Denver Beer Geeks Suck Down Pliny Keg in 11 Minutes!
So tonight was the big release of Pliny the Younger at the Vine Street Pub in Denver. I like Vine Street. It’s family friendly, has a great selection of games, offers simple, but tasty food and has an awesome selection of beer. They are part of the Mountain Sun / Southern Sun family up in Boulder. Both Mountain Sun and Southern Sun have been brewing award winning beers for a number of years and Vine Street is hoping to begin brewing at their location later this month. For now though, they get their beers trucked down from their big brewing brothers up in Boulder.
Tonight’s Beer Menu
As I mentioned in my previous post, Pliny the Younger is a big deal. It’s currently ranked as the #1 Beer on the Planet by Beeradovcate.com. I made it down to the pub at 3:45 and was able to snag one of the last spots at the bar. The bartender told me they were pre-selling tickets for the release, which was scheduled for 4:20. I got my ticket and settled in for the countdown.
At $7.25 for an 8oz. pour, it turned out to be one of the best prices for the release this year. Other locations around town have been charging $10-$12. I was surrounded by beer nerds who were all there for the big release. My buddy Aaron met me there just before 4:00 and got his ticket as well.
The staff did a countdown leading up to 4:20. At 4:20, it was on! It was a mad dash of pouring, passing out and enjoying. Sitting almost directly in front of the tap, I was lucky enough to grab one of the first pours.
Wow, what a beer. Clear, golden orange color. Big piney hops along with some citrus, tropical fruit and just a touch of malt. The flavor, where to begin? Citrus, oily hops, pine, caramel and malt. Complex and long-lasting. What an awesome beer. I’ve been able to try Younger a handful of times since my first taste at the Russian River Brewery in 2005 and it never lets me down.
Just as I was getting lost in the depth of this wonderful beer, I heard the dreaded sound of the keg blowing… NOOOOO!!! I checked my watch and it read 4:31. The keg was history in 11 minutes! Crazy. Our server had 4 unclaimed glasses left to pass out. Aaron and I secured a second round and kicked back to take it all in.
The Vine Street crew quickly switched the empty tap line over to Russian River’s Bling Pig IPA. Another pleasant sight to see! Blind Pig is Russian River’s year round IPA and I got a 1/2 glass to sip and enjoy before heading out.
Two thumbs up to Vine Street and their crew. In addition to keeping things orderly and running smoothly, they were also friendly and helpful. There was a bit of a crowd, but everyone was well behaved, responsible and respectful. I’d definitely recommend visiting Vine Street for these types of releases in the future.
It was a fun night. It’s too bad Younger only comes around once a year. I’m a little sad that it won’t be around again for another year, but oh well. I guess that’s part of what makes Pliny so special.