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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

64 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 64
Hads: 209
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 8.48%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 64 | Hads: 209
Photo of spdyfire83
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

101st Review
Bottle to snifter

From notes. Thanks to Bardwashrind for sharing this treat at our Black Damnation horizontal tasting. This was a nice break in the dark stout action. My palate cleanser while drinking Black Damnation V - Double Black, if memory serves correct.

A: Bright, sunshine yellow. 2+ (foamy white) fingernail head on medium pour.

S: Brilliant bouquet of hops, citrus, and light crystal malt. Smells like a field almost - can't decide if it is in a good or bad way though.

T: Very light, crisp, and refreshing. Soft biscuit with mild sweetness (maybe honey). Balanced hop and malt profile that goes well together.

M: Light bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Drinks very clean. Quite refreshing. Great palate cleanser and I can understand the wonderful title. Can't say I am inclined to start making wine, but this could inspire me. Just an all-around good beer. (887 characters)

Photo of LiquidBread219
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A= Poured straw yellow had a little bit of a head that left behind some spotty lacing.

S= Some pale malts, Mainly "Earthy" scents like wheat grains. Really had a clean crisp scent to it.

T= Much like the nose it was really clean and crisp really a light beer. A really good beer that you could enjoy on a hot summer day.

M= Good Carbonation, Light in body.

O= Overall, It is what it is a really nice clean and crisp APA this would be a perfect summer beer and you could really have a lot of these and get away with it because it's not that strong. Glad I got to try this one from a great brewery. (600 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (503 characters)

Photo of Phelps
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by whiterascal, poured into a tulip. Brewed in celebration of the Sonoma wineries and the tradition of serving the vineyard workers ale with their lunches.

Pale, perfectly clear buttercup gold. A wispy, airy and very short-lived head of white pops away to nothing. Thin, delicate — looks like a lager.

It also smells like a lager. Sweet baking bread, a touch of sourdough and zesty, floral hops. Some interesting sweetness is in there as well — marzipan? Ginger?

The flavor leads with spicy, floral Czech or German hops. Crackers, touch of biscuits. Some grainy bitterness sweeps in at the finish. Very clean, very light.

Weird in the mouth — kind of dead, watery. Flashes of peppery carbonation in the light to medium-light body. Insubstantial.

Pretty much every reference to the beer’s style I’ve found refers to the beer as an American pale style, but my mouth found this sitting firmly in the lager camp. Even as a lager, ITALOGBTMGW isn’t impressive. It’s a decently drinkable lager, but it’s also very boring, and doesn’t live up to the excitement a Russian River bottle produces. (1,130 characters)

Photo of robsee
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, poured into a Sam Adams glass. Straw yellow, white head, appears somewhat unfiltered.

Surprised by the classification as American Pale Ale as it is more blonde in style and conception even closer to a lager.

Clean, dry, crisp, and lager like. Hopped more than a normal lager with noble hop character. No citrus.

Very nice refreshing beer but as I'm drinking this in my Sam Adams glass, I realize that I'd rather be drinking a Sam Adams Noble Pils. (458 characters)

Photo of HosP
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thank you to Scottfrie for the beer. Poured into pint glass.

A- Pours clear, straw yellow. Thin white head with bits of lacing left on glass.

S- Light grassy hop aroma. Overtaken by grainy, bready malt aroma.

T- Crisp, clean taste. More of the grainy malt in the flavor. Small amount of floral hop flavors dotted throughout. This would appeal to many beer drinkers out there.

M- Light body. Nice carbonation.

O- Nice refreshing drink. Anyone getting into craft would enjoy this beer. I did enjoy the drink, nice difference with simple yet nice flavors to it. (567 characters)

Photo of Gushue3
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Renny for this extra.

A hazy yellow that resembles a hefe. Smaller white head with little retention and some bigger carbonation bubbles jetting from the bottom.

S Lighter sweet malt with a slight banana scent. Light earthy hops in there too. Smells interesting

T Not much flavor up front but quickly gets a light sweetness and spicier hops, not so much bitter. Almost a white grape taste thats very soft in the finish. Definately a little different

M Heavier side of light mouthfeel with lots of carbonation. Very easy to drink.

O Not a bad pale but different. taste was refreshing but didn't stand out to me. White grape flavor was interesting and nice. (669 characters)

Photo of bbb099
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (443 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
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 (479 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (703 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.46/5  rDev -11.1%
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. (776 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (850 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mike (AgentZero) for this one. Poured into Kuhnhenn tulip.

A - Pours a clear straw yellow color, thick head, spotty lace, thin collar.

S - All very light and crips. Floral, grains, slight touch of bitterness. Really nice and easy going...fits the style well.

T - Freshly cut grass, some mustiness, hay, grains, touch of hops, some malty sweetness. Again, nice and easy to drink.

M - Light, crisp, smooth, refreshing, slightly grainy finish.

O - A nice Pale Lager that's just super-chugable. This one is just easy to drink a lot of and fits the style nicely. Would have again. (590 characters)

Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.08/5  rDev -20.8%
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. (698 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
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... (738 characters)

Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Light yellow-golden color, small white head.

Yeast and light malt. Small amount of grassy hops in the aroma.

Refreshing and crisp taste. Light grassy hops. Not much bitterness at all. Some fruitiness from the yeast. Bready/cracker malt profile. Easily sessionable but boring. Kind of an odd format to sell a beer like this. Reminds me of Mayflower Golden Ale a little. It's meant to be sessioned and not analyzed but if I wanted a sessionable lager I would look for a Tipopils, which this does not even come close. (516 characters)

Photo of Klym
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (678 characters)

Photo of mjyoung
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank 10/5/11

A: Pours a nice straw color with a really nice looking head that has pretty good retention.

S: A wee bit of citrus but mostly dominated by pale malt and cracker lager.

T: Very light, and quite tasty. A little bitter on the finish, but still great.

M: A nice, medium body with good carbonation.

O: A great lager. Refreshing, and indicative of RR's overall quality. (385 characters)

Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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! (526 characters)

Photo of grover37
2.81/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

500ml bottle into a pilsner glass. Picked up for me by a friend who visited the brewery.

Appearance (4): Very clear, light straw with big time legs. Almost two fingers of head which reduces to a thin ring. Lots of carbonation but no lacing. Impressively clear.

Smell (3): Pretty faint. A light graininess, but mostly fresh mowed grass. A slight tangerine and a touch of esters from the skunky yeast.

Taste (2.5): Pretty skunky and really grassy. Not bad but not particularly pleasant either. Wet and pungeant grass and a touch of fruit up front, with a little bit of bitterness and the light straw and grain malt in the background of the finish.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Slick and smooth but not that spritzy. Maybe a little bit heavier in the finish uncharacteristically. Medium to light bodied and medium carbonation.

Overall (2.5): This is the first beer from Russian River that I didn't love. I think it might be a little heavy handed with the noble hops which gives it that overwhelming grassy and skunky flavor. This one looked really good but was disappointing otherwise. (1,079 characters)

Photo of BrewerB
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed this one directly at the brewpub in Santa Rosa. Bottle is dated 8/23/2011.

Pours a clear golden color with a well-formed, retained off-white head that's leaving lacing behind as it slowly collapses.

Saltine crackers, earthy and floral hops. Hints of sulfur.

Crisp, crockery grains step forward on the palette, countered by an earthy hop character. Bitterness is moderate and providing a great balance to the subtle malt backbone. Finish is dry.

Medium-light bodied, moderate-high level of carbonation, smooth.

Overall this beer hits the mark on its intention of being a flavor, sessional beer. highly drinkable with a dry finish, crisp malt backbone and a body that keeps you coming back for another sip. I disagree with the classification of this beer as an American Pale Lager since the brewery doesn't categorize it as such. (845 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (958 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (639 characters)

Photo of Gilmango
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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. (1,330 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (305 characters)

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It Takes A Lot Of Great Beer To Make Great Wine from Russian River Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.