In the words of Tenacious D, “This is just a tribute, you gotta believe me…”.
After a recent trip to Sonoma County, my wife and I were lucky enough to get to try Pliny the Younger by Russian River Brewing Company. Pliny the Younger is one of those holy grail type beers that any hop head vies for. It did not let me down. This triple IPA had no sign of alcohol heat and had a mellowness and roundness to it that makes a brewer shake his head.
As we were leaving (well, my wife was leaving and I was staggering) I grabbed a case of Pliny the Elder along with a growler of Apical Dominance and some Blind Pig and Supplication. Pliny has always been a favorite of mine since the first time I had it. It is a legend. Not only is it the first double IPA (Imperial IPA), it is still a gold standard in a category that gets more and more crowded by the day. The balance that Vinnie has achieved with Pliny the Elder is noteworthy.
As my case of Pliny started to dwindle, I began planning my own Pliny the Elder brew day. Vinny and Russian River have always been very supportive of the homebrew and craft beer community. So supportive and confident of his skills he is, that he actually publishes the recipe for Pliny and openly shares the golden ticket with anyone who can brew.
So, my brother, David and I woke up early to brew my homage to Russian River. In an odd way, this brew day had its own challenges as I haven’t followed someone else’s recipe in a very long time. Recently, my brewing has been recipes that I was making up and trying for the first time. There is a certain complexity that comes with duplicating a recipe that is tried and true.
The weather cooperated long enough to let us get the beer finished and get a salmon smoked, but had to huddle in the garage and use the heat from the burner to warm us up a bit.
We did manage to have some coffee and a frittata courtesy of my wife. Additionally, we had a couple samples of my last brew which was a hazy New England IPA with Mosaic, Citra, and Comet. This one has the feel of a year round beer with a nice rounded mouthfeel and a nice tropical fruit and citrus rind taste and aroma. It was a dangerous 9.32% ABV and tasted like a 6 percenter. Color looks on point in this picture. Shortly after, the keg kicked and I couldn’t get a picture of a full glass, but David’s picture does the color justice. Below is a pic of my Hazy Double IPA.
Now the waiting game starts. In the next 3 weeks, I should have a beautiful homage to Pliny the Elder on tap here at the house. If you are in Kansas City, come by and have a taste. If you are a ways away, let me know you want some and next time I will try to get it out to you.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out the site again. Thanks to David for taking a couple pictures as I don’t think about doing it during brew days. More to come…