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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: 274
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
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Reviews: 128 | Hads: 1,143
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (1,070 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: poured a golden orange in color with yellow highlights and a nice finger of head that had great retention but left plenty of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: upfront there was plenty of pine hops that were noticeable, grassy notes, some citrus such as lemon and grapefruit but had a nice sweetness that wasn't overwhelming.

T: the hop profile was just expectional which brought piney, citrusy, grassy, earthy character alongside a well balanced malty sweetness and a touch of grapefruit bitterness.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with good amount of carbonation which had a hoppy, citrusy, earthy, mild sweet, oily and slight bitter finish.

O: this beer is at the top of its class even beating so called IPAs on the shelf. Really well balanced and great hop forward pale ale. I expected nothing less from RR. (825 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler courtesy of largadeer and Nanoslug. Served in an Alchemist pint glass.

A - Three fingers of creamy white foam slowly settle to a thick, chunky cap, leaving stray splotches of lace behind. Transparent golden body, with a plethora of tiny bubbles rising up the middle of the glass.

S - All Simcoe, all the time, as far as the hops go. Tropical fruits, citrus, touch of dank and onion. A bit of doughy malt shows through. Smell is a tad muted initially although it intensifies as the beer warms up - initially a 4.0 but eventually a 4.5.

T - Peach and tropical fruit juice, some late tangerine, a bit of pine and dankness, and extremely mild sugary malt character. Low-to-moderate bitterness that does grow a touch over the course of a glass.

M - Surprisingly active carbonation considering this growler was filled over two weeks ago. Silky smooth medium-light body, with plenty of mouth-coating hop oils in the finish. Quite refreshing.

D - This is ridiculous. Could substitute for water. I'm kind of hoping none of my friends stop by to try this, as I could easily put away the entire 2L. I'm actually a tad surprised this is almost 6% - other than a slow-growing buzz there's nothing to suggest any alcohol content at all. Gee, who would have guessed that Russian River could make (another) world-class hoppy pale ale? Not quite as good as Hoppy Birthday, but pretty excellent nonetheless. (1,403 characters)

Photo of WesM63
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16oz bottled into a tulip.

A: Pours a nice golden straw with a beautiful 2finger white head. A fair amount of retention and plenty of lacing.

S: Smells of citrus (mango, pineapple) and some pine/resin.

T: Hops, pine/resin, citrus in the middle and just fades off with citrus and some light bitterness.

M: Light bodied, medium carbonation. At first I thought it was a bitter watery at the end, but it's not, the flavor just fades out as it should.

O: Overall, excellent. Big citrus and pine, although not as profound as say an IPA or IIPA but the citrus and pine are profound above anything else. Delicious and session-able. A real winner here. (662 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a golden straw color.

The aroma is extremely hoppy with a really grainy biscuity malt along with grass, grapefruit and lemon.

The flavor follows with huge grapefruit, bright lemon, pine, and floral notes. it's very crisp with a gentle bitterness on the end.

This really pushes IPA and surely is a Russian River beer with huge amount of hops. It really has tons of flavor at this ABV. (404 characters)

Photo of dbmernin83
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Tony's

Looks a lot better on draft. Great head and lacing, almost crystal clear toasted straw.
Yep, smells like hops. Citrusy piney delicious.
Flavor follows nose. Crisp, dry and refreshing. Great carbonation.
Fuckin eh, another homerun for Russian River. (267 characters)

Photo of rand
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler at the Beatification release, poured into a pint glass

As I popped the nicely fit, flip-top growler, reams of pine and grapefruit aromas flood the nose, presumably due to simcoe hops. The bouquet pops with pine and citrus tones, backed by gritty resin and honey-sweet pastries. As it pours it appears orange-tan, clear and bubbly - the festive appearance supports the huge bouquet.

The flavors follow, with resin-y pine and citrus-tropical flavors coating the palate. The hops turn floral as they're met by toffee-sweet malts, while subtle earthy tones and notes of lemon are detected. The flavors are big, but they dry toward the finish and leave little aftertaste.

The beer is like an IPA up front, but feels lighter and finishes without a lot of sticky residue. This actually has a really similar flavor profile as Pliny the Elder...just turned down a notch. It's like PtE's little bro. Could it be the most session-able pale I've encountered? Right up there. Hope to have this again. (1,011 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (741 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was courtesy of BrewerB in a recent box. Thanks Brian!

Bottle date is 6/26. This one pours a light bodied unpolished gold in clor with a very soapy two finger head. The nose is fresh and like sticking your face in a bucket of Smcoe. It's light and floral and the malt certainly takes a backseat. I do appreciate how pale the malt is, allowing the hops to shine. The flavors too are hoppy, clean, and floral. There is also a perfumey essence. I love how straightforward it is. Simcoe isn't my favorite hop varietal but that doesn't phase me from cherishing this beer. It would be fun to see what other hop varietals could do with this recipe. It drinks light and is very smooth. Overall this is a great pale. I would place it behind Zombie Dust and the Hill Farmsteads but that already puts it in an elite class. (817 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at O'Brien's

A: Pours a glowing orange color with a thin white head and some spots of lace.

S: A pretty nice bouquet of citrus hops, tropical fruit and a touch of bready malt. The smell of the hops is outstanding.

T: A great blend of citrus hops, grapefruit, orange, lemon and a touch of pine. A nice malt backbone with some notes of caramel and cracker hold the beer up nicely. Really good stuff. (407 characters)

Photo of DAllspaw
4.51/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (267 characters)

Photo of OTB
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
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. (706 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wanted this the minute I heard about it. A low ABV all Simcoe hop pale ale from Russian River? Yes please! Thank you, Chris.

Pouring the expected light amber with a dense off-white head with rather excellent retention and lacing, this is a gorgeous beer. Clarity is pretty high as well. The nose has the gorgeous Simcoe hop character, reminding me immediately of Pliny the Elder. Floral and fruity, there's plenty of tropical fruit here with mango and papaya. A delicate orange/citrus character, one I can only describe as pellucid is also present.

The beer really does shine on the palate. With a beautiful balance between a clean bitterness and plenty of hop flavor, this beer is excellent. Tropical fruit is present by the boatload, especially on the mid-palate, with mango and papaya and plenty of soft citrus notes. Ripe but not too sweet citrus fruits (navel oranges in particular come to mind). Drying and mildly bitter on the finish, with a mild herbal character, this beer is light in body, softly carbonated and a sublime drinker. Malt presence is faint, lending just a hint of cracker-like character to the mid-palate, but apart from that, this beer is a showcase for hops.

Maybe I'm imagining things, but the similarities of this beer with Elder are pretty strong, especially the water profile. I mention that in particular, because unlike Blind Pig which has plenty of bitterness and hop resin, this beer, along with Elder, is a lot less palate crushing (that term doesn't even apply here). This allows me to pick up just a faint bit of chalkiness on the palate, a characteristic I'm usually not a big fan of, but works. And as a final point of comparison, I would have to say this is #3 on my APA list, behind Hoppy Birthday and Parking Violation. Still, an excellent beer.

**Edit 2 hours later**
So I've split this one with my dad and am ruing my decision. I think the appropriate serving size for this beer is 2liters. As it warms up, it becomes increasingly juicy and delicious. The nose exudes a certain classiness and delicacy that really calls out for a slightly higher score. I want to up the scores, but I'm hesitant. (2,146 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled from the brewery yesterday poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a deep golden color with a couple fingers of greasy off-white head that slowly faded into a wispy scum that left a crazy network of lace down the glass.
S: Huge fresh simcoe hop notes of clean citrus and pine resin. The nose is also very floral, and ‘green’ smelling. Hops smell extremely potent, fresh, sweet, and lightly bitter.
T: Follows the nose with clean floral and pine flavors. The citrus comes through nicely in the finish, and the aftertaste is lightly bitter and green tasting. I get just a touch of pale malts as well. Flavors are light, clean, and straightforward.
M: Very refreshing mouthfeel, clean all around, and very easy to drink. Body is medium-light and the carbonation is smooth and clean. Finish is lightly dry.
O: A very clean, refreshing and flavorful beer. Hops were fresh and easy to drink. Bitterness is mellow. I am having no problem finish this growler myself. (979 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled growler into a glass.

A: Pours a slightly hazy burnt orange body with sudsy off-white head. It lingers and clings to the glass. Just to be safe, I drink the whole growler to make sure the beer remains consistent. It does.

S: Floral and perfumey, with an orange-grapefruit nose. Very light malt presence. This is fantastically aromatic once the beer gets to serving temperature (I usually keep growlers on the colder side to preserve them).

T: Bright, clean hoppy flavors: it is floral up front, grapefruit-driven in the mid-taste, and ends clean and dry with only a light presence of crackery pale malt near the finish. It occasionally has a burst of bitterness in aftertaste, as if exhalation brings forward some hop oils, but it is infrequent and not overpowering.

M: Light-bodied, with velvety carbonation. It is immensely drinkable and goes down very well.

O: Having drank 5 or 6 growlers of this, I think I'm prepared to say I like this beer. However, it's a poster child for craft beer inflation; its $6 / bottle asking price at my local shop is simply too much for an APA. I think Russian River also found this out the hard way, as they distributed more to local stores after it apparently didn't sell out at the pub. I'll drink the shit out of this in growler form, though... (1,301 characters)

Photo of willjschmidt
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle (bottled on 6/26/12) into a Sierra Nevada 30th anniversary glass.

A: Pours a golden straw color with a 1/4" white head.

S: Some light citrus, a hint of pine.

T: Great way to taste simcoe on it's own. Light citrus in the form of orange and grapefruit. A hint of pine as well. Moderate yet pleasant bitterness in the finish and aftertaste. All of top of a light malty body.

M: Medium bodied, average carbonation.

O: A great pale ale. Excellent showcase of the simcoe hop. (503 characters)

Photo of dmatsui
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 bomber. One finger of fluffy, irregular head dissipating quickly with a little lacing. Pretty golden light orange color and some haziness.

Nice fruity and citrusy simcoe hoppiness. A swirl really brings out the malt character which is nice and caramely but pretty light. Sweet pine scent comes through.

Such an amazing hop character without a thick maltiness. Super refreshing rindy and spicy citrus characters really shine. Very elegant, clean, simple and unique flavor. Mouthfeel is light and refreshing.

Just an outstanding Pale Ale, venturing into IPA territory but retaining a nice light drinkability. (627 characters)

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

Had this on 2012-07-26 in Columbia, PA from a bottle procured at the brew pub and dated 2012-06-26. It smelled and tasted about the same today as it did last week on-tap at the brew pub. The only difference is the head was bigger from the bottle.

Had this again on 2015-06-28 at the brewery on tap. As delicious as ever.

A - Yellow-gold with a 2-finger white head and moderate lacing.

S - Fruity. Fresh ripe peach, naval orange and lemon. Plenty of hop bud and hop floral. Very inviting.

T - Delicious. Peach, pineapple, lemon-orange, light pine, hop bud herbal but not very dank for Simcoe. Light touch of cracker malt flavor to balance the nice but not overpowering bitterness. Finishes with a touch of fruit and plenty of hop goodness. Really good.

M - Light-medium body and medium carbonation. Smooth and a little oily and prickly.

O - This is one helluva APA. So much flavor for the lowish ABV. As good or better than Zombie Dust. Wow. (948 characters)

Photo of popery
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a few pints at the brewpub. It pours a gorgeous shade of gold, relatively pale. Nice white head and lots of lacing. The aroma has a ton of flowery hop aroma. It's a mouth-watering mix of bright citrus, tangerine, lemon, some tropical fruit (pineapple/mango) and light spruce/pine. Just wonderful. Some light sugary caramel malt peeks through the hops. The beer is dry and light on the palate. There's a gentle caramel backbone with definite but light bitterness. It's very easy to drink. I keep using the word light but it's a very flavorful lightness. For my palate, it's perfectly balanced and as good of a session-ish IPA (not really sure what to call these APAs that are dry and hopped up like IPAs/DIPAs) as I've had. The finish is crisp with more marvelous floral hop character. It's an excellent beer. I still remember liking Hopfather a touch more, so I'll stick with 4.5s, but this is an absolutely worthy edition to RR's APA/IPA/DIPA lineup. (957 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (279 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz pour on tap at the Russian River Brewpub in Santa Rosa, CA.. going off notes from last week, 9/26/2013.

Straw-coloured, hay, even. Came with a lovely white head, probably around 1cm just barely staying under the rim. I appreciate the Russian River Brewpub's giving me the proper pour. I can tell this beer is going to be great. Lots and lots of lacing all over the place.

Smells so grassy and grapefruity.. with a little bit of lemon zest. Some bready malt presence that just barely balances out the hoppiness, which is typical of Russian River. I was already excited to try this one, but damn, this is such a pungent nose. Great combination.

This is where the money is. This beer is just awesome. Lots of bread, toffee mixed in with citrus and floral hoppiness.. the aftertaste is actually fairly bitter, like I was sucking on a fresh grapefruit. Incredible, and you tell me this is an APA? No shit?

Medium-full bodied, a bit thicker than the typical APA. Very creamy, well-carbonated on draft. I love how well this goes down. I don't like how quickly this disappears.. this is just simply well done. Not too dry, refreshing yet so hoppy and bitter. I love this.

This is probably one of the best APAs I've ever had. It showcases the simcoe hops extremely well in a full-bodied, incredibly drinkable APA. Its like how Zombie Dust showcases the Citra hops so well. Vinnie really should bottle more of this beer. (1,420 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ Russian River Brewery. Had during happy hour the day before Beatification was released.

A: Pours a clear light golden yellow with a fine carbonation which creates a pencil thick with head. Good clingy lace.

N: Oh boy, this is hop heaven. Big juicy grapefruit and tangerine citrus. Fresh and dripping wet.

T: A hop bomb just exploded in my mouth! Amazing sticky pine cone resin. Citrus fruits, and catty.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation. Bitter and dry finish.

O: Enjoyed every drop, so I got another. Do yourself a favor and get this. Wonderful. (565 characters)

Photo of Hatzilla
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Newcastle schooner. Bottle date of 6/26/12.

A: Pours a golden color with a touch of quickly dissipating head and a touch of lacing.

S: Earthy hops (mango, pineapple, grapefruit) balanced with a firm honey-malt backbone.

T: The simcoe hops assert themselves here, very flavorful, but once again the hops are kept in check by the malts. Very well rounded.

M: Smooth and slick but not oily, carb is medium, finish is dry.

O: A great hoppy APA, this beer is very tasty and highly drinkable. I hope Russian River continues to produce this ale, as I will definitely buy more. Cheers! (603 characters)

Photo of Viciousknishs
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a golden color with two fingers of generous slightly off white head. Wonderful head retention with some good lacing.

S- huge bouquet of Simcoe hops! Floral with pungent fresh pine and juicy citrus yellow grapefruit. Resiny and sticky with hop oil in the middle. Finishes with a biscuity malt with a lingering hop character.

T- big Simcoe hop flavor with fresh pine and bitter zesty yellow grapefruit. Substantially bitter and hoppy with some balancing biscuity malt on the very dry crisp finish with a resiny hop flavor lingering in the aftertaste... delicious.

MF- slick juicy mouthfeel with a full light medium body. Average carbonation.

D- superbly drinkable and refreshing.

Overall a superb pale ale. More please! (732 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper color with a white head.

S: Pine, orange, tangerine, passionfruit. Smells amazing.

T: Flavor does not disappoint! Pine, citrus and passionfruit come up again and mix and a deliciously beautiful way.

M: Medium bodied and smoothish.

O: One of the best pale ales out there. Definitely worth a try if you can find it (I personally had to go to the brewery to find it). (386 characters)

Row 2/Hill 56 from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.