Beer Break – Pliny the Younger

I am not ashamed to say that a lot of what is on my bucket list revolves around food, wine, and beer.  This being said, one item on my list was to try the holy grail of beer, Pliny the Younger, from Russian River Brewing Company.  Yesterday, I finally had my chance!  Brandon and I made the short drive to Tustin Brewing Company and braved the crowds to get the coveted Pliny the Younger ticket.  Truth be told, the line wasn’t as intimidating as we thought it might be.  We got there around 10:30am and scored a wristband, which meant we were guaranteed a ticket.  We waited in line and received our ticket right before noon, went and grabbed lunch, and returned for our glass at 3pm when the keg was officially tapped.

The crowd gathering at Tustin Brewing Co.
The crowd gathering at Tustin Brewing Co.
Pliny the Younger officially tapped!
Pliny the Younger officially tapped!

When our 8oz glasses of Pliny the Younger arrived we were super excited to take a sip.  The nose is somewhat floral with nice notes of citrus.  The beer itself definitely is more complex than any beer I have ever tasted.  There is a salinity to the palate that I tend to only find in wines.  There are also tastes of caramel, citrus, and hints of pine.  Super balanced and smooth, especially given the 10.25% alcohol content.

Our coveted glasses of Pliny the Younger!
Our coveted glasses of Pliny the Younger!

On a side note, we had the chance to drink Pliny the Younger side-by-side with Pliny the Elder and PtY definitely won the taste test…much smoother with more layers of flavors.

So, was Pliny the Younger worth all the hype?  I have to say I think so (especially if you only have to wait an hour or so for it).  By no means do I think it was life changing (and it is definitely not as memorable as many of my favorite wines), but it is a really, really good beer.  If Pliny the Younger comes to your area, you may want to join the rest of the beer geeks and get a glass!

 More info on Pliny the Younger

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Beer Break- Tony’s Darts Away

Even though wine is my first love, a good craft beer is also high on my list.  Any time I am working near Burbank I always make time to swing into Tony’s Darts Away for some amazing food and a nice cold brew.  I seriously love Tony’s…a no frills atmosphere with one of the best California craft beer selections in Southern Cal.  It’s a Burbank crowd so you don’t have to deal with douche bags or the other annoying parts of other LA scenes. 

Tony’s only features CA beers.  They have a IPA beer list with around 15 IPA’s to choose from (some of the IPA’s in rotation include Pliny the Elder, Racer 5, and Eagle Rock’s Populist).  They also have a “Non IPA” beer list with over 20 other beers to choose from.  Everything is on draft which is awesome and I guess that saves a ton of glass.  What makes Tony’s even better is their selection of sausages…regular and vegan.  I so wish I lived closer!

Last week, my husband Brandon and I were meeting with a client in Burbank and conveniently wrapped up our meeting at lunch time.  We headed over to grab a sausage and beer.  Brandon loves IPA’s and grabbed a pint of Populist.  I am a bigger fan of dark, mild beers so I started off with a pint of Solidarity.  All of Tony’s beers are honest pints, meaning you will get a 16oz pour.  For lunch we grabbed a couple of their beer brat vegan sausages which are unbelievably good.  You get to choose from a huge list of toppings and they also have a lot of different sausage styles (vegan, chicken, and pork).  You can get a side of fresh cut chips, sweet potato fries, salads, or chili.  I have tried nearly everything on their menu and you can’t go wrong.  Too bad we had another meeting because there was definitely some other beers I would have liked to try.

If you have a little more time than we did, they have a selection of board games, a dart board, and a pool table.  It gets a little crowded at night but it should because it’s such a great spot.  If you ever get a chance to check it out let me know! (for more info go to www.tonysda.com )

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