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Russian River hype. When will it end?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by watermelonman, May 22, 2013.

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  1. I have been wondering, for years now, when does it end? When will all the Yelp dorks and reddit weenies get enough?

    I remember when Russian River opened up and I lived ten minutes away. My girl at the time used to say, I want a real belgian, none of that RR wannabe brew; give me Orval and give me Westmalle. Not that Vinnie does a bad job, but to be blunt and realistic, these are American interpretations and clones, not the hallowed brews of an ancient time with deep following and history. How has the beer world glommed on to such a singular, admittedly excellent but definitely not phenomenal location? On what plane of existence does an artificially limited double IPA rank higher than Westvleteren Dubbel? To be clear, I love Pliny the Elder, I enjoy many Vinnie brews, but to single out this one location as beer mecca simply turns me away from the notion of internet reviewing. There is far too much cool stuff happening in Belgium, at DFH, on the east coast, at Three Floyds, at Founders, in Pittsburgh, in Boston, up the street at Bear Republic, I simply have no idea why people become to singularly minded. Where does the tunnel vision come from and how can we widen our view to include the rest of the great?

    I am not trying to hate, but rather asking why we, the internet, discriminate.
  2. They make world class beers and a wide variety of them. They have a beautiful pub in a beautiful part of the country. Why wouldn't you want to drink beer there?
  3. bayareahustla

    bayareahustla Savant (375) California Jul 13, 2012 Beer Trader

    i just got back from RR tonight. i also went to Bear Republic earlier today. and to even say there is possibly more going on at bear republic, you must be joking.....hahah
    Geuzedad, fernz18, kingkukta and 8 others like this.
  4. More? You failed at reading.
  5. raynmoon

    raynmoon Advocate (630) Colorado Aug 13, 2011 Beer Trader

    your post basically stated:
    -you have to be old and live in a prestigious area to be good.
    -any belgian style ale brewed in america is a fake.
    -the rest of us have no clue about Bear Republic and Three Floyds.

    also, if you look on most of these beers brewed in american it says "belgian STYLE ale". Besides, they use mostly imported Belgian specialty malts, sugars and yeasts, so what do you know, right. lol.

    The last time I checked, the brewery in my town and the ones miles down the road aren't knocking out world class beers from a vast majority of styles like Russin River is doing.
  6. afrokaze

    afrokaze Advocate (685) Arizona Jun 12, 2009 Beer Trader

    Now, take a deep breath and tell us how you really feel.
  7. Weird man, you seem to have been on this site for too long to be asking this question. Good luck!
  8. I appreciate an intelligent and well formed response. If I came across as believing that any American sourced Belgian was fraudulent, that was an overstatement on my behalf and I apologize. There are plenty I have enjoyed and even loved. I suppose the disconnect is in hype clouds, echo chambers, and dealing with crowds. Similarly there are many musical acts that I have loved, playing Coachella and Outside Lands, that I skip because I do not enjoy massive crowds and lines. To me, I would rather be other places, enjoying ware that are on the same level, in a more relaxed environment. That is my Bear Republic, and I definitely never said that no one else had ever heard of it.
  9. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,120) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Beer Trader

    I don't know anyone who's singling out Russian River as beer mecca. It's a great brewery that makes great beer. One of many. A lot of people consider Founders, or Three Floyds, or Hill Farmstead, or any number of other breweries to be beer mecca. They're about as correct as anyone who claims this title for Russian River. This isn't "Highlander." There can be more than one.

    As for your comparison to the venerable Belgian beers, Russian River will be the first to tell you:

    How are "Belgian inspired ales" different than actual beers of Belgium?
    Out of respect for our brewing friends in Belgium, we choose to use the word "inspired" when explaining these types of beers. We certainly do not set out to copy any Belgian ale. But we do take inspiration from them. Like all of our beers, we brew them with our own unique California craft beer twist.
  10. Mostly because you cannot get a seat within two hours of arriving. Thought.
    JOrtt and xgeneralzodx like this.
  11. raynmoon

    raynmoon Advocate (630) Colorado Aug 13, 2011 Beer Trader

    Coachella is basically the Russian River of the beer world. EVEYRBODY knows about it and loves it and flocks there, making you wonder "Well, Outside Lands SF is awesome too!". But when you look at the line-ups, Coachella just somehow seems to get the biggest variety of bands to play. That is just preference though. But these places earned their hype by delivering awesome beer. I think we just caught up in "hype". Businesses have to sart somewhere, and good for them.
  12. this is the worst thread ever. russian river makes brilliant beer that is hyped because of its amazing consistency. its very hard to master so many different styles and literally everything theyve done is a benchmark in terms of American styles. Also, have you even ever been to Belgium? Talked to the brewers there and how they feel
    about these "ancient" brews from Westmalle? Be thankful you can get Russian River, its truly a gift to be bless with such a wide arrange of great beer from one brewery. Shout out to Row 2 love that shit.
  13. If you're complaining that Pliny is only hyped because of its artificially limited distribution, you may not want to pick the most artificially limited beer in the world as a comparison. Just sayin.
  14. You crack me up. Consistency? I have had Perdition in dark ruby red and bright pale gold. Great beer overall, but I said that right off the bat. I love Pliny the Elder, I love some of the sours, I do not love the inconsistency, I do not love the crowds.
  15. I think you missed the point, prone to happen to young ego dudes. Enjoy what you got, sorry to disturb you.
  16. podunkparte

    podunkparte Savant (435) Washington Nov 14, 2009

    Did you really just compare DFH to Russian River?

    Sorry, subjectivity and all, but DFH and Russian River are at far different ends of the good beer spectrum.

    Also, what does Westy Dubbel have to do with Pliny? You're comparing apples to oranges on a site located in a country where most of its posters haven't ever tried the apples.

    Basically, this thread is fucking weird.
  17. Hah, I tried to get in for a non younger growler fill and they told me to wait in a month long line.
  18. pixieskid

    pixieskid Advocate (670) Germany Jun 4, 2009

    If it's yelp and reddit that are bothering you, why not ask this question to them?

    Believe it or not, there are places outside of California...not everyone in the world is worrying that much about what Russian River is doing.
    Roguer and MichiBrew like this.

    CORKSCREWFISH Savant (325) Illinois Apr 22, 2011

    So,to translate:
    I love Russian River and so do a lot of other people. This makes it hard for me to get what I like. .............Go find your own beer assholes!

    Pretty much?
  20. MykelJH

    MykelJH Savant (300) California Aug 3, 2011

    That has literally never happend any time I have been there. Even on the busiest friday nights saturday nights I have never had to wait more than an hour. Pliny the younger release I didnt stick around for so cannot comment.

    Waiting? go drink a "fake belgian" that tastes really good. done /
    Dagsy and litheum94 like this.
  21. HKUSPC40

    HKUSPC40 Savant (300) Washington Aug 28, 2012

    All the ants and sheep head in the same direction... Beer is about what YOU like (at least the ones that can think for themselves).
  22. herrburgess

    herrburgess Poobah (1,035) South Carolina Nov 4, 2009 Beer Trader

    First ever "tasting event" I went to I brought a bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru. I had no idea what such "events" were about (note to self: it's not just about drinking beer), but I couldn't help but notice the indifference toward the bottle I brought. Later in the night, a couple of Russian River sours were brought out, to much fanfare and chatter. Meanwhile, I had popped the Rodenbach and was drinking it myself. Someone placed a 2 oz. pour of the RR in front of me and I drank it. As the congratulatory chattering continued, I asked what made the RR so much better than the Rodenbach. I never received an even remotely satisfactory answer.
  23. Soneast

    Soneast Advocate (650) Wisconsin May 9, 2008 Beer Trader

    You talk about RR being over-hyped, then you mention FFFs. Wow talk about major fail. I mean seriously, FFFs is the KING of hype. Hell, they invented the game. :confused:
  24. jampics2

    jampics2 Champion (850) Ohio Dec 19, 2008 Beer Trader

    I just want to know why Pittsburgh was mentioned :p
  25. Two each their own, but...if we're concerned with mass amounts of people drinking over-hyped beer, let's start with Bud Light not Damnation.
  26. The American Beer Tradition is strong and growing stronger every day. We have tastes and ingredients not readily available anywhere: varieties of hops, malts, and wheat strains. I would put Dreamweaver up against any European Hefe any day. Our Double IPA tradition is gaining steam. Oh, and BTW, FFF is not hype. IMHO, their beer would make a beer drinker out of anyone!!!
    nickfl likes this.
  27. jdklks

    jdklks Savant (385) Maryland Aug 9, 2007

    This is one of the most ignorant OPs I've read on BA. Hate RR all you want, but if you're going to, at least make a coherent argument. One thing you did make clear is that you don't know much about beer.
  28. hustlemuscle

    hustlemuscle Savant (435) Ohio Jan 13, 2004

    I wish some of that RR hype would spill into Ohio.
    Blueribbon666, weltywm, Wally and 4 others like this.
  29. Having had some beers in England made with American hops like Amarillo and Citra, the hop statement is weak. Malts? What do you mean there, I see malts from Germany and England in many breweries. Wheat strains? Maybe GMO?
    jmw, patto1ro, Rekrule and 1 other person like this.
  30. Putting Dreamweaver up against European hefes is hilarious.
  31. Dirtinabottle

    Dirtinabottle Savant (490) New York Aug 21, 2012 Beer Trader

    In the future, I envision a utopian craft beer world without the use of the word "hype".
    Rochefort10nh and DOTU like this.
  32. dmfc906

    dmfc906 Aficionado (130) Illinois Jul 2, 2010

    So you're saying Rodenbach isn't a good beer and that RR isn't any better than it? Or you're saying Rodenbach is a great beer and RR was just as good as it?

    Rodenbach is a great beer...it's also very available. People get excited to try things they havent had before...seems silly to get upset about it.
    CaptainPiret and beerme411 like this.
  33. Really..who cares what someone else thinks about a brewery? These dumb "xxx brewery is overhyped" threads always pop up and fire people up needlessly, which I'm sure was the OP's intent. We all have different tastes.
    jasonmason and Beerandraiderfan like this.
  34. fox227

    fox227 Advocate (610) California Nov 19, 2010

    Not to pull a strawman but most of these "ancient" Belgian styles date only back to the 20th Century. Talk about hype, you need only look to the "Trappist" tag.
  35. herrburgess

    herrburgess Poobah (1,035) South Carolina Nov 4, 2009 Beer Trader

    I am saying that Rodenbach is a great beer and that the RR's were close to being great as well. Of course I fully understand about someone wanting to try a beer they haven't had before. I wasn't upset; however, they seemed to be slightly so after I posed the question of what made the RR so much better. Nearly everyone in attendance tried to justify what was obviously nothing more than novelty and hype by grasping at straws such as "the cherry notes are more prominent, the intensity of flavor is greater, etc." In other words, just more of the old "more flavor is better" BA BS. Of course the real reason it's "better" is the same as why Rodenbach Alexander -- which was/is made by the same brewery utilizing more or less the same ingredients and processes -- is considered a whale and regular Rodenbach is nothing special (i.e. more flavor, rarity, and hype). When I used to drink the stuff in Belgium, regular Rodenbach was considered a beer to drink with your meal and Alexander (which I always ordered when available) a beer to drink after your meal; nothing more, nothing less.
  36. It's kind of like forbidden fruit. Yes, there's tons of stuff going on in the east, but that's just the point. The limited releases from RR (and really, any releases if you're in NJ like me) are off limits and you have to trade for them. Whether it's right or not, any beer you have to trade for IMO feels like it holds more weight. And for those that live near RR, in case you haven't seen the line for the Beatification releases it seems that it's coveted and worth the wait no matter what.

    I've personally tried almost everything that I want from RR and I have yet to be disappointed. I give them credit for what they are: A brewery that makes the best IPAs I've ever had, and amazing sours, to name a few.
  37. frazbri

    frazbri Advocate (705) Ohio Oct 29, 2003

    What was the OP's point? The grass is always greener? or maybe it's a version of Yogi Berra's "nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."?
  38. Danny1217

    Danny1217 Advocate (705) Florida Jul 15, 2011 Beer Trader

    Because RR makes some of the best IPAs and American sour beers, which are two of craft beer's main obsessions.

    What I want to know is why no one ever complains about the prices of Russian River's beer. Why does Damnation cost as much as Orval? Why do RR sours have around the same price tag (sometimes higher) as a lot of great Belgian lambics?
  39. litheum94

    litheum94 Advocate (675) California Dec 29, 2008

    This isn't true near Russian River. Damnations is $3.99 a bottle, almost $2 cheaper than Orval. I can get their sours for $9.99. And their tap prices are great. Pliny is one of the best deals in town, and all their tap prices are lower than other places in the area. Hell, I can get a glass of Consecration for nearly the same price as a pint at BJ's.
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