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

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It Takes A Lot Of Great Beer To Make Great WineIt Takes A Lot Of Great Beer To Make Great Wine

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BA SCORE
86
very good

203 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 203
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 9.87%
Wants: 31
Gots: 14 | 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:
Beer added by: hobojon on 08-27-2011

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 203 | Reviews: 67
Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub. A good dry hoppy beer. Light orange coloured and very lacey. Lightly carbonated. A tad of yeast like a blonde. A hoppy lemony treat. Very good drinkability. Aromas are mildly herbal, malty. This is not a pale, but could pass for one.

Photo of metter98
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is hazy dark yellow in color and has no visible carbonation but some yeast particles near the bottom of the glass. It poured with a half finger high off white head that slowly died down and left a thin head covering the surface and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of orange and lemon citrus along with some hints of oak. No bitterness is present.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation along with bits of dryness.
O: This beer has nice aromas and flavors from the hops, especially since it is nearly seven monts old. It is also very easy to drink.

Note: Bottle Date: 08-30-12

Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i loved this session ale, pure blonde nice and clear and with a great and dynamic yeast character from champagne fruitiness to saison funk, and an impressively dry finish. there also seems to be some wine grapes in it, it has a really bursting fruit flavor in the middle with a bit of sweetness, but im not sure there are grapes in here at all. its the subconscious. i have never picked wine grapes, but almost find myself in a field doing just that on a hot late summer day when i drink this beer. it makes me refreshed when i dont even need refreshing. the low alcohol and the intense flavors really make it come alive, and all this carbonation helps it be even more of a quencher. i would love to know more about the specifics of this beer, as it is unlike any other i have had. great great stuff.

Photo of largadeer
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale blond hue, clear initially but cloudier in subsequent pours. The head doesn't show a ton of retention or lacing.

Great bready pale malt aroma with some yeastiness beneath it. White pepper, bread dough, herbal hops - really quite nice.

The palate exceeds the aroma and is surprisingly delicious. A great sweet pale malt foundation with some spicy overtones, grassy and herbal hops, a bit of peppery bite. Very mild bitterness. This is a beer you really need to enjoy a large pour of to truly appreciate, I think. It's very clean, balanced and sessionable.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of emerge077
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a bottle recently, review from written notes. Bottled: 082311

Pours a pale pastel yellow with visible carbonation rising, and a cluster of larger bubbles on the surface. Thin layer of foam fades to a thin cirrus pattern skim across the surface after a few sips. Solid head retention.

Initially lagery and slightly sulfuric, but this passes, leaving some floral tulip notes and grassy greenery in place of that. Slight yeastiness, overall clean.

Light grassy bitterness, lemon, honey, dry crackery finish, slight malt sweetness. Clean and dry feel, light bodied with medium carbonation. Found it to be easily drinkable on a warm day. Simple and utilitarian, a clean bare bones session lager, no flaws. Simplicity is underrated...

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this, Jason.

A: The beer pours a pale yellow/straw color with a finger of white head.

S: A light citrus note up front, but it fades away surprisingly quickly. The bulk of the aroma comes in the form of pale malt with a bit of a cracker note to it. Light lemon zest and grass notes on the back end.

T: The flavor is quite light. Bread and cracker malt flavors with some floral hops and a light grass. Very soft bitterness on the finish with some hints of citrus zest throughout the sip.

M: Light bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

O: This was pretty good, it was refreshing, and it was definitely something different for Russian River.

Photo of MasterSki
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike for sharing this one. Served in a Cigar City tulip.

A - A finger of white foam quickly settles to some wispy patches, a thick collar, and minimal lace. Hazy white peach flesh body - think my pour was the bottom third.

S - Sharp aroma - cereal grains and perhaps some chaffed wheat as well. A bit of stone fruit sweetness and English herbal hop character rounds things out.

T - Plenty of yeast, wheat, bread, and grain character - lightly toasted with sharp unmalted grains. Minimal hop flavor or bitterness, with a clean and neutral finish. Not bad, just slightly dull.

M - Smooth medium-light body, with lower carbonation, a lightly grainy texture, and a dry, crisp, clean finish.

D - It's a lawnmower lager. Decent stuff, but nothing special or worth actively seeking out. I'd have it again if it were reasonably priced.

EDIT: Apparently this isn't a lager at all. I guess the sharp flavors I was picking up were from the Saison yeast.

Photo of drabmuh
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 083012

A: Pours a hazy golden apricot in color with moderate amounts of large particles of sediment near the bottom of the glass, light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation, and some golden yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy off-white head that slowly reduces a medium thick patch of medium to large bubbles, a thick film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer, and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Upfront there are some light aromas of bready and pale malts. Moderate amounts of citrus hops with some notes of orange, lemon, and just a hint of grapefruit along with some light grassy hop aromas.

T: Upfront some light amounts of pale and bready malts with a touch of graininess that is followed by a light to moderate flavor of oak. That is followed by light grassy hops and some moderate citrusy hops - notes of lemon zest and orange. Light bitterness which does not linger for too long.

M: Just heavier than light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Very light notes of dryness.

O: Even after probably not getting drunk as quickly as it should have, it still had really nice hop presence and was quite nice to drink/enjoyable.

Photo of mothman
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a layer of white head. Leaves some rings. Color is a yellow gold.

Aroma: kind of fruity. Orange and lemon. Piney hops. Very fresh and earthy. Grassy.

Taste: a lot of lemon zest and bready malts. Grassy with a bit of pine and citrus. More malts than I was expecting.

Mouthfeel: Bitter. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends sticky.

Overall, it's good, but nothing like the other RR ipas. Decent, but not pte, pty, or bp. It's not an apa, but I guess I expected more from RR.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle gifted from drabmuh. Thanks Matt! A new beer from one of my favorite breweries. Very exciting.

The beer is mostly clear, with only a mild haze, and appears a light yellow color. The head is insubstantial, measuring less than a quarter inch, even after agitation. Minimal lacing.

I like the aroma. Bready and malty. Smells like a lager. Nice sourdough bread scents.

Thirst quenching, refreshing, easy to drink. Lots of flavor in a low alcohol, sessionable beer. Malty, with only a subtle sweetness that sneaks in, adding s little something to the bready, lager flavors.

Thin body, but not too. Goes down easy. No trace of alcohol.

Overall, I would like a keg of this at my house next summer.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle poured into a De Struise chalice. Bottled 8/30/2012.

Appearance - Hazy yellowish orange. Decent white head. Nice retention and lacing.

Smell - The saison is more prevalent than the hops. Fruity esters and a grainy malt. Almost wheaty. Citrus hops are in the background.

Taste - Hops are light in the taste as well. Grains more prevalent. Saison yeast gives it a fruity but light finish. Very grainy in the finish,

Mouthfeel - Very light and easy drinking. Hardly bitter. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Interesting if closer to a saison than a pale ale. I like the body of it and the saison yeast gives it a dimension that the low ABV and low hop profile wouldn't give it.

Photo of HopHead84
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8/27/2011

Thanks to Jason for sharing this at Woodshop Classix.

A: Transparent blond with a small bubbly white head.

S: Biscuit and wheat with a touch of sulfur. Maybe a dash of lemon and grass.

T: Dry with wheat and sulfur. I get just a little biscuit and earthy, grassy hops. Finishes dry and pretty clean.

M: Light in body with upper moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is crisp and dry.

Overall: A refreshing and highly drinkable beer, just a bit simple.

Photo of aasher
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle is courtesy of BrewerB, thanks Brian! Bottle dated 8/23/11 and poured into my brand new RR snifter.

This one pours a light bodied, bright honey gold in color with a one finger traditional white head. The aromas consist of pale malts, light honey, and a nice subtle hoppiness. It has a clean citrus, yet very light hoppiness. For the style, it's pretty superb. The flavors are pretty heavy on the pale malts. I get a lot corn. There is a moderate amount of honey sweetness and a light citrusy hop presence. It's good but still a little heavy on the corn for my liking. It drinks very light and finishes clean. It's a nice intro beer for anyone getting into craft beer. It's definitely an easy drinker. Overall this is a nice beer and definitely one of the better of the style. I'd recommend it.

Photo of Duff27
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Half-inch white head on a dull orange beer. Decent head retention, no lacing.

S- Not much smell, pale malts.

T- Your normal lager, but less offensive! A slight grape flavor on the tail end. Woo!

M- Good mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

D/O- Wooo! The drinkability is out of this world! Sooo random how this review came about! Thanks to the girl with the friend who came from CA with this. And thanks to the fact she enjoyed my double IPA homebrew haha.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip glass.

A - A very light, clear orange with a two finger off-white head. Solid retention and lots of lacing.

S - Wheat, light malts.

T - Wheat, pilsner-like tones, some light citrus.

D - Good carbonation, light body.

O - Light and refreshing. Great beer? No, but good.

Photo of AgentZero
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of AgentMunky
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of cbutova
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at the brewery, consumed later back in the hotel room in SF. Bottled 08/23/11, 2 months old on the nose.

A- Pale yellow body with a one finger white head. Decent retention and creamy texture. Small cloud and ring = silky fine lace.

S- Light biscuit and cracker malt. Some sweet sugar hints as well as yeast bread and citrus zest hints.

T- Crisp light lager flavor. Sweet light malt with sugar and biscuit hints. Bread and fruit hints, apple and white grape. Grassy and leafy light hop profile.

MF- Silky smooth light body with high carbonation. Slightly creamy feel.

Not bad for a pale lager. Good flavors but still has that sweet light malt and yeast feel found in many other light lagers. Interesting especially with a better mouthfeel for the flavors.

Photo of dar482
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%

The aroma offers floral, grapefruit, grass, towards Centennial.

The flavor follows with lots of green grass, slight spice, dry pine on the back. There's some light malt with a touch of sweetness.

A well made American hopped session IPA.

Photo of scottfrie
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to leschkie for this one.

A: Pours a thin and completely clear yellow. There is a tiny pure white head that fades to nothing. No lacing left on the glass as it drinks.

S: Smells like a standard lager. Nothing overly complicated about it. There is however, just the slightest hop aroma in the tale end of the nose.

T: Starts off a little sweet and highly carbonated. Tastes like a BMC product. But it finishes with a nice little kick of hops and some extra bitterness.

M: Light bodied beer.

O: There isn't really anything too exciting about this beer. It's just a well made lager, perfect for easy drinking on hot days. I feel fortunate to have tried this brew, but It's nothing special.

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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 203 ratings.