Pliny the Younger Takes Top Spot On Beer Advocate

For at least the last few years, Westvleteren 12 has been the highest rated beer on Beer Advocate. But it’s now been overtaken by an American beer, Russian River’s Pliny the Younger, Vinnie’s once-a-year triple IPA that was released this year on February 5.

Judy Ashworth, Stephen Beaumont, me & Peter Hoey at the Pliny the Younger release
Judy Ashworth, Stephen Beaumont, me & Peter Hoey at the Pliny the Younger release last Friday. Opening at 11:00 a.m., by 7:00 p.m., only 8 hours later, they’d gone through all the Younger they had, the equivalent of 40 kegs!

Other kegs set aside for accounts throughout SF Beer Week similarly ran out very quickly. I’ve heard reports of people actually getting pissed off about that and yelling at proprietors for running out, though its popularity can hardly be blamed on the bars selling it. In case you were one of those people who was rude to bar owners, disappointment is the proper response, not anger.

Congratulations to Vinnie and Natalie, and Russian River Brewing, makers of the world’s highest rated beer, at least according to Beer Advocate.


  1. says

    The people who were angry confuse me. The hype started weeks before Younger Day. If you chose to wait to try to get your beer, then that’s just too bad. Apparently there were hundreds of other willing to do far more for a chance to try the beer than you were. This no one’s fault but your own.

    The good news, any place pouring Younger I am confident had plenty of other good beers to offer. Relax, enjoy a pint of a fine craft beer and make plans for 2011.

  2. says

    Congrats to Russian River. However, I’m like Bill on this one. I’m skeptical of their ratings. In my opinion, the hype plays a huge role on how some of these people rate. In addition, it seems they’ve forgotten about other countries (for the most part). Look at the rankings and how many of the beers are huge Imperials, etc. I’ve no doubt that it’s a great beer, that’s what Russian River makes…but number 1?

  3. Jeffrey Wild says

    True, Pliny The Younger (as well as The Elder) is a very hyped beer, much like Michael Jordan, Ferraris, Rolex watches, Dom Perignon et al are all very hyped, “best in the world” in their respective arenas. Take ANY review or opinion of this beer with a grain of salt and please try to leave out the emotions. Everyone has an OPINION but, as a National BJCP, with over 1800 professional judgings around the country under my belt, I can tell you, assuredly and objectively, that PTY will always be near or at the top of any REAL beer judge’s list of best beers, especially within its style category. Besides, if you want to talk hype, get off the “Belgian this”, “Belgian that”, “Belgian style” bandwagon that is the rage among beer expert wanna-be’s. There is nothing worse than un-knowledgeable beer “experts” raving about centuries-old warhorse beers that have never changed and do not offer anything new or push any new limits. Vinnie’s two Pliny’s created and own the Imperial IPA beer style guideline. Praise them and embrace them for what they are. They’re not a style for everyone, but they ARE that good, and they are the un-disputed champions of what they do. Period.

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