Fans eagerly await the triumphant return of Pliny the Younger to Santa Rosa on Friday, Feb. 5.

For those of you who don’t recognize the name … no, Pliny the Younger is not the latest hot rock band.

It’s a beer, but it’s a special beer, made only once a year by the Russian River Brewing Company.

And if you don’t think beer is a fit subject for an arts blog, you haven’t tasted this stuff. Vinnie Cilurzo, brewer and founder at Russian River, is an artist.

Pliny the Elder, a double India Pale Ale named for the ancient Roman philosopher, is on sale year-round at the brew pub,  725 Fourth St., in downtown Santa Rosa, managed by Cilurzo’s wife Natalie.

Pliny the Younger is a triple IPA, unusually potent for beer, at 11 percent alcohol, but extremely smooth. Because it’s strong, Pliny the Younger will be served in 10-ounce glasses for $4.50.

(Be smart and bring along a sober designated driver for the trip home.)

Take-home jugs, or “growlers,” will be sold for $42 new, or $36 for refills. Only Russian River growler jugs can be refilled. Growlers from other pubs can’t be used.

In past years, Pliny the Younger fans have mobbed the pub and supplies haven’t lasted long. A year is a long time to wait for a beer.

Information: 545-2337,