Pliny The Younger Cult Followers Get Their Day

20 February, 2016

If you live in Northern California, you've probably had a pint. If you're a beer fan, you've definitely seen Russian River Brewing Company's Pliny (Elder and/or Younger) top the awards lists from GABF to Festival. This triple IPA surfaces in February every year, and every year it draws lines around the corner to get the first taste of this year's hoppy nectar. Of course first tasting happen at the Russian River brew pub in downtown Santa Rosa and since it's first inception twelve years ago, this two-week release event has grown into quite the phenomena.



(Release day line forms at the Russian River Brew Pub in Santa Rosa, CA. photo credit: John Burgess)


“We’ve had people from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, you know, all over Europe, Chile, everywhere. It really surprises me that people will travel this far and plan their vacation around one of our beers,” according to Russian River Brewing Company co-owner Vinnie Cilurzo.

Hype? Beer Advocate fans rate it with a 100 score (897 reviews at the time of this article). Twelve years later, the lines still form at beer bars lucky enough to get a keg throughout the Northern California Bay Area. It's rare that this hand delivered keg isn't blown by the end of the first day of pouring. We've had it and we'll have it again. The whole concept is fun. A limited release beer based on a successful year round recipe that's gets beer fans talking and traveling.

Russian River is no light contender in the beer business. Several Russian River beers stand on their own as favorites for many beer lovers. Pliny The Younger is no one-off, flash in the pan. It is the product of talented brewing, experience and passion. Love it or hate it, it's a quality beer, a respectible triple IPA and definitely something worth trying to form your own opinion on. 


The Beer:

Pliny the Younger is considered a “triple” IPA, simply meaning that it is higher in alcohol and has tons of hops. The alcohol should finish at about 10.25%, although it is remarkably dry for the amount of malt used in the recipe. It is loaded with hop flavors, bitterness, and aromatics. The hops used in this year’s recipe are of excellent quality: Simcoe, Warrior, Chinook, Centennial, Amarillo, and Tomahawk. We brewed Younger for the first time 12 years ago as a winter seasonal, building upon the Pliny the Elder recipe while pushing the envelope with malt, hops, and alcohol just to see how far we could go! It is always brewed only once a year and released the first Friday in February, rain or shine.

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