I've wanted to see
Snoopy's Home Ice and the Charles Schulz museum since I moved to the
Bay Area over 15 years ago.
Kathy decided Santa Rosa would be a great weekend trip and suggested we
go the weekend between the NFL championships and the Super Bowl.
I looked into it, then realized that Pliny
the Younger would be released on Super Bowl weekend.
I was torn - I wasn't sure I would be able to get into Russion River
Brewing Company, but I also didn't want to miss Pliny weekend.
We went Super Bowl weekend. My tentative plan was to check out
the lines for Pliny Saturday morning, and then wait Sunday morning
while Kathy slept it and return home before the Super Bowl.
On the way up we stopped in Petaluma to visit Lagunitas, one of my many
favorite North Bay breweries.
There was a band playing outside, a very full patio, and a very young
non-Bay Area type crowd. We were definitely in Jefferson
They label your beer for you - never seen a bartender do that anywhere.
unknown - I think it was a Belgian combination, it is not on
Capp Stout - I didn't realize Capp was short for Cappuccino. I
loved it and bought a growler before reading Cappucino on the growler
label. I try to avoid caffiene and caffinated beers.
We then moved on to Santa Rosa and brewery number 2 of the evening -
Third Street Aleworks.
$13 for 12 beer samples
I did not finish them all.
The Flamingo Resort was built in 1957 and hasn't changed much.
We loved the neon sign that you can easily see from a half mile away at
The next morning and around 9am I went out alone to check the line for
It stretched around the block, and I counted roughly 250 people in line.
The brewery only holds about 120, and they force people to leave after
3 hours, and they don't open until 11am, so it could take until nearly
4pm or 5pm for the people at the end of the line to get in.
I asked someone who was about 100 people back in line when they arrived
Seemed like there would be no way to get in line Sunday morning and see
the Super Bowl in Half Moon Bay at 3:30 the same day.
We visited the fairly quiet Schultz museum.
I had the Snoopy and the Red Baron game as a kid.
I was utterly shocked at my diagnosis...
Huge wall sized mosaic of thousands of ceramic cartoon panels
Snoopy over the years
The Kite Eating Tree.
At night the string wrapped all around the tree lights up.
Schultz moved his young family from Minnesota to Colorado Springs in
1951 for a year and painted a wall of the nursery in that home.
A year later Schulz moved back to Minnesota the new owners painted over
In 1979 a family bought the home.
They knew the history of the house and the wall.
The wife spent three months carefully stripping latex paint off the oil
painting looking for Charlie Brown.
In 2001 the wall was donated to the musem and carefully moved to Santa
Recreation of Sparky's studio
Fireplace in the Warm Puppy cafe at Snoopy's Home Ice.
Schulz's table at the Warm Puppet is still waiting for him.
Snoopy's home ice
We swung by RRBC and the line was somewhat shorter.
I decided now was as good a time to try waiting as any, so at 2:20
Kathy went to take a nap while I started my wait.
I asked the folks in front of me how long the wait was supposed to be -
5 hours. That was certainly longer than I had hoped.
The girls in front of me said that according to the security folks, the
shortest time to wait is after 10pm when the wait is typically only 30
minutes or so.
Perhaps 20-30 minutes after I started waiting they hand stamped me.
I asked if my wife could join me later and the answer was no - everyone
had to be together when they were hand stamped, otherwise you need to
go to the back of the line.
The line moved nicely the first 30-45 minutes or so, and then didn't
move at all for another 30 minutes.
It didn't move very far when it did move.
The line did not grow very quickly after I got in line, clearly the
best strategy is to go get Pliny as late in the day as possible, and
those who get in line earliest will wait the longest.
No one seems to publicize this strategy, or at least RRBC does not
publish it, but I also understand why - they won't want to piss off
people who have been waiting for hours and not have them get in before
the brewery closes.
People worked the line:
- We were given the opportunity to buy Girl Scout cookies at least
- Once the Starbucks across the street gave away pieces of
cookies. Everyone who tried them was immediately thristy of
- One lady offered people in line a billion dollars a month if they
would move in with her and be her roommate. She was clearly
whacked - I couldn't tell if it was meth, mental illness, or both.
- We were offered booklets with 'the truth about drugs'.
I had already been in line for over an hour as people were coming out
saying they had waited since 8am but 'it was worth it!'.
Many people in line had empty growlers with them, and many people
leaving the brewer were carrying 12 packs of Pliny the Elder (not the
Younger, it is not bottled).
I wondered why people only carried 12 packs of Pliny when they could
After a short 4-1/2 hour wait I was seated at a table for 4 with 2
The seat across from me was empty and of course remained empty
throughout my stay since I must have been the only 'single' in line.
I should have pressed harder for them to let Kathy in to eat dinner
The service inside was excellent, everyone was well attended.
Everyone gets a wristband with 3 numbered tags, one for each 10oz glass
of Pliny you are allowed to purchase.
You are instructed to not remove the tags yourself, to allow the
waitress to remove the tag for you.
Soon I had by first Pliny in hand.
I was taken aback at relatively plain IPA tastes.
It was a good IPA, but that was the trick - it was really a triple IPA
that tasted mild like a single IPA and hides the 10% alcohol.
I ordered some pizza bites to help absorb the Pliny and chatted up my
The guy seated next to me was served an extra Pliny and very quickly
consumed it to make sure no one took it back.
After his fourth Pliny the Younger he ordered a Pliny the Elder, their
He tasted it and immediately exclaimed 'God this is harsh!'.
Anything is harsh once you're used to Pliny the Younger.
I had decided ahead of time that two Plinys would be more than enough,
but of course I ordered my third, how could I not?
By the time it arrived I realized that I'd gone a bridge too far, two
10% beers is plenty... but I enjoyed my third Pliney of course.
Procrastination has been coming soon for years I hear........I am glad
someone pointed out the joke to me or I would have missed it.
Lisa texted that she wanted a case of Damnation, her favorite beer.
As I studied the pricelist I quickly figured out why people only bought
12 packs of Pliny the Elder.
Each bottle of Pliney
the Elder was about $5, as was Damnation.
Their sour beers were over $13 per bottle.
I ended up buying both a 12 pack and a growler of Pliny, as well as
Lisa's Damnation... and a hat, 3 beer glasses, and a Pliney the Younger
I would have bought a Pliney the Elder as well sweatshirt but they were
I then left with my large pile of stuff, put it in the car, and had
dinner with Kathy across the street.
I managed to keep all the beer cold overnight.
I filled the fridge, and the rest went into waste baskets filled with
Love the pink flamingos...
This is the first time I have rearranged the top beer shelf in our
fridge in several years.
I needed the space for the RRBC spoils.
Pliney the Elder is covered with warnings not to save it for a rainy
day - drink
it fresh or not at all!
The Damnation should age nicely since it is designed to referment in
the bottle, though it does not say so explicitely on the label.
Yes, that is a 5 year old Celebration ale on the right, and behind it
are 2008 and 2009 Anniversery Ales from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.
The Anniversery Ales are my favorite beer ever - I understand that
Torpedo Extra IPA is supposed to be about (or perhaps exactly) the same
Also on top of my favorite beer list are Mammoth Mountain's Epic IPA,
which is also sold as Tuolumne Meodows IPA. I cannot buy Mammoth
Mountain locally, I have to buy it when I goto Yosemite..
The bottom shelf of the fridge features Stone Aniversery ales from
2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, and 2012 that have aged nicely in the fridge.
Everything in the fridge other than the bottles of Pliny the Elder and
The two Pliney bottles in the back are empties
Stone Brewing Vertical Epic
They've been in the bottom of my refrigerator their entire lives
10-10-10 x 2
12-12-12 + 2 more unrefrigerated in the garage