Pliny the Younger made his 12th Annual return to Russian River Brewing Company Friday February 5th and will be available to beer fans through February 18th, 2016!
It will be available on draft each day at the Russian River Brewing Company brewpub on Fourth Street in Santa Rosa until run that day’s allocation runs out, which rarely happens.
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 from the brewery to make this year’s Younger Release fun and safe for everyone!
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: Simcoe, Warrior, Chinook, Centennial, Amarillo, and Tomahawk. Beer makers brewed Younger for the first time 12 years ago 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 they could go! It is always brewed only once a year and released the first Friday in February, rain or shine.
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. He lived from 61 AD to 112 AD. He wrote many letters which survive today and have great historical value. Brewers thought it appropriate to also pay tribute to Pliny the Elder’s nephew by naming this special beer after him!
In 2015, brewers made some positive changes which reduced wait times and kept the line moving, albeit slowly but hopefully better than years past! There is now a predicted three hour/three Younger maximum to ensure that more guests will actually get in the door. The longest wait last year was eight hours.
Plan on a long wait anyway if you visit on a weekend, especially the first weekend. And if it rains, the brewpub will be forced to close its outdoor patio. The pub’s capacity is 135 people (at least that’s what the sign on the wall says!).
Younger is served in a 10 ounce glass with a maximum of 3 per person. Russian River Brewing Company is 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. You can't get it in growler and it's never been bottled. In addition to Pliny the Younger, about 20 other excellent beers will be on tap for your enjoyment, many of which are available in growlers or bottles to go.
Every year the majority of our issues come from the very long line of people waiting to get in to the pub for two solid weeks. In an effort to remain neighborly and responsible business owners in the community, brewers kindly ask you to respect one another and neighbors by complying with the following courtesies and code of conduct:
The City of Santa Rosa charges for parking on the street and in most lots from 8AM to 6PM with a two hour maximum. Brewers recommend the parking garages or the 10 hour lot at the corner of 3rd and E Streets. Better yet, just take a cab! Parking is free in the lots on Sundays!
Russian River Brewing Company will begin distributing Pliny the Younger on draft the week of February 8th in and around Sonoma County and the Bay Area and in Southern California that week or the following week. Kegs will be shipped to distributors in San Jose, Sacramento, Oregon, Colorado, and Philadelphia sometime in February, ship dates TBD. It is recommended that 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 the fresh catch of the day and best enjoyed right away!
Curious about what makes Petaluma Gap wines so special? A new tasting event is bound to satisfy your desire. Master the nuances of wines from our local vineyards by exposing your palate to representative Pinot Noirs from the Gap, and comparing them with Pinots from Burgundy.
Join Jason Jenkins of Petaluma's Vine & Barrel Wine Bar as he hosts the inaugural seminar in the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers’ Alliance’s new series where guests will taste and discuss Petaluma Gap wines and compare them with similar varietals from other regions.
Which wines will dominate? There's only one way to find out!
Saturday, February 20th
Vine & Barrel Wine Bar
113 Petaluma Blvd N
Petaluma, CA 94952
Registration begins at 7pm
Seminar begins at 7:30
Is it just me, or do I detect an increase in Valentine's theme decor around town this early February? I think it's sweet. Gone are the days when Valentine's Day was make or break if an anonymous card failed to show up in the mail box.
When I was a teenager in the UK, padded, satin bowed, boxed cards were still in vogue. It was quite something to be the recipient of one of these garish greetings cards on Feb 14th.
The mystery may have gone by the by, but anyone with a heart may enjoy soaking in a slice of the Valentine spirit today.
And one place in the south county where you simply can't go wrong with chocolate delights and heart swirled lattes is downtown Petaluma's mainstay, Della Fattoria Cafe, soon to expand to its next-door building with extra bread ovens and lots more room for browsing the confectionary counter and take-away purchasing.
It's a good idea to place orders for Valentine's cakes and cookies ahead of time. Click here for more info.
Della Fattoria Downtown (The Café)
141 Petaluma Boulevard North
7am- 11am Monday—Friday
7am- 3pm Saturday & Sunday (all day)
12pm-3pm Saturday & Sunday
Celebrating the spirit of David Bowie and because we all need a little glitter in our lives, The Back House Gallery and Heebe Jeebe presents its next Community Art Show — Glittersweet
Join in the fun and maybe get a little face paint treatment at the opening show on Feb 13th, 2016 from 7-9pm.
Heebe Jeebe and The Back House Gallery 46 Kentucky St. Petaluma Ca.
94952 707-773-3222 https://www.facebook.com/TheBackHouseGallery
I've yet to talk to anyone who has tickets for the Bay Area's big game on February 6th. That doesn't mean that we can't share in the excitement of Super Bowl City at the Taste of Sonoma Lounge, where an estimated 2,000 people a day will pile in for a pour of our county's best wines.
I'm not making plans to cope with the crowds, but if inclined, it's likely best to take the ferry from Larkspur over to where all the pre-game week action packed entertainment takes place on the Embarcadero in San Francisco.
For the rest of us, it would be bad sport indeed not to support our locals for this special year of Sonoma wines taking an exclusive spotlight at Super Bowl.
Whether you're hosting at home or viewing at a friends house, here's your shopping list for which wines to pick up at the store or tasting room ahead of time. And if you do make it down to Justin Herman Plaza, here's who is pouring and when:
Wineries pouring at Taste of Sonoma are scheduled to be:
Sunday, January 31st:
Monday, February 1:
Tuesday, February 2:
Wednesday, February 3:
Thursday, February 4:
Friday, February 5:
Saturday, February 6:
Sunday, February 7:
Hours of Operation for the Taste of Sonoma Wine Lounge and Super Bowl City, the free public fan village centered in Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco. Please note that the Wine Lounge closes one hour prior to Super Bowl City.
It's almost February! How did that happen? January has in some respects dragged in its rainy days and dark nights. And yet, it has positively whizzed by in countless hours at my desk and several action-packed outings into the wilds.
The rain, for which we're all so thankful, finally arrived and returned our little corner of the world to the winter wonderland that nature's cycle had in mind.
Forest floors are moist and spongey with spectacularly colored layers of composting materials working their magic for the seasons ahead.
My intrepid friends Susan and Richard whisked me off to a secret location for some early mushroom hunting. Although we found some marvelous mycological specimens in the wild, this time we satisfied ourselves with the spotting rather than the sampling, to be on the safe side.
You'll be invited along for more of this educational outing in my upcoming book "Fog Valley Winter", in which I've written a chapter on mushroom foraging in the region's pioneer heritage, amongst many other tasty subjects touching on the bounty of the natural world.
It's been a big focus for me for the past year and I can't wait to share it all in the fall of 2016.
I look forward to picking up the pace with more frequent blog posts on delicious trails through Southern Sonoma Country, as soon as the book is in production.
I'll keep you posted!
And if you're interested in mushroom foraging yourself this winter, I'd strongly suggest tagging along on one of the organized outings of the professionals in Sonoma County's Mycological Society. Click here for more info.
Wending through some of the most picturesque wine country in California, Northern Sonoma County's "Wine Road", takes visitors on a sensually gratifying journey of natural beauty, sublime tasting experiences and memorable personal encounters with many of wine country's most devoted and individualistic winemakers.
Along the way are some of California’s oldest wineries, run by vintners whose commitment to tending the vines and producing world-class wines, true to the appellation, runs back generations.
Founded almost 40 years ago, Wine Road is an association of wineries and lodgings in the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys. From its modest beginning as an organization of nine wineries, it has grown into a spirited constellation of 197 wineries and 54 lodgings. It’s not actually a “road” in the sense of a single, continuous stretch of paved highway, but more of a treasure map to the many jewels nestled among the hills and valleys of a region where fresh air, fine wine and exquisite cuisine await those who traverse it.
The Wine Road's innovative, new Art Of Oak program, a labor of love began to take shape in early August when the organization started reaching out to local businesses with an idea of sponsoring a barrel. The Sebastopol Center for the Arts helped find interested artists. Sonoma County based artists, including Fog Valley Crush cover illustrator and dear friend, Nicky Ovitt transformed forty used wine barrels into works of art (painted, sculpted or turned into furniture). Super talented Petaluma-based contemporary artist Maxfield Bala and Santa Rosa's Zack Rhodes have also produced barrel art.
Twenty or so of the barrels will wind their way down to the San Francisco's big February game for exhibition. Sonoma County will be the official wine supplier at the biggest sporting event of the year. Sonoma County vintners are set to stage their own “wine lounge” inside a fan village in San Francisco. The San Francisco event takes place over eight days and is anticipated to draw 1 million visitors.
Finger's crossed that Nicky, Max and Zack's barrels will be selected for the big game exposure. Nicky's uplifting art featured in this post is for the Vintner's Inn sponsored barrel.
Each barrel has been sponsored by a business, proudly acknowledged on a plaque on the barrel listing alongside the artist's name. From there the completed barrels were sold outright for $500, or they will be auctioned on May 23rd at the Wine Road's 40th Anniversary Ruby Affair Gala.
The sale of the barrels will benefit the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, Children’s Art Programs in Sonoma County.
Artists included: Andrew Thomas, Amy Curley, Arturo Monroy, Austin Hawley, Bob Johnson, Brendon Vogel, Bryan Tedrick, Candida Saniorenzo, Debey Zito, Gary La Bonte, Hilary Williams, Jamie Kendall, John Ton, Julius Orth, Katherine Henderson, Lizabeth Kirby, Maureen Erickson, Maxfield Bala, Michael Dirk Risch, Mo Bernal, Mylette Welch, Nicky Ovit, Olivia Boyd, Paula Strother, Rob Macy, Ryan Taylor, Sonoma Barrel Décor & Design Co, Terry Schmit, Toby Johnson, Travis Kubota Ursula Xanthe Young, Zach Rhodes
Sponsors included: Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport, Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel + Spa, Cokas Diko Home, Kokomo Winery, Courtyard By Marriott, Sonoma Wine Country Leap Solutions, Rodney Strong Vineyards, Rickards Winery, ACORN Winery, Alegria Vineyards, Big John’s Market, Brad & Robin Calkins, Doubletree by Hilton, Sonoma Wine Country, Garrett Ace Hardware, Papapietro Perry Winery, Robert Young Estate Winery, Sonoma Jet Center
Find all of the barrels on display at the following locations Feb. 10th-May 10th, 2016 at: ACORN Winery/Alegria Vineyards, Alexander Valley Vineyards, Balletto Vineyards, Longboard Vineyards, Merriam Vineyards, Moshin Vineyards, Papapietro Perry Winery, Paradise Ridge Winery, Pech Merle Winery, Siduri Wines, Starlite Vineyards, Topel Winery Tasting Room, Woodenhead Winery.
This lively and committed organization has created a myriad of programs, events and services certain to enhance any visitor’s experience of the region, among them three major events: Winter Wineland, Barrel Tasting and A Wine & Food Affair .
A complimentaryWine Road map is the key to exploring the glories of the area and is also available online at www.wineroad.com. The area is nothing if not rich in history. The Russian River takes its name from the Russian fur trappers who established a trading colony in the early nineteenth century, and following on their heels were French and Italian immigrants who brought their own centuries-old traditions of winemaking to the area. Wine has been made in Sonoma County for over 130 years. Even during the Prohibition years (1920-1933) many wineries continued to make wine for medicinal and sacramental purposes.
Farm tours bringing attendees face-to-face with the farmers and cheesemakers who work together to create some of America’s best artisan cheeses tend to sell out early every year. This year, in honor of the event's 10-year milestone, there will be two full days of farm tours, on both Friday and Saturday, March 18th and 19th, 2016 including destinations outside of the Bay Area, as well as educational components included in every tour.
FRIDAY FARM TOURS
Guests of Tour C will start their day with a taste of tradition. Marin French Cheese Company celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015, making it the longest continuously operating cheese company in America. Guests will take a historical walking tour of this creamery, admiring the vistas of Hicks Valley Ranch, and taste their signature cheeses. Then the tour will head to AppleGarden Farm in Tomales, where owner Jan Lee has transformed grazing land into an orchard, and reminds us that farmstead isn’t a term reserved exclusively for cheese. Guests will tour the farm, learn about cider apple selection and dry farming, and taste the fruits of Lee’s labor. Guests will then continue on to the historic Dairymen’s Bank in Valley Ford where they will be treated to a seminar featuring three of California’s most heralded and important cheese legends: Mary Keehn of Cypress Grove Chevre, Jennifer Bice of Redwood Hill Farms, and Phillip Franco of Sierra Cheese Co. Led by James Beard award-winning author Laura Werlin, this esteemed panel will take guests through the trials, tribulations, and victories that comprise their own cheese stories and with that, the story of California Cheese itself. And of course, attendees will taste each of these flagship cheeses along the way, before heading next door for a special lunch at Rocker Oysterfeller’s. The final stop is DeBernardi Dairy where guests will meet Don and Bonnie DeBernardi, visit their baby goats and taste their Two Rock Valley goat cheese.
Guests will start this tour with a taste of tradition at Nicasio Valley Cheese Company. Since 1919, the Lafranchi family has been dairying on over 1,000 acres in Marin County. At their historic ranch, guests will learn about the family’s rich history as local dairy farmers and their path to becoming the only organic farmstead cheesemakers in California. After touring the creamery and tasting the award-winning farmstead cheeses, guests will head out to the coast where they will meet the Giacomini family of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. This picturesque dairy farm is nestled among rolling hills overlooking Tomales Bay and here guests will learn about how cheesemaking lured the four Giacomini sisters back to the farm. A multi-course lunch at The Fork will be prepared by guest chefs Evan and Sarah Rich of Rich Table in San Francisco, featuring cheeses from Pt. Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. This tour will finish on a sweet note at Sonoma Portworks with a tasting of unique California fortified wines paired with Cypress Grove Chevre at their tasting room in downtown Petaluma.
This tour will kick off with a visit and tasting at the original Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station where Peggy Smith and Sue Conley started their own artisan cheese revolution years ago to help a localdairy farmer with a surplus of organic milk. Then guests will take a short drive up the coast to meet the Giacomini family of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. Attendees will tour the picturesque dairy farm nestled among rolling hills overlooking Tomales Bay and learn about how cheesemaking lured the four Giacomini sisters back to the farm. A multi-course lunch at The Fork will follow, prepared by guest chefs Evan and Sarah Rich of Rich Table in San Francisco, featuring cheeses from Pt. Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. The tour will end at Sonoma Aperitif, founded in 2015 by Laura Hagar Rush. Guests will learn about her California take on a centuries-old “Vin Maison” European tradition inspired by the bounty of local produce like Chinese quince, Bosc pears and grapefruit.