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Pliny the Younger 2022 Release

Pliny the Younger 2022!

Barring any unforeseen business restrictions due to COVID-19, or any other presently unknown limiting factors, this year’s Pliny the Younger release will resume IN PERSON at both our Santa Rosa and Windsor brewpubs in 2022! The entire RRBC team missed seeing our many repeat and first-time visitors from around the world this past year after cancelling the in-person release due to COVID. We are so excited to go back to our pre-COVID program, releasing Pliny the Younger on the first FRIDAY in February, rain or shine!

Official pub release dates are February 4th-17th, 2022. Younger will also be available in 510ml bottles for sale at our brewpubs ONLY during the 2-week release. We will allocate a certain number of cases and kegs to each pub each day to make it last all 14 days. We have, on rare occasion, run out later in the afternoon or evening on very busy days. Each year we try to predict how much draft and bottled beer we may need based on data from prior years. But this year is particularly challenging given so many different factors surrounding COVID. We have always said there are 2 things we can’t control: the weather and how many people will show up.  And this year we can throw in a third variable- COVID-19!  There will also be no online sales this year. Our 2021 online only release was a purely pandemic-driven decision and one-time only!

At this time, the only business restriction in Sonoma County is that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, has to mask up indoors when in public spaces. We, as a company, are not currently planning to require proof of vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test result prior to entry in February, unless there is a local, state or federal mandate. Our entire RRBC crew is 100% fully vaccinated and will continue to follow all health and safety protocols to make your Younger experience safe and comfortable!

What can you expect when visiting our pubs during this year’s Pliny the Younger release?

Our Windsor brewery has a giant parking lot with a few charging stations, while Santa Rosa is paid public parking. We strongly recommend you walk, ride a bike, or catch a ride especially if you plan to drink at all! There will likely be a line to get in no matter the time of day, especially on weekends. Although rare, wait times have historically been up to 8 hours, even with both pubs open! Historically, the best days with the shortest wait times to get in are Monday through Thursday. Kids are always welcome in our brewpubs! We will have staff out front starting early each morning checking ID’s, putting on wristbands, and monitoring line cutting. Younger is served in 10 oz. glasses and limited to a maximum of 3 per guest. In year’s past we have limited guests to a maximum stay of 3 hours. If we have an unusually large turnout or bad weather, we may reduce that time limit in order to keep the line moving. Finally, although California is in the midst of an historic drought, it could very well rain during the release.  No one here will be complaining one bit! We are still figuring out the details so stay tuned for more updates!

Read on to learn more about the beer, the man, and more details on bottles! 

Pliny the Younger, The Beer:

Pliny the Younger is a Triple IPA, meaning that it is higher in alcohol and has tons of hops. Though the ABV usually finishes at about 10.25%, it is remarkably dry for the amount of malt used in this recipe. Loaded with hop aroma and flavor, Younger is well-balanced with malt and a lingering dry and bitter finish. We brewed Younger for the first time in 2005 as a winter seasonal release, building upon the Pliny the Elder recipe while pushing the envelope with malt, hops, and alcohol just to see how far we could go. Fun fact: Younger has always been at least double dry-hopped (some years even quadruple dry-hopped!) long before DDH became a “thing”!

Since we sadly were unable to gather in person in 2021, we kept this year’s Pliny the Younger recipe exactly the same as last year! We even kept the new addition of Elixir, which we affectionately call the “Strawberry Hop”. Elixir exhibits characteristics of citrus, spice and berry, specifically Strawberry.  The rest of the hops used in Younger 2022 are: Amarillo, Chinook, Citra, CTZ, Mosaic, Nelson, Simcoe and Warrior. It always finishes fairly dry and well-balanced, even with a higher ABV. This is our 18th year brewing Pliny the Younger!

Pliny the Younger, 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 A.D., which took the life of his uncle while trying to save others. 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 was only appropriate to also pay tribute to Pliny the Elder’s nephew by naming this special beer after him!

Pliny the Younger 2022 Limited Release in BOTTLES!

2022 will be the third time we have ever bottled Pliny the Younger! This year it will only be available at our Santa Rosa and Windsor brewpubs during the 2-week release. Bottles will neither be available online nor in our Gift Shops and reserved for our guests coming to enjoy the full Younger experience in our brewpubs! Guests wishing to just purchase bottles will wait in the same line as our guests coming into the pubs. Bottles are first come, first served. There is no requirement to stay for a beer or food. But if you are going to wait, you might as well stay for a beer! As in years past, there will be a 2-bottle limit per person. If we suspect a customer has purchased multiple times and/or is reselling it illegally, we reserve the right to refuse service to that customer. We will set a daily limit on bottles at each pub to stretch them out for all 14 days. Please note that there is a possibility that we could run out before we close if it is a particularly busy day. This only happened once or twice in 2020. But we really don’t know what to expect for this year’s turnout!

Draft Distribution:

We are also excited to bring back draft distribution to our valued wholesale partners and many of our on-premise accounts throughout California, Oregon, Colorado and Philadelphia! Local distribution will begin the week of February 7th. Our wholesalers will pick up their shipment whenever the next truck is scheduled.  February is Younger season, so we expect our accounts to tap their keg/kegs as soon as possible upon receiving their shipment. Like all hoppy beers, Younger does not age well at all. So, you should see it popping up at perhaps even some of your favorite spots to drink Russian River beers beginning the second week of February!

Getting Here and Lodging Recommendations:

If you are on the West Coast, Alaska Airlines has direct flights into the Charles M. Schultz Airport (AKA “STS”!) from San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Portland and Seattle.  Three other airlines offer some limited flights as well.  Our Windsor brewery is a 5 minute drive from STS. Check out the airport’s website HERE.

The SMART Train has service to Downtown Santa Rosa and North Santa Rosa, which is closer to Windsor, from Marin County.  Check out the train schedule HERE.

We are currently in the process of reaching out to local hotels for any special Pliny the Younger discounted rates. Stay tuned for more info coming soon. In the meantime, we list some recommended lodging nearby on our website under the VISIT US section of each brewery.

Other Things To Do In Sonoma County:

There is no shortage of excellent wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries in Sonoma County! If it’s adult beverages you are seeking, you are definitely coming to the right place!  Most wineries still require advance reservations, so it is best to plan ahead. For a complete listing of local craft beverages other than wine, check out this new Sonoma County Guide HERE!

If the weather is decent, we also have incredible Sonoma County Regional Parks!  Many of them have hiking trails, day use areas, and camping. I believe most of us here at RRBC buy annual park passes, too.  Our local parks really saved us during the darkest days of COVID!  For more information, click HERE.

We have many outstanding restaurants in Sonoma County, including a few with Michelin Stars if you want to go that route.  This ONLINE ARTICLE highlights some of our best restaurants, including many RRBC accounts and staff favorites!

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