Big Hop IPA - East End Brewing Company

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Big Hop IPA
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very good

220 Ratings
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Ratings: 220
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 7
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
East End Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WVbeergeek on 12-07-2004

The first of the brews from Pittsburgh’s newest and MICRO-est microbrewery to hit the streets. Truly, a hopped-up American IPA with loads of Centennial and Cascade hops, and just barely enough malt backbone to balance it out. Our flagship brew
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Ratings: 220 | Reviews: 95
Reviews by RustyDiamond:
Photo of RustyDiamond
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ BSP during the April Fools Day festival. Opaque burnt orange in appearance with a near white frothy head. Aroma of orange creamsickle. Sourdough rye malt up front...quite noticeable. From there, a subtle grapefruit/navel orange hop flavor arises. Chalky citrus and clean mouthfeel with a nice hoppy finish.
Nice to have a 5% sessionable IPA for once.

More User Reviews:
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The lone beer (and not the one AKSP and I SHOULD have ordered) at the Sharp Edge Creekside location in Pittsburgh. As previously noted by AKSP, this is a local brew that was scheduled to be infused through the Randall later this month. Given that I loves the hoppy beers, this was a good choice.

Hazy dark honey-copper in color with a semi-thick off-white head. Nice lacing of the glass. Hoppy aromas (duh!) with grassy and floral notes. Lots of hops in the flavor as well, but it was a little too brash and "dirty" in the flavor. Hard to describe...not as clean of a hoppy flavor as expected. This carries into the aftertaste as well. Felt like it needed to be "cleaned up" some.

AKSP nailed it: "Should ordered the Urthel Hop-It instead..."

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into 22oz.pilsner glass.A very thick,slightly off-white head. Has reddish-orangey a mirky look.Very, cloudy,haziey,unfiltered look,can just barely see light through it.Very piney,citrusy aroma.A very piney,grapefruity taste.More on the hoppy side,not a malty as you would assume from the smell. A tangy mouthfeel,very chewey. Very drinkable for a beer of this style.This is a hop lovers brew,I thought it was refreshing,tasty,amazing how much of this beer I could drink. I really enjoyed this beer

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Slightly hazed orange copper amber hue forms a thick off white caramel tan head leaves broad bands of lacing very nice look to it. Aroma: Cascade heavy in a good way, leafy citrus mix of hops with a undertone of malt flavor caramel mildly toasted malts that balance out the steady flow of hop character. Taste: Tangy hop bite with an earthy tobacco leaf quality with citrus fruits and a mildly sweet malt mixes nicely to find a nicely hopped very solid IPA with ample bitterness and a touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied slightly sticky with oil resins from the hops flows nicely evenly carbonated somewhat creamy texture to it. Drinkability: Solid IPA greatful it's a local beer, what better brew to highlight in my 1000th review than Scott Smith's East End Brewing's Big Hop IPA. This small brewery has done so much for the local Pittsburgh brewing scene they deserve some respect.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a hazy copper color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of leafy, citrus and pine hops, in that order, with good amounts of grainy caramel malt aromas serving as the backbone.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Caramel malt flavors that are fairly dry kick things off and are joined quickly by good amounts of hop flavors that are equal parts earthy, citrus and pine. The hops carry through to a solidly bitter ending. As the beer warms the citrus hop influence tends to recede a bit, making more room for pine flavors.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I thought this was a solid beer but nothing stood out as exceptional. Worth a shot but I wouldn't seek it out.

Photo of watermelonman
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This arrived as a nice thick yellow and orange with a medium head. It's leaving a good amount of lace too.

The smell is full of hops. Pine and grapefruit come through strong on top of a nice malt base. The taste is solid and brings more of these flavors through. The mouthfeel is slightly thin while drinkability is good.

Photo of umtox
3.11/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Fairly light without much head

S: Faint hops and citrus

T: Clean and crisp, moderate hop, with almost no detectable sweetness, very little bitterness for an IPA and a nice change of pace from the heavy-hitters of this class.

M: Much lighter on the palate than most IPAs, very crisp and dry

D: More so than many IPAs because of the relatively low ABV and therefore, more than one can be enjoyed.

East End has come up with a unique IPA that sits on the lightest fringe of this class, a good beer to try to enjoy the full range of IPAs.

Photo of asabreed
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: A nice hazy copper color with a nice rocky and quickly fading head, which charges up again with a swirl.

Smell: A nice clean but pungent hop profile of peach, citrus, grapefruit, and lemon zest.

Taste: A more malty profile initially, with some fruit and big citrus, sliding into some back of the throat tartness and sourness with some grapefruit and lemon zest.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation and medium-bodied.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable. Fresh and flavorful. I went through two pints quite easily.

Photo of Stigs
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

review from several notes taken at various places, served in std. pint glass

A - bright amber with a slight haze. about a finger of foamy off-white head, stayed at that level through most of the drink. thin layer of lace on the way down.

S - mostlly a bit dulled citrus hops, sweetness from an abudant caramel malty backbone. a bit tame for an IPA.

T - lots of citrus and sweet hops at first then the heavy caramel malts kick in.

M - carbonation varies from location, usually pretty spot on. slightly thinnish body but nice and oily at the same time. goes down well.

D - one of my goto session beers at a few places around here. doesnt wear on your palate and won't get you blackout drunk. happy to have it locally!

Photo of tempest
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint at Capone's near Philly. It made a decent pairing with my roast beef sandwich, but I expected more hops. It poured a hazy orange with a short white head. The big citrus flavor came off soapy, and the sharp, bitter edge felt and tasted muted—a good IPA has more kick. Maybe I got an old keg? I'll give this another try next time I see it, but I wasn't impressed.

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Sharp Edge Creekhouse.

Pours a clear amber with a thin white head that retains well and leaves a beautiful latticework of lace down the sides of the glass. Aroma is sweet citrus notes and a spicy hop presence.

The taste is big on citrus and hops up front but then melds into a undercurrent of malt sweetness and spice that provides a good balance. Finishes with a nice bite of lingering bitterness at the end. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice tingling carbonation.

There's something about this IPA from East End that I think could use just a tad more oompth to jack it up a level but I can never seem to put my finger on it. Still very servicable though and very good for the style. I'd never turn down a pint!

Photo of Jpilot64
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Surprisingly wonderful after-taste. It's got the taste of the promised hoppiness, but it's perfectly balanced with just enough malt flavor. The light malt flavor knocks down the sharpness of the hopps so the hop taste remains without the battery acid mouth-feel of other very hoppy pale ales.

Photo of woodske1
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

It may use alot of hops, but it is not overpowering. Very nice smell and taste but not BIG. It seems to not be fizzy enough though.

I get this in Growlers quite a bit so it is a beer you can go back to again and again. Not the best IPA but very good.

Photo of Kolsch
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just tapped on my home system. Kegged date 2.22.08.

I have had this beer many times before, but never on my home system. I really like this beer for its low ABV alone.

Taste is dry, malty, hop. Nose is minimal, not much happening there, but the taste makes up for that. I don't get much sweetness out of this as others do and thats the way I like my IPAs. Though I really believe this resembles a "hoppier" APA rather than IPA.

Very sessionable and highly recommended if you are in the Pittsburgh area. Stop by for Growler hours at East End and get one to go. Soon!

Photo of alleykatking
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from growler. Thanks to jdefont for this beauty. Justin you are amazing for this one!

A- Pours a semi-hazy light amberish color. One finger light beige head shows medium retention. Light web style lacing on the sides of the glass as I drink this one down.

S- Bright citrus hops in the front of this beer. These tend to die out a little toward the middle of the beer itself leaving a sweet bready caramel underbody shine for a second. Hops come back in the ending giving a little more fruit forward push.

T- Nice clean citrus zest on the palate with first sip. The crisp hop bite comes back for a second before retreating behind a sweet caramel malt background. The fruit flavors come in for a split second before a light bitter piney bite takes over. This isn't very overpowering though like it could have been.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is great for the style. Citrus hops and light caramel malts left on the palate. Aftertaste is bitter hops that fade as a malt base and alcohol stick. Light drying on the palate from the alcohol. Flavors were balanced with hops and malt not really going past one another and no off flavors at all.

D- This IPA I thought was very drinkable...I mean very drinkable. There was no palate crushing hops in it which turned out to be a good thing and made this a smooth drinker the entire growler. The ABV is low enough to actually enjoy a whole growler by yourself if you choose.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a medium, cloudy tangerine-amber with a fluffy off white head, 1 finger high that quickly settled leaving only faint amounts of tracing.

S: loads of centennial and cascade hops were definitely noticed producing a big pungent aroma of soft pine and grapefruit notes with a light flowery presence.

T: The initial flavor had a nice citrusy grapefruit bite and bitterness with smooth floral notes. A nice dry palate with some graininess. The hoppiness lingers long after the swallow.

M: good with a light-medium body. light carbonation tingle and a good amount of bitterness left behind.

D: A nice drinking ipa with just enough balance to down a few of these. The hoppiness was well in check being respectful, without being obnoxiously overbearing making for a great session.

Photo of akorsak
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 1/2 pint served by Scott Smith during a visit on the way to Dark Lord Day.

A: The IPA pours a cloudy amber orange color with a small patch of head that does not retain for long.

S: The nose is heavily weighted towards the biscuity malt body, nearly foresaking the hops. Only near the end do the hops emerge, showcasing a citrusy body.

T: The taste begins with a routine malty body, somewhat biscuity but not very dry. As the maltiness slides away, a bitter hop presence emerges. That body is grapefruity with some tangerine/apricot flavors rest nicely on top of the malts.

M: The mouthfeel weighs in more on the malt side, presenting a relatively mild IPA that is not afraid to show its hoppy head.

D: A good drink, I'd like to see some more floral hops emerge throughout the drink. It is pretty darn good the way it is though.

Photo of MmmIPA
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Fresh growler from East End.Drank from a Steelers glass.

Nice orange body with a nice one finger head.Lacing is left on the glass.

Notes of hops and breadiness.

Very well balanced for a ipa.The hops and malts never overpower each other.Not very bitter at all.

Nice carbonation and mouthful was light but never thin.

Good ipa but I think they should up the hops and make it a little less english.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a big German beer mug at Fathead's in Pittsburgh.

A: Hazy copper with a thick, deep head composed of coarse bubbles. It hangs around for a little while, I wish it could be there for a little longer.

S: Interesting hop character here. Citrusy, bready character with a little funk. I am compelled, but it isn't really the smell that I am looking for in my IPA.

T: Light wispy citrus hops with an undertone of sourdough bread yeast that keeps the malts from taking over this beer. The wild yeast flavor at the end is surprising, to say the least.

M/D: Smooth with a little hop bit. I enjoyed this beer, but in my mind, it isn't a glowing example of the style. Definitely a sessionable beer, despite that yeasty funk that could turn some people off. The flavor is good, but not my idea of a good, solid IPA.

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Six Penn in Pittsburgh.

Poured a medium amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a peppery and citric hop and a moderate sweetness.

The taste was upfront peppery resinous hop and a chewy caramel malt. Touch of sweetness at the finish.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty hop forward IPA.

Photo of StormKing47
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Al's of Hampden, my sanctuary now let us bow our heads...

A- A fantastic pour reveals a rather dirt and ruddy dark hazy amber color with some brownish hue. Has a steady carb that leads to off-white head. This one looks filthy and unfiltered not your average ipa and a little scary looking, almost like iced tea.

S- A great blast of citrus hops are available with every whiff. Loving the simple citrus smells not too complex, but just as advertised a big hop smell and a light malty sweet undertone in the back. There's barely any malt, just a burst of big hops.

T- The light carb allows you to really dig into the big sticky hops of this one. A great blend of citrus, grapefruit with a touch of pine. The less malt the better I say, barely a malt sweetness, just simple and succulent citrus hops. Awesome balance of hops. Great!

M- Rather smooth with a thin coating. Really light carb with no tingle. Some nice stick and very refreshing. A little on the fluffy side which is enjoyable, but somewhat thin and could use a little more to put it up with the big boys.

D- Hell yes. It's more refreshing than iced tea. The continued toying of the hop profile makes this one a treat every time. A nice crispness that leaves you wanting more and more. Great job!

Scott is a one man operation that needs support. He is never satisfied and continues to ramp the hop profiles to make the experience different each time. Keep it up!

Photo of weeare138
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's...
Appears a hazy orange toned amber with a small, off white head that quickly fades out into a bubbly collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of an Earthy, citrus blast up front with a nice, American hop aroma up front followed by a sugary dough sweetness. The hops are bold in this one. It reminds me of sticking my face over a hop boil and inhaling all the wonderful aromas.
Taste is of hop blasted citrus, pine, and floral goodness, along with some doughy, yeasty bread that's been dusted with sugar.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, low-medium CO2, and highlighted with bitter citrusy grapefruit.

Photo of Phatz
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up the growler form Capone's in Norristown on Wednesday and had it in the fridge until Sunday when I had the opportunity to share it with akorsak, bookert & phnphilly. We did finish the line up of growlers so am drinking some more tonight but my review is from last nights notes with some reminders by the pint in front of me.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden amber color with little head and a whit collar and light lacing.

Smell: Hoppy but not terribly bold. I can smell the doughy sweetness and the grapefruit through my cold.

Taste: Fruity sweet with a solid doughy malt backbone and pleasant hop bitterness. As much as it is bold in citrus and floral hops this a solid representation on an American IPA without going over the top. Well done East End Brewing.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, sticky pine sap oily feel, light in carbonation and with adequate bitterness.

Drinkability: This is a sessionable IPA with out a doubt. Sometimes we are dazzled by the monsters and forget that a beer like East End Brewing's Big Hop IPA has a time and place as well.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of twelvsies
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A real solid beer. I'm visiting home for the week and I'm glad I got the chance to sample some local flavor. I had no idea what to expect, but this is a nicely balanced ale. Apears a nice orangy amber color, pretty clear, but darkish, with barely any head, but I don't know how long the bartender let it sit around before bringing it to the table. My guess is that on a fresh pour there'd be a pretty decent head on it. It's nice and hoppy. Nice hop leafy oily aromas and a bit dusty. Very pungent hop taste but it doesn't overpower the entire beer. Piney and fruity, and leaves plenty of room for a nice malty backbone. Medium mouthfeel suits this beer well. If I could find this in bottles I'd certainly handle a sixer of this stuff quite easily in a nite. Great beer, I'll have to keep an eye open for more of their products but I doubt I'll see any outside of Pittsburgh.

Photo of theotherone87
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had this one the other day for the first time.

appearence- a nice hazy yellowish brown with a small white head

smell- smells of nice fresh hops

taste- for a ipa it was spot on. It was not two bitter but still had the hoppy good taste. I could imagine anyone drinking this regardless of they like the style or not.

m- right amount of carbonation

o- this beer was real delightful find. I wish i could get six packs or cases somewhere. I know they sell growlers of it. East end brewery is an up and coming brewery in pittsburgh and big hop ipa is a great brew. Cheers

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Big Hop IPA from East End Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 220 ratings.