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Happy Hour / Big Mouth Pale Ale - Hop City Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Happy Hour / Big Mouth Pale AleHappy Hour / Big Mouth Pale Ale

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28 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 28
Hads: 77
Avg: 3.43
pDev: 23.62%
Wants: 3
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hop City Brewing Co. visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: biegaman on 04-13-2011

Happy Hour/Big Mouth is a medium bodied pale ale with a rich golden colour. Its unique blend of US Cascade hops and UK Kent Golding hops brings out a flowery, citrus aroma and pleasant hop bitterness. Caramel malts balance this brew’s bitterness, making for a refreshing, well-balanced ale.

48 IBU
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Reviews: 28 | Hads: 77
Photo of Mholyome
4.3/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Way back when, I tried the original brew of this brand, and I felt it wasn't too far off of the Barking Squirrel Lager that I enjoy so much. After some recipe changes, the Happy Hour brand has really come into its own. The dark rich colour, and heavy bitterness (48 IBU's) makes this a real mouth full. Like the brand says "it's happy hour somewhere".

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Photo of -steve-
4/5  rDev +16.6%

Plain looking tall boy can reminiscent of the neon signs of Las Vegas. Pours a golden colour loaded with head. The citrus and hops aroma is great. Some underlying malt sweetness can be detected in the smell. Big hops taste with dryness. Tastes great and goes down well. No strong
after tastes. Easy to see why this was a Gold Medal winner in Brussels 2011.

If only they could design a better label for this pleasing beer.

Surprised by the low reviews received for this beer. I quite enjoyed this award winner. Guess people were expecting a zinger of a beer but didn't get that.

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Photo of peensteen
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber orange colour, decent white head with some lace. Smell is of citrus and hops, grapefruit, good malting, some tangerine and orange. Taste is bitter and malty, good balance, citrus, tangerine, lots of pine and some grapefruit in the finish. Medium carbonation, medium body, good feel, light hop oils come through. This was actually really nice, highly drinkable APA, on par with some of the better APA's available in Ontario.

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Photo of SebD
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried on tap at Hardrock 42 in Sudbury.

Appearance: It has a nice golden/orange colour to it. It has a nice white head that dies down moderatly and has some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of orange and citrusy hops with some bready and grainy malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice clean citrusy hop taste with a bit of pine and a nice grainy/bready maltiness.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice balance of flavours.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth and clean drinkable beer accompanied with good flavours and aromas. Simple but tasty.

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Photo of Archy
3.93/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An easy drinking pale ale. It reminds me of a toned down session IPA. The hops are there but not super overpowering. Great for the day or if you are looking for something that is easy drinking and doesn't lack character. Dry with citrus on the nose and a lingering west coast-lite hop finish.

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Photo of PorterPro125
3.91/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type: 500 mL Can

A- Deep Golden and clear. Fizzy white head that works down fast. Minimal Lacing.

S- Citrus with a bit of tropical fruit mixed in.

T- Same as smell. Great hop flavours but soft and smooth. No strong notes. Reminds me of a Session IPA.

M- Medium body and Medium-Low Carbonation.

O- Good sessionable Pale Ale. Not a great beer if you're looking for a hop bomb but good otherwise.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.81/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

473 mL can from the LCBO. I haven't had a lot of time for beer reviews over the last month or so, but when I saw this stuff on the shelves last week I grabbed a few cans on a whim, figuring I'd find the time to write a review eventually. This isn't my first sampling of Big Mouth, so while I already basically know how I feel about it, we'll see if I notice anything else this time around.

Pours a clear, attractive light golden-orange colour, topped with two fingers of foamy, puffy white head that gradually recedes over a period of minutes, leaving behind a bumpy, frothy cap and some decent smears of lacing along the sides. A good-looking pale ale, in my opinion - and it doesn't smell half bad either. The aroma is relatively hoppy, with hints of tangerine and lemon citrus, as well as leafy, English-style hops and an underlying caramel malt backbone.

Balanced, approachable flavour, with enough bitterness to allow this to drink like a genuine APA, but never approaching levels that are likely to turn off the hop-uninitiated. Their bitterness is a constant presence throughout the sip, ranging from light citrusy, lemon zest (surely caused by the Cascade hops) through to leafy, tea-like dryness (no doubt from the Kent Golding). A little metallic at times, but not in an entirely off-putting way. Beneath these more prominent hop flavours lies the subtle, constant caramel malt backing, its sweetness providing a nice contrast to the bitter flavours. Light-bodied, with moderate carbonation levels that give it a pleasantly prickly feel on the palate. Extremely drinkable - the last can of this I had was down my gullet in 10 minutes, and if I didn't need to stop to write this review, this serving would probably be gone already.

Final Grade: 3.81, a respectable B+. When I tried this last week, I spent a long time trying to pinpoint exactly which beer it reminded me of. The only thing I managed to come up with was 'Wells IPA', and while there are definitely some similarities, the hop profile of this one is more varied (due to the use of both English and American-style hop strains) and more enjoyable in general. Combine that with Keith's Cascade Hop Ale and you get the idea. I doubt this would make a great gateway beer, as I presume the 40+ IBUs will be enough to turn off most macro fanatics. That being said, Big Mouth Pale Ale is still an extraordinarily quaffable little brew that makes for a great session option. Not a world-beater by any means, but still well worth a try.

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Photo of ghisty
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

pours nice and gold.levels orangey. thin whispy head. nice color.

zesty. lemon peel. hops are in there under some grain,.
wheat and citrus, fresh hops, and a bit of malt.
nice nose, has a good balance.nothing is overpowering and its all enjoyable.

drank this just maybe slightly too warm for the type of beer it is.
although it wouldve been better suited a bit colder, its got a nice taste,
and if anything having a it bit warm proves that well. I had expected it
to be more bitter and sharp, as the barking squirrel, but this is obviously
aimed more to the session.

short, nice carb, with some crispy zest on the entry, goes down well,
and isnt foamy or slick, no after taste of metal, which is impressive.
i expected some form of mineral metallic finish typical of this style..

I regularly drink barking squirrel, but I've noted that it is often a bit too heavy,
this offering from hopcity is a bit more quaffable, something I could drink a few of and not feel bloated or overwhelmed by piles of dark malt and smokey notes,
which are great, in barking squirrel, but its nice to have something with similar qualities, that is just abit easier to put back. I will be buying this again , without doubt, may even be into the list of go to's.

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Photo of NV9
3.63/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Jack Astor's Dundas Square.

Very nice looking beer, good head that stays with it for some time, light orange in colour, I'm impressed.

Definite orange/citrus smell over the top of fairly evident hops.

Tastes a lot like it smells, the citrus is evident, as are the hops, it's a bit bitter but overall balanced flavour.

Not an overly heavy beer with moderate carbonation, pretty drinkable, in my opinion.

Would definitely go for this again but haven't seen it in this neck of the woods so far.

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Photo of biegaman
3.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at 99 Sudbury, in Toronto.

Happy Hour looks aptly named: not only does a bright, sunny disposition tempt thoughts of skipping over to the patio for a quick after-work tipple, but its bubbles hurry out the gate faster than rush-hour subway commuters, and its head sits idly, budging little and seemingly forever immobile just like those stuck bumper-to-bumper in rush-hour traffic.

Although its tempered, easy-going nature suggests this recipe was conceived of the English tradition of mild, sessionable pale ales, the blatant use of Cascade hops (used for dry-hopping as well, so I was told) gives it the distinguished citrusy and overtly floral bouquet of most American ales. Of course, there's a lot of grainy maltiness detected too.

The first sip is no epiphany. Then again, pale ales rarely are. It reveals an average, but perfectly acceptable, maltiness that is simultaneously bready and grainy, with a spattering of imposingly floral hops. There's not a trace of adjunct; the flavour is wholesome and the hoppiness firm. It'd be next to impossible to really say anything disagreeable about it.

The idea of the pale ale, at least one interpretation of it, is to offer the same kind of mindless, easy-going quaffability as a lager but with a bit more body and slightly more robust flavours. That sums up Happy Hour: it's a clean, widely agreeable, medium-bodied ale with a slightly stronger taste and double the standard bitterness (a reported 40 IBU).

Like all Hop City offerings, Happy Hour has enough character to please more discerning palates, but not too much so as to intimidate the average one. This mild but flavourful ale is indeed perfectly suited to taking a load off with friends after work, or watching the game, or relaxing at the cottage, or pretty much any other occasion you care to name.

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Photo of EvanHarper
3.58/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours pale amber-straw with a generous short-lived head. Smell is faintly sweet and gorgeously citrusey; grapefruit, lemon.

Light body and taste. Straightforward but well-balanced. The lingering herbal finish is quite different from the citrus nose. Good carbonation and body.

A good solid American Pale Ale; not exceptional, but a quality representative of the style. A regular "rotation beer" of mine.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.55/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Golden orange filtered with no carbonation and 4 fingers of off white head. Some chunky lacing and the head has large and small bubbles.

S: Citrus, caramel, orange candy, light evergreen branches, a little red peppers and some black pepper.

T: Caramel, metallic, some grape juice fruitiness, some citrus, orange candy, light sweetness, a little pine.

M: Medium body, medium low carbonation. A little sticky.

O: Not a bad beer. Great smelling, a little metallic on the taste.

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Photo of mick303
3.55/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A medium gold colour, plenty of initial head then some light lacing. 3.5
Smell has grapefruit notes, light herbal, lemon and pepperiness. Some breadiness, and a spicy herbal hop oiliness. 3.5
T – has a grapefruit citrus hop character, some grainy sweet malt, grassy, moderate bitterness, quite effervescent. Grapefruit rind, salt, some of the tea quality and earthy spice. A bit of a pleasant spicy edge ontop of the malt. A tasty, sessionable, but mild and standard APA. 3.75
Quite a hefty carbonation, drying on the finish. Sessionable, with a spicy and citrus hop, some oiliness and slickness. I noticed it started to feel a bit watery after the carbonation ebbed a bit. 3
This has a decent hop component, a bit of a spicy earthy upfront character. Malt plays a strong role, and its sessionable but a bit out of balance at times and doesn’t jump out of the glass as a remarkable pale. I would have it again as a session ale though without any qualms, providing nothing better was available. Average APA, but the mix of EKG and Cascade provides an interesting perk on the palate.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.54/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent gateway beer that may well appeal to a wide variety of palates, and certainly the most flavourful I've had from this Moosehead-related brewer, but a disappointment for any "hop head" and not a beer I'll buy at the LCBO again.

Can pours a golden amber with an initial haziness that clarifies over time. Minimal white, large-bubbled head that dissipates quickly, leaving no lacing. Very little aroma of biscuity breadiness and some caramelized malts. The flavour is more pleasing, with a lemony citrus element prior to a short-lived bitter finish. Both malts and hops are definitely present and there is more complexity than any corn-based macro.

A genuinely inoffensive beer that's probably very sessionable and may help transition some folks into the world of craft brewing and flavours.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the LCBO for around $2.50 for a 473ml can. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass.

A- Opens well and pours a small head on a clear golden goodness

S- Ok hops.

T- Pretty good. Hops are there. Warrior. Malt is smooth

M- Nice and light for an pale ale. Dry and tart

O- Excellent little summer beer. Refreshing and light on the tongue.

Food Pairing

This nice light pale ale went well with... Doritos scoops with coleslaw mixed with mayo and pepper with salt. Poured around a nice size (20/25-lb) shrimp topped with a slice of avocado.


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Photo of spinrsx
3.49/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

500ml Can from the Ottawa LCBO for 2.75$

Appearance - Clear light gold colour with an average size fizzy off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, caramel, grassy notes, lemons

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel and hops. There is also some light lemon/ginger flavour mixed with a grassiness and some metallic notes. It ends with a malty lightly hopped lemony aftertaste.

Overall – Not a bad beer.. probably a good gateway beer to get macro drinkers into craft/hops. It's the best beer I've had from this brewer but not something exciting enough to warrant buying again.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

(3.75) A: Faintly hazy with a light straw colour and a sizeable puffy foam head. Good retention and equal lacing down the glass.

(3.25) S: Grains, faint musky wood element, some floral notes, and a little honey. Overall it takes quite a bit of probing to detect anything outside of the grain aroma but some decent aromas are there.

(3.5) T: Lightly toasted grains, floral element, faint citrus tanginess, and a bit of honey. This is quite smooth and well balanced with a slight crispness. Definitely some pleasing bitterness and a subtle dryness. Easy drinking.

(3.25) M: Lighter bodied with a moderate and tingly carbonation. Slightly oily with a generally dry and crisp feel.

(3.5) D: An easy drinking pale ale that doesn’t disappoint but isn’t the boldest or dynamic flavour-wise.

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Photo of TerryW
3.41/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Good sized head off an aggressive pour, settles to a cap and then a partial film. No meaningful lace. Clear orange-gold.

Citrusy nose with lots of sweet malt. Subtle, but appetizing. Unfotunately much flatter on the taste side. Dominated by sweet caramel malt, followed by dry bitter citrus pith finish. Mouthfeel is watery. Good, not great, easy enough drinking.

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Photo of bryehn
3.39/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Slightly hazy golden-amber colour with a soapy white head that settles as a thin collar and film without leaving much lacing.

Floral, soapy aroma. Lemon zest, grains, malts, light chocolate and caramel..

Caramel malts, floral & citrus hops. Mild taste overall, well balanced with a subtle bitter bite. Really tastes like an English pale ale. Red berries and a hint of alcohol in the finish

Very easy-going. Fairly thin body, mild carbonation. Aftertaste has a bitterness and soft oiliness to it.

The aroma is the highlight for me. Very inoffensive ale that goes down easy. Though it’s listed as an APA, it really leans towards the English style; the Golding hops are unmistakable. Great for times when you want a beer with flavour, but don’t want to be punched in the face by it. Pair with wings, fries, burgers and sports.

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Photo of IdeaSpeeder
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Serving Type - 473ml can poured into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a crystal clear golden colour. A finger of white head sits on top but fades very quickly, leaving behind smal traces of lacing.

Smell - Predominantly caramel mats give the beer a very sweet smell. There is also some very light floral notes. A little underwhelming for an APA.

Taste - Caramel mats here as well. Some grainy notes. A noticeable lack of bitterness for the style. There is also a very light metallic taste which unfortunately lingers. Thankfully it doesn't detract from the overall taste too much.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall - 3.25/5 A decent offering. Certainly not the most intense APA out there, but its good nonetheless. Basically, If you're looking for tasty a drinkable APA, look no further. If you're looking to scratch a bitterness itch, there's better choices.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Can: Poured a deep clear golden color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of fresh citrus Cascade hops with light floral Fuggles hops notes is quite enticing. Taste is dominated by a lightly sweet malt backbone with limited hops presence which doesn’t seems to have translated from the aroma to the taste. Body is about average with good carbonation. The aroma was promising but it actually didn’t translate in the taste profile with weird greasy hops notes coming through.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Friend of mine left this at my house. From notes.

A - Mild haze in a golden body and a two finger fluffy white head. Mild carbonation, no lace and a film of retention.

S - Lemon, gentle hops, light sweet malt, grassy. Similar to a pils, which I like, but not suited to the style.

T - Orange, grainy sweet malt, less hops than the aroma. Lemony, a little floral. A bit off.

M - Good carbonation, light body and a lemony bitterness.

O/D - Nothing too interesting. A very accessible pale ale. Too lemony and a bit light for my tastes, but it's OK.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.19/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

16 oz can from the liquor store in Charlottetown.
Slightly hazy light gold color with a decent sized tightly bubbled white head that persists for a while. Aromas of citrus and earth with some bread, caramel and a bit of mineral and metal. The flavor is huge citrus with bits of caramel and lots of mineral water and bready with slight metallic twang. Medium to light body with a moderate level of carbonation. Easy enough to drink and technically nothing horrible here, but the mouthfeel is kind of thin and watery with a pretty boring flavor profile. This might be a decent gateway beer, but if I was trying to convert the masses I'd make them a bit more interested or shocked.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
3.17/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Hop City Brewing Co. - Happy Hour / Big Mouth Pale Ale, poured into a Craftgeer snifter.

Look - Pours an almost clear faded amber with a thin bubbly head that dissipates quickly but leaves nice lacing.

Smell - Caramel malt in the forefront but a lemony zest on top, some tropical and pine hop.

Taste - Citrus zest, barely any hops, sticky malts. What style is this supposed to be again?

Mouthfeel - Heavily carbonated, a bit too much so. Sticky. Light-bodied. Not boozy. Decent drinkability. Brief pine hops skirt across the tongue and fade fairly quickly as you drink this down.

Overall - Nope, this is barely above average. There is definitely room for improvement here. Kent Golding hops are garbage, it would seem to me. Maybe they just didn't use enough of them. Not recommended for hop heads or even anyone looking for a full-flavored APA.

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Photo of mrandypandy
2.94/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

473ml can purchased at the LCBO on my trip outside Toronto.

A - Pours a clear golden/straw, decent white head and lacing.
S - Stale, grassy hops. Restrained, and not in a good way.
T - Light bready and caramel malts, with minimal hop presence. Maybe a hint of citrus if I strain... nope, nevermind.
M - Medium to light body, fairly well carbonated.
O - Unimpressive, and average. The hops seem old and faded, and there is just nothing to bring you back for more. With a bevy of better brews out there, I suggest you reach for something else.

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Happy Hour / Big Mouth Pale Ale from Hop City Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.