Holiday Gift Guide

Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus) was a Roman author and naturalist. He and his contemporaries are also known to have created the botanical name for hops. Because of this, Russian River Brewing Company of Santa Rosa, California made a beer in his honor and it is DELICIOUS.

Pliny the Elder (the beer) is a American Double India Pale Ale. An India Pale Ale (IPA) is a stronger and more hoppy version of the Pale Ale (I wrote a little more about this style of beer in my Home Brewing Part 6 post, and the Double IPA is basically a pumped up version of this and will likely be a bit more robust, with a higher alcohol content.

There is no better style of beer to honor Pliny, and Russian River did him proud! I can remember the first time I had a sip of this beer and it felt like I swallowed a liquid hop. During the brewing process I always like to smell the hops before I toss them in the pot and there is no beer that brought back this sensation more than Pliny the Elder. It's deep gold in color, and has a beautiful piny, citrusy flavor, and its very smooth and creamy at the same time. It is a whopping 8%ABV, but you would never know it. I am a huge IPA fan and this is easily one of my favorites.

You can find Pliny the Elder at many specialty beer stores on the West Coast. It will be a little tougher to find in the East but I have seen it there too. I like to drink IPA's with gamey BBQ'd meats and strong cheeses. Pliny the Elder and a good blue cheese burger is heaven!