It is Pliny the Younger time of year again. The annual release of Russian River's rare, triple IPA creates a frenzy, as it is considered one of the best beers in the world. To add to its hype and exclusivity, just one or two kegs of Pliny the Younger are distributed to select bars, and the tapping of those kegs are carefully timed and promoted, or turned into charity events. This year, in coincidental competition, Societe Brewing released a new double IPA called the Miser.
I have been through Younger madness. It is something every craft beer lover should experience - once. While I won't put up with crowds for Younger, it does not mean I'll stop seeking out big IPAs. I went to Societe to taste and get a growler of Miser. It was immediately revealed as sticky, hop-bitter, majestic beer, and proved again that few brewers make IPAs as well as Societe.
As I enjoyed Miser, I read on Societe's beer board that Haberdasher IPA was available. (I wrote about this gem last summer.) I had an immediate reversal of thought, instead of going big and exploring the double IPA depths of Miser, I craved the humble, earthy malts and subtle hops of Haberdasher. This English-style IPA is wonderful, and possibly my favorite beer in Societe's arsenal. I wish Societe sold IVs of this beer.
You can take my place in line for Pliny the Younger, and I can wait for my growler of Miser. Just give me a pint of the sublime Haberdasher, and I'll sit in the corner, quiet and happy.