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

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87
very good
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
rrbeer.com

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:
32
Gots:
16
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 220
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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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
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

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle gifted from drabmuh. Thanks Matt! A new beer from one of my favorite breweries. Very exciting.

The beer is mostly clear, with only a mild haze, and appears a light yellow color. The head is insubstantial, measuring less than a quarter inch, even after agitation. Minimal lacing.

I like the aroma. Bready and malty. Smells like a lager. Nice sourdough bread scents.

Thirst quenching, refreshing, easy to drink. Lots of flavor in a low alcohol, sessionable beer. Malty, with only a subtle sweetness that sneaks in, adding s little something to the bready, lager flavors.

Thin body, but not too. Goes down easy. No trace of alcohol.

Overall, I would like a keg of this at my house next summer.

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Photo of cbutova
3.46/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at the brewery, consumed later back in the hotel room in SF. Bottled 08/23/11, 2 months old on the nose.

A- Pale yellow body with a one finger white head. Decent retention and creamy texture. Small cloud and ring = silky fine lace.

S- Light biscuit and cracker malt. Some sweet sugar hints as well as yeast bread and citrus zest hints.

T- Crisp light lager flavor. Sweet light malt with sugar and biscuit hints. Bread and fruit hints, apple and white grape. Grassy and leafy light hop profile.

MF- Silky smooth light body with high carbonation. Slightly creamy feel.

Not bad for a pale lager. Good flavors but still has that sweet light malt and yeast feel found in many other light lagers. Interesting especially with a better mouthfeel for the flavors.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bdige for sending this along in a recent trade. Always love Russian River. Need to get there someday.

Bright/tight white head forms slowly collapses and is quite creamy in the process. The beer is a bright gold/straw color with just a hint of carbonation rising to the surface.

Aroma is grassy with a touch of sulphur and with bread dough just below the surface.

Flavor is quite bready and nice. The sulphur is just there, but not a problem. Dough sweet bread notes like the center of a fresh baked roll. Almost a sense of white pepper and some white grape. As it warns slightly the depth of the malt bill really comes out.

Crisp and refreshing. A touch more sturdy than “delicate” but still an overall light body.

Good little beer. Well built and spot on for the style. For what it’s made to be, they nailed it.

Thanks Brandon.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mike (AgentZero) for this one. Poured into Kuhnhenn tulip.

A - Pours a clear straw yellow color, thick head, spotty lace, thin collar.

S - All very light and crips. Floral, grains, slight touch of bitterness. Really nice and easy going...fits the style well.

T - Freshly cut grass, some mustiness, hay, grains, touch of hops, some malty sweetness. Again, nice and easy to drink.

M - Light, crisp, smooth, refreshing, slightly grainy finish.

O - A nice Pale Lager that's just super-chugable. This one is just easy to drink a lot of and fits the style nicely. Would have again.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.08/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to leschkie for this one.

A: Pours a thin and completely clear yellow. There is a tiny pure white head that fades to nothing. No lacing left on the glass as it drinks.

S: Smells like a standard lager. Nothing overly complicated about it. There is however, just the slightest hop aroma in the tale end of the nose.

T: Starts off a little sweet and highly carbonated. Tastes like a BMC product. But it finishes with a nice little kick of hops and some extra bitterness.

M: Light bodied beer.

O: There isn't really anything too exciting about this beer. It's just a well made lager, perfect for easy drinking on hot days. I feel fortunate to have tried this brew, but It's nothing special.

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Photo of emerge077
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a bottle recently, review from written notes. Bottled: 082311

Pours a pale pastel yellow with visible carbonation rising, and a cluster of larger bubbles on the surface. Thin layer of foam fades to a thin cirrus pattern skim across the surface after a few sips. Solid head retention.

Initially lagery and slightly sulfuric, but this passes, leaving some floral tulip notes and grassy greenery in place of that. Slight yeastiness, overall clean.

Light grassy bitterness, lemon, honey, dry crackery finish, slight malt sweetness. Clean and dry feel, light bodied with medium carbonation. Found it to be easily drinkable on a warm day. Simple and utilitarian, a clean bare bones session lager, no flaws. Simplicity is underrated...

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Light yellow-golden color, small white head.

Yeast and light malt. Small amount of grassy hops in the aroma.

Refreshing and crisp taste. Light grassy hops. Not much bitterness at all. Some fruitiness from the yeast. Bready/cracker malt profile. Easily sessionable but boring. Kind of an odd format to sell a beer like this. Reminds me of Mayflower Golden Ale a little. It's meant to be sessioned and not analyzed but if I wanted a sessionable lager I would look for a Tipopils, which this does not even come close.

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Photo of Klym
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a surly pint glass.

A: BMC would be jealous. Very pale gold with slow mo bubbles coming up in quick succession from the bottom. A small, microbubble white head with layers of lacing.

S: Very clean smell with slight hop inflections.

T: The taste is very clean, tons of wheat comes through in the middle and the end hits with a mild but clear punch of hops.

M: A perfectly medium body with tingles of carbonation throughout, classic lager body but twice as clean.

O: Russian River proves itself once again to be a master of clean, clear, and fine tuned. Not sure it compensates for a lack of recent adventure into bold and unique, but it's pleasant nonetheless.

 678 characters

Photo of mjyoung
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank 10/5/11

A: Pours a nice straw color with a really nice looking head that has pretty good retention.

S: A wee bit of citrus but mostly dominated by pale malt and cracker lager.

T: Very light, and quite tasty. A little bitter on the finish, but still great.

M: A nice, medium body with good carbonation.

O: A great lager. Refreshing, and indicative of RR's overall quality.

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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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