Hopfather - Russian River Brewing Company

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45 Reviews
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Reviews: 45
Hads: 147
Avg: 4.38
pDev: 7.76%
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: 147
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.

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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 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 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 bulletrain76
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Draught at the Bistro IPA fest. Clear straw with a sticky head. Huge fruity aroma with grapefruit, mangos and peaches. Soft and rounded with lots of fruit in the flavor. Dry and light in the malt department, with a light body. The flavor is almost pure fruity hops, with no harshness or obtrusive bitterness. Not really like their other IPAs, and maybe only similar to sculpin in its profile. The spec sheet said 72 IBUs, but the bitterness is so smooth that you hardly even notice it. The amarillo hops add a really nice dimension to the aroma, with the mango and peach components coming through over the more citric notes you might expect from the cascade and centennial that are also used. Definitely another standout addition to the RR IPA lineup, and a unique one. Probably tied with Kern River for the best IPA of the festival.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.