Row 2/Hill 56 - Russian River Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,093 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,093
Reviews: 131
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 269
Gots: 74 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Rotating

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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,093 | Reviews: 131
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to daysinthewake for getting this growler out my way. Served in a Russian River goblet.

Pours a clear peach color with a nice white head and pretty good retention. Nice lacing as it falls to a collar. The nose carries some tropical fruits along with a bit of citrus and a touch of pine. Really nice nose with multiple dimensions. It's not particularly over the top, either. Flavor is similar, but scaled back a little too much. Body is light-medium with good carbonation and a solid bitterness. Quite good.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So this is a single hopped (simcoe) pale ale. And of course, it's got heavy hops goin' on. Salty piney goodness. Consistent, full, and extremely tasty. I would expect nothing less from RR, so I'm glad this is so well done. Only detractor is a salty aftertaste. My first beer at the brewpub, and a good way to start.

Photo of mactrail
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Tiger! Tiger! in San Diego. Lovely fragrant nose with pine and flowery scents. A handsome foam in the small tulip. Light body, tangy, and pleasantly sudsy in the mouth.

The aromatics are quite sensual as you sip. Moderately bitter but it's more about the spicy and tangy flavors. A great showcase for hops in the nicest way. I'm a believer in Simcoe after this, but I don't believe I've ever tasted a beer where it is used with such refinement.

This is a truly sippable, rather than gulpable, Pale Ale. I was glad to have the chance to try this, and it's great to taste a less intense yet pleasurable beer than their usual over-hopped IPAs .

Photo of kojevergas
3.37/5  rDev -21.3%
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.

B-

Photo of MasterSki
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Photo of mdfb79
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this is #5 on the "Top Beers - American Pale Ale (APA)" list on beeradvocate.com. Growler shared by Thorpe429 in his basement bar served in a Russian River -tion goblet. Thanks! Love Russian River and hoppy beers, always a good day I pick up a review of a top 10 beer for the style.

Beer is amber and mostly clear with a nice head, good lacing, steady carbonation, white head, looks nice.

Aroma is really nice, earthy, piny, mildly fruity, a little malt a good presence overall.

Beer is light to medium in body and smells better than it tastes, the beer is good though, nice finish, good body, nice mild bitterness at the end, good throughout. I could easy pound pints of this beer for a long time. Very enjoyable.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.15/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a nice deep gold, with a medium fluffy white head, some spots of lace.

S: Very fragrant Simcoe goodness. Floral to a T with some pineapple, pine, honeysuckle flower, and grapefruit.

T: Nice soft bready malt flavour along with some very solid pine, citrus and tropical fruit notes. Nice undercurrent of grass as well. Complex hop character.

M: Medium-bodied, very soft carbonation, frothy.

O: Definite similarities to SNPA in flavour and mouthfeel. A very good product, Russian River always puts out great hoppy beers.

Photo of yourefragile
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at 38 Degrees, on to the beer:

This pale ale is a light orange color, moderate sized head on top, and solid lacing around. The aroma brings clean, piney, and vague fruitiness to the nose. It's a pale ale which leans towards the hoppy side, not just in aroma but in taste as well. Rather clean and fruity with a pleasant hoppiness that doesn't go into bold IPA territory, and adding a light honey malt base further enhances this ale.

This is one pleasing pale ale which is good for everyday drinking. Be on the lookout for this one.

Photo of corby112
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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

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

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

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

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

Mouthfeel - Light, well carbonated. Drinkable. Gulpable.

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

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of HopHead84
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Photo of John_M
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub today.

The beer pours a golden amber color with fairly good head retention and decent lacing. The nose is better still, with something of a dry citrus, light skunky marijuana, cereal grain and light sweet malt aroma. On the palate, this beer is better still... the flavor profile replicates the nose, but this beer is so well balanced, and delivers so much flavor, it's astonishing. The beer definitely leans to the dry side, and I get a considerable amount of dry citrus, light skunky flavor and light pine. However, there is a kiss of sweet malty goodness that seems to keep the bitterness in check, that just makes this such an easy beer to drink. Alcohol is at most an afterthought with this great beer, and drinkability is off the charts.

I guess on occasion I might like a pale ale with a bit more of a malt back bone, but otherwise this is as good as it gets, and so this is a beer that would be my "go to" pale ale were it available where I live. Tried a sample size glass at the brewpub and immediately had to have a full glass. Would be nice if this were around all the time (I assume it won't be), but regardless, this is another well made beer from the folks at RR.

Photo of aasher
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of Duff27
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Inch tall white head on a golden orange. Head never fully recedes. Sticky lacing.

Bitter citrusy hops on the nose.

Well balanced...malt backbone can stand up to the floral citrusy hop assault. Tasty!

Medium mouthfeel, seemingly low carbonation for the style.

Big time flavor on a microscopic abv'ed beer. Highly drinkable. Another winner from Russian River. Thanks kawilliams82.

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Row 2/Hill 56 from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,093 ratings.