Monday, March 14, 2011

It's as Much the Beer as the Drinking of It

Pliny is a Big Deal. Just like Three Floyds Dark Lord, Surly Darkness and a host of other beers that have transcended the confines of their bottles and kegs. Their names now conjure up visions of the faithful turning parking lots and bars around the country into beer geek extravaganzas. Whether or not you agree with the beer's exalted status, it's hard to argue that there are some beers that the beer-iverse has decided are a Big Deal.

But back to Pliny. Years ago of course, there was just Pliny the Elder (which I'm pretty sure I've had but it's been a long time and a multitude of fantastic beers have passed through my parted lips since then so forgive me for not being 100% sure). Then Pliny the Younger came onto the scene, vying for attention.
From the get go, there has been plenty of debate about how the Younger stands up to the Elder. Since I've yet to have them side by side, I'll step aside and let others continue that debate. What I can say though is that after having the Younger for the first time Sunday afternoon at Saraveza, this is a great beer in its own right.

Part of my lack of Pliny tasting has been that it is such a Big Deal and as much as I love geeking it up with a bunch of other beer lovers, most of the Pliny events have been at relatively small venues not designed for the popularity of such an event. Yes, I want the beer. No, I do not want to be crushed by a bunch of rabid folks to get the beer.

Sunday afternoon offered exactly the kind of low key environment that I enjoy. Saraveza was lucky enough to get an additional 1/6 barrel keg from the distributor and decided to announce, on only hours notice, to only their email list, when it would be available. No Twitter announcement. No Facebook announcement. And from the look of things during the first hour or two, those in the know abided, without prompting, to conform to the manner in which Saraveza chose to disseminate the information.

It was a very pleasant tasting where there was room to move, no jockeying for a seat and no roar of the crowd over which you'd be hard pressed to hear what your fellow beer geek was saying. The bonus was two beers from Hollister, which I've never heard of and never tasted, but thoroughly enjoyed. I'll get some Elder later. 

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