Rowhouse Red | Philadelphia Brewing Company

Rowhouse RedRowhouse Red
Liked This Beer
3.53 w/ 153 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 153 |  Reviews: 90
Photo of beerthulhu
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured a beautiful ruby-amber with a frothy 1 finger medium beige head that was moderately lasting while leaving a thin sheet lacing behind. Visible carbonation was very light.

S: dried caramel and dried citrus.

T: The flavor had a rich and spicy caramel nature to it, boozy, with some alcohol and dried apple fruitiness. There was some dried citrus hopping as well. Overall the palate was dry, malty with a dry flowery bitterness found on the finish. Spicy, dry toasted caramel with a dry flowery bitterness makes this a good example.

M: a little lighter then expected, thin with a slight carbonation presence.

D: Good drinkability, dry, spicy and good to style.

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Photo of Gavage
3.91/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a lovely amber color with a 2" head that lingers a while. Mild lacing paints the glass.

Smell: ripe fruits and belgian yeast come through easily to the nose.

Taste: bready malt, ripe red fruits, bit of barnyard funkiness, and belgian yeast make up a nice balanced beer. Bitterness is mild but noticeable.

Mouthfeel: crisp throughout. Medium bodied. Aftertaste is long as the funkiness and yeast tones linger on the tongue.

Drinkability: easy to quaff this one. This is a bit different for a farmhouse ale which makes it interesting.

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Photo of roan22
3.81/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

**EDIT: The inconsistency of this beer confuses me. I had a pint two months ago, and it tasted completely different than the bottles of Rowhouse Red I purchased and drank during the first three months of the beer's existence. Taste and flavor are noticeably fact its most flavorful parts [the grapefruity hops and the funkiness from it being a saison] weren't really there anymore. Tasted more like a strange brown malty ale with a twinge of rye. Over time this beer has proved to have rather poor consistency. That wont stop me from trying it again!***

Original Review: The beer has grown on me a lot, and after trying both on tap and 2 recent bottles its time for a review. The appearance is a clear reddish amber with a thick white head of foam. The smell is sweet malts. The taste however throws you for a loop...first you taste a bite of sweetness, then some spicy belgian style yeast AND rye kicks in, and finally the beer finishes with a smooth, juicy, grapefruity hop resilience that lasts. Truly a notable, well-made local beer, one of the most interesting, and appealing to my palate in a long time. It deserves a great rating for being so balanced and flavorful, and only 5%. Well done Philadelphia Brewing Company!

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Photo of Biscuit033
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear deep amber with two finger off white head with moderate lacing.

S: Sweet malts, grany, wheaty, and a touch of funky yeast.

T: Strong biscuit flavor, some dark fruits, date, figs, and a touch of tart red fruits, with a bit funky farmhouse yeast.

M: Thin, crisp, and clean.

D: This is a great summer beer that is differnet than most other offings out there. This is the best I have had from PBC.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rowhouse Red, Philadelphia Style Ale

Clear reddish hue, lovely lacey white head.

Rosy, malty nose. Sweet and fruity.

Bright and fruity on the tongue. Cherries and grapes, slice of apple.
Tasty, lively, red and luscious.

Medium bodied, slight mineral, flinty feel...drying at the end.

Yum, yum, drink, drink.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep reddish copper color with moderate off-white creamy head. Perfect retention, perfect lacing. This is my second beer from thos brewery, and they really seem to have the carbonation level perfect.

Smell has a nice fruity character, I can detect bananas, apples, anf a touch of spice.

Taste is really a complex mixture. There are bananas in the front end. Followed by a bit of tartness, and a firm bitterness that slowly develops.

The bitterness becomes a bit too long lasting, and slowly dominates the other flavors.

Really an enjoyable beer. Tone down the hops a bit, and this beer would be really great. Takes a bit to get used to.

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Photo of rallison
4.12/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to DIM for this interesting extra!

Pours a murky reddish brown with a 1 finger white head that never completely disappears.

Smells nicely funky/sour. I suppose sour rye is an appropriate description. Slight hints of caramel sweetness.

The taste is pleasant. Some of that saison funk mixed in with rye and some toasted malts. Nothing incredibly complex, but very enjoyable given the ABV.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and drinkability is very good for this beer.

Recommended. Not amazing, but a good, very interesting beer from a brewery I'd never tried before.

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Photo of MmmIPA
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I first heard about this beer.I thought it was going to be a straight red/amber ale.Was i wrong...

Rusty colored body with a nice off white head thats about one finger.Head falls to a nice funky belgian ring.

My first thougts on the smell was my cellar when its wet out,Musty.Yeasty and cherry notes.

Very dry taste but coats your palate with cherry peels.I cant taste too much malt.

Prickly on the tongue.Nice feeling though.

Having this beer is like having a salad on a hot day.

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Photo of biegaman
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This 12oz "Philadelphia Style Ale" is thanks to SkinnyElvis!

The brewers list this as a "biere de mars" and claim that "it's the perfect accompaniment for some quality time enjoyed in the backyard (or on the front stoop) of your urban farmhouse." That sounded mighty good to me on this wonderful Sunday in June.

A mysterious looking drink. Thin bubbles make hardly a trace around the beer, which is a deep, dark muddied brown in colour. Strikingly it has a pronounced radiance when held to the light where colours seem to heat up and the body becomes illuminated with cinders of rust, scarlet and maroon. Simply striking.

The aroma is pointedly assertive, which leads to a lot, a lot of smelling because there is no real one candid, clearcut, distinct smell. I believe it must be all the hops, malts, and yeast that work together to give off a puzzling aroma of chocolate, coffee, tea, pine resin, cloves, rotting cherry, and rye bread. These all follow with a question mark - please do try this, smell it, and let me know what you smell...

The mouthfeel has a very heavy handed bitterness. There is a remarked hefty dose of hops used, I'm sure. I can sense two distinct types of bitterness: one, a dusty cocoa like bitterness which tastes of dark chocolate; and second, the green, leafy bitterness of freshly added hops. It packs a surprising level of both flavour and texture.

The taste, to a smaller extent than the aroma, can be a bit of guessing game. I certainly pick up on the hops, which taste, well, like hops with grassy, vinous, at times dry fruit character. They impart a ton of pine resin. There is also a good deal of malts that impart notes of caramel, roast and creamy butterscotch. Ripe fruit with a hint of oak? A balsamic like taste...

What fills in the rest may be up to you, although I taste something like I have with various herbal teas or funky Belgian Farmhouse Ales (the name Fantome comes to mind and finally I hear the 'ding, ding, ding' sounding...)

This was one interesting creation. It fit the biere de garde style remarkably well, showcasing an abundance of earthy and almost musty character in both smell and taste. This was very much like anything and everything I've had by Belgian farmhouse brewer Fantome, in flavour and makeup, but also in that it kept me guessing - and intrigued - the whole way through. I think it is a very promising sign from one of Philadelphia's "newer" breweries...

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Photo of jwc215
2.41/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours reddish copper with a thin tan head that leaves a touch of lacing.

The smell is of an odd yeastiness (funky-ish?) with a touch of burnt toast and some caramel. A citric/leafy hop note almost saves it, though it's out-of-character for the style.

The taste is an odd blend of something almost funkyish/barnyardish (but, not quite), with caramel and slightly burnt toast. A bitterness clashes with the sweetness. Sour notes mix in, as well as a peppery spice. This may seem, in writing, to appear to be balanced and complex. But, in taste - it is not. It's just "all over the place".

Light-to-medium bodied with an effervescence that softens.

The label says "Biere de Mars". Maybe Mars is where it belongs, as it is all over the universal map. I suppose it tries to be a saison and/or a biere de garde, with an American hop flair. Doesn't really have a "farmhouse" mustiness, though it hints at it. Sweetness and sourness and bitterness just don't meld well here. This one doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to DIM for throwing this in as an extra.

a - pours a deep copper color, one-finger off-white head, good retention and lacing, somewhat hazy

s - big aroma of fruity rye mixed with caramel, underlying spiciness, clove, some graininess

t - sweet rye fruitiness over top of bready and grainy maltiness on the midpalate, some light spiciness and caramel malt, finish has a little bitterness with more grain and yeast flavors, not much alcohol

m - light-to-medium bodied, lots of carbonation, fairly dry on the finish

d - the graininess of the taste and the moderate dryness limits the drinkability a bit for me

Not too bad of an effort overall. Interesting take on a farmhouse ale using rye. To me, the taste didn't quite live up to aroma. Glad I got the chance to give this a try.

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Photo of sjohansen
4.02/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber, heavy on the reddish hue. One finger cream colored head quickly disappears. Spotty lacing, not very much of it.

You can smell sweet malt, like maple syrup as soon as you pop the top on the bottle. Hints of brown sugar.

Smooth and sweet, candy and caramel. Hints of dark chocolate. Slight bitter finish.

Thick full body. Good carbonation.

This is my favorite of the Philadelphia Co brews, but it is heavy and won't find my fridge too often in spring and summer.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.2/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear ruby hued brownish. Nose is of caramel sugars. Flavor is off. It's almost like there is a bite of alcohol, but I know this is at 5%. A pasty flavor is there that seems almost like it was mud or earth or something. There seems to be quite a bit of spice as well, much of it pepper. Feel is fine.

What it comes down to is this: Why do American producers feel the need to make saisons. I mean there are so many other styles American breweries are good at putting out, so why this one? Few can get it right and most just end up wasting their time. So brewers. Why waste your time? When I have a Fantome in my fridge, why should I be investing time and money on American productions that just don't work?

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up the variety pack of PBC...

Poured from the bottle a deep, dark coppery red. with light head and a little retention.

Smell is a light malty sweetness, nothing off the wall, but i like this for a saison.

Taste is a smooth, earthy malt upfront with with a spicy yeasty finish. this is where you pick up on the saison taste.

Mouthfeel is about right, just enough for flavors to linger.

Very drinkable; perfect for those hot philly afternoons.

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Photo of Deuane
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Copper with a reddish tinge. Medium, light tan head reducing to a thin film leaving spotty lace.

S-Malty sweetness with a pleasant amount of citrusy hops. Interseting blend of "Belgian yeast" and spices. I was totally unprepared for the aroma in this one.

T-Earthy malt combining with the citrus hops, yeast and spices make for a complex palate. Somewhat dry initially but finishes with a building sweetness..

M-Medium-light body with a nice crisp dryness. The only minor fault with this brew. I would have liked a bit more body and round mouthfeel.

D-Nice take on a classic. Certainly not "traditional" but then again what is traditional when it comes to a farmhouse ale?

A pleasant surprise when I thought all I was going to get was a malty, dull red ale! Nice job PBC, looking forward to trying your other offerings!

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Photo of Kadonny
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into an standard pint glass.

A: A brownish red color with a faint off white head. Not much in glass lacing on the pour.

S: Malty sweetness with nice hops on the nose. You can also pick up the spices in the beer.

T: Sweet malt tones of caramel and dried fruit with some dirty/earthy tones. The hops show up somewhat through in the middle with the spice flavor pushing through. I was not expecting such a high spice flavor and expected more of the hops. Finish is sweeter similar to a classic farmhouse ale.

M: Medium mouthfeel with some creamy notes, no hint of alcohol and carbonation was fairly low.

D: For me this beer has low drinkability since I am not a belgian/farmhouse spice guy.

Overall another beer produced by Philadelphia that I am not fond of. 0 for 2 for me. I guess their brews are just not my bag and I'm sorry for that.

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Photo of tempest
3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from The Foodery in N. Liberties.

Pours a reddish amber with a fluffy white head and nice lacing. The aroma is filled with farmhouse notes and earthy hops with a little creamy note. The flavor follows up with bigger hop flavors that have citrus rind and a little grass that build up into the aftertaste. The overall feel is dry, like it should be, but unfortunately, it's also a touch chaulky, which is pretty unfortunate. All in all a tasty beer though. Worth a try.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. So far my favorite of the new Philadelphia BC beers.

A: Clear, light mahogany/copper color with a off white, light tan head that slowly dissipates to a thick ring and thin film. Also leaves thick rings of webbed lacing throughout the glass.
S: Strong, earth aroma with a blend of hop bitterness and a caramel malty body.
T: Plenty of flavor here, surprising after the slightly watered down lacking Walt Wit from the same brewer. Comes across like a mix of a saison and an esb (sort of). Beer is supported by a strong caramel malty body, but that flavor is overrun by earthy, floral hoppy flavors. For such an easy drinking, low ABV beer, this packs a ton of flavor and is very refreshing with a taste that lingers well after drinking.
M: Very active carbonation balances out a slightly thin body. Taste is very crisp and earthy-ness lingers a long time in the finish.
D: Excellent. Very flavorful and easy drinking for a the price, availability and ABV. I'm probably rating this a little higher than I normally would since I'm so pleasantly surprised by this. My favorite of the PBC beers so far, very interesting beer for one of their first brews.

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Photo of garcia2a
3.43/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got a mixed case today and the case was packed yesterday, so this is pretty fresh beer. Fair warning, as a big fan of Yards, I have high hopes for these brews.

This beer pours a lovely coppery color. The beer is clear and has a decent off white head with light carbonation.

The bouquet is heavy on the malt with flowery hops coming through nicely. Kinda reminds be in a broad sense of Rogie St Red Dry Hopped.

The taste goes well with the bouquet. Nice malt and hops on the tongue. On the backend I am getting an aserbic bite and a bit of citrus. This mellows out as the beer approaches room temperature.

Eventhough this is a medium bodied brew, I am getting a bit of cloying, but I still feel that the mouthfeel is decent.

Although not a heavy beer, this is a 1-2 in a session beer. Good showing for the first out of the gate.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single, twelve ounce bottle just purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
Pours a ruddy, dark-copper, deep ruby-red colored hue with a decent-sized foamy head that lingered on for a bit before slowly dissipating...
For a "Saison" style beer, the appearance proved to be very misleading and unproportionately dark...
Attractive aroma filled with bananas, cloves, spices, and ripe fruit...
Taste was replete with pears, banans, slight citrus, heavy florals, and rich fruits...
Creamy, and rich mouthfeel with a very good level of drinkability to match...
So far, all of the beers that I've sampled from this new Philadelphia brewery have been really good...

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice clear copper color; foamy tan head settles and holds well. On the nose I detect caramel malts and floral hops. Nice blend of hops and malts; getting hints of pepper, rye bread, caramel, biscuits, pear and orange peels.
Carbonation is bit high but no harm, no foul...just a couple extra burps. For the low level abv this make's for a flavor filled session brew. This is my first taste from the PBC line...hell yeah! I'm looking forward to the rest.

No point's for label but the label is kick-azz.
At $27 for a variety case, it looks like I may have found a new trusty case...I have to taste the other's first though.

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Photo of marcpal
3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Second offering from new Philly brewing- impressed by this one, not expected.

Thought Id be heading toward blandness but this was quite nice with a bite. Probably a hit or miss for most.

A: Listed as Philly style ale with long description on nice looking modern bottle. Poured into tulip glass, darker than anticipated-carbonation present and nice settled head.
Color of rye bread.

S: Lemon bitiness with a kick of hops. Incredibly inviting spices. Malty sweetness.

T: The malty sweetness with the spices and the hops offer high level of balance. Maltiness and heat leave me surprised the abv is so low- great characteristic to me. Not as much rye here but a hoppy saison.

M: Unquitting carbonation and spiciness. Grows a bit old on the tongue and mouthfeel, not strongest attribute.

D: For the level of alcohol, packs good taste makeing this a good session saison. Nice job Philly on this one, set the bar high for your other offerings.

Came into this brewery thinking it would be a watered down version of Yards, proving me wrong here.

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Photo of DIM
4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a clear, dark, coppery amber color. It poured with a medium sized off-white head that faded quickly to lace.

s: Sour rye smells dominate with some banana backing it up. Some floral hops also.

t: There is a great balance here between the sweet banana and cloves expected in a saison and the sour rye addition. This is dry overall, the floral finish in particular.

m: The carbonation is long lived and active, without being fizzy.

d: This is full flavored, unique, interesting, and, wait, 5% abv? Seriously? It's good to see these guys up and running. They are off to a great start with this one.

edit may 2009. I'm noticing big flavors of lemony (amarillo?) hops in this case that was bottled in april. Still loving this one, especially at $30 a case!

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Photo of brantadid
3.03/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a brownish color with ruby highlights. A thin off white head formed and diminished quickly. Some lacing but not much.

Not much smell to this beer. Slight cola aroma with very faint hops. Has a distinct brewpub quality to it (which isn't necessarily bad.)

Malty sweetness on the front palate. The beer dries out quickly leaving a nice hop profile mid to far palate. I think I taste some rye. Some sourness but I think that could be from overly excessive carbonation.

Light and watery mouthfeel. Very highly carbonated which is a bit of a turn-off.

Not a terrible beer but not a great beer. Worth a try however.

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Photo of Schooly
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bottle from their sampler pack picked up at Brewer's Outlet in Woodlyn for $26.99.

Called "Biere de Mars" on the label. The beer poured a dark amber with a half-inch of head on top. Not sure about the rye aspect folks are talking about, but it smells of a Belgian style for sure. One taste and I asked myself "Is this Allagash Dubbel?" To me, the taste and mouthfeel are exactly like the aforementioned beer but with a lower ABV (=more drinkable). Though given its complexity is just like the Dubbel, I have give it a hit for Drinkability.

If your looking for a cheap replacement for the Dubbel, this is the one. So far these folks look promising. Now on to the Wit...

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Rowhouse Red from Philadelphia Brewing Company
Beer rating: 41.8% out of 100 with 153 ratings
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