Thursday, October 7, 2010

A chance to try Pliny the Elder. For real.

Well that sometime soon morphed to yesterday as we continued our west coast trek to parts known and unknown.

Santa Rosa streets were deserted and our gas tanks (car and belly,) empty as we made our last-gasp push to the finish line to make it to the Russian River Brewing Company brewpub yesterday to sample Pliny the Elder and compare it against the clone we brewed, the one we like to call Slimey the Imposter.

(No disrespect intended.)

Inside the bar it became clear where everyone was: transported to the loooooooong bar--every bar stool occupied and every beer drinker worshiping at the alter of hops and barley.

As it turns out, Slimey the Imposter truly has as it parent, Pliny the Elder and shares almost all the traits of that celebrity. The color, head-color and retention characteristics, superb lacing, and aroma of both are very close--what I would call the perfect beer in these aspects. The one difference between the two I could detect, was a touch more sweetness in the real thing. And the imposter tastes a bit dirtier in the finish, with a few more rough edges--maybe not quite as dry. I'd have to chalk these differences to Slimey's brewer mishandling the recipe. Still, the real thing is fantastic and everything about Pliny the Elder is excellent in every way.

Finished up with the Blind Pig IPA which, in it's own right, is also a good hop-forward beer at a sessionable--ok, barely sessionable, 6% ABV.


Convenient metered off-street parking in the back, drinking alfresco outside in the front, a nice collection of dishes on the menu (the meatball sub is heavenly as is the Tuna Melt,) and a quieter dining area to the side. Everything you might want in a brewpub.

A little out of the way (about 50 miles north of San Francisco,) but worth every darn minute of 101 traffic--highly recommended!

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