Thursday, January 30, 2014

Russian River Brewing: February is Pliny the Younger

February is the month for Russian River Brewing, Pliny the Younger. This will be it's tenth annual year since the first release of triple IPA at the pub in Santa Rosa, California.
Vinnie Cilurzo is owner/brewer at Russian River said in an email that this years Pliny the Younger will be relatively the same as last years. He states that as the brewery has matured they have been able to "select more aromatic and flavorful hops" for Pliny the Younger. The ABV should come in between 10.25% & 10.50%, but Vinnie likes it when it's a the former range which allows" the hop character to come through a little better".
Pliny the Younger is Pliny the Elder’s big brother. It's a triple IPA, with a load of hops that has obvious hop character in the aroma and in the flavor of the beer.
Pliny the Younger at the Falling Rock Taphouse.
I have gone to many release parties of Pliny the Younger over the years and found that to me, sometimes it taste different depending on the tap house. I recently found that most tap houses use a blend of CO2 and Nitrogen to their tapping systems as a way to alleviate waste from foaming beer. So I thought maybe that was the difference I tasted in the beer. I asked Vinnie Cilurzo about that and he said there shouldn't be any difference in taste between the two systems if Pliny the Younger is tapped soon after being distributed. I think he's mistaken but you can be the judge at the next release.
Pliny the Younger will be available at the Russian River tap house on February 7 and will run it's course for two weeks or less. So if you live in California, head to Santa Rosa for this yearly event. I thought it was humorous that on the Russian River brewing webpage on Pliny the Younger, there are rules of etiquette for these two weeks of the beer.
Russian River Brewing taphouse is located in the downtown area of Santa Rosa where there are many businesses so first rule:
1)No drinking alcohol while in line.
2)No smoking anything within 20 feet of business entrances or where people are standing in line.
3)Don’t block entrances or driveways of other businesses.
4)No cuts in line! Make sure all your party is there at the same time.
What’s cool though is that Colorado gets the most Pliny the Younger. It will be distributed to San Jose, Sacramento, Stone Brewing will pick there allocation at the brewery, Oregon, Colorado, and Philadelphia, in February but dates are TBD. I’m not sure how many kegs are shipped Oregon, it used to be Portland only.

Colorado will probably receive Pliny the Younger a week or so after the release. A good idea is to check your favorite local taphouse on their website or facebook page to see if they are tapping Pliny the Younger this year. In Denver check Falling Rock Taphouse, Hops and Pie, and Freshcraft. In Boulder, Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse, The Kitchen, and West End Tavern.

For more information about Pliny the Younger Craze:

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