Pliny the Younger – More Exciting than Santa Claus

It’s “Younger” Time!!

Pliny the Younger is to beer loving adults like Santa Claus is to children under 10.

We make our plans for the day or days we will wait in line, make lists of what we will bring to occupy our time, and tell all of our friends how excited we are for the time to finally come. Well it’s almost here, on February 3rd, a week before SF Beer Week, the amazing hoppy- Triple IPA will come back to us.

From February 3-16th the “Younger” will be on draft at the pub and select draft accounts that Russian River has been supporting over the years. That list isn’t available yet, but regardless, if you can make it out here, get out here, and if you are local then you are blessed, so get in line!

Last year RRBC implemented a new policy, they are only allowing customers 3 hours in the pub and a maximum of 3 “Youngers”. This beer is 10.25% so for most of us, 3 is plenty! Then of course they make sure to fill up their beer board with other amazing beers so take your pick after to have the “Younger”. I recommend the taster tray, it’s all 20 beers for $22, it’s such a great way to try all of the Russian River brews!

 

Some advice from a seasoned “Younger Experience” person:

  • Get in line super early in the morning.
  • Arrive with your entire group and stay until they check you in.
  • Don’t cut in front of others who have been waiting in line, it’s super uncool and very elementary. You will be booed worse than Yasiel Puig at AT&T Park.
  • Bring warm weather clothes and rain gear, a chair, umbrella, snacks, extra/external battery charger for your phone, and a game of some sort.
  • Eat a decent size, filling breakfast and start your day off right.
  • Buy snacks from the business you are standing in front of, get your hair cut, buy product, eat, buy coffee, make a good impression so RRBC looks better to their neighbors.
  • Chat it up with your neighbors, meet new people, have fun, it makes the time go by faster.
  • Wear comfy shoes.
  • Have your food picked out in your mind so that when you get in, you can order lunch or dinner right away. I recommend the wings, New Yorker, Mikey, Excel, grilled cheese, and the caesar salad.
  • Don’t be foolish, don’t drink in line, don’t make a “roadie” and get all buzzed before you get into the pub. Just DON’T do it. It’s actually illegal to drink in public and have an open container in the city of Santa Rosa, so just leave it at home and wait until you get in for the awesome beers. An open container ticket can just be bad news bears and totally embarrassing in front of everyone else in line. More than all of the dumb things Yasiel Puig says or does in front of the booing fans.
  • Drinks lots of water!!! Normally, you should be drinking 8-10 glasses per day, when you drink high alcohol beer you need more water. Use the 1 to 1 ol’ ratio: 1 glass of water for each glass of beer. You’ll thank me later.
  • Take pictures, for some of you, this may only happen once in your lifetime! For those that are lucky enough to come often for the release, help others have a more enjoyable time, offer to take their pictures, move out of their way so they can get a shot of the brewpub or whatever the shot may be.
  • Don’t smoke around the crowd of people. Don’t smoke in line. I don’t want cancer and neither does anyone else. You actually need to be at least 20 feet from the buildings according to Santa Rosa city ordinance, so after you get checked in, take a minute, if you must smoke, and walk to the parking lot and do your business.
  • Be polite.
  • Tip your server. GENEROUSLY. They are working extra hard and putting up with a lot over these two weeks. They’re all KICKASS , treat them well. 
  • If you do not drink your allotted “Youngers”, don’t give your tabs away to someone else, it’s not allowed, it’s frowned upon and you will be asked to leave if you are caught.

 

Pliny the Younger only comes out once a year, it’s well worth the plane ticket, the long wait in line, and the miles you’ll need to drive to get here. It’s heavily hopped, has lots of malts, and is high alcohol but it’s always smooth and hop-forward with hints of malt.

As a local, I wait in line every year, sometimes 3-4 times during the two week period. “Younger” comes out around my birthday so I personally feel like it’s a really great gift to me. It also holds a special spot in my heart because in 2013 my “Younger experience” dictated where I was going on my honeymoon. Vinnie and Natalie were mailed a case of Hop Slam and asked to slam one on opening day and after they did, they gave us one. We fell in love with that beer and headed to Kalamazoo, Michigan for a part of our honeymoon to visit Bell’s Brewery. If you see us at the pub, you may just hear my husband tell that story, it’s one of his favorites to tell!

Vinnie and Natalie at RRBC in 2013.

 

Cheers!

Moxie

Drink Up, it’s Time for SF Beer Week

SF Beer week is one of my favorite times of the year; it’s my birthday and I get to enjoy copious amounts of amazing beers from all across the Bay Area and beyond. Beer week is an action packed week filled with beer dinners, beer pairings, educational seminars with brewers and brewery owners, sensory seminars with hops, tap takeovers at various bars and gastropubs throughout the Bay Area, and many events at the source- at the breweries. There are hundreds of options with over 100 breweries in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and the North Bay, we have a lot to choose from.

Drink up, it’s Sf Beer Week!
(Photo courtesy of SF Beer Week media kit)

So how do you pick what to do? As a seasoned beer traveler and planner, I highly recommend you sign up for the itinerary on sfbeerweek.com first. This will allow you to look at each of the events that brewers chose to list and what the San Francisco Brewers Guild are promoting. Find something you like, you simple click, “add to my itinerary”. It’s a great way to be able to check out what you’re interested in each day.

 

Secondly, these events fill up fast so if there is a need for a reservation or to purchase tickets, do it now. There are over 100 breweries out there and even more restaurants who will be hosting dinners and tap takeovers, but there are even more beer lovers who wish to attend. Get in where you want to get in.

 

Buy your tickets for the SF Beer Week Opening Gala NOW. Friday, February 10th at 6PM is quite possibly the best beer event in Northern California and you want to be there. This event is well attended by all of the breweries and they have saved their special brews to be showcased that night, for you. Don’t let them down! Get your tickets.

 

My beer week recommendations:

 

Russian River Brewing Co. – February 3rd. Well if I didn’t mention this then you would think I didn’t know anything about beer because anyone who knows beer, knows that Russian River Brewing Company is releasing the long awaited triple IPA, Pliny the Younger. It’s released once a year for two weeks and they do it in conjunction with beer week. They will be releasing this delicious beer on February 3rd at the pub. The brewers will be bringing it to the opening gala as well, so there should be plenty of chances for you try it.

St. Florian’s Brewery 4 Year Anniversary – February 11th from 12-8PM, they’ll be serving up great eats from various food trucks and vendors, as well as pouring new beers, and there will be live music. More information to come, but this is a good one to get on your list if you find yourself in the North Bay.

Social Kitchen’s Friday Morning Beer Brunch – February 11th from 10:30AM-2:30PM. I LOVE this place, I love the atmosphere, I love the food, and I love the beer. I also really love brunch, it’s my favorite meal of the day and I feel like it does not get the chance to make an appearance as often as it should, so why not indulge on a Saturday?!

Monk’s Kettle: United Sours of America – February 11th from 11Am-11PM.

The Monk’s Kettle is a super cool beer bar and I couldn’t think of a better place to spend a little time sipping on one of craft beers latest favored beer style.

Swann’s Oyster Depot Collaboration with Woods Beer Co. – February 11th

12-5PM. Have you ever been to Swann’s? It’s AH-MAZ-ING! It’s a hole-in-the-wall little spot that you squeeze into, sit at the counter, and are served by all men who have worked there for generations. They serve fresh food daily and when they run out, it’s out. It’s so worth it, and paired with beer, well, duh.

Ale Arsenal’s Alvarado Street Tap Takeover – February 11th from 3-8PM.

Alvarado Street is putting out some incredible brews, this is surely not going to be a disappointing way to spend some time.

Almanac Beer Co.’s Stonefruit Night – February 11th from 3-11PM.

They will be hosting a series of events throughout the week, enjoy a walk down memory lane with the folks at Almanac as you taste through countless vintages of their special sours.

The Good Hop and Smog City’s Bay Invasion – February 11th from 5-11PM

I have enjoyed many Smog City beers down in the smoggy city of angels and I cannot wait to try this lineup!

WHAT’S ON DRAFT: Little Bo Pils, Hoptonic IPA, Sabre-Toothed Squirrel, Coffee Porter, My Tai Hop-T IPA with Coconut, Chip Shot Coffee Porter, Cuddlebug, Bourbon O.E., Buzz Worthy, Benny And The Bretts, The Nothing, Infinite Wishes, AND MORE!

Alpha Acid Brewing Company IPA Day – February 12th 1-6PM.

Because, well, duh. Single, double, and triple IPA’s will be flowing. Nuf said.

Cellarmaker and the Rare Barrel Collaboration Release – February 12th from 1-8PM.

Join in on the fun at the Rare Barrel in Berkeley. These two breweries blow my mind on their own, I cannot wait to see what they’ve come up for this!

Social Kitchen’s Brett Fest – February 13th from 4-11:30PM.

6 bretty beers tasted side-by-side. Yes, please!

Here are the beers:

  1. Day Day’s Tripel Double: Belgian Tripel, brewed with rye, aged in red wine barrels for 6 months with Brettanomyces Trois Vrai. Further aged in stainless for 10 more months.
  2. Raps on Brett: Our beloved Belgian golden ale, Rapscallion, conditioned in keg with the Brettanomyces Amalgamation blend from Yeast Bay laboratories.
  3. Cloud Cover: Belgian wheat ale conditioned in keg with the Brettanomyces Amalgamation blend from Yeast Bay Laboratories.
  4. (name still TBD): Belgian dark strong aged in red wine barrels for 13 months with Brett Claussenii.
  5. The Rice is Right, Beersel Blend: Jasmine rice Belgian Tripel keg conditioned with the Brettanomyces Beersel blend from Yeast Bay Laboratories.
  6. The Rice is Right, Lochristi Blend: Jasmine rice Belgian Tripel keg conditioned with the Brettanomyces Lochristi blend from Yeast Bay Laboratories.

 

Dear Mom I love Calicraft – February 15th from 4-9PM.

This just sounds intriguing and I have not been here before, so I’m gonna check it out. Sours, IPAs and secret stuff.

Rare Barrel Jester King Tap Takeover – February 15th from 7:30-10PM.

If you have not yet tried the beers from this brewery out of Texas, then get here to try them.

Fogbelt Brewing End of Beer Week Brunch – February 19th from 10Am-2PM.

Brunch will be served until 2PM for those who need a little help with the beer week hangover. I can’t wait, they do a great job in the kitchen and have some killer beers coming out, so I will be parking myself there for the afternoon!  
So you have some official SF Beer Week events and my recommendations. There are many unofficial events going on in Sonoma County, so check back with me and I’ll keep you up to date with deets.

NORCAL BEER GEEKS FESTIVAL TOMORROW!

NORCAL BEER GEEKS FESTIVAL TOMORROW!

 

St. Florian's hops from "Fresh Hop on the Engine" beer. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

St. Florian’s hops from “Fresh Hop on the Engine” beer. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

Don’t miss the 3rd annual NorCal Beer Geeks Festival TOMORROW at the Petaluma veterans building. A fun beer event with a great cause. Here are the details on Sonoma Magazine. 

Hope to see you there!

Cheers,
Jess

Shop LOCAL + Eat LOCAL + Play LOCAL

Summertime is about being out in the beautiful outdoors with family and friends enjoying life. Life for me is all about great food, wine, craft beer, and family. There’s nothing better than being in the middle of a vineyard with stunning views soaking up the sun, sipping on something tasty. Being from here, some would think I’d want to get away to enjoy life, but really, life is so good right here in my backyard. I love the idea of hanging out at Trione {or any of the gorgeous wineries in Alexander Valley} enjoying a good, fresh picnic, playing bocce, and letting the day slip away. I’m excited that at Trione we are offering an incentive to keep people local, keep the money in our area… shop at any of these local cafe’s and grocery stores, bring your picnic to the winery, show us your receipt to receive a 10% discount on wine purchases that day!!

Here are the stores:

Big John’s Market

Geyserville Market

Oliver’s Market- Windsor

Jimtown Store

Geyserville Mud

The Dry Creek General Store 

I shop at these places regularly. I love the cold pressed coffee and breakfast sandwich at the Geyserville Mud. The freshly made burritos at the Geyserville Market are to die for. The Jim Town Store and Dry Creek General made killer sandwiches. The lines for these places can get a bit long so be patient, it’s worth it. And…Big John’s Market and Oliver’s have everything you could possibly want to add to any picnic. I love Oliver’s, I go all the time and they’re 2 minutes from my house, so naturally when they opened {just last month}, my life got a little bit better!

Here’s my perfect picnic:

Here is my perfect whole30 compliant picnic:

  • Salami
  • Butter lettuce leaves
  • Roasted red bell peppers & onions
  • Fresh cut baby bells, carrots, and cucumbers
  • Radishes
  • Castelvetrano olives
  • sliced avocado
  • Meyer lemon olive oil & balsamic {for dipping}
  • Roasted red pepper dip
  • strawberries & blackberries
  • tomatoe salad with olive oil
  • fresh fruit flavored water
  • sparkling water with fresh fruit cubes

http://jessposhepny.com/2015/04/fresh-fruit-cubes/

 

Here is more info on Trione’s Summertime special. Enjoy the Summer!!

Best Damn Dirty 30 Ever

My husband and I went to my favorite place on earth for my 30th birthday: New York City. We went to see some friends, hang out, eat great food, see the city, and drink beer. My husband had something more up his sleeve…he arranged with Charlie Palmer and his Chef at Aureole a special dinner menu based around all of my favorite foods. He invited three of my favorite people to spend the evening with us and mailed a bottle of my very favorite champagne ever: the Charlie 1985, so we could toast to me with this special wine. It was incredible. Every minute of this evening was special and filled with laughter.

We had a stunning five course meal that incorporated every single thing I love, some things in an obvious way and others not so obvious but very creative. I love carrots, watermelon, pot roast, ahi, foie gras, macadamia nuts, garlic, mustard, celery, truffles, and so many other things… my husband sent this list of what he knows I love and we were “awed”.

Some of the highlights:

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~Foie Gras terrine and pan seared…

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~Wild Dover Sole with black truffles, celery root & apple puree, and whole grain mustard vinaigrette.

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~Dry aged rib eye, braised short rib agnolotti {This was the ode to my favorite dish in the world: Pot Roast!} with roasted garlic and miso butter.

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~My birthday dessert… WOW.

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The food was all incredible, rich, artful, and made the entire experience one to remember. BUT one of the best parts of this whole meal was the simple efforts the chef made to accommodate my friend who doesn’t eat seafood and didn’t want to cause a scene by not eating it. They prepared two dishes for him that looked exactly identical to the rest of the tables, only in chicken instead of sole and watermelon instead of ahi, served him first and explained the dish, then served us all. My friends level of comfort wasn’t compromised by the thought of eating fish- it was awesome. We have dined at so many high-end restaurants and never had this personal touch- the chef is brilliant. Dining at Aureole is an experience everyone who has a passion for food should try.

 

 

 

Aureole on Urbanspoon

Loowit Brewery

Loowit was cool. They have a small front space but then the back opens up into a huge space for games and hanging out sipping on good beers. The bartender was great- very helpful and had positive energy. We were making our way into Portland to stay for the next few nights and also wanted to find a spot to watch the Giants game. Everyone in the brewery was chatting with us about the game and recommending places for us to stay and trying to get us to stay in Vancouver. They were nice.

We loved the Red {all of the reds in Washington were great- many of them were dry hopped so they were high up on our want list} and the Storm Shadow Imperial IPA.

The beers are good. They have growlers and cans/bottles to go. A super good find.

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Loowit Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

Dirty Hands Brewing

In the sleepy little town of Vancouver, we found Dirty Hands inside a building that looked like an old catering company. It was quiet but the gal behind the bar was very cool. She came form San Diego and knew her beers. Since we were heading into Portland from Seattle, we still had quite a bit of Pliny and Blind Pig left to trade. We mentioned Russian River to her and she lit up so we gave her two and she gave us a growler! It was rad.

The beers were good. Fav beers: the Shitty Brown {Well… just because} and the Steel Monkey IPA.

They do some food there and they seem like a small team just trying to make good beer and make it happen. I’m glad we stumbled upon it.

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Dirty Hands Brewing on Urbanspoon

Harmon Brewing Company

Harmon Brewing Company is huge and old and funky. The beers are ok and worth a try but nothing so spectacular. In downtown Tacoma, there are a lot of places to go but we wanted to grab a bite to eat and thought this was promising. We ended up waiting for so long at the bar while the bartender gossiped with another co-worker, then finally I was able to order and then I never saw her again. It seemed like there may have been a shift change or just someone taking pity on me because this nice guy came over and helped me with my order and then was kind enough to pack up my food to go before it came out. This place was poorly kept and after seeing into the back area where they wash dishes and peering into the kitchen- I was reluctant to eat the food but it was substance. I really don’t recommend this place. I hate to publish anything but raving reviews of breweries, but that’s not always going to be possible. This place needs to call Restaurant Impossible for a revamp and get a handle on management.

http://jessposhepny.com/category/beer-2/

Harmon Brewery & Eatery on Urbanspoon

Sound Brewery

Sound is a small little warehouse with a tiny tap room. It was still raining pretty hard so it seemed like people were finding a spot to hang out and just post up for a while, so this was a crowded place. The beers were good- the Reluctant IPA and the Humulo Nimbus Double IPA were our favorites. We were in a hurry so we did not stay long but this is not the brewery to go to if you’re interested in talking to a brewer or even anyone about the beers, you pretty much are on your own. They’re nice, they’re just small and busy.

Slippery Pig Brewery

Slippery Pig Brewery has potential to be a great place to hang out. The space is huge, they have a lot of entertainment, and seems like a cool spot to go and listen to music in the small viking town.

You can bring in your own food from a restaurant nearby, they also have menus for you to check out while you’re there.

The beers were all fruit or floral infused, or spice beers. Personally, none were for my taste but for those who desire that style- stop in because they have 14 different ones to choose from.

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Slippery Pig Brewery on Urbanspoon