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It Takes A Lot Of Great Beer To Make Great Wine - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
It Takes A Lot Of Great Beer To Make Great WineIt Takes A Lot Of Great Beer To Make Great Wine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

164 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 164
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 9.97%
Wants: 28
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.75% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
There is an old familiar saying in the wine business: "It takes a lot of great beer to make great wine!" Winemakers, cellar workers, and grape pickers alike rarely (if ever) reach for a nice big glass of red wine in the middle of harvest. Wine is quite delicious, but not very refreshing on a hot summer day. The beverage of choice during harvest is BEER! Ice-cold, refreshing, and thirst-quenching BEER! The beer in this bottle is a toast to our winemaking friends who work around the clock during harvest to make world-class wine right here in our own back yard! Cheers!

Brewed with a blend of California ale yeast and saison yeast.

(Beer added by: hobojon on 08-27-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 164 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stevecooks


5/5  rDev +31.2%

12-04-2011 23:48:18 | More by stevecooks
Photo of Doodler


5/5  rDev +31.2%

12-14-2011 06:31:09 | More by Doodler
Photo of stealth


4.75/5  rDev +24.7%

09-27-2012 04:40:54 | More by stealth
Photo of elNopalero


4.75/5  rDev +24.7%

There’s a real dearth of delicious pilsners on the west coast. I’m glad to say that this one is one of the good ones!
I.T.A.L.O.G.B.T.M.A.G.W. pours a light tan-golden color topped by clouds.
There’s a wonderful aroma of honeyed biscuit and some freshly cut grass.
Great effervescence. A lemony and light grassy flavor with a lingering bitterness balanced by a hint of biscuit and a pleasing dry finish. Delicious.

09-23-2013 05:37:32 | More by elNopalero
Photo of Gilmango


4.6/5  rDev +20.7%

Thanks to the colonelforbin for bringing this back from Zwanze Day at RRBC then schlepping it to CBS and PacBrewLab tasting.

A - golden color with a white head and a bit of lacing, just slightly cloudy - if the "pale lager" is correct then this looks like kellerbier; however this was filtered, no yeast at the bottom of the bottle.

S - bready malt with central European earthy and spicy hops

T - hop forward, real clean hints of malt and lovely dry finish with hints of lemon and good bitter hop grip.

M - Well attenuated without seeming too thin.

O - Really great breakfast beer, session beer, American lager(?), etc. Before I came here to review it I was guessing they used a Kolsch yeast as I just haven't had many lagers from RRBC, but if this is a pale lager (bottle does say "Ale" fwiw oh and their blog reads, "winemaker's session ale") so I am starting to think that maybe they did use Kolsch yeast or perhaps used lager yeast at ale temps ala CA common (but I'm no big fan of that style and this blows away any CA common I've ever had). No matter the beer is great and reminds me of a great, somewhat hoppy but restrained, west coast version of a kellerbier, or a kolsch.

Very food friendly. Best similarity I can recall is the old Deschutes seasonal Pine Mountain Pils, now retired, what a great beer that was.

09-23-2011 16:27:50 | More by Gilmango
Photo of ficklenicholas


4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

04-17-2012 02:43:24 | More by ficklenicholas
Photo of millerbuffoon


4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

02-19-2012 01:55:12 | More by millerbuffoon
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +16.3%

straw yellow color. golden amber with a crystal clear look to it. A small head of maybe an inch rose up, but immediatly fell back down, leaving a naked top to it.

The aroma was light. Lots of light grain and bready malts abound here. Small light fruit notes and an overall light profile. Taste was more of the same, light grain, light fruits, small doses of grain. A crisp, clean, and refreshing profile. Very light feel with an almost non existently light feel. Super drinkable

11-05-2011 14:41:35 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Jemonster


4.43/5  rDev +16.3%

A: Those chunks in the bottom of my glass don't look too appealing. They were in suspension when I poured it. I know it's just clumps of yeast and nutrients. Soft orange glow, thin white head, not a lot of visible carbonation.

S: Smells like what I think about on a hot summer day! Light hop aroma dominates, and light bread. Lemon citrusy.

T: Like a fine pale ale. Very well crafted. Nice lemon/grapefruit from the hops, cool tasting and refreshing. Great bittering. Tastes like a great beer to have with something salty or oily. Finishes fast like a summer beer should. If it weren't winter and 35-40 degrees here in San Jose California, it would probably be even better. Can't quite give it a 5 because I feel like there is something unidentifiable that is keeping it from being perfect.

M: Crisp and clean. More carbonated than it looks. Perfect for warmer weather.

O: I'm stocking up when July rolls around if this is still available.

01-13-2013 02:55:24 | More by Jemonster
Photo of Klym


4.4/5  rDev +15.5%

Poured into a surly pint glass.

A: BMC would be jealous. Very pale gold with slow mo bubbles coming up in quick succession from the bottom. A small, microbubble white head with layers of lacing.

S: Very clean smell with slight hop inflections.

T: The taste is very clean, tons of wheat comes through in the middle and the end hits with a mild but clear punch of hops.

M: A perfectly medium body with tingles of carbonation throughout, classic lager body but twice as clean.

O: Russian River proves itself once again to be a master of clean, clear, and fine tuned. Not sure it compensates for a lack of recent adventure into bold and unique, but it's pleasant nonetheless.

10-13-2011 01:09:07 | More by Klym
Photo of bbb099


4.33/5  rDev +13.6%

Thanks to mjyoung for sharing this one!

A - Clear and bubbly golden yellow with foamy white-colored head.

S - Smells malty with floral notes. Hints of citrus as well. Very pleasant.

T - Light tasting, which is kinda expected. Wheat and corn flavors.

M - Medium to light bodied. Good amount of carbonation.

O - Probably one of the better pale lagers I have had. Taste wise is relatively average, but you can tell this is a well done lager.

11-12-2011 05:39:53 | More by bbb099
Photo of PaulStoneAnchor


4.33/5  rDev +13.6%

A: Pours a golden color with a quick disappearing head. It also has very minimal lacing.

S: Fresh sourdough, yeast, and some sweet malt

T: Very yeasty with a light breadiness and some herbal hoppiness.

M: Coats the tongue very nicely and has a nice medium level carbonation

O: This beer is exactly what a nice pale lager should be. It has a lot of yeast character, breadiness, and some nice herbal hop and sweet malt character. I really enjoyed this beer and could definitely buy a case and kick back several. Great Beer!

10-04-2011 04:11:22 | More by PaulStoneAnchor
Photo of claaark13


4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

11-16-2012 22:22:56 | More by claaark13
Photo of bpasquini


4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

10-24-2013 06:34:57 | More by bpasquini
Photo of stogirelli


4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

05-09-2014 17:48:42 | More by stogirelli
Photo of splendidsplinter


4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

11-04-2012 00:51:58 | More by splendidsplinter
Photo of laxer8811

New York

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

02-24-2013 02:08:28 | More by laxer8811
Photo of scottfrie


4.2/5  rDev +10.2%

505ml bottle in nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a very light yellow with a huge, fluffy, bright white head that took its time to slowly fade into a thin greasy film that left strands of bubbly lacing down the glass.
S: Crackery notes of pale grains and spicy herbal hops. I also get notes of citrus including lemon juice.
T: Follows the nose with dominate flavors of pale malt, spicy hops, and light lemon citrus. The finish is very crackery, and the aftertaste is just barely bitter.
M: Clean and crisp mouthfeel, light body that isn’t watery, and smooth even carbonation.
O: Just as refreshing as it was on tap. I’ve had no problems working my way through a half dozen bottles of this beer, and would buy this constantly throughout the year if it were available. Great drinking beer.

09-08-2011 23:31:06 | More by scottfrie
Photo of AgentMunky


4.18/5  rDev +9.7%

Poured from a growler (filled 30 September at the brewery) into a tulip glass.

A: Several fingers of head fade quickly atop a hazy-opaque straw yellow beer.

S: This smells great! Crisp and very hoppy. Fresh pine and a strong dose of lemon peel.

T: Light and pleasant. I'm not sure I see the saison yeast...It's thin-bodied (crisp would be more flattering) with a very clean yeast. Almost pilsnery. The finish is dry as well. That said, the main appeal lies in the excellent (and potent) hops used. Something European perhaps? Quite bitter and quite delicious. I am enjoying this pale ale, even if its best qualities are tragically ephemeral.

M: Light, crisp, and clean. Nicely carbonated to highlight the spiciness of the hops.

O: Great pale ale! Highly recommended. I'm glad I decided to buy this over Happy Hops, even if HH is still my preferred Russian River pale ale. Would try again.

10-05-2012 03:33:29 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of hooliganlife


4.13/5  rDev +8.4%

big thanks to Jason Rorie for this

pours a lazy hazy straw yellow with a nice bright mix of fizzy and frothy head.

lots of sharp zesty fresh biscuit with a floral brightness. bits of fresh flower.

very malt forward with lots of bread and biscuit. sharp and bright floral hops mixed in through out. almost a bit of tartness, like faint lemon.

nice moderate body with a moderate carbonation. a hint of chew. not overly thin like many ales below 5%.

highly drinkable and enjoyable. loved this.

09-05-2011 01:16:13 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of AgentZero


4.08/5  rDev +7.1%

I'm sure there's something clever about this long name, but I'm too lazy to find out what it is. Bottle from penniwisdom in a trade.

A - Clear, pale yellow beer with a bit of a white head. Some decent lace left on the glass.

S - Some pale malts, light grains. Bit of lager yeast. Nice.

T - Exceptionally clean tasting with light grains, pale malts, bit of yeast, hint of floral hops and hay. Easy to get down in mass quantities.

M - Lighter bodied, clean and crisp. Nice carbonation.

O - Can't complain about this one. Great refreshing lager that would be awesome on a hot day and you can just drink continually. Great for what it is.

09-26-2011 03:23:35 | More by AgentZero
Photo of drabmuh


4.08/5  rDev +7.1%

Bottle shared by Thorpe, this is a lager so I know it's going to suck beerballs but I figured I'd give it a whirl since it is Russian River and I fucking love lagers unlike the rest of you beer-idiots. While this is not the best beer I've ever had, it is probably a top 10 lager I've had and it was great.

Beer poured into a snifter, beer is yellow and clear with a thin white head, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is piny / sweet / pilsner.

Beer is light in body, pretty bitter, sweet up front, nice finish, it is like a hopped up pilsner if you can imagine. I'd have this again, I'd have this everytime I mow the lawn.

09-19-2011 02:43:33 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Thorpe429


4.05/5  rDev +6.3%

Bottle courtesy of daysinthewake, thanks! Served in a Russian River TION goblet.

Pours a clear straw color with a single-finger white head that went down to a collar fairly-quickly, leaving a bit of lacing behind. The nose carried some light grain and faint floral hops. Really delicate, and getting a bit more pronounced as it warmed. The flavor was nice, striking a nuanced blend between mostly-floral hops and a bit of light pilsner malt. Light body with good carbonation and a slightly bitter, semi-dry finish. Very tasty and quite drinkable.

09-20-2011 10:24:44 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of Reagan1984


4.05/5  rDev +6.3%

Thanks to Bdige for sending this along in a recent trade. Always love Russian River. Need to get there someday.

Bright/tight white head forms slowly collapses and is quite creamy in the process. The beer is a bright gold/straw color with just a hint of carbonation rising to the surface.

Aroma is grassy with a touch of sulphur and with bread dough just below the surface.

Flavor is quite bready and nice. The sulphur is just there, but not a problem. Dough sweet bread notes like the center of a fresh baked roll. Almost a sense of white pepper and some white grape. As it warns slightly the depth of the malt bill really comes out.

Crisp and refreshing. A touch more sturdy than “delicate” but still an overall light body.

Good little beer. Well built and spot on for the style. For what it’s made to be, they nailed it.

Thanks Brandon.

10-27-2011 23:07:13 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of bigaltemple


4.05/5  rDev +6.3%

Thanks to leschkie for the generous bonus question in his LIF

A - Hazy, pale, straw-colored. Very thin head settles to almost nothing. Slight film leaves behind light lacing after every sip.

S - Light malts. Maybe a small whiff of orange. Nothing much more to speak of.

T - Like the nose, pale malts dominate. A mildly spicy hops bite sneacks up behind. Has a very crisp finish.

M - Light to medium bodied with almost perfect amount of carbonation.

O - Highly drinkable! Great brew for a late summer lazy afternoon. Wish I had another one to grab.

09-19-2011 16:12:42 | More by bigaltemple
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It Takes A Lot Of Great Beer To Make Great Wine from Russian River Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.