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February 18, 2023

Pliny the Younger Day fundraiser returns to Monk's Café for first time since before pandemic

The Rittenhouse bar will have the highly sought after California-based triple IPA on draft a month before its official release to support pediatric cancer research

Food & Drink Fundraisers
Monk's Cafe fundraiser Screenshot/Google Street View

On Feb. 20, Monk's Café is hosting the Younger Day fundraiser, with 100% of its draft beer sales will benefit Alex's Lemonade Foundation. From noon to 5 p.m., all draft sales are cash only. The fundraiser marks the return of the highly sought-after California-brewed Pliny the Younger triple IPA.

Pliny the Younger, the California-brewed IPA, will be on tap at Monk's Café in Philadelphia on Monday, a month before the popular beer's official yearly release.

Because of Monk's owner Tom Peter's relationship with Russian River Brewing Company's owners Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo, the bar will have multiple kegs of the highly-sought after beer available for a President's Day charity event.

During the Pliny the Younger fundraiser from noon to 5 p.m. on Monday, 26 draft beers will be available for cash only. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation to fund research for pediatric cancer. 

This is the first year of the fundraiser since February 2020; Peters said because of the difficulty of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the bar was not in the position to give 100% of proceeds the last two years but is glad to be back.

A small glass of Pliny the Younger will cost patrons $15 during the fundraiser.

"I overcharge for the beer during those five hours, and the price comes down after 5 p.m, but since it all goes to charity, the generous people of Philadelphia queue up pretty early in the day to come in to sit around and celebrate the arrival of Pliny the Younger which is a very sought after beer," Peters said. "So they understand the donation aspect of it, and they're very generous."

Unlike years past, patrons who come to drink during the fundraiser can have unlimited glasses of Pliny the Younger. Peters said he used to get two half-kegs, but, this year, he was able to purchase five half-kegs and four sixtel kegs that will last multiple days, he anticipates.

People come from all over the country to get the beer because Philadelphia is the only place east of Colorado that gets Pliny the Younger.

"People come up from Florida, Georgia, and down from Maine, Peters said. "Philadelphia is the only market that gets beers from Russian River, and that is because the owners of the brewery, Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo, are really good friends of ours. So, Philadelphia is the market that gets it east of Denver. Denver's the for as far east as they used to go. Then, maybe 15 years ago, they started sending directly to Philadelphia."

Some other limited beers to be featured during the fundraiser include Lost Abbey 24 Steps and the last keg of Cantillon 20 Ans d'Amitie Cuvée, two beers created to celebrate Monk's Café's 20th Anniversary in 2017.

Pliny the Younger is a triple IPA that the Russian River Brewing Company has brewed for the last 19 years in Santa Rosa, CA. It is a dry beer that is 10.25% alcohol. Its rarity makes it a fan favorite; it is only available in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. 

When Vinnie first brewed the beer, it was the first-ever triple IPA. The hype was also increased because customers' consumption was limited. However, the hysteria surrounding the release of the beer has increased to the point that people camp out at Russian River's brewpubs overnight to have a place in line to purchase the IPA.

This year Pliny the Younger will be officially released from March 24th-April 6th.

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation is run by Liz and Jay Scott, the parents of Alexandra Scott, who died of neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer, in 2004.

Peters appreciates the work the Scotts are doing in their daughter's name and built a relationship with them over the years. They even help serve the beer and take the cash during the yearly fundraiser at Monk's.

Over the years, the fundraising efforts have brought in an average of $20,000, Peters said.

Pliny the Younger Fundraiser for Alex's Lemonade Stand

Monday, Feb. 20, 2023

Noon to 5 p.m. | pay as you go draft beers

Monk's Café 

264 S. 16th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102