Book & Brew Review: Sandman & Russian River

This is the seventh in a new series by shop regular, Chris Haas, The Book & Brew Review.

>>> Book: Sandman: Overture #2

nw_beer book sandmanWho here is not familiar with the Sandman series?  Anyone?  If so, please leave the computer or smartphone or what have you.  Go to your local comic shop, preferably New Wave Comics.  And then acquaint yourself with the greatness that is Neil Gaiman’s writing.  It’s incredible and I hope you enjoy it as I truly have.

And as I have said before, on to the cover!  JH Williams III has once again knocked this book and cover out of the park.  His gorgeous art is the perfect pairing to such great writing and I’m glad Gaiman could make something like this happen years after the original book ended.  You may have seen Williams’ work on books such as Detective Comics and Batwoman.  Where I really noticed him was when he did the first set of covers for Batman Incorporated (before all that New 52 craziness).

So does this cover make sense?  It does when you realize anything is possible in the world of Dream.  His world is that in which imagination knows no bounds.  Creativity is on tap.  And he watches over all.

>>>  Brew: Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Younger

nw_beer book plineyOther than a few beer festivals, I have never participated in a beer event.  That all changed last weekend when I hit up Via Marconi’s Pizza Pub in Hatfield and Blue Dog Tavern in Chalfont.  And at both locations I got to taste the wonder that is Pliny the Younger.  I had heard many things.  On BeerAdvocate.com, the beer is #3 of the top 250 brews.   While standing in line (yes, a line for beer outside of a bar) I had heard others talking about how they drove an hour to that very location.  A freaking hour!

Named after a man who was a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome, this beer comes in at a substantial 11 % ABV.  Russian River considers the beer to be almost a true Triple IPA because they use triple the amount of hops, yet most sites classify the beer officially as a Double IPA.  After realizing I wasn’t fully aware of the exact difference between the classifications, I decided to research a little.  It would seem that many others have a differing opinion as well.  Either way, it’s a strong ass IPA.

As for Pliny the Younger…well…this was a damn, fine beer.  The color was wonderful, like gold.  The taste was so smooth; I almost couldn’t believe this beer was an IPA.  And when I say smooth, I mean dangerously smooth.  I’m glad it was a pricey, rare brew, because if not, I would have shelled out more just to continue tasting this deliciousness.  I guess you can say I did either way because I went to the second event just so I could taste it again before it’s all gone for the year.

Was it worth it?  Every penny.