Monday, February 15, 2010

Getting Dumber But Drinking Younger

Some people think I may take my love for beer a little too far sometimes. Planning out each stop on a cross country road trip in order to visit a good beer bar? Check. Flying to Indiana for a beer release? Guilty. So what is wrong with driving 500 miles to Denver to drink from one of the very few kegs of Pliny the Younger? See, the other things are explained easily enough: you have to stop somewhere on a long road trip. As long as you are not traveling 600 miles to a bar one day and 35 miles to a bar the next, it makes sense. And the flight was only to Chicago, not Indiana, though I did have to rent a car and drive to Indiana. And this beer is only bottled for a one day release. After that, you have to trade for it or get reamed by someone on ebay. So having done those things, driving to Denver for Pliny the Younger, a beer that is so rare, you can't even get it in bottles. And good luck getting a growler; the only place that will fill them is the brewery that makes it, Russian River in Santa Rosa, CA. But I was too late for that: the brewery itself ran out on the day it was released! And a very few bars around the country are receiving kegs of this elusive beer. So since I have the chance, I figure I owe it to the internet to get up there and taste what is currently rated the #1 beer in the world by members of

So we arrived at Falling Rock Tap House at 3:30, an hour and a half before the scheduled tapping. You never know how many people are going to show up for an event like this, so it is best to claim your spot early. We got a great table and talked to Falling Rock owner Chris Black for awhile. After gearing up with some greasy food, Chris finally made the announcement that he was tapping the first of only three five gallon kegs. Or one regular keg total, minus .5 gallons. And the crowd had increased in size x 50 from what we had seen when we first walked in.Chris gave a thanks to those of us who had made the trek all the way from Albuquerque and then commenced with the pouring. There was a frenzy of people up at the bar, waiting for their precious drops of Pliny. We just waited calmly at the booth we snagged and our server delivered us each three 8 oz. pours- at seven bucks a pour. Was it worth it? After all the hype, after all the driving, after all the waiting? Well, I don't have the words to describe a beer this good, especially after drinking four half-pints. Yeah, it was so good, I ordered another after only taking a couple of sips of my first. And that was a good thing, since ALL THREE kegs kicked by 5:35. Thirty-five minutes of manic pouring and it was over, though I made my 32 oz. last for at least two hours. Taking that last sip was almost painful, though the aftermath may be worse tomorrow. Whatever; it's Fat Tuesday, and last year I thought it would be a good idea to make Hurricanes. A year later, I still haven't touched a drop of rum. But I will long to have another glass of Pliny The Younger. So rather than having learned to temper my lust for great beer, I found that a stupid trip like this is one of those rare things in life with no regrets. Next year's Younger can't come soon enough!


bill said...

Just checked the draft beer list and glad to see you had mucho selection once the Younger kicked... I personally would have transitioned right to the Pliney the Elder and not looked back... I sure wish the distributors in NM would pick up on some of the Cali-brews like Russian River...We need some more variety.. The Moylan's DIPA occasionally makes its way to SF but its $7.99 for a bomber.. OUDCH@@!!

ABQbeergeek said...

I did drink Elder after the Younger, of course! But I also had to have Palo Santo Marron on tap, along with Damnation and KiltSickle, Moylan's KiltLifter aged in chardonnay barrels and upped to 10.4%!