Arts DEVO has many beer items to address

Pliny the Elder … Pliny the Cloned.

Pliny the Elder … Pliny the Cloned.

DEVO overflow, sudsy version 12.5 Today (Dec. 5), on the eve of St. Nick Day, Arts DEVO will begin the celebrating with some beer-related items:

• Happy beerday, Handle Bar! Chico, raise your glass to the craft-beer bar on the southeast side; The Handle Bar turns 1 year old this Friday, Dec. 6. To celebrate, owners Brian and Carolyn Kanabrocki have “asked breweries from far and wide for something special to pour,” so show up Friday, starting at 5 p.m., share a special beer, and say, “Thanks!”

• Home beer hits the road: It’s official: Our hometown sweetheart is seeing another city. The Torpedo Room, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s second tap room and its first outside of Chico, officially opened in Berkeley (at 2031 Fourth St.) on Nov. 26. The 16-tap bar is offering taster flights and growlers of some of the special and smaller-batch beers that Chicoans have had all to themselves for so many years. But Chico is open-minded; we don’t mind sharing, and the world deserves the Sierra Nevada experience. Congrats to Ken Grossman and Sierra Nevada … and to Berkeley! (Next stop: North Carolina.)

• Beer cloning: Despite its somewhat limited production, Russian River Brewing Co.’s world-famous double India Pale Ale Pliny the Elder does make its way to Chico from Santa Rosa fairly regularly, showing up for a few days at a time at a handful of local pubs and beer markets before emails and texts go out announcing the new batch in town and the shelves are once again cleared. To help sate my craving between shipments, I decided a couple of months ago to hit the Internet and track down a clone recipe for Pliny and try to homebrew a backup supply of the golden goodness. Imagine my delight when one of my first searches took me to no mere clone, but to the actual Pliny the Elder recipe (scaled down for homebrewers), as told by Russian River owner/brewmaster Vinnie Cilurzo to Zymurgy magazine in a 2009 article he penned on the art of crafting double IPAs.

So, last weekend, after augmenting my rudimentary brew setup with some new and some borrowed equipment, and buying an ungodly amount of dried hops and a pack of hot dogs for the grill, some of my dudes and I finally brewed Pliny. It was my first all-grain batch of beer, and I know I made a mistake or four, so we’ll see how it turns out in a few weeks. It might not end up being Pliny, but it’ll still be a fresh, hoppy beer that I can share with my fellow hopheads. Hit me up if you wanna try some.

Krampus run in Austria.

Photo by antifluor

• Dec. 5:
Tonight’s the night, Krampusnacht: I shall don a demon mask and run through the streets swigging schnapps and whipping strangers, as Krampus intended. Of course, when I say “demon mask,” I mean a “snuggly hoodie” and maybe a sweater (I could catch my death out there!). And, when I say “streets,” “schnapps” and “whipping,” I mean sitting at the “Winchester Goose” drinking a “tasty craft beer,” while “slapping” the backs of friends and neighbors.