Have you ever wondered what was considered to be the best beer in the world? No? Well, I have.
According to the ratings on BeerAdvocate.com, the current (unofficial) best beer in the world is Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Younger. Have no fear: I’ve never heard of it either, and it sounds as though it’s tough to get your paws on a pint. River Brewing’s website has this to say about their highly-lauded libation:
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.
After conducting further research, I came across this nifty article by a dude named Brian Palmer, which elaborates on what it means–if anything–to be considered the ‘best beer in the world,’ as well as what separates us beer snobs from wine connoisseurs in terms of how we rate and rank our respective beverages.
Ordinary beer lovers actually believe that their opinions matter, and they’re pretty much right. Professional brewers show up at home brew competitions to learn new ideas and techniques, and they read Internet reviews to learn what people are saying about their latest release. (I assure you the good folks at Château Latour do not care what some guy in Kansas thinks about the 2010 vintage.) The collaborative spirit runs in both directions, as professionals are expected to share their recipes with the public. Even Vinnie Cilurzo, the owner of Russian River Brewing Company, has divulged the recipe for his prized Pliny the Younger to the journal of the American Homebrewers Association.
If anyone out there finds themselves in or around Santa Rosa, CA next February for Pliny the Younger’s limited release, hook a brother up, and grab me a growler! In return, I shall grant you three shiny quarters and a great big hug.