Beer Man

Pliny the Younger: Where to Get the Cult Beer in Colorado in 2016

Pliny the Younger, which has become one of the most sought-after beers in the world, makes its annual return to Colorado this month when California's Russian River Brewing trucks a precious few kegs of the cult beer over the Continental Divide. Russian River has been sending the extremely limited, draft-only triple IPA to Colorado for several years now, thanks in part to Chris Black, owner of Falling Rock Tap House, who is friends with the brewery's owners and who pioneered the craft-beer bar scene in Denver.

As a result, Falling Rock is always the first to tap Pliny the Younger (not to be confused with its brother, Pliny the Elder, a double IPA that is also periodically distributed in Colorado) and typically gets the largest number of kegs. The dates of the Falling Rock tappings are listed below, along with Black's annual message — funny and straightforward, as always — to his customers. We've also listed the other bars and restaurants that will get Pliny the Younger this year; times haven't been released, but we will update this post when they are.

And finally Elite Brands of Colorado, which distributes Russian River here, will donate the profits from the sale of Pliny the Younger to Sense of Security, a local breast cancer support organization. Elite owner Terry Cekola chose to do this because she was inspired by Russian River owners Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo, who organize an annual fundraiser in their hometown of Santa Rosa, California, which benefits a breast-cancer support organization there. Elite has asked retailers receiving Younger to make a donation of their choice to Sense of Security. "Last year's effort to raise funds for a cause very close to Natalie and Vinnie was met with enthusiastic support from the craft beer community. The result was $4,756 being directly donated to Sense of Security," Elite says.

Saturday February 20
Falling Rock will tap PTY at 1 p.m. See below for details.

Sunday, February 21
Falling Rock will tap PTY at 1 p.m. See below for details.

Wednesday, February 24
The Cheeky Monk will tap PTY at 5 p.m.

Hops & Pie will tap PTY at 1:30 p.m. "Tickets will be handed out with the doors open at 11 a.m. sharp. Once you have a ticket, you are guaranteed a pour of the Younger at any point on the 24th after 1:30 p.m. If your ticket is not redeemed by 10 p.m. closing time, your pour will be forfeited to the H&P staff. If you lose your ticket, you are out of luck. 

Saturday, February 27

Euclid Hall will tap PTY at 1 p.m.

The Cheeky Monk will again tap PTY, this time at 3 p.m.

Sunday, February 28
Falling Rock will tap PTY at 1 p.m. See below for details.

World of Beer Cherry Creek will tap PTY today at noon. But, check their Facebook page because they may only be pouring for members of their club, which you can probably join. 

Monday, February 29
Freshcraft will tap its keg of Pliny the Younger today at 8 p.m. — and donating $1 from every PTY purchase to Sense of Security. Here are the details, from Freshcraft: "All PtY purchases will be cash only and only available at the bar. We will not be starting tabs for the purchase of Younger. We will be forming a line at 5:30pm, Tapping at 6pm. It is recommended that you arrive early. You also must have a Valid ID. There will be a limited number of tickets - once you receive one you can relax, you will get a pour of the beer. After initial tickets are passed out we will then have a few remaining "second chance" tickets which will be numbered. These "second chance" tickets do not secure you a pour, but allow you the chance to get one of the last few remaining pours until the keg kicks."

March 5
The Parry's Pizza location in Highlands Ranch will tap Pliney the Younger at 11 a.m. today. (Parry's will no longer tap it at the Northglenn location.) "Oh,'s first come, first served and if you're not an Ale Yeah member, don't expect a glass," Parry's says — whatever that means.

Other bars and restaurants slated to receive Pliny are: 

Park & CO.

Backcountry Pizza & Tap House; The Kitchen - Boulder

Fort Collins
Choice City Butcher & Deli; The Mayor of Old Town

Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids

From Falling Rock: "Doors will open at our usual time of 11 a.m. We will be issuing tickets that allow you to purchase a glass of Pliny the Younger as people arrive. There will be 2 colors of tickets, if you get the first color, relax, sit down, start a tab, get something to eat and a warm-up beer or two, you’re getting a Younger, the second color, well, Maybe. When it comes time to tap Younger, we’ll sell it to all of the folks with the first color, if you are seated & have a tab with a server, you can stay seated because the server will bring it to you.

"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 (they have numbers written on the back 1-??) & 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 25-30 minutes after we start pouring it) or you lose your chance & we give it to the next person in line. I know it might sound a bit complex, but it’s really simple & has made our Pliny the Younger release days a lot easier, more civilized & less stressful for everyone involved as well as giving more people the opportunity to drink some truly amazing beer. Last year all the folks with the second color got a Younger, just saying.

Please note that I said VERY PROBABLE. It IS February & there are 2 mountain Ranges between Santa Rosa, CA & Denver, CO. As long as there are no Blizzards that week between here & California, we should be able to hold to this schedule."
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes