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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: 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 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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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 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 brystmar
4.36/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Buddy of mine had to go on stomach medication after trading for a fresh growler of this, so I inherited most of this growler. Here's a toast to your speedy recovery :)

Beautiful pour: orange body overflows with luscious white head and sticky lace. Fresh, juicy hops tickle my nose as I enjoy the aroma. Grapefruit and other fruits jump out too.

Action-packed flavor profile starts off with aggressive hops which later fade in favor of tropical fruits. Taste remains bold and flavorful without the overly-bitter hop resin character which often characterizes the style. Among the best of its style.

Single IPA is among my least favorite styles. There are only a handful of them I enjoy -- and even fewer that I'd actually purchase for myself. Hopfather falls into the latter.

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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 WTKeene
3.88/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Growler courtesy of Abbbp, opened with Gunch52 and TheReal_Adam. Poured into a Jester King Funk and Sour Fest Tulip.

Appearance: Orange amber with a pale creamy head that leaves substantial lacing.

Smell: Sweet fruity hops, apricot. Some pine notes too. Relatively typical for an IPA. Nothing special.

Taste: Relatively dry, somewhat earthy. Substantial bitterness, decent notes of pine and fruitiness. A basically Still a pretty typical IPA though.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, relatively long linger. Bitterness sticks around a while.

Overall: Nothing special, really. A good IPA that doesn’t really do enough to set itself apart from the million other great IPAs out there.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.06/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Bistro IPA Festival

A - Poured copper-orange with a 2 fingered white head. Dissipated slow and left beautiful lacing.

S/T - Huge wafts of citrus with a tangy honey sweetness. The taste was backed up by a moderate hop bitterness.

M - Moderate-bodied and hop dominated.

D - Good overall. Another fine beer by Vinny.

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