Tourism: Pliny the Younger phenom reaches the state Capitol

Russian River Brewing Co.’s cult-like Pliny the Younger, a rare triple IPA, has received yet another accolade, this one coming from state Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa.

Ms. Evans announced she would present Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo, owners of the Russian River Brewing, with a joint legislative resolution, recognizing the pub and brewery for it’s “outstanding community and customer service, exemplary business ethics and liquid craftsmanship that have provided the county with huge local economic benefits through jobs, sales and distinction.” 

The triple IPA, which is made using three distinct varietals of hops, has drawn international attention ever since it was rated the “best beer in the world” by trade magazine Beer Advocate three years ago.

As a result, scores of beer aficionados have flocked to Santa Rosa once a year to get a sip of Pliny the Younger, which is only available for two weeks in early February. The brewery says that because of the cost of making the ale and the production involved, it’s not feasible to offer it year-round, adding further to its cult following. In fact, it stopped serving the beer in Washington so that it could meet local demand.

Given the attention the beer has received -- and the effect it’s had on downtown Santa Rosa -- the Sonoma County Economic Development Board is seeking to quantify its economic impact as part of a broader study on the county’s microbreweries and craft beers. Visitors have reportedly come all the way from Japan and Denmark to sample the brew.

The Economic Development Board said it’s study will be completed within the next month or so. It will look broadly at the sector, which is growing at a steady rate and producing jobs, according to the EDB.***

The Napa Winery Inn has joined the Ascend Hotel Collection, a portfolio of independent hotels from Choice Hotels International, giving the portfolio its first property in the Napa Valley.

The 59-room boutique hotel, which was purchased by hotelier Rick Swig back last year for $6.8  million, recently underwent a  $1 million renovation and re-branding.

As a member of the Ascend Collection, the hotel benefits from being featured in along with more visible, distribution, global sales, marketing and technology platforms.

Since its launch in late 2008, Ascend Hotel Collection has grown to a portfolio of 74 properties, with signed membership agreements for an additional 24 slated to open during the first quarter of 2013. The hotels are located in business and leisure destinations in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, Europe and Central America.***

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