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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: 1,142
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 6.67%
Wants: 274
Gots: 78 | 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: 1,142
Photo of mdfb79
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 06/26/2012. Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a hazy golden yellow color with two fingers of fluffy off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, lemon, pine hops, tropical fruits, fruity malts, and pale malts. Lots of hops and lots of fruit; really awesome nose.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, pine hops, bready malts, pale malts, fruity malts, lemon, and grapefruit. The slightest amount of bitterness, but not much at all. Not as hoppy as the nose, but still quite nice.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Very easy to drink, and only the slightest amount of bitterness. A little less carbonation and it'd be great.

o - Overall I thought this was a great APA, and another great hoppy beer from Russian River. The nose is super hoppy and full of citruus and pine, and the taste is great too. Glad to see them bottling this one, will love to have it again. (942 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1386th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint
500ml

6/26/12
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. (1,067 characters)

Photo of hooliganlife
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
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. (371 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (378 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 Dreadnaught33
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared thanks to Darrell, durwoodx. Thanks man, this beer is awesome for the summer.

The beer pours a nice orange color with gold highlights and a small frothy white head that dies to a ring, some lacing.

The aroma is awesome, it really highlights the earthy citrus of Simone hops extremely well, this is what mikkeller was trying to do with their single hop series beers I think. Some light bread and honey as well, very nice.

The taste is very nice, it has a super fresh burst of citrus grapefruit flavor and some earth, it's really nice and refreshing. Not a ton of flavor, but it really highlights the simcoe well without a lot of malt to support and no alcohol presence at all.

The feel is very light and carbonation is good. Just a small bittersweet lingering taste.

The beer is very nice, a great summer drinker I wish I could just session all day! (870 characters)

Photo of macrosmatic
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*Review #100*

Big thanks to eyebereej for this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from two liter flip-top Russian River growler into pint glass.

A: Pours a beautiful clear gold to dark gold. Forms a two-finger white head that sticks around pretty well. Moderate amount of visible carbonation.

S: Wow, does this smell good. I definitely get orange hop aroma first & foremost, but there are some flower, pine, tropical fruit, and spicy notes with caramel malt also.

T: Citrus bitter hops, tropical fruit, biscuit malt. At the end, though, there is some weakness & drop-off to the flavors & a little thin mineral-y flavor that seems off. This does seem to diminish some as the beer warms slightly (or as I get used to it?).

M: Dry bittering finish. Good amount of carbonation, even from the growler. Nice weight for an APA.

O: This is a very good hoppy APA, and I feel like I'm being a little picky on the flavor profile. Still, it doesn't quite rise to the world-class category in my opinion. I would certainly drink some more, however. (1,038 characters)

Photo of Enish266
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
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. (556 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 Huhzubendah
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Darrell. Thanks man. A new Russian River beer, how exciting.

The appearance is clear and light orange hued with a constant stream of bubbles rising from the bottom of the tulip glass. A nice half inch of white head sits atop the beer.

The aroma brings hops, grass. Smells like a Russian River hop profile. Nicely done.

The flavor offers an earthy hop character, citrus, grass. Malt presence is there, but light.

The beer finishes dry. Light bodied with appropriate carbonation.

Overall, highly drinkable and enjoyable. Another tasty offering from an outstanding brewery. (593 characters)

Photo of jdense
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronado SF, $4 during Happy Hour "is for whores" (Don Younger) 7.4.12.

One finger pure white head, small bubbles, over medium gold clear body, multiple streams of rising carbonation. Nose is a combination of fruitiness, grapefruit pith, clean non-assertive malt with a bit of pine resin. Taste mirrors nose, more fruity than malty until the pine notes set in on the back end, increasingly so as it warmed. Mouthfeel on the light side of medium, good effervescence. A real revelation re single hop APA, glad I got the last glass before the keg blew. One of the hoppier APAs I've had, and one of the best tastewise. Definitely worth a try. (649 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had on-tap at Russian River in Santa Rosa, CA. I'm not a huge fan of Simcoe, so I was interested to see if Russian River could turn my head.

Pours a quite light yellow colour, with some mild hazing to the body. Weight is solid but not overpowering. Head is filmy, patchy, but solid enough, and it leaves great lace. Overall, it's a pretty good-looking beer.

Nose is just lovely. Bright, punchy citrus like lemon and mandarin comes through strongly along with clean, fresh elements like passionfruit and lychee. Wow, this is Simcoe? It is, but not as I know it, obviously. This is powerful, sharp, fragrant and gorgeous.

Light clean entry on the palate, leading to more of those spicy lychee characters with deeper leafier hop characters. There's a slightly savoury note on the back with just enough bite to sharpen it, but no overt bitterness. Very clean and light feel, which is suitable.

OK, OK, Russian River. I give up. How did you perform this magic trick with Simcoe? This is gorgeous stuff, like no Simcoe I've ever had before—to me Simcoe was flabbily and lazily hoppy, giving citrus and oily pine with residual sweetness that always detracted from the beer. This is fragrant, juicy, tight and delicious. I'm just going to put it down to your skill. (1,263 characters)

Photo of Sunhunters
4.02/5  rDev -7.6%
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. (1,697 characters)

Photo of kaseydad
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap though this review is from the bottle...purchased at the brewery.

Pours a hazy yellow/straw color with a billowing white head and nice lacing.

Smells of subdued citrus fruits, malt, pine and the woods.

The taste is awesome! The Simcoe hops shine in this beast. Tons of flavor with a hearty malty backbone that works. Maybe a touch of sweetness but this is the best Pale Ale I have ever had. Bar none! Nice hoppy finish with a dank grapefruit rind aftertaste.

Nicely carbonated as expected.

Overall, like I said before, this is the best Pale Ale I have encountered. Sure it's Simcoe forward but nonetheless, this brew rocks. I could definitely go this beer if it were brewed year around. At and 5.8%, this is highly consumable.

Well done Vin and crew. You hit this outta the park. (798 characters)

Photo of hobojon
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (855 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 Sean9689
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler, thanks to lazydeer & company...

A - Pours a bright golden yellow, white head, sticky lace.

S - Nice dose of hops, grass, pine, light onion, citrus. The malts are there, but super-subtle, but this beer isn't overly hopped, it's just right.

T - Lots of hops in the form of grass, grapefruit, citrus, and light tropical notes. Not dank or resiny at all, just clean and crisp hops. The bready malts and lightly toasted, but almost undetectable amongst the bouquet of hops.

M - Light, perfect carbonation, crisp & refreshing, clean finish.

O - Another amazing hoppy beer from RR, who continues to produce some of the best beers in the country. I would drink this all day/every day along some of the top APA's out there (Edward, Parking Violation, Hoppy Birthday, and What Is Enlightenment, to name a few). (814 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Monk's Cafe in Philly after their Russian River/Sierra Nevada dinner. In a pint glass.

Row 2/Hill 56 goes in the glass looking a pale shade, a nice golden glow with some faint bronze and faded orange mixed within. A nice amount of semi sturdy bright white foam leaves notches on the glass.

Smell is abundant with that simcoe scent, a nice floral arrangement with some orange and earthy tones. After some time the faintest amount of malt pops up, and it is minimal. All in all very clean smelling beer.

My sips became gulps real fast, Im tempted to get some more, now. A floral pale ale with simcoe flavor and some citrus tones to keep it West Side. Again the malt is pale and minimal leaving no sweetness or intrusion from the simcoe. Faint pine notes come up but don't beat the citrus.

Feel is at about light and really easy drinking here. A pint is easy and the 2nd if i got one would of been easier to drink. A nice pale ale with flavor that wont hit you over the head. (986 characters)

Photo of nrbw23
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a pale golden yellow with a nice white head. Head is gone pretty quick and leaves a bit of spotty lacing.

S- Picking up quite a bit tropical fruits and a a lot of pine. A nice herbal earthy smell too.

T- Follows the nose pretty well. Tropical fruits for sure, nice amount of pine and the slightest bit of malts. Hop forward for sure.

M- Medium in body and carbonation was nice.

O- Very excellent brew for sure. I'm glad I got to try this one. (456 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)

Photo of harrymel
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from growler filled about ten days ago.

Nice bronzed ale with a finger of light yellow foam and brilliant clarity. Smells of tropical fruits, pineapple most notably, with grapefruit and mango in there as well. Fantastic nose. Taste follows suit with a really citrusy, fruity flavor and lighter biscuity malts - Fantastic flavor I can only imagine would be even greater a week earlier. Medium bodied with lively carb and a wet finish. Man, this is a great beer, I hope they bottle it as i've heard might be in the works. Really, really delicious beer. (559 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 Philousa
4.11/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a sample to start, then decided on this for a growler at RRBC. Pours a clear golden color, tending towards orange. Laces thinly, but consistently from an airy head. Lots of hops in the aroma, very prominent. I thought cascade until I read the description on their website, which says this is a 100% simcoe hop beer. Nice light malt behind the strong hop presence, some nutty/biscuity notes with a swirl. Lots of malt up front in taste. Orange with a hint of biscuit. Light and zesty malt goes well with the hop taste, which is very grassy, not as piney. Great bitterness. Definitely there, but not in your face. This is a balanced beer with a somewhat dry finish.

I've been brewing pale ales lately and man, I wish I could brew something like this. I like the hoppiness and malt base. It's something you'd find in an IPA, but it's not high in ABV. I love a beer that I can have a couple of without being too tipsy. (920 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler shared by Thorpe.

Pours a clear golden peach color with a white head and nice retention. Tropical nose and citrus hops with light pine and pale malt. Mild flavor compared to the nose, but pleasantly fruity and sweet, particularly mango like hops. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Very nice and easy drinking. (325 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ahh. A day off sitting at Russian River.

A - Served a slightly hazy light orange with a small off-white head. Lots o lacing on the glass as the head fades to a thin layer.

S - Very floral and grassy. Here is some citrusy tones as well.

T - Floral and grassy again, but heavier on the grass side.

D - A light body and perfect carbonation.

O - A nice fragrant and light IPA. Perfect way to start my day. (411 characters)

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