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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 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 NoLeafClover44
4.04/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

510mL bottle poured into shaped pint glass. Born exactly one month ago. Big thanks to my friend for bringing this back from a recent CA trip. Purchased at the brewery.

A - Pours a light amber/gold with just a finger of fluffy white head. Perfect clarity in the glass when poured at fridge temp. Not much lace left behind as I drink.

S - Pale biscuity aroma dominates. Some musty pine hops with a touch of caramel. Light citrus rounds it out. Not a huge aroma, but pleasant.

T - Well balanced flavor full of the biscuit and musty pine form the aroma. Has a rye-like spiciness. Citrus hits mid-palate. Leaves a very pronounced, bitter hop flavor on the tongue after each sip. Nice flavor.

M - Light bodied with lively carbonation.

O - This beer is a wonderful representation of the style. It has the classic bready characteristics I associate with pale ales, with enough hop bite to keep me interested. I primarily drink IPA/DIPA, but this reminded me of how good a classic pale ale can be. It is a refreshing change of pace from a brewery that sets the standard for big-hoppy IPAs.

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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 flayedandskinned
4.88/5  rDev +12.7%
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!

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Photo of dubinsky
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a growler while at the PtY release on Friday, consumed the Monday after. Served in a snifter

A – The beer pours a crystal clear orange with a fairly light head that dissipated quickly leaving some large bubbles clinging to the edges of the glass.

S – This is one of the best smelling beers I’ve had in a really long time. This is a HOP bomb from the aroma. This was entirely brewed with Simcoe hops, and from the smell of it I would gather that Russian River is alone responsible for the worldwide shortage of Simcoe. Good work RR, I hope it drinks as well as it smells. Grapefruit, honey, pineapple, yada yada….

T – Starts off with nice bitter hop presence, followed by pineapple, and grapefruit. The finish on this has a slight biscuit and malt presence, kind of like what I really enjoy in prima pils. The balance on this is off the charts. Very clean tasting, and very refreshing.

M – Slightly lower carbonation than I like in a Pale Ale, but perhaps this is cause its from a growler. Fairly medium/thick mouthfeel. Very smooth and clean.

O – I’m really happy to see a beer like this from RR. They were missing this from their line-up. This would easily become my go to pale ale if it was bottled. Its not exactly a “session beer” but at 5.8% abv its damn close. PLEASE BOTTLE THIS!

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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 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 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 lordofstarside
4.07/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Review from notes
Growler filled up a few hours ago to a pint glass

Pours a vibrant golden orange with a finger of head. Low carbonation, good retention and okay lacing

Smells like....simcoe. Very catty pine followed up with a light citrus. A very submissive caramel malt works to back everything up

Taste is nearly identical to the smell. Lots of pine and kitty litter on the tongue, followed again by some citrus and tropical notes. Again, caramel backbone holding everything together

Feel is a light / medium body with moderate bitterness, low carbonation. Alcohol is hidden, it's easy to drink

Overall it's no Pliny but good none the less. Single hop beers are great for getting to know the hops, but I'm always reminded drinking them how boring they become without others to mix up the flavor

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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 Kmccabe33
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Appearance is good as always for Russian River stuff, orangeish hazy color, slightly gold, but great looking beer.

S- Great floral and citrus smells, very similar in smell to that of Pliny, and absolutely love it.

T- Absolutely great, very well balanced between the hop notes, but also has a great malt backbone, nothing major, but all around a great beer.

M- Great mouthfeel, well done, Russian river never lets me down.

O- One of my favorites APA's, and is more true to the style. Up there with Zombie Dust and such, although I feel its a stretch to call ZD an APA. But thats another discussion

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Photo of coriswrasse
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

fantastic speciality pale made with specific hops from a local grower. great color head and carbonation. pine on the nose and bitey hop with resiney dry out on the mouth. a must have.

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Photo of schlimenhaumer
3.99/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of DAllspaw
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at RR Brewpub.

Simcoe is very evident from the outset, almost to the point of smelling it before the glass officially hits the table. Great malt balance as well, not just one dimensional. Really nice beer, would love to have this as a regular in the midwest.

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Photo of dbmernin83
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of frasergrove
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Growler pour into Sierra Nevada IPA glass

L-Light golden pale body, bone white frothy head. Lots of lacing.

S-Semi sweet melon/berry from the Simcoe, hints of pine.

T-Crisp dry finish, ample bitterness. Creamy smoothness in the mid palate.

F-Smooth up front, dry and bitter finish. Enjoyable lingering bitterness.

Overall-Absolutely killer pale ale, bordering on IPA status. Very sessionable, never disappoints. One of my personal favorites

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Photo of teamchevymxer
4.87/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Love this brew, another quintessential classic from RR. Pours a nice rich light copper color with a lite white head that wisps away quickly. Classic west coast pale ale. The 100% smicoe hopping makes it even better!

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Photo of Giovacchini
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went and got a growler of this today at the RR brewpub.

A- clear amber color with a thick head that dissipates.

S- AMAZING smell. HOPS, Guava, pineapple, grapefruit, honey

T- Guava, pineapple, grapefruit, not overly bitter. The hops aren't to overpowering. Nicely balanced.. Zombie dust.

M- little carbonation with a nice bitter finish.

O- This is a great beer. I want this to be sold in bottles immediately. It's great. It very much reminds me of zombie dust and that is a really good thing. RR is awesome. Bottle it please!

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Photo of anders36
3.82/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle bought at Beer Revolution, Oakland CA.

Pours a clear golden color with a small white head. Has a fruity peachy hoppy aroma.
Has a fruity malty hoppy bitter peachy grapefruit flavor with some very weak grainy hints.
Has a fruity malty hoppy bitter peachy finish.

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Photo of Koufax21
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of Hatzilla
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
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!

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Photo of laglocal
4.99/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - pours a light copper with a finger of off white head that deflates into perfect lacing that makes a ring after each sip I take.

S - fruity cheese, if that makes sense, with hops overwhelmingly taking charge. The smell is fantastic and invades my nostrils every time I drink from the glass.

T - sharp carbonation starts off with what I take to be a malty start, then the hops come in with an initial piney bite then back off to a lingering bitterness coupled with citrusy amazing ness. Just balance perfected while still letting the simcoe sing in all glory.

M - this has lost no carbonation over night, not always my regular experience with growlers but Russian river really does it right. Dry dry dry as hell which makes you keep coming back for another sip. Good thing I have to polish off this growler tonight.

Overall this has replaced hop trip as my favorite pale ale. Really glad it is getting bottled soon.

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

Picked up a couple fresh specimens this afternoon. First time with this brew. Poured into my tulip the brew is a pleasant pale copper with a nice inch thick cap of foam that reveals nice lacing as I drink down. The nose is fragrant with bright citrus, sticky resiny pine, all things Simcoe.Flavors falls right in line with red grapefruit, bitter lemon peel and bitter pine sap on a crisp dry mouth that leaves behind a very pleasant unique biting orange peel note. A delicious APA, much needed here on the west coast in a sea of sameness with this style beer. Very drinkable and almost sessionable at 5.8 abv. It's not Zombie Dust, but it's a serious APA for all of you that seek out quality in this style.

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Photo of TriggerFingers
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is flat-out awesome! I have a new favorite Pale Ale (sorry FW Pale 31).

I first tried this in one of the RR flights. Seriously...I would even take this over PTE in a heartbeat (and did for an extra 2 pints on my B-day)!

Its light, easy, and packs the hops in both aroma aroma and flavor.

Summed up?

Stunning Simcoe Pale Ale! I wish this was bottled regularly like Pliny....if so I would buy a bunch!

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