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

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66 Reviews
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It Takes A Lot Of Great Beer To Make Great WineIt Takes A Lot Of Great Beer To Make Great Wine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.75%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by hobojon on 08-27-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
66
Ratings:
220
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
18.21%
 
 
Wants:
31
Gots:
16
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 220
Photo of Offa
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was an excellent pale ale.

Dark gold, it had a medium-small white head steadily shrinking to foamy ring, a tiny bit of weak lace.

Aroma was grain, ripe grapefruit juice, bread, passion fruit.

Taste was excellent crisp, bright balanced session ale, lemon-orange, bread, grass, mineral, grain, balanced light bready sweetness with just dominant light bitterness, lemony-grassy-peppery dryish finish leafy and yeasty and minerally with bready aftertaste.

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Photo of metter98
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
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 dbrauneis
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 083012

A: Pours a hazy golden apricot in color with moderate amounts of large particles of sediment near the bottom of the glass, light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation, and some golden yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy off-white head that slowly reduces a medium thick patch of medium to large bubbles, a thick film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer, and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Upfront there are some light aromas of bready and pale malts. Moderate amounts of citrus hops with some notes of orange, lemon, and just a hint of grapefruit along with some light grassy hop aromas.

T: Upfront some light amounts of pale and bready malts with a touch of graininess that is followed by a light to moderate flavor of oak. That is followed by light grassy hops and some moderate citrusy hops - notes of lemon zest and orange. Light bitterness which does not linger for too long.

M: Just heavier than light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Very light notes of dryness.

O: Even after probably not getting drunk as quickly as it should have, it still had really nice hop presence and was quite nice to drink/enjoyable.

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Photo of Jemonster
4.39/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub. A good dry hoppy beer. Light orange coloured and very lacey. Lightly carbonated. A tad of yeast like a blonde. A hoppy lemony treat. Very good drinkability. Aromas are mildly herbal, malty. This is not a pale, but could pass for one.

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Photo of harrymel
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again daysinthewake.

Pours a lovely hazed copper with a solid quilt of soapy light yellow foam. Smells of plenty of resiny and grapefruity hops with a slight lagered, english malt background. Taste is more malty than I had anticipated and the hops are present, albeit reserved with a very crisp and easy feel. The malt seems slightly oxidized, which would be better complimented with a few more late hop additions. Medium bodied with liberal carb and a slightly slick finish. I like this beer overall, although I don't think it meets the usual standards of the RR lexicon of beers. I would drink this with a simple meal like barley soup.

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Photo of sitarist
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blind BIF round 7.

Pours hazy, honey to orange in color. After an aggressive pour there is about half an inch of loose white head. The head falls to a bubbly ring that leaves spots of lacing.

It has a fresh, clean, mild aroma that is pleasant. Not complex by any means, but its components (yeast, grain, hops) are all present. Floral with hints of orange, lime, biscuit dough, and just the faintest presence of wet dog.

Though not bad, its flavors do not match up to its nose. I taste some lime, triple sec, and water. It just seems to be missing something.

It is lighter in body, with light carbonation. Though its not heavily hopped, it doesn't have the body to support the hops. Leaves a resinous feeling on my tongue.

Overall its an easy drinking beer. Bring me a 6 of these to the golf course. Its very well crafted, just a bit underwhelming. Reminds me of SN celebration ale, only watered down.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Translucent orange, some carbonation with a two finger head.

S-Grass, oranges, floral notes. Strong malt bill as well. Good balance

T-Nice grass with caramel malt. Floral hops round it out with some mild bitterness in the finish.

M-Medium bodied, but a little on the lighter side. Some carbonation.

O-A decent APA, RR has done a lot better but still glad I was able to try this one.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle poured into a De Struise chalice. Bottled 8/30/2012.

Appearance - Hazy yellowish orange. Decent white head. Nice retention and lacing.

Smell - The saison is more prevalent than the hops. Fruity esters and a grainy malt. Almost wheaty. Citrus hops are in the background.

Taste - Hops are light in the taste as well. Grains more prevalent. Saison yeast gives it a fruity but light finish. Very grainy in the finish,

Mouthfeel - Very light and easy drinking. Hardly bitter. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Interesting if closer to a saison than a pale ale. I like the body of it and the saison yeast gives it a dimension that the low ABV and low hop profile wouldn't give it.

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

A: pours a slightly hazed light golden yellow with a small white head that has decent retention for its size into an imperial nonic
S: smells of grapefruit and pine, no malt in the nose that I can find but a nice light hop aroma
T: grapefruit and pine flavor up front with a nice clean and light malt flavor, slight sweetness but enough hop character to keep it reigned in. swallow brings a light breadyness and a bit more pine and grapefruit
M: standard carbonation for the style that is slightly prickly with a medium to light mouthfeel. very refreshing and not the least bit drying
O: Russian River makes some very outstanding beers and this beer is no exception. great flavors and highly drinkable.

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Photo of Philousa
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on date 8/30/12

Orange copper, clear, with one finger head and great retention. Orange peel with a light amount  of 2 row and slight pepper. Hops are present but not overwhelming: grassy and earthy. Slight metallic flavor combines with orange rind and wheat bread crust. Flavor thins out and comes back gently but bitter with a slight tartness from the yeast. Fresh cut grass and some spritzy citrus compose the finish. Feel is slightly watery with a balanced finish. 

This is a great lawnmower beer. I can see myself having this after moving on a hot summer day, the mild flavor and light body would be very satisfying. A lot of flavor for such a "small" beer.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one as an extra in a recent trade. Thanks, Kevin. 510 mL bottle poured into standard pint glass. Bottled on 8/30/12, about 5 weeks old.

A - Pours a hazy orange-straw color with a thin white head. The lacing it leaves behind coats nearly the entire glass.

S - Smells of biscuity malt, lemon, and nonabrasive floral hops. A little bit of sweet honey is balanced by the citrus and hops. Mellow and welcoming aroma.

T - Follows the nose closely with great balance of biscuit malt and citrus. Some floral hops, but not enough for me to consider this a hoppy brew. As in the nose, it is mellow on the palate.

M - Light-medium body with moderate carbonation. It is a gulper.

O - Certainly not one of the better RR beers I have had, but it's pretty good. The problem here is that it is a session beer sold as a limited run single. The explanation on the side of the bottle is spot on. It is a very refreshing beer that I could easily see drinking on a long day during the "harvest." Very good representation of the APA style with good flavor and very high drinkability. I recommend trying it if you like mellow, refreshing pale ales.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler (filled 30 September at the brewery) into a tulip glass.

A: Several fingers of head fade quickly atop a hazy-opaque straw yellow beer.

S: This smells great! Crisp and very hoppy. Fresh pine and a strong dose of lemon peel.

T: Light and pleasant. I'm not sure I see the saison yeast...It's thin-bodied (crisp would be more flattering) with a very clean yeast. Almost pilsnery. The finish is dry as well. That said, the main appeal lies in the excellent (and potent) hops used. Something European perhaps? Quite bitter and quite delicious. I am enjoying this pale ale, even if its best qualities are tragically ephemeral.

M: Light, crisp, and clean. Nicely carbonated to highlight the spiciness of the hops.

O: Great pale ale! Highly recommended. I'm glad I decided to buy this over Happy Hops, even if HH is still my preferred Russian River pale ale. Would try again.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

6oz half pint pour
Enjoyed this at the brew pub in Santa Rosa, CA on 9/5/12

A: Pours a crystal clear, golden color. There is some sticky white laced head. Seems to be good carbonation.

S: Much like the appearance, it's very BMC like. I get lots of grassy and grainy smells. Also, some euro hop aromas and biscuit like malt.

T: Taste really does follow that nose. It's very lager like. Grassy smelling. Light Euro hops and biscuit like light malts. Session beer for sure.

M: It's a summer brew. Light and easy drinking

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Photo of flayedandskinned
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on 8/30/13
Poured into the Sierra Nevada/Dogfish Head IPA glass

Appearance: (4.5)
Pours a lovely, slightly hazy hue of pale straw with some nice highlights of light orange. A very thick, tight bubbled, pure white, 3 fingers tall head forms. The head has great retention and leaves a lot of lacing along the sides of the glass as it recedes.

Aroma: (3.75)
A lot more of a subtle, nuanced aroma than I would anticipate from Russian River; Upfront there is some soft hop character; mostly very light citrus and some floral and herbal qualities. Right alongside the hops is an equally gentle saison yeast phenols; extremely faint pear, banana and a subtle white pepper spiciness. A very low profile bready maltiness rounds out this very low key aroma.

Taste: (3.75)
Right away your greeted by a quick burst of very floral, citrusy hop character; definitely very modest in nature. Behind hops is some of that spicy Saison yeast that is found in the nose; banana, clove and white pepper. The beer finishes very dry and clean with notes of bitter orange peel, floral hoppiness, clove, pepper and a distinct breadiness. Very crisp and refreshing.

Mouthfeel: (4.25)
Light bodied, but still somewhat robust in scope, with moderate, steady carbonation.

Overall: (4)
Russian River's version of a crisp, refreshing and low profile session ale made specifically for wine makers. What comes out it is a delightfully drinkable, low key ale. This beer really reminds me of Anchor Steam, but the Saison yeast really adds a new dimension to this 'old school' minded craft beer. I was hoping for some more hop character, but that's obviously wasn't the intention for this beer. I would gladly buy six packs of this beer!

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Photo of largadeer
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Served a clear golden-orange with a thin finger of white head. The head fades fairly quickly leaving behind some nice lace.

S - The aroma is mix of corn, grain, light malt, and a touch of yeast. There is just a hint of earthy hop.

T - Starts out with some light citrus with some grain and corn. Through the middle, some malt comes through with some yeast esters and a bit of bread. The finish is a mix bread, grain, light citrus, and a touch of earthy hop.

M - Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and very crisp and refreshing.

D - Very drinkable. Very nice session ale. It is fairly light bodied but does not feel overly empty or watery.

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Photo of spdyfire83
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

101st Review
Bottle to snifter

From notes. Thanks to Bardwashrind for sharing this treat at our Black Damnation horizontal tasting. This was a nice break in the dark stout action. My palate cleanser while drinking Black Damnation V - Double Black, if memory serves correct.

A: Bright, sunshine yellow. 2+ (foamy white) fingernail head on medium pour.

S: Brilliant bouquet of hops, citrus, and light crystal malt. Smells like a field almost - can't decide if it is in a good or bad way though.

T: Very light, crisp, and refreshing. Soft biscuit with mild sweetness (maybe honey). Balanced hop and malt profile that goes well together.

M: Light bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Drinks very clean. Quite refreshing. Great palate cleanser and I can understand the wonderful title. Can't say I am inclined to start making wine, but this could inspire me. Just an all-around good beer.

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Photo of LiquidBread219
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A= Poured straw yellow had a little bit of a head that left behind some spotty lacing.

S= Some pale malts, Mainly "Earthy" scents like wheat grains. Really had a clean crisp scent to it.

T= Much like the nose it was really clean and crisp really a light beer. A really good beer that you could enjoy on a hot summer day.

M= Good Carbonation, Light in body.

O= Overall, It is what it is a really nice clean and crisp APA this would be a perfect summer beer and you could really have a lot of these and get away with it because it's not that strong. Glad I got to try this one from a great brewery.

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Photo of mothman
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
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 Phelps
3.52/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by whiterascal, poured into a tulip. Brewed in celebration of the Sonoma wineries and the tradition of serving the vineyard workers ale with their lunches.

Pale, perfectly clear buttercup gold. A wispy, airy and very short-lived head of white pops away to nothing. Thin, delicate — looks like a lager.

It also smells like a lager. Sweet baking bread, a touch of sourdough and zesty, floral hops. Some interesting sweetness is in there as well — marzipan? Ginger?

The flavor leads with spicy, floral Czech or German hops. Crackers, touch of biscuits. Some grainy bitterness sweeps in at the finish. Very clean, very light.

Weird in the mouth — kind of dead, watery. Flashes of peppery carbonation in the light to medium-light body. Insubstantial.

Pretty much every reference to the beer’s style I’ve found refers to the beer as an American pale style, but my mouth found this sitting firmly in the lager camp. Even as a lager, ITALOGBTMGW isn’t impressive. It’s a decently drinkable lager, but it’s also very boring, and doesn’t live up to the excitement a Russian River bottle produces.

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Photo of robsee
3.47/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, poured into a Sam Adams glass. Straw yellow, white head, appears somewhat unfiltered.

Surprised by the classification as American Pale Ale as it is more blonde in style and conception even closer to a lager.

Clean, dry, crisp, and lager like. Hopped more than a normal lager with noble hop character. No citrus.

Very nice refreshing beer but as I'm drinking this in my Sam Adams glass, I realize that I'd rather be drinking a Sam Adams Noble Pils.

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Photo of HosP
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thank you to Scottfrie for the beer. Poured into pint glass.

A- Pours clear, straw yellow. Thin white head with bits of lacing left on glass.

S- Light grassy hop aroma. Overtaken by grainy, bready malt aroma.

T- Crisp, clean taste. More of the grainy malt in the flavor. Small amount of floral hop flavors dotted throughout. This would appeal to many beer drinkers out there.

M- Light body. Nice carbonation.

O- Nice refreshing drink. Anyone getting into craft would enjoy this beer. I did enjoy the drink, nice difference with simple yet nice flavors to it.

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Photo of Gushue3
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Renny for this extra.

A hazy yellow that resembles a hefe. Smaller white head with little retention and some bigger carbonation bubbles jetting from the bottom.

S Lighter sweet malt with a slight banana scent. Light earthy hops in there too. Smells interesting

T Not much flavor up front but quickly gets a light sweetness and spicier hops, not so much bitter. Almost a white grape taste thats very soft in the finish. Definately a little different

M Heavier side of light mouthfeel with lots of carbonation. Very easy to drink.

O Not a bad pale but different. taste was refreshing but didn't stand out to me. White grape flavor was interesting and nice.

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Photo of bbb099
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mjyoung for sharing this one!

A - Clear and bubbly golden yellow with foamy white-colored head.

S - Smells malty with floral notes. Hints of citrus as well. Very pleasant.

T - Light tasting, which is kinda expected. Wheat and corn flavors.

M - Medium to light bodied. Good amount of carbonation.

O - Probably one of the better pale lagers I have had. Taste wise is relatively average, but you can tell this is a well done lager.

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It Takes A Lot Of Great Beer To Make Great Wine from Russian River Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 220 ratings.
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