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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: 281
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 133 | Hads: 1,170
Photo of mactrail
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
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 .

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Photo of Sean9689
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
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).

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Photo of jaasen64
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of kscaldef
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden amber, with a healthy head and lots of bubbles rising. Moderate, splotchy lacing.

S: An initial burst of pine gives way to a softer citrus aroma. Not a super hop bomb, but pleasant.

T: Orange, lemon peel, a bit of oily pine. As the hops subside, cracker malts, with a long, balanced finish.

M: Relatively light body with good carbonation.

O: Very nice pale ale

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Photo of metter98
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA

A: The beer is clear amber yellow in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that has excellent retention properties, consistently leaving a short head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose—grapefruit seems to stand out in particular.
T: The taste is nearly a mirror image of the smell and is packed with citrusy flavors—grapefruit and oranges stand out in particular—and has a moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels a bit shy of being medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and is packed with lots of hop aromas and flavors without being overly heavy on the palate.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of flexabull
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the SF Toronado.

Pours a light and slightly hazy gold color with a pretty nice off white head.

Aromas are very nice. Light cracker and caramel sweetness and a mixture of fresh hop aromas, citrus, pine, and resin.

Taste is much hoppier than I expected, this is more like a lighter IPA instead of a Pale Ale to me, but that's not a bad thing. Light cracker and caramel sweetness up front, slightly dry. Finish is crisp, with some grapefruit bitterness, and a nice earthy and resiny hop bite. Very flavorful.

Mouthfeel is nice, good body and crisp carbonation.

Overall, an excellent hoppy pale. My glass was empty very quickly. If drinkability was still a score here, this would get a 5. Very refreshing.

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Photo of deebo
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewery. Really enjoyed the sample I had last night so coming back to a full pint

A-served with a thin layer of sticky white foam this beer is clear and a deep copper color.

S-aromas of bright citrus (grapefruit) and tropical (papaya) shine thru in this. A clean malt character is also present

T-the hops are upfront and brilliant but the malt is so well balanced in this beer

M-finishes smooth with plenty of co2 to carry the flavorful sim is hops

O-a flavorful yet easy to drink brew that is really well done.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of chrisjws
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled and purchased direct from the brewery, drinking ~3 weeks after bottled on date. Had this one on tap multiple times and from a growler. Poured into a snifter.

A: Nice orange color, see through. Single finger of head. Laced the glass nicely throughout the session.
S: Pine, orange, grapefruit, orange peel. Simcoe, oh so Simcoe. Sweetness from the malt.
T: Pop of bitterness, lots of orange and citrus. Pine. Delicious.
M: Medium body, well carbonated. Nice dry finish.
O: If you love Simcoe, this is the beer for you. Russian River's skills applied to a beer that showcases the awesomeness of the Simcoe hops.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of Keananmichael5
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is so overlooked because it is hidden behind Elder and Younger and Blind Pig but this is a great beer! Easy to drink and great hop flavor. Has a similar taste to the ipas that overshadow it but it more mellow. Tasty stuff!

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Photo of John_M
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of brotherloco
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this growler at the pub yesterday while enjoying this year's Pliny The Younger. Served in a tapered 22oz glass.

Pours a beautiful clear gold with 2 plus fingers of off-white foam. Bubbles are dense and soapy. Lots of lacing left in glass.

Aroma, ah there's the Simcoe. I always knew this hop was a big part of Pliny The Elder, and now I have it isolated. Pine needles, tropical citrus, floral notes, and a solid marijuana dankness.

Flavor starts out rather mellow with that typical Russian River "malt in the background, hops in the foreground" character. Tons of super-juicy hop flavor appear in the middle and through the finish. All the Simcoe notes from the nose are present along with a very nice top-of-the-tongue bitterness. As with the Pliny's, there so much room for the hops to shine in this beer.

Body is on the lighter side with medium-low carbonation. A lighter overall feel than RR's IPA's, but quite slick and drinkable.

I'm looking forward to "Segal Select", the next in the Hop Grower's series. And I just happen to have a growler of that waiting for me too!

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Photo of t420o
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
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

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


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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of uustal
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light to mid orange with with a monstrous white head. Great lacing throughout. Really hop sticky aroma. Citrus, grapefruit and orange, dank pine and some earthy qualities. Nice light, but hop showcasing flavor profile. Very nice citrus notes to start. Orange, grapefruit and a hint of tropical notes. A sticky, fresh and earthy pine hop follows that adds a bit of bittering on the tongue. Finishes very light and dry, much like the flavor profile. This is a awesomely, single hopped Pale Ale.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Yep! Did it again. Straight from tha source - Russian River.

Was on tha tail end of a few Younger's and Raul needed to cool down with a fresh Pale Ale and a 7 dollar 7' long. So after my last meatball (Raul has since then converted to a cruelty free lifestyle [against animals, not himself, my peeps]) rolled away and onto my homies lap (sorry about that, playa) I took my last sip of this bad boy and I knew that I could add it to the Russian River Hall of Fame.

Clean, crisp, and made for a pimp.


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Photo of StJamesGate
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Toronado, San Francisco.
Cherry gold with white film.
Deep blood orange rind nose plus lead, resin, dank and even a bit of smoke.
Jam and pomegranate up front then delicate but assertive pine, resin, lemon balm, orange rind, passionfruit hops.
Bright orange oil finish and clean rindy linger.
Medium, clingy, oily.

Incredibly layered. RR does balance of IBUs and aroma in a super light body better than anyone. Gets all the nuance out of Simcoe.

Mad skillz.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
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!

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Photo of nataku00
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a nonic glass at the pub. Beer pours a clear golden yellow with a finger of white foamy head, dissipating after a few minutes with lots of sticky lacing. Plenty of carbonation floating up from the bottom of the glass, though not super vigorous.

Nose is nice, dank grassy and herbal with a nice sweet orange. A touch of fresh pine in there to lighten up the danker hop aromas. As the beer warmed, a touch of toasted grain comes through as well. Not super in your face aromatic, like the Zombie Dust I had earlier this week, but very nice.

Taking a sip, nice hop bitterness right away, dank grass, pine, orange and grapefruit, but nice balanced by sweeter citrus and the lightly toasted malt sweetness. Very flavorful without being overbearingly bitter.

Light body with soft and ample carbonation. Very refreshing and easy to drink beer.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tapage at Russian River

A: Pours golden amber with a creamy off white head settles and laces very well.

S : Pine, light fruitiness, a little citrus, with some light caramel malt sweetness.

T : Citrus hops up front, grapefruit and tangerine, bit of tropical fruit, some pine, a little lemongrass, balanced with light caramel malt sweetness.

M : Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O : Simcoe hop bliss.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very nice Hoppy APA! Had this on tap at the source and loved it! Would have had several but I was driving :). Nice clean crisp hop character with a slight malt backbone

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Photo of hobojon
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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