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Row 2/Hill 56 - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Row 2/Hill 56Row 2/Hill 56

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,056 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,056
Reviews: 130
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 269
Gots: 64 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: litheum94 on 01-22-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,056 | Reviews: 130
Reviews by augustgarage:
More User Reviews:
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

perhaps one of the finer american pales happening right now. i can recall very few that do what this one does, which is showcase a hop varietal brilliantly, without being filling, boozy, or tiring. this is so clean and light on the palate, golden in color and frothy to the feel. the hops are simcoe i think, but its such a delicate usage. not delicate in flavor, they are dripping resins and citrus notes, but they never get heavy or bitter like they sometimes do in other beers, quite often really. i never miss the bitterness here, and i dont wish for a more complex grain bill. i think its straightforward nature is impressive. not trying to cover flaws with tons of esoteric grains or anything, its just perfectly made beer. there are a few pales i like as much, but not one i can think that i really like better or would prefer to have a steady stream of, this is top tier.

Photo of Roguer
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful brew: orange/amber, slight haze, great head retention. Hoppy aroma (citrus/pine).

Incredible balance and touch. Lots of hops, but not at all overwhelming, and a creamy base to the malts. There's no major alcohol presence, but it drinks much bigger than its modest ABV.

A really excellent APA. I think this deserves consideration alongside the best APAs in the business.

Photo of deebo
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewery. Really enjoyed the sample I had last night so coming back to a full pint

A-served with a thin layer of sticky white foam this beer is clear and a deep copper color.

S-aromas of bright citrus (grapefruit) and tropical (papaya) shine thru in this. A clean malt character is also present

T-the hops are upfront and brilliant but the malt is so well balanced in this beer

M-finishes smooth with plenty of co2 to carry the flavorful sim is hops

O-a flavorful yet easy to drink brew that is really well done.

Photo of ehammond1
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler

Thanks, NoSignsOfPain!

Clear, bright, golden orange with a moderately sized near-white head that lasts for a while. This leaves the glass messy with spiderwebs of lace. Perfect.

An incredibly clean, vibrant, wonderful aroma of decidedly fresh hops: floral, citrus, and pine character combine tremendously well. This aroma is nearly as good as Zombie Dust's.

Moderately bitter, floral and citrus hops, slight pine, balanced and completed nicely by enough bready malts to make this incredibly drinkable and distinctly a pale ale.

Medium bodied with high carbonation. Crisp, refreshing, delicious, and incredibly drinkable.

Simply awesome, though I do believe Humulus Wet, Zombie Dust, and Hoppy Birthday are just slightly better.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour reveals a yellow and light orange liquid, amazing clarity, damn nice white head about 1" deep and pretty good retention. Aroma, beautiful simcoe aroma, whatever cat piss smells like, this is not it, a heavy dose of pine, skunky hops, mango, apple.

Taste continues in the Russian River vein, light body, alcohol nowhere to be found, flavor bursting with fresh hop flavor. No heft, amazingly light mouthfeel at times, then is just wonderfully lush with the hops and juicy tropical fruits. Imagine SNPA but with simcoe and less caramel.

If you've had plenty of Bling Pig and Pliny, this is in the same vein, but lower alcohol and higher simcoe content. Other than that, its just pretty much bread and butter Russian River world class pale ale hoppiness and cracker clean malt bill.

One of the best in the world. I've drank a little more than a gallon of this stuff the past week, between having it on tap, getting a growler of it and about a dozen bottles, and the coolest part about it is how sometimes the pineapple is just nuts, those are my favorite bottles.

Photo of Shane_Gr
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great flavor. A lot lighter than typical RR hoppy beers in a good way.

Photo of anders36
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle bought at Beer Revolution, Oakland CA.

Pours a clear golden color with a small white head. Has a fruity peachy hoppy aroma.
Has a fruity malty hoppy bitter peachy grapefruit flavor with some very weak grainy hints.
Has a fruity malty hoppy bitter peachy finish.

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Growlers drank one day after poured. Would have drank sooner but after Younger all day yesterday, thought I'd need a day to recover.

If Blind Pig is a Pliny lite, this beer is a HopFather lite. Best and most drinkable Pale Ale ever. So much hop flavor and nose, cat piss simcoe dank, oranges, peach and mangos. Over ripe banana. Grassy pine signature house RRBC profile finish which is second to none.

Only thing lacking especially for the Pale Ale style was a malt backbone. Almost none to speack of. Just enough there to showcase the citrus hops upfront first and for most. Never had a more citrus forward pale although Zombie Dust just landed on my doorstep (thanks rfragga77) today and I'm currently in Tahoe. Only complaint for the style is that it should have a wee bit more malt but still, if this ins a Pale, give me this all day.

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the brewpub. A big hoppy pale, featuring Simcoe hops. Light orange head and lace sheet. Very good drinkability.Well malted, providing above average mouthfeel.Bang on the style, juicy orange citrus.Best beer of the night, and of the newest RR on tap.

Photo of dirtylou
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on-tap, @ the brewery

Served in a pint - pretty excited to try this. An exceptional APA - grassy and fresh, bright citrus flavors, orange peel, lemon, nice malt balance. Juicy - 100% simcoe, true class. I'd likely pick this over Blind Pig any day of the week. Wish I had access.

Photo of hooliganlife
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a golden yellow with about an inch of very light fluffy head, a bit chunky.

total tropical citrus domination. juicy and sweet

light tropical citrus hop flavor with a very light and thin malt flavor towards the end. very fresh and ripe.

light and easy, mild carbonation

very easy to drink, very flavorful and never overpowering. light malt lets the simcoe shine.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead chalice. Bottle dated 6/26/2012.

Appearance - Hazy golden orange. Small white head. Nice lacing. Iffy retention.

Smell - Peaches, grapefruit, and onions. Good ol' simcoe. Hardly any malt behind it.

Taste - More oniony in the flavor. Grapefruit. Grainy and bready malts. Not a lot of bitterness, but with nothing backing it up, it's detectable. Not a complex flavor, but nice.

Mouthfeel - Light, well carbonated. Drinkable. Gulpable.

Overall - Simcoe may not be everyone's favorite hop, but this is well done for what the hop delivers.

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 8/26/13
Poured into the Sierra Nevada/Dogfish Head IPA glass

Appearance: (4.75)
Pours a gorgeous pale gold with a 2.5 fingers tall pure white head. The has great retention and leaves a thick coating of lace down the edges of the glass. Great looking pale ale.

Aroma: (4.75)
Absolutely bursting with pure Simcoe hop character! Juicy peach, lemon rind, bitter grapefruit, resinous pine, light tangerine and of course, that signature Simcoe astringency. Underneath the mountain of Simcoe, there is a light bready maltiness.

Taste: (5)
Your palate is slapped by a wallop of Simcoe hops right away; tons of juicy grapefruit, pine resin, tangerine zest and peach flesh. You can definitely tell that Russian River dry hopped the heck out of this beer by the tell tell 'burnt plastic' impression that comes with an intense dry hopping schedule. The beer finishes very dry, leaving only light coating of slightly sweet, bready malt left on your palate. The malt is very low profile and offer just the right amount of residual sweetness to balance out this very hoppy pale ale. Other than the light malt coating, the dry finish leaves you with long, lingering notes of bitter Simcoe hops;
mostly big notes of pine, grapefruit pith and lemon peel.

Mouthfeel: (5)
light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Very refreshing and crisp.

Overall: (4.75)
Russian River takes seemingly their favorite hop varietal, Simcoe and formulated a pale ale to showcase it's very robust aromas and flavors. What Row 2/Hill 56 turned out to be is a fantastically hoppy pale that has a malt/hop ratio that isn't all that dissimilar to their legendary Pliny the Elder. Very crisp and amazing pale ale that really allows the Simcoe hop to shine!

Photo of thagr81us
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to BilbosNuts for this one! Served from bottle into a COAST Willi. Poured a nice golden yellow with slight orange hue with a two finger slightly off-white head that subsided to one finger very slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, grapefruit, grapefruit hop, fruit, and very subtle pine. The flavor was of sweet malt, tropical fruit, citrus, citrus hop, grapefruit hop, fruit, and subtle grapefruit. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I was really intrigued by this one upon seeing its release from the brewery. I know RR is good at making IPA/IIPAs so I wanted to see what they could do with an APA. I can honestly say that they did quite a nice job on this one. The simcoe is a very nice hop and this brew definitely showcases this fact throughout each sip and especially in the aroma. This brew also brings a very nice balance of flavor and aroma with it as well to keep your palate intrigued throughout. Up there as one of the best APAs I’ve had, but not quite up to Zombie Dust standards as I would have LOVED to find.

Photo of OTB
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple fresh specimens this afternoon. First time with this brew. Poured into my tulip the brew is a pleasant pale copper with a nice inch thick cap of foam that reveals nice lacing as I drink down. The nose is fragrant with bright citrus, sticky resiny pine, all things Simcoe.Flavors falls right in line with red grapefruit, bitter lemon peel and bitter pine sap on a crisp dry mouth that leaves behind a very pleasant unique biting orange peel note. A delicious APA, much needed here on the west coast in a sea of sameness with this style beer. Very drinkable and almost sessionable at 5.8 abv. It's not Zombie Dust, but it's a serious APA for all of you that seek out quality in this style.

Photo of hobojon
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a glass at Russian River and bought a few bottles to go.

App- clear dark straw and light colored for a pale ale. Nice tight white foam laces the glass and sticks around for awhile.

Aroma- Floral, resin, blackberries?, wonderful clean hop aroma.

Taste- upfront bitterness that is almost sharp. mellows into a clean resinous and floral hop flavor and a light bready malt sweetness with a hint of caramel. lingering hop resins coat my mouth and leave a delicious hop flavor. crisp and clean, showcases simcoe very well.

Mouthfeel- better on draft than in the bottle, but good carbonation and dry finish. great lingering hop resin.

Overall- this is a very well made beer that shows off Simcoe. No flair needed here. It does lack the hop complexity that Blind Pig and Pliny have but it is refined and delicious in its own way. Very drinkable as well.

Photo of teamchevymxer
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Love this brew, another quintessential classic from RR. Pours a nice rich light copper color with a lite white head that wisps away quickly. Classic west coast pale ale. The 100% smicoe hopping makes it even better!

Photo of nataku00
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a nonic glass at the pub. Beer pours a clear golden yellow with a finger of white foamy head, dissipating after a few minutes with lots of sticky lacing. Plenty of carbonation floating up from the bottom of the glass, though not super vigorous.

Nose is nice, dank grassy and herbal with a nice sweet orange. A touch of fresh pine in there to lighten up the danker hop aromas. As the beer warmed, a touch of toasted grain comes through as well. Not super in your face aromatic, like the Zombie Dust I had earlier this week, but very nice.

Taking a sip, nice hop bitterness right away, dank grass, pine, orange and grapefruit, but nice balanced by sweeter citrus and the lightly toasted malt sweetness. Very flavorful without being overbearingly bitter.

Light body with soft and ample carbonation. Very refreshing and easy to drink beer.

Photo of DAllspaw
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at RR Brewpub.

Simcoe is very evident from the outset, almost to the point of smelling it before the glass officially hits the table. Great malt balance as well, not just one dimensional. Really nice beer, would love to have this as a regular in the midwest.

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Yep! Did it again. Straight from tha source - Russian River.

Was on tha tail end of a few Younger's and Raul needed to cool down with a fresh Pale Ale and a 7 dollar 7' long. So after my last meatball (Raul has since then converted to a cruelty free lifestyle [against animals, not himself, my peeps]) rolled away and onto my homies lap (sorry about that, playa) I took my last sip of this bad boy and I knew that I could add it to the Russian River Hall of Fame.

Clean, crisp, and made for a pimp.

Yep!

Photo of Crafty-Individual
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite beers at Russian River. I usually take advantage and drink Row 2 over Pliny or Blind Pig, or even some of the sours because it's not bottled. Top notch pale ale that can compete with any other beers in it's style category. Just right with hoppiness and abv. Had it on tap at the Russian River bar area. Ask for a sample if unsure.

Photo of largadeer
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Draft at the brewpub. An all simcoe pale ale from Russian River? Yes please.

A beautiful pale gold body on this one. Brilliantly clear, and very pale, bordering on a blond ale appearance. The head is about a finger high, and leaves rings of lacing following each sip.

The nose is hugely hoppy, without entirely overwhelming the doughy malt. There's plenty of signature simcoe citrus and tropical fruit on display here, predominantly grapefruit, orange and pineapple, with lesser notes of marijuana and evergreen. This smells fantastic, it even held its own side-by-side with Younger.

Bright citrus flavors wash the palate with each sip. Orange, grapefruit, lemon, and more tropical notes of pineapple and guava. The balance is so impeccable that I have to give this a perfect 5 on mouthfeel. It's light-bodied but not thin, and just malty enough to avoid tasting like hop water. Bitterness is reserved, just firm enough to dry out the palate and linger for a moment before fading into lingering tropical fruit goodness.

It's hard to find fault in this beer. I've got a soft spot for low ABV hop bombs, and this beer delivers. The only reason it's not a perfect 5.0 for me is because Alpine's Hoppy Birthday exists, but this is pretty damn close.

Photo of Gastone
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Had on draft two successive days on a visit to CA. The first time I tried it I didn't know the ABV and guessed that it was around 7%, not because you could taste alcohol, but because there was so much flavor. Hop forward with plenty of citrus, missing some of the pineyness that I expect from west coast ales and substituting tropical and earth notes, riding a sufficient and perfectly complimentary malt backbone. I find single hop beers to have more personality than usual, and not always in a good way, but here RR nails it. I've almost stopped drinking pale ales because they are less interesting to me than IPAs, but this is one I sorely wish was available locally.

Photo of rlee1390
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Clear light orange, not much carbonation, two finger fluffy head that leaves behind nice lacing.

S-Floral hops, earthy/pine notes.

T-Balanced with nice floral, citrus and pine hops. Nice level of bitterness for an APA.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation and smooth.

O-A wonderful, refreshing and most of all balanced beer. RR really knows how to craft balanced hoppy brews.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mlaroche for this extra

Pours a pale yellow color, good sized white head with good retention, not much lacing on the glass.

Smell is primarily a lemony citrus hop, its not overly strong or complex in the aroma department but it does its job.

Taste is similar to the smell with the citrus hops being at the forefront, light sweet malt presence, it not smack you in the face hopy like Russian River typically does but instead is a well rounded APA.

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Row 2/Hill 56 from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,056 ratings.