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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BA SCORE
78
okay

68 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 68
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 14.75%
Wants: 2
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:
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

(Beer added by: biegaman on 04-13-2011)
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Ratings: 68 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of XmnwildX12
1.5/5  rDev -55.8%

Photo of wrightst
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of biegaman
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.16/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.25/5  rDev -33.6%

Photo of spinrsx
3.49/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of tbeckett
3.26/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of andrenaline
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Jeffo
2.05/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Got this one at the LCBO while at home this summer. Nice to see a lot more options this year.

From a 16oz can into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, looser looking, foamy, off-white head with decent retention. Clear, darker gamboge in color with medium levels of carbonation. Head fades to a faint wisp. Splotchy wisp remains leaving dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Pale malts, caramel, some light melon notes and faint hints of citrus. Mute and unimpressive.

TASTE: Pale malts, but mostly lots of nothing up front. Really empty and bland. Watery through the middle leading into an uneventful finish. A hint of caramel and some mild floral bitterness linger on the palate. This is really uneventful and boring; needs a lot more confidence.

PALATE: Thinner body and watery on the palate. Medium carbonation, goes down watery and finishes dry. Bleh.

OVERALL: Yawn. Can't really say I hated it because there wasn't really much to it. Very little going on, meaning there was very little to be offensive. This was the perfect "craft beer" for people who don't actually like beer. The hipster crowd. Yup, I said it. No citrus or "ample bitterness" like advertised. I left this one half full and moved on to something else.

Photo of DaPan
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of peensteen
4/5  rDev +18%
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.

Photo of patre_tim
3.51/5  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.

Photo of SebD
3.95/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

Photo of TerryW
3.39/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of hopsolutely
3.56/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of mick303
3.56/5  rDev +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.

Photo of Danielr26
3/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of thehyperduck
3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
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: 3.8, 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.

Photo of RedAleMan
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of irishkyle21
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of beerhunter13
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of ThinkAgain
3/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of csmartin6
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of DenisKolkin
2.9/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up 473 ml can from LCBO for $2.85 CDN and poured into a pint glass. Served cold.

Appearance - Slightly hazy, rich dark golden color. Nice 1= finger of head that dissipates quickly. Minimal amount of lacing and effervescence. Not bad, but not great either.

Smell - Some hoppy hints of aromas and a faint caramel trace. Everything is subdued and I wasn't able to pick up anything other than that. Nothing unpleasant though.

Taste - Faint caramel malts and a subtle grapefruit and lemon zest taste. Transitions to something a little more earthy. Virtually no lingering taste or aftertaste. Not my cup of tea.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and fairly rich with medium low carbonation. Slightly dry as expected from the earthiness in the flavor profile. Even though there is low carbonation there remains a certain fizziness and gassiness.

Overall - Not impressed with this one, would rather drink something more accessible and significantly cheaper even if it isn't craft. While I loved the barking Squirrel this beer just doesn't do it for me. Maybe worth a try if you're a ticker or like dry earthy beers otherwise better beer can be found elsewhere.

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Happy Hour / Big Mouth Pale Ale from Hop City Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.