It Takes A Lot Of Great Beer To Make Great Wine
Russian River Brewing Company

It Takes A Lot Of Great Beer To Make Great WineIt Takes A Lot Of Great Beer To Make Great Wine
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Style:
American Pale Ale (APA)
Ranked #689
ABV:
4.75%
Score:
87
Ranked #16,652
Avg:
3.87 | pDev: 9.82%
Reviews:
70
Ratings:
236
From:
Russian River Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Summer
Wants
  33
Gots
  17
SCORE
87
Very Good
It Takes A Lot Of Great Beer To Make Great WineIt Takes A Lot Of Great Beer To Make Great Wine
Notes: There is an old familiar saying in the wine business: "It takes a lot of great beer to make great wine!" Winemakers, cellar workers, and grape pickers alike rarely (if ever) reach for a nice big glass of red wine in the middle of harvest. Wine is quite delicious, but not very refreshing on a hot summer day. The beverage of choice during harvest is BEER! Ice-cold, refreshing, and thirst-quenching BEER! The beer in this bottle is a toast to our winemaking friends who work around the clock during harvest to make world-class wine right here in our own back yard! Cheers!

Brewed with a blend of California ale yeast and saison yeast.
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Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 236
Reviews by Fluteswell:
Photo of Fluteswell
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i loved this session ale, pure blonde nice and clear and with a great and dynamic yeast character from champagne fruitiness to saison funk, and an impressively dry finish. there also seems to be some wine grapes in it, it has a really bursting fruit flavor in the middle with a bit of sweetness, but im not sure there are grapes in here at all. its the subconscious. i have never picked wine grapes, but almost find myself in a field doing just that on a hot late summer day when i drink this beer. it makes me refreshed when i dont even need refreshing. the low alcohol and the intense flavors really make it come alive, and all this carbonation helps it be even more of a quencher. i would love to know more about the specifics of this beer, as it is unlike any other i have had. great great stuff.

 800 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of gordavidson
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Jemonster
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Those chunks in the bottom of my glass don't look too appealing. They were in suspension when I poured it. I know it's just clumps of yeast and nutrients. Soft orange glow, thin white head, not a lot of visible carbonation.

S: Smells like what I think about on a hot summer day! Light hop aroma dominates, and light bread. Lemon citrusy.

T: Like a fine pale ale. Very well crafted. Nice lemon/grapefruit from the hops, cool tasting and refreshing. Great bittering. Tastes like a great beer to have with something salty or oily. Finishes fast like a summer beer should. If it weren't winter and 35-40 degrees here in San Jose California, it would probably be even better. Can't quite give it a 5 because I feel like there is something unidentifiable that is keeping it from being perfect.

M: Crisp and clean. More carbonated than it looks. Perfect for warmer weather.

O: I'm stocking up when July rolls around if this is still available.

 944 characters

Photo of metter98
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is hazy dark yellow in color and has no visible carbonation but some yeast particles near the bottom of the glass. It poured with a half finger high off white head that slowly died down and left a thin head covering the surface and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of orange and lemon citrus along with some hints of oak. No bitterness is present.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation along with bits of dryness.
O: This beer has nice aromas and flavors from the hops, especially since it is nearly seven monts old. It is also very easy to drink.

Note: Bottle Date: 08-30-12

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Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of laxer8811
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of largadeer
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale blond hue, clear initially but cloudier in subsequent pours. The head doesn't show a ton of retention or lacing.

Great bready pale malt aroma with some yeastiness beneath it. White pepper, bread dough, herbal hops - really quite nice.

The palate exceeds the aroma and is surprisingly delicious. A great sweet pale malt foundation with some spicy overtones, grassy and herbal hops, a bit of peppery bite. Very mild bitterness. This is a beer you really need to enjoy a large pour of to truly appreciate, I think. It's very clean, balanced and sessionable.

 569 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

straw yellow color. golden amber with a crystal clear look to it. A small head of maybe an inch rose up, but immediatly fell back down, leaving a naked top to it.

The aroma was light. Lots of light grain and bready malts abound here. Small light fruit notes and an overall light profile. Taste was more of the same, light grain, light fruits, small doses of grain. A crisp, clean, and refreshing profile. Very light feel with an almost non existently light feel. Super drinkable

 479 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8/27/2011

Thanks to Jason for sharing this at Woodshop Classix.

A: Transparent blond with a small bubbly white head.

S: Biscuit and wheat with a touch of sulfur. Maybe a dash of lemon and grass.

T: Dry with wheat and sulfur. I get just a little biscuit and earthy, grassy hops. Finishes dry and pretty clean.

M: Light in body with upper moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is crisp and dry.

Overall: A refreshing and highly drinkable beer, just a bit simple.

 465 characters

Photo of MasterSki
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike for sharing this one. Served in a Cigar City tulip.

A - A finger of white foam quickly settles to some wispy patches, a thick collar, and minimal lace. Hazy white peach flesh body - think my pour was the bottom third.

S - Sharp aroma - cereal grains and perhaps some chaffed wheat as well. A bit of stone fruit sweetness and English herbal hop character rounds things out.

T - Plenty of yeast, wheat, bread, and grain character - lightly toasted with sharp unmalted grains. Minimal hop flavor or bitterness, with a clean and neutral finish. Not bad, just slightly dull.

M - Smooth medium-light body, with lower carbonation, a lightly grainy texture, and a dry, crisp, clean finish.

D - It's a lawnmower lager. Decent stuff, but nothing special or worth actively seeking out. I'd have it again if it were reasonably priced.

EDIT: Apparently this isn't a lager at all. I guess the sharp flavors I was picking up were from the Saison yeast.

 958 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of illidurit
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of dar482
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%

The aroma offers floral, grapefruit, grass, towards Centennial.

The flavor follows with lots of green grass, slight spice, dry pine on the back. There's some light malt with a touch of sweetness.

A well made American hopped session IPA.

 238 characters

Photo of reverbking
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of biertrinkenja
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of alamode
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of mltobin
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of hooliganlife
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to Jason Rorie for this

pours a lazy hazy straw yellow with a nice bright mix of fizzy and frothy head.

lots of sharp zesty fresh biscuit with a floral brightness. bits of fresh flower.

very malt forward with lots of bread and biscuit. sharp and bright floral hops mixed in through out. almost a bit of tartness, like faint lemon.

nice moderate body with a moderate carbonation. a hint of chew. not overly thin like many ales below 5%.

highly drinkable and enjoyable. loved this.

 498 characters

Photo of mothman
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a layer of white head. Leaves some rings. Color is a yellow gold.

Aroma: kind of fruity. Orange and lemon. Piney hops. Very fresh and earthy. Grassy.

Taste: a lot of lemon zest and bready malts. Grassy with a bit of pine and citrus. More malts than I was expecting.

Mouthfeel: Bitter. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends sticky.

Overall, it's good, but nothing like the other RR ipas. Decent, but not pte, pty, or bp. It's not an apa, but I guess I expected more from RR.

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Photo of Gilmango
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to the colonelforbin for bringing this back from Zwanze Day at RRBC then schlepping it to CBS and PacBrewLab tasting.

A - golden color with a white head and a bit of lacing, just slightly cloudy - if the "pale lager" is correct then this looks like kellerbier; however this was filtered, no yeast at the bottom of the bottle.

S - bready malt with central European earthy and spicy hops

T - hop forward, real clean hints of malt and lovely dry finish with hints of lemon and good bitter hop grip.

M - Well attenuated without seeming too thin.

O - Really great breakfast beer, session beer, American lager(?), etc. Before I came here to review it I was guessing they used a Kolsch yeast as I just haven't had many lagers from RRBC, but if this is a pale lager (bottle does say "Ale" fwiw oh and their blog reads, "winemaker's session ale") so I am starting to think that maybe they did use Kolsch yeast or perhaps used lager yeast at ale temps ala CA common (but I'm no big fan of that style and this blows away any CA common I've ever had). No matter the beer is great and reminds me of a great, somewhat hoppy but restrained, west coast version of a kellerbier, or a kolsch.

Very food friendly. Best similarity I can recall is the old Deschutes seasonal Pine Mountain Pils, now retired, what a great beer that was.

 1,330 characters

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

Thanks to scottfrie for hooking this bottle up

A - Poured a clear golden color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of bready malt with some light spicy hops

T - Follows the nose with spicy hops dominating the flavor with bready malt in the background

M - This beer has a light body with higher carbonation to it

O - For what this beer is its pretty damn good I could drink a few of these on a summer day if it was more widely available without thinking about it worth picking up to try if you get the chance

 530 characters

Photo of fthegiants
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rbrefbeerman
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

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It Takes A Lot Of Great Beer To Make Great Wine from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 236 ratings