I don’t know how many times I’ve told people that I don’t chase beers, and I won’t wait in line for them. I have no “white whales” and all I really want to try is everything. Then, an opportunity arose that I couldn’t pass up, and all of the sudden I didn’t even know who I was anymore. All it took was three magic words for my day to be changed completely:Pliny the Younger.
See, I was minding my own business celebrating my 26th birthday with a Java Head stout float at Troegs when I was made aware of an event in Philadelphia that caught my attention. Monk’s Cafe was having a special release of one of the rarest beers in the country, one of the highest rated beers in the world, and I had the chance to enjoy one. I found myself salivating at the thought of this beer touching my lips. In fact, I altered my entire day’s plans to go home and pack just to get down there. What in the the world could make me change my ways so quickly?
This Triple IPA from Russian River Brewing Company, Pliny the Younger, isn’t just something one stumbles into at a party. This beer has a score of 100 on both Beer Advocate and RateBeer and is both expensive and time consuming for the brewery to make. They do one small batch a year and only release it to limited markets in minuscule supply. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity that as a beer connoisseur I wasn’t willing to pass up. So, I drove to Philly on Sunday night, woke up Monday and was sixth in line at 8 a.m. in front of Monk’s Cafe just to secure my glass of golden deliciousness.
By the time the beer was released for sale at 11:30 a.m., the line extended an entire city block and around the corner approximately 300 people deep. The best part was that all sales of this beer were donated toAlex’s Lemonade Stand. Amazing beer for a great cause just makes it all the better.
Releases of this nature aren’t uncommon. In fact, just the Saturday beforehand Cigar City Brewing in Tampa Bay, Fl. had a release event for their Hunahpu Stout. In the coming months 3 Floyds Brewing will have their Darklord Day, Founders Brewing will release Doom, and even Troegs has their Splinter Series release (someday).
What makes these events so special? While it is certainly an opportunity for beer nerds to “geek out” and have just one more thing to brag about to friends, it is also a social event. While waiting in line on Monday I made friends with everyone around us in line. People were so sweet and friendly making the experience even more memorable. Someone shared their homebrew with me, another group bought a bunch of us doughnuts, and some even offered to let us relax our feet by sitting in their fold up chairs for a few.
So, was waiting in line for almost three hours just for a beer worth it? In my eyes yes. Allow me to geek out for a minute and, imagine the giddiness on my face as I say this, I’ve now had Pliny the Younger. To check not just this beer, but the experience of doing something like this off of my life list makes it worthwhile.
Is there something on your “must” list you would wait in line for?
Appears originally on www.SaraBozich.com