Each year millions of swallows return to the cliffs of San Juan Capistrano. It’s a sure thing. You can count on it like clockwork. Likewise, each year thousands of beer geeks flock to Santa Rosa, California for the annual release of Pliny the Younger, the much-ballyhooed Triple IPA from Russian River Brewing.
When they release the beer on the first Friday in February, the lines wrap around the block and beer geeks wait for hours to secure sips of the coveted nectar that most people still consider craft beer’s largest whale. Sure, Russian River Brewing sells a lot of beer, and for them the economic impact is immediate and direct, but a recent survey shows that the economic impact for Sonoma County is also significant.