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
96
world-class

126 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 126
Hads: 1,123
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 6.9%
Wants: 277
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 126 | Hads: 1,123
Photo of Nugganooch
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
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. (1,353 characters)

Photo of kevanb
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
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! (1,491 characters)

Photo of nataku00
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (859 characters)

Photo of deebo
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (531 characters)

Photo of litheum94
3.97/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery.

Brilliant golden body. Clear with a dirty white head. Good lacing. 

Loads of citrus, tangerine and grapefruit. Honey malts. Floral.

Floral sweetness with biscuit and honey malts. Juicy tangerine and grapefruit with a lot of carbonation making it dry. Nice lingering bitterness. Very clean.

This is a very nice pale ale from RR. Easy drinking yet it has a lot of complexity. (413 characters)

Photo of cvm4
3.8/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (504 characters)

Photo of kaseydad
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap though this review is from the bottle...purchased at the brewery.

Pours a hazy yellow/straw color with a billowing white head and nice lacing.

Smells of subdued citrus fruits, malt, pine and the woods.

The taste is awesome! The Simcoe hops shine in this beast. Tons of flavor with a hearty malty backbone that works. Maybe a touch of sweetness but this is the best Pale Ale I have ever had. Bar none! Nice hoppy finish with a dank grapefruit rind aftertaste.

Nicely carbonated as expected.

Overall, like I said before, this is the best Pale Ale I have encountered. Sure it's Simcoe forward but nonetheless, this brew rocks. I could definitely go this beer if it were brewed year around. At and 5.8%, this is highly consumable.

Well done Vin and crew. You hit this outta the park. (798 characters)

Photo of davey101
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to yamar68 for this bottle. Bottled on 08/26/13 and served into a tulip glass. Pours a crystal clear amber body with two fingers of thick sudsy bone white foam. Awesome lacing and retention. Aroma is very pine and grapefruit forward with just a touch of crackery malts. Bitter grapefruit leads into resinous pine and smooth bready malts. Falls a bit flat towards the end but then again it is a pale and not an IPA. Very tasty and refreshing. Mouth feel is coating and sticky. This is just a solid, no frills pale ale. Damn good stuff, mmm simcoe! (558 characters)

Photo of Powderhornphil
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

As I have come to expect from RR, the beer pours beautifully. Couple fingers of fairly dense head with great lacing.

Smells pine and citrus.

Piney hops come across with a dry finish. Nice use of bitterness and hop flavor working togather to create a very nice pale. (268 characters)

Photo of rand
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (1,011 characters)

Photo of mjw1200
5/5  rDev +14.9%
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. (315 characters)

Photo of GregSVT
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
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. (456 characters)

Photo of zhanson88
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had never had this beer before, so was excited to see it on tap at Beachwood Long Beach.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, warm honey color. About 1/2" of white head to start, which has decent retention and lacing. Very nice color on this.

Smell: Caramel malts and aromatic hops. Citrus, a bit of mango, as well as some pine and a touch of dankness. Very well balanced it seems, not overly malty or hoppy.

Taste: Nice caramel malt backbone up front, with citrus, orange rind, mango, and pine. Overall I would call the hop flavors balanced and rather subtle. Nothing overly hoppy or bitter which is a nice change of pace.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Light/medium body with low-ish carbonation. Mouthfeel seems about right, maybe could use a little more carbonation for me. Drinks about to its ABV. Overall, a really nice pale ale that I would have again. Good one. (855 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.36/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Yep! (507 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper color with a white head.

S: Pine, orange, tangerine, passionfruit. Smells amazing.

T: Flavor does not disappoint! Pine, citrus and passionfruit come up again and mix and a deliciously beautiful way.

M: Medium bodied and smoothish.

O: One of the best pale ales out there. Definitely worth a try if you can find it (I personally had to go to the brewery to find it). (386 characters)

Photo of willjschmidt
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle (bottled on 6/26/12) into a Sierra Nevada 30th anniversary glass.

A: Pours a golden straw color with a 1/4" white head.

S: Some light citrus, a hint of pine.

T: Great way to taste simcoe on it's own. Light citrus in the form of orange and grapefruit. A hint of pine as well. Moderate yet pleasant bitterness in the finish and aftertaste. All of top of a light malty body.

M: Medium bodied, average carbonation.

O: A great pale ale. Excellent showcase of the simcoe hop. (503 characters)

Photo of Hendry
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Honey colored with that familiar clear as a bell appearance similar to Pliny.One finger of soapy white head, sheets of lacing.

Aroma lets you know this one is about the hops: fruity tropical aromas of different varieties tantalize the senses, mouth watering.

Flavors are a great reflection of the juicy aroma,malt is there just for support.

Relatively low level of carbonation that is well suited for the style, crisp dry finish, delightful.

I can't help but think of Row 2 as a more hop forward, single IPA version of Pliny. The drinkability factor is off the charts, the IBUs and the tropical juiciness continue to shine with each pour. Row 2 is a sensational IPA that comes highly recommended. (700 characters)

Photo of Viciousknishs
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
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! (732 characters)

Photo of Philousa
4.11/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (920 characters)

Photo of BrewerB
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (827 characters)

Photo of chrisjws
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (617 characters)

Photo of RyanK252
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
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. (410 characters)

Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.04/5  rDev -7.1%
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. (1,106 characters)

Photo of uustal
4.35/5  rDev 0%
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. (500 characters)

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
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! (1,740 characters)

Row 2/Hill 56 from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.