Pliny the Younger 2014 in Colorado: Where to find the cult beer this month
Pliny the Younger, which Beer Advocate ranks as the second-best beer in the world and which Rate Beer ranks as the third, will return to a select few Colorado bars and restaurants this month, where it will be quickly tapped amid much excitement and disappear even faster. Made by California's Russian River Brewing, the triple IPA has a cult following that always inspires crowds and controversy. Last year, only about a dozen Colorado establishments got any PTY. Tappings were often handled with tickets, and an eight-ounce pour usually ranged from $8 to $10. Customers generally got one glass each.
Brandon Marshall A scene from 2013's PTY release at Falling Rock.
Turn the page to see which tappings have been announced so far; we'll continue to update the page as we learn of more.
Here's how Russian River describes its 10.25 percent ABV beer, which is a cousin of Pliny the Elder, the brewery's double IPA: "Pliny the Younger, the man, was Pliny the Elder's nephew and adopted son. They lived nearly 2,000 years ago! Pliny the Elder is our Double IPA, so we felt it was fitting to name our Triple IPA after his son. It is almost a true Triple IPA with triple the amount of hops as a regular I.P.A. That said, it is extremely difficult, time- and space-consuming, and very expensive to make. And that is why we don't make it more often! This beer is very full-bodied with tons of hop character in the nose and throughout. It is also deceptively well-balanced and smooth."
Wednesday February 19
Falling Rock Taphouse has made (tentative) plans to tap its first keg of Pliny the Younger at 6 p.m. If the beer doesn't arrive from California in time, however, Falling Rock will reschedule (probably for the same time the following day). Tickets (cash only) for the tapping will go on sale at 5 p.m. "There will be two colors of tickets," Falling Rock says. "If you get the first color, relax, sit down, start a tab, get something to eat and a warm-up beer or two" -- because you are assured of getting a glass of Younger.
"If you get the second color, however, there is only a chance of getting the beer. "When we finish serving all the folks with the first color we will do a last call for that color ticket, then line up the second color tickets in order and start serving those folks. In order to get a Pliny the Younger you need to be here before we do last call for that color of tickets (usually around 25 to 30 minutes after we start pouring it) or you lose your chance and we give it to the next persons in line," Falling Rock continues.
Falling Rock also plans to serve Pliny on Saturday, February 22, and Sunday, February 23, at 1 p.m. both days. See below for more details.
Saturday, February 22
Falling Rock will tap Pliny today at 1 p.m., but the doors open at 11 a.m., when the beer bar will begin selling tickets -- cash only -- under the same two-color system.
Sunday, February 23
Falling Rock will tap Pliny today at 1 p.m., but the doors open at 11 a.m., when the beer bar will begin selling tickets -- cash only -- again, with the same two-color system.
Update: Backcountry Pizza & Taphouse in Boulder will tap Pliny at noon (this was changed from 1 p.m.) on February 23, but it expects people to begin lining up for tickets well before then. In fact, Backcountry will begin selling the tickets at 10 a.m. They cost $8 (for a ten-ounce pour) and are limited to one per person. You can buy your ticket early and then come back at noon, if you prefer. But if you haven't returned by 12:30, your ticket will be null and void.
Monday, February 24
The Kitchen in Boulder says: We'll be tapping Russian River Pliny the Younger on Monday at 5:30PM!!!! It will be available Upstairs only, first come, first served."
Tuesday, February 25
The Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe on East Colfax Avenue will tap PTY at 6:30 p.m. today. They will be using a ticket system. No other information was available. They will tap it again on March 3.
Sunday, March 2
Hops & Pie will begin selling tickets for ten-ounce Pliny pours today at 2 p.m. to the first fifty people at the door; the keg will be tapped at 4 p.m.
Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids in Longmont will tap Pliny at 3:30 p.m., but tickets will go on sale that morning at 10 a.m.
Monday, March 3
The Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe on East Colfax Avenue will tap PTY at 6:30 p.m. today. They will be using a ticket system. No other information was available.
Choice City Butcher & Deli in Fort Collins will tap Pliny at 5 p.m. today. Tickets go on sale at 2 p.m.
Tuesday, March 4
Freshcraft will tap a keg of Pliny the Younger today at 6 p.m., and the beer-focused restaurant has made some changes this year: "In an effort to spread the beer a little further we will be serving 6 oz pours. At 5 p.m., we will begin handing out tickets. A ticket guarantees a pour of PtY. There will obviously be a limited quantity. In order to receive a ticket you must have your ID and you must be present (no tickets for friends on the way). Once you have your ticket you can relax, you **will** get the beer. Have some food or one of the other fine beers that we serve. We will tap the beer at 6 pm. Bring your ticket to the bar and pay cash (sorry, we will not be running tabs or taking credit cards for PtY). Then relax and enjoy one of the best beers in the world."
World of Beer Cherry Creek, in Glendale, will tap its keg of Younger today in conjunction with a Mardi Gras-themed Louisiana crawfish boil ($5 a plate). BUT, the beer will only be available to World of Beer Loyalty Members. The crawfish boil starts at 4:30, and the tapping happens at 5 p.m.
Saturday, March 8
Lucky Pie Pizza in Louisville will be tapping Pliny the Younger today at 1 p.m., but tickets will go on sale when they open at 11 a.m. Ticket holders must be present at 1 p.m. to ensure they get their pour; one ticket per person. Oh, and Lucky Pie will be offering a flight of Younger, Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig. Yes, please.
Other local spots that have gotten PTY in the past include the West End Tavern in Boulder; Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs; and the Mayor of Old Town in Fort Collins.
Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan