Capitol Beer and Tap Room cracked Sacramento’s first keg of Pliny the Younger of 2015 on Wednesday, and I tried it myself for the first time.
I’ll give it an enthusiastic “meh.” Maybe a “meh!” if that’s possible.
And though I might be more or less be ignorant of beer culture and high-end tasting techniques, co-editor Nick Miller, whose beer credentials are extensive, seemed to be with me in that assessment.
Let’s get this straight: Pliny the Younger is a very good beer, especially for lovers of high-octane hop monsters (I’m firmly in this camp). But if I had to wait for more than a minute to get it, would I choose it over a Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter or a Knee Deep Belgo Hoptologist? Likely not.
It would be easy to mock the hipsters willingly chasing Pliny, lining up for hours hopes of frothing up their mustaches with its mythical goodness. And while I sniggered at the dejected sighs when the keg gave out at Capitol Beer and Tap Room, I can see why people come out in droves to find Pliny the Younger. The hype itself has a character, after all.
It might be that the beer’s appeal is all in the foreplay, in how coy and ephemeral Pliny is. No denying the joy of the hunt.
The brew itself is just good enough to not disappoint in the face of its overwhelming hype, but just like a certain monolithic sci-fi blockbuster movie franchise, I really would advise against waiting any longer than 20 minutes to partake in this. Unless you’re the kind of person who enjoys the hype as much as the product itself, in which case you go ahead and camp out on that sidewalk. Meanwhile, this ignorant prol will stick with his Sierra Nevadas and Knee Deeps.