Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Cruised into San Francisco’s TORONADO the other night for a nightcap – it ended up being the penultimate beer before the nitecap – and saw that RUSSIAN RIVER BREWING had a special new beer on the big board, “HAPPY HOPS”. Are you kidding me? That’s the worst beer name since Marin Brewing’s “Hoppy Holidaze”. It sounds pretty tossed-off, and at some level, this beer sort of tastes that way as well. Not to say it’s bad – it’s never bad with these guys – just unremarkable by Russian River Brewing standards. HAPPY HOPS tastes like a straight-up single IPA or hoppy blonde ale. It has a very slight hop bite, and is wrapped in this light-to-medium bodied pale ale, with a little pine taste sneaking in to remind you of greater glories like BLIND PIG IPA and PLINY THE ELDER. If what I read online is true – that this is their brewpub-only AUD BLONDE with a dose of hops thrown into the kettle – well, that’s pretty much what it tastes like – an experiment with middling-to-good results. 7/10.


Anonymous said...

I had it at the brewery. Though it was a great session beer. Was told it was a hopped up Aud Blonde. Has something like 33 IBUS and is 5.5%.

beersage said...

Don't all brewpubs have some beer on tap to cater to the lighter crowd? Maybe this is meant to be a tweener beer that will appeal more to craft beer newbs and non-craft beer patrons.

J said...

Actually, the name is historical, taken from a beer brewed in Santa Rosa in the late 1940s-50s.