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Hopfather - Russian River Brewing Company

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45 Reviews
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Reviews: 45
Hads: 148
Avg: 4.38
pDev: 13.93%
Wants: 157
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mjl21 on 08-08-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 45 | Hads: 148
Photo of oldcrustacean
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Russian River brewery after a MTB ride at Annadel State Park.

Overwhelming, yet balanced hop dominance. Puts Pliny to shame. Left with two growlers. The dry hopped aroma filled the car on the drive back to San Francisco (yes, through the glass, it's that potent.)

Excellent beer, would try again. A++

I'd only drink RR fresh -- bottles don't do their craft justice. Sorry, CP, maybe one day you can experience RR properly.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It pours a crystalline gold with tight, white foam. The foam lingers, slowly compacting as it rests.

There’s a complex, layered hop aroma, with pineapple, tropical fruits, dried fruits, followed by a light pine, touch of citrus, some orange peel and a taste of honey. The flavor comes across as sharply bitter yet smooth and rounded, with an emergent sweetness that develops as it warms. Bitter and fantastic.

Picked up a growler to go of this bad boy after drinking it on tap.

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Photo of TomFdds
4.74/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I happened to be there when they had this on tap. It really just hit all the right notes for me. Really drinkable, bright and hoppy, glad to have tried it.

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Photo of flayedandskinned
4.66/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Freshly filled growler filled at Russian River's pub
Poured into the Sierra Nevada/Dogfish head IPA glass.

Pours a lightly hazed, brilliant golden apricot with a frothy, tightly bubbled 2.5 finger tall white head. The head has great retention and leaves plenty of lacing alongside the edges of the glass as it recedes.

Wow, the nose is definitely all about the Amarillo and Centennial hops! Bright, juicy aromas of fresh, ripe mangoes, peaches, tangerines and pine needles immediately burst out of the glass as soon as the beer pours. i've never had a beer showcase Amarillo hops this intensely. As the beer warms, only a mere hint of a malty breadiness loiters beneath the mountain of hops.

Taste: (4.75)
The taste follows the aroma pretty closely, exploding with bright, intense flavors of ripe, juicy mango, peach, lemon peel, grapefruit and pine. The piny and fruity hop character dominates the majority of taste, easily batting away the lightly contrasting kiss of bready malts towards the bitter, dry finish. Long lingering notes of lemon, grapefruit and pine.

Medium bodied with moderate, but crisp carbonation.

Overall: (4.5)
Yet another magnificent beer from Russian River. This IPA really shows off the bombastic fruitiness of both the Amarillo and Centennial hops. With such a strong emphasis on the Amarillo hops and the very dry finish, I really can't help but be reminded of Ballast Point's Sculpin. Russian River yet again, succeeds at making a wonderful beer and I can't recommend this beer enough.

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Photo of brotherloco
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this growler at RR just 3 hours ago. This batch is listed at 6.81% ABV. Served in a pint glass.

A vigorous pour gives me a three finger head of large loose bubbles. Settles to a pillowy head on top of a slightly hazy pale gold beer. Big swaths of lacing left behind in the glass.

Aroma of tropical fruity hops, pine and earth. Perfumy floral notes as well. Hops dominate and malt sits quietly in the background, no surprise for a Vinnie brew.

Flavor is an explosion of juicy, oily, resinous hops. Just tremendous. All of the citrus, pine, and floral notes from the nose. A little more malt sweetness emerges in the middle of the flavor than I was expecting from the nose, definitely sweeter than other RR IPA's. Flavor finishes with lingering hop bitterness and a good bit of burn from all those hops. This one will dominate your palate for hours.

Medium bodied with a little below medium carbonation. Doesn't finish as dry as other RR IPA's, but still very drinkable.

This is a stunning beer. I'm not going to rank this against Pliny or Blind Pig, I'm just glad to be able to have all 3.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.63/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

9th on my tasting list at the Bistro 13th IPA festival.

Lots of clarity in this darker yellow ipa. Minimal head, lacing etc. . . big blast of typical grapefruit citrus and pine here, excellent dry hopping, right up there with any beer just about.

Taste, knocks your socks off, very little bitterness, but so much hop flavor. Simcoe, Amarillo for sure. Very light on the palate malt wise, but perfectly complimentary. Remarkably able to be resinous sticky, but never heavy with just enough sweetness to be appreciable, but not distracting. Great burping beer. Similar to Blind Pig, but with more complexity and less malt. Might be some peach or apricot in this one as well.

Winner of the People's Choice award, it was my choice as well.

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Photo of largadeer
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Edit 08/09/2010: The first batch was good, the 2010 batch is phenomenal. Scores updated accordingly.

Original review:


Draft at Toronado's 22nd anniversary. Burnished orange body with a small white head. Big tropical fruit aroma; tangerine, mango and pineapple. More sweetness coming from the malt than I would expect from a Russian River beer, this is surprisingly balanced. Sweet and hoppy on the palate, with big floral, grapefruit and tangerine hop flavors leading into a bittersweet finish. This is an odd one for Russian River, a more balanced take on an IPA with a light body but a noticeable malt presence. Not what I was expecting but still very enjoyable.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nothing quite goes with quantum mechanics like Hopfather, yet another RR IPA that I feel lucky to be able to try. Thank you, Chris.

Pouring light orange with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and lacing, this is a top notch IPA. The nose is glorious. Beautiful hop character, bright and clean with a lot of grapefruit, a little pine and a rather noticeable citrus character, this is excellent. Tangerines and clementines come to mind, once I start paying attention to the citrus component. Just a touch of mint, this really is a showcase of aroma hops; the bitterness is rather low. And that's what the palate reveals too. Plenty of hop flavor (and I mean plenty), there's a beautiful blend of grapefruit, pine and tangerines here. Moderately fruity, sweet even, from the hops, there's just a little bit of malt present, very faint, almost cracker-like. It differs from Elder in that it's not as floral. Bitterness is moderate, arguably low, even. Drying on the finish with a beautiful resiny character, the finish is long-lasting and has a ton of hop flavor. Carbonation is moderate, though this beer has spent about 11 days in the growler before it got to me. Excellent stuff, I could drink a lot of it. The flavor profile of this beer makes me think it could almost pass off for a beer from Alpine.

If Registration was more Blind Pig than Pliny the Elder, Hopfather is more Elder than Pig. I think I'll have a 3rd pint now to verify this theory of mine. In fact, I like my 4th so much that I have to up the scores to reflect that. The nose is impeccable

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Photo of bret27
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Citrusy+piney floral smell similar to other RR ipa's. Somewhere between PtE and RR's regular IPA. Overall solid, not quite as good as pliney but its kind of in a league of its own. Had at IPA festival at the bistro in hayward, ca, for its debut appearance.

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Photo of Hendry
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Burnished orange, typical translucent RR IPA,1 finger of soapy white head, splotchy lacing.

Aroma is delightfully fruity, not getting the references to heavier than expected malt in other reviews, this one is hoppy to me. Lots of orange and grapefruit and a touch of sweetness and herbal goodness.

Flavor also on point, and delivers a slightly peachy taste with the orange and grapefruit, very nice flavors here, liking the way the hops stand out,and while the malt isn't minimal, it isn't getting in the way of the juiciness.

Mouthfeel is light medium,lower level of carbonation but seems appropriate, mild bitterness that hangs out for a few minutes,

Typical of the West Coast style of IPA that I enjoy, and even though I prefer my IPA unfiltered, both Alpine & RR have a certain knack with this style. Delicious beer and highly recommended.

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Photo of jnn4v
4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: served on tap at rr. Pale yellow/orange. Little head. Transparent (looks filtered)

S: oh man, this is killer good. Tropical fruits and floral scents abound. Very "juicy"

T: simultaneous bitter and sweet. Hops everywhere inboth bitterness and citrus and fruity flavors. Some resiny flavor in the aftertaste. Good malt backbone in mid mouth.

M: decent carbonation and texture. Medium-high density.

D: yes please. I'll take two more and a growler to go (I wish).

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Photo of womencantsail
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks, Jeff!

Pours a bright orange with a slight chill haze and a soapy white head. Nose is almost pure grapefruit juice. Intensely citric and wonderful. Plenty of pine, sweet tangerine, and a hint of bready malt. The flavor is quite citric as well with tons of grapefruit, tangerine, and just a hint of peach. There is very minimal malt flavor and a moderate pine note and bitterness on the finish. Fantastic stuff.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

08/13/2010 - 08/15/2010

Vibrant golden with a frothy white head. Nose is hop forward with a crackery malt foundation. Hop character is redolent of grapefruit and pine resin. Reminds me a lot of blind pig. Flavor is moderately bitter pine and citrus with a shade of crackery malt. Very nice. Dry and crisp mouthfeel. I drank this more than anything else on my trip to SF.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from a growler into a shaker pint glass. Beer is amber to orange and mostly clear. Despite this being a growler, the carbonation is spot on, great head, steady moderate carbonation of medium / small bubbles that rise through the beer feeding the white head of small and medium bubbles that leaves moderate lacing on the glass. Looks good.

Aroma is wonderfully hoppy, good fruit and pine character, no real sweetness in there, just a great array of hops.

Beer is medium bodied and really bitter in the back. A hint of malt in the front but overall its quite good. Midpalate is all hops all the time, the back finishes not too dry and with a nice strong hop bitterness. Good drinkability and mouthfeel. Appropriate levels of carbonation.

This beer is slightly less big compared to the elder but both are great great beers. I'm very happy i had the opportunity to try this.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a golden orange, thick white head, lacing down the sides.

very citrus forward, tropical, with strong orange and grapefruit.

flavor is complex, lots of tropical fruit, bitterness, orange/tangerine, and some pine. light malty backbone.

full body with a hint of lightness, goes down easy. resin and oily. dry finish.

easily one of the best IPA's ever.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yet another growler shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

This beer appears a very clear light orange hue. There is a substantial white head that leaves a generous amount of lacing on the glass. The smell is very similar to Pliny the Elder. The beer has a great floral, citrus and hop flavor. Hopfather, like Pliny and Blind Pig, is amazingly smooth and drinkable. Russian River knows how to brew world class beers. This is no exception.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1st beer off a new keg at the brewpub. Tastes somewhere between Russian River IPA and Pliny the Elder. Pours golden with a thin, silky head that fades rapidly but leaves almost a continous sheet of lacing on the glass as the beer disappears. Smells fresh, and very herbal with some nice citrus creeping in. Notes of dill, some tanginess akin to yogurt, and a touch of earth and pine. Thinner style with not much malt prominence. Reminds me a bit of Extreme Hoppiness from Alpine. The taste is also fresh, clean, herbal and citrusy, with some pine that shows up on the finish. The other notes from the aroma are echoed here, but the dill herbalness and tanginess especially continue to build as the beer opens up and warms. The mouthfeel is clean and pure, a with a lot of nuanced bitternesss throughout. Another delightful IPA from Russian River.

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Photo of mjl21
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub. Poured into a RR pint glass. Comes in at 7.0% and 60 IBUs.

A-Pours a clear, glowing orangish amber. There is a faint amount of white film along with a small bubbly ring. Lots of visible bubbles. Some nice streaks of lace are left.

S-Oozes of fresh hops. Almost a perfect combination of citrus and pine blended together. The citrus leans toward orange rind and grapefruit. Not much malt is apparent.

T- Lots of pine and citrus hops upfront. The two play well off of each other and neither one dominates the flavor. There is a nice level of bitterness. Not much malt is detected and the aftertaste is orange, grapefruit, and pine.

M-Lighter bodied with that smooth mouthfeel that RR beers typically possess. I found the carbonation to be a tad too much. It finishes dry and crisp.

D-Went down way too easily. The 7% is nowhere to be found. Very refreshing.

Another great IPA from RR. This one reminded me of a cross between their regular IPA and Blind Pig. I liked it so much I took home a growler. Hopefully they keep this one in the rotation.

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Photo of DJButters
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this a couple of times in 2010, both on tap and out of a growler.

A: Pours a light orange body with compact foam. Good retention, with some lacing down the sides.

S: Hops, Hops, and more Hops. Maybe it was just the day that I had it but this could be the best smelling IPA ever for me. I wish I could have had it next to PtY and compare. Blew BtE out of the water during the sample taste.

T: Smoother than anticipated, though the hops had a long aftertaste. Just a fantastic beer with that demanded I drink more and more.

M: Like washing your mouth with hops. Good carb - great color

D: I could be a happy man with this as my go to IPA. Keep it on the down low while everyone else praises PtE (My Second Fav IPA)

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2L growler purchased at the brewery yesterday. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Slightly hazy. Orange body. Small white head. Nice lacing.

Smell - Big grapefruit and floral hops. Awesome hop aroma. Slight grainy malt behind it.

Taste - Awesome citrus hops. Floral also, but grapefruit is most prominent. Just a hint of sweetness before a biscuit malt finishes it. Dry in the end. Not terribly bitter at the end, which is Blind Pig's downfall.

Mouthfeel - Well carbonated. Grainy malts. The hops are all in the front. Finishes just a little bitter.

Overall - The second best IPA at Russian River, behind Pliny. I'm so glad I made it to RR to try this. Very tasty IPA.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this at Russian River Brewery today for my birthday and got a growler to bring home and had some from the growler.

Appearance- golden color, thin head

Smell- hops, very nice

Taste- very nice hops flavor

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- This was excellent. I loved it. I had some from the sampler at the brewery and got a growler. Had to have more.

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Photo of illidurit
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Epic handbottle from Devon I believe. Pours a dark gold with a frothy white head. Thank heavens for carbonating caps. Orange creamsicle aroma with nice mango fragrances and vanilla, maybe some grapefruit. Sweet hop flavors of orange and pineapple that fade into an almost tannic tea leaf note with bitter grapefruit. Fits the mold of all the great IPAs: derives its sweetness from hops, not malt. Nice resiny finish with plenty of bitterness to pad the drinkability, which is already dangerous. A great beer that I'd love to have fresh.

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Photo of gford217
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Robert for breaking this one out at a recent tasting.

The growler opens with an impressive pop and then pours a clear golden orange with a small soapy off-white head that leaves spotty lacing and sticks around as a collar.

The aroma is big and juicy - with tons of grapefruit, oranges, lemons on the citrus side but with a definite PtE-like floral presence. The malt sweetness is present in the background but it's really all about the sweet, juicy hops.

The taste starts out with some sweetness from the citrus with grapefruits and oranges up front. The caramel malts form a solid backbone to balance the hops and the floral pine bitterness finishes things off and leaves a slightly resinous taste on the palate.

The mouthfeel is sticky with hops and had impressive carbonation given it's a growler. It's probably on the lighter side of things as in terms of body but in a good way and makes for massive drinkability.

Well, there's no doubt that Vinnie can make one hell of an IPA and this is no exception. Well balanced with lots of citrus and floral hops and exceptionally drinkable.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Alex for shipping this from RR and Sean for sharing...Pours with little carbonation as the growler didn't hold well sadly. The beer is a really nice light peach color...The aroma is pretty nice, light pineapple on the front with lots of resin on the back. Sticky thick pine hops...The taste is really nice dumping some of the hops, thankfully as isn't isn't a dipa or have that high of an abv. All the RR ipa's are very similar, almost like the same base is used everytime, just boil the hops different times.

Another great RR ipa.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Craig.

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden-amber body with well-retaining off-white head. It retreats down the glass in clumps, leaving sticky lace down the sides in rings.

S: Grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, even a hint of mango. Craig told me this was filled 8 or 11 days ago (he wasn't sure -- and frankly, if you know Craig, you understand the uncertainty of +/- 1.5 days), but the aroma isn't suffering for it. This is much more vibrant than I remember, and than my old review indicates.

T: Powerful citrus punch: a clean burst of grapefruit, mango, pineapple, and tangerine. The tropical citrus bomb hits my sweet spot. It has a touch of pine, as well. The beer has enough astringency to give it the impression of being slightly acidic; at times it tastes like pineapple juice. Remarkable.

M: The astringency I mention works well here as a textural element. It doesn't inhibit drinkability in the slightest; I put away half the growler with ease. No lingering bitterness; it has a clean aftertaste. Appropriate carbonation.

O: I wish I could have gotten a couple of growlers of this for myself and trading partners. When I finally made it up to RRBC, the beer had kicked. What a missed opportunity. I clearly appreciate this beer a lot more than I did two years ago.

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Hopfather from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.