Hopper Pale Ale - Madison River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hopper Pale AleHopper Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
82
good

73 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 73
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 11.02%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Madison River Brewing Company visit their website
Montana, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 03-01-2005

This is a strong pale, yet smooth and easy on the finish. Four different barley malts lend a rich amber color and create a backdrop to showcase the distinctive citrus-like flavor and floral aroma of horizon, Centennial and cascade hops. Although this pale could almost be named an IPA with its hoppy ingredients, the body of this beer remains reasonable and avoids and overwhelming bitterness.

43 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 29
Photo of GClarkage
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

06/20/08- Consumed during my two week Montana vacation.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info found. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Medium to pale golden colored pour. Full one inch head upon the pour leaving qulaity lace sheets behind.

Smell- Equal amounts of grapefruit hops and lightly caramelized malts.

Taste- This beer tastes fresh! Grapefruit juice and light pine hops hit first followed by a mild sweet caramel base. Both combine virtually flawlessly together. Maybe a touch more hops than malt...or at least slightly more assertive.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation with a light hoppy and fruity aftertaste.

Drinkability- Sessionable pale ale, which could also pass for an IPA if push came to shove. Great flavors and well balanced.

Photo of BrewnZ
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

9/20/11

As with all the beers we tasted at the Belgrade tasting room this pale ale had a rich malt character that was balanced by complete fermentation, moderate bitternes, and medium to high American hop flavor you'd expect for the style.

I ranked this the highest of the 9 beers we sampled (4oz) that night. Really enjoyed it!

Photo of Bitterbill
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this at the local Albertsons, no freshness date on the bottle.

It pours a very hazy(cold?) orange yellow, has about an inch of foam, and does well with the lacing.

Sticking my nose into the glass, I get a lot of caramel/sweet malt with a light hint of citrus hop.

The taste is very big on the bread, surprised I didn't notice it in the smell, some sweet notes, with a light, very light citrus hop note that does nothing to calm the beast that is the bread.

A few more sips in and the bread issue and my palate are getting along better. In fact, I'm kind of digging this beer now.
It certainly looks good and has a good mouthfeel so I'm glad things got sorted out, so to speak.

Photo of Foyle
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a tiny off white head that quickly dissipates. Mild lacing. Color is a cloudy copper with moderate carbonation present.
Aroma: lovely combination of piney, floral, and tangerine hops with a sweet caramel malt. Mouthfeel: fairly light and frothy with a quite dry finish.
Flavor: a sweet, yeasty caramel leads the opening and middle of this brew. The citrus and piney hops take over from the middle through the finish. There is some warming alcohol in the throat as it goes down.
Overall: This is a most excellent ale.

Photo of wordemupg
3.96/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

355ml bottle poured into pint glass 12/3/12

A slight haze in a golden copper body, lots of tiny bubbles feed a tight finger of cream colored foam that drops to a thick dense film that leaves several thick rings of lace

S caramel and biscuit with some citric hops, has a grainy thing going for it that smells like a brewery in the summer

T the summer brewery notes are gone and the hops come out much more, some piney rind and the nice caramel flavors blend well together

M full for the color with nice pin prick bubbles work well for it and a fair bit left behind in the mouth, slightly slick in the mouth and sticky on the lips somehow that works

O just a very minor flaw on the nose and very solid in other areas, a nice hoppy pale ale

perhaps a wise move calling this a "strong pale ale' opposed to a weak IPA, I think for style this (APA) it's a solid example, if the brewer called it an IPA the rating would drop, funny how that works

Photo of kcsc007
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer at a reagge concert in Bozeman. It was on tap, and was only $3 a pint, which was a great deal.

The beer looks like most Pales, althought I couldn't get a great look at it through the plastic keg cup. Nice, off-white head, with so-so retention. Smelled strongly of nice mild hops. Tasted crisp, clean and not too resiny. The Flavor was similar to that of Sierra Nevada Pale, however, it was much more middle of the road and mellow. Nice balance between the hops and barley, and an excellent blonde/light copper tone.

I was very pleased with this beer, it is extremely easy to drink and leaves a great crisp and refreshing feel in your mouth.

Photo of algmmech
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured this from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Not much head, about a quarter inch, slight lacing. Nice balanced aroma. Noticed citric tasting hops over the pale malt. I would say this leans slightly more to an IPA, just slightly. I really enjoyed this and would buy it again.

Photo of sdockter
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a very nice head that has good retention. Great smell of citrus hops with hints of malt. Nice malt taste with a clean grapefruit hops taste at the finish. This is a wonderfully balanced beer. A very drinkable beer that I enjoyed on our vacation.

Photo of grittybrews
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured pale gold with a slick of off-white head. Carmel aroma with a touch of pine hops. Not too intense.

Moderate carbonation and a full mouthfeel. Again, malt-forward with mildly sweet caramel, biscuit, and some gentle citrus and pine bitterness. Nice all-around pale ale.

Photo of oregonskibum
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an American shaker pint glass at Windbag in Helena.

A: dark, so hard to comment on color. Appears a dark orange with hints of amber. Minimal head, but nice lacing on glass.

S: aggressive hop bitterness in the nose, but smells a little old. Citrus and piney hops. Think this would be better fresh. Limited malt presence.

T: really enjoying the taste on this one. Some bready and straw flavors blend nicely with green, hoppy bitterness. Has some musty, wet dog notes. Again, I question the freshness.

M: medium body and carbonation. Appropriate for style.

O: tasty. Would like to enjoy this fresh from the brewery. Nice hop forward NW style pale ale.

Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beers of the Big Sky state sure like to show their native natural splendour on their labels, and this offering is no exception...

This beer pours a clear medium golden amber hue, with one finger of foamy white head, which leaves some crooked hanging lace around the glass as it melts away. It smells of caramel/nougat malt, mild sweet citrus, and floral, leafy hops. The taste is bready caramel, a wee bit of orange citrus, and floral, weedy, bitter hops. The carbonation is lower than average, the body medium weight, smooth, and a tad creamy. It finishes off-dry, nicely balanced between the buttery grain and weedy, fruity hops.

A decently enjoyable APA - well-rounded and full.

Photo of loren01
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Had on tap at Old Chicago in Bozeman. Poured into glass an amber color with a 2 finger white frothy head and good lacing down the glass.
S: Smells sweet and malty with a slight citrusy hop scent
T: Taste is sweet and malty with a nice clean hop finish. More balanced toward the malty side though.
M: Mildly carbonated, goes down very easily.
D: Overall not a bad pale ale at all, pleasantly suprised. Not as hoppy/bitter as most pale ales which was fine by me, would definatly try this one again.

Photo of mdfb79
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours an orange-amber color with one inch of fluffy white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bready malts, grain, and hints of sweet fruity malts. Little bit weak.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, grain, and bready malts. Also a little bit of bitterness and citrus hops.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink.

d - A decent pale ale. Some nice smooth malts in the smell and taste, this beer is very easy to drink. Might give another shot.

Photo of leaddog
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a pale copper with a finger width of foamy off-white head.

Smell - Piney hops, citrus, caramalts.

Taste - Piney, earthy hops shine through as the main star. Touch of the caramalt and citrus.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A little bit watery but smooth finish.

Overall - A nice refreshing APA by Madison River. The body could use a little more oomph, but the malt and hop balance is well done. I quite enjoyed the hop presence for the style.

Photo of spacholl
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had to let it sit in the bottle for a couple of min. before the pour so it wouldn't foam up in the glass. pour with a 1/4 head then. retained about 1/4 in of head all the way down to the end. Laced well. Slightly cloudy amber color.

Quite a strong aroma of citrusy hops and of grain. A little of alcohol.

Tastes pretty hoppy and of grain. Actually works well. Leaves a bitter after tast in the back of your throat.

Feels fizzy in the mouth at first then feels smooth going down the troat. refreshing at 45 degrees.

I could easily drink a few of these at a sitting.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz picked up in Lewistown Montana.. Poured into a pseudo shaker pint..

1" head dies back quickly... the brew is a little bit dark for a pale..

Nose tells me there is some citrus hops... but for sure a bit of floral hoppiness comes through..

Flavor has some caramel and lite toasty maltiness .. lite hop bite.. and an even more light hop flavor.. the body is bigger than would be expected out of the glass...

I really wanted more out of this one.... but ... Oh well.. just too little of everything.. and I need real "beer" flavor otherwise just go grab a Michelobe amber.

Photo of Sark
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- thin white head, light orange amber

Smell- well noticed hops with earthy tones balance

Taste- hard to notice any malt character, grassy warm notes, hop bitterness noticed at the end

Mouthfeel- light, crisp finish

Overall- a session pale ale, preferably for the summer months

Photo of KTCamm
3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours reddish amber with no foam. Lighter side. Light caramel toffee nose. Sweet. Mild taste backed with a sneaky bitter hop. Slightly incongruous. Flavors are good, just a little choppy. Touch too sweet. Ok, easy pale.

Photo of womencantsail
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is a full amber color with a short lived off-white head and no lacing.

S: The nose opens up with grassy hops and a light floral note. A hint of citrus and citrus peel to it, but most of the nose is bready and toffee malts with just a hint of toast.

T: Pretty much the same as the aroma. There is a lot of grassy hops and some slightly sweet citrus along with bitter citrus peel and pine. Otherwise, it's the bread malts with a bit of toffee sweetness.

M: Light to medium in body with a medium to high level of carbonation.

O: Better than their amber ale, but still not all that good.

Photo of flagmantho
3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium orange hue with a very light haze and a pretty strong effervescence. Head is a finger of creamy ivory foam. Quite attractive!

Smell: light malt aroma with a caramelly, bready character. Hop aroma is stronger than the malt with an earthy, somewhat fruity character. Pretty standard combination, but well-enough executed.

Taste: hop flavor is a little bit more subdued than in the aroma; the maltiness adds a bit of a biscuity character which isn't my favorite. So, again, not bad, but nothing special.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a good level of carbonation and a relatively nice creaminess.

Overall: a decent if unspectacular pale ale.

Photo of facundoCNB
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

a clean amber pour with a finger of white head, decent retention, decent amount of lacing. smells of grassy hops, slight grapefruit, bread. a grassy bitterness up front with a nice caramel and bready backbone. sweet malty profile. medium body, modest carbonation. pretty refreshing and nice tasting pale ale. not the best beer i've had by any means but not bad at all.

Photo of Muhly
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-pours with about 1.5 fingers of white foamy head that disappears slowly. Leaves a foamy white lace. Pours a clear amber/copper colour. Seems dark for a pale ale.

S-slightly flowery, grassy aroma. Doesn't really pop at least in the glass I was drinking from, which wasn't ideal to be fair. Also a slight hint of yeast.

T-a hint of honey sweetness at the front which fades to an significant aromatic hoppy flavour at the back. Would be considered mild next to some bolder IPAs out there, but pretty bitter for a typical pale ale. Lacks any sort of real maltiness.

M-Quite a nice mouthfeel. Seems solid on the tongue, which may belie some wheat in the grain bill.

O-Not a bad choice for a nice session beer. Didn't blow me away with complexity and some sweeter malty notes would have probably won me over. As it stands it's a bit one-note with the hops. As others have noted the pale ale marketing may be to avoid comparison with bolder IPAs, which this beer seems closer to. That said they could have made this a rounder beer. A quality ale, but I won't be seeking it out specifically.

Photo of GregJ
3.42/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours orange amber with slight off white head. Smells of sweet malt and citrus. Nice sweet malty, light grapefruit and hoppy bitterness. Medium light palate. Pretty good pale ale.

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.39/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance-The beer is served a clear golden amber color with a one finger head of pure white foam. The head has a decent level of retention, fading to leave a lighter level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma of the beer is heaviest of a bready and caramel smell mixed with some lighter hop aromas of a pine and citrus grapefruit nature. There is a little bit of a grassy smell as well as a light earthy smell which round out the aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with a somewhat drier bready and biscuit taste mixed with a decent showing of a citrus hop taste. The citrus gains a little bit of strength as the taste moves forward, with other lighter hop tastes of pine and an earthy nature coming to the tongue as the taste moves toward the end. Along with the hop, comes a little bit of a fruity taste with some peach and apple coming to the tongue. In the end, with the newly arrived hop and fruit, one is left with a middle range hopped and moderate bodied pale ale flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is on the slightly thinner and crisper side with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side. The body was fairly appropriate for the style, but a little higher carbonation may have been slightly better, as it would have been nice for the blend of modest hop and malt which constitutes the flavor profile of the beer.

Overall- A decent pale ale, but nothing all that out of the ordinary. Decent, but more or less average overall.

Photo of errantnight
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, as always, to the BotM Club.

This one pours a purdy pale gold with ok lacing and retention. Appealingly radiant.

Aroma has some clean cracker and light toast notes backed by a faint bit of fruit ester and some hoppy floral notes.

On the palate this is really clean and well balanced with a bracing closing bitterness. Cracker notes predominate the malt with a solid mid-palate sweetness. Husky dryness and some pepper in the finish.

Overall one that I'd return to, but I can't say I'd seek out. I think this is maybe a good dry hopping addition away from being superb. I'll settle for pleasantly surprised.

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Hopper Pale Ale from Madison River Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.