There are a few holy grails in the beer world. We’re talking about beverages so beloved that people will spend hours on planes just to get a sip of the suds. Russian River Brewing Company’s (RRBC) Pliny the Younger definitely fall into this category. But, this year, the brewery is adding bottles of Youngers to mix; so, the faithful will be able to drink at home also.
What’s The Big Deal?
Pliny the Younger was the first Triple IPA style beer produced in the U.S. Fanboys and fangirls along with critics and quickly beatified Pliny.
Unfortunately, the beer is incredibly difficult and costly to produce. The brewing process consumes massive amounts of hops, malt, and tank space. So, in the first 15 years since Pliny the Younger’s conception, the RRBC has restricted release to draft at their two NoCal taprooms and a few select beer bars. (There are also rules like a three hour, three Pliny limit).
To put the demand in perspective, consider that during the two week Pliny Period, lines at RRBC regularly exceed eight hour waits. Or, take a look at the figures from Sonoma County Economic Development Board; according to their recent study, in 2019.the release drew visitors from 42 states and 14 countries who pumped $4.16m into the Sonoma economy.
So, What’s Up With The Bottles?
Guests at the two taprooms (the ones with giant lines) will now be allowed to purchase to two 510ml bottles of Pliny the Younger as well as enjoy three 10oz. pours onsite.
Fancy bracelets with little pull-off tabs will be used to track the whole process.
Tell Me More About The Beer!
Pliny the Younger is the little brother to RRBC’s Pliny the Elder. Expected to clock in around 10.25% abv, Younger is a triple IPA. That means tons of hops and malt. RRBC notes that despite this makeup, the brew is “remarkably dry.” We can’t tell you too much more about the taste since the recipe changes year to year and the current batch is not finished yet.
The original Pliny the Younger was a Roman lawyer and writer who lived from 61AD to 112AD. He was the protegé of his uncle Pliny the Elder. The two thinkers watched the famed eruption of Mount Vesuvius destroy Pompey, but the Elder died during the disaster. The writings of both men are still studied today.
When Does This All Go Down?
Pliny Days run from February 7-20, 2020. Before you head to to Sonoma, be sure to check out the RRBC website for a full list of rules as well as some suggestions on lodging and such.