Beer Man

Pliny the Younger: Where to Get the Rare Triple IPA in Colorado in 2017

Chris Black pours the Younger.
Chris Black pours the Younger. Falling Rock Taphouse

Chris Black pours the Younger. - FALLING ROCK TAPHOUSE
Chris Black pours the Younger.
Falling Rock Taphouse

Pliny the Younger, one of the rarest, most sought-after beers in the world, makes its annual return to Colorado in February 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 highly rated triple IPA to Colorado for several years now, thanks in part to Chris Black — owner of Falling Rock Tap House and pioneer of Denver's craft scene — who is friends with Russian River owners Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo.

Each year, the Cilurzos organize a California breast cancer fundraiser called “All Hopped Up for a Cure." Last year, they gave more than $100,000 to support the cause. For the past three years, Elite Brands of Colorado, distributor of Russian River beers in this state, has done something similar, donating all of the money made from the sale of Pliny the Younger to a local charity called Sense of Security. Falling Rock, on its end, will donate an additional $2 for every glass of Younger it sells.

As a result of the connection between Black and the Cilurzos, Falling Rock is always the first bar 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). The dates of the all the tappings, along with Black's annual message — funny and straightforward as ever — are below.

Saturday, February 11
Falling Rock taps Pliny the Younger at 1 p.m. Doors open at 11 a.m., though, which is when Falling Rock will start issuing tickets to people for a glass of the beer. See details below in Black's message.

Sunday, February 12
Backcountry Pizza & Taphouse in Boulder will tap Younger at noon, although the restaurant will open at 10 a.m., when it will start selling a limited number of tickets, one per person, first come, first served. If you miss out, Backcountry says it will have "plenty of other delicious IPAs" on tap as well. Backcountry is donating $2 from each glass of Pliny the Younger Sense of Security.

Monday, February 13
Choice City Butcher & Deli in Fort Collins will sell tickets for Pliny the Younger at 11 a.m., but the tapping isn't until 4 p.m. They will donate $1 per glass to Sense of Security.

Wednesday, February 15
Rueben's, the excellent burger and beer joint in Boulder, will be pouring Younger at 7:30 p.m. Check their Facebook page for details closer to the event.

Thursday, February 16
Freshcraft will tap Pliny The Younger at 6 p.m. The restaurant will distribute tickets guaranteeing a pour to people starting at 5:30 p.m,; only 95 tickets will be available. A six-ounce pour costs $8, and Freshcraft will donate $2 of each pour to Sense of Security.

Friday, February 17
Park & Co in River North will tap Younger at 4 p.m. There is a limit of one per persons. Details TBA.

Saturday, February 18
Falling Rock taps Pliny the Younger at 1 p.m. Doors open at 11 a.m., though, which is when Falling Rock will start issuing tickets to people for a glass of the beer. See details below in Black's message.

Sunday, February 19
Falling Rock taps Pliny the Younger at 1 p.m. Doors open at 11 a.m., though, which is when Falling Rock will start issuing tickets to people for a glass of the beer. See details below in Black's message.

Monday, February 20
Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen will tap Pliny the Younger at 11:30 a.m. The beer-centered restaurant will donate 100 percent of the proceeds to Sense of Security.

Tuesday, February 21
Hops & Pie will open its doors at 11:30 a.m. for tickets and then tap Younger at 1:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 25
Parry's Pizza in Northglenn will tap Younger today, however, you must be a member of their Ale Yeah Club to get some. If you're not a member, go to Parry's web site become one.

Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids will open at 9:30 a.m. and begin selling wristbands at 10 a.m. (but there will likely be a line outside earlier than that). Wristbands cost $12 and entitle the owner to one ten-ounce pour between 1:30 and 5 p.m. later that day; you cannot buy a wristband for someone else. There are only fifty wristbands. All proceeds will go to Sense of Security.

Lucky Pie's Louisville location will start selling tickets for Younger at 11 a.m. and tap the beer at 1 p.m.

World of Beer Cherry Creek (in Glendale) will be tapping Pliny the Younger at 11 a.m. for its loyalty members. If there is any left, the public can have some at noon.

From Black:

I’ve been talking with the logistics folks at the distributor & we can now release the TENTATIVE dates for this year’s Tappings of Pliny the Younger. We say TENTATIVE because these are based on the truck not encountering any weather or troubles traveling over the Sierra Nevadas and the Rockies on its way to deliver the beer. If all goes well, the beer should arrive in time to tap on Saturday February 11, Saturday February 18 and Sunday February 19th. All three tappings will be at 1 p.m. Doors will open at our usual time of 11 a.m. As people arrive we will be issuing tickets that allow you to purchase a glass of Pliny the Younger. There will be two 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 are getting a Younger. If you get the second color, well, maybe. When it comes time to tap Younger, we will start by selling it to all of the folks with the first color; if you are seated and have a tab with a server, you can stay seated because the server will bring it to you. If you don’t have a table, line up, no pushing or shoving, and get your 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 (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. WE CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A TAB OPEN TO SPEED THIS PROCESS UP!! BETTER YET, PAY CASH! We will not close tabs during this process, because no one wants to wait all day for their Younger!

You may know that each year, the owners of Russian River Brewing Company, Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo, organize a breast cancer fundraiser called “All Hopped Up for a Cure," which has been ongoing the last twelve years. 100% of sales from a special Russian River beer go to a local breast cancer center in their town of Santa Rosa, California. Last year they were able to donate over $100,000 to support the cause. For the 3rd year, Elite Brands has chosen to follow in the footsteps of Vinnie and Natalie with the release of “Pliny the Younger," in what Elite hopes to be our own local, annual fundraiser. They have created this fundraiser to coincide with the release of “Pliny the Younger” to raise money for a local breast cancer center, Sense of Security**, located in Denver. To help kick off this amazing fundraising event, Elite Brands is donating their proceeds of the sale of each keg to Sense of Security. On our end, Falling Rock Tap House will be donating $2 for every glass of Pliny the Younger we sell. Don’t forget, we have 3 tappings' worth of donations to gather! Please follow the link at the bottom of the post to add your own donation to Sense of Security as well, and help us support those around us in their fight against Breast Cancer. **Sense of Security’s Mission is to help Colorado breast cancer patients survive financially while they are undergoing breast cancer treatment. Learn more at 

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes