Row 2, Hill 56 from Russian River Brewing Company

By Kay Witkiewicz

These cryptic coordinates just might be the key to your next pint of Russian River. Row 2, Hill 56 denotes the location in an experimental hop yard in Yakima Valley, Wash., where the hops for this beer were grown. This is the first installment in Russian River’s Hop Growers Series, which will highlight certain hops and their cultivators.

Row 2, Hill 56 is a pale ale brewed with 100 percent Simcoe hops. Hop growing tends to be a family affair—in fact only three families grow Simcoe hops in the Yakima area—so with each sip you not only get to savor the craft of the brewer, but also the craft of the hop grower passed down from generation to generation, adding a new layer of appreciation to your beer.

Row 2, Hill 56 is only available on draft in a seasonal rotation at the Russian River Brewpub in Santa Rosa, Calif., but chances are another hop from a different row and a different hill will be available when you visit.