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

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