He comes only once a year, popping up in watering holes across the Bay Area. People line up to see him even before the bar is open. He is not post-mall-shift Santa Claus — he's Russian River Brewing Company's Pliny the Younger, the stronger, hoppier nephew of the same brewery's Pliny the Elder. But why the craze over a beer? The brewery releases Pliny the Younger only once a year, and as with most small batch beers, the flavor varies slightly every time they brew it. The February release also happens to coincide with San Francisco Beer Week.