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

673 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 673
Hads: 1,467
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 5.85%
Wants: 135
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 Terp96
4.47/5  rDev +9%
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. (788 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.47/5  rDev +9%
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. (1,314 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +9%
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!!! (592 characters)

Photo of changeup45
4.47/5  rDev +9%
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. (523 characters)

Photo of jamesdergen
4.47/5  rDev +9%
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. (581 characters)

Photo of dogfooddog
4.47/5  rDev +9%
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. (727 characters)

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I smell fresh hop! Citric, pine initial balance shifts to deep, sweet malt. Mmmm, mmmm!

Orange amber color, good clarity, mediocre head.

Crisp, clean Pale Ale stylings. It’s beefy, but not loud. Hop maintains significant presence, but isn’t overpowering. Hop bitterness grows to a quiet roar. Nice balance. Spot on, I say. (326 characters)

Photo of taylocd
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 22 oz. bottle.

A - bright copper with a bit more orange tint; head was over 1/2-inch and receded slowly, with great lacing.

S - the smell didn't pack the punch I expected from a Great Divide; I picked up more of the citrusy and less of the grassy.

T - this one had a great balance for a pale ale, with ample bitterness without being overpowering

M - the weakest area for this fine beer as it felt just a bit thin.

D - Unfortunately, I only had one bottle of this one, otherwise I could have downed plenty more. It was incredibly smooth and tasty. (563 characters)

Photo of RockAZ
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just tapped the keg yesterday, May 8th and the paper ring says it was kegged Oct 31 - so it might be a little old to be calling Fresh Hop but I will review it anyways as I liked it very much. Beautiful color, nice carbonation that has some thickness to the foam - coats the glass with lacing patterns. Not a strong scent from it, but what there little there is, is very pleasing. Is 6.1% a session IPA? Well, compared to what I usually drink it is, ...

I like the mouthfeel, it does flow over the tongue and leave some pleasant bitterness followed by dryness in the back corners of the mouth. Only 55 IBU's? Well, I think it is pretty well balanced, recommend you try it on draft. There has always been a "metallic" aftertaste in the bottle versions of this, IMHO.

Later EDIT: discussed this with a couple of friends and they are confirming that the October batches are selling for huge discounts on both keg and bottle - don't let the hype on "Fresh" sway you, the 1/6bbl costs me $40 which is a screaming deal on any IPA of quality. I hear the former $12-13 bombers are going for $3-4, which again, is a heck of a deal on a marvelous beer! (1,144 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head sticks around for a while before dissipating into a patchy layer on top and a thick ring around the glass. The lacing is pretty sticky.

Smells largely of citrus and floral hop aromas with some light pine. Very hoppy, I'm excited to sip on it.

Tastes just as good as the smell would indicate. Sweet malts mixed with a slight citrus flavor up front, followed shortly by a nice wallop of bitterness. The flavors linger for a moment but then disappear, making me want to take another sip.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness and solid carbonation, but nothing special.

Drinkability is great. This is an easy drinking APA that I could easily have a few more of.

Overall this is one of the better APA's I've had recently. Be sure to give this one a shot if you see it around. (901 characters)

Photo of StoneTSR
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

APPEARANCE: Transparent, light copper poured from a 22oz. bomber into a pint glass. Solid quarter-inch head rested on top. Good lacing covered 30% or so of the glass.

SMELL: Not overpowering, but a good, hefty nose of sweet pine. It smells like Colorado, which is a good thing.

TASTE: The front end of the sip briefly retains the piney sweetness of the nose, but the sweet quickly gives way to a bitter middle and end. This beer is about the hops. Bitter and delicious hops dominate the sip and leave a very pleasant and bitter grapefruit aftertaste. Very impressive flavor.

MOUTHFEEL: Very crisp, clean and surprisingly light, but at the same time fairly smooth. I generally like a beer that, for lack of a better phrase, rips your tongue to pieces on the way down. The Fresh Hop Pale Ale is easy on the palate and very refreshing, even if it isn't as harsh as I would normally like.

OVERALL: This is a remarkably well balanced beer. Although I do love the hop bombs, at 55 IBUs this is an extremely drinkable Pale Ale with a lot of character. Maybe it is just great marketing, but this beer does taste fresh. And I guess, given that it was bottle less than a month ago, on Oct. 14, 2010, it is.

EDIT: I'm bumping the score of the appearance up a notch (from 3.5 to 4.0) due to the packaging. This is a good looking bottle and the green foil is a great touch. (1,365 characters)

Photo of saintwarrick
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy gold with a big fluffy head that never leaves. Big-time aroma with fresh grapefruit and pine needles. Taste is dry and sweet, nice malty balance in this brew. Nice citrusy, hoppy kick, but not overwhelming. Goes down very smooth with some hop-oil aftertaste.

Not quite as good as Sierra Nevada's Harvest Ale, but still a tasty beer. (346 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At the time of my review the #3 APA on beeradvocate, served on tap at a local beer bar. Here we go! Beer is light amber and clear with a nice head that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation appears low.

Aroma is pretty hop forward overall, nice.

Beer is piny in the mid palate, midly sweet on the onset but that is not distracting from the moderate bitterness at the back. Its well put together with good palate connectivity. The finish is nice. Overall its a medium bodied APA with a wet finish. The hop resin stays in your mouth for a minute but there's no after taste. Its a nice hot day beer. (605 characters)

Photo of MOB210SA
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*Bottled September 29, 2009

The pour produced a billowing 2 finger creamy and fluffy head that dies moderatly quick. Clear orangish amber in color. Outstanding lacing, and some great clinginess.

An intoxicatingly hoppy and slightly citusy fruitiness that almost overwhelms my senses as I take a deep whiff. Almost penetrates my sinuses.

Taste is nothing short of outstanding. Not a lot of hoppy bitterness. Straight forward hops and some cirtus backdrop. Find this even more enjoyable than other pale ales that I know and love.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth and creamy, nice light carbonation that is simply put just smooth and drinkable. Seems like a great anytime drinker.

Great Divide, great job as always. (710 characters)

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice hazy darkish copper color with a nice cream colored head with good retention and lacing. Wonderful citrusy and floral hop aroma. Upfront the taste is biscuity malt then some powerful citrus flavor. Very nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied as the label promises and is pretty smooth. A very drinkable APA. Overall this is right up there with Alpha King as far as APA's go in my opinion. A great beer. (409 characters)

Photo of dbmernin83
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber, lasting head and pretty good lacing.
Piney herbal hops in the nose.
Crisp pine, minty and refreshing. A light bitterness. This is a clean and bright beer showcasing the flavors hops bring to a beer without big bitterness.
Great carbonation, medium bodied.
A great beer. I could drink this all day during the fall. Gotta love fresh hop season! (365 characters)

Photo of MSchae1017
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was poured from the 22oz bomber into my dogfish head pint glass.

This beer pours a golden amber with a slightly off white head. This head is rocky and frothy and laces well. The smell is full of fresh piney hops. The taste has bitterness along with those hops and notes of toasted caramel. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of dryness. Overall, fantastic Pale Ale or IPA whatever you really want to call it. (426 characters)

Photo of hero27
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now this is my kinda pale ale! I have no idea if other beers use so-called "wet hops" in their brews, but after tasting this one, it sounds like a damn good idea...you can really taste how fresh the hops are. The aroma is excellent as well..big, floral hop smell of pine and grapefruit. The bitterness is just right. Some could try to tag this as an IPA, but it really doesn't have that IPA "bite" to it..just a menacing hoppy character to go along with the malts. What a great surprise..a fairly low-alcohol offering..a pale ale, that's got such a unique hop flavor and reminds you of why you drink quality beer.

Drinkability is great. Too bad this is a seasonal...I wish this would replace their Denver Pale Ale. (717 characters)

Photo of DrinkingDrake
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A minimal amount of foamy head on top of a pale copper body. Aroma hits you with a large amount of hops. Lemon/Lime citrus, grapefruit and honeydew melon. Some malts are also present but this is all hop. Before I go on about hops the pale, subtly sweet caramel, malt bill is a great base for the hops that go over it. With that as a base there is a great mix of hop flavors. Juicy grapefruit, pineapple and melon upfront. The finish is a mix of pine and grass but the lingering bitterness is fruity. Awesome balance of juicy and bitter. Medium/light body, hop bomb but not bitter bomb. Very drinkable. (601 characters)

Photo of track1646
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour reveals a beautiful copper colored ale with a nice bright white head. From the moment you crack the cap and foil it "stinks" of pungent hops...almost smells like a pile of fresh pot.

A - Great translucent copper color with a nice thick bright white head. Head dissipates into a nice lace film.

S - Like I said this beer "stinks" of fresh hops! This smell is off the charts good. Not so floral or citrus like many fresh hop beers I've had lately, but more a smell of very grassy fresh wet hops.

T - If anyone here has soaked whole hops in a growler of beer for any period of time (East End Big Hop Harvest w/ fresh hops added to the growler!) then you can understand this flavor! Its a mix of fresh grass, fresh green onions, and a mild but long lasting bitterness. Remarkably good!

M- The fresh hops impart a sort of oily texture to this beer...but it isn't bad at all...it compliments the smoothness and overall round character.

D- Very good! I don't want to sip this..if anyone has seen the show Three Sheets when he is in the Czech Republic then you understand the "sips" I'm taking. At this pace my glass is very very low!

Fresh hop beers are the "new rage" and this is easily in my top 3 favorites! (1,220 characters)

Photo of pourmeup
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on Sept. 29 2009

A- Retains a thick off-white cake-like head throughout the entire glass, has a nice golden-orange color to the beer itself, leaves behind clumps of lacing in random places on the glass
S- Very heavy on the citrus rind in the nose, light sourdough bread smell at the end
T- It was almost as if I walked headfirst into a hop wall. Hops are present in every part of this brew, heavy citrus notes with even a bit of pepper evident on the after-taste.
M- Leaves your mouth with a lingering hop taste, but what remains is very subtle, has a slight creamy texture from the thickness of the head, overall a nice a texture
D- Not a terribly heavy beer, but slightly unrelenting in the hop department, which lowers the drinkability a little, but not much. (772 characters)

Photo of MinorThreat
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served from a bottle straight from the brewery, Thanks Bryan! OH and by the way, I really like the new packaging, nice work.

A-Deep amber/gold color high clarity nice pillowy off white head and great lacing.

S-Nice floral and citrus hop scent with a subtle malt sweetness lingering behind a great hop smell

T-Good toasty malt and subtle hits of caramel sandwiched between waves of hop flavor. Great spicy citrus hop taste and although there is a good bitterness it seems to wash down cleanly. All of the flavors seem to have rounded really nicely, this is damn good beer.

M-Soft and seemingly light, good amount of gas. Very pleasant.

D-Very high, great flavorful yet sessionable brew.

From What I understand this is Great Divide's liberally hopped ale with whole fresh hops rather than pellets. My restaurant was lucky enough to get a few kegs of it during the DNC in Denver. I was pretty bummed out that LHA was a one time brew until Bryan from Great Divide dropped of a bomber of Fresh hop. I have a case on order, it won't last long. (1,043 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this bomber up at Murray's Wine & Spirits in Milwaukee, WI on Saturday. Pours into my glass a deep clear peach/orange with a nice off white creamy, bubbly head on top. Inticing...yes. Aromas of yep, fresh hops! Big, green, herbal, citric hops waft up into my nose with a side order of caramelly sweet maltiness. This is simply delightful with lupulin oils and orange and grapefruit zest.

First sip brings a crystal, caramel slightly buscuity malt, which quickly gives way to a rush of herbally, citrusy hop flavors. Bright and bold like rubbing a fresh hop cone between your fingers. Flows down with a solid bitterness that never becomes overpowering. A wonderfully hoppy, tasty APA from a brewery that knows their hops!

Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied with good carbonation. This is a damn drinkable, sessionable brew for sure. I wish I had local access to it as it would be a staple in my fridge. If you're a hophead or ya like APA's...get yours hands on this beer! Yet another winner from Great Divide...keep them coming! (1,040 characters)

Photo of jondeelee
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh Hop Pale Ale opens to a bright, citrusy, piney hoppy nose that makes immediately apparent the freshness of the hops that went into the beer. Layers of pink grapefruit, grapefruit rind, grass, pine resin, sweet rosewater, mint, and eucalyptus rest in light, but finely nuanced layers atop a bed of lovely malts. These latter ingredients bring pleasant sugars to the mix, including brown sugars, and an assortment of sweet fruit esters: orange, berry, cherry, apricot. So sweet are these sugars that there seems to be even a touch of candi sugar. Toast crust and wet wheat add a bit of earthiness. As a whole, this is an excellent nose, far outreaching the expected volumes of aroma that usually come from such a light beer (6.1% ABV). The aromas do focus mainly on hops (perhaps a 60/40 split), but the malts are present in enough quantity to nicely balance the beer out.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a lovely hop blast: grapefruit, grapefruit rind, pine resin, eucalyptus, mint, dandelion stem, grass, and rosewater flow over the tastebuds. The hops are geared more toward the bitter end of the spectrum, but not overly so, the 55 IBUs providing a near-perfect balance between flavor and bitterness, and the hop flavors themselves featuring an excellent array of tones. Sweet brown sugar, candi sugar, and fruit esters (orange, apricot, berry, cherry) help keep the hops from overpowering everything, and a nice array of toast crust, biscuit, and cereal from the grains adds earthiness. The aftertaste is a long-lingering hop burn, being perhaps slightly more bitter than was present in the main mouthful. Mouthfeel is a slightly oily medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is excellent beer, and it’s amazing to see what Great Divide can do to a pale ale: the difference between this and a standard offering in the style is akin to the difference between Michelangelo and a talented high school student. The sheer variety and potency of flavors in here is impressive, made all the more so by the light ABV and the mid-range IBUs. Well worth trying. (2,091 characters)

Photo of quirkzoo
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Sept. 29th, de-bottled Oct. 21st.

Pours a hazy bright orange with a good two fingers of off white head. Boom! Aroma is pure hops. I homebrew and it smells exactly like when you open a bag of whole leaf hops. Really grassy (but in a fresh, complex, vegetal, lightly green way, not in a bad old musty hops way). A little bit of hop citrus on the nose but it is definitely 80% grassy notes. Taste is more of the same. The bitterness is really quite mild as compared to the strong hop flavor. The flavor of the hops really opens up on the palate and I started to get more herbal (mint, chives...) flavors. Malt is present but only as a stage for the hops. Mouthfeel was smooth but nothing amazing. Overall this beer accentuates the fresh hop flavors and gives you something a little different than your basic APA, but not quite the strong bitterness of an IPA. Definitely worth seeking out. (895 characters)

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