If you have never had the pleasure of trying Pliny the Elder, then trust me when I tell you that Pliny the Elder is perhaps the best example of a DIPA or Double India Pale Ale available for purchase. It has a malty body that is perfectly balanced with one of the nicest hop profiles I personally have ever tasted. Unfortunately Russian River does not produce enough of it. The good news is that you can brew it at home and MoreBeer has about the best kit around for it and it is sanctioned by Russian River Brewing.
They have a sale running on the Pliny the Elder extract beer kit today, but if you are an all grain brewer fear not, they have a Pliny the Elder All Grain version as well, it is just not on sale.
I recently had a chance to revisit Russian River Brewing when some friends and I decided to take a trip to Northern California to visit a few breweries. For those of you who are not familiar with the Russian River name, they brew such popular craft beers as Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, Blind Pig, Beatification, Consecration, Supplication and Sanctification. In the craft brewing world they are perhaps the most highly regarded US brewery and for good reason.
Russian River Brewery Review
In my opinion what makes Russian River so great is their uncompromising commitment to making the best craft beer possible. What I just stated above sounds like something you would read on any brewery’s marketing material, but in this case I truly feel that that the statement is true and deserved. Consider this, Russian River servers up flights of beer that consist of up to 16 beers on tap. As you make your way through the overwhelming diversity of styles and variations, in addition to becoming intoxicated you are awe struck at how one brewery could master so many styles. Not one of their beers are good, they are all either great or exceptional. Sure, you may not be a fan of a few of the styles, but it is still a great beer for that type. One of my friends ordered a porter for his second beer and I remember thinking, you are at Russian River, home of the best IPA’s and Sours in North America, why in the world did you just order a porter. So I asked him if I could try it before I passed judgement on his sanity and I was shocked by how fantastic it was. If they make mistakes, they certainly do not serve the questionable beer to their customers. I have never received a beer from them that was cloudy when it should have been clear, a beer that was still when it should have been carbonated, a beer that was bitter when it should have been subtle or a wild ale that was more skunk than funk. That is what I mean when I say that they do not compromise when it comes to their beer.
If you are ever in the Santa Rosa area and love beer, you really owe it to yourself to stop by the Russian River Brewing Company. There will be more than likely be a wait, parking will probably be difficult to find and the bar will probably be crowded, but it will all be worth it!
Well folks, it is just about that time of the year again for Pliny the Younger to make it’s very rare and very antisipated appearance! For those of you who do not know, Pliny the Younger is one of the most difficult beers to come by. Only a handful of breweries and pubs will receive a keg of it and most of those will sell out of it within just a few hours.
Per Russian River Brewing Company, Pliny the Younger is categorized as a Triple IPA with and ABV of 10.25%. It is very dry for the amount of malt used in the recipe, and it is loaded with hoppy flavor and bitterness. The hops used in the 2014 recipe are Simcoe, Warrior, Chinook, Centennial, Amarillo, and Tomahawk.
If you are live near Santa Rosa, CA then the Russian River brew pub is your best bet for getting you hands on a glass. Unfortunately they will not do a growler fill of it, so drink up and enjoy before they run out of their daily allocation. It is available at the brew-pub from February 7th – 20th.
If you happen to live in the Orange County, CA area you can try your luck at the Tustin Brewing Co, who is kicking off their Russian River Week Celebration starting on February 17th. Here is some information on the even from the Tustin Brewer: “Here at TBC, the most wonderful time of year is Russian River Week. The release of Russian River Pliny the Younger is obviously enough to celebrate on it’s own, however, we like to take it up a notch. We will be showering you with as much Russian River beer as possible. The hits, Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig, Row 2 Hill 56, and a slew of the beloved “tions.” We can’t determine each year how much we will be able to hoard, but we do know we will have more Russian River than anyone else in the OC. Oh yes, I know you’re all asking yourselves…Pliny the Younger will be released Wednesday, February 19th. Event details to follow…”
I am going to do my best get secure my goblet of Pliny the Younger this year and wish the rest of you the best of luck in getting a glass as well!
Are you like most of the county or I should say world and can’t get your hands on a bottle or pint of Pliny the Elder, one of the worlds best Double IPA’s? Well don’t look so glum, you now have the ability to brew your own!
Thanks to MoreBeer, you can now purchase an authentic Russian River Pliny the Elder All Grain Brewing Recipe Kit or Pliny the Elder Extract Home Brewing Recipe Kit. Rest assured, this is not just some Pliny the Elder clone that they whipped up in the back of their warehouse. This is one of their exclusive BrewMaster Series Recipe Kit that comes directly from Vinnie Cilurzo, the owner \ brewer of the Russian River Brewing Company.
The recipe comes with all the ingredients that you need to brew a batch of Pliny the Elder, minus the yeast and they have a few options for you to choose from as far as that goes. I personally would recommend going with the Wyeast 1056 liquid yeast. Good luck and happy brewing!
The Pliny the Elder Recipe Kits are currently available here:
Pliny the Elder has been rated as the #1 Imperial IPA/Double IPA on our Best Beers List. Check out the full beer review here: Pliny the Elder Beer Review, or to view the West Coast Brewer best beer list, you can click here.