Pliny the Younger is an elusive beer, with kegs released from their natural habitat by Russian River Brewing Co. into the wild only once a year. For two weeks in February, Pliny hunters can enjoy the insanely popular, small batch, triple IPA, with a deliciously sweet, hoppy, and carbonation balance that makes it dangerously easy to drink with an ABV of 10.5%. You may be aware of the similar species, Pliny the Elder, from the same family, and classified as a double IPA with an 8% ABV that can be spotted year-round in bars all over San Francisco.
The Younger was first sighted in 2006, and has become so popular that it has been illegally poached in the attempt to sell it on E-Bay. According to Vinnie Cilurzo, brewer and owner of Russian River Brewing Co., it is only made once a year in a small quantity because it’s a difficult beer to brew that takes a lot of time and tank space, not just to tease the hop lovers.
With this year’s batch already in the midst of its release, Pliny the Younger has already become extinct in some SF bars, but Toronado is tapping the last of its allotment tonight at 6 p.m. If you are lucky enough to catch this rare breed of beer, please be aware that too much close contact may induce morning-after head poundings. But, oh so worth it.