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Hopyard Pale - Garrison Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hopyard PaleHopyard Pale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

105 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 71
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 11.64%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Garrison Brewing Company visit their website
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Deep golden, medium bodied & nicely bitter, Hopyard Pale is exceptional in the West Coast style. Generous hopping in the boil & further dry-hopping produce a fruity/floral aroma & refreshingly bitter finish. A true thirst-quencher!

40 IBU

(Beer added by: nighthawk on 06-10-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 71 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pootz
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottle: Decants a hazed orangey-amber ale with a 2 finger creamy cap that lasts. Moderate carbonation, Great lacing.

Medium bodied, fruity floral character, chewy mouth feel.

Front side has good balance between amerillo hops and crystal malt,....mid palate some complexity of malt blend plus fruity tastes (pear/apricot) ....long drying bittering finish, goes clean and has a bite.

Nothing unique bur a good boiler plate US styled micro plale...possibly a tad dryer....well made, flavorful, drinks well.

pootz, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of wordemupg
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured into pint glass

A clear copper with no bubbles at all, fast falling thumbs width of head left a single ring of lace

S some citric and earthy hops with a little toffee

T not far from the smell but with more caramels and enough malt to give it some balance, not the hop bomb I was expecting but pretty good

M medium bodied, a little creamy, rather bitter and the flavor lingers

D not bad for a session, I'd drink it again so that says something

had a few of these while in Halifax not the best from these guys but pretty good nonetheless

wordemupg, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of socon67
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Go figure that a pretty good APA is made in Halifax. This beer, when poured into a pint glass is gold to copper in color. There is a smell of sweetness and some earthy hops. The taste is kind of strange. Sweet at first but then oddly bitter. Somehow I found it worked well and was quite enjoyable. Carbonation is noticable but it is still drinkable. I was suprised that I liked this as much as I did.

socon67, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of PEIBeerGuy
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A foggy amber / honey beer with a finger or two of fast-dropping head. A bit of nice, light lacing as it goes down.

I expected some tropical smells, given the style and hop-based name, but it was a little nice than I thought it would be. For whatever reason, I thought that west-coast IPA's would have the beat on this. This competes fairly well, though. A fresh smell of grapefruit, papaya, and mandarin oranges.

The taste isn't quite as good as the smell. It's got the bitterness of other favourite hop-strong beers, and the feel, but not quite the taste. It's pretty close, though. I think it's fairly subtle. As soon as you sip, you get the nice flavours from the smell, but they're gone with the gulp, just leaving the bitter aftertaste. As an APA, I was expecting a little more of that malt flavour. I think the Acme California IPA I just had had more of that character than this.

The mouthfeel is pretty good. Smooth, a little viscous, with a dry, bitter finish. I could lose a bit of the bitterness since the flavour fades somewhat.

A very drinkable beer. It's nice to see a good hop-strong beer brewed locally.

PEIBeerGuy, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of kwjd
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Volo. Pours a golden-orange colour with great head and retention. Smells of citrus hops and some caramel sweet malt. Taste has a great hit of bitterness, but still sweet from the malt. Very balanced. I really like this APA, and it almost verges on being an IPA. I think their Imperial is half way between an IPA and a double IPA, so that makes sense. I want to try more from Garrison because this is good.

kwjd, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of bobsy
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Re-review - had a fresh sixer bottled less than a month ago, and the flavour was a lot fresher, with a better hop character. It really hits the spot on a hot Summer's day, so I've adjusted the taste and drinkability scores up a notch.

Garrison's Hop Yard is brewed with hops grown by the brewery itself, so I'm confused why the brewery would not make more of a point of this on their label. It seems like a good marketing op has gone to waste.

We're off to a good start - a golden body of great clarity supports a finger of snow white head that has good retention and laces well. The nose throws me a little, because while it does have a decent hoppiness, its not as intense as I expected. There's a decent juiciness, dash of herbs, dry malt and a touch of cream. The flavour has a pleasant bitterness, with the hops manifesting in a herbal fashion (I'm guessing these are English varieties). Sweet throughout, but not cloying, its maltier than usual for a pale, with strong caramel hits. The mouthfeel is pretty average - while the medium-light body is good and appropriate, the carbonation is too short-lived to impress.

This is a strange brew. Not bad in of itself, but the question has to be asked - if you wanted to showcase the brewery's hops then why not do it in an IPA?

Cheers to moniker for the bottle.

bobsy, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of Lukecook
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into a pint glass

A- Golden in color, nice frothy white head, small amount of lacing.

S- Hops.

T- Hops with a mild sweet taste, finishes bitter.

M- Medium body, crisp, good carbonation.

D- Another great offering from Garrisons, best pale ale I have had this side of the border.

Lukecook, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of Evocatus
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden yellow with a white head. Aroma was there with some sour fruitiness and hops. Taste was nice. Had a mix of hops, wheat, and a slight fruitness to it. Good and crisp, well carbonated. Would definitely get another next time I'm in Nova Scotia.

Evocatus, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of demcorhip
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks great. Big off white head with great retention. Clear amber body with a persistent supply of carbonation. Very nice lacings.

Nice aroma. Some pithy grapefruit tries to assert itself. Nice toasty malts. A touch of fruity sourness is almost buried by the other aromas but manages to reveal itself.

A little too much toasty caramel malt flavours. A touch less specialty malt or boiling or whatever would have been more to my tastes. Not sure when this was bottled, would have liked a touch more cascade presence. The amarillo seems more assertive.

Pretty nice feel, but a bit too heavy for my tastes on the crystal malt. Its fairly dry and bitter, with an almost creamy medium body. This would be much more drinkable if the crystal malts relaxed, and let me appreciate more of the base malts, glad i got to try this, thanks Miguel.

demcorhip, May 14, 2010
Photo of Ralphus
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Who doesn't love a well made APA, especially when it's made in Canada :)

Pours a bronze color with golden highlights, lightly opaque with a large poofy, wheatish head that leaves gobs of lace down the side of the glass. The head remains thick right to the bottom. Wonderful stuff.

The smell is nice. Some hops, earth a vanilla scent that I just can't get enough of. The taste is a really good blend of sweet malts, fruitiness and perfect hop balance. This thing kicks ass.

Mouthfeel is slightly prickly and refreshing. Drinkability is high.. I can down one of these faster than any beer I've had before, plus I can session them without getting sick of the taste.

Well done Garrison!

Ralphus, May 01, 2010
Photo of kjyost
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of BBrianBoogie... No date code.

Pours a nice white head atop a rich orange-red body with light lacing. A solid start... The beers smells of a sweet malt body, seemingly with an alcoholic warmth and a good dose of earthy hops on the nose. The taste is similar to the nose with the earthy dose of hops being there. Some sweetness that is later in the beer killed by the bitterness. A decent bitterness, seemingly right in the middle for this style. Crisp in the mouth with average carbonation and a lingering bitterness. Enjoyable, and easy to drink more than one of.

kjyost, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of Mit
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Nice light golden amber colour with a very short lived head.

S-Nice mix of grapefruity and spicier hops.

T-Nice and hoppy with the citrusy hops dominating. Very light malty notes.

M-Nice mouthfeel in keeping with ABV.

D-Oh...very....I would be very happy if I didn't have to order this through special order.

Mit, Apr 08, 2010
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fresh bottle at Bar Volo. Pours auburn with a big creamy topping head. Many lace dots follow. A big mouthfeel and a high bitterness, this is bitter, still a good drinkability. A little sour in the sediment.A tongue shredder roughness to it. Hoppy aroma.

Sammy, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of mikejc
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper color with average carbonation. One finger head kept minimal retention but laces well.

S: As the name suggests, hops dominate the nose with floral and citrus subtleties.

T: Begins with sweet caramel tones which fade into citrus and finally dry hop tastes. Medium bitterness falling somewhere between an ESB and IPA.

M: Very pleasant, smooth with great bitter aftertaste.

D: Refreshing and fully session worthy. One downside is despite the hoppy nature of the brew there is a strong malt presence which hinders this brews full potential.

Overall: Great beer with locally grown hops is probably the brewery's best 6 pack offering to date and the growler is fantastic as well. Garrison strikes a great balance between hop level and drinkability with Hop Yard and has shown the future potential for more great locally grown micro brews.

mikejc, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of berley31
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a golden copper color, mostly clear with a slight haze to it. Small, white head that is quite light and faded to a thin film.

S: Very hoppy, floral aroma. Quite nice, with a bit of citrus and grassiness coming through.

T: Floral and earthy tones throughout, it's a pretty hoppy beer with a very bitter finish. Long duration as a result.

M: Medium-bodied, slight creaminess, with an average carbonation.

D: This is definitely one of Garrison's better offerings... not up to their Imperial Pale Ale, but it blows the other beers out of the water. The high bitterness at the finish prevents it from being a multi-drinker.

berley31, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of ZorPrime
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Moniker for making this one available for me.

The beer is copper looking color. It is lightly cloudy. The head is creamy and sticks well to the glass. The aroma is citrusy hops with some caramel notes (malts). The taste is dry and the bitterness is very good for an American Pale Ale. There is definitely more caramel in the taste than in the aroma. The taste is not very hoppy... maybe more floral hops in the taste. Medium body and easy to drink. Overall, this beer is a good American Pale Ale.

ZorPrime, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of Long813
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

G: Pint Glass

A: Clear bronze body, one inch of off white head which good retention. Decent lacing.

S: Hops dominant the senses, followed by floral and citrus aromas.

T: Very hoppy with floral and grapefruit/orange hints.

M: Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Dry hoppy & bitter grapefruit finish

D: Decent beer, I did feel that it was quite hoppier than a APA and felt like it somewhat touched the grounds of a IPA. Either way, it tastes good and everyone should try it.

Long813, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of TheHammer
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks again Ludachris for bringing this one from Halifax for me.

Appearance: The body boasts a hazy orange/bronze color with good signs of carbonation. The pour produced a solid thumb of head that retained quite well and did a very good job of lacing.

Smell: Well the name say it all, it smells of a mixture of fresh hops. Floral and citrus hops dominate the notes with a light undertone of pine. It's strong but not excessively so, all in all good stuff.

Taste: Unsurprisingly high in hops, but somewhat reigned in my an unknown herbal presence. Starts with a very light might and floral hop taste that shifts over to an almost creamy taste with a light dash of pine in the background and ends with a bitter kick of diverse, citrus hops. I'd say this would be the utmost limit of hops that I would like in a beer.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, as it thankfully brings out the creamier elements and not the hoppier elements. My mouth isn't left as dry as I'd expect, in fact it's nice. Biggest qualm though is the grapefruit rind bitterness lingers on the back of your tongue for far too long.

Drinkability: As I said, this would be the limit for me as far as hops are concerned. Any more and I'd have issues getting it down. It's good on the gut although not exactly refreshing. However for the most part, it went down alright. Pretty average I suppose.

Final Thoughts: If this beer wasn't named Hop Yard, I probably would have scored it lower. You do get a very good variety of hops in this offering, and it thankfully doesn't have the hop presence of an IPA. Solid and certainly worth a try, and maybe a six during the summer or spring.

TheHammer, Nov 05, 2009
Photo of Mandrake
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium-amber, orange and just a bit hazy, with a thick and creamy off-white head that has good staying power and leaves thick lacing. Smell is hoppy, certainly, but not overwhelmingly so, and there is a definite note of biscuity malt. Herbal hops character, with a bit of pine and a note of light caramel as well. Flavour is bitter and sharp, rather grassy and with obvious malt in the middle. The dry-hopping is obvious, but more from the herbal notes than from a west-coast style wallop of citrus. Mouthfeel is very highly carbonated, but crisp nonetheless, and drinkability is very good. This was my go-to beer for hot days all summer, and, though it's not stellar by any means, it's a solid effort from Garrison.

Mandrake, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of grub
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled sept 4/09.

pours deep orange with a thick cream coloured head. the head drops fairly fast but leaves a ton of thick chunky lace behind.

aroma is good. grapefruit. bit of orange and tangerine. multi-grain bread. bit of biscuit. floral. light alcohol.

taste is good. grapefruit and pine. orange and tangerine. white bread. bit of biscuit. light alcohol. just under medium bitterness level. light honey and caramel.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is nice. well balanced. decent depth. a solid apa.

grub, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a rather large foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of light bitter hops with lightly sweet caramel malt. Taste is also a nice enough mix between some caramel malt with light residual sugar and some bitter hops at the end. Body is quite full with good carbonation. Not bad but nothing spectacular.

Phyl21ca, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of Viggo
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, think Bobbyok sent this one too!

Pours a lightly hazed dark amber, orange, thick off white head forms, settles to a thick ring around the glass, some lace spots stick to the glass, looks pretty good. Smell is nice, very sharp and citric hops, floral, very fruity, orange peel, caramel, quite sugary, tangerine, lots of grapefruit goodness, real nice hoppiness, slightly herbal. Taste is neat, real spicy, grapefruit bitterness, caramel, quite sugary, some biscuity malt, orange peel, eathy, really nice, sharp lightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation, spritzy and too high for the style. A really nice nose on this one but the taste is a little lacking on the carbonation takes away from the drinkability. Still a nice beer, thanks Bobby!

Viggo, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of ludachris
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Every time I'm down here in Hali I always make a point of picking up some Garrison. Happy I was able to find their newest offering so easily.

Pours a clear light honey orange with a finger and a half bubbly white head that displays some decent retention and nice lacing. Big, bubbly carbonation aggressively moves towards the surface.

Strong smell of pine, citrus, some nice bready malt and a touch of spice.

Biscuit and sweet malts up front followed by jiuncy citrus and a dry piney bite . The hops are definately the highlight of this APA.

Mouthfeel is slightly creamy, smooth and medium bodied, making it quite drinkable in my books.

Overall, another great offering from Garrison. It's definately the most hoppiest APA I've had to date but that made me enjoy it that much more. Two thumbs up!

ludachris, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of MeisterBurger
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden amber with a voluminous, sticky white head that laces nicely and sticks around.

Smells nice and piney, citrusy, a really good dose of c-hops here. Slightly floral. A little toffee and pineapple too.

The taste is a crisp nibble of hops backed by a good amount of caramel. It's bitter without being showy. The hops seem to have a west coast USA by way of England aspect to them, being piney and herbal, slightly spicy grapefruit rind. Some good hop flavors all told, even if they seem to be all over the map.

The mouthfeel is medium and suits the style, and it's nicely crisp.

Overall not a bad little effort and a nice hoppy beer for when you want something a little more restrained than an IPA.

MeisterBurger, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of biegaman
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A broiled caramel colour whose toasty golden-brown tones makes for a lovely looking appearance. They make for a flashy one too; the beer's edges shimmer and if held into the light the entire body becomes impressively aglow. Bubbles make for visual entertainment while a foamy white bumper stays roped around the contour.

Appreciating the fact that this is a pale ale and wasn't intended to compete as an IPA, I won't be too disappointed my nose wasn't met with the blistering citrus and sappy resins of West coast hops (even though the beer was brewed and dry-hopped with them). There is a slight tinge of very minty, lightly pithy zest but its presence demands frequent stirring. I'll leave the score where is but it's dangerously close to being set a little lower.

Ya, I definitely would not agree with the brewery in considering Hop Yard "exceptional in the West Coast style". (Despite the dry-hopping effort this hoppiness falls far, far short of what's customary on the West coast.) Nugget, Amarillo and Cascade do fit the bill for a beer of that mold; unfortunately, the resulting ale doesn't taste enormously Amarillo-y or Cascade-y; there is a touch of pink grapefruit but it's disappointingly minor.

In the absence of intended hoppy zest, Pale and Crystal malt leave much flavour to be desired. But the beer is salvageable - that 40 IBU mark is about the threshold for a proper mouthfeel in hoppy pale ales and IPA's. Given the medium-light body and that faint bite of hop resins, this should disappear mighty fast. Boy, I hate feeling unsatisfied after a beer, even if the dissatisfaction comes from not having another bottle!

Apparently the hops used in this beer were grown in partnership with a local and functioning historic agricultural museum, the end goal being "a brew made with 100 percent local ingredients." That's a fantastic endeavor and Hop Yard Pale is a promising sign of things yet to come. My only suggestion would be to use more of these local hops for future batches, which I will undoubtedly be looking forward to. Thanks ThatWineGuy!

biegaman, Aug 02, 2009
Hopyard Pale from Garrison Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.