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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: 1,515
Avg: 4.08
pDev: 14.46%
Wants: 141
Gots: 127 | 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: 1,515
Photo of bennetj17
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. Massive off-white foam head reaching over an inch in thickness. Nice retention. Brilliant copper with rosy hues, clear, with slow paced streams of carbonation throughout. Aroma is like wet, grassy hops. Lightly spicy/peppery, with a hint of tang. Dry-hopped? There is also a nice candy sweetness in the mix. In the taste the hop profile is soft and pine-like, with a nutty, bready finish. The finishing bitterness runs mild to medium. Overall a good balance. The carbonation seems very fine, making it just a bit watery.

I thought this beer was pretty decent. I didn't find myself thinking it was excellent, but it certainly went down fast nonetheless. It's very close to being worth the $6-plus I paid for it...

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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 bruachan
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i like just about everything great divide produces, so i couldn't resist this guy on the shelf. fresh hops? can't go wrong

the brew pours out of the bomber into my large glass a light, but brilliant copper, and a pinky-finger head is kept alive by enthusiastic bubbleage flying to the surface. it sticks itself to the glass, as well. grassy hops in the nose, with a glint of spruce. it's not a strong aroma

i recognize that wet-hop flavor. it's resiny, with a complex sequence. the bitterness is robust and distinctive. woody

that's a tasty beer

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.53/5  rDev +11%
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!

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Photo of Cresant
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this undated 22 oz. brown bottle into a becker. Clear copper colored body suspended a huge cotton candy head. Four fingers of head left a sticky speckled lace down the entire glass.

Smell was of fresh hops...surprise. Floral, earthy. Green grass. Very nice.

Taste was flavorful bitterness. Leafy hops. Oily hops were nicely balanced with a mild malt sweetness. Citrus characteristics surfaced as the beer warmed. This one was better than I had anticipated. A solid APA.

Mouthfeel was slippery and thin to medium bodied. Carbonation was medium to mild. I will look for this one again.

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Photo of zeff80
4.39/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Amber color with a long lasting one-finger head. Leaves nice lacing.

S - Hops hops and more hops.

T - Grassy and hoppy with a hint of citrus. Also, a little malt flavor.

M - Crisp and dry. Medium-bodied.

S - A very good APA. The fresh hops make it quite good.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" off-white head over the clear dark amber brew. Head lasts nicely, with plentiful sticky lace. Pungeant fruity pine hops aroma over a deeply sweet malt character. Flavor mimics the nose, both grain and hops strong but complementary to each other. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good, but overall this one's a bit too intense for me to be a session drinker. Definitely and enjoyable brew though.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fresh Hop is clear copper and has a decent off-white head that fades quickly to a half-inch layer and leaves a sticky lace. The nose is dominated by pine resin, and also offers earthy hop scents, alcohol, and nutmeg.

The taste starts sweet before huge resinous hop flavors come along and eventually give up the floor to spicy and earthy subtleties. Little fruit notes pipe in occasionally and citrus flavor is conspicuously abscent until the beer has warmed considerabley. There is a resinous sticky/sweet/bitter aftertaste that is almost more interesting than the beer itself. I was reluctant to wash it down. Mouthfeel is light and sticky. The real story here is how much hop flavor Fresh Hop has with very little bitterness to speak of. This is certainly APA pushed to the fringes.

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Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle purchased from Liquid Solutions.

A: The ale is a clear copper-orange color with a thin 1/2 finger's head that does not lace.

S: The ale has a soft hop aroma, subtle but potent in a way that differs from a DIPA. The hop presence is big without being citrusy and strong.

T: The taste is hoppily intense, with a very concentrated, dirty earthy flavor that has grapefruit and citrus characteristics. The fresh hops pack quite a wallop while still managing to remain subtle and soft compared to most ales that use hop pellets.

M: The fresh hops are delicious, starting softly and finishing with a very bitter flourish.

D: The abv is moderate and a fresh hop flavors are quite good, making me look forward to next autumn's harvest.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.69/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice copper tone, with a good sized head that has some nice clumping and staying power as well as some decent lacing throughout. Smell is wonderfully hopped, like a pine cone dipped in orange juice! Fantastic full hoppy smell. Taste is right up with the smell. Full on hops from the gate. Piney, very grassy and citus, AWESOME. Very smooth with a nice dry aftertaste that begs you to come back for more.

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Photo of Pooba001
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark golden color with a whitish almost-a-finger head that sicks around very well. Aroma is big floral and grassy hops, with pine, tangy citrus, biscuit and toffee notes also appearing.

Taste is initially bitter, citrus and pine/resin are right up front, biscuit and toffee are prominent as well. Good hop flavor from an American pale, quite tasty.

Mouthfeel is good, nothing spectacular. Drinkability is ok, I enjoyed this beer, but I'm not sure it lends itself to sessionability. This is something I'd have later in an evening when I'm perhaps folling this beer with a big IPA to end the night.

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Photo of bthompuz
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A – reddish amber color with nice lacy head

S – some citrus hops in the smell, but not nearly what I was expecting from a fresh hopped beer

T – wow, huge hop flavor. Grapefruit and pine tastes really dominate and are followed by a smooth bitterness in the finish.

M – medium moutfeel, a little slick

D – very drinkable, although the bitterness starts building up halfway through the 22 oz bottle. I like the way the hops really dominate, might be room for a little more malt for balance, but this is the best of the few fresh hop beers I have tried.

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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 gbarron
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz. bottle.

A - beautiful looking beer. Thick, frothy slightly off-white head with large, rocky craters of air pockets. Thick, rich lacing and head retention. Light orange/amber and nicely clear.

S - light, grassy hop aroma dominates but not all that strong, and a little disappointing given what this beer is all about. Little bit of sweet caramel in the background, too.

T - grassy, resinous, pine hop flavor predominant. Light toasted bread, caramel backbone. Interesting mixture of dry, tart hop bitterness followed up by slightly sticky malt. A well balanced beer, but hops are up front as they should be. Lots of juicy hop flavor.

M - smooth and creamy, carbonation appears low to average. Mixture of dry hop bitterness and sticky malt in the finish.

D - tasty beer, a nice IPA with a good hop flavor and not overwhelming bitterness. Not really something I will put on my calendar every year though.

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Photo of briman
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a light to medium copper color, slightly hazy. Nice half-inch off-white head, good retention. Lots of lacing.

Aroma is grassy, with some pine & fresh orange citrus.

Flavor is hoppy with a faint touch of caramel malt...earthy, with oranges settling into a dry finish with some mild to moderate grapefruit bitterness that lingers into the aftertaste.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Good balance, but hops dominant as I only get a glimmer of a malt presence. A very refreshing pale ale more than a full-on hop attack, but I think that's what they are going for. Great drinkability, and definately good for more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of xav33
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Great Divide Fresh Hop Pale Ale
22 oz bomber
Recent brewing, refreshed 11/06
Medium pour in a tulip glass.

Poured a clear deep amber copper with an average somewhat lasting off-white head with good lacing.

Smelt strongly of sweet hops, pine, some sweet caramel tones, and light grapefruit.

Taste was upfront strong bitter pine and moderate nuttiness with a light sweet malt bread and caramel backbone followed by a harsh bitter grassy hops bite with moderate soapy and horse blanket yeast touches on a long earthy pine finish. Palate was medium bodied, soft and oily, soft carbonation and moderate astringency.

Overall, this is another winner from Great Divide. The hops taste is clean and perfect without being overbearing. There really is no flaw with this beer, although the hops punch could be too much to handle for some.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.92/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge head climbs above the rim of the glass and hangs there, suspended above a clear amber beer. Head slowly sinks to a thick rim and leaves lot's of sticky lacing.
Wow this smells good. It's the kind of smell that when you inhale it takes your breath away. It's a mixture of freshly cut grass in the spring time and a Christmas Tree farm during the holidays.
The malt is there during the taste and it is a good caramel sweetness, but this beer is all about the hops. Tons of piney and citrus hops with out being over done. As hoppy as this beer is, it's still very true to the style. The hop flavors are complex and bold, but not so much so as to make it an IPA. IMO it's the perfect pale ale.
The mouthfeel fits the profile of this beer very well. It's sticky and oily. It has a very dry finish and somewhat acidic in the best of ways.
Drinkability: I'm not one to finish a bomber in a single sitting, but my bomber is empty and I'm thinking of opening another. This could very well be the most drinkable beer I've had.
Highly Recommended!!!

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Photo of rajendra82
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of the 22 oz. bomber, this Pale Ale came out clear and bubbly, and readily formed a three finger thick head, which looked quite nice atop the pale amber colored body. The aroma was typical of the “C” hopped west coast products, with a leafy and citric hop profile. The hops were backed by the scent of sweet and partially caramelized malt. While not overly strong, especially considering the presence of the words Fresh Hop in the name, the smell was spot on for an American Pale Ale. The taste was well balanced between sweet toffee-ish malt and spicy dry hop oils. Not a lot of bitterness was present, except for a little grapefruit rind like flourish at the end of each sip. Feeling a bit thicker on the tongue than a run of the mill Pale Ale, this was highly quaffable, while not being watery. A well made beer, which was not quire the showcase of hops I was hoping it would be. The quality was however so good, it kept my disappointment from creeping into the score.

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Photo of Enola
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pale ale is mighty good. It would be hard to top. There was a fair head that has faded to a thin coating. There is ample lacing. The beer has a nice orange glow when held to the light. The smell is is of sweet hops. The taste is of hops and nothing else. A very bitter beer. There is a sweetness to the taste as well. The mouthfeel is sticky and there is a lasting bitterness that does not go away anytime soon. Overall, a very good beer that is a must try for hop lovers.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Matt from Great Divide dropped this off for me to sample.
Pours a nice copper/amber color. Chunky head rising from the sides to a peak in the middle. Sticky lacing around the sides.
Smells of lots of hops and cut grass, some rosemarry as well.
Taste was more like an IPA. The hops were more grainy than other PAs, some slight caramel and nut. Kind of slick then sticky.
Bite covers most of the tongue, instead of just the sides. Crisp finish. Flavor was overpowered by the hops and 'slickness', still not bad though. Rated mostly 4s, cuz it seems less like a PA.

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Photo of tastybeer
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep orange-red color and very fluffy white towering head. Lacing has a dense, patchy/sticky quality to it. Very nice looking. Smell is awesome too. Very crisp and bright. The wet flowery hops make it huge, and there's a grassy touch in addition to the piney characters. That enhances the fresh feeling extensively. There's is a slight chalkiness with the dry graininess. Taste is perfectly bitter, again quite grainy, and fully flavorful. Malts are sweet and bready/bicuity and hold their ground well (especially for a pale ale) agianst the delicious hops. Mouthfeel is resiny, oily, and thoroughly dry. I had the Sierra Nevada Harvest tonight, a beer ago, and I feel the need to mention that they are both awesome in different ways, but the Harvest is superior. There are different hops and different malts in each but the freshness is a big factor in bringing out the yumminess in both. The Harvest feels more blended all over. Drinkability for this is great though.

Delightful with a very farm fresh hop feel.

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Photo of wedge
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber-orange color with a rocky white head leaving "cottony" lacing as it recedes. The head has a soapy quality that I find in many Great Divide beers. Fresh aroma of hops - flowery, leafy, grassy, and a bit oily. As the head drops, the smells become more resinous...like sticky sap. Some fresh grain as well. Bright hoppy flavor on the tongue - not pungent by any means but slick, oily grassy hop flowers. Very fresh as expected. There's a pleasant maltiness that adds some sweetish caramel to the mix. Medium, lip-smackin' mouthfeel has a solid bitterness.

Very tasty and (obviously) fresh overall. A green, refreshing pale ale.

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

Beautiful clear liquid with carbonation bubbles constantly rising from the bottom of the glass. Rocky offwhite head with sticky thin lines of lace and a slightly subpar retention. Not bad but not as great as I expected.

Is this really a pale ale? That's a whole lot of hops for a pale ale. This one is very resiny with very fruity and grassy hops massaging my nose.

Quickly biting hop flavor that's a tad weaker than the hops in the nose. The taste and palate are quite a bit more in balance than the nose. A tad disappointing but nothing to ruin anyones day. A lot grassier hops in the the taste than in the hops. They're almost duller but still very good. There's a malty balance that is comparable to milk that's been warmed up in the microwave to help one get to sleep. Maybe it's more like a coffee and milk mixture that's 75% milk. Either way it's like a roasted milk taste. This is a great brew though. Glad I got to try this one.

I feel this beer deserves a five on drinkability as I would love to have this as my everyday pale ale but alas, the paradox remains that you can't really have a beer that tastes freshly hopped all year, can you? I'll give it a five anyway though because it's very very good.

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Photo of orfeu
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well-chilled, Great Divide Fresh Hop Pale Ale sits in my nonic a glowing amber orange, with zero visible carbonation, and a thick, clumpy, pock-marked off-white head. Great sticky rings of lacing. Mellow grassy pine and mild grapefruit aromas mingle with understated caramel malt scents. The wet hops give this pale ale a far "grassier" taste than most other American versions of this style. There are certainly pine and citrus flavors apparent in the taste, but they are far more subtle than in other pales. As I mentioned before, the hop profile is primarily grassy, with some earthy mineral notes coming through. Slight caramel sweetness, off-dry mouthfeel. The palate is a bit clingy in patches, sort of juicy at other times. Altogether, this is an "uncharacteristic" pale ale, that ends up standing out for not being a normal c-hop showcase. Extremely easy to drink, but only with the proviso that this is not a pine-grapefruit bomb. A bit pricey, but certainly worth the effort to seek out.

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Photo of athensbeermaster
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Once again you can't go wrong with a Great Divide 22 oz. bomber!
Good amber/orange color with a modest fluffy white head.The nose was a pleasant grassy grapefruit aroma. Medium body with a nice orange peel, earthy silky taste. The big difference between this extravently hopped ale and say a Ipa is the fresh hops seem to be more mellow and fruity not as bitter. The low alcohol level helps alot in this regard to. Such a good price for how much planning and hard work that goes into this fresh hop ale!

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