Fresh Hop Pale Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fresh Hop Pale AleFresh Hop Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

673 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 673
Hads: 1,467
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 5.85%
Wants: 136
Gots: 103 | FT: 1
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
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Reviews: 673 | Hads: 1,467
Photo of kylejohnson03
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (693 characters)

Photo of cameraman
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (715 characters)

Photo of jculler82
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (459 characters)

Photo of thegodfather2701
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (1,262 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (465 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (1,094 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (2,648 characters)

Photo of Skidz
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (911 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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... (828 characters)

Photo of biggmike
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (311 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Crystal clear amber/orange with a frothy, off-white head. Great retention and lots of clumpy lace. The hop aroma is very smooth and completely without harshness, very delicate for the amount - plenty of grapefruit and grassy character. There's also a bit of caramel and honey behind all the hops. Very balanced flavour with Just enough maltiness to keep the hops in check. Bitterness is solid, but not overdone. Green, grassy, and grapefruit hops are everywhere in the flavour - they linger long into the finish along with a hint of caramel. Slightly drying and creamy texture - there's a bit of powdery character from the hops. Carbonation and body are just on the light side of medium. There's a hint of warmth as well. This beer is highly quaffable. I can imagine drinking pint after pint of this. (800 characters)

Photo of 1fastz28
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a beautiful red-gold with a cloudy head, highly carbonated. smells fantastic, huge amount of floral hops and some malty tones too. Tastes like an IPA and a red ale got together and made babies, lots of yummy maltiness but with a great compliment of hopness. mouthfeel is full and warm, drinkability is good, since it is a higher ABV beer i can't drink these all night long unless i want to forget how good it is (417 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured into a pint glass. Cloudly amber color. A good inch and half of white head. A really great looking beer.

S - Got your hops right here. Citrus, honeysuckle, grapefruit and a sweeter citrus; like a ripe orange.

T - Great balance of bitter hops and sweeter malt, with the hops winning out. Of course they do, it is a fresh hop ale. The aftertaste of bitterness lasts for awhile afterward.

M - Sublime. Very soft body, carbonation dances on the tongue. I am not sure what it is, but the texture of the beer is amazing.

D - Best fresh hop ale I have had this season and a great ale overall. The body really surprised me, to have the bitterness biting at the tongue with the softness of the beer really created a perfect experience. (741 characters)

Photo of gbontrag
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

color of apple juice at in front of a 60watt bulb. The froth is fantastic, and sticky. It's coated the glasses superbly with rings of lace that track my gulps like tree rings track growth.
Smells like yellow grapes and grapefruits.
Resiny and tingling--my tastebuds are ringing with fresh herb oils: wild bergamot. Citrus skins and drops of pine essence clad in silky malts hug my tongue . Mildly fruity. Drinks like a fresh, clear cider. I find this very sensual with a lingering and enticing aftertaste. It's like necking on a warm lawn. (541 characters)

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am a sucker for really hoppy APAs (you know, the ones that blur the line between APAs and IPAs). This one is exactly that, and Its the first fresh hop beer Ive tried.

Pours a glowing copper color with a slight haze and a few meandering particulars that could be hops (or maybe protein or yeast). The head is thick and creamy and extremely persistent. Very impressive, Im sure the hops have something to do with it. The aroma is thick with layers of wet, floral hops. A little bit of malt is detectable in the back. The taste is a great blend of herbaceous, grassy, piney hop aroma and clean hop bitterness. Sure this is some biscuity malt in the back, but the pine tar, floral, grassy, even minty hops are boss. The mouthfeel is thick with a creamy feel. The finish is not too bitter, but very aromatic hops.

This is one kick ass pale ale, maybe second only to Alpha King out of the ones Ive tried. Im a fan of fresh hop ales now! (938 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass clear copper with an off-white and frothy head which rose tall and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity with a nice fresh grapefruit hop aroma. Along with the resinous and grassy hops was a nice caramel component not far behind.

The flavor was nicely fresh with a grassy and resinous hop bittering and flavor that contained quite a bit of fruity character, namely grapefruit. Also present at a lower level was the malt, but as the name suggested this was more of a Pale Ale and an IPA and the flavor was not as big nor as pronouced.

The finish was dry with a bit of lasting hop presence, but nothing overpowering, subtle and nice into the aftertaste. The body was medium. A very nice Pale Ale with a great freshness. I gotta say I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

22 ounce bottle. (835 characters)

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Slightly hazy body with a light copper color and a big, orange-tinted head. Sheets of lacing and great retention

S- Fresh hop indeed. Big, sticky West Coast C-hops with citric and tropical aromas. Sweet, dark caramel note.

T- The taste seeks to balance the bitter of the hops with a big malt wallop of sweet potatoes and sugar.

M- Substantial body with a silky carbonation. The alcohol shows a bit too much.

D- A nearly perfect pale ale for lovers of balance and order in the beer matrix. (495 characters)

Photo of JEdmund
4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance
Pours out golden orange and clear; regular inch-sized head, with moderate lacing

Aroma
Yum and wow! This is such a big part of the beer. It really excites your tongue to get a whiff of this. The fresh hop brewing truly gives this a unique aroma, as it's not something I've smelled before. It's clearly hops, just different and really refreshing. Smells strongly of freshly cut grass - not necessarily a lawn smell, but a very natural wet, earthy, plant matter kind. Also very citric, with nice hints of orange, lemon, and grapefruit.

Taste & Mouthfeel
Tastes like a well-crafted pale ale. It's immediately recognizable and familiar, yet unique and exciting. The mouthfeel is light, as it should be for a pale ale. Nice level of carbonation and swishing it a little in the back of my mouth really opened up the flavor: orange, grapefruit, and a tasty malt balance.

Overall
Another fantastic seasonal that I will be sure to pick up each summer when it's available (I wish it came in a six-pack.) Easily a session beer due to its low weight. The aroma is really the standout character of this beer; I've never been so impressed by any beer's aroma like this one.

Update
Had this again April '07 and it was still tasty, but not nearly as aromatic and flavorful. I think the key is to pick it up within the first couple months it hits the shelves. (1,359 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A fantastic beer from start to finish. Pours a clear copper color with a minimal amount of cream head that leaves decent lacing. Without a doubt, this is what hoppy beers should smell like...enough said.

Piney fresh hoppiness on the taste, very organic and bitter but decadent. Mouthfeel is juicy with a decent carbonation level, doesn't "wow" me up front but the hop bite in the aftertaste is nice. I will surely have this one again. Good complexity (not outstanding) but a solidly brewed, great beer. (506 characters)

Photo of BMoney575
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 3-10-07

Pours a pleasant orange-gold color with a huge ice-cream white head that lasts forever.

Smells like citrusy hops, with a hint of a malty backbone.

Taste is fantastic. A sweet malty flavor underneath followed by a potent citrus and pine hop flavor and good amount of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is very good, a nice thickness adds to the hoppy flavor.

Drinkability is good, the flavor is memorable without being overpowering.

Overall an outstanding APA. Extremely well balanced malt and hops makes this one of the best pale ales I've ever had. (573 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Golden body, good clarity, tons of fine carbonation streams, topped by a fist worth of heaping billowing off-white froth. Stylish lacing stretches like Spider-man's webs.

Inviting, intoxicatingly fresh hop aromas, bits of flowers and pine and juicy citrus.

All those fresh hops in the nose show up right at the start of the taste too. They are not overpowering though, they just don't let the malt get its moment in the sun. Instead this beer is balanced from start to finish, a sweet caramel layer on the bottom slathered with fresh juicy fruity hops roaring down the strip together.

Good solid medium mouthfeel flows easily and damn too quickly.

A very well done example of the expanding fresh hop family, hurry and seek this out before it grows stale. (766 characters)

Photo of wanker
4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - I usually don't care at all about appearance, but the head on this beer was so dense and pillowy that it really caught my attention. I don't recall ever seeing a denser, more attractive head on a beer.

S - pleasant, mild hoppy smell

T - beautifully balanced. Hoppy, but not too hoppy. As advertised on the bottle, the hops taste really fresh.

M - thick and velvety, but not at all syrupy.

D - unparalleled. (414 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.57/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice offering found here in Greensboro,poured a rich copper with a fluffy 2 finger head that left a nice sheet of lace behind as it settles.The label says whole hop cones are shipped wet overnight to Denver to be brewed the very next day after being shipped and let me tell ya the aroma of this baby shows it.Intense grassy,piney,resiny goodness smacks you in the face and the aromas just continue to linger well after being poured.The big dose of fresh hops are not overpowering in this brew yeah its big and resiny but there is a sweet caramel malt backbone that holds up extremely well.At 55 IBU's its not insanely bitter but the freshness of the hops makes it immensley flavorful,I will be getting more of this very very soon for sure. (741 characters)

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.57/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Man, if this could be a year round offering. Alas, what makes it so good also makes it somewhat rare.
Looks unassuming enough. A clear amber color and a bright white head appear upon pouring.
Smells... well, like fresh hops, or what I imagine fresh hops to smell like. There's something of a lemony seltzer thing going on, but far more appealing than any lemon flavored seltzer. Flavors again refer to that lemony seltzer thing with a delicate malt character. Cool, bubbly tea brewed with hop leaves.
The feel on the palate is a bit resinous but it cleans up nicely after a little bit. This is one of those brews that I find it difficult to not guzzle down as quickly as possible. I'd get this by the case if that was feasible but I imagine that this one doesn't age too gracefully. Everything delicious about this beer revolves around the fresh characters. With all this freshness going around, this is a refreshing beer. Get some if you can. (943 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.57/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazed orange. Thin, tight ivroy white head. Good retention and intricate lace properties. Great aroma of fresh hops, orange marmalade based malt derivatives and grassy, pungent hop oils. This all follows through on the buds. Bright citric hop tones of grapefruit and lemon peel. Grassy. Very fresh tasting even though this is months old. Malt provides a solid backbone and is toffeeish and caramelly in nature. Some of that marmalade character comes through as well. Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Yet another nice accomplishment by Great Divide. They have been impressing the hell out of me over the past year or so. (627 characters)

Fresh Hop Pale Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 673 ratings.