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Fresh Hop Pale Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fresh Hop Pale AleFresh Hop Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

678 Reviews

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

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

Availability: Rotating

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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fresh Hop Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 678 | Hads: 1,514
Photo of bigbelcher
4.72/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What is the word I am looking for? Oh yea, QUAFFABLE. Very tasty beverage. The only thing I have to wonder about is how old the beer is since fresh hops are only available for a short timeframe and the beer must now be 9 months or so old. Still quite good though. Alcohol is there to preserve it. Hop aroma is more of a piney, earthy aroma rather than cascade type grapefruit. Color is a deep golden color. Head retention was excellent.

An excellent beer.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little late in the year for the Fresh Hop, but still good carbonation and an off white head over a clear copper brew. Good lacing and retention as expected.

Prominent hop aromas include grass, herbal/pine notes, and big time citric blasts. These last heavily feature grapefruit, which shows up again in the flavor. There is a woody character in the taste, plenty of fruit. The finish is dry, with a citric twist at the end. Not terribly bitter, but great for the style. Not complaining about the one-sided hop flavor, very addicting.

Overall, light and easy to drink. The hops are the featured ingredient without coming anywhere near harsh. Flavorful, light body, smooth mouthfeel. Highly enjoyable on a summer night spent outside, but I wish I'd gotten a fresher bottle.

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Photo of gmcfarre
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into 25mL heineken glass

A - Pours a light copper translucent color with a 1/2 inch head. Head fades to a slight covering with lacing being quite attractive.

S - Not the most aromatic brew, but grassy and citrus hop flavors are most prominent.

T - A grassy, dry hop flavor is most dominant with a slight sweet breaded malt addition for balance. Hop bitterness is moderate. A bit of citrus and lemony hop flavor is notable as well.

M - Well carbonated and medium bodied with a slightly bitter and drying finish.

D - The Deschutes Hop Trip was a more memorable fresh hop pale ale in my opinion, perhaps because of the overnight hop shipping required for this brew. Still very tasty for a pale ale and worth a try.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out the usual pale ale colour with good clarity and a soapy white head with good lacing. Smell is subdued- probably due to bottle being consumed in April that is probably on the down turn. Taste- biscuity malts with medium caramel flavour. Hops are a little woody and have a herbal/tobacco bite. Nicely balanced and reminds me of FFF Alpha King. Very quaffable and a solid offering from one of my favourite breweries. Would love to try fresh in the fall.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of 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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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