Photo of Susana Guerrero

Freshly poured glasses of Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Younger triple IPA beer sit on a counter at Russian River Brewing Company on Feb. 7, 2014.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

On a chilly morning in Santa Rosa, a fervent crowd stood in line outside Russian River Brewing Company to patiently await the brewery’s most anticipated event: Ladies and gents, Pliny the Younger is back.

The triple IPA’s 2022 release began Friday morning when Russian River Brewing Company greeted more than 200 customers who were already in line by 10:30 am outside both its Santa Rosa and Windsor locations, the company shared on Instagram. The beer release event will run from March 25 to April 7.

But to get a 10-ounce pour, you’ll need to strategize. In a statement, Russian River Brewing Company shared that guests usually start lining out the door about 5 am, especially over the weekend when they are at their busiest. “Pro-tip: come Monday-Thursday to minimize your wait to get in!” the brewery said in the statement.

Friday also marked the first time the North Bay brewery released its cult-favorite beer for an in-person event since the pandemic started two years ago. The 2021 launch was made available online for the first time in the brewery’s history as a precautionary move to protect customers from COVID-19.

Alan Rodriguez carries a tray of Russian River Brewing's Pliny the Younger at the Russian River Brewing Company on Feb.  1, 2019 in Windsor, Calif.

Alan Rodriguez carries a tray of Russian River Brewing’s Pliny the Younger at the Russian River Brewing Company on Feb. 1, 2019 in Windsor, Calif.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The pandemic furthermore put a wrench in the brewery’s previously announced release date this year. Russian River Brewing Company announced that it would postpone its event in early January after citing a rise in positive COVID cases around Sonoma County. The company added that 20 employees had tested positive during the week before Christmas.

Within the two-week release period, Pliny the Younger will not be available online or at the brewery gift shop. Similar to past years, guests will also be limited to no more than two bottles for purchase and no more than 2.5 hours to enjoy beer so staff can sanitize between parties.

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