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Hopfather - Russian River Brewing Company

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45 Reviews
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 45
Hads: 148
Avg: 4.38
pDev: 13.93%
Wants: 158
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 scottfrie
3.63/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the brewery.

A: Served a slightly hazy golden with a thin fuzzy head that retained a great collar and left wispy rings of lace down the glass.
S: Pine, grass, and a hint of mint. Powerful hoppy nose.
T: Earthy and herbal hops come through strongly. Very herbal and grassy, almost no citrus. I get a touch of onion and pine. Very fresh tasting with a solid bitterness in the finish.
M: Full for an ipa, very slick mouthfeel and smooth drinking. Perfect carbonation.
O: I can see how people love this, but personally it’s not my favorite hop profile and I’d drink almost any other hoppy beer RR makes instead of this one.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2L swingtop growler poured into Founders snifter. Thanks to DeanoMac for this one.

A- Pours a hazy golden slightly brownish orange with about just under two fingers of white bubbly foamy head with good retention. Some nice small carbonation bubbles rising to the top of the glass. Nice layered lacing left around the glass.

S- Slightly tangy citrus orange hops, pine, light grapefruit, some very light caramel malts in the background. Slightly above average aroma strength.

T- Citrus orange hops, decent amount of pine, some grapefruit, finishes with a little bit of caramel malts followed by a bitter citrus piney finish. Aftertaste of grapefruit hops. Nice taste that is very well balanced between everything.

M- Medium bodied, nice carbonation, slightly sticky from the hops, very drinkable, slightly tangy on the tongue.

O- This was a very good IPA. Russian River really knows how to make some good beers. Nice balance between everything. Nice sticky hops with more of a tangy orange taste then I'm used to with East Coast IPAs. Overall I enjoyed this just as much as some of the East Coast IPAs. Hope I can try this again some time.

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Photo of nataku00
4.17/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a nonic glass. Beer is a clear orange color with no head with the glass filled to the top. A few bubbles here and there.

Nose is citrus, grapefruit and orange peel, fresh pine, lighter stone fruit. A bit of caramel malt sweetness as well.

Taste follows the nose, grapefruit orange and peach hop flavor, a good hit of pine and citrus peel bitterness, balanced with a light caramel sweetness. Lingering citrus peel bitterness on the tongue.

Light bodied with mild but present carbonation, enough to keep the tongue clean. Easy to drink and very aromatic, with a light refreshing flavor.

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Photo of litheum94
4.36/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Russian River.

Bright, orange-golden body. Presented with scant head. Some lacing.

Juicy, sweet, tropical fruits. Light spicing, with a vegetal, leafy essence. Some caramel aromas.

Peachy fruit flavors. Not as fruity as the nose. Good spicing, with vegetal hop flavors and a good dose of bitterness. Dry, crackery malts. Some warming alcohol.

Will Vinny ever make a bad IPA. Super good and refreshing. And it's definitely distinct from Blind Pig and Pliny.

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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 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 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 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 AgentMunky
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass at the brewery.

A: Pale, light yellow. Some bubbles. Light head, very scattered lacing.

S: Glorious hops, but I've had better. Pine, grapefruit, and all things West Coast. Strong and pleasing.

T: Astringently bitter, light-bodied, and Very Very good. A subtle fruit component to the hops make me happy. Deceptively gentle, with strong, bitter hops. Lingering and dry, but it never rises above the hop-strong piny roots...much like Pliny (the Elder).

M: Thin and heavily hoppy. Oily and resiny.

O: Pretty damn good. Recommended to all hop lovers but nothing to get excited about.

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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 AgentZero
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cracked this growler open on a random Sunday at Sean's.

A - Hazy orange beer with a small white head. Lots of stick, spots, and lace left on the side.

S - Some nice tropical and citrus, with a pine/resin and bitter finish from the hops. Malt fills this one out nicely.

M - A little bit sticky with not much carbonation due to the growler, but it's forgivable. Medium bodied.

O - Great beer, really nothing to complain about with RR IPAs.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler from Alex...not sure exactly where my review went. From notes.

A - Pours orange/amber color, very little head (growler didn't hold carbonation well), no lacing or cap. Can't really fault the beer though.

S - Nice tropical fruit profile, pineapples, some dankness, pine.

T - Nice bitter dank hops, pine, sweet tropical citrus. The alcohol is just right at 7% and very well integrated. Nice sticky bitter finish.

M - Light to medium, light carbonation, oily dank finish.

D - Another excellent hoppy beer by RR. They can do it all, and here's another fine example. Recommend!

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.

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Photo of kaseydad
3.94/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Straw/light yellow colored brew with a bright white foamy head. Great citrus smells with pineapple and grapefruit leading the charge. Slight malt in the background. Very tart and bitter taste. No sweetness to be found. Very different from the aroma. Dry mouthfeel. Though this is quite bitter, it is still a relatively easy drink. Overall I wanted to be more impressed than I was. Still a nice offering and worth seeking out.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
3.67/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

light orange color, smooth mouthfeel, great hop aroma, sour tasting, light on the palate, slightly oily, bitter hop finish, medium-length finish, nice compact carbonation that stays active throughout the drink. would drink this again although i prefer some of their other offerings over this one-off.

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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 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 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 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 mentor
3.47/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a half finger of light tan head over an orange golden liquid. Smells hoppy lemon, rich orange zest and pith, hay, fresh hops, baby aspirin, pine, and mint.

Tastes citrusy hops with a bit of dirty grassy character to counter. Hop flavor is oranges, pith, lemon, and a tangy baby aspirin flavor. Hop bitter has a piercing clean accompanied by the strong grassy hop. Md light and moderate carbonation.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the brewery on 2010-08-22 in Santa Rosa, CA

A - Hazy orange amber with a short white head with a ton of little bubbles

S - Amazing. You can smell it from a mile away. Pine, citrus, and VERY floral hops. Perhaps the best smelling beer ever.

T - Toasted grain, grapefruit, then sweet orange and plenty of bitterness. The sweetness and bitterness lingers. As I got near the bottom of the glass I noticed a perfume-like bitter flavor, which makes me knock off half a point.

M- Medium body, high carbonation, resinous. Fantastic.

D - Yes, yes, yes.

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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 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.

 542 characters

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