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Fresh Hop Pale Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fresh Hop Pale AleFresh Hop Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

678 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 678
Hads: 1,514
Avg: 4.08
pDev: 14.46%
Wants: 140
Gots: 126 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 10-07-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fresh Hop Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 678 | Hads: 1,514
Photo of Terp96
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been waiting for this all year and was stopped in my tracks when I spotted it.

This beer pours a bright orange-amber hue with a decent one finger thick head. Moderate carbonation as well. It laces nicely as you progress.

Smell is phenomenal. If you love hops, this is a beer you must try. Pine, grass, grapefruit, it has it all. A great bouquet.

Taste is equally good and mirrors the aroma. In addition, to the hops, there is a nice malty sweetness to this beer. It finishes with a moderate bitterness to let you know what is in charge here.

Mouthfeel is great. Very balanced. Not heavy or thin. It's just right.

This beer is one of the most drinkable I have ever had. Another great beer from Great Divide. I have yet to find a notable flaw in any of their beers.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aah, the ever illusive Fresh Hop Ale. Even a few trips to Denver never afforded me the opportunity to drink this well famed beer.

Begins promising enough with a deep golden, lightly amber color, very well headed and retains equally as well.

Fresh aromas of citrus, pine, and crisp maltiness jump right out immediately. Obviously a lot going on in the hop profile which easily dominated any malt or yeast character.

Flavors are almost all American, citrus hops focusing on grapefruit, orange rinds, and a lot of other citrus character. Fresh and somewhat floral and perfumy at times as well. The malts struggle to balance the beer, but adds little sweetness and a fair amount of caramel, bready maltiness to balance. No estery fruitiness or phenolic character, making this beer purely and simply all about the hops.

The body is relativel light due to the well attenuated malt character, dryness of the hops, and soft carbonation that lifts the beer off the toung--making the beer very drinkable and enjoyable. Though the hop dryness is presant, the beer has a juicy, mouthwatering quality that is rarely found in such dry beers.

Fresh is definately the key to the beer. A complete joy to drink. Sessionable for any time of the year. Why is it rotational only? Thanks for sharing Gary, I wouldn't have done it.

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Photo of Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Pours a clear orange/brown, medium sized white head, lots of sticky lace and great retention. Smell is citrus hops, caramel, floral hops, more hops, some more caramel, excellent, and superbly balanced. Taste is caramel up front, followed by an extreme citrus and floral hop hit, lots of hoppage in the finish, clean bitterness thats just right. Great floral/citrus aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with low carbonation. Amazing, best pale ale I've ever had, hands down. Malt and hops are perfectly balanced, a superb sipper, would love to stock up on this. Thanks DrJay!!!

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Photo of changeup45
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a really good beer. A murky darker shade of orange, not a big head but still some nice sticky lacing. Fruity hop aroma and potent for a Pale Ale. Grapefruit hoppy flavor, slightly sweet maltiness, which sneaks out more as it warms, bitter and a little dry. Nicely balanced. A lot of flavor and a lot of hops for a Pale Ale, which seems like it could be an IPA. Perhaps Great Divide put an IPA in a Pale Ale bottle so we'd be shocked at the flavor. Whatever, it worked, this might be the best Pale Ale I've ever had.

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Photo of jamesdergen
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a nice golden honey color with a decent foamy head that dissipates quickly but leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: Big floral hop aroma with some piney notes. Very pleasant.

Taste: Delicious piney, citrusy hop flavor with a great malt balance.

Mouthfeel: Excellent. Light and nicely carbonated.

Drinkability: I could easily take down another bomber of this stuff, goes down easy and doesn't sit too heavy.

Excellent offering from Great Divide. If you are into hops, you owe it to yourself to try this! Great hop flavor, but it's also nicely balanced.

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Photo of dogfooddog
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I do think it would be interesting to have a blind tasting of this beer versus other APA's. I suspect the 'fresh hop' imagery produces expectations beyond normal even for an APA and beyond the actual impact on taste of the hop-shipping procedure.

Pours a deep orange, with a large fluffy tan head.

Nose is powerful hop odors, reminds me of pine sap and citrus.

Taste is an amalgamation of a malty body which is distinct despite a ton of hops. In the hops I find citrus and something a bit more bitter, not actually tasting like pine sap (Yes I have tasted it) though the smell is a bit similar. I think the malty body offers a lot of balance for this beer, and at 6.1% it is very drinkable.

Certainly worth trying.

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Photo of brow1901
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pretty looking beer. Great two finger rocky and fluffy head sits atop a clear light amber liquid. Really great lacing and perfect retention. I initially gave it a 4.5 but after more than half way through the beer with a thick layer of foam still sitting perfectly on top I had to give it a 5. It truly makes the beer more enjoyable having some foam in every gulp.

S- Grassy? Hell yeah its grassy, I've been hearing that about all these fresh hop beers which seem to be more popular this year than ever. This is the first beer where I could really identify it. It's really pungent, kinda burns the nostril or makes you want to sneeze. Great smelling beer!

T- Not overly bitter, but a really nice clean up front hop flavor. Real complexities show up in the hop flavor that other IPA and IIPA's lack, good balance of piney bitter hops, earthy, and sharp citrus falvors.

M- Good mouthfeel, I like the carbonation and medium bodied seems to go well with this style. Nothing really sticks out to me though.

D- Great drinkability. Not too high ABV no overwhelming or palate stomping flavors. Really good beer this is, I highly recommend it but I do really love fresh hop beers.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - pours a rust/burnt orange color, slightly cloudy, gigantic billowing off-white head with good retention, great lacing, a truly beautiful beer!

s - big hops, very citrusy, mostly lemon, lots of pine too, very intense aroma

t - much like the aroma, very intense hop bitterness, you can tell a difference with the fresh hops they use, sweet bitterness on the finish that lingers, very dry on the finish too

m - medium-bodied but very crisp, ample carbonation, very dry finish

d - quite drinkable, though the bitterness might be a little hard on the palate to drink too much

I really enjoyed this beer. I've been looking for it for awhile at stores that seem to carry most other Great Divide brews, and finally found it in a store that only carried Fresh Hop and one other. The fresh hops add a distinct taste to this beer that I really like. I'll be venturing back to the store to buy a few more bombers very soon.

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Photo of guitarmage
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a a clear amber orange, lots of little bubbles float into an inviting rocky head, shows good retention. A very solid looking ale. Caked on lacing.

Smell: Light grassy hops, mildly floral, citrus, a little malt sweetness. I say very balanced sweet, citrus, hop.

Taste: Again, very smooth and balanced. Light bready malt, mostly citrus hops, lightly floral, a dry, biscuity finish. Almost a cookie-like sweetness lingers.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium body, carbonation is minimal and smooth, very drinkable, very dry finish.

Drinkability: One of my new favorite APAs, this beer is so drinkable and well balanced. I want to say it's less aggressive then mirror pond (cascade hops), but a lot more going on than Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of WesWes
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a dark gold color with a towering white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich and complex malt scent that is comprised of pale, carapils, and bisquit malts. It has a nice bisquity aroma that balances well with the hops. The hop aroma is very nice. It has a grassy hop scent that is bitter and rich, but not over the top. The taste is great. It has a well balanced attack of malt and hops. It has a light crystal and bisquit malt flavor along with a bitter, citrus hop finish. This beer is incredibly smooth and easy drinking. It has tremendous mouthfeel. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a near perfect beer. I like everything about it. Just another great beer from Great Divide.

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Photo of brentk56
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear dark golden color with a solid head that hangs around for the duration and leaves patterns of lace all over the glass

Smell: Predominately piney with a touch of citrus

Taste: Starts with a wallop of piney flavor with a solid amount of caramel malt underneath; after the swallow, the pine flavor builds into a resinous wonder on the tongue - long-lasting and bitter

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied (almost sticky) with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: It doesn't get much better than this for a hophead

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased from New Beer Distributors in New York.

Pours a lovely, slightly hazed orange golden colour, with a full, thick and frothy head of off-white. Lacing is riotous and speckled. Body is light and supple. Looks really good.

Nose is bright and fresh, with characters of crushed vegetation and rubbed citrus rind. Zesty and sharp, but very smooth. The sort of beer that's going to be great to drink, you can just tell.

Crisp and zesty on the palate, with pleasant citric bite and a sweetness like musk and grain. It's supremely refreshing, and extremely well balanced. It's the sort of beer that's bursting with flavour, but which you also just want to drink and drink and drink. Feel is light and fresh. Matches beautifully.

Gorgeous beer, eminently drinkable and extremely refreshing. Even for 6.1%, it's an amazingly sessionable beer. So clean, so light and just so damn good. One of the best APAs I've ever had.

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Photo of stimulus
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Split a 22oz bomber with a friend, poured into pint glasses.

A: Pours a clear orange hue with a mild creamy one finger head.

S: Crisp, clean, hoppy scent.

T: Fresh, full hop flavor with some sort of fruit flavor (citrus?) on the way down into the aftertaste.

M: Carbonation does wonders for the mouthfeel of this beer

D: Not quite sessionable, but I probably could have finished the bomber myself and been content. The fresh taste from this beer would be good for another 11 ounces.

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Photo of jzlyo
4.49/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Aroma is yeast, pine, tropical fruit, citrus and a hint of biscuit malts. The flavor is grapefruit, tropical fruit, mild to medium hop resin, malts and a long and heavy bitterness in the finish.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Duvel tulip glass. No bottling info even though there is a spot on the label for it. Saw other reviews that had a date so guessing this batch got missed for some reason? Just hit the market here so still pretty fresh. It was a clear light copper color with plenty of carb streams. It had a 2 finger foamy, white head that slowly settled into a constant foam cap. Great lacing with lots sticking.

The aroma was excellent with pine resin and plenty of citric hops alongside it. Not a hop bomb aroma since an APA and not an IPA - just great hop aroma without overdoing it. The taste was also excellent and again feature the resin battling with the citric hops for dominance. Just a little sweet in there to balance it out a little. Moderate bitterness. Creamy mouthfeel with good carb levels and a slight bitter aftertaste.

Overall, an excellent beer that I highly recommend especially if you can get fresh. I missed this one the last couple seasons so was very excited when I was able to get a couple this year. Really loved the aroma and taste on this one. Very smooth. Avail here in TX - limited release seasonal. Rotation - got one more that I'll drink while super fresh and see if I can get on-tap this weekend. Definitely going to seek several bottles each year. [H;Y]

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Photo of kylejohnson03
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on Sept-29 and served on Oct-29.

A: Pours a beautiful copper, with hints of orange flickering about. Two fingers of sticky white head, leaves great lacing and a small layer of foam on top, even after half the glass is gone.

S: Very bright, grassy smell. Citrus notes can be picked up as well.

T: Tastes much sweeter than I expected, with the grass and citrus standing dead center. Finish picks up more of the malty-ness and leaves a very pleasant bitter aftertaste.

M: Medium body with just the right touch of carbonation.

D: So incredibly smoooth and easy to drink. This beer is incredibly fresh and kudos to Great Divide for putting out a great beer that sticks to the style.

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Photo of cameraman
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A golden amber color, with a half inch head that is light cream in color. It laces slowly and clings itself to the glass. Pine and citrus are dominant scent at the front, then the sweet scent of malt strikes the nose. Then it finishes with herbal spicy aroma. The malt is hearty and strong at the front, then the hops begin to grow in strength. The hop onslaught comes out with a strong grapefruit citrusiness, followed by earthy and pine flavors. Slightly watery at the front, gaining weight as it crosses the palate. It does finish with dryness on the back end. This is a strong pale ale, th e fresh hops are brought on strong and in your face. Throw this beer at something spicy, Thai, chinese, mexican or cajun.

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Photo of jculler82
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 10/03/11, sampled 12/24/11

Clear orange tinted gold with a nice frothy off white head that settles to a foam cap. Heavy lacing.

Hop forward nose that is balanced well by the malt. Citrus, mainly oranges, and some tropical fruit punch notes. Sweet caramel candy, bread crust.

Flavor is hop forward at first, mirroring the nose of oranges and fruit. Candy maltiness comes into the middle. Firm balancing bitterness in the finish. Nice full mouthfeel.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a slightly hazy, translucent orange with a thick, rocky, off-white head that slowly dissipates and leaves a thin layer of head that lasts the entire time. The head left some very nice lacing essentially the entire length of the glass.

S-Hoppy, citrus notes include orange, grapefruit, and lemon zest. Very strong nose for a pale ale, probably the best I've ever had for the style.

T-Hoppy, agressive flavor that is slightly spicy and herbal. Citrus hop flavor consisting of grapefruit and oranges with a nice graham cracker malt backbone. Great flavor, with the strongest hop presence of any pale ale I've had.

M-Thick for the style with just the right amount of carbonation

D-Through the roof. I could drink this all day. It is delicious and its abv. make it a session beer for sure.

Overall, this is the best pale ale I've personally ever had. My bottle date was October 3, 2011 so my only wish is that I could have drank this a couple of months ago so it would have been more fresh. I still believe SNPA sets the standard for the style but if this was sold in six pack form and readily available, which I imagine would be nearly impossible because of the fresh hops used, this would be one of my go to beers. Another great beer from Great Divide.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don’t want to say you can’t go wrong with wet hopped beers—because that’s certainly not the case—but when they’re good, they’re good. I try ‘em every chance I get.

Poured with a hearty finger of billowy foam sitting atop a gloriously golden-amber straw colored beer. There’s a splendid hoppy aroma that’s at once delicate yet pronounced. Some pine. Wonderful, wonderful flavor. Light, sweet, piney finish. Resiny, but just a touch. Delicious.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a very vibrant amber color. Transparent hue. Dense off-white head. Head is compact but still stands quite high and retains. Head leaves some lighter clumps of lacing on the glass.

S-This is exactly what I wanted in the nose. Big, super fresh, hoppy nose. Heaps of citrus. Orange, grapefruit, and even some other more tropical fruits. Also hints of grass and pine. Malt is sweet but subdued when compared to the hops. Smells great.

T-This is delicious. Incredibly grassy. Tastes very ripe and fresh. Citrus rind and pine hops match the grass. Bready malt and caramel malt sweetness too. Taste matches the name "Fresh Hop". I am really enjoying the flavor here. Lightly bitter.

M-Awesome feel. Medium bodied. Carbonation massages the palate. A bit resiny. Light bitter aftertaste.

O/D-I was expecting this to be good, but I am surprised by how much I like this. I love the hop profile here. Oh so drinkable. Smooth and flavorful. I would like to say that I wish this beer was year-round. But I prefer it once a year because now I have a hoppy Fall offering to really look forward too.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright brassy orange with butterscotch trim. I expected to see hop flecks, but the initial pour is as clear as a bell (perhaps the good stuff is hiding at the bottom of the bottle). The lovely looking liquid is topped with a thick, creamy cap of lemon mousse that melts into a semi-stiff mesa over time. Sticky bridges connect head and glass, leaving a wonderful array of lace when they break.

The nose is a citrusy symphony of grapefruit, orange and lemon zest. The brewery wouldn't divulge the hop bill, they would only say that the hops are all American varieties. I'm guessing Cascade and Amarillo... or Centennial and Simcoe... hell, I don't know. The very best thing about the nose is that there's none of that pesky malt to get in the way of the lupulin love.

I had little doubt that a fresh hop pale ale, brewed with some of my favorites little green cones, created by one of the best breweries in the country, would be fabulously delicous. Fresh Hop Pale Ale is exactly that. I also expected it to be more IPA-like than APA-like, but Great Divide managed to keep it solidly within the bounds of the stated style.

There's just enough pale malt to keep the mouthfeel from losing its composure and no more. Sweetness is at a minimum, other than a light stickiness on the finish. Fresh Hop's raison d'etre is citric hops and lots of them. This is one of the brightest, purest, most freshly hoppy pale ales that I've ever had (from a bottle). I'm glad that I got a chance to sample it while it's still young.

While it isn't quite a wrecker of palates, it certainly does scratch that hophead itch that is ever-present in my brain and on my tongue. I love the way that each mouthful explodes with citrus zesty splendor and leaves echo upon echo of sticky hoppy resinousness. Pine sap is becoming a bigger contributor to the flavor landscape as the beer warms.

The mouthfeel doesn't quite achieve IPA-like fullness, but then this isn't an IPA. It's most certainly a big APA though. I'm sure that it's difficult to brew a silky smooth beer with this much hoppy resinous and I'm not sure that I'd even want such a thing. A little mouth and tongue abuse goes with the territory when there are this many alpha acids flying around.

Great Divide Fresh Hop Pale Ale is pretty close to the beer that I thought it would be. It's a showcase for the (warning: bias ahead) best, most delicious hop varieties in the world. I can't think of one thing that I'd change about this ale; something that I don't say all that often. It's a damn shame, given the nature of the fresh hop style, that beer this good can only be released once each year.

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Photo of Skidz
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out bright golden amber and sits a pristine, deep-amber in the glass with a large off-white head. Fades slowly to a light skim, with nice lacings all around the glass.

Smells rich and fragrant, loads of citric hops across the board. Grapefruit, orange and lemon zest dominate. Swirls of caramel and lightly toasted malts. Hightly inviting aroma overall.

Caramel, toasty malts run in the foreground with hints of nuttiness and just a touch of toffee. Hop flavor brings out a thick grassy maze of prickly pines and grapefruit rind. Long lasting flavor into a moderately bitter finish.

Smooth and creamy in the mouth, delightfully lifting carbonation in medium volume. Medium body, good balance all around.

As far as I'm concerned, this is a fine beer and fits right in with GD's other brews. Well-made, intensely deep and flavorful. This is a rather aggressive APA, but a name only does so much.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful crimson/copper color, clear, with ample froth atop....very nice.

Nose is super-fresh hops, dripping with resins and oils, vibrant, floral, akin to rolling in the dirt of a pine forest in springtime. Can't tell you what hops they are, but they are shining bright, and screaming loud.

Taste: fresh, again, alive, and fairly forward with the hops, though they fade soon after boarding the palate. With each new meeting on the mouth, they storm the tongue anew, very alert and lively. Tas-tee!!

Medium-bodied, nicely textured, excellent balance (no, this is no punishingly hoppy beer, this has proper malt base, does not shred the senses with bitterness), long, fruity, moderately bitter finish.

Another very well-done beer in the Great Divide bomber series. And a fine example of the "style", such as it is...

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Photo of biggmike
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an attractive copper color with a generous white head that dissipated slowly leaving a thin layer of head across the top. The aroma is of grassy hops and smells outstanding. The taste is of citrus hops and is medium-bodied. This is a very good beer and very drinkable. I would definitely have this again.

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Fresh Hop Pale Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 678 ratings.