SANTA ROSA (KPIX) — For 14 years, fans of the limited-release Pliny the Younger beer have flocked to Russian River Brewing Company on Fourth Street in Santa Rosa.
On Friday, a line stretched around the block as beer-lovers waited hours to raise a glass of the special brew. For a city trying to bounce back from October’s wildfires, the boost to the economy couldn’t come at a better time.
Devotees like Ryan Mead, from San Diego, are only too happy to add their dollars in exchange for a glass of the golden elixir.
“It’s crisp. It’s clean. It’s hoppy. It’s all the above! It’s amazing — it’s emotional!” Mead said.
Part of that emotion might be a result of the “three-Pliny-per-customer” limit.
This year, the highly-hopped triple India pale ale with a pumped-up alcohol content of 10.25 percent is available only from Feb. 2 to Feb. 15.
After the devastating wildfires, folks here welcome a beery boost to the battered North Bay. One survey estimated that nearly $5 million is pumped into the local economy when Pliny the Younger starts flowing from the tap.
“There was definitely a different level of anxiety for this year’s release but, as you can see … we’ve had a wonderful turnout and it’s a beautiful day and we’re excited to see all these people. Hopefully they will go out into the community and spend some money,” said Natalie Ciluzo, co-owner of Russian River Brewing Company.