President’s Day.

We spent our President’s Day in Orange County.
My brother got the heads up that a nearby gastropub was tapping a keg of the rare and wonderful (and #1 beer according to BeerAdvocate): Pliny the Younger.

We got up early and headed south so that we could drop Ziggy off at my brothers apartment before heading over to the gastropub in the city of Orange.
Ziggy spent the entire drive to Irvine doing this:

we made our way over to Haven, a gastropub that none of us had been to, but had heard a lot about.

We were expecting a line, but wow! The line went from the front of the building alllll the way down the side of the building and into the parking lot behind it. They were tapping the keg at 11am and we arrived at 10:30am or so. Apparently people had started lining up as early as 8am and people continued to line up well after we got there. We had heard the cut off was around 100-120 people… so we waited anxiously to see if we would be one of the lucky ones to get in.

Not only were we one of the lucky ones; we were one of the last 10 people to get in! After Aaron, my brother and I were given tasting tickets we heard the owner of the gastropub tell the manager that they only had 5 more tickets left!

The place was so packed that initially Elliott, Aaron and myself were spit up and had to sit at random people’s tables. After about 30 or 45 minutes we were able to sit together and around that same time this showed up in front of me:

 [the Russian River tasting flight, with: Pliny the Elder, 
Blind Pig, Russian River IPA, and PLINY THE YOUNGER!]

[a couple up-close shots of the infamous beer]
The beer was fantastic. Anything Russian River does is amazing, but I was truly impressed with Pliny the Younger. I am SO glad that Elliott heard about the tasting and that we were able to actually try it. It was the best $17 tasting flight, ever! 
We ended up ordering food after we enjoyed our flights. Their “gourmet bar food” was fantastic and they had plenty of veggie friendly options on their menu. 
The owner was friendly, the manager was especially friendly and personable, and they really handled the chaos of turning away the MANY people still in line when they ran out of tasting tickets. I was really impressed with the entire experience because it could have easily been hectic and unpleasant. Points to Haven’s for such a successful tapping!
Haven’s is actually located a few blocks from The Bruery Provisions…so I have a feeling we will be paying another visit there again very soon.

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