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

Massive resin on this one. Loads of oils with thick piney tones to it. It almost seems a bit much to me in that it's well beyond balanced. Just kind of a massive explosion of hops; if you are into that sort of thing.

For the hop-manic, you'll love it. For me, I'm over the obnoxious tones and looking for something a little more rounded anymore.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Russian River brewpub. Served in a pint glass. Big thanks to Adam (Nanoslug) for driving my wife and I up to check it out.

A - Poured with minimal head by the bartender. Slightly hazed golden orange color with bubbles rising upwards. Lots of splotchy lacing when consumed.

S - Super sweet citrusy tangerine with light doughy maltiness - very similar to fresh Wipeout IPA.

T - More grapefruit, and less sweet citrus, with a good amount of bitterness. The malt character is also a touch more present.

M - Tingly carbonation that gets a little irritating after a while. Medium body, with a dryer finish and not as much of the usual oily hop resins.

D - This really reminds me of Wipeout, but with a little more flavor and slightly more restrained, but still satisfying, hop bitterness. I like it more than the regular Russian River IPA, but not quite as much as fresh Blind Pig.

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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 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 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 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 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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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 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 cpetrone84
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap first night at Russian River during the T25 party. Pour is clear golden orange with white ring. Nose is heavy hop, tons of tropic fruit a d grapefruit. Nose is sweet, taste is super hoppy and tight, so dry with huge tropical fruit and grapefruit. Really hop forward and tasty.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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Photo of macrosmatic
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to eyebereej for sending this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from Russian River half-gallon growler into a Russian River pint glass.

A: Pours a bright gold with a bit of chill haze, and finger's worth of white fluffy head, and good amount of visible carbonation.

S: Grassy, dank, tropical fruits, and melon hops over a light cracker malt base. Quite nice.

T: Grassy hops, some dankness, with less tropical fruits, flowery and melon character. There's an almost-perfumey hop aspect as well that I can't quite place. All of which is backed up by a crisp cracker malt backbone that stays firmly in the background. Modest hop bitterness in the hang.

A: Medium body, good carbonation sensation, and the ABV is quite well-hidden.

O: It's good. It has an interesting/unique hop flavor profile that I like but that wouldn't really be a favorite of mine. But still quite enjoyable. Very glad I had the chance to try it!

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