Beer Me at the Mayor of Old Town: Pliny the Elder by Russian River Brewing Company

Gabe Pocrass

Video by Gabe Pocrass, CTV 11.


Pliny the Elder was a pleasant surprise for me this week.

Initially, a friend of mine told me to try it because he saw that The Mayor of Old Town had it on tap. He knew I did these beer reviews and he thought it would a good beer for me to review.

I must admit, my expectations were pretty low at first because, as some of you know, friends don’t always give the best beer advice. I respectfully admit that I was wrong in this case. This beer was amazing. Like, world-class status amazing. 

Pliny the Elder is an American Imperial IPA (also called a Double IPA) that was created by Russian River Brewing Company, coming out of Santa Rosa, California. They started in 2003 and Pliny the Elder is one of their year-round beers.

This beer is 8 percent ABV and it has 100 IBU’s. The main flavors that are found in this beer are pine, citrus and malts. The aromas of this beer match the taste pretty well; I got the same flavors from it. Its appearance is a little darker than a standard IPA, which makes sense, because there is more malt in a Double IPA, typically.

A lot of times, people think that Double IPA’s mean that the beer is more bitter than a normal IPA, however, more malts are actually added in an Imperial IPA for a better balance. And, when more malt is added, the ABV rises. That’s why Double IPA’s usually have higher ABV.

It is important to note that with this beer, while it was the smoothest and best-balanced beer I’ve had in a long time, it was still a pretty hoppy beer. It definitely had that lingering bitterness taste that you get with any IPA, and it still had the flavors you associate with any IPA. Duh!

But, the one thing I respected about this beer the most was that in any given sip, I could pick out the present flavors of the beer.

If I wanted to taste and look for malts, I could. If I wanted to taste and look for pine and citrus, I could.

And, if I wanted to all of them at once, I did. It was a very fun beer to drink because of that. This beer was balanced so well that not only did the individual flavors compliment each other, they also stood out from each other. It was pretty cool and unique.

The Mayor of Old Town gave this beer a 10 out of 10. I on the other hand, because I want to seem like a professional beer reviewer-person-man, gave it a 9.7 out of 10.


Collegian Beer Reviewer Gabe Pocrass can be reached online at or on Twitter at @gpocrass.