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  • Walnut Creek residents Sean Hudgins and Amy Adams, wait in line for the release of Pliny the Younger at The Russian River Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa, Friday Feb. 7, 2014. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat)

This is the 10th year the brewpub has released the seasonal beer, which regularly sits at or near the top of lists of the best beers in the world by critics and beer fans.

Brewer Vinnie Cilurzo expressed his ongoing amazement at the frenzy his beer has set off.

"I am flattered and humbled, I am every year, that people would wait this long," he said.

Pliny The Younger Release


The brewery plans to ration the beer carefully to make sure it is available for two full weeks at the brewpub on Fourth Street. They hope to avoid running out on any given day any earlier than 6 p.m.

The beer will also start shipping next week to a handful of bars in California, Oregon, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. The tight supply will mean beer drinkers in those states will face their own long lines to get their annual Pliny the Younger fix.

The release at the home brewpub, however, has become a major beer pilgrimage for beer fans worldwide. The beer generates about $2.4 million for the local economy in direct sales and money generated by tourism, the Sonoma County Economic Development Board found in a study last year.

For Keith and Fran Jones of Herndon, Virginia, coming to Santa Rosa to taste this beer was "a bucket list" item, said Keith Jones.

Nearby was a party of eight, all relatives and friends, who came from Wisconsin and Texas.

"This is kind of the Mecca of craft beers," said Jeff Potts of Oshkosh, explaining the motivation that got the eight of them to meet up in Sonoma County for a long weekend.

They'd brought ponchos and umbrellas and were ready for a rainy wait.

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