Big Hop IPA - East End Brewing Company

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Big Hop IPA
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BA SCORE
86
very good

210 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 210
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.49%
Wants: 7
Gots: 16 | 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)
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Ratings: 210 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of irishevans
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not typicaly an IPA guy so this may seem a bit off to those who are. nice deep gold colour, very sharp hoppy nose which is deceiving of the taste which is perfectly mellow smooth start and crisp but not overwhelmingly hoppy finish. extremely drinkable IPA, give her a try

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

Drank this a few days ago and took some notes. Poured from a 1/2 gallon growler filled fresh earlier that day, into a Sam Adams pint glass.
A: Hazy amber-copper in color. The head is smooth and light beige, about 1 inch thick, and it fades quickly to the sides of the glass, leaving a foamy sheet of spottily-sticky lacing.
S: Citrus and pine, mostly, with some lightly sweet malts behind the hops. The sweetness comes out a little more after warming a bit. Interestingly, it seems like I can smell the alcohol, even tho there isn't that much in this beer...
T: At first, the citrusy and piney hops really dominate, with only a slight, soft malt flavor. This leads into a slightly bigger spice and sugar presence in the middle, with the citrus still carrying thru to the finish. The aftertaste lets the maltiness grow, producing some roasted sugary flavors that borders on being kinda creamy.
M: Kinda soft and almost smooth in the middle, but slightly watery and alcoholy in the finish. Overall, a little too drying for my mouth, but still not bad.
D: Good. Thoroughly enjoyed downing this growler. Will have this again sometime for sure.
Overall, a pretty solid IPA. The hop tastes, and particularly the feeling they produce, are not exactly what I've had in IPAs that really wowed me, but this is definitely a nice tasting, all-around good brew.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice cloudy deep amberish color, with a nich fluffy head. In the aroma citrus hops and a bit earthy. It has the huge citrus hop taste and a small amount of sweet malts. Lighter body than expected, but it goes together very well. The little brewery that could, good job Scott!

Photo of akorsak
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
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 DrJay
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very hazy, deep orange with a cap of off-white foam. Good head retention with plenty of lacing. The aroma was all hops - citrusy, grapefruit, and earthy. Solid bitterness with grapefruit and light pine flavours. Soft malt sweetness that's a bit toasty. Medium bodied, with lowish carbonation. Mild texture. An easy drinking IPA, lots of hops without being way out of balance.

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.
Cheers!

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

On tap at Capone's. Thanks to Matt for bringing this beer to our side of the state.
A - Arrives very cloudy. I cannot see clearly through the glass. Cloudy amber yellow with a finger of white foam.
S - Fruity, citrusy, grapefruit peel, flowery hops.
T - Grapefruit, slightly peppery, lots of hop flavor. Nice malt presence towards the finish.
M - Chewy and dense. Are those hop particles that make it so cloudy? If so, it's evident in the mouthfeel.
D - A well done IPA. I can session this no prob.

Photo of weeare138
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
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 Imstillthegman
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of jhicks12
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of addmorehops
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of foureyedgeek
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
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 beerphan
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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!!

Photo of psinderson
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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 Illinick
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of rabsten
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Dogbrick
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
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 TurdFurgison
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of jasonm
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Big Hop IPA from East End Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 210 ratings.