Wednesday, August 16, 2006


The regard with which the RUSSIAN RIVER BREWING COMPANY is held here in Northern California and among the few beer snobs I know & hobnob with is something to behold. I am extremely new to their majesty, and until recently - say, last Thursday night, I was even thinking them to be a bit overrated. But I've had a few more Pliny The Elders in 2006 since my first one early in the year, and if I had to re-rate that one I'd probably give it a 8.5/10 instead of the mere 7 I first bestowed upon it the first time. Other beers of theirs have impressed me greatly - no need to go into it here, you can search my vast "archives" instead (god be with you!).

So there I was at Barclay's in Oakland, ordering something I'd never heard of before called PARKING VIOLATION PALE ALE. Until this very evening and a little Internet research, I had no idea it was even a Russian River product, but there it is. It was fantastic, maybe not quite in the rarified league of the Damnation we reviewed Monday, or their Rejection Black Ale that's out of this world, but for a runty little Pale Ale it was darn tootin'. Full of zesty hops, way more than your typically English pale ale for instance, and if you told me this was an "India" pale ale I'd have no room to argue. I guess if I had to put my finger on what went into it I'd say grapefruit, but I doubt that's really in there. It didn't have that sourness, though - just hoppiness. And I heart that, don't you? I gave it an 8/10 and have now decided to finally buy into all the hype around Russian River. They're practically as good as Moylan's, and a mere 30 minutes' drive from each other to boot.

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