Long lines in Santa Rosa for 2-week release of Pliny the Younger beer

Sonoma County is preparing to drink up!

The two-week release of the limited edition Pliny the Younger beer starts Friday.

It has been a North Bay favorite event, which had been postponed since the beginning of the pandemic. 

The Russian River Brewing Company said customers began lining up before the sun came up, even though the bar doesn't open until 11 a.m. 

"We love the beer," said Justin Dearborn from San Jose, who began waiting at midnight. "It's the best beer I've ever had. I'd say it's worth the wait."

It's been awhile since these lines have formed because of COVID 19. 

Economically, this is a big deal.

The Sonoma County Economic Impact Report from 2020 shows that the event before the pandemic brought in $5.1 million in revenue.

People from 47 states and 14 countries traveled just for the release spending nearly $200 per visit. 

"We're excited to have folks hopefully come through over the next couple of weeks and have a little normalcy," said owner Vinnie Cilurzo. "Even if it's just a few hours."

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This year, bar managers warn customers could wait up to six hours in line, especially over the weekend.

One difference this year: Each guest will get a limit of 2.5 hours to sit and drink. 

That's a COVID protocol in place to give crews time to sanitize tables in between parties and gets the line moving along quicker.

As far as the beer goes, if you make it through the line, you'll get three 10-ounce pours as well as the option to buy two bottles.

You can't get more than that since the beer has an ABV level of more than 10 percent.

To compare, a Bud Light is about 5 percent.

Russian River said they have had a problem with line cutters in the past and they warn that will be far from tolerated over the next two weeks.