On August 25, 79, Gaius, also known as Caius Plinius Secundus, better known as Pliny the Elder, died.
Pliny was an author, naturalist and philosopher. His most famous work was Naturalis Historia. The book covered nearly the entire field of ancient knowledge. It had subjects on medicine, plants, agriculture, architecture, sculpture, geology and mineralogy.
One of the plants he named was "Lupus salictarius" which meant wolf among the scrubs (namely willows). The name was later changed to Humulus lupulus, humulus referred to the plants habit of climbing. Lupulus still means wolf. Of course, that plant is Hops.
Pliny died on August 25, at Stabiae, one of the towns destroyed by Mount Vesuvius. Pliny and his nephew Pliny the Younger, both saw the eruption. Pliny was at Misenum and sailed to Stabiae, to observe the volcano and to help rescue people.
Pliny's body was found on August 26 underneath some ashes with no injuries. His death is attributed to asphyxiation, or poisoning from gases released from the volcano.
As to the beer:
Russian River Brewing is out of Santa Rosa California. For the longest time, Pliny was only available on draft and at a few locations. In the past month and a half, it has become available in bottles, but again, only in a few locations.
So, if you are lucky enough to get your hands on some (I'm still willing to trade Rob), have a Russian River Pliny the Elder. It's listed as a 100% on Ratebeer an, A+ on Beer Advocate, and is currently #9 on BA's top 100.
Pliny the Elder was a Roman naturalist, scholar, historian, traveler, officer, and writer. Although not considered his most important work, Pliny and his contemporaries created the botanical name for hops, "Lupus salictarius", meaning wolf among scrubs." Hops at that time grew wild among willows, much like a wolf in the forest. Later the current botanical name, Humulus lupulus, was adopted. Pliny died in 79 AD while observing the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. He was immortalized by his nephew, Pliny the Younger, who continued his uncle's legacy by documenting much of what he observed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
8.0%ABV, 1.071 O.G