Row 2/Hill 56 - Russian River Brewing Company

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Row 2/Hill 56Row 2/Hill 56

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,089 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,089
Reviews: 131
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 269
Gots: 73 | 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: 1,089 | Reviews: 131
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 dbmernin83
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of Arbitrator
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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...

Photo of ccrida
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
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!

Photo of kawilliams81
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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 cosmicevan
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

bottle

Photo of dmatsui
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of Koufax21
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Photo of Tucquan
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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.

Photo of mjw1200
5/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Photo of jaasen64
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 6/26/12, so less then a month old, but not the freshest. Poured into pint glass

A- Pours a very slightly brownish yellow golden. Nice carbonation with decent size bubbles rising, slightly more then average for a pale ale, continuously from the bottom of the glass. A nice thick foamy white head with excellent retention.

S- Lightly piney, lightly citrusy hops, pale malts, some light spices, and light floral presence. Could have been a little bit more aromatic.

T- Pale malts, light citrus (lemon)/piney hops, lightly sweet with a bitter finish. A light dry citrus hop aftertaste.

M- Light, refreshing, nice carbonation, easily drinkable.

O- This was a very good APA, definitely one of the better ones I've had. I might even say I prefer drinking it over Zombie Dust. I liked how it a nice light lemony citrus hop taste to it. Definitely a nice summer beer. I recommend any APA fan to try this.

Photo of GregSVT
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours light straw yellow with a with a white head that fades to a ring and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of hops in the form of pine, onion, and light malt.

T: Thr taste is a bit lighter than the nose led on. All the notes from the aroma are there.

M: The feel is nice and crisp with a lighter body.

O: The aromas alone are worth getting the bottle. I'd like to see more flavor but I liked it.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle dated 6/26 so this was three weeks old when I drank it, perfect. Thanks to bugdoc for sending this to me, appreciate it man. Orange yellow appearance, good head and lacing. Smells like simcoes, hints of cat pee, delicious. Mouthfeel is thick. Flavor is delicious simcoes with a good maltiness. This is a great hoppy pale ale but not something I would probably drink a whole sixer (not that I could ever get one) because it was a little chewy. Very glad to have had a shot at this beer.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Photo of cvm4
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

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 t420o
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Row 2/Hill 56: The Story of Simcoe

A- pour produces a 1-1/2 finger white head resting of a pale golden body. Good retention and lacing. 4.5 

S- this thing smells awesome! The simcoe is very potent with it's earthy, green, resinous smell, and the malt balance is excellent. 4.5  

T- excellent APA. The simcoe is very strong upfront. Earthy, piney and dank it's excellent and even though the malt is taking a back seat here it's slight sweetness and bready/biscuty flavor evens out the simcoe nicely without taking anything away from it
4.5  

M- good. Lower side of average carbonation level and good body. 4 

O- one of the better apa's I've had. That said, the simcoe is pretty strong and that hinders the drinkability. I wouldn't have much more than the 17.25 ozs they have this bottled at in one sitting. Still an excellent beer though. 4

A

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 schlimenhaumer
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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 Viciousknishs
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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!

Photo of Nugganooch
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap – Pizza Port Carlsbad
07/14/12

A: Another draught pour hits the rim of my pint leaving only room for a thin sheet of off-white head over a nice clear golden-amber ale. Streaming carbonation and just a few splashes of cling down the glass.

S: Smell is slightly muted however still displays some grapefruit zest highlights mixed with a bit of pine sap aromas. Picking up some faint hints of bready pale malts as well.

T: Tastes of pure Simcoe love! A nice array of grapefruit and pine with a lesser bit of woodsy herbs. Musky and pungent. This is somewhat aggressive and bitter with an actual touch of crusty bread noted that isn’t as apparent in say Pliny or Bind Pig. Little alcohol kick towards the end. A real step up from the nose. Dry and hoppy with some really fine balance. So much greatness from just one strain.

M: Has a light to medium body with a decent creamy texture overall. Standard level of carbonation with a real crisp drying finale. Ample dry-hopping gives a sticky residual lupulin linger.

D: This is not the new hop blockbuster to go off hoarding but just masterfully crafted as expected. A fine showcase to the versatility of the Simcoes with flavors ranging from citrus to evergreen and herbs. Balanced proper with some noticeable malt character to it. Very enjoyable. I will look forward to trying a few bottles.

Photo of Gobzilla
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Row 2/Hill 56 from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,089 ratings.