Wednesday, February 16, 2011

MAXED OUT: Makin' Enemies

If it's a Wednesday, it must mean it's time to let our boy do his thing. You are advised to proceed with caution, however, as Max is in a foul mood. We'll let him explain.

Alright my fateful friends of the hop, I am going to renege on last week’s promise to begin the countdown of my top nine favorite breweries of all time. Instead I am going to be blasting one of the most popular beers ever and tell you why I think that both Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger are the MOST OVERRATED BEERS OF ALL TIME!!!!

Sos I wake up last Thursday morning about the same time I wake up every morning, 11:30ish, and see that I have five text messages from some of my favorite beer lovers around town all telling me that Pliny the Younger is being tapped at Toronado that day. I am unimpressed, but for “research” decide to see what all of the hullabaloo is about as it had been a couple years since I got my grubby little mitts on this supposed ‘nectar of the Gods’. So I head down to meet a few of my pals and catch a pint or two of this delicious brew. At 12:30 in the afternoon on a Thursday, Toronado was absolutely PACKED with what I can only assume are the most hardcore of beer lovers. One idiot was even so stoked on this beer that he got there some two hours before the freakin’ place even opened, at 8:30 in the morning! Are you high!?!?!

Don’t get me wrong, this beer was a pretty fantastic beer to be sure, with notes of caramel and the hop aroma of a baby Zeus, but the amount of people that absolutely cream their jeans over this bubbly brew is completely outrageous. My good friend Matt Steele once told me an anecdote about this one time when he was meeting a friend at Hamilton’s (talk about overrated), was a little early and decided to take in some nicotine. As he stood out front, this dude was there and Steele asked him why the place was so hoppin’. “I don’t know. They got some amazing beer on called Younger, or sumpin’”, replies the beertard. Exactly!!!! MFers don’t even know what the name of the beer is, but because everyone else says it’s good then it must be, right? (Insert sheep sounds here)

Pliny the Elder is the other one that just chaps my derriere. People talk about this beer like it’s the second coming of Christ when it’s mediocre at best. It’s so earthy that I feel like charging people five bucks to open their mouth so I can throw a hand full of dirt in, add water, rinse, and repeat.

So my people, lesson of the day: Think for your effing selves!!! If you like Pliny the Elder, more power to ya. And if you find yourselves coming across a tapping of the Younger do yourself a favor and go… for the experience. But don’t be that guy that sits outside for two hours waiting for the doors to open at a joint; not cool. Exponential Hoppiness was on at the same time and is just as good if not better.

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s edition of MAXED OUT - as always, feel free to comment in the comment section below, on Facebook, or at

Until the next time, have a beer for me.

(ed. note: Sierra Nevada was our gateway beer into ales and Pliny the Elder was that for IPAs as we fell in love with the stuff upon first sip. Though we still enjoy Pliny, the ensuing years have afforded us the opportunity to get into many more outstanding IPAs. A such, we have come around to Max's general conclusions both on the taste and its unwarranted popularity.)


B@manMadeira said...

If Apple released a brew called the ibeer, and Steve Jobs made a massive hoopla about it at an Apple unveiling, I suspect you'd have some of the same folks waiting. Some people simply have nothing better to do then wait.

B-Daddy said...

Dean, my gateway to ales was Longhammer IPA, which seems to have fallen into some disfavor.

Max, thanks for taking this as seriously as you do.

Dean said...

Funny you should mention... Longhammer was one of those incremental-step beers. Nothing wrong with Longhammer. Just had one tonight. No need for a palate WMD every time you open up a bottle.

Dean said...

Jessie, that's a good point. Deserving or not, reputations (and branding) precede...

Chris said...

The first time I had Younger was at San Diego Brewing Company four or five years ago. (Think about that: SDBC had a keg.) I was there with a friend on a Saturday afternoon. Never having heard of it, I asked the waitress about it. "It's like Pliny the Elder, but more so." It sounded interesting, so I tried it. It was good. The next (and last) time I had Younger was at Toronado two years ago. Again, I happened by on a Saturday afternoon. I saw it was still on tap, knew the "big" deal about it, and enjoyed two glasses. Again, it was good. Since then, the Younger hype train has taken off and isn't looking back. In my very modest opinion, it isn't worth the trouble to get. The San Diego homer in me would much rather support a local brewer drink Exponential Hoppiness (which I think is far superior to Younger).

Anonymous said...

Younger is amazing. Completely worth waiting 2 hours in line for. Any beer lover would kindly give that time for a frat beer. This blogger can eat shit

Anonymous said...

*great beer

Dean said...

Anon said:
"Younger is amazing. Completely worth waiting 2 hours in line for. Any beer lover would kindly give that time for a frat beer. This blogger can eat shit"

So you would stand in line two hours for a frat beer?

That's what I figured.

Dude, do yourself a favor and head downtown to any one of the many fine shelters they have so you can both clean and sober up before you attempt to run some beer smack.

They might even have a computer there so you can sign on proper, Anon.

Y-M-C-A, gonna stay at the Y-M-C-A...

a curious reader said...

i understand pliny (both PTE and PTY) are both overrated and overhyped. im curious though, as a guru of all things beer what do you consider top 3 IPA's? do you prefer the more malt forward, piney, resin like qualities found in beers such as maharaja? what does constitutes a great IPA in your mind?
although its overhyped for sure i find PTE to be exponentially hoppier (pun more or less intended) than most, while retaining a citrusy, bright, and yet well balanced quality for the style. although that doesnt mean its isnt overhyped, as there are plenty of other great IPA's (san diego specifically) with similar characteristics that i would be hard pressed not to buy instead almost purely for their availability and price point ie: sculpin, hop-15 (original recipe), west coast, pure hoppiness and duet to name a few. still with that in mind, i dont think PTE is a bad beer, or even an average one; i think its a great one. however, waiting in line for extended periods of time, feeling the need to complain about bottle limits, or simply complaining about the lack of availability is beyond a reasonable doubt 100% retarded. PTY can suck a chode too. :)

maybe im wrong, but i think your problem isnt with the beer specifically but rather with the customers that it brings to the bars, the beer stores, or the trade forums. if that is the case max, i whole heartily agree. fuck the hype.

palabra is bond.