A Press Democrat Blog

Beer Country

A digest about that other famous beverage

Sonoma County Beer, Cider, and Spirits conference takes shape

Lineup set for first ever conference on Sonoma County’s booming artisan beverage industry.… Read More »

More on Russian River supply problems

Our report earlier this week on the extreme supply crunch at Russian River Brewing provoked a lively debate in our comment section and at other sites. Some beer fans applauded the position by owners Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo that there are some things more important than expansion, things like quality of life, financial stability, and the intimacy of a small business. Other commenters, however, seemed vexed that the Cilurzos seem to have no particularly interest in expanding. “That’s cool that… Read More »

Pliny the Video

In June we brought you the story of the Economic Development Board’s look at the effect of beer, cider, and spirits on Sonoma County’s economy (summary: not nearly as much as wine, but not insignificant. $123 million per year). One thing we didn’t bring you, in large part because this blog wasn’t quite ready to get up and running that week, was the EDB’s video about Pliny the Younger, the cult favorite annual from Russian River. The report found that the beer generates something like $2.4 million per year alone, in direct sales, tourist traffic, and secondary revenue generated thereby.

That may not seem like a lot, at least until you consider that the brewery only makes something like 60 barrels, or just 1,860 gallons of the legendary Triple IPA. That works out to around $160 per pint in economic goodies for the county.

Here’s a little more of the case study, in video form, including co-owner Natalie Cilurzo discussing the beer and the frenzy it generates. The board interviewed several Pliny seekers from all over the country, waiting in line in front of Russian River’s downtown pub. My favorite part is toward the end, the bearded guy from Texas who concludes, “I’ll travel to the ends of the earth if the beer is good.”

That’s my kind of guy.

And here’s the full report for you die-hard economic development fans. We know you’re out there.

- Sean Scully