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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 133 | Hads: 1,170
Photo of harrymel
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of popery
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of Philousa
4.11/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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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 MasterSki
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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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 drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of rand
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler at the Beatification release, poured into a pint glass

As I popped the nicely fit, flip-top growler, reams of pine and grapefruit aromas flood the nose, presumably due to simcoe hops. The bouquet pops with pine and citrus tones, backed by gritty resin and honey-sweet pastries. As it pours it appears orange-tan, clear and bubbly - the festive appearance supports the huge bouquet.

The flavors follow, with resin-y pine and citrus-tropical flavors coating the palate. The hops turn floral as they're met by toffee-sweet malts, while subtle earthy tones and notes of lemon are detected. The flavors are big, but they dry toward the finish and leave little aftertaste.

The beer is like an IPA up front, but feels lighter and finishes without a lot of sticky residue. This actually has a really similar flavor profile as Pliny the Elder...just turned down a notch. It's like PtE's little bro. Could it be the most session-able pale I've encountered? Right up there. Hope to have this again.

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Photo of kevanb
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Russian River Row 2, Hill 56

Straight from the growler, I first had this beer up at the brewery for the Pliny the Younger release and HAD to have more, so a big thanks to my friend NoSignsOfPain for delivering me a fresh growler after her trip up for the Beatification release. This is a single hop pale ale, showcasing the Simcoe hop grown in the Pacific Northwest. The beer pours a nice clear faint copper color, hints of orange when held to the light, a nice finger of soapy head sits atop the beer that has fair retention but leaves behind some nice sticky lacing around the glass. The aroma is extremely dank and very resinous. Big sticky pine, what I can only describe as cat pee with some bright citrus at the end, that is cut very well with some rich bready malt. The aroma is so pungent and just bursts out of the glass, really shows off the Simcoe hop. The flavors are great, big pine presence, nice grapefruit and something more tropical papaya with a really dry bitter dirty earthiness at the end that also brings out some soft malt. It's really incredible what can come out of a single hop, my hats off to Vinnie. The body is pretty thin, higher than anticipated carbonation that is a bit too prickly at times, but on the whole is pretty on par with most pale ales.

Verdict: Fantastic pale ale from Russian River. Currently a draft and growler only option, but soon to be available in bottles and I can not be more excited. For anyone near the brewery, this is worth the trip!

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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 ehammond1
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Thanks, NoSignsOfPain!

Clear, bright, golden orange with a moderately sized near-white head that lasts for a while. This leaves the glass messy with spiderwebs of lace. Perfect.

An incredibly clean, vibrant, wonderful aroma of decidedly fresh hops: floral, citrus, and pine character combine tremendously well. This aroma is nearly as good as Zombie Dust's.

Moderately bitter, floral and citrus hops, slight pine, balanced and completed nicely by enough bready malts to make this incredibly drinkable and distinctly a pale ale.

Medium bodied with high carbonation. Crisp, refreshing, delicious, and incredibly drinkable.

Simply awesome, though I do believe Humulus Wet, Zombie Dust, and Hoppy Birthday are just slightly better.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at brewery for Beat release. Pours a nice, clear, bright, golden orange color with an inch of white, frothy head. Scent has that typical Russian River hoppy beer aroma...so fresh and piney. Lovely citrus mixed with sappy pine tree aroma. So inviting! Taste is just as good... probably the most user-friendly pale ale they offer (from ones that I've had). Not as flavorful as the nose would seem to imply, but so much complexity to make this beer as light as it is...it's ridiculous. Lovely "in your face" DIPA flavors, just mellowed out a pit to suit the pale ale profile. Very tasty. Mouthfeel is light bodied and crisp...refreshing. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this is one fantastic pale ale from RR...as expected.

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Photo of PerHops
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Beautiful looking pale ale. Light, but bright golden orange with a head that begins bubbly but than quickly dissipates, almost disappearing entirely.

S- Heaven. This is so fruity, citrusy, a little pine, some herbal qualities, so good! I would say the perfect smelling american pale ale. No complaints here.

T- Follows the nose, but is slightly less floral than I was hoping, but not at all out of line from what I was expecting. Tropical fruits, orange, bitter lemon. Malts are evident, but work harmoniously with the hop profile. Near perfection.

M- Beautiful carbonation, maybe a little too thin for the style. I guess I expect a tiny bit more viscosity with an apa, but that might just be because I've never had one this good.

O- Phenomenal beer. Another glorious showcase of hops by the master. Pray to the beer gods that they bottle this one in the future!

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Photo of BrewerB
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Beatification release on 3/30 and also took home a growler. Pouring into a 3 floyds pint glass.

Medium-light golden color with a thin-off white head. Good retention.

Pine and citrusy hops in the nose.

Initial burst of hop flavor, primarily citrusy/piney. Malt profile mostly clean but firm enough to support the hops and offering balance. Medium-high bitterness lingers on into a medium-dry finish.

Medium bodied with moderate level of carbonation. Smooth.

Recent trends in American Pale Ales continue to push the hop envelope further with increased levels of bittering and a more pronounced hop character. Zombie Dust is a great example of this and Row 2/Hill 56 isn't far behind. Excellent flavor, balance, and drinkability make this an exceptional beer and one I'm glad to have a growler of.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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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 Sideswipe
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from Arbitrator. Huge thanks my friend!

A vigorous pour results in three fingers of rocky white foam. As the head recedes it leaves intricate lacing along the sides of the glass. The beer is a deep amber color. The scent of oranges mingled with pine resin fills the air as I pour. This smells more like an IPA than a Pale Ale, and I must say that it smells great. Taste opens with huge citrus flavors. Orange, tangerine and mango intermingle with hoppy bitterness. A sugar cookie malt backbone imparts a bit of sweetness which plays nicely against the hops. The beer finishes semi-dry with a very subtle aftertaste. The beer is medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. This brew is yet another masterpiece from Russian River. The malt melds seamlessly with the hop profile providing an incredibly balanced brew. Fruity, piney, and mildly bitter, the beer is insanely drinkable and very tasty. Well done Mr. Cilurzo. Keep up the good work!

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Photo of jethrodium
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a growler. Pours a clear light amber with small white head that has good retention and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is big pine hops, some dankness, some light caramel , and a bit of grapefruit. This certainly smells amazing like most Russian River hoppy beers. The taste follows the nose, with pine, grapefruit, and a dankness. Just a enough malt comes through to balance it with a little bit of caramel and sugar cookie. The finish has a decent bitterness to it. Medium-light body. Moderate carbonation. Quite dry throughout. Another great Russian River beer.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wanted this the minute I heard about it. A low ABV all Simcoe hop pale ale from Russian River? Yes please! Thank you, Chris.

Pouring the expected light amber with a dense off-white head with rather excellent retention and lacing, this is a gorgeous beer. Clarity is pretty high as well. The nose has the gorgeous Simcoe hop character, reminding me immediately of Pliny the Elder. Floral and fruity, there's plenty of tropical fruit here with mango and papaya. A delicate orange/citrus character, one I can only describe as pellucid is also present.

The beer really does shine on the palate. With a beautiful balance between a clean bitterness and plenty of hop flavor, this beer is excellent. Tropical fruit is present by the boatload, especially on the mid-palate, with mango and papaya and plenty of soft citrus notes. Ripe but not too sweet citrus fruits (navel oranges in particular come to mind). Drying and mildly bitter on the finish, with a mild herbal character, this beer is light in body, softly carbonated and a sublime drinker. Malt presence is faint, lending just a hint of cracker-like character to the mid-palate, but apart from that, this beer is a showcase for hops.

Maybe I'm imagining things, but the similarities of this beer with Elder are pretty strong, especially the water profile. I mention that in particular, because unlike Blind Pig which has plenty of bitterness and hop resin, this beer, along with Elder, is a lot less palate crushing (that term doesn't even apply here). This allows me to pick up just a faint bit of chalkiness on the palate, a characteristic I'm usually not a big fan of, but works. And as a final point of comparison, I would have to say this is #3 on my APA list, behind Hoppy Birthday and Parking Violation. Still, an excellent beer.

**Edit 2 hours later**
So I've split this one with my dad and am ruing my decision. I think the appropriate serving size for this beer is 2liters. As it warms up, it becomes increasingly juicy and delicious. The nose exudes a certain classiness and delicacy that really calls out for a slightly higher score. I want to up the scores, but I'm hesitant.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


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.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Growler drank one day after poured. Would have drank sooner but after Younger all day yesterday, thought I'd need a day to recover.

If Blind Pig is a Pliny lite, this beer is a HopFather lite. Best and most drinkable Pale Ale ever. So much hop flavor and nose, cat piss simcoe dank, oranges, peach and mangos. Over ripe banana. Grassy pine signature house RRBC profile finish which is second to none.

Only thing lacking especially for the Pale Ale style was a malt backbone. Almost none to speack of. Just enough there to showcase the citrus hops upfront first and for most. Never had a more citrus forward pale although Zombie Dust just landed on my doorstep (thanks rfragga77) today and I'm currently in Tahoe. Only complaint for the style is that it should have a wee bit more malt but still, if this is a Pale, give me this all day.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.69/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - This beer pours a a golden-orange color that is fairly clear with a finger of frothy white head atop. The head fades down slowly leaving behind some nice lace clinging to the sides of the glass.

S - The aroma is full of lots of pine and citrus hops smells. There is some nice grapefruit and topical fruits as well as some floral elements.

T - The flavor starts off with lots of fresh piney and tropical hop flavor with some mellow bitterness that starts to grow on the tongue. Bit of grapefruit as well. Through the middle, the grapefruit, orange, and pineapple hop flavors get quite a bit stronger with some stronger bitterness coming through as well. There is just enough sweet toasted malts to keep a nice balance as well. The finish is full of pine resin and citrus hops with some more bitterness and some light sweet malts.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a really nice dry and bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. The hop flavor and aroma is just fantastic on this beer. It is so fresh and strong from start to end without being overpowering. The beer also stays quite sessionable.

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