ever imagined, and continue to reorder to this day!  You supported us by spending time and money at our wholesale accounts purchasing bottles and draft beer when available. And many of you still safely frequent our pubs for takeout or whatever our limited operations may be that day. Through pandemics, wildfires, civil unrest, contentious elections, and more, our sense of community is stronger than ever. We always get through the tough times together! Cheers to better days ahead!

Pliny the Younger 2021 Release

Like most major beer releases and other special events during this COVID-era, we are hitting the pause button and scaling back our annual 2021 Pliny the Younger release. Planning for the 2021 Younger release has been a huge topic of discussion for Vinnie, key employees, and myself throughout 2020. It is very difficult to plan for much of anything these days, let alone a major beer release which draws thousands of visitors from all over the world to our 2 breweries in Sonoma County. We have had to make some difficult decisions based on many factors, first and foremost being the health and safety of not only our employees and customers, but also the community in which we live. Our business operations are also dependent upon both state and local health orders which can change, and likely will continue to change, at any time. Therefore, there will be no in person release at either brewery in 2021. While we are sad to miss seeing our loyal friends and fans from around the world, it has become clear that it will not be safe for us to gather again by February. Neither of our pubs have been allowed to reopen for indoor dining since we closed in March 2020 due to the unrelenting spread of the highly contagious coronavirus. In December, we had to shut down outdoor dining again as a major virus surge continues to ravage all of California. Although our Downtown Santa Rosa pub is still operating with takeout only, our Windsor pub will remain completely closed until further notice.

In just a few days, we will be brewing the first of only 4 batches of Pliny the Younger, which is about 1/3 of what we produced last year. Our signature 510ml bottles will be available for sale as part of a mixed case for a limited time through our website for direct shipping to consumers within the state of California. Vinnie and I plan to host a couple of virtual tastings during what would be our normal release time in February via Facebook LIVE! We are taking this year off from wholesale draft distribution as the majority of our accounts who would carry Younger are either closed or only able to offer takeout. More importantly, we are very concerned for the health and safety of our wholesale accounts and their employees. Large crowds tend to gather wherever Younger is available, which can lead to unintended and dire consequences during a global pandemic. The last thing we want is to be responsible for creating super-spreader event. We want everyone to be around enjoying Pliny the Younger in 2022! So please grab a beer and keep reading to learn all the details of our scaled back 2021 Younger release!

Pliny the Younger Bottles Available for Purchase Online ONLY!

2021 will be the second time we have ever bottled Pliny the Younger and a first for shipping direct to consumer! Pliny the Younger 510ml bottles will be available for pre-sale in a non-customizable 12-bottle mixed case through our website store the last week of January, exact date TBD. At this time, we are only able to ship within the state of California for cost, compliance and legal reasons. In an effort to recreate a more representative RRBC Younger experience, each 12-bottle mixed case will include 4 bottles of Younger plus 1-2 each of a few other favorite RRBC beers hand selected by Vinnie and me. Bottles of Younger will neither be available at our brewpubs nor released for wholesale distribution. Each bottle of Younger will be marked “NOT FOR RESALE” to discourage bootlegging and illegal reselling. If you see bottles some where they should not be, please let us know!  Here is the scoop:

  • Pre-sales of 12-bottle mixed case: Cases are non-customizable and include 4 bottles of Pliny the Younger PLUS 1-2 bottles each of several other tasty RRBC beers. Price per case will be approximately $100, give or take, plus $26 for shipping/handling (which is what we pay for the shipping and packing materials). The exact date and time of the online release is still TBD based on final production quantity and timing of the beer, shipping boxes, and other staffing and material needs. The online release will be announced via our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you do not use have access to social media or understandably decided to quit using it after this contentious year, we will update our website and make another announcement via our newsletter blog with the exact date for the online release. There is no waiting list or mailing list. Much like our normal in-person release, Younger will be sold on a first come first served basis and limited to ONE MIXED CASE per person. Members of the same household can each purchase ONE MIXED CASE, but it has to be with a different name and email address, not the same person with multiple email addresses. Multiple shipments to the same household will be flagged and reviewed for any issues or concerns. Check out our online store HERE
  • Purchasing: After much research, we determined that the best and easiest way for us to release Younger is to stick with what we know, what you may already be familiar with, and what works best for our system. If you have purchased beer or anything from our online store before, your experience will be exactly the same. Shopify has assured us that they can process thousands of transactions per minute and have a “throttle” that engages if needed. Through working with Shopify support and installing certain restrictions in our store, we will be able to limit purchases to ONE MIXED CASE per person. In addition, we will personally comb through ALL orders in search of any red flags such as bots, multiple transactions by the same person, known bootleggers, etc.
  • Shipping: Shipping will commence approximately 1-2 weeks after the pre-sale release, the second week of February. Why will it take so long? As it turns out, we are not an Amazon fulfillment warehouse and need time to review the orders, print thousands of labels, re-pack thousands of mixed cases into shipping boxes, and ship them out via GLS all while safely maneuvering around our normal business operations in the warehouse. There is also a storage issue so we need to ship as we fulfill to make room for more boxes. Based on final production numbers, we are hoping to have at least 6,000 cases to sell, which is great news for you and makes much busy work for us! If you do not live in California, it is okay to purchase from another state as long as you can provide a valid California shipping address. The recipient can then ship it to you, after removing their finder’s fee, of course!
  • Merchandise: We will also have a fun selection of Younger merchandise available for shipping anywhere! Everything will be available in our online store as well as at both brewery Gift Shops as long we are still able to stay open. Just a reminder that Younger bottles will NOT be for sale at either brewery! Check out our online store HERE

Wishing you and your family a safe, healthy and Happy New Year!

Cheers! Natalie and Vinnie

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