Fresh Hop Pale Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fresh Hop Pale AleFresh Hop Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,466 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,466
Reviews: 674
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 135
Gots: 100 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,466 | Reviews: 674
Photo of Kendo
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured gently from a 22 oz bomber into an imperial pint glass, it explodes with carbonation, resulting in a 2+ finger bubbly off-white head that settles over a clear coppery/honey-colored body. Lots of fine bubbles of carbonation rush to the surface to refortify that head, resulting in solid head retention -- it remains at 1-finger for most of the glass -- and foamy clumps of lacing on the way down the glass. After downing the first half of the bomber and pouring in the second half, there were some floaties in the body -- I swear they were hop remnants, however, not the usual yeast sediment.

S: All hops, all the time: fruity, juicy, citrusy and grassy. Lots of grapefruit especially, but also a hint of something drier like pine or grass (the kind you mow, not the kind you smoke).

T: At first it surprised me with how mild it tasted given the nose. However, after a couple sips the hops took over. There is a fruity sweetness at the beginning of the sip, with a grassy taste in the middle, and then finishing up with a dry, lemony bitterness that at times feels a bit metallic. I described it as a "puckering bitterness," and once that taste coats your mouth, it's tough to sense anything else.

M: Lighter than expected, but on the other hand I've been drinking mainly IPAs and DIPAs recently, not the APAs as this is classified. So maybe I shouldn't have been surprised by the lighter heft of this one. Very well carbonated, but with very small, fine bubbles that result in a creamy feel rather than the more harsh bite you sometimes get with a heavily-carbonated beer.

D: Excellent. Light in body, just 6.1% ABV according to the bottle and a pretty smooth mouthfeel made this one go down faster than your dream date.

Notes: A little bit one-sided, but I like that side and it clearly lived up to the advertising: this tasted like fresh hops. This would be a great beer for a hot summer day.

Photo of udubdawg
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber.
A friend highly recommended this stuff, so I finally tried it.
Pours a light copper color with nice clarity - left the yeast sediment in the bottle with little trouble. A large pillowy off-white head forms and sticks around a while, lacing the glass throughout.

Nose is very floral and grassy, with some citrus. It isn't as strong as I expected but still expresses itself without difficulty. Maybe I should check the age on the bottle. Malt? - none noted here.

Hmm. There is no denying that this tastes quite good...but it isn't what I expected. In terms of trueness to style, it is well done - quite clean, more bitter than some, some semblance of balance with some pale malt not noted in the aroma. Though citrus was evident in the aroma I wouldn't call this fruity. Sweetness is very light. Bitterness is very apparent but I'd never mistake this for an ESB.
Not sure what happened with the mouthfeel. Carbonation is quite low - much lower than expected reading the other reviews. I'd better get another bottle to make sure this one wasn't past prime.

Quite drinkable. Crisp, clean, refreshing. Hoppier and less balanced than some, more bitter than some, but still within the APA style. I'll have this again.

Photo of OutlawJoseyWales
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

app: caramel, with one finger of head

smell: grassy hop aroma, with hints of sugary malt

taste: sharp intense hops, especially in the finish. very clean and crisp
a caramel, sugary malt in the background, not as pronounced as it couldve been, but this beer really delivers on its title 'fresh hop'

mouthfeel: slightly prickly and moderately dry. very refreshing beer.

Drinkability: solid, just the right amount of pungent hop bitterness that doesnt go into the extreme category of the double IPAs. drank a bomber of this no problem at only 6% abv.

Photo of PlaywrightSam
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Nice amber, head that stuck around. S: Citrusy and floral, grassy hops. T: Very nice, surprising sweetness underneath the hops, great balance. Dry finish. M: Mild carbonation, very smooth. D: Obviously very hoppy for a pale ale, but I didn't find any part of it overwhelming. Really refreshing. Very nice all around.

Photo of AaronHomoya
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle.

Appearance is an amber color with somewhat low head and carbonation.

Smell is very nice. Lots of hops, citrus, floral and grassy notes that really seems fresh. A little bit of malt sweetness is also noticeable.

Taste is similarly quite hoppy and fresh with grassy, citrus hops and just a little pale malt backbone. Almost reminiscent of wheatgrass juice in the freshly mowed lawn goodness sort of way.

Mouthfeel is nice, medium-bodied for a pale ale. Quite drinkable as I would have liked more after finishing the 22 oz bottle.

Photo of Nipitato
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle at Julio's in Westborough, MA.

A: Medium amber color. Off white head with good retention. Head is puddled and splotchy. Sticky lacing.

S: Strong hop aroma. Hop character is grapefruit and grassy. Sweet malt character is present and bready.

T: Big mouth filling hoppy bite. Good bready malt flavor that is apparent on the back. Beer takes on a much sweeter character as it warms. Hop character is grapefruit. Bitter finish is moderate and not overly aggressive.

MF: Medium mouthfeel. Smooth. High carbonation.

D: More like an IPA than an American pale ale. For many American pale ales the distinction between the two styles is moot. Good beer. Easily drinkable. Let this beer warm - it really come complex with added strong malt character.

Photo of kirok1999
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark gold with a sticky white head that laces very nicely. Smell is all hops, citrus, pine, grass, dusky earth.
Taste is the same with just a slight malt sweetness. Well carbonated, slick and smooth mouthfeel, easy to drink with a bitter hop finish.
Nicely done for the style.

Photo of BMoney575
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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

22 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep orange with amber hues. Billowing white head is two fingers thick and retention is good. A nice crawling lacing coats the glass.

S: Wet floral hops. Pine sap. Citrus fruit. Grass. Asprin.

T: Very fresh citrus and pine hops dominate with a bitter bite that is almost medicinal. Wet grass or earth are followed by a pleasant citrus fruit bath. A soft caramel malt bath comes in to balance everything out and does so very well.

M: Slick but smooth. Medium carbonation. Clean and refreshing.

D: Insanely drinkable. Very clean and refreshing. A wet hop dream in a bottle. I am in Hop Sedated Heaven!

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

Pours from 22oz bottle a clear medium gold with little foam that leaves just a fine broken layer but there's plenty of lacing.

The smell is very hoppy with lots of grass and grapefruit.

The taste is pretty darned bitter for the style! Lots of citrus, some grass, and a wee bit of malt sweetness *just* before the finish and the actual finish ends up being on the bitter side....fancy that! ;^)

Man, this is what I call paying homage to the almighty hop and to see it done so nicely in an American Pale Ale impresses the heck out of me.


Okay, I'm just pouring in the last bit in my glass and there's some sediment that I didn't expect to see but it *is* very fine so I'm not going to deduct any points in the appearance category. Nor in the taste category....this one started off well and remained so to the very last drop. Yum.

Bottom line: I'm glad I have another bottle of this stuff because this is an APA that is all about, no celebrates the hops. Good job Great Divide!

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a good beer. It had a nice appearance. The head stayed until I finished my beer. One of the best heads I've ever seen. Very thicka and frothy. THe smell was of hops. Sort of an earthy smell. Taste was hoppy with some caramel and pale malt balance. Mouthfeel was alright, but there wasn't as much carbonation on the palate as I would have liked. This beer is a sessionable beer. It's easy to drink.

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.

Photo of dblinkhorn
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my stone IPA glass.

Appearance - Pours a clear honey/amber color with a creamy half-finger off-white head. Good lacing is left all the way down the glass as you drink. Moderate carbonation activity is visible within the beer. And finally...a pale ale that retains a nice creamy thick cap of head throughout the whole drink.

Smell - A nice mixture in the hop aroma of some fruitiness, flowery characteristics, and some citrus smells as well. As the label says, they indeed smell fresh. There are some mild sweet scents as well on this brew, along with a slight bit of sourness.

Taste - Hop explosion for sure, and yes...VERY fresh tasting. This tastes like there are whole hop flowers in the beer bottle. The hops flavors isn't overwhelming, but the flavor that is there (which is certainly higher than most pale ales) is very intense and fresh tasting. Mainly tastes of cut grass, citrus (especially lemon and lime), pine, and flower/herbal notes as well. There is a mild bready malt character behind the hop goodness which desperately tries to balance the beer out but to little avail (but it does help!). There is moderate alcohol presence throughout, with a slighty earthy and citrusy/piney aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Has a nice lively level of carbonation but it is not so powerful that it distracts you from the taste. It is also quite smooth with a medium body. It goes down so nicely!

Drinkability - Surprisingly drinkable despite the intense hop properties of this beer. Still, though, it's a lot to handle compared to most pale ales. Good overall though.

Well if you like hops you'll love this one. If you don't well...steer clear of this mother. It has a smooth body with wonderfully fresh and crisp hop characteristics, and best of all a beautiful creamy head through the whole drink! A must have!

Photo of Shaw
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful amber-colored ale with a very nice, frothy head. It smells, surprise, of herbal and citrus hops. Quite nice.

The hops are much more apparent in the taste. This is a nice, bitter beer with a strong, spicy hop finish. It's all about the hops. If you're looking for malt or balance, look elsewhere.

The body is quite substantial. It's not watery at all, just the way I like it.

Overall this is an excellent APA and a special treat for hopheads. It has many of the wonderful qualities of a Double IPA, but it's much more drinkable, thanks to the lower alcohol level. I highly recommend this beer. Seek it out.

Photo of wagenvolks
4.54/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Photo of plaid75
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy medium copper hue with a quarter inch foamy white head. There was little retention and decent lacing.

The smell featured a resiny citric, peppery and piny hop.

The taste consisted of a strong earthy and spicy hop coupled with a soft grainy malt.

The mouthfeel was full with a dry finish.

Overall a very good APA. Very drinkable.

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

I'll be visiting Denver in a few weeks, and plan on stopping by GD. I'll be interested to see the differences between the bottled and tap beers i've sampled and one's I can't get locally from them.
Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a shaker pint glass:
A: Deep golden copper color with excellent carbonation, head retention and some sticky lacing that hangs around to the end of the glass.
S: Piney, evergreen, hoppiness with a little maltiness detectable among several fruitlike flavors
T: The flavor profile is strong with hops being dominant but complimentary to the other grassy and fruit hints. Very clean finish that leaves you wanting more
M: Medium bodied with a smooth slick feel that inundates the palate. Very nice.
D: I could easily down a few bombers of this without batting an eye. I can't wait to try it fresh at the brewery.

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured at about 35F from amber bomber into a nonick pint.

Excellent presentation of slightly hazy, orangish medium amber color with a nearly white rocky head leaving good lacing, hop aroma dancing out of the glass to practically fill the room.

Aroma is all about fresh citrusy hops, completely dominating with no hint of anything but hops in the nose. Even Great Divide calls it grassy, but I don't pick up grassiness (which I tend to consider a defect). Maybe they're apologizing for a possible problem with wet hopping, but there are no problems with this beer.

Flavor is excellent, a familiar-tasting recipe, with a bit of caramel and Munich- or Vienna-like maltiness, but not quite balanced with the big hop flavor. Full hop flavor complements the aroma, with a nice, lasting bitter finish. Mouthfeel is decent, but maybe a bit thin for the richness.

Drinkability is fine. This is a tasty and enjoyable brew. A good example of the XPA style--hops over malt with absolutely no defects. It calls itself an APA, and falls right in the middle of the IPA judging category at 55 IBU and 6% ABV. There are plenty of beers with more IBU but less flavor. All hail multiple hop additions!

Photo of Gavage
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy orange color with a thick two finger head that lasts nicely.Decent lacing paints the glass.

Smell: copious amounts of grapefruit citrus, ripe fruits, and pine bitterness.

Taste: caramel, pears, apples, green grapes, grapefruits, and pine bitterness. This is a wonderfully well balanced pale ale that is bold in the flavor profile. It's nice to have a fresh hop ale that isn't DIPA.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout. Aftertaste is pleasantly full flavored citrus, ripe fruits, and bitterness.

Drinkability: this is an exceptional pale ale that can be quaffed all day long without developing boredom or laying flat on the floor. Absolutely great beer.

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

It pours a crystal clear paleological amber, minus the embedded flies and mosquitoes. A finger of soft off-white head fizzles soon to microbubble atolls. Tiers of lacing striate the inside of the glass.

The aroma wafts a sweet wisp of toasted malt, distantly caramel and berry fruit. The hops present a distinctly bitter melding of citrus and grassy oils.

Upon sipping, a pale ale flutter of fairly sweet malt delivers caramel and blueberry. The hops clomp in, printing fresh-clipped morning grass and dry grapefruit on the scape. A back end bit of biscuit dovetails into a crisp, dry, bitter finish, lingering long and green apple clean. The fresh, green hops are well played and make for a sassy and interesting offering.

Between light and medium bodied, the malt is filmy, but the hops are chock full of resin and oil on the palate.

In lesser hands the newly mown hops might come off as unduly brassy and raw, but here they impress as the green, viscous essence of American beer ingenuity. Now, the bite might get punchy after too much, but one happy bomber is decidedly drinkable and enjoyable. So the dimensions may be few, but they're a pleasing mix of subtle APA and snappy new-harvest hops with more depth than at first perceived.

Photo of carln26
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured into the glass a medium copper color, very clear, and was topped by a thick, fluffy off white head that showed good retention, and left a nice lace on the side of the glass as it settled. The nose does impart a good bit of hops. Light on the floral hop, more grassy with a citrus finish. Light caramel character in the aroma. The flavor is classic American Pale. Decent balance of caramel malt with a punch of citrus hops. Floral hop shows more mid way through the drink, and lasts into the finish. More bitterness than I expected in the beer. The mouth feel is slick, just a touch sticky. Decent drinkability. I've had a few other fresh hop offerings from Russian River, Moonlight to name a couple, and this lacks the strong floral character I really enjoyed in those beers. It could be the age, and if so, I apologize. Good enough that I will try again next year, and test the freshness.

Photo of jokelahoma
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint shaker.

Pours a nice, clear golden orange color. Little head to speak of, but small skiffs of foam hang around, like the last visage of dish washing liquid.

Aroma is interesting to say the least. Not as overpowering a hop aroma in the glass as there was coming from the neck of the bottle, but it's still there. Initially, you get a good burst of hops, smelling bright and vegetal. In the bottle, that's all you got. In the glass, however, you're met with an equally strong earthy malt aroma, which balances the first blast of hops quite nicely. In total, it smells of a bitter yet sweet substance that is strangely appetizing.

Upon first taste, this comes across as just a standard (albeit quite good) APA. But then you get a new sensation, one I'm not used to with the beers I drink. It feels like the hop bitterness floats up to the roof of your mouth, then tries to make its way up the back of your nose and into your sinuses from behind. It's perhaps the strangest physical sensation I've gotten from drinking anything I can remember. Yet it's a pleasant experience, and adds an odd level of complexity to this brew. Beyond that, this IS just a really good standard pale ale, with a small but present malt backbone to try to hold off the avalanche of hop bitterness that permeates the entire drink. The hop flavors dominate, with the vegetal/citrus flavors defeating any resistance the malt sweetness may try to put up. Quite nice, especially when you add the extra sensation I mention above.

The mouthfeel is, as Baby Bear said, just right. It's substantial enough to let you know this isn't water, but with no need to chew it to get through it.

Overall, this is one interesting beer. It's not overly complex, being, as I said, nothing more than a standard American Pale Ale. But something with the wet hops does add a level to the drinking experience which was new to me, and one I enjoyed tremendously. This isn't a great beer, but it's a damned fine one, and well worth seeking out.

Photo of bashiba
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly hazed amber with a thick pillowy head, good retention and lacing.

Has a very nice green hop odor with a nice fresh juniper and grapefruit aroma.

A very nice crisp hop taste dominates throughout, a bit of malts are detectable, but the fresh wet hops are definitly the dominant force of this beer. Very nice with a bit of grapefruit and juniper along with a bit of mint in the finish.

Mouthfeel has a lot of carbonation with a nice bit of hoppy oil coating the tongue and a touch of dryness in the finish.

Very drinkable and nice will be having more of these while I can still get them.

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.

Photo of Grundle20
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Pours clear and copper in to a tulip. There is a minor head but it has some really good sticky lacing despite it's poor retention.

Smell:
The scent is potent and piney and pretty much all things you would expect from rich oily hops.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
There is a nice candy sweetness up front but from then on out there is aggressive "green" hop bitterness. The beer is crisp overall and finishes rather clean with some lingering bitterness in to the aftertaste.

Drinkability:
Personally I find this to be very refreshing and tasty but people who are not big on hops should probably shy away from this one.

Bottom Line:
Just as good this year as I remember it being last year. It's intensely hoppy for a pale ale so be sure to pick this up hop fans.

Fresh Hop Pale Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,466 ratings.