SACRAMENTO - Pliny the Younger. To most it is folklore, an urban legend constructed more of myth than of malt, a snipe released once a year for a grand, yet ever-fruitless hunt. Those who claim to have captured it speak of aromas of citrus and pine emanating from a glowing golden body with a frothing white mouth that gnashes at the back of the throat.
It is from the grand tales spun by the select few boasting to have tasted the Younger that the foolhardy and hopeful unite each season to set out on a quest for the legendary Triple IPA from Russian River Brewing Company. But too often they arrive too late -- chasing rumors and tweets from tavern to tavern only to find remnants of its alleged presence lacing empty glasses or pooling beneath a barren, stainless tap.
But what is this phenomenon for which beer lovers thirst 11 months? A Triple IPA version of Russian River's Pliny the Elder Double IPA, Pliny the Younger is released but once a year in minute quantities. Fortunately for Sacramentans, the capitol city is among a handful of destinations on Pliny's travels across America, leading to wild searches, and goose chases on many an occasion, at regional bars every Sacramento Beer Week.
If one bends an ear at such establishments, they may still hear tales of an unparalleled flavor and aroma, an experience more than a beverage. And as Sacramento's 11-day celebration of fine libations draws nearer, the tales resurface and rumors of a reappearance emerge.
To help those longing for a glass, nay a mere sip of the Younger's intoxicating chemistry, the following list has been assembled to guide the utterly desperate to its possible whereabouts. Three of the following nine locations have confirmed an appearance, while the remaining six are presented as prime hunting grounds based upon previous sightings and present rumors:
Burgers and Brew, Sacramento and Davis
World Pub, Auburn
Pour House, Sacramento
Final Gravity, Roseville
Samuel Horne's Tavern, Folsom
Capitol Beer and Tap Room, Arden-Arcade
Pangaea Two Brews Café, Curtis Park
Streets of London, Sacramento
Davis Beer Shoppe, Davis
For those about to embark on the quest for Pliny, we wish you good luck and safe travels. Keep your ear to the ground and your eyes on the tweets, and you may just join the limited ranks who allege to have tasted the Santa Rosa brewery's sweetest ambrosia.