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Hops Explosion IPA - Watch City Brewing Co.

Hops Explosion IPAHops Explosion IPA

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

54 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 54
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 14.99%

Brewed by:
Watch City Brewing Co. visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 10-05-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 | Reviews: 37 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a Sam Adams glass, the beer is a bright, vibrant, yellow-copper coloring with a thin, filmy, white head that clings strongly to the glass. Aromas of sweet caramel, a subtle roasting, and spicy, dry hops. Flavors are cedar and grassy hop forward with a bitter, drying end of the palate. The hops profiles are balanced by a solid, buttery and sweet caramel backbone. Very balanced with enough of a resiny hops punch to quench a hophead's thirsts. Aftertaste is bitter and green, with a dry, bitter finish. Very well rounded and drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2012 16:59:12 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of jneiswender


2.85/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at the brewpub. Served in a small/medium sample glass as part of a sample tray.

A-somewhat cloudy amber body, and a faint head (can't identify the color)

S-floral hop aroma

T-very strong herbal hop flavor


D-I think kind of one dimensional. Certainly very hoppy but not much in the depth department. I would steer hopheads to it but few else.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2010 02:38:08 | More by jneiswender


4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden orange with a small bubbly white head that dissipated quickly and leaves nice sticky laces.

Citrus, grapefruit, pine. Apple fruitiness from yeast. Caramel bready malts.

Big hop taste. Super citrus, lemon, grapefruit, orange peel. apples and other fruit/floral flavors from the hops and yeast. caramel bread malt profile. Buttery bitter grapefruity resin that tingles the palette. piney in the aftertaste.

Buttery smooth. medium to light bodied. sticky and dry.

Great drinkability, could drink these all night long (and have). loaded with hops, enough malt to give stability to the mouth feel and ever so slightly balance it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2009 23:40:39 | More by CHILLINDYLAN
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the brewpub. This batch came out 5.9% a.b.v. and IBU 68. Medium yellow, that leaves a lace trail. C-hop aroma. A good bitterness, like a 1.5 times IPA. The malts are here for drinkability. Pretty solid Amercan IPA, and it tastes better than it looks.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2009 02:00:01 | More by Sammy
Photo of Jayli


4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a light to medium hazy, hazy golden color with a frothy head to it. There is a nice retention of the head and an abundance of lacing left on the glass. Nose is very powerful - strong floral hops dominate the nose, with a touch of citrusy grapefruit hops mixed in. Taste is huge on hops - completely lives up to its name. The citrusy hops hit you first, grapefruit is the most detectable, then a slight biscuity yet sweet flavor and then floral hops dominate the rest of the way. This is a medium body, with medium carbonation beer. It's crisp and clean and goes down very easy. Another nice brew by Watch City.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2009 13:26:22 | More by Jayli
Photo of Reagan1984


4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A thin finger of head. Golden/orange amber. Nice clarity. A speck of visible carbonation.

Light citrus aroma. A bit of toasted malt in the backround.

Flavor is real nice. Great bready quality to the flavor. Initial burst of cracker/dough then a blast of hops. This is followed by a moment of fruit and into the bread notes. Finishes with a bitter burst again that is a bit resin like.

Mouth feel is almost powdery. Not in a bad way. But just feels a bit thick. Medium bodied.

Nicely drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2009 16:55:43 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of Acochran


4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at a company sponsored event. As the name reads, "hops explosion," this is definitely one for the hop lovers. Poured by Watch City staff via tap into an 8-ounce sampling glass. Poured with a nice frothy head. It's a pale ale with what seems like a number of different types of hops...and boatloads of them at that. Not overpowering though, balanced and sweetened a notch with Munich and Vienna malts. I came back to this one several times during the event. It's a must try for all beer lovers, especially hop lovers!

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2008 02:53:04 | More by Acochran
Photo of taez555


4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This review is from a Dunkin Donuts napkin that I did while sitting at the bar on a Friday afternoon. :-)

Poured a somewhat cloudy, brownish/tan body with a very small white head. (the bartenders here have something against pouring beer with any head, so...)

Nose is, as always, tricky in the bar atmosphere. Mostly a nice big MOR citrus hop smell and some clean caramel malt.

As for taste? My notes say "Wow!!!". Big, hoppy and citrusy with a mild caramel malt backbone. A nice strong overall bitterness that doesn't distract, but is big and noticable over the malt. This isn't one of your over the top dry super bitter pallette killers, this is just a nice big, and very well balanced IPA. It says 68 IBU's, but it's just not a pallette killer.

I think I've found a reason to actually want to come back to Watch City. I've found a lot of their beers to be watery, or even having a soapy flavor. This though.... this is a magnificent beer. Just a perfect IPA. I'll be back a lot more often.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2007 23:35:01 | More by taez555
Photo of NEhophead


3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewpub on 07.08.2007.

Clean copper with a slight haziness beneath a creamy off-white head. Patches of condensed lacing with good strength. Musty floral hop aromas with a slight touch of hop resin. The flavors begin where the aroma leaves off, but the bright, floral hops quickly subside to a weak, adjunctory, and stiff wheat flavor. Yeasty astringency lingers leaving a dry finish, and a confused bitterness. Medium in body; yeast-filled film on the palate. Not impressed from a local brew with some past respect. The flavors seem all over the place with a noxious yeast character.

Serving type: on-tap

07-10-2007 12:38:48 | More by NEhophead
Photo of smcolw


4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice lace on the glass, thin, but typical bar head; amber in color; clear.

Very low aroma; frankly, I detected a little soapiness. No discernable hop. SECOND TIME REVIEW: Simply an awesome prickly, grapefruit-like hop aroma...very floral.

Excellent floral hop in the taste which was completely missing in the smell. The hoppy flavor is high but not overwhelming. Good body with appropriate amount of carbonation.

A nice IPA, but lacks the nose to be a great one.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2007 00:23:26 | More by smcolw
Photo of lawrence76


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

although I may have had this at a beer fest at some point in the past, I finally had a chance to really sit down with a whole pint and think about this beer @ the pub last night

pours a nice orange colour, decent white head which strangely didnt last very long. Aromas of spicy hops, piney, mustardy, earthy citrus...must be 5 different hops in there

Taste is of a wonderful hop "salad" -I swear I can taste 5 different types...hop flavours span the range from oregon to the czech republic. For some reason I feel that they dry-hopped with cascade pellets...not sure.

There is a bit of a malt presence mid-way through the sip, but nothing to remark upon; this beer is all about the hops.

Very drinkable, only criticism is that it could use just a BIT more body....

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2007 13:42:15 | More by lawrence76
Photo of hermesch


3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an inviting deep copper with a formidable head that doesn't quit. Neither does the lacing for that matter. An impressive sight.

Smell: Strong hops backed by spicy pine notes that tickle the back of the nose.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Dominant hop/piney taste, though backed up nicely by sweeter citrus notes and a trace of malt.

Drinkability: This is a solid IPA with individuality. I drank several at the bar less than an hour after slicing my finger open and getting six stitches in the ER. They eased my pain and brought back my smile. Try this beer!

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2006 16:44:28 | More by hermesch
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: clear orange in color sporting a 2" head that lasted a long time. Super thick lace painted the glass. Handful of carbonation bubbes slowly rise to the surface.

Smell: citrus and mild pine bitterness.

Taste: caramel, grapefruit and lemon citrus, and a hefty dry pine bitterenss which help balance the malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: slightly heavier than some other IPAs. Very crisp at the start, less crisp and dry at the finish. The aftertaste was long on the bitterness.

Drinkability: for me this was what I like in an IPA. Bold flavors, mildly refreshing, and easy to drink. Outstanding.

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2006 11:57:28 | More by Gavage
Photo of woodychandler


4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer had a good, floral nose that was up front and left no question as to what style it was. The head was light and bone-white, but man-oh-man, did it leave a sticky lace. The color was a cloudy, lemon-yellow, speaking to the importance of not fining the crap out of beer. It may not have been sparklingly pretty, but the bite of the hops on the tongue is unbeatable. The mouthfeel was medium, but not inappropriate. The finish tended towards dry, which was a direct result of the hop intensity (65 IBU, 5.7% ABV). A gooood beer!

Serving type: on-tap

06-23-2006 14:01:53 | More by woodychandler
Photo of orsulacp


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer had a hazy yellow-orange with a white small head. Excellent smells, citrus like a grapefruit then some malt. I like when I can smell the malts in an IPA. Medium body lets the hops and malts mix very nicely, get bitter hops then some malt to balance the hops. Leaves a slightly bitter after taste. Really well balanced, glad I made the trip to Waltham. I took a growler of this back to the hotel.

Serving type: on-tap

10-12-2005 01:06:51 | More by orsulacp
Photo of UncleJimbo


4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on-tap at Watch City in April 2005.

This IPA poured a clear, amber color with white foam that clung and left lace. The smell was very hoppy with lesser malt coming through. The taste was dominated by the hops with a good malt backbone. The mouthfeel was smooth and hoppy with medium body and moderate carbonation; relatively clean with a light hoppy and malty aftertaste. This was good and enjoyable overall.

Serving type: on-tap

07-01-2005 04:19:07 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of Truh

New Hampshire

3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Filled an order of nitro for Wile E. Coyote with this one on 10/22/2004. 16-oz. pour in a pint glass at the brewpub.

Film of coated head at start with some excellent stick and lace all the way down. Hazy, yellow straw hue with amber touches at its core. Huge, juicy hop nose made up of grapefruit, oily hop resin, some sweet grass, and freshly fallen, wet leaves. Bitingly hoppy as it passes the lips; tough to find any malt in there, or much of anything else for that matter. Begrudgingly, as pour warms, hints of malt start to break through the hop barrier. More than one of these could be deadly on the palate. However, this is a nice addition to the brotherhood of the bud.

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2004 03:05:28 | More by Truh
Photo of AllThingsNinja


4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What sort of strawberry madness wafts off this frothy tulip? The beer is dark and hazy, somewhere between amber and milk-chocolate. It's no dainty golden pink berry brew but has a startlingly strong strawberry aroma. Its flavors were intense, with a citrus bite followed by a malt sweetness with some subtle strawberry notes. It's good, but not as impressive as the awe inspiring aroma led me to believe. Now, I wasn't looking for a chocolate-strawberry-cheesecake beer, but this one had me hoping.

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2004 11:25:17 | More by AllThingsNinja
Photo of carln26


4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hops Explosion was the 1st beer I tried from Watch City. It’s often on tap there, so I go back to it whenever the current seasonal doesn’t agree with me. Color: medium brown towards orange; nice head with a good lace on the glass after a sip or two. The aroma is mild hops with a surprising citrus smell. The citrus carries over to the flavor as well. For a beer called Hops Explosion, I was expecting more in the “hops” area, but this beer is all about balance. The hops flavor is tempered by the other characteristics of the beer. This is very drinkable, and because of the citrus/hops balance, is an excellent warm weather beer. I’ve had the beer on cask too, but will not write a separate review. It is worth ordering it off the pump. The texture and flavor are improved by the cask-conditioning.

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2004 23:39:54 | More by carln26
Photo of mschofield


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown topped with a two finger tan head, laced in bits.
Citrus and floral aroma, clean and fresh, toasted bread, a note of tea.
Also get the citrus and floral notes in the taste, bready, caramel, well balanced, even though it's a hop-forward brew, you can still taste the malt.
Medium bodied and smooth, easy drinking for the style.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2004 20:24:59 | More by mschofield
Photo of PatandDavid


4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

4/4/04 Had this again yesterday at Watch City, this time the abv was listed at 5.9%. The only thing I can add is the the initial taste of this beer was the most citrusy I think I have ever tasted. That went away after a while, but, whoa! was my first impression.

Had this on tap...orange amber color. Not much head when poured, but left some nice lace in the glass. Pleasant hop aroma.

I thought this was a very good, not over the top, hoppy IPA. Nice balance between the malt and the hops. Would have had more than one, but I wanted to try another style.

Would get again. Very fresh and easy to drink.


Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2003 10:39:25 | More by PatandDavid
Photo of goz


3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Medium amber in color, small white head, diminishing to a long lasting, clingy lace. Aroma is floral, citrus, pine - all about the hops. Initially has a small malt sweetness - hints of caramel, followed by a good and long last hoppy attack. My main mug-filler at WCBC.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2003 14:24:54 | More by goz
Photo of CharlesRiver


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber with a fluffy off white head. With the IBU's in the 60's this is a hoppy beer and one that I do like. It has been about 15 min. since I finished this beer and it is still with me. It is actually very balanced with the hops coming through more in the end. It reminds me a lot of the Concord IPA. I believe the ABV is 6.1% and not 5.25%. Maybe they changed the recipe. Drink locally!

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2002 16:13:16 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of Andy


3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy off orange color. Earthy hop nose, some malt hints (even chocolate-oily). Hop flavor is very earthy with a quiet malt balance. Malt is bigger in this finish, which also includes some citric tartness

Serving type: on-tap

05-30-2002 19:05:58 | More by Andy
Photo of Flounder57


3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

32oz mini growler poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a small head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with great clarity and slow moving bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Sweet caramel and bready malts followed by some floral hops.

Taste: Same as above with some grassy hops in there too.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, chewy, low to medium carbonation, medium bodied, and some mild hop bitterness.

Overall: Pretty average IPA on the border of a bitter or English pale ale.

Serving type: growler

04-19-2013 01:53:10 | More by Flounder57
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Hops Explosion IPA from Watch City Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.