San Francisco Beer Week (February 8-17), a 10-day celebration of all things beer, sparked a discussion on Chowhound about where to get a taste of Pliny the Younger. That's Russian River Brewing's cult triple IPA, a beer with extremely limited distribution and a rabid fan base.
Locating a pint of PtY is tough. Even if you manage to identify a bar that's tapping a keg, the scene can be somewhat like a "rugby scrum" as Spatlese says on Chowhound, with dozens of fanatics pressing in to score a taste.
Some bars that succeed in securing a keg don't announce when it will be tapped—that's the case with Beer Revolution in Oakland, which will open its keg after Beer Week, at a day and time it's keeping under wraps. On the other hand, the website of famous Lower Haight beer bar Toronado indicates it'll be serving PtY when the bar opens each day during Beer Week—join the line before the 11:30 a.m. opening time, if you want to be sure of getting a taste.
But Pius Avocado III offers an appealing alternative: Hopocalypse, an IPA from San Leandro's Drake's Brewing. Some aficionados think it's better than Pliny the Younger. And it's definitely easier to taste.
Russian River Brewing Company [Sonoma County]
725 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa
Beer Revolution [East Bay]
464 Third Street, Oakland
Toronado [Lower Haight]
547 Haight Street, San Francisco
Drake's Brewing [East Bay]
1933 Davis Street, Building 177, San Leandro
Discuss: Pliny the Younger sightings 2013