Updated: Pliny the Half Pint will be available only at SIFT's San Francisco and Santa Rosa locations.
If you're a serious beer lover, you've probably thirsted after or waited on line for Pliny the Younger, Russian River Brewing Company's impossible-to-track down seasonal triple IPA that's like a combination white-tailed woodpecker sighting slash royal pain in the butt for people who don't want to queue for eight hours in Santa Rosa in February. (Certain San Francisco beer bars, like Toronado or Monk's Kettle, can get their hands on a keg.)
Sour over having to wait another eight months or so for its return? Well, you can console yourself — partially, maybe — with the news that Russian River will debut a Pliny the Half Pint parfait at the SF and Santa Rosa locations of Sift Dessert Bar, starting June 17 and running through the 21st (or until shelves are bare).
[jump] It's described as “five layers of alternating Pliny the Elder-soaked brown sugar cake and Pliny mousses covered with a spiced orange glaze” and a “beer-lover's dream” like a “hop-flavored tiramisu.”
Let's unpack this particular $6 confection and its internally incongruous ad copy. First, hop-flavored tiramisu sounds pretty gross to me, even as someone who used to make (and loves) balsamic caramel ice cream.
Second, nothing against Sift Dessert Bar's cupcakes or pink-and-white interior, but a website that brags “Yeah, We're Frosting Obsessed” seems like an odd choice for this kind of synergy. Maybe this project was concocted exclusively within the marketing department, with little-to-no consultation from the brewers, in the hopes of reinvigorating the Magnolia Bakery craze that destroyed Manhattan's West Village.
Now, on to half-pints. In the event that my above anti-frosting sentiments sound like they carry a whiff of misogyny, let me just say that I know Pa Ingalls called his second-oldest daughter “my little half pint of sweet cider half drunk up,” because I read the entire Little House on the Prairie Series, and that nickname was cute. But extolling half-pints (which have nothing to do with cupcakes) sounds like ignoring Pliny's target audience by design, or possibly like lunchtime at a working-class British pub, than any genuinely robust enjoyment of beer, which most people prefer in full pints, if not flagons, steins, or boots.
The real Pliny the Younger did watch Vesuvius erupt, during which is uncle, Pliny the Elder, died. We're not going to jump to such conclusions and say that branding at its most precious is ever nearly that bad, but if you do get out there and taste a Pliny the Half Pint, please email us your thoughts!
Pliny the Half Pint, June 17-21 (or until they run out), at Sift San Francisco, 2411 California, 415-580-3030.