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The Great "Pliny The Elder heist" in SoCal
Posted: 2010-03-14, 5:41 pm

420 Power Kat
Posts: 1008
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Ok beer lovers, this is a story that I just had to post.

Smuler introduced me to Pliny The Elder http://www.russianriverbrewing.com last summer while visiting the San Francisco area. It is my favorite beer and I have converted many Belgian lovers to this hoppy brew. It is brewed by a company that insists that the distributors keep it chilled at all times to preserve the freshness. This is not a beer that is aged, rather drank fresh (per the instructions on the Case/Box). It is also unavailable in states outside of California and is rationed by the brewer/owner so even big stores like Whole Foods and Total Wine only get 1-2 cases per week. Over the last year I have had to search far and wide in the LA area to find stores that carry it and usually buy a case and drive it back chilled to Arizona. ($4.49 per 20oz bottle)

Here is the story:

I drove to Laguna with a gf last week to chill on the beach, buy some OC supplies, have a lot of sex, and pick up a supply of Pliny. Had no problem updating my smoke collection, had A LOT of sex, chilled out,,but had one hell of a time getting Pliny! The first night I arrived we walked from our hotel on the beach to Whole Foods Grocery (hi-end expensive store in the west coast). I was happy to see that they had Pliny in their single beer cooler and placed all 4 bottles they had in my cart, bought some Oude Gouda and went to check out. While I was checking out, the cashier stated "ah...the Pliny"..my gf laughed and I asked if they had any more? He called his manager and they brought up a 1/2 full case and said that was all they had until friday. I told him about my passion for this beer and he told me that the locals get all pissy when they come to the store and find out they are sold out. I wanted to buy the rest but had plans to go to Total Wine (huge wholesale distributor in the West Coast) the next day and really didn't want to carry the box back to my hotel so I passed.

The next day we drove to Irvine (I have Total Wine in my gps) and find out they are completely sold out until friday. We call the Irvine Whole Foods and they tell us the same thing.. No one knows when the delivery truck is going to show and I had planned on driving back early to Az on friday...shit! I then met Harvey Wallenbanger at the closest BJ Brewery and enjoyed a few of their IPA's and had good laughs about our last visit to Oase and other fun subjects. We did our clandestine exchange in the parking lot (like old times) and I headed back to pick up my gf and drove to Laguna. We stopped at the Whole foods for some wine and I was surprised to see that they had 6 more Plinys in their cooler,,hmmmm,,they were b.s'ng me about their supply,,,I bought all they had, spoke with the MOD and he told me once again that their shipment was due on Friday and that they try to limit how much one person can buy so the locals don't throw a fit...I was amazed....wow.

Fast forward thru all the sex, drinking, hiking and strolls on the beach to friday morning. I call Total Wine to see if they had received their delivery,,yes,,but only ONE case?? I asked the MOD if he would hold the case and I would be there in a hour on our way out of town. He told me he would only sell me 12 bottles,,wanted to be "fair" to the locals. I ended up convincing him to sell me 18 (since I was from AZ) and he reluctantly agreed. We drove to the store and I told my gf to go in first and pick out whatever they had on display and I would get my 18 bottles. We met again in the store and I took the 6 bottles she had and placed it in the case (18 bottles the manager held for me) thinking that the cashier would not care or even be aware of it. During check out the cashier calls the manager on their phone and asks him "are you ok with selling all of the Pliny"?? I couldn't believe what I was hearing....then,,the cashier takes the 6 bottles out of the case and tells me the manager would only approve selling me 18. They put the 6 bottles back in the cooler!! I paid for my 18 and then called my gf and told her to go back to the cooler and buy it with her case of wine. When she gets to the check out they tell her "we can only sell you 4,,not 6"....WTF???? She looks at them and says "REALLY" so loud that the people behind her started to crack up laughing...This cashier calls the manager again and after 5 minutes if jacking around they finally give in and sell her the final 2 bottles. She was in shock,,felt like we were buying beer as a minor...LOL...Unbelievable!!!

The Irony of this whole thing is that I could buy high grade Hash and a variety of different weed strains (illegal for me) easier than I could buy beer,,,,legally??? What is wrong with this picture?

After reading this post I read the Press release from the Russian River Brewery regarding how they produce their other "fabled" beer called Pliny the Younger... interesting read.


Pura Vida
Re: The Great "Pliny The Elder heist" in SoCal
Posted: 2010-03-14, 11:25 pm

smuler Power Kat
Posts: 2218
Location: Big Apple Land
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Hi 420

Zeitgeist has Damnation on tap too...

I told Alelover about my trip to SFO from 9/3-9/8

We can check out some local strains in the beergarden too...

PS- we recently had a growler of the Younger Fed-ex'd to the Metro area, and a couple of us at work drank it in my office @ 10 AM...

Best Regards


" Savoir Faire is Everywhere "
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