Let me give you a quick timeline of the history of Pliny the Younger. Born in 61 AD. In 79 AD, he watched Mt. Vesuvius
erupt and kill his uncle, Pliny the Elder. Around the year 112, he died. In the year 2009, he became the biggest pain in the ass in the world.
I assume if you pick up a mag like this, you know about Pliny the Younger the beer. This triple IPA has become the local beer industry’s Mt. Vesuvius. That’s probably a
little extreme, considering the beer hasn’t killed 10,000 people or anything, but I’m pretty sure it’s gotten a couple guys fired. I think that’s what happened to my friend Steve.
It’s an all-timer with beer nerds and is a popular “stuck on a deserted island with one beer” beers. But without the fun of bragging about it to your fellow nerds, I’m sure it would lose some of its magnificence. For the record, my “deserted island beer” would be the one that would work as the best sun block. I’m thinking Belgian Quad.
Anyway, my earliest memory of it was working at this Belgian joint, which was the only bar to get it at the time, and a guy flew in from one of the Carolinas, the good one I think, just to try PtY. My man didn’t even get a good place in line, waiting outside in the rain for Munx Café to open (name changed to protect previous employer). He finally got in, drank it, and flew home. I appreciate idiocy as much as the next guy, but no one beer is worth dealing with an airport. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve flown to places like Belgium to have a beer, but when I say a beer, it’s more like 300.
Pliny is great and all, but I think it might be the only product in the world that is a nightmare to deal with for every single person involved in it. Everyone in the chain of distribution, from the adorable owners of the company, who have great senses of humor, down to the actual person that drinks it, feels it. Plus, it’s expensive as hell to make, so nobody makes any money off of it, and if you overcharge for it, you’re an asshole, unless of course that money is going towards charities like the ones that fight lemons or whatever.
I’m sure every year, Russian River Brewery has to explain to their local customers why they send any of it to a place like Philadelphia, when they can barely get any. These Santa Rosa beer nerds have to wait outside just like we do, but every day there is freakin’ beautiful, so whatever, screw those guys.
Once the Philly area gets their allotment, the poor distributors have to pick and choose what bars get to have it. So for 51 weeks, these guys can have a great relationship with about 300 bars, and in a couple of days, thoroughly piss off around 275 of them in one fell swoop.
The sales reps are the next wave of guys that have to break the news to the bars that are screwed that year. These people might have it the worst. For example, I’m a pretty easy-going guy, and I’ve actually yelled at a sales rep for not getting it one year, and we didn’t even ask for it or really want it.
I say we just let Munx have all of it. They got it here for us. I’ll take a bunch of sixtels every year for Pistola’s as a kind of finder’s fee, and we’ll end this annual headache for all of us.