As Hoppy Beer Girl mentioned in a recent post...we are here to bring you all things “West Coast”! Just to give you a little background on “Beatnik and McMatherson”, we are a husband and wife team residing in the Northern California region. We were taken with the story behind HBG, and what it means to experience the pure artistry in beer making, as well making memories together with your loved one. So while we may not be 100% girl, we are elated to bring you new and exciting beers as the "Team HBG West Coast"...Our locale is 1.5 hours from Tahoe, 1.5 hours from San Fran, right in the heart of food and wine region near Napa Valley. Our hopes: To introduce you to new beers not often received east of the Rockies, as well as show you the exciting journey getting to these places. So let us begin with the grand fashion!
Speaking of journeys! We've all heard many times that it's not the destination but the journey getting there. Well earlier this month we were treated to both a journey and destination when we set off to sample what is regarded by many in the beer drinking community as “the best beer in theworld.” I'm talking about the unveiling of the 2013 batch of "Pliny theYounger." Pliny the Younger is a unique and heralded Triple IPA (by the by...anything hoppy is revered out here) brewed once a year by the gang at Russian River brewers in Santa Rosa, California. Santa Rosa is about an hour north of San Francisco up "the 101" [side-note: Google "SNLCalifornians" for a skit highly accurate of how Californians talk about their highway system]. Rolling hills and marshy wetlands line the highway framed by mountains on both sides north of San Francisco making for a beautifully scenic view. We had run off on a Tuesday morning, just so that drive would be mellow. We didn't sight-see much on the way up due to anticipating a crowd at the brewery (yes even on a Tuesday morning). We did however get to drive through the winding Sonoma area on the way back, stopping for some Fro-yo in Napa (but that's another story). When you arrive in Santa Rosa, it has the classic old town feel. Russian River brewery holds a prime spot right in the middle of it all.
Approaching RR we could already see the line formed for the establishment. We arrived right at 11am when the Brew-Pub opened and waited roughly 30 minutes to get a chance to stand at the bar. The people were diverse ranging from Mohawk to Business suit, from newly minted drinker to wise sage of all things hops.
The Pub itself is a comfy and lively venue, offering food, swag, and a plethora of intricate brewed creations.
We were compelled to order, and received two 10oz glasses of the enshrined brew. You could smell the floral hops wafting from the glass, even held at a comfortable distance. Color PTY was a nice rich golden hue. As for flavor, complexity is an understatement. This is considered a Triple IPA, yet the hops are controlled, floral, milky, and smooth. Unquestionably this beer has mammoth flavor and a commands respect while drinking (imagine that part in any movie when the stud or babe walk into the room and all eyes are on them). We aren't usually one to jump on the hops train, but this is one fine beer...by far the best IPA we've ever had. As for being the best beer in the world? There is no doubt that it is great beer, deserving of all of it's accolades. And there is no doubt it reigns in the top 5 beers I've personally experienced. I personally feel fortunate, to have had the opportunity to be within a short drive to an amazing experience. If the rest of our tenure goes like this, it's going to be one great journey...with several wonderful destinations.