We have some good news, and some bad to share about this year’s supply of cult craft brew Pliny the Younger, which sends the ordinarily mellow beer-nerd set into a tizzy while lining up and standing outside of bars for hours just to get a taste when it makes its fleeting appearance on local tap lists each year. First the bad: Russian River Brewing Company, the California-based brewery who’s responsible for the heinously-hopped triple I.P.A. made less of the stuff this year. Due to a change in the recipe, the yield was considerably smaller than in years past. “It wasn’t hoppy enough for my husband (Vinnie Cilurzo),” Russian River co-owner Natalie Cilurzo told Grub Street. “So we added a few more hops, but when you do that, you get less liquid.”
Now the good news: In spite of a shorter supply, Russian River is sending more Pliny this way than last year. Cilurzo told us upwards of 15 to 20 sixtels have been shipped to Philadelphia. And they could be arriving as soon as today!
Unfortunately, she didn’t have the exact numbers readily available when we caught up with her. Nor did she have details about where and when it will go on tap.
A rep from Origlio Beverage, Russian River’s distributor in these parts, wouldn’t confirm the number of sixtels earmarked for Philly when we reached out to them. Obviously they didn’t have anything to say about when it might arrive either.
But Monk’s Cafe co-owner and unofficial Philly ambassador for Russian River Tom Peter’s told us he’s tapping the only half-barrel of Pliny that’s coming to Philly on March 11. Like last year, it will be the highlight of Monk’s Mad Monday fundraiser for Alex’s Lemonade. It will go on tap at 11 a.m., and 100 percent of the sales from it will once again go to the foundation’s fund for fighting childhood cancer. In addition to Pliny the Younger, Monk’s will have several other Russian River rarities on tap, and will raffle off bundles of bottles from its deep stock of vintage and scarce beers.