Behold: The Power Of Craft Beer
Last night, the line to get into The Surly Goat Bar in West Hollywood stretched nearly to Fairfax Ave. The doors opened at 6 PM, they were hosting 13 exclusive beers from the highly coveted Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa. 13 beers that had never, ever been on tap in L.A before.
Eager masses of beerheads far and wide united outside and “started showing up since 3:30 [PM]!” said bar owner Ryan Sweeney in a frenzied rush as he expedited orders. Everyone was hoping to get just a small 4 oz. taste (max available per person) of River’s highest prized brew, the Triple IPA–cult favorite–know as Pliny The Younger.
Russian Rivers On Tap
Pliny The Elder
Pliny The Younger
Blind Pig IPA
Russian River IPA
“I am leaving at 5 PM, whether you are here or not” says an eager as hell Chuy Tovar as I agreed to meet at his loft. “How the hell did they get 13 kegs?!?” said a flustered Neil Kwon, fellow beer enthusiast and owner of Biergarten
in Koreatown. Well, according to Chuy, they actually went up to Nor-Cal and brought all the barrels themselves!
Why was everyone so freaking eager for this beer? Well, I thought I wasn’t going to find out anytime soon. Not even half hour after opening, the doorman decreed the inevitable “We are out of the Younger!” Sweeney had only procured a 5 gallon keg of the stuff, apparently there is something that sells faster than hotcakes.
It didn’t matter. I also heard rumors that they were also bringing their elusive sour beers, which was good enough for me to wait 2 + hours like everyone else was doing. At just past 8:00 PM, we were finally inside.
Get Your Beer Here!: Eager Patrons Were Trying Hard To Get Bartenders Attention
When you come to a tasting of this caliber with a dedicated beer connoisseur who’s real job is selling Tequila and an owner of a German-Korean Beer Bar, you bet your ass we were going to do the rounds.
Tasted 12 out of 13 Beers
Favorites included the fruity, full-flavored Temptation, a wild ale brewed in Chardonay barrels. Yes, it actually tasted like a Chardonay, light honeydew notes and all that stuff. Supplication, a wild ale that is brewed in Pinot Noir Barrels. Yes, that one also tasted lightly like a Pinot Noir. Consecration, another wild ale even a little more sour than the rest. And lastly, a crispy and caramel-yMortification, Russian River’s stab at a Belgium Quadrupel.
About 7 beers in…it happened. Owner Ryan Sweeney passed by and poured the homie Chuy a small tasting glass full of some mysterious golden brew from his personal growler. Could it be? YES…it was!
Pliny The Younger: Triple Hopped = Triple Pleasure
The nose on it was simply peerless. Faintly herby, vegetal…damn right hoppy. And within those two meager sips I took, I understood just why people formed. The mouth feel was thick and buttery. It was the smoothest IPA I have ever tasted without being flat. And its taste? Well, I simply don’t know how else to put it other than…KUSH BUTTER! Not hash butter or canna-butter made with only the ends of cheaper quality stress. I’m taking the 5th here but it literally tasted like the many edibles I have had the pleasure of tasting in my younger days.
Shortly after sipping this, the bar play list started bumping The Buzzcocks – “Ever Fallen In Love (With Some You Shouldn’t)”.
…It was one one of the happiest moments in my life I have experienced thus far.
The Surly Goat: Indeed
Check out Russian River Brewery Website:
The Surly Goat
7929 Santa Monica