We got there about 10:50 (doors opened and ticket sales started at 11) and there was a line about 40 people deep already. Even though it was a chilly day everyone was waiting patiently and in good spirits, and when the doors opened we filed on in, purchasing our Pliny ticket at the door. (I got #49.)
The Pliny was being tapped at noon and served in stages (20 people at a time, based on your ticket number), so in the meantime I ordered the Russian River sampler (the Pub had five other RR beers on tap besides Pliny the Younger: Blind Pig, Pliny the Elder, Damnation, Supplication, and Consecration), we had a good time with a couple of co-workers and a new friend with whom we shared our table, and ordered up some lunch.
And of course, the Younger itself. As with last year, I find it to be a remarkably well-balanced, floral and hoppy and less boozy than I remember—perhaps this batch was able to condition longer to take that edge off—with a soft, rounded, balanced palate. It is a very good beer but I still won’t call it the “best beer in the world” (though when asked, I won’t call out any beer the best except to say the best beer in the world is the one in my hand…). Once again, for me Pliny the Younger is less about the beer and more about the experience.
Oh, and to that end, remember that a good portion of the proceeds were going to benefit the Humane Society of Central Oregon: after the Pliny had been tapped out, Tom Gilles, one of the Brew Shop owners, announced that they had raised about $700 for the HSCO, which is fantastic. (I don’t have a final number but it very well might be even more than that.)
And of course, pictures!