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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.

133 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 133
Hads: 1,170
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 26.1%
Wants: 280
Gots: 81 | 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: 133 | Hads: 1,170
Photo of kojevergas
3.37/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

510 ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a nonical unbranded pint glass in me friend's gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high; I've had this before and enjoyed it for what it was. Bottled on 06/26/2012.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger beige colour head of fair cream, fair thickness, and above average retention. Colour is a clear copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It looks like any other pale ale, to be honest.

Sm: Simcoe hops. Clean malts. Floral character. Grapefruit citrus. A mild strength aroma.

T: Grapefruit citrus esters are dominant. The hops are cleanly cut by the malts, which help to lend it body. Slight cream. It's not horribly complex or subtle, but it's a nice little beer. Balanced but mundane.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Good thickness and carbonation. Suits the flavours pretty well.

Dr: A drinkable little single hop pale ale, but not much else. I've come to expect far more from Russian River. I wouldn't get it again unless the price dropped considerably. A bit boring, actually. Hides its ABV well. For what it is, it's good, but it's far from unique or special. Russian River has far better offerings.


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Photo of srandycarter
3.73/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Somewhat murky copper, small white head, little cling.

S - First smell out of bottle was cat piss. It mellowed to light cat piss and malt.

T - Malt is up front, bittering takes a second seat but does a good job.

M - Medium body, good carb, good balance.

D - A little too pissy for my taste, but not a bad beer.

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Photo of beagle75
3.8/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft service into a nonic glass at Russian River Brewing Company pub in Santa Rosa.

A: Clear, light amber color with less than one finger of white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Mild and clean, showing a mix of toasted bread and simplistic pine.

T: Begins dry, with refined under-toasted malt and hops aromatics that are dank and coniferous. Sweetness increases during the middle, drawing attention to the remarkably clean malt. The finish exhibits moderate bitterness with a spicy, drying edge that reminds of rye.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, balanced on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This pale ale is enjoyable for the balance it displays, despite also featuring focused--if a little simplistic--hops qualities. Side-by-side it matches the look of Russian River's Pliny the Elder immediately after pouring, although that other beer coats the glass better. Although the aroma is shy and tends to hide, the flavor stands up to expectations.

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Photo of cvm4
3.8/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle date of June 26th, 2012.

A - Pours a hazy golden orange. 1 finger eggshell head.

S - Loaded down with grapefruit, sweet peaches, floral fragrances and a semi-malty backbone.

T - A subdued grapefruit flavor up front with clean malts and a slight hop bite. Nothing complex or exciting going on.

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Very wet finish.

O - It's a really awesome beer except that the flavor is just boring. Nothing to wow you or keep your attention. It's very drinkable though.

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Photo of anders36
3.82/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
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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Photo of corby112
3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a slightly hazy, pale golden straw color with visible carbonation bubbling up and a two finger frothy white head.  Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap.  Large streaks and spots of soapy lacing left behind.

Delicate floral hop aroma that becomes more prominent as it warms.  Slight grassy/piny with subtle citrus and light fruit notes.  Hints of apple, pear, pineapple, grapefruit and lemon peel with a light biscuit malt backbone.  

Medium bodied with tight carbonation and a spicy, floral hop bite up front that provide some dry bitterness that lingers throughout.  This is countered mid-palate by pale malt, subtle citrus and some light fruit.  Bitter but not too much so with the perfect amount of dryness that's countered by bready yeast, biscuit and pale malt.  I'm also picking up hints of straw, apple and pear.  Well balanced with great hop flavor making this beer very quaffable.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

consumed on 7/12, while I was "on Hiatus." picked up from one of them mail order services. enjoyed from my russian river tulip.
bottled 6/26/2012 (2 weeks and 2 days ago)

a - brew poured a transparent orange with a finger of sudsy bubbly head that fizzled away to a thin skin of bubbles. visible carbonation could be seen casually climbing to the surface. lacing was streaky at best.

s - yum, smells like fresh hops with a nice malty backbone. the hops lead the way, but this isn't a pale ale that teases you into questioning if it is actually an ipa. some nice earthy pale ale notes.

t - just like the nose, there is little doubt that this is a pale ale and not an ipa. the earthy malt backbone is very present and balanced out by the hops, but the earthy malts dominate the flavor.

m - medium bodied, a bit chewy even.

o - overall, a pale ale for sure. i would like to see the hop profile in the nose to be a bit heavier on the flavor, but then again, this is a pale ale and not an ipa. enjoyable, but not mind blowing.


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Photo of litheum94
3.97/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery.

Brilliant golden body. Clear with a dirty white head. Good lacing. 

Loads of citrus, tangerine and grapefruit. Honey malts. Floral.

Floral sweetness with biscuit and honey malts. Juicy tangerine and grapefruit with a lot of carbonation making it dry. Nice lingering bitterness. Very clean.

This is a very nice pale ale from RR. Easy drinking yet it has a lot of complexity.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.97/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Churchill Pub in San Marcos, Calif., on July 14, 2012. Draft into pint glass. Honey pale color. Two fingers of head once I got it. Gray and tan lacing with good retention. Even on the sides and foamy.

Smelled a sharp whiff of grapefruit right away. Slight pine and lemon as well. Very bitter.

Sharp bitter taste right away. Grapefruit citrus hops dominated as expected after the smell.

Medium-to-light body. Thin texture. Average carbonation. Bitter abrupt finish.

A pretty good beer overall, but I was a bit disappointed overall. That being said, I’d still give it another go.

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Photo of schlimenhaumer
3.99/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 510mL bottle into a nonic pint glass at high altitude near Denver, CO. A big thanks to kojevergas for bringing this one out from California.

A: Pours a clear yellow golden color with a thick foamy white head. Decent retention and a moderate amount of lacing.

S: The hops come through quite strongly here. Almost all grapefruit here with some crisp malt notes in the background.

T: Opens with floral grapefruit notes from the Simcoe hops, followed by some clean malts and a bitter finish. Note a whole lot going on here.

M: Medium-bodied and well-carbonated. The finish is slightly wet. Works well with the bitterness from the hops.

O: This beer highlights the hops quite well, but it's a bit of a letdown in light of Russian River's other offerings.

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the growler, Jer.

Pours a clear golden amber color with a tall white head. Nice fresh citrus hoppiness. Tons of grapefruit, lots of tangerine as well. Pine and a hint of grass with sweet bready malt. The flavor is a bit sweet, but good pine and grapefruit. A little bit of floral hop character as well. Nice beer, easy to drink.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap. pour is a clear golden orange with a creamy white head. Nose is tight with light malt caramel and some nice grainy malt. Good hop profile, notes of citrus and strong herbal presence. Taste is balanced, dry finish, tight balance, grain and faint sweet caramel with citrus and herbal hops.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a half-pint glass at the brewpub.

A: Tight head with great retention. Clear golden beer with some bubbles.

S: Strong hops (100% Simcoe, apparently). Some pine and some onion. Citrus. Touch of something more tropical.

T/M: Pretty tasty IPA. Gentle-bitter hops. Piny top notes complement a biscuity malt base. Hints of grapefruit are distinctly pleasant. Round and full-bodied. Easily the best Simcoe single-hop ale I've had.

O: Recommended if unremarkable. Would drink again as a tasty IPA.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 510 ml bottle into 16 oz chalice.

A- pours a nice caramel color with a 2" off-white head. Big trails and waves of lacing.

S- caramel, light toast, light spicy hops

T- caramel and toasted malts, light lemon, lots of spicy, grassy hops

M- light body and medium carbonation. Slight oily, slick feel.

O- nice pale that's not overpowered by the spicy hops which is good by me.

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Photo of zhanson88
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had never had this beer before, so was excited to see it on tap at Beachwood Long Beach.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, warm honey color. About 1/2" of white head to start, which has decent retention and lacing. Very nice color on this.

Smell: Caramel malts and aromatic hops. Citrus, a bit of mango, as well as some pine and a touch of dankness. Very well balanced it seems, not overly malty or hoppy.

Taste: Nice caramel malt backbone up front, with citrus, orange rind, mango, and pine. Overall I would call the hop flavors balanced and rather subtle. Nothing overly hoppy or bitter which is a nice change of pace.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Light/medium body with low-ish carbonation. Mouthfeel seems about right, maybe could use a little more carbonation for me. Drinks about to its ABV. Overall, a really nice pale ale that I would have again. Good one.

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Photo of Sunhunters
4.02/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Serving Type: 500mL bottle into Tulip glass. Bottled 6/26/12.

Appearance (4.0) - A beautiful, pale orange with real clarity. Poured a 2-finger head of loosely packed foam with large caliber bubbles. Cappuccino-like head melts away quickly and leaves a few patches of medium-large bubbles clinging to the edge of the glass. Spotty lacing with a few larger plaques.

Smell (4.5) - Earthy pine resin comes to the forefront of the nose, which is fairly potent in this fresh pale ale. Some mushroom and cedar compliment the pine and there is a balancing dash of guava, pineapple, and citrus. Quite heady.

Taste (4.0) - Pine resin and bitter orange in equal proportions. The mushroom aroma does not carry through to the taste, but there is an earthy tobacco-like spice that finishes with a crisp bitterness. The balance of fruit, pine and earth is masterful - really showcases the broadness of the Simcoe. However, the hops aren't adequately supported by a malt base (in my opinion) and the result is a somewhat watered-down flavor. Granted it's only clocking in at 5.8% and is meant to be sessionable, but it tastes and feels a little thin to me.

Mouthfeel (3.0) - Starts off nice and crisp due to the bitterness of the hops and the balanced carbonation, yet the overall product is a little thin and watery, and leaves a watery feel on the tongue. Not a deal-breaker but not spectacular.

Overall (4.0) - A fine showcase for Simcoe in an extremely sessionable pale ale. Really seems more like a diet IPA with all that fruit and pine. The aroma is killer, and the taste follows suit, but I feel that the slightly watery texture loses some points for this beer, which is still a great product overall.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.02/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Part of a sampler at the brewery. this one poured a clear light golden with a small white head. Not much aroma, which was unexpected. smell of light pine and a hint of citrus peel backed by some very lightly sweet malts. Simcoe grapefruit flavor dominates alongside some piney medium bitter on the tongue. Resinous yet dry finishing pine, medium plus carbonation, and super easy drinking. A really nice beer, but one that I was expecting more from. I will have to try and revisit this one.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1386th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint

Purchased from El Cerrito Liquor, Corona, CA

App- More of a orange mixed with yellow and a bit clear. Good clarity in the bottle with a huge 2-1/2 finger white head. Nice bubble activity with a good amount of cling and sticky lace down the glass.

Smell- A bit of a damp citrus with some very earthy and grassy notes. Smells a bit like a small IPA mixed with some liquid simple syrup. A bit full on the nose with more orange and tangerine aromas.

Taste- For a APA its drinking very large. The flavors are well balanced between a damp citrus with a soft earthy flavor. A bit thick with a pine balance. Not over the top, not a 5 but for an APA its very good. The simcoe is only thing keeping it from a 5. Has a flavor I can't pin and that doesnt work for me.

Mouth- A larger medium body with a medium carbonation. A bit dry and sticky. Residual earthy citrus flavors.

Drink- Call it an APA its fine. Ill stick with a small IPA all day long. I'd like another bottle on a hot day but wont go crazy trying to find one.

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Photo of Enish266
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Barons Marketplace for $4.49. Bottled on 6-26-12.

A - light golden yellow with a touch of haze

S - citrus and pine. Simcoe is a hop varietal I really enjoy and this delivers as expected.

T - straddles the line between IPA and hoppy pale. Taste backs up the nose and my palate is splashed with a dose of bitter hops. A touch of mango and resiny pine finish slowly on the tongue.

M - moderate to high carbonation. Lightly oily and hoppy bitterness lingers on the finish.

O - quite tasty offering and can't wait for the next in the series.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.04/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler pour shared by NoSignsOfPain at DarthKostrizer’s place.

Pours a clear honey orange with a bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is quite awesome with herbal and earthy hops, citrus zest, and some slight tropical fruit aromas. Taste is the same with a malty finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but I really enjoyed the aroma more than the taste.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.04/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

510mL bottle poured into shaped pint glass. Born exactly one month ago. Big thanks to my friend for bringing this back from a recent CA trip. Purchased at the brewery.

A - Pours a light amber/gold with just a finger of fluffy white head. Perfect clarity in the glass when poured at fridge temp. Not much lace left behind as I drink.

S - Pale biscuity aroma dominates. Some musty pine hops with a touch of caramel. Light citrus rounds it out. Not a huge aroma, but pleasant.

T - Well balanced flavor full of the biscuit and musty pine form the aroma. Has a rye-like spiciness. Citrus hits mid-palate. Leaves a very pronounced, bitter hop flavor on the tongue after each sip. Nice flavor.

M - Light bodied with lively carbonation.

O - This beer is a wonderful representation of the style. It has the classic bready characteristics I associate with pale ales, with enough hop bite to keep me interested. I primarily drink IPA/DIPA, but this reminded me of how good a classic pale ale can be. It is a refreshing change of pace from a brewery that sets the standard for big-hoppy IPAs.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Row 2/Hill 56 from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 133 ratings.