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

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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

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 220
Photo of Gilmango
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip glass.

A - A very light, clear orange with a two finger off-white head. Solid retention and lots of lacing.

S - Wheat, light malts.

T - Wheat, pilsner-like tones, some light citrus.

D - Good carbonation, light body.

O - Light and refreshing. Great beer? No, but good.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of daysinthewake, thanks! Served in a Russian River TION goblet.

Pours a clear straw color with a single-finger white head that went down to a collar fairly-quickly, leaving a bit of lacing behind. The nose carried some light grain and faint floral hops. Really delicate, and getting a bit more pronounced as it warmed. The flavor was nice, striking a nuanced blend between mostly-floral hops and a bit of light pilsner malt. Light body with good carbonation and a slightly bitter, semi-dry finish. Very tasty and quite drinkable.

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

Thanks to leschkie for the generous bonus question in his LIF

A - Hazy, pale, straw-colored. Very thin head settles to almost nothing. Slight film leaves behind light lacing after every sip.

S - Light malts. Maybe a small whiff of orange. Nothing much more to speak of.

T - Like the nose, pale malts dominate. A mildly spicy hops bite sneacks up behind. Has a very crisp finish.

M - Light to medium bodied with almost perfect amount of carbonation.

O - Highly drinkable! Great brew for a late summer lazy afternoon. Wish I had another one to grab.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Thorpe, this is a lager so I know it's going to suck beerballs but I figured I'd give it a whirl since it is Russian River and I fucking love lagers unlike the rest of you beer-idiots. While this is not the best beer I've ever had, it is probably a top 10 lager I've had and it was great.

Beer poured into a snifter, beer is yellow and clear with a thin white head, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is piny / sweet / pilsner.

Beer is light in body, pretty bitter, sweet up front, nice finish, it is like a hopped up pilsner if you can imagine. I'd have this again, I'd have this everytime I mow the lawn.

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Photo of Duff27
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Half-inch white head on a dull orange beer. Decent head retention, no lacing.

S- Not much smell, pale malts.

T- Your normal lager, but less offensive! A slight grape flavor on the tail end. Woo!

M- Good mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

D/O- Wooo! The drinkability is out of this world! Sooo random how this review came about! Thanks to the girl with the friend who came from CA with this. And thanks to the fact she enjoyed my double IPA homebrew haha.

 457 characters

Photo of aasher
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle is courtesy of BrewerB, thanks Brian! Bottle dated 8/23/11 and poured into my brand new RR snifter.

This one pours a light bodied, bright honey gold in color with a one finger traditional white head. The aromas consist of pale malts, light honey, and a nice subtle hoppiness. It has a clean citrus, yet very light hoppiness. For the style, it's pretty superb. The flavors are pretty heavy on the pale malts. I get a lot corn. There is a moderate amount of honey sweetness and a light citrusy hop presence. It's good but still a little heavy on the corn for my liking. It drinks very light and finishes clean. It's a nice intro beer for anyone getting into craft beer. It's definitely an easy drinker. Overall this is a nice beer and definitely one of the better of the style. I'd recommend it.

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Photo of GJ40
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yellow with a slight haze. I didn't realize that this was a lager when I tried it but that makes sense. I found it crisper and drier than the Aud Blonde. And the hops are more restrained. But it was still enjoyable. This would be a solid entry point for those new to craft beer. Possibly the most unusual name in craft beer.

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Photo of hobojon
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from 8/23/11 served in a RR glass.

App- very clear, golden straw. white foam, clings to the sides of the glass and leaves a small rocky foam cap.

Aroma- clean, citrusy hops (more orange and floral). some mild english yeast esters? kind of sweet aroma. some mild fruitiness. Very clean aroma.

Taste- light cracker malt, plain and lightly sweet. mild hop bitterness with some citrus hop flavor. some lime from either the hops or yeast? some sweet yeasty note... not sure how to describe it but it is like an ester than accentuates the natural malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel- enough body but a lighter beer. smooth creamy carb is fine. dry and drinkable, very refreshing. light lingering resin and hop flavor is nice.

Overall- very good and refreshing, but nothing special. this goes very good with RR pizza.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

505ml bottle in nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a very light yellow with a huge, fluffy, bright white head that took its time to slowly fade into a thin greasy film that left strands of bubbly lacing down the glass.
S: Crackery notes of pale grains and spicy herbal hops. I also get notes of citrus including lemon juice.
T: Follows the nose with dominate flavors of pale malt, spicy hops, and light lemon citrus. The finish is very crackery, and the aftertaste is just barely bitter.
M: Clean and crisp mouthfeel, light body that isn’t watery, and smooth even carbonation.
O: Just as refreshing as it was on tap. I’ve had no problems working my way through a half dozen bottles of this beer, and would buy this constantly throughout the year if it were available. Great drinking beer.

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Photo of armock
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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

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Photo of litheum94
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P: Hazy straw yellow body. Bone white head that leaves a patchy cover.

A: Subdued aromas mostly of wheat and rice. Lemon zest. Grassy and light floral hopping.

T: Restrained in the mouth, again mostly of creamy wheat with some rice thrown in as well. Some lemon flavors. Chalky dryness. Hop bitterness is held back, tasting of wood and earth, with some spicing akin to Noble hops.

Not much depth and complexity, but then again, that's what makes this a great session beer. Very enjoyable and refreshing. Good take on the style.

 530 characters

Photo of hooliganlife
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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.

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

On Tap at Brewbup. Poured into a RR Pint glass.

A: Very light golden color. Very hazy. Little head with pretty good lacing.

S: Nice citrus notes. A bit of yeast. Nice light malt nose.

T: Light citrus with a bready note. Not crazy about it at first but once I let it sit for about 10 minutes, I thought it was awesome. Very nice crisp clean flavor.

M: Light and crisp. Good carbonation.

O: Really nice. Drank it in the outside area where it was really warm, and this hit the spot. I picked up a few bottles and will be back later this week after class. Hopefully they will still have some more.

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

Thanks for sharing this, Jason.

A: The beer pours a pale yellow/straw color with a finger of white head.

S: A light citrus note up front, but it fades away surprisingly quickly. The bulk of the aroma comes in the form of pale malt with a bit of a cracker note to it. Light lemon zest and grass notes on the back end.

T: The flavor is quite light. Bread and cracker malt flavors with some floral hops and a light grass. Very soft bitterness on the finish with some hints of citrus zest throughout the sip.

M: Light bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

O: This was pretty good, it was refreshing, and it was definitely something different for Russian River.

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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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