Rowhouse Red | Philadelphia Brewing Company

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Rowhouse RedRowhouse Red

Brewed by:
Philadelphia Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HopDerek on 03-27-2008

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Ratings: 153 |  Reviews: 90
Photo of deapokid
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A fruity, thin raspberry color coats the pint glass and is topped off with a foamy, off-white head. I've never seen a saison that looked like this and I guess that's what the boys at PBC mean by "ruby farmhouse ale."

Smell is grapefruity with a bevy of other fruit notes, including raspberry, cherry and cranberry. There's also a touch of dryness present in most saisons, although this takes a wholly original, wine-esque slant on the traditional scent.

Taste is also of the grapefruit variety (on the sweet side, not the tart), followed by a hint of wheat and subtle banana notes, even though I'm not sure those are actual ingredients. Coriander and chocolate are also present, peaking out at the end with a buttery maltiness that is usually not on display in a farmhouse.

Mouthfeel is very gentle and never unbalanced. All of its unique flavors hit the right spot on the tongue and its closing dryness is pleasant, as opposed to being overwhelming.

It took me five or six tries to pin it down, but this is a rewarding and original beer that is easy to drink and complex enough to require multiple tastings.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my shaker glass. The ale appears a clear crimson color with about an inch of of white foam. The head leaves no lacing to speak of. Nose and flavor are of lightly roasted grains, somewhat spicy, hints of yeast, floral, a good dose of caramelized malt. Light to medium in both body and carbonation. Certainly worth a try if you spot it.

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Photo of akorsak
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle from Philadelphia Brewing variety case.

A: The ale is a dark crimson color, practically a dark brown hue. The dark notes completely obscure the body. A finger of head didn't last long but did leave some thin bands of lace.

S: The nose s very complex, offering up farmhouse aromas when you'd never expect it. A mild horseblanket scent, driven by brettanomyces, really comes through, as does a rye bready flavor.

T: Rye bread drives the flavor, peppery and dark. Along with the rye, more funky sour flavors come through. The undetone of the sip is very Fantôme-esque, funky and very gamey. As the ale warms, the profile doesn't change but it feels less forced.

M: The mouthfeel is one of the most authentic saisons that I've had. The tartness is palpable, overwhelming at times but the rye finish is worth it.

D: The ale is refreshing, a unique combination of saison and rye that works when you wouldn't think that they would.

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Photo of casemw
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this at Waterworks in Philly.

A-Dark brown/reddish color with off white head and little to no lacing.
S-A roasted, malty aroma. Not much hop aroma at all.
T-A sweet, malty, flavorful beer with a roasted finish. Went really well with my rack of lamb.
M/D-Not a heavy beer at all...great for a session. Had I not had to much to eat I would have gone for another.

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Photo of kshankar
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aggressive pour. A dark copperish red with an off white head. Lacing can be seen a little at the start. Head is good, with good retention

Aroma: Malt and some spices. Other reviewers detect rye bread. I don't get that myself, though

Taste: Starts out malty, has some light sweetness. The finish is hops

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, crisp going down.

Drinkability: Pretty good..tastes fine and has good mouthfeel. I haven't had much of this style to really compare though.

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Photo of DrJay
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, deep coppery colour with a thin cap of fine beige bubbles. Lots of lacing, good head retention. Malty, spicy nose. Phenol and clove aromas, along with caramel and a bit of fruit. The flavour was sort of strange. Malt character was mostly caramel and toasted, giving it a near roasted flavour, but with a rye-like spice that complemented the overall spiciness. There was a bit of earthiness, short of real funk, and a bit of fruit too. Faint generic citrus. Medium bodied, just a bit dry, average carbonation, decent texture. Really an odd beer. Sort of hard to pin down, but there's enough going on to keep it interesting.

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Photo of sbe1
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this at Sal's Omega Pizza 2145 South St Philadelphia, PA, which has a great selection of beers and should be in the beer store list.

A fine and tasty example of a farmhouse style ale.

-appearance: nice clear brick red color, creamy reddish tan head

-smell: sweet cream, malt, faint hop floral notes

-taste: caramel malt, hint of rye, light hop notes

-mouthfeel: decent body, rich creamy, very light carbonation.

-drinkability: excellent

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Photo of gford217
3.42/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish amber with a decent cream-colored head that recedes to a swirl and a collar quickly. There is little lacing. Honestly, I've never season a saison look like this one.

The aroma is a bit more like a saison with some phenol sweetness and citrus hops. But the rye spiciness comes through as well and makes it a very interesting mix of aromas.

The taste has a slightly toasted quality to it and the rye definitely shows itself with some healthy spiciness, especially in the finish. Throw in some lemon zest as well as a bit of the Belgian yeast sweetness underlying things. The different tastes almost come together but not quite.

The mouthfeel is smooth with the rye but also sweet and with lots of carbonation.

I'm not exactly sure what to make of this beer. I personally like this one but more for it's originality than anything else.

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Photo of bort11
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to sholland119 for this one.

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Inch of light tan head, quick to recede. Thin film stick to the surface, specks of lace cling to the glass. Color is a dark ruby red. Clear, but dark.

Smell is like fresh rye bread. A little yeast, a little citrus. Mostly rye and malty. Taste is an interesting balance between the bitterness of the rye and the citrus bitterness. A hint of lemon.

Mouthfeel is not quite as crisp as I'm used to for a saison. Lingering rye aftertaste.

Blipped "Red House" by Jimi Hendrix

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Photo of tigg924
3.21/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear, redish-brown, small head, medium carbonation, lots of lacing

Smell:a mix of spice and hops

Taste: small hops, small caramel, some citrus, and for some reason I tasted a bit of agave

Mouthfeel:smooth, a sweetish start that rapidly turns bitter

Drinkability: This one is a sipper. I could have this again, but probably no more than two. Slightly bitter, but tasty

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.06/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Deep red amber that fades to a lighter amber at the bottom of a large wineglass....interesting. Creamy light tan head that craters nicely. Very attractive.

S-A light funky malty sourness with a hint of sweetness.

T-Interesting...fascinating, but not necessarily in a good way. This one is all over the place. The initial sip hits you with an overcarbonated slightly sour sweetness, with apples mid palate and finishing with a rather astringent bitterness without direction. Does not seem well put together.

M-Overcarbonated with an overall light mouthfeel.

D-Not very. Glad I tried it, interesting and fairly complex, but not much order, and not really enjoyable.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.07/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into a pint glass. Pours a deep ruby red color with an off white heading,with lacing all the way down to the last drop.

Smell is very original,kind of a burnt fruity taste if that makes sense,rye and a nice spice to it.

Taste is very dry kind of sour too. The fruitiness dosen't seem burnt anymore.Caramel, also alot of spices on the backend leaves the tongue feel funny.

Mouthfeel is a medium bodied with ok carbonation

Drink is high

The best I've had from the Philadelphia brewing company yet.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

P- Westy's Beer distributor

A- a nice foamy head with a beautiful sticky lacing. Lacing is silk-like and splotches my glass. Color is that of an Iced Tea look. Clear and uncarbonated.

S- a breaded toast smell with rye and malt present. Not much else going on.

T- a powerful rye hits the palate first. It tastes like toasted rye bread. Somewhat good but can be overbearing. sour malt as well.

M- dry rye and parchy.

D- I am not a huge rye fan so the drinkablity factor drops for me but if you are a rye fan you would love it. A nice beer for me to relax with.

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Photo of BigBry
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wanted something local from our hotel bar during a stopover in Philadelphia, recommended by the bartender.
Pours a reddish brown color, thin off white head. No retention or lace.
Slightly sweet sugary smell, some pepper or other spice.
Malty base flavor, some citrus hops at the end. More unidentifiable spices, interesting taste. Well carbonated, refreshing and easy to drink, not too heavy.
Not really sure about rating this to a style, the label called it a Philadelphia Style Ale (whatever that is). Much better option than the other avaiable choices.

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Photo of SuperWhite92
3.29/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gushed. Ouch. Pours a wonderful deep reddish brown with an obviously overcarbonated off-white head. Smells somewhere between an amber/red and a saison. Plenty of spice, but with an obvious caramel malt background. Tastes similar to the aroma, with some spice, a fairly weak malt backbone. Palate is somewhat watery, but acceptable. Aftertaste is unpleasantly yeasty. Glad I got to try it, but I can’t say I’m impressed.

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Photo of bonkers
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this at a local restaraunt. A 12 ounce beer was poured into an oversized wine glass. It pours a deep ruby red with minimal white head. The aroma was bready and it did have some funk. The flavor was mild and sweet with a slightly bitter aftertaste. The brew was medium bodied and for me a bit of a sipper. The label calls it a biere de mars, so I guess it is a bit of a farmhouse ale hybrid. I liked it as a somewhat different type of beer, I will have to try it again.

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Photo of matty
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark burgundy almost brown beer with a quickly fading head.Aroma is spices.Taste is malt and spices,the spice taste reminds me of an egg nog with nutmeg. This is by no means something that is going to blow you away,but it is a good beer that I would recommend.

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Photo of brentk56
3.04/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with a sturdy tan head that retains nicely, while leaving some filmy lacing

Smell: Yes, there is some spice in there, cinnamon and clove, perhaps, but there is also an odd vegetal odor, not DMS, just a murkiness

Taste: Burnt caramel with cinnamon and clove jumping out and joined by licorice and tobacco elements at mid-palate; the bitter rye flavors really build after the swallow and divert the beer into a very bitter direction

Mouthfeel: Meidum body with moderate carabonation

Drinkability: What an odd beer; I cannot think of this as a Biere de Mars, to me it is more like a spiced, bitter American brown ale; can't say that I enjoyed it

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Photo of gdfan47
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a reddish orange with a little bit of white head
S- malt, sugar, some peppery notes
T- malt , sugar, a touch of citrus, more malt
M- very carbonated, easy to drink
D- refreshing ,low abv nice session beer

I dug it, I dont know that I would call it a farmhouse , more like a malty red ale... but maybe I got a weird pore, I will try it out of a bottle another time for sure

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Rowhouse Red should be called Rowhouse Orange since it isn't red and it isn't a red ale. The khaki colored crown is the best part of the appearance by far. The foam looks like a coffee milkshake as it melts, and does a bang-up job of decorating the glass with fantastic looking lace.

The aroma is full of medicinal, bandage and clove-like phenols. Saison/Farmhouse ale is a fairly broad and forgiving category, but RR smells like something else entirely. What else isn't clear. This could be either one of the most unique, interesting ales in ages... or it could be a total mess.

Actually, every one of those adjectives fits. The only problem is, unique and interesting doesn't necessarily mean good. In my humble opinion, whether PBC managed to hit their target or not, Rowhouse Red is not good beer. It may not be a total mess, but a partial mess isn't far off.

The base beer is somewhat red ale-like (work with me here). There's a well-toasted malt presence that provides just enough sweetness to keep bitter and spicy from having the run of the joint. The rye malt must have been used with a pretty heavy hand, given the flavor resemblance to rye toast... sprinkled with cinnamon? Weird.

A whacked-out yeast strain must be responsible for the lion's share of the phenols. Even those used to drinking Islay whiskey will find this one challenging to enjoy. And newbies will probably be thoroughly disgusted. Let's just say this is anything but a crossover or beginner's beer.

Given flavor oddness and style confusion, judging mouthfeel is difficult. In a general sense, it's medium, with a passable smoothness and a laid back amount of bubbles. Sounds pretty average to me.

If this bottle of Rowhouse Red isn't infected, and if this is the way that Philadelphia BC wants it to taste, then I'd be shocked and amazed if they sell much of it. Talk about brewing outside the box. The box isn't even in sight.

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Photo of Chinon01
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is red (quite red) with a soapy spotty head.

Smell is spicy similar to a pumpkin ale. Tartness due to rye and a touch of warm roastiness.

Taste is similar to smell with maltiness and trailing hops in the finish which is dry. Hop finish is pretty severe. Some fruit is present as well.

Mouthfeel is grainy and sharp due to rye and hops. It is just ok. Drinkability is moderate.

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Photo of KOPBeerDrinker
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass from a bottle. Poured a deep dark ruby amber color. A fluffy 1" head for and quickly receded. Smells of fruit, maybe strawberry and/or apple and wheat. Flavor is bready and fruity, with a lot of sweetness. Medium bodied, relatively easy to drink. Definitely a very good beer.

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Photo of Phillyduke
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pulled from a sampler pack bottled on 4/2/08. One of the first cases from the new PBC!

A: Poured into my Duvel tulip glass. A deep, rusty red color with a weak one finger head that quickly recedes leaving a bit of fine lacing and some foamy surface bubbles.

S: This has a unique nose that I'm having a hard time pinpointing, but I'm picking out fruits (especially cherries), black pepper and other spices mixed in with a little Belgian funk for good measure. Finish is long and dry.

T: Bready, yeasty malts mixed with dried fruit, a bit of banana, and a complex Belgian spicy tartness that finishes with a nice bite from the rye. Unusual and unique, and really very nice.

M: Bright and lively on the palate, with a tingle that lingers on the tongue long after each sip.

D/O: I was blown away by this "Bière de Mars" when I had this on tap at Philly Beer Week shortly after it was released, and had been looking forward to getting a bottle ever since. While I remember a better head and more presence from the rye from my initial tasting, in my opinion this represents the best of PBC's offerings so far. Interesting, tasty, unique and complex. Definitely more than just a Saison or Farmhouse Ale, though a little much to drink more than 2 or 3 at a time.

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Photo of AltBock
3.31/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle with a colorfull label of a red urban Philadelphia house. To the right of the picture is the Government warning and to the left is the address and a paragraph explaining what style the beer is. No kind of bottle code or date anywhere on the label or bottle.

After a slow pour into a Maudite Snifter, this Philly beer is a cranberry red that a small tint of amber and orange mixed in with it. This beer had a good 2 inch fluffy head of white/tan foam. This head had great retention that left behind a ton of foamy rings and a decent amount of white spots of lace around the glass.

The aroma was too peppery with black pepper. Once my nose got passed the black pepper, it found a hint of lemon, a touch of dried apples, a few dried floral hops, and a splash of dried yeast at the end. It you couldn't tell already, it gets very dry after the black pepper.

The taste was very dry, but not as dry as an Irish Dry Stout. Behind the dryness was a drop of lemon zest, a hint of dried grapefruit, dried yeast, a small touch of dried green apples, and then the taste ends on the bitter side with dried floral/herbal hops. After the aroma, I was expecting some black pepper. I'm glad it didn't bother to show.

The mouthfeel is on the light side with a dry aftertaste of dired floral hops, yeast, and a small touch of dried grapefruit. This aftertaste won't stick around for too long.

In the end, it was just a very interesting dry beer. Would I drink it again? Probably not, but it is worth a shot.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired in a BIF a while back, I had this one sitting around for a while and threw it in the fridge last night to try. Served cold, in a tulip glass. Consumed on 07/24/2008.

Poured a was ruby tinted amber with lots of yellow highlights to it. Strange color but nice overall. Lots of carbonation coming up from the bottom of the glass, letting me knows this was most definitely a live one. A two inch layer of white foam then came up over the top, settled down to a broken crown and coated the inside of the glass with decent lacing.

The aroma was rather odd, sweet at first but as I really let it explore there were some light fruity notes, maybe peach and pineapple with a biscuit like note, very odd, but also very good. The flavor was more of the same, rich notes of caramel whirled over the tongue and separated into a light and fruity Belgian yeast and a grapefruit and pineapple like floral hoppiness. Strange, but awesome I have to admit. Really quite complex. The flavor took a turn toward the bitter and dried out the palate appropriately, creating a nice dry, and inviting session for the next sip. Great medium feel was a little bit heavier then I thought it would be, but very well carbonated and an awesome session beer. Very rich for such low ABV.

Overall I am not sure what to call this style but it was definitely unique to say the least. Really quite nice and a classic for me. I was really not expecting this one to be as good as it was so I was quite shocked and pleasantly surprised. I would have no issue with trying this one again any day, a top notch brew from a brewer I had never heard of, what more could you ask for.

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Rowhouse Red from Philadelphia Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 153 ratings.
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