Orval Day 2018

About Orval Day
Orval Day 2018 is Saturday, March 24, 2018
(Orval Day 2019 wll be Saturday, March 23, 2019)

On March 26th, 2016, and March 25, 2017, devotees of Orval Trappist Ale – and even some folks who hadn’t tried it yet – convened upon their favorite bar to celebrate one of the world’s unique and highly-respected beers. Orval was the first Brett beer to land on US shores, and has become the favorite beer for many star American brewers. ( “Brett” – brettanomyces – is a yeast variety that adds appetizing, sharp acidity and dryness.) Orval sells one beer, brewed to exquisite perfection within the walls of Notre Dame d’Orval Monastery in Belgium. It’s delicious when it leaves the brewery, but also evolves in the bottle for five years or more.

We had over 150 accounts participate in the March 2016 Orval Day, and about 12,000 bottles were sold; Orval 2017 was even bigger than 2017! Thanks to all who participated.

Orval Day 2018 will be Saturday March 24, 2018. For each bottle of Orval sold in the US in March 2018, MdV will donate fifty cents to MAP International, providing lifesaving medicines to people in need around the world. A one-dollar cash donation to MAP provides $80 worth of medicine!


Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus

Pliny Y 2018

Pliny the Younger


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.


Pub draft only, VERY limited distribution locally and to distributors on draft only, seasonal- released at our pub the first Friday of February and is available for just 2 weeks, available at select accounts during February.

Original Gravity: 1.088
Alcohol by Volume: 10.25%
Color: Copper
Bitterness: Medium

Pliny The Younger Release

Pliny the Younger will make his 14th Annual return to Russian River Brewing Company February 2nd through February 15th, 2018! It will be available on draft each day at our brewpub until we run out of that day’s allocation, which rarely happens. Younger is neither bottled nor available in growlers so more people will have the opportunity to enjoy it right from the source, or at a handful of select draft accounts. Following is some helpful information to make this year’s Younger Release fun and safe for everyone!


Pliny the Younger is considered a “triple” IPA, simply meaning that it is higher in alcohol and has tons of hops. The alcohol should finish at about 10.25%, although it is remarkably dry for the amount of malt used in the recipe. It is loaded with hop flavors, bitterness, and aromatics. The hops used in this year’s recipe are of excellent quality: Simcoe, Warrior, Chinook, Centennial, Amarillo, Azacca, Idaho 7, Crystal and Tomahawk. We brewed Younger for the first time in 2005 as a winter seasonal, building upon the Pliny the Elder recipe while pushing the envelope with malt, hops, and alcohol just to see how far we could go! It is always brewed only once a year and released the first Friday in February, rain or shine.


Pliny the Younger was the nephew and adopted son of Pliny the Elder. He was a lawyer and an author in Ancient Rome and witnessed the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD, which took the life of his uncle. Pliny the Younger lived from 61 AD to 112 AD He wrote many letters which survive today and have great historical value. We thought it appropriate to also pay tribute to Pliny the Elder’s nephew by naming this special beer after him!

All Above Information from Russian River Brewing Website

We’re on the Road to Pliny!

Pliny the Younger, Latin in full Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, (born AD 61/62, Comum [Italy]—died c. 113, Bithynia, Asia Minor [now in Turkey]), Roman author and administrator who left a collection of private letters of great literary charm, intimately illustrating public and private life in the heyday of the Roman Empire.

Born into a wealthy family and adopted by his uncle, Pliny the Elder, Pliny began to practice law at 18. His reputation in the civil-law courts placed him in demand in the political court that tried provincial officials for extortion. His most notable success (100) was securing condemnation of a governor in Africa and a group of officials from Spain. Meanwhile he had attained the highest administrative posts, becoming praetor (93) and consul (100).

Pliny had financial ability and successively headed the military treasury and the senatorial treasury (94–100). After administering the drainage board of the city of Rome (104–106), he was sent (c. 110) by Emperor Trajan to investigate corruption in the municipal administration of Bithynia, where apparently he died two years later.

Like his contemporary, the historian Tacitus, Pliny was conventional, accepting the Roman Empire, serving under “good” and “bad” emperors, and making the conventional complaints against the latter in his writings. Between 100 and 109 he published nine books of selected, private letters, beginning with those covering events from the death of Emperor Domitian (October 97) to the early part of 100. The 10th book contains addresses to Emperor Trajan on sundry official problems and the emperor’s replies.

The private letters are carefully written, occasional letters on diverse topics. Each holds an item of recent social, literary, political, or domestic news, or sometimes an account of an earlier but contemporary historical event, or else initiates moral discussion of a problem. Each has a single subject and is written in a style that mixes, in Pliny’s terminology, the historical, the poetical, and the oratorical manner, to fit the theme. The composition of these litterae curiosius scriptae (“letters written with special care”) was a fashion among the wealthy, and Pliny developed it into a miniature art form.

There are letters of advice to young men, notes of greeting and inquiry, and descriptions of scenes of natural beauty or of natural curiosities. Pliny also left a detailed picture of the amateur literary world with its custom of reciting works to seek critical revision from friends. Estate business is a frequent theme, and letters concerned with such matters reveal the abilities for which Trajan chose him to reorganize the municipal finances and local government of Bithynia.

Pliny’s letters introduce many of the leading figures of Roman society in the 12 years after the death of Domitian—men of letters, politicians, administrators, generals, and rising young men of rank. They make possible the social reconstruction of an age for which there is otherwise no serious historical record. He was adept at brief character sketches, his works being less satirical, more kindly, and possibly more complete than those of Tacitus. He was also a devotee of literature.

Pliny published his forensic and literary speeches with care, and late in life he took to the contemporary fashion for light verse in the style of Martial. Though fulsome in the praise of contemporary writers, his judgment of the dead Statius was fair: “He was ever writing poems with greater pains than ability.” His letters to his fellow advocate Tacitus, then occupied with his first major work, tell the little that is known about the date and circumstances of the composition of the Historiae, to which Pliny contributed his famous account of the eruption of Vesuvius. The biographer Suetonius was among his protégés.

One of the best modern editions of the letters and his panegyric to Trajan is by M. Schuster in the Teubner series (2nd ed., 1952). W. Melmoth’s English translation, The Letters of Pliny the Consul (1746), was revised by W.M. Hutchinson for the Loeb Classical Library (2 vol., 1915).