Parking Violation
Russian River Brewing Company

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Pale Ale (APA)
4.3 | pDev: 7.21%
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 35
Photo of AgentMunky
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Looks like a pale ale. Smells malty and crisp. The crispness doesn't carry over to the taste, which is full, wet, tasty. Drinkable and carbonated. Pretty good beer!

 164 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewpub. From notes.

A: Pours a clear, orange-amber body with substantial head (still 2 fingers when I receive the glass) and outstanding retention. It leaves nice sheets of lace down the sides of the nonic. Nice.

S: Grapefruit, orange peel, and pine aromas define the beer. Lest it be mistaken for an IPA masquerading as an APA, it serves up toffee, bread, and toasted malt in balance.

T: A nice backbone of toffee, bready malt and toast flavor set the initial taste. It progresses into a citric blend of grapefruit and orange pith. Pine comes through more in the finish, melding with orange rind to produce a slight, lingering bitterness.

M: Light-medium bodied. Active carbonation that produces a clean finish, though there is some lingering bitterness. Dry finish.

D: I know you're not 'supposed' to give an APA an A+, but for the style, it's outstanding. It's way more drinkable than Russian River's DIPAs, and if I had been smart I would have gotten a growler of it the last time I was at the pub. Hopefully it comes on again this summer.

 1,067 characters

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

64oz Russian River growler complements of augustgarage. Thanks as always!

A- Lots of sticky icky head. Snow-white, big bubbles and a dense formation. Beer is a pale gold, pretty on-par for style. Actually, perhaps a bit darker than usual.

S- Orange/tangerine, touch of grapefruit.

T- Follows the nose, fruity and citrus-heavy. Lemon zest. More grapefruit. A bit of pine resin. Clean, crisp, tasty.

M- Great carbonation, light, bubbly, refreshing.

D- High. One of the best pales I've ever had. Great job of dialing in on the hops while keeping the malt low and the sweetness in check.

 589 characters

Photo of augustgarage
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap @ the brewpub. Served in a nonic.

Lightly reddish orange, clear witha very thin sudsy head. Pleasant rich lacing.

Faint clover honey, orange-zest, and biscuity malt - very delicate aroma overall.

A touch of sweetness, buttermilk biscuit-like malt, with a moderately bitter citrusy hop profile. Finish is somewhat earthy and almost peppery. Clean, zippy, and easy drinking.

Lively carbonation, light bodied...

Very low ABV and good pure flavor make this a premier session ale, perfect for the arrival of Summer.

 526 characters

Photo of berkey
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From a growler picked up at the incomparable Russian River brewpub 06/12. Poured (many times) into a Russian River branded glass and reviewed on a beautiful sunny afternoon 06/13/10. 40 IBU 5.47 ABV.

Forms a very dense and well retained medium sized off-white head. Body is a clean pale auburn with a very slight haze. Leaves some nice lacing.

Somewhat hoppier aroma than the listed bitterness units had me expecting. Spicy and floral bitter hop goodness, there's a fair amount of citrus but it's more orange than grapefruit interestingly. Sweet bread and caramel malts are also very nice.

Taste follows the aroma but with the caramel malts slightly more up front. Somehow manages to be fairly hop forward especially on the aftertaste without being particularly bitter. I'm reminded of SNPA at moments during this tasting but this is a little cleaner and drier with a much more pleasant and more complex finish.

Supremely drinkable thanks both to the balance and the relatively light body. If I didn't have a busy day ahead of me I could sit here on the balcony and drink this all day.

I'll admit this one surprised me and I'm a little embarrassed I've passed up on it on so many other trips to the pub. I've heard it said that if you want to brew a great APA to brew an IPA and call it an APA. This beer avoids that 'cheat' and still comes off as a winner.

 1,362 characters

Photo of Sean9689
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Alex (Masterski) for bringing this one over to our Friday random beer tasting. Split several ways amongst friends into nonic glasses. Love the RR growler!

A - Pours golden yellowish with a couple of fingers worth of white head. Lots of sticky lacing and the head remains on top of the beer for quite some time. Just a beautiful looking APA.

S - Hops, citrus, lemon/lime, light malts.

T - The light malt character makes this one easy to drink, just goes down so easily. Lots of hops, citrus, lemon/lime. Light bitterness but done perfectly for an APA.

M - Light, crisp, super-refreshing, good carbonation.

D - I really enjoyed this one. Quite possibly my favorite APA of all-time. RR always does it right (for the most part) and I wish they were right around the corner from me. Thanks again goes to Alex through Adam for the growler!

 853 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the brewpub. A full bitterness, full flavoured APA. Juicy orange. Golden colour and lacey. Served at right temperature and perfect carbonation. Very good drinkability.Above average mouthfeel. Love to have this again. A good example of an APA.

 260 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Nanoslug for this growler. I've been wanting to try this one for a while and Adam finally delivered. Served in a Goose Island pint glass.

A - Beautiful three fingers of creamy foam that dissipates to a thin cap and leaves sheets of lacework. Hazed golden apricot body with a nice fiery glow to it.

S - This smells heavy on the Cascade, with tons of pithy grapefruit, orange rind, and pine notes coming through. The malt character is toffee and lightly toasted grains.

T - Not sure what is going on tonight, but I seem to be enjoying the taste of these beers more than the nose. Bright hoppiness with tons of pine and grapefruit, supported by a light toffee malt backbone. Aftertaste has a hefty does of bitterness to it, but it dissipates fairly quickly.

M - Light, refreshing, with lively but soft carbonation. The finish is dry, with nice enamel-coating hop resins. Pretty much everything I want in a session brew.

D - I probably could have drank the whole growler. This was a superb palate cleanser between the bigger beers we had, and something that I could consume all evening if it were available.

 1,122 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to bifrostguard and largadeer for making this happen. A hoppy RR beer? Yes please!

A crystal clear orange-amber with a dense off-white head that's about 3-fingers thick. Retention is great, and the intricate lacework is quite gorgeous

The nose is loaded with delicate hop character with pine, some citrus (orange and tangerine) and a distinct grapefruit rind bitterness. Allowing it to warm up reveals a delicate toasted cracker malt character. Quite excellent

Opening with a light bitterness, rather grapefruit-like in character, this is followed up with flavors of citrus and a touch of pine. Bitterness is low, with the balance (as is typical for RR) leaning towards hop flavor with a touch of floral character. The dry, cracker-like malt character with a touch of sweetness is faint and doesn't get in the way, this fabulous beer finishes dry and refreshing

Light in body with a creamy mouthfeel and moderate carbonation, this is a treat on the palate. The finish is excellent too.

I've consumed one pint since I started typing this review, and I'm glad I have another 3 to make revisions to this one. Well done, Vinnie! Truly sessionable, I've had the entire growler and feel like I could go for another!

 1,226 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler received from bifrostguard and largadeer. Thanks! A hoppy pale ale from Russian River? Just the job! Consumed on 10/7/2009 and poured into my Moonlight pint glass. The beer looks great. It's light straw golden with a frothy 2 finger head. Retention and lacing are both great.

The aroma is all hops with a faint crackery malt presence and a dash of sweetness. The hop profile is distinctly Russian River, with a marvelous combination of grapefruit, orange, and pine. Why can't all Pale Ales smell like this?

The flavor does not disappoint. Bitterness is at a high level for a pale. The beer is dry with really no sweetness.
The malt is crackery sometimes, and grainy at others. Pine resin mingles with bitter grapefruit and orange pith to create a wondrous hop fusion. The finish is dry with a lingering pine bitterness.

Medium light bodied with moderate carbonation (the growler held up quite well). The beer is bone dry with a sticky mouthfeel. This is really, really drinkable. Excellent stuff. I'm having a hard time thinking of a better Pale Ale. This must be the best I've had!

Serving type: growler

Reviewed on: 10-08-2009 05:02:10

 1,151 characters

Photo of Offa
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a light, simple, but excellent pale ale.

Dark gold with hint of pale amber and ever so slightly hazy, it has a pretty rich, barely off-white head steadily shrinking to a thin bu permanent foamy top and leaves so good lace in rings.

The aroma is very much a west-coast APA in overall character, but unusually well-rounded and complex. It first has clear grapefruit but then piney resin, raisiny fruitiness and slight caramelly breadiness.

The taste is similar, but better balanced, light and straightforward but solid, very well-rounded, full-bodied, balanced, with a character that holds up extreemely well. It has definite but light grapefruit, piney resin, hint of orange zest, caramelly-raisiny malt backbone, all nicely balanced and very well-integrated, complementing each other very nicely. It has light but defintie swetness balanced with bitterness and a crisp, slightly bitter resiny-citrus-zest finish riding raisiny malt sweetness, both elements lingering nicely afterwards. It is highly drinkable and one very well-made beer, an unusually outstanding APA.

 1,078 characters

Photo of mjl21
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a growler into a pint glass. Did not catch abv when I filled it up at the brewery.

A-Lighter amber color with a nice one finger white head that stays around. Lots of bubbles rise from the bottom.

S-Citrusy, but not over the top. Some pine is also in there. Smells fresh and crisp.

T-Light citrus dominates this one. The pine is also somewhat present. It is remarkably balanced.

M-Has that great smooth Russian River mouthfeel. Somewhat lighter bodied and very dry.

D-Off the charts for drinkability. It goes down easily, is not heavy, and packs a lot of flavor.

This is one of my favorites from RR. I wish it would pop up more at the pub. Probably my favorite pale ale of all time.

 700 characters

Photo of xhcadamx
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - light golden yellow with a creamy small head and nice lacing

S - citrus and grapefruit with a hint of carmel

T - citrus and grapefruit with a hint of carmel. I was expecting it to be much more in "weight" in the flavor profile. A welcomed balance from RR.

M - light but still very full flavored.

D - Pretty high especially sitting at the brewpub with some tasty pizza bites.

 382 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this growler in trade last week and was very excited to try this new session able offering from Russian River. Being an enormous fan of just about everything they do it should come as no surprise that I was very excited to get a hold of this one. I took the growler and poured straight out of the fridge into pint glasses of various sizes.

Appearance - Poured a completely translucent honey colored amber, really quite strikingly clear which was a definite good thing. A good amount of carbonation could be seen screaming up toward the top, letting me know his growler survived the trip very nicely. An average sized two finger high head of white then came over the top and gently settled down into a modest crown without much residual side glass lace.

Smell - The aroma was quite hoppy, but light at the same time. Evidence of some mild wheat lying under the surface were clearly noticeable. Light grapefruit notes, hints of pine and fresh cut grass. Very bright and not at all overly sweet by any stretch.

Taste - The flavor was knock down great for a pale ale. Light, crisp and refreshing it had just about everything going for it that it possibly could. Light citrus flavors really bite when you first take a sip, noticeable grapefruit and lemongrass flavors give way to a nice light wheat or grain like flavor. Great balance here with nothing being terribly strong and the whole thing staying nice and light. Good follow through with the flavor lingering just long enough to give you a good dose of bitter west coast hops before sliding down and drying out the palate. Good long finish.

Mouthfeel - Very nice light bodied pale ale, it was definitely not weak or thin, it was just light enough to be utterly refreshing on this hot day. Really a solid carbonation profile and a great all around level.

Drinkability - This was a great session ale and really defined what a pale ale should be all about. Light, crisp ,and well carbonated body gives way to light but deep flavors that really pop and a good low ABV that really will let you sit down and drink a good deal of.

Overall this was a very solid offering indeed. A nice change from the bigger offerings I have had from them in the past. I would love to be able to have a good deal of this sitting on tap all the time. I could make this my go to summer session ale for sure,. Definitely have to recommend this one, a top notch selection.

 2,411 characters

Photo of illidurit
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Russian River for their 4th anniversary.

Pours an apple juice color with a white head and some wispy lacing. Aroma is hoppy but it's not really a citrus hoppiness. More piney and sprucey. Flavor is the same, with a little grapefruit rind and a tannic finish. Dry and quenching. Nice little APA here.

 310 characters

Photo of jwolfie70
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the brewery this last weekend at their Fourth Anniversary. Probably my favorite American Pale Ale to date.

Poured a deep Gold, with a thin white head by the time it reached my table. Smell was crisp hops, and the taste was more of the same. A very smooth beer. Light, dry and hoppy. With hoppy pale ales, I am often left wishing for the malty presence of an IPA, but this beer was refreshing.

The really sad part, is that I had a real parking violation sitting on my windshield when I got back to the car.

 521 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Bright and clear amber with a small white cap of foam.

Smell: Huge floral and citrus hops with no noticeable malt presence; but what a great hop aroma.

Taste/mouthfeel: Given that Russian River's standard IPA is over 70 IBUs, it should come as no surprise that their take on an American Pale Ale would be hoppy as hell. The taste is almost all hops; pine and grapefruit with floral undertones. Some bready malt comes through toward the middle but don't last long as the bittering onslaught takes over the palate. Very dry stuff overall with an awesome hop flavor.

Drinkability: So good that I grabbed a growler.

 627 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

07/30/06- Via the tap at the Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa, CA. Taken from notes earlier this year.

Presentation- From the tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Amber colored pour. Smaller 1/4 inch head with decent lace sheeting.

Smell- Hoppy, as one would expect. A good dose of grapefruit, maybe some lemon and a wee bit of pine. Caramel malt comes through as well.

Taste- This is a very well rounded APA. Kind of a salty/sweet (if that makes any sense) caramel malted flavor. Hops are big and hit you with force and with grapefruit right in your face. One of the more bitter APA's I have had in quite a while.

Mouthfeel- Lasting bitterness, medium carbonation.

Drinkability- This one was served at around room temp, but probably would have even liked it better if it was on the cooler side at around 40-45. A very good APA that I would like to visit again.

 889 characters

Photo of noob
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on draft at the Toronado in SF a few weeks back. First things I noticed was the nose... sweet hop aroma and the perfect one-finger head. After the first sip I was hooked! Great hoppy mouthfeel and really well balanced. This is a truly amazing Pale Ale!

 261 characters

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Russian River Brewing's newest entry is named "Parking Violation" in honor of the city of Santa Rosa's $25 parking tickets which are frequently presented to the brewpub's patrons who overstay their time on the meters when enjoying a pint or two. (This is a sister brew to "Beerocracy" which was named due to the miles of red tape required to open a brewpub downtown)

The brew came a nice deep gold with a reasonable head - quite typical of what you'd expect from an American Pale Ale. The nose is quite inviting with a strong hop character closely resembling new mown grass.

The taste is quite surprising - grapefruit, grapefruit and grapefruit. While there are small notes of malt in there somewhere, the hopping is plentiful and overwhelming. Surprising, the brew isn't terribly bitter and it certainly invites another drink before you've even put the glass down. Mouthfeel is nice and light, not overly carbonated and not overly heavy, on the goldilocks scale it's just about perfect.

While I'll probably ask for Parking Violation again when I go back, it is a bit of a novelty brew - unless you're extremely fond of the hopping it's a bit lacking in complexity and character.

 1,188 characters

Parking Violation from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 35 ratings