1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Big Hop IPA - East End Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Hop IPA
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.
very good

203 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 203
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.49%
Wants: 3
Gots: 15 | 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:
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

(Beer added by: WVbeergeek on 12-07-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 203 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of weeare138


3.98/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

01-18-2007 16:12:32 | More by weeare138
Photo of Imstillthegman


4/5  rDev +4.4%

My glass was filled with a cloudy golden amber colored liquid with a thin head of off-white bubbles. It appeared to have been given a rough poor and there was barely any room for the head to remain in the glass...no fault of the beer, however.

The smell was dominated by citrus hops...like a good IPA should.

Taste was all hops as well. Bitter grapefruit throughout with just the slightest hint of malts at the beginning.

Nicely carbonated, medium bodied brew with a lasting dry, bitter aftertaste. This was my first East End beer and I was not disappointed. I picked up a bottle of this to bring home to compare later.

01-18-2007 15:32:47 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +7%

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a very cloudy amber color and a modest head that leaves a nice web of lacing

Smell: Fruity, citrus aroma that bends to the grapefruit

Taste: Brief biscuity opening followed by blast of bitter grapefruit fruitiness; after the swallow, the bitter flavors dominate although the malt retains a maintains a modest presence through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Very nice, everyday IPA; East End beers remind you that you can get a lot of flavor without going into the high ABV territory

01-18-2007 11:40:47 | More by brentk56
Photo of jhicks12


4.33/5  rDev +13.1%

This Beer is a great IPA. Not too bitter. nice balance. Beer poured a little flat from the growler but if you get a change to get it straight from the brewery its perfect.

A: Nice brown color and tan foamy head

S: very nice flowery hop aroma and malt backing

T: very balance and for me leaves nice flowery hop taste.

M: Nice carbonation and mouthfeel

D: very drinkable IPA with great balance flavor

12-19-2006 23:24:48 | More by jhicks12
Photo of addmorehops


4.22/5  rDev +10.2%

I've been lucky to find this twice since moving to Pittsburgh. Having done so, I'm ready to join ranks with the brewer and anyone who wants to help get this into a bottle.

Big on hops and big on flavor, a true delight. Being a hop head, I would call this quasi-balanced, bold session beer. Last time I had one, I followed it with a Bells 2H. Big mistake. BH had my pallette so energized and stimulated with flavor that the B2H paled in comparison.

If you see this one and you like hopcraft, try it!

11-23-2006 20:04:58 | More by addmorehops
Photo of foureyedgeek


3.83/5  rDev 0%

growler to pint glass.

This review is a tad unfair, after having had the Big Hop super fresh at the brewery last night for the open house.

On draft, it had a huge creamy tan head, but the pour here at home, from the growler makes in seem a little flat. A more robust pour leaves me with a decent finger or so of head that fades rather quickly to a cap of foam and bubbles.

Smells of hops, mainly of the fruity, citrus variety but also a little spicy and floral.

Malts at first in the mouth, though they quickly succumb to the brute force of the hops. Piney to the taste buds and balanced enough. In the mouth, the hops are quite bitter and almost a tad metallic.

Mouthfeel is about right but a little low in the carbonation department. I must have bad luck with growlers, pretty hit or miss. Even though this was filled to the cap, it still seems flat. Its not a problem with the growler itself as its successfully carried home the Harvest and Witte. Not sure what to think.

This is a very drinkable beer, and sessionable, although I think I'll be pretty toasty if I finish the growler too soon, I'll nurse it all afternoon-evening-night, for certain.

I love East End and what Scott is doing, but this review is not doing them justice. I'll re-review it when I get again, because I'm not sure everything is right with the world (ok, just the beer) this time.

11-05-2006 19:51:16 | More by foureyedgeek
Photo of jcdiflorio

West Virginia

4.22/5  rDev +10.2%

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

09-28-2006 03:32:28 | More by jcdiflorio
Photo of beerphan


4.43/5  rDev +15.7%

growler -> pint glass
keg was tapped about 15 minutes before the pour to the growler and it was about 15 minutes before it hit my pint.

Arrived a deep orange amber, with the FRESH hops added to the growler adding an amazing touch. Gotta love to hear the 'plop' of a fresh hop. Poured with a nice quality fluffy lasting head that balanced the hops on a sudsy pillow. Waves of lace lined the glass throughout. Carbonation appeared minimal.

Smell of overwhelming hops. The fresh hops in the glass really completely overpower the nose with a grassy earthy smell.

Taste: Hops are all over this brew. From the first taste to the lasting refreshing bitter end. The fresh hops add an extra special earthy grassy flavor, that explodes as you reach the bottom of the pint. A nice full malt blast presents itself but only for a peek. Excellent with or without the fresh hops added.

Mouthfeel on bighop has sometimes let me down, but this fresh draw has a full natural feel.

This beer can be drank and drank. Just watch out, cause i always think the abv is higher than 5.8.

Note: the fresh hops are a once a year perk around harvest time, i am looking forward to the BigHopHarvestAle next month!!

09-04-2006 18:49:04 | More by beerphan
Photo of psinderson


4.2/5  rDev +9.7%

Poured from a growler filled fresh at the brewery with FRESH whole hops added to the growler!

Appearance: Dark golden, thick white head with awesome staying power and lacing. Somewhat cloudy.

Smell: Luscious hop aroma. I'm sure the fresh hops added some to this, but I've had this beer before and it has always produced a great citrus aroma.

Taste: Hops, hops, hops. A hopheads' dream beer! There was a hint of malt in the background, but the keynote here is a good, satisfying hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Great medium to thick mouthfeel with a clean finish thanks to the hops.

Drinkability: Well, I had a few with no problems. However, this may be too much for some.

I am so glad to have an up-and-coming craft brewery right around the corner. This is their flagship brew and I can see why. I Found this to be a good representation of the style.

09-03-2006 03:19:37 | More by psinderson
Photo of watermelonman


3.95/5  rDev +3.1%

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.

08-03-2006 07:42:30 | More by watermelonman
Photo of Illinick


3.43/5  rDev -10.4%

Got straight from the kettle at the brewery!
A: Burnt copper orange in color. Very similar to iced tea or cider in color. No head whatsoever, even after rigorous pour.
S: Floral and citrus rind hop smells dominate the nose. Grassiness and slight sweet bread in there too.
T: Citrus rind, grapefruit and tart lemon pulp with grassy and hop oil flavors. The floral scents peek through in flavor, but are subdued by the bitter citrus pulp flavors. Slight sweet bread near the end and a puckering bitterness that I like.
MF: Light MF with a bitter end
Overall: A good IPA with nice flavor profile. Seems to be lacking in a few areas, but a solid stab.

07-02-2006 20:42:16 | More by Illinick
Photo of rabsten

West Virginia

4.33/5  rDev +13.1%

Got a growler straight from the tank in the Brewery. Nice.

Poured into a pint glass, honey amber. My growler is a bit flat, but the gererous sample I got at the brewery has a tan head and laced nicely.

Floral hop aroma over moderate malt. What I look for in an IPA.

Tasty, floral hops lead over a crisp malt. Well balanced.

Nice, round feeling opening with a sublte crispness towards the end.

Good drinkability. Goes down easily on this monstrously hot day.

Well worth a try. My favorite of the 'Burhg brewed products.

07-02-2006 20:25:34 | More by rabsten
Photo of Dogbrick


3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Cask version at Barley’s 4th Annual Mini RAF (05/13/06): Hazy dark gold color with a medium ivory-colored head that dissipates slowly. Thin lacing. The aroma is floral hops and some malt. Medium-bodied with a good bitter character. Citrus, floral hops and malt flavors are pretty well-balanced. The finish is clean and citrusy with a lingering hops aftertaste. Pretty good.

05-25-2006 16:11:46 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of mattcrill


3.95/5  rDev +3.1%

Sampled at Barley's mini-RAF on 5/13/06.

edit: Brewer's note: This was dry-hopped with Simcoe especially for this event.

Aroma: Orange zest, carmel, a touch of grapefruit juice, slightly flowery. A very enjoyable and solid aroma.

Appearance: Burnt orange fading to yellow edging. A little murky with a sudsy cap.

Flavor: Bittering grapefruit, orange rind, just a touch of amber malt sweetness to balance out the full on hop assault.

Mouthfeel: A touch watery but the aftertaste is oily and leaves a lingering bitter finish.

Overall impression: A nice offering here. Very enjoyable for the hop heads. Recommended.

05-14-2006 21:08:28 | More by mattcrill
Photo of woodychandler


4.1/5  rDev +7%

This arrived with a thick, foamy, white head above a very clear amber beer. The nose had a great floral hop aroma. The mouthfeel was solidly medium, which is just about right for the style, IMHO. There was a wonderful bitterness on the palate and the finish was beautifully hoppy. I found this to be a refreshing, palate cleansing beer and one that I would have again, often.

04-18-2006 02:53:37 | More by woodychandler
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh


3.63/5  rDev -5.2%

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..."

04-16-2006 00:06:06 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of TurdFurgison


4.22/5  rDev +10.2%

I had this on tap at the Sharp Edge in Pittsburgh. A friend recommended East End Blackstrap Stout, but we couldn't find it anywhere in Pittsburgh. As a fallback, I tried this IPA from East End.

It was served in a mug, refrigerator cold. Nice poofy head over clear golden fluid. Smelled hoppy, what else would you expect.

Tasted like a classic IPA, nearly perfect. If anything could improve it, it would be a little more balance with some malt backbone (just my opinion and preference). But I still give it a 4.5 for taste.

If this finds its way to Columbus I'll be picking it up for summer weekends on my deck.

04-15-2006 00:29:50 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of jasonm


4.25/5  rDev +11%

Picked up a growler during growler hours last Saturday. Have been sick the last few days so just now getting to it.

A - Even in the growler, Big Hop has a lovely deep-orangish-gold color. Almost like the color of a strong iced tea. Very nice. Poured into a pint glass with a nice 1 finger width head with good lacing.

S - Floraly, piney aroma of Cascade hops after the pour. Aroma becomes more subdued over time.

T - Assertive hop flavor, but not overly bitter. Hoppiness tends to be more on the earthy side and not as much citrus. Subsequent tastings reveal a slight malty sweetness.

M - Surpisingly creamy/oily on the tongue with a prickle of carbonation.

D - A very good IPA that I could easily session. In fact, I think I shall!

Its a shame I cant give some Beer Karma points (a la Slashdot) to Scott @ East End Brewing. Its a great feeling to have a small brewer making excellent brews but a mere mile from my house.

03-14-2006 03:17:58 | More by jasonm
Photo of perfectkaos


3.95/5  rDev +3.1%

I found this to be an easy drinking IPA, but the name Big Hop is a misnomer--the beer is very crisp, but not very hoppy. If youre expecting something bitter, than you would be disappointed with this brew.

This was my beer of choice for a short while, because of its drinkability, however. What it lacks in hops it makes up by having a clean flavor and right amount of kick to actually be a session beer.

03-13-2006 05:25:10 | More by perfectkaos
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.13/5  rDev +7.8%

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.

12-05-2005 18:14:30 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of burnstar


4.18/5  rDev +9.1%

Had this very nice IPA on my first pilgrimage to D's. Big Hop pours a magnificent hazy orange/amber with one finger of foamy white head. Smell is hoppy, citrusy and slightly spicy. Taste is once again dominated by delicious citrusy hops but there is definitely some sweet/smokey malt in here. More balanced than some other IPA's. Has a nice full body, feels very nice in the mouth, and is a pleasure to drink. I will definitely have to pick up a growler of this sometime. Wonderful IPA and even better since it's so local and micro.

08-17-2005 19:58:14 | More by burnstar
Photo of francisweizen


4/5  rDev +4.4%

Tap, Kellys, Pitt. Dark orangey amber with a nice head of off-white foam. Lacing is good, as is head retention. Carbonation is moderate, but this brew is kinda thick so it's not extremely spritzy. Aromas are all American hops in blended unison with a nice bready malt backing. Taste is similar with the malts really stepping up to smooth this one out in the middle. Finish is slightly brash with hops, but quite nice to this hophead. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, not watery at all. Drinkability is good. Not mind-blowing but superbly solid, and excellent as a first brew offering from this new upstart brewery in Pitt. I expect wonderful things to come from this brewery/brewer. Neat-O.

07-29-2005 06:06:44 | More by francisweizen
Photo of OldSock

District of Columbia

4.18/5  rDev +9.1%

Appearance - Nice orange-amber color, small amount of haze and a nice bubbly white head sitting on top that sticks around for the whole beer. Nice lacing as well.

Smell - Really hoppy, mostly citrus. Almost no malt smell to speak of, just gentle wisps of grain that get overpowered by the hop punch.

Taste - Damn that’s hoppy, the first sip is a real attention getter. The malt is more prominent in the taste than it is in the smell, but it still gets overwhelmed by the hops. The hops provide a good deal of bitterness as the beer goes down, but it’s not too extreme like many IPA's that I have had.

Mouthfeel - Nice carbonation dances on the tongue, combined with a solid full body, very nice for the style.

Drinkability - Good drinkability, nothing too amazing here, but a very solid IPA that tastes good and is local and fresh.

04-13-2005 17:37:31 | More by OldSock
Photo of aaronh


4.43/5  rDev +15.7%

I've had a few pints of this at the Bottleshop, and I have to say Big Hop is Big Time! While not a beer that immediately asserts its place with the world class beers, it gets more enjoyable each time I have it. Typical IPA orange-copper body topped by a cream head. Usually a bit of a haze as well. Aroma has some solid American hop aroma, Centennial/Cascade. The hop flavor is fairly aggressive up front, but after a few sips it mellows a bit and balances really nicely with the caramel and biscuity malt background. The mouthfeel is very smooth on the palate and the beer makes its presence known. I love the seductive, supple caresses it gives tot he tongue. Drinakbility is also very good, and I coud consider buying a keg of this wonderful beer. I could drink it often and in great quantity if it weren't for the DUI factor. I can’t wait to try a few other offerings from Mr. Scott Smith at East End. I must admit, I was expecting a less than stellar offering, but Big Hop lives up to it's name. Every bit as good as Two Hearted or SNCA, but it does have that "typical" flavor profile, so it doesn’t make that fantastic first impression.

03-28-2005 03:45:03 | More by aaronh
Photo of twelvsies


3.98/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

03-18-2005 00:21:24 | More by twelvsies
Big Hop IPA from East End Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 203 ratings.