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Row 2/Hill 56 | Russian River Brewing Company

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Row 2/Hill 56Row 2/Hill 56

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by litheum94 on 01-22-2012

For Trade:
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Reviews: 140 | Ratings: 1,221
Photo of RyanK252
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tapage at Russian River

A: Pours golden amber with a creamy off white head settles and laces very well.

S : Pine, light fruitiness, a little citrus, with some light caramel malt sweetness.

T : Citrus hops up front, grapefruit and tangerine, bit of tropical fruit, some pine, a little lemongrass, balanced with light caramel malt sweetness.

M : Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O : Simcoe hop bliss.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very nice Hoppy APA! Had this on tap at the source and loved it! Would have had several but I was driving :). Nice clean crisp hop character with a slight malt backbone

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had poured on tap at russian river. Very solid APA with interesting pine notes blend well with citrus undertones....they should bottle this as a scent for candles / house. Another really good beer from rrbc

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Photo of hobojon
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a glass at Russian River and bought a few bottles to go.

App- clear dark straw and light colored for a pale ale. Nice tight white foam laces the glass and sticks around for awhile.

Aroma- Floral, resin, blackberries?, wonderful clean hop aroma.

Taste- upfront bitterness that is almost sharp. mellows into a clean resinous and floral hop flavor and a light bready malt sweetness with a hint of caramel. lingering hop resins coat my mouth and leave a delicious hop flavor. crisp and clean, showcases simcoe very well.

Mouthfeel- better on draft than in the bottle, but good carbonation and dry finish. great lingering hop resin.

Overall- this is a very well made beer that shows off Simcoe. No flair needed here. It does lack the hop complexity that Blind Pig and Pliny have but it is refined and delicious in its own way. Very drinkable as well.

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Photo of harrymel
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from growler filled about ten days ago.

Nice bronzed ale with a finger of light yellow foam and brilliant clarity. Smells of tropical fruits, pineapple most notably, with grapefruit and mango in there as well. Fantastic nose. Taste follows suit with a really citrusy, fruity flavor and lighter biscuity malts - Fantastic flavor I can only imagine would be even greater a week earlier. Medium bodied with lively carb and a wet finish. Man, this is a great beer, I hope they bottle it as i've heard might be in the works. Really, really delicious beer.

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Photo of kevanb
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Russian River Row 2, Hill 56

Straight from the growler, I first had this beer up at the brewery for the Pliny the Younger release and HAD to have more, so a big thanks to my friend NoSignsOfPain for delivering me a fresh growler after her trip up for the Beatification release. This is a single hop pale ale, showcasing the Simcoe hop grown in the Pacific Northwest. The beer pours a nice clear faint copper color, hints of orange when held to the light, a nice finger of soapy head sits atop the beer that has fair retention but leaves behind some nice sticky lacing around the glass. The aroma is extremely dank and very resinous. Big sticky pine, what I can only describe as cat pee with some bright citrus at the end, that is cut very well with some rich bready malt. The aroma is so pungent and just bursts out of the glass, really shows off the Simcoe hop. The flavors are great, big pine presence, nice grapefruit and something more tropical papaya with a really dry bitter dirty earthiness at the end that also brings out some soft malt. It's really incredible what can come out of a single hop, my hats off to Vinnie. The body is pretty thin, higher than anticipated carbonation that is a bit too prickly at times, but on the whole is pretty on par with most pale ales.

Verdict: Fantastic pale ale from Russian River. Currently a draft and growler only option, but soon to be available in bottles and I can not be more excited. For anyone near the brewery, this is worth the trip!

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at brewery for Beat release. Pours a nice, clear, bright, golden orange color with an inch of white, frothy head. Scent has that typical Russian River hoppy beer aroma...so fresh and piney. Lovely citrus mixed with sappy pine tree aroma. So inviting! Taste is just as good... probably the most user-friendly pale ale they offer (from ones that I've had). Not as flavorful as the nose would seem to imply, but so much complexity to make this beer as light as it is...it's ridiculous. Lovely "in your face" DIPA flavors, just mellowed out a pit to suit the pale ale profile. Very tasty. Mouthfeel is light bodied and crisp...refreshing. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this is one fantastic pale ale from RR...as expected.

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Photo of KAVSE
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at a local brewpub.

A: Orange/Yellow color with thin head that quickly dissipates leaving swirling lacing on the top of the beer. You can almost see the hop oils on top of the beer.

S: Smells of Simcoe and sweet malts. There's a perfect balance in the nose. No alcohol esters present and the hops are not overwhelming.

T: Tastes hoppy but balanced again with the malts. Very smooth and intensely drinkable. No "tongue fatigue" from a barrage of lupulin flavors as the malts bring your senses back around for another taste. Seriously addicting for the tongue.

M: Feels crisp and smooth; yet with a medium malty thickness that carries the hops from front to back on the tongue. The beer coats your mouth and doesn't hit one direct spot which is a pleasure. Pretty much a blanket of balanced hops/malts for your tongue. Doesn't feel like it'll melt the enamel off your teeth either.

Overall - this is one fantastic beer. If you love hops; this one's for you. If I could use one word to describe this brew I would say "balanced." Nothing overpowers your nose or mouth and this beer begs you to take another sip. Great job Russian River!

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Photo of kaseydad
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap though this review is from the bottle...purchased at the brewery.

Pours a hazy yellow/straw color with a billowing white head and nice lacing.

Smells of subdued citrus fruits, malt, pine and the woods.

The taste is awesome! The Simcoe hops shine in this beast. Tons of flavor with a hearty malty backbone that works. Maybe a touch of sweetness but this is the best Pale Ale I have ever had. Bar none! Nice hoppy finish with a dank grapefruit rind aftertaste.

Nicely carbonated as expected.

Overall, like I said before, this is the best Pale Ale I have encountered. Sure it's Simcoe forward but nonetheless, this brew rocks. I could definitely go this beer if it were brewed year around. At and 5.8%, this is highly consumable.

Well done Vin and crew. You hit this outta the park.

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Photo of ddugan
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured on tap at RRBC. Pours a nice clear yellow/amber color white a thick white head leading to considerable lacing. Smells great. Pine and citrus hop aromas. Not yet to the level of an IPA, but definitely more than your average APA. Good taste brought on by the hops. Nice mellow bitterness and citrus flavors. Bitterness hangs around longer than most for a nice, smooth, and dry mouthfeel. Overall a nice hoppy APA and a very good beer.

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Photo of BrewerB
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Beatification release on 3/30 and also took home a growler. Pouring into a 3 floyds pint glass.

Medium-light golden color with a thin-off white head. Good retention.

Pine and citrusy hops in the nose.

Initial burst of hop flavor, primarily citrusy/piney. Malt profile mostly clean but firm enough to support the hops and offering balance. Medium-high bitterness lingers on into a medium-dry finish.

Medium bodied with moderate level of carbonation. Smooth.

Recent trends in American Pale Ales continue to push the hop envelope further with increased levels of bittering and a more pronounced hop character. Zombie Dust is a great example of this and Row 2/Hill 56 isn't far behind. Excellent flavor, balance, and drinkability make this an exceptional beer and one I'm glad to have a growler of.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper color with a white head.

S: Pine, orange, tangerine, passionfruit. Smells amazing.

T: Flavor does not disappoint! Pine, citrus and passionfruit come up again and mix and a deliciously beautiful way.

M: Medium bodied and smoothish.

O: One of the best pale ales out there. Definitely worth a try if you can find it (I personally had to go to the brewery to find it).

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ Russian River Brewery. Had during happy hour the day before Beatification was released.

A: Pours a clear light golden yellow with a fine carbonation which creates a pencil thick with head. Good clingy lace.

N: Oh boy, this is hop heaven. Big juicy grapefruit and tangerine citrus. Fresh and dripping wet.

T: A hop bomb just exploded in my mouth! Amazing sticky pine cone resin. Citrus fruits, and catty.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation. Bitter and dry finish.

O: Enjoyed every drop, so I got another. Do yourself a favor and get this. Wonderful.

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Photo of Hatzilla
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Newcastle schooner. Bottle date of 6/26/12.

A: Pours a golden color with a touch of quickly dissipating head and a touch of lacing.

S: Earthy hops (mango, pineapple, grapefruit) balanced with a firm honey-malt backbone.

T: The simcoe hops assert themselves here, very flavorful, but once again the hops are kept in check by the malts. Very well rounded.

M: Smooth and slick but not oily, carb is medium, finish is dry.

O: A great hoppy APA, this beer is very tasty and highly drinkable. I hope Russian River continues to produce this ale, as I will definitely buy more. Cheers!

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Photo of Viciousknishs
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a golden color with two fingers of generous slightly off white head. Wonderful head retention with some good lacing.

S- huge bouquet of Simcoe hops! Floral with pungent fresh pine and juicy citrus yellow grapefruit. Resiny and sticky with hop oil in the middle. Finishes with a biscuity malt with a lingering hop character.

T- big Simcoe hop flavor with fresh pine and bitter zesty yellow grapefruit. Substantially bitter and hoppy with some balancing biscuity malt on the very dry crisp finish with a resiny hop flavor lingering in the aftertaste... delicious.

MF- slick juicy mouthfeel with a full light medium body. Average carbonation.

D- superbly drinkable and refreshing.

Overall a superb pale ale. More please!

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Photo of dirtylou
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on-tap, @ the brewery

Served in a pint - pretty excited to try this. An exceptional APA - grassy and fresh, bright citrus flavors, orange peel, lemon, nice malt balance. Juicy - 100% simcoe, true class. I'd likely pick this over Blind Pig any day of the week. Wish I had access.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz pour on tap at the Russian River Brewpub in Santa Rosa, CA.. going off notes from last week, 9/26/2013.

Straw-coloured, hay, even. Came with a lovely white head, probably around 1cm just barely staying under the rim. I appreciate the Russian River Brewpub's giving me the proper pour. I can tell this beer is going to be great. Lots and lots of lacing all over the place.

Smells so grassy and grapefruity.. with a little bit of lemon zest. Some bready malt presence that just barely balances out the hoppiness, which is typical of Russian River. I was already excited to try this one, but damn, this is such a pungent nose. Great combination.

This is where the money is. This beer is just awesome. Lots of bread, toffee mixed in with citrus and floral hoppiness.. the aftertaste is actually fairly bitter, like I was sucking on a fresh grapefruit. Incredible, and you tell me this is an APA? No shit?

Medium-full bodied, a bit thicker than the typical APA. Very creamy, well-carbonated on draft. I love how well this goes down. I don't like how quickly this disappears.. this is just simply well done. Not too dry, refreshing yet so hoppy and bitter. I love this.

This is probably one of the best APAs I've ever had. It showcases the simcoe hops extremely well in a full-bodied, incredibly drinkable APA. Its like how Zombie Dust showcases the Citra hops so well. Vinnie really should bottle more of this beer.

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Photo of OTB
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple fresh specimens this afternoon. First time with this brew. Poured into my tulip the brew is a pleasant pale copper with a nice inch thick cap of foam that reveals nice lacing as I drink down. The nose is fragrant with bright citrus, sticky resiny pine, all things Simcoe.Flavors falls right in line with red grapefruit, bitter lemon peel and bitter pine sap on a crisp dry mouth that leaves behind a very pleasant unique biting orange peel note. A delicious APA, much needed here on the west coast in a sea of sameness with this style beer. Very drinkable and almost sessionable at 5.8 abv. It's not Zombie Dust, but it's a serious APA for all of you that seek out quality in this style.

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Photo of Chcshammonde
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delish pale ale, hops feel super fresh, very reminiscent of Born Yesterday ! This one was my favorite of my pub visit, although most everything was also great! This stood out because it was very easy to drink, yet absolutely packed with hop flavor which is impressive for only 5.8%. Below reviews can describe it better

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wanted this the minute I heard about it. A low ABV all Simcoe hop pale ale from Russian River? Yes please! Thank you, Chris.

Pouring the expected light amber with a dense off-white head with rather excellent retention and lacing, this is a gorgeous beer. Clarity is pretty high as well. The nose has the gorgeous Simcoe hop character, reminding me immediately of Pliny the Elder. Floral and fruity, there's plenty of tropical fruit here with mango and papaya. A delicate orange/citrus character, one I can only describe as pellucid is also present.

The beer really does shine on the palate. With a beautiful balance between a clean bitterness and plenty of hop flavor, this beer is excellent. Tropical fruit is present by the boatload, especially on the mid-palate, with mango and papaya and plenty of soft citrus notes. Ripe but not too sweet citrus fruits (navel oranges in particular come to mind). Drying and mildly bitter on the finish, with a mild herbal character, this beer is light in body, softly carbonated and a sublime drinker. Malt presence is faint, lending just a hint of cracker-like character to the mid-palate, but apart from that, this beer is a showcase for hops.

Maybe I'm imagining things, but the similarities of this beer with Elder are pretty strong, especially the water profile. I mention that in particular, because unlike Blind Pig which has plenty of bitterness and hop resin, this beer, along with Elder, is a lot less palate crushing (that term doesn't even apply here). This allows me to pick up just a faint bit of chalkiness on the palate, a characteristic I'm usually not a big fan of, but works. And as a final point of comparison, I would have to say this is #3 on my APA list, behind Hoppy Birthday and Parking Violation. Still, an excellent beer.

**Edit 2 hours later**
So I've split this one with my dad and am ruing my decision. I think the appropriate serving size for this beer is 2liters. As it warms up, it becomes increasingly juicy and delicious. The nose exudes a certain classiness and delicacy that really calls out for a slightly higher score. I want to up the scores, but I'm hesitant.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled from the brewery yesterday poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a deep golden color with a couple fingers of greasy off-white head that slowly faded into a wispy scum that left a crazy network of lace down the glass.
S: Huge fresh simcoe hop notes of clean citrus and pine resin. The nose is also very floral, and ‘green’ smelling. Hops smell extremely potent, fresh, sweet, and lightly bitter.
T: Follows the nose with clean floral and pine flavors. The citrus comes through nicely in the finish, and the aftertaste is lightly bitter and green tasting. I get just a touch of pale malts as well. Flavors are light, clean, and straightforward.
M: Very refreshing mouthfeel, clean all around, and very easy to drink. Body is medium-light and the carbonation is smooth and clean. Finish is lightly dry.
O: A very clean, refreshing and flavorful beer. Hops were fresh and easy to drink. Bitterness is mellow. I am having no problem finish this growler myself.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled growler into a glass.

A: Pours a slightly hazy burnt orange body with sudsy off-white head. It lingers and clings to the glass. Just to be safe, I drink the whole growler to make sure the beer remains consistent. It does.

S: Floral and perfumey, with an orange-grapefruit nose. Very light malt presence. This is fantastically aromatic once the beer gets to serving temperature (I usually keep growlers on the colder side to preserve them).

T: Bright, clean hoppy flavors: it is floral up front, grapefruit-driven in the mid-taste, and ends clean and dry with only a light presence of crackery pale malt near the finish. It occasionally has a burst of bitterness in aftertaste, as if exhalation brings forward some hop oils, but it is infrequent and not overpowering.

M: Light-bodied, with velvety carbonation. It is immensely drinkable and goes down very well.

O: Having drank 5 or 6 growlers of this, I think I'm prepared to say I like this beer. However, it's a poster child for craft beer inflation; its $6 / bottle asking price at my local shop is simply too much for an APA. I think Russian River also found this out the hard way, as they distributed more to local stores after it apparently didn't sell out at the pub. I'll drink the shit out of this in growler form, though...

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle (bottled on 6/26/12) into a Sierra Nevada 30th anniversary glass.

A: Pours a golden straw color with a 1/4" white head.

S: Some light citrus, a hint of pine.

T: Great way to taste simcoe on it's own. Light citrus in the form of orange and grapefruit. A hint of pine as well. Moderate yet pleasant bitterness in the finish and aftertaste. All of top of a light malty body.

M: Medium bodied, average carbonation.

O: A great pale ale. Excellent showcase of the simcoe hop.

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Photo of dmatsui
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 bomber. One finger of fluffy, irregular head dissipating quickly with a little lacing. Pretty golden light orange color and some haziness.

Nice fruity and citrusy simcoe hoppiness. A swirl really brings out the malt character which is nice and caramely but pretty light. Sweet pine scent comes through.

Such an amazing hop character without a thick maltiness. Super refreshing rindy and spicy citrus characters really shine. Very elegant, clean, simple and unique flavor. Mouthfeel is light and refreshing.

Just an outstanding Pale Ale, venturing into IPA territory but retaining a nice light drinkability.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2012-07-26 in Columbia, PA from a bottle procured at the brew pub and dated 2012-06-26. It smelled and tasted about the same today as it did last week on-tap at the brew pub. The only difference is the head was bigger from the bottle.

Had this again on 2015-06-28 at the brewery on tap. As delicious as ever.

A - Yellow-gold with a 2-finger white head and moderate lacing.

S - Fruity. Fresh ripe peach, naval orange and lemon. Plenty of hop bud and hop floral. Very inviting.

T - Delicious. Peach, pineapple, lemon-orange, light pine, hop bud herbal but not very dank for Simcoe. Light touch of cracker malt flavor to balance the nice but not overpowering bitterness. Finishes with a touch of fruit and plenty of hop goodness. Really good.

M - Light-medium body and medium carbonation. Smooth and a little oily and prickly.

O - This is one helluva APA. So much flavor for the lowish ABV. As good or better than Zombie Dust. Wow.

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Row 2/Hill 56 from Russian River Brewing Company
4.33 out of 5 based on 1,221 ratings.
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