Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Row 2/Hill 56 - Russian River Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

128 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 128
Hads: 1,143
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 6.67%
Wants: 275
Gots: 77 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 128 | Hads: 1,143
Photo of mjw1200
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was in a mix box a friend shipped me. I expected it to be good, but this was highly impressive, citrus and pine. Easy drink. Man I am happy he sent this.

Golden beer, bright white top. Leaves tons of lacing down the side. Best part was he sent more than one.

Just had another, liked it even better this time. (315 characters)

Photo of laglocal
4.99/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - pours a light copper with a finger of off white head that deflates into perfect lacing that makes a ring after each sip I take.

S - fruity cheese, if that makes sense, with hops overwhelmingly taking charge. The smell is fantastic and invades my nostrils every time I drink from the glass.

T - sharp carbonation starts off with what I take to be a malty start, then the hops come in with an initial piney bite then back off to a lingering bitterness coupled with citrusy amazing ness. Just balance perfected while still letting the simcoe sing in all glory.

M - this has lost no carbonation over night, not always my regular experience with growlers but Russian river really does it right. Dry dry dry as hell which makes you keep coming back for another sip. Good thing I have to polish off this growler tonight.

Overall this has replaced hop trip as my favorite pale ale. Really glad it is getting bottled soon. (924 characters)

Photo of edgeh2o
4.91/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Simply the best Pale Ale I've ever had, the new benchmark. After the sampler set at RR, I was planning on ordering the Pliny, but I ended up getting this instead. Blew my mind! So hoppy for a pale ale, move over Lagunitas Dogtown! Thank you Simcoe hops! (253 characters)

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
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! (1,740 characters)

Photo of teamchevymxer
4.87/5  rDev +12%
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! (215 characters)

Photo of AdamBear
4.87/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Being on the East Coast, it's been a very long time since I've been able to try a NEW Russian River beer. I am very excite.

A-pours with an impressive amount of head. hay colored.

S-comes in with a amazing flavor of barley and grains with just a beautiful albeit small touch of grapefruit. smells of high quality. maybe the best smelling beer...ever.

T-comes in with a great light flavor of barley and bitterness. it's a very light though crisp flavor. the bitterness does come in with a delay, but once it's there...it sticks to the tongue. high quality flavor

M-so creamy. goes down easier than water.

O-this is the beer that sets the bench mark for drinkability. i've never in my life had a beer so savory. i can drink this like water. it definitely reminds me more of the "day time/all day" IPAs. it's so much more fresh and clean that most APAs. (855 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Revisiting this via a growler that had a weekend’s wait on it.

Definitely tastes better fresh, or at the brewery (from the source) but even from a growler after a weekend’s rest it’s enjoyable.

Pours a clear golden-tan color with some foam lacing.

The aroma doesn’t come across as crisp and hoppy as on draught but I still get a pleasing hoppiness—some straw, some grass, a hint of tropical fruit too. Toasted pine and warm grass.

Flavor snaps, with a clear citrus squeeze and some light bitterness. This goes down all too easily. Definitely one I’ll have again. (578 characters)

Photo of Crafty-Individual
4.83/5  rDev +11%
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. (353 characters)

Photo of Kmccabe33
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Appearance is good as always for Russian River stuff, orangeish hazy color, slightly gold, but great looking beer.

S- Great floral and citrus smells, very similar in smell to that of Pliny, and absolutely love it.

T- Absolutely great, very well balanced between the hop notes, but also has a great malt backbone, nothing major, but all around a great beer.

M- Great mouthfeel, well done, Russian river never lets me down.

O- One of my favorites APA's, and is more true to the style. Up there with Zombie Dust and such, although I feel its a stretch to call ZD an APA. But thats another discussion (603 characters)

Photo of PerHops
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Beautiful looking pale ale. Light, but bright golden orange with a head that begins bubbly but than quickly dissipates, almost disappearing entirely.

S- Heaven. This is so fruity, citrusy, a little pine, some herbal qualities, so good! I would say the perfect smelling american pale ale. No complaints here.

T- Follows the nose, but is slightly less floral than I was hoping, but not at all out of line from what I was expecting. Tropical fruits, orange, bitter lemon. Malts are evident, but work harmoniously with the hop profile. Near perfection.

M- Beautiful carbonation, maybe a little too thin for the style. I guess I expect a tiny bit more viscosity with an apa, but that might just be because I've never had one this good.

O- Phenomenal beer. Another glorious showcase of hops by the master. Pray to the beer gods that they bottle this one in the future! (870 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Heretic Brewing shaker pint, Row 2 / Hill 56 is clear gold with a white head leaving light, sticky lace.

Smell is dank, over-ripe lemony hops. This is, as they state, "the story of simcoe". There's some skunky funk, and resin.

Taste follows the story. Great pale ale, really nice hop flavor, the full spectrum of this hop, with very little cracker malt to get in the way. Modest bitterness, lots of citrus, resin. Love the lemon.

Mouthfeel is slippery and light.

Drinkability is high. This is a fantastic pale ale. Wow. Love it! (551 characters)

Photo of Gastone
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

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. (676 characters)

Photo of Hendry
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Honey colored with that familiar clear as a bell appearance similar to Pliny.One finger of soapy white head, sheets of lacing.

Aroma lets you know this one is about the hops: fruity tropical aromas of different varieties tantalize the senses, mouth watering.

Flavors are a great reflection of the juicy aroma,malt is there just for support.

Relatively low level of carbonation that is well suited for the style, crisp dry finish, delightful.

I can't help but think of Row 2 as a more hop forward, single IPA version of Pliny. The drinkability factor is off the charts, the IBUs and the tropical juiciness continue to shine with each pour. Row 2 is a sensational IPA that comes highly recommended. (700 characters)

Photo of coriswrasse
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

fantastic speciality pale made with specific hops from a local grower. great color head and carbonation. pine on the nose and bitey hop with resiney dry out on the mouth. a must have. (187 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2/11/2012

Growler from largadeer, thanks! Snifter.

A: Burnished yellow gold body with perfect clarity. The head forms two fingers of cratered sea foam. Very good retention and Brussels lace.

S: Signature Simcoe nose: spicy grapefruit with orange and a dash of mango. Dank pine resin accompanies pineapple, papaya, lemon, guava, and crackery malt. This is bright, vibrant, and intensely aromatic. I detect floral notes and a little herbal character.

T: Smooth moderate bitterness with some cracker and doughy malt. This is bursting with fruit: guava, pineapple, papaya, spicy grapefruit, orange, mango, apricot, and tangerine. Pine is notable. This is very hoppy but the malt is influential in providing balance, though not much in the flavor department.

M: Upper light to lower medium body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry, crisp, and sticky.

Overall: It's a crime that this went under the radar while Younger was pouring. This is an incredible Pale Ale. Move aside, Parking Violation. (1,010 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.69/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - This beer pours a a golden-orange color that is fairly clear with a finger of frothy white head atop. The head fades down slowly leaving behind some nice lace clinging to the sides of the glass.

S - The aroma is full of lots of pine and citrus hops smells. There is some nice grapefruit and topical fruits as well as some floral elements.

T - The flavor starts off with lots of fresh piney and tropical hop flavor with some mellow bitterness that starts to grow on the tongue. Bit of grapefruit as well. Through the middle, the grapefruit, orange, and pineapple hop flavors get quite a bit stronger with some stronger bitterness coming through as well. There is just enough sweet toasted malts to keep a nice balance as well. The finish is full of pine resin and citrus hops with some more bitterness and some light sweet malts.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a really nice dry and bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. The hop flavor and aroma is just fantastic on this beer. It is so fresh and strong from start to end without being overpowering. The beer also stays quite sessionable. (1,118 characters)

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Growler 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 is a Pale, give me this all day. (839 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
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. (1,249 characters)

Photo of AleWatcher
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Growler courtesy of Beerdy-- thanks brother!
Poured in my imperial nonic pint.

Very clear and bright looking golden body with a big 3 finger head of sticky slightly off-white foam. Tons of lacing form huge curtains around the glass and the head retention is spectacular.

I always feel obliged to mention this anytime I review a particularly good (or bad) American Pale Ale: This is handsdown my favorite style.... With that said, I feel comfortable proclaiming that this beer is outright delicious.
Some bready toast malt notes are overwhelmed by huge notes of tropical citrus hops with a piney/resin bite. Good strong bitterness lingers firm on a nice dry finish. Very good.

The body is medium-full with much oily quality to it. Decent carbonation.

Overall-- I continue to be impressed by the hoppy beers coming out of Russian River... Maybe someday I'll be able to make the Younger release (or maybe Vinnie would allow some one a growler fill if I begged him hard enough!) (978 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a toasty, dark orange with light murkiness. Head is thinner. Light lacing. The body is dark but it omits an eye-catching, dull glow.

S-This is why I will alway, always, ALWAYS trust a hoppy Russian River brew. The aroma is just a squishy, juicy cup of hop-juice. I found out this was 100% Simcoe and I as surprised. It is just so damn complex in the hoppy aromas it provides. I find a lot of Simcoe to be a bit too rough for me in certain brews. Row 2/Hill 56 is tropical and ripe and evolving. A very hop-stressed APA. There is some caramel and dough there. Great aroma.

T-Flavor is even better. The malt provides a semi-stable balance until the onslaught of tropical hop flavors arrive with full power. Russian River nails those tropical-hop flavors. Exotic pineapple and apricot with some underripe melon. Grass, grapefruit and oranges too. A tickle of pineapple as well! Excellent.

M-The body matches the ABV but the flavors would pair more with a DIPA. Bitter but nothing to brazen. I may have finished this glass the quickest of them all during my stay at the brewpub.

O/D-One of the best APAs I have had. Right there with Blind Pig and within shouting distance of Pliny the Elder. They all have similar flavor aspects. In conclusion: I could drink this forever and would never lose my shit-eating grin. (1,321 characters)

Photo of Sideswipe
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from Arbitrator. Huge thanks my friend!

A vigorous pour results in three fingers of rocky white foam. As the head recedes it leaves intricate lacing along the sides of the glass. The beer is a deep amber color. The scent of oranges mingled with pine resin fills the air as I pour. This smells more like an IPA than a Pale Ale, and I must say that it smells great. Taste opens with huge citrus flavors. Orange, tangerine and mango intermingle with hoppy bitterness. A sugar cookie malt backbone imparts a bit of sweetness which plays nicely against the hops. The beer finishes semi-dry with a very subtle aftertaste. The beer is medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. This brew is yet another masterpiece from Russian River. The malt melds seamlessly with the hop profile providing an incredibly balanced brew. Fruity, piney, and mildly bitter, the beer is insanely drinkable and very tasty. Well done Mr. Cilurzo. Keep up the good work! (956 characters)

Photo of Giovacchini
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went and got a growler of this today at the RR brewpub.

A- clear amber color with a thick head that dissipates.

S- AMAZING smell. HOPS, Guava, pineapple, grapefruit, honey

T- Guava, pineapple, grapefruit, not overly bitter. The hops aren't to overpowering. Nicely balanced.. Zombie dust.

M- little carbonation with a nice bitter finish.

O- This is a great beer. I want this to be sold in bottles immediately. It's great. It very much reminds me of zombie dust and that is a really good thing. RR is awesome. Bottle it please! (530 characters)

Photo of dubinsky
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a growler while at the PtY release on Friday, consumed the Monday after. Served in a snifter

A – The beer pours a crystal clear orange with a fairly light head that dissipated quickly leaving some large bubbles clinging to the edges of the glass.

S – This is one of the best smelling beers I’ve had in a really long time. This is a HOP bomb from the aroma. This was entirely brewed with Simcoe hops, and from the smell of it I would gather that Russian River is alone responsible for the worldwide shortage of Simcoe. Good work RR, I hope it drinks as well as it smells. Grapefruit, honey, pineapple, yada yada….

T – Starts off with nice bitter hop presence, followed by pineapple, and grapefruit. The finish on this has a slight biscuit and malt presence, kind of like what I really enjoy in prima pils. The balance on this is off the charts. Very clean tasting, and very refreshing.

M – Slightly lower carbonation than I like in a Pale Ale, but perhaps this is cause its from a growler. Fairly medium/thick mouthfeel. Very smooth and clean.

O – I’m really happy to see a beer like this from RR. They were missing this from their line-up. This would easily become my go to pale ale if it was bottled. Its not exactly a “session beer” but at 5.8% abv its damn close. PLEASE BOTTLE THIS! (1,321 characters)

Photo of Koufax21
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to beerandraiderfan for picking this one up for me, and thanks to greenkrusty form making me dumpster dive to get it!!!

Poured from the bottle into a taster glass. A good 1" of thin white head sits on top of a light yellow body. The aroma is huge grapefruit. Not like this surprises me. Aroma on Russian River beers always seem to smack you in the face. Taste is nice and clean. Great balance. I'm not to sure if I can recall another single hopped pale ale, but I know that from now on this will be at the top of the list when anybody asks me if I'd had one. I could drink this beer all day. Super sessionable. (618 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Ultraman9000 for providing this treat (growler) in a recent trade. Sitting with my second glass from the growler as I write this review. Very excited as this is a great beer in the spirit of Daisy Cutter. (which is a huge compliment as far as I’m concerned.
A finger of foamy bright white head settles fairly quickly and begins to deposit lace everywhere. 1/2 the glass is covered in a single/complete sheet of lace. The beer is a bright brass color with perfect clarity.

Aroma is just fantastic. Huge floral, perfume notes that contain a lot of grapefruit peel and other citrus notes including a sense of tropical fruit. There are some slight green resinous things happening, but very subtle.

Bright, fresh, clean and balanced. Just wonderful. The malt backbone is cracker like, slightly bready and nice. Just some light toasted notes. Over this is a lot of juicy hop flavor and some green hop notes and also a lot of grapefruit peel. Again, the tropical fruit is here, but not quite in your face.

The body is one of the main differences here vs. am IPA. Definitely lighter and almost refreshing.

Hugging the line between a hoppy APA and an IPA is a beautiful place. The lighter abv and body are a welcome treat. I realize at 5.8% this isn’t a traditional session beer, but man it’s close. I am hoping that other brewers realize this is a great space and continue to produce beers like this. Kudos Russian River. Well done. (1,450 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Row 2/Hill 56 from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.