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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.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

673 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 673
Hads: 1,468
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 8.54%
Wants: 137
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fresh Hop Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 673 | Hads: 1,468
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 Googs
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a RR pint glass. Bottled 10.5.2012

A: Fluffy white head. An inch head that dissolves in minutes to a small layer of medium sized bubbles. Golden/copper in color. How I like my pale ales/IPAs to look.

S: Floral and fresh hops

T: Nice pale malts accompanied by floral, grassy, citrusy hops. Ends fairly bitter. A refreshing brew.

M: Smooth and a bit creamy. Good level of carbonation on this one. An easy drinker with bitterness that stays on the palate

O: A nice fresh hop pale ale that went well with the spicy chinese food I was eating. I'd have this again and I'm looking forward to having it on draft. I enjoyed this year's Founders Harvest ale better though. (695 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours clear copper with minimal head. Aroma slams with grassy, piney hops. Taste follows, with this one highlighting the hops foe sure. Interestingly there is a massive malt backbone to this, and it doesn't take away from the grapefruit and aromatic hops. Excellent pale with medium carbonation and slick palate. Malty sweetness really comes out as it warms up. Good stuff. (373 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured golden yellow-orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, earth, earth hop, spice, and spicy hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, earth, earth hop, citrus, citrus hop, and spice. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. The hoppiness aspect going on here really carried on throughout the entire glass in both the aroma and flavor. The flavor was fairly well balanced and inviting. If I hadn’t been on a ticking spree this day I likely would have had a full pint of this one without hesitation. Definitely worth your time trying if you have not done so before. (797 characters)

Photo of denver10
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear, golden with a effervescent white head.Flavor and aroma matched each other quite well offering some nice bright floral and grassy hops on top of a sweet crackery malt belly. A lighter, active mouthfeel. Overall, an enjoyable beer. Glad I got to try try, would happily drink again. (292 characters)

Photo of Gatch
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 10/8/12

A: Copper in color with a big, sticky, pillowy, white head. Good lace and retention.

S: Grassy, fresh hops with honey-sweet malt.

T: Fresh, delicious hops balanced by sweet, sugary malt. One of the maltier/more balanced fresh hop beers I've had. Tastes closer to an amber/red ale. I'd love to have several bottles on-hand at all times during hop harvest season.

M: Very clean, smooth, and fresh but can be a bit cloying as it warms.

O: One of the better fresh hop beers out there. Wish I could have had this closer to the bottling date but it's held up well after more than a month in the bottle and a trip across the country. (647 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, bottle 10/5/12
The Bruery tulip

A: Pours a really pretty slight amber orange color. About a finger of white fluffy head. Looks like good carbonation with tiny bubbles streaming up the sides of the glass. Some slight lacing.

S: Definitely getting that citrus hop aroma on the nose. Some orange peel, some slight pine hints. Clean grassy notes.

T: The flavor isn't quite as pronounced as the nose. On the tip of the tongue, nice bitterness. Getting that punch of citrus and orange peel. That bitter pine cone kick. Towards the middle of the mouth, the malt bill comes in to match some of the hops. You do a sort of fresh cut grass feel here. It's nice. Clean dry finish. Maybe some slight lingering bitterness.

M: It's a medium bodied ale. The bitterness makes your mouth water.

A very solid beer. Right up there in the fresh hop brews this year. (855 characters)

Photo of ESPNman
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Stone IRS Snifter

A - It pours an almost crystal-clear burnt orange. Think University of Texas orange. One and a half fingers of eggshell-white head. It hangs around for a bit, giving way to some decent lacing.

S - Lots of floral hops, a bit of fresh-cut-grass, and some dank skunky weed smell. It smells fresh and dirty, all at the same time.

T - Much like the nose, a lot of that wet and sticky hops shining through. Very grassy, and very dank. A decent amount of malt balances it out with a subdued sweetness.

M - Pretty light on the palate, moderate carbonation. Not particularly aggressive, and somewhat creamy.

O - One of the better fresh hop beers I've had. It really hits that wet / fresh / dank note, but it's rounded out well with a floral hop backing. (779 characters)

Photo of AmitC
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first wet hop or fresh hop ale. Was dying to have this beer. Great divide looks like an awesome brewery with good line up of beers especially IPAs and a lot of experimental stuff.

Had it at beer tasting. Poured from a 22oz bomber.

Regular color of an IPA. Amber, slight copper hue. Small one finger thick head. Medium to low carbonation. Clear and transparent in the glass.

Smell very grassy, from a distance. Prominent hops, slight citrus. Malt and sweetness is not felt at all.

Taste is where it feels like heaven. Extremely hop prominent. Very distinct from other dry hopped APAs. As grassy and fresh as i have ever had. I have smelled and tasted dry, leafy and pellet hops. This one is hell a lot better. You can get a feel(smell and taste wise) of what a freshly harvested hop would be like. Smell is more pronounced when you are devouring it. Just like other APA and IPA stuff. Awesome fresh feel and it seemed to transport me into a grass guzzling panda like world. More upfront on hops and still not very bitter of APAs. Good balance between malts and the type of hops used.

Mouth feel : Less oily. But very smooth. Medium bodied feel.

Excellent brew. Would certainly like to have it again and again. (1,219 characters)

Photo of COYS1984
3.01/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours beautiful copper/gold with nice inch of white foam. Nose is bold, grassy, funkiness. Some citrus peel and melon are detected as well. The flavor definitely picks up that dank grassiness in a big overwhelming way. There is some fruitiness in the finish as well. Mouthfeel is decent with good amount of carbonation. IMO it drinks heavy for what I would classify an APA. Ultimately it just didn't do it for me. Lacked nothing in terms of flavor but the flavor just didn't work on my palate. Far too one dimensional with a dank mulchiness that struggled to achieve any complexity. (582 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Elysian Brewing pint glass. Label says Bottled on: OCT 04 2012.

A- Pours a clean medium amber color with a 1/2 inch beige head that retains well before slowly diminishing to become a thin ring around the edge of the glass and random spotty surface foam. Curvy ring of thin lacing.

S- The label doesn't lie: grassy, citrusy with some pine and juicy fruit notes. There's also a considerable underlying malt sweetness.

T- Vegetal hop character reminds me of spinach and peas. The malt keeps things in check though with its biscuity character. Very smooth and drinkable without much alcohol coming through.

M- A bit dry with some mild prickle from the hops. Medium carbonation and a less viscous body.

O- Haven't had this one in a while but it's just as good as I remember it. Can't ask for much more in a pale ale except maybe that it be sold in 6-packs rather than a bomber. Guess you can't always get what you want. (934 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy with an orange-amber color. Steady head that remains throughout the tasting. Lace is left as a ring after each sip.

Excellent fresh malt flavor with an aromatic flowery hop background. Attractive.

Strong peppery hop flavor. The only demerit comes from the thin body. The carbonation is okay. Spicy aftertaste that lasts a long time.

This is one of GD's best beers. (381 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Tanish/brown with a nice 1 inch creamy head and lots of sticky lacing.

Smell - Great fresh, strong hop aroma soon as bottle is opened. Very dank, with a grassy note, pine, lemon and spices. Some malty carmael along with pale malts, and a little sugar also.

Taste - Classic dry, fresh hops mixed with pale malts. Bitter, sweet and piney. Loads of lemon, farmhouse/grassy. Added sugars give it nice sweetness. Very herbal, with some citric flavor. Malts are bold, caramel and pale flavored. Not much alcohol presence at all.

Mouthfeel - Dry bitterness coats tounge with the fresh hops. Malts add the caramel and pale follow up. Palate gets more of the same with lots of pine and herbal, and sugars. Aftertaste is dry, bitter, malty and sweet.

Overall - A well done, tasty beer. Love the 1 2 punch of hops, then malts. Very balanced and easy to drink. Good price, easy enough to find, worth the purchase for sure. (956 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.61/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1581st Review on BA
Bottle to Stemmed Tulip
22oz

Bottle dated Oct 4 2012
Purchased at Party House Liquor, Chino Hills, CA ($8.99, I overpaid I think)

App- A nice and medium looking amber color with some good highlights and a bit shimmery. Had a nice 1-1/2 finger white capped head that stuck around for a bit and left a nice cling/lace trail. A nice looking beer in the glass.

Smell- Its an okay pale ale for me. I think im not used to Wet hopped pales yet. The thick hop notes intermixed with the base malts create a fairly caramel rich nose that isnt really my thing.

Taste- Along with the nose, this flavor profile doesnt really do it for me. With my pale ales I like them to be a bit brighter and lusher. This was thick with caramel malts and tinges of bitter. Was a bit thick on the flavors but guess that comes with wet-hopped I am noticing.

Mouth- I can appreciate the feel on this one. GD likes to amplify their flavors and this was no different. A bit too thick of a body but semi-works on this one. The carbonation is a bit lush and creamy like a fuller IPA/DIPA vs. this style. I generally liked it though.

Drink- I will say I am usually excited for GD beers. Although besides the Yeti lineup my fervor is waining for some other beers in the series. May have to try to land things in the 12oz size before going 22oz. Probably wont have this one next year. (1,373 characters)

Photo of Durge
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pale ale is a very clear amber color with a modest white ring of head and spotty lacing. The aroma comes on with skunky grass hop and deep grape wheat. For a pale ale it's nice enough for sure. The flavor is mellow toasted rye/wheat and soft lemon grass hops. Very crisp feeling with medium to near light body. Frisky carbonation for an edgey hop brew. Very refreshing and tasty. (384 characters)

Photo of TwelveOunces
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 Oz poured into a Duvel tulip
Bottled OCT 4, consumed OCT 15. Very fresh

A- Very slightly hazed. Orange with a one finger off white head. Big bubbles.

S- Very grassy, some citrus, some skunky (good kind) of notes in here. Sweet.

T- Moderate to high bitterness around the mouth. All hop flavors. The first hop flavors are all grassy, a lot of onion, some lemon grass and some herbal flavors. The citrus is surprisingly subtle, there is a bit of pineapple and mango. Dry skunk aftertaste.

M- This beer is bitter, it has a lot of feel which is usual of Great Divide and think I can feel little pieces of hops stinging my tongue, its quite nice.

O- A solid fresh hop ale. A more floral hop profile then the usual from GD. I can really feel the freshness in this beer, good stuff. (783 characters)

Photo of WesM63
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours golden amber color with a 1-1.5 finger. Fair amounts of retention and plent of lacing.

S: Smells of grassy and floral hops. A hint of malt sweetness hides in the back.

T: Up front a bit of resin and grassy pine. Evolves into some sweet citrus hops and a tiny bit of malt sweetness.

M: Light to medium body and carbonation.

O: Overall, an excellent wet hop ale. I can't tell what time of hops were used but very delicious. (475 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Because I obviously didn't have enough hops that weekend, why not close it out with a fresh hop ale at Great Divide itself? On to the beer:

Lots of bubbles run throuigh the body of this orange colored brew. A creamy inch thick head sits on top and retains very well. The nose is "fresh", and grassy. I wasn't expecting so much grass, but that's fine. It tastes grassy too. Grassy notes with some grapefruit rind and herbal notes. Very hoppy, that's certain. It's medium bodied and somewhat creamy, rounding out what is a good fresh hop ale. (541 characters)

Photo of elgiacomo
3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

32oz Growler from Beverage World. Fresh 2012 release. Served at around 45F.

Pours clear golden amber with a one finger white head that leaves some spots of lacing and holds a small cap.

Aroma is fruity hops, grassy, herbal, good deal of honey bread and caramel malt as well. Balanced. Very good strength.

Flavor starts with resinous hops, grassy and herbal, moves to a substantial malt backbone featuring honey, bread and caramel, generally mirrors the aroma. Smack of bitterness on the finish. Minimal alcohol. Again, very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, oily, moderate carbonation.

This is one that I’ve wanted to try for years, but always passed it up for some reason. Decent fresh hop ale, but not my favorite as it is more balanced than I like, fairly malty. (781 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear medium copper in color with light notes of orange and light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall sudsy off-white head that slowly reduces to medium sized area of very thin film and a thin ring of large bubbles at the edge of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of pine/resin hops with some lighter notes of grassy hops. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness in the smell.

T: Upfront the beer has a light flavor of caramel malt sweetness that is quickly overtaken by the strong hop flavors - pine/resin, followed by light amounts of grassy, and moderate amounts of orange/citrus in the finish. Moderate to heavy amounts of bitterness but they fade quickly.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Pretty well balanced making the beer fairly easy to drink - also, it is not overly bitter. Enjoyable. (972 characters)

Photo of sukwonee
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark orange clear body with 2 finger head, good retention

S: Hops hops hops. citrus, lemon, some sweetness from the malt, orange peel.

T: Other than some bitterness towards the end, it's all citrus hops and sweet malt. Simple and great. I don't get too much grass as written on the bottle.

M: Medium thickness with decent amount of carbonation.

O: Super easy to drink pale ale. Very pricey though ($7.99 for 22oz). (422 characters)

Photo of Hopswagger
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 10/08/12
Opened 10/17/12

P:  Pours a crystal clear pale copper with effervescence and a crown of bone colored bubbly head. Lacing is wet but hangs well. 

S:  Super fresh grassy, citrus cones, hickory wood chips, subtle caramel malt base with a faint aroma of milk that has been spilt in the refrigerator (not soured).

T/M:  Clean juicy citrus hops, lemon zest, timid citrus dish soap, melon, grapefruit, fresh, peaches, pine needles, treated wood, fresh grass clippings and cereal grain.  The body is medium and creamy with zesty carbonation. The aftertaste once first swallowed is similar to cream soda. Finish is smooth and semi dry lingering orange oil and grapefruit. 

O:  I was so excited when I grabbed this off the shelf. 9 days old, super fresh. Alas, I was kinda let down. Don't get me wrong it's a great beer but I expected much more. The aroma has something odd that is dairy like and wrong. Not to the point of ruin but still wrong. The hops are really fresh and the overall flavors are well balanced. Expectations aside this is a great pale ale.  (1,079 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 10.15.12
Bottled Oct 3, 2012

A - Pours a clear, darker orange with a one inch off-white head with a good retention and lacing.

S - Grass, pine, orange peel.

T - Grass, then bitter citrus and a sweet pine finish.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body and a creamy mouthfeel.

O - Dank and grassy for a normally pale and light beer. (353 characters)

Photo of macrosmatic
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into CCB pint glass.

A: Pours a very clear amber, very small white head, and essentially no visible carbonation - only an occasional stray bubble.

S: Somewhat muted. Bits of pine hops, grass, and a strong caramel malt.

T: Flavor follows the nose. Grass and pine hops, caramel malts.

M: Medium body, minimal carbonation sensation, no particular alcohol presence.

O: I'm am thoroughly disappointed in this bottle. Both bottles I had last year had huge wet hoppiness of grass and barnyard...completely blew me away. All of those flavors I was looking forward to are missing this year. Don't know if this was a bad bottle or what. The bottled date was exactly one week before I was drinking it, so freshness shouldn't have been an issue. It wasn't a terrible beer as is, but not at all what I expected. If additional bottles this year change my mind, I'll update this review. (2012 Rating = 3.48 aggregate)

EDIT: An additional bottle, sadly, did not change my review. It's still not even in the ballpark of what last year's was. I'm sure I'll try again next year, but I'm done for '12.

Re-EDIT: 2013 Batch - much improved over 2012's. More grassy presence, and a very nice cracker malt base. Nice fresh hop presence into the hang. I've updated my ratings to reflect this batch. (1,320 characters)

Photo of chanokokoro
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle (dated Oct. 3, 2012) into a becker pint glass.

Pours a honey golden with rich amber hues with a fluffy one and half finger head. The smell of sweet pineapple and fresh grassy notes on the nose is very inviting. Opens with pineapple, flora, and grassy accents, joined by slight breadiness and malt with just the perfect level of sweetness to balance this brew midpalate. Finishes smooth with just a hint of grapefruit rind and pine sap and a slight bite. Medium bodied with a slick, oily, and slight soapy mouthfeel, perfect for a wet hop ale. I look forward to this brew every year. The drinkability of the brew is exceptional as the other characteristics of the brew are not overwhelmed by intense bitterness. (739 characters)

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