1. One Hundred Mags (Rule). Check out the sneak peek of BeerAdvocate magazine #100, plus some of the changes coming your way.

Hop Bomber Pale Ale - Rivertown Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Bomber Pale AleHop Bomber Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

267 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 267
Reviews: 84
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 16.76%
Wants: 3
Gots: 33 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Rivertown Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pwoods on 02-25-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 267 | Reviews: 84
Reviews by Brenden:
Photo of Brenden
3.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This pale ale is actually a medium orange color. There's lots of clarity all the way through. Though it reaches two fingers, the head looks to be pretty sparsely constructed. Retention is okay, but certainly not especially good. It spreads out to the edges, and what goes out there sticks to the glass in spotting.
Steely, somwhat metallic hops greet the nose. A little bit of tast and a dusky sort of earthiness are also present. Very light caramel notes add some malty balance.
Leaf, lots of floral and rind-like bitterness as well as light resinous notes, and a mix of earth and spiciness almost like rye greet and mingle with some sourdough, citrus zest and a very light note of caramel for good balance. Both the smell and taste could use some depth, but it fits the bill.
While crisp and fairly smooth, the feel goes a little too thin in this light-bodied brew. Crispness, while consistent through most of the session, fades a little toward the end.

More User Reviews:
Photo of WVbeergeek
2.8/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a bright pale copper hue with a light white head forming thick with fine bubbles speckled on the sides of my glass. Aroma has a nice cereal malted barley smell with some citrus and earthy hop notes coming through to complement the malts. The rye comes through with a bit of spiciness in the flavor and the English malts brings a twist on your standard APA I still wouldn't call this an English pale ale but as it warms a hint of diacetyl comes about. Not sure if it is intended or not but it has a weird wet cardboard butterscotch tone going on. Mouthfeel is medium to lighter bodied with moderate carbonation, the diacetyl sticks around with each sip really detracting from the overall enjoyment factor for me.

Photo of pwoods
3.44/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6er purchased at Vonderhaar's in Reading. Poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a dark amber with pretty good clarity. Maybe a half inch of head on the pour with little retention and decent spotty lacing.

S: The description on their website says it's dry hopped but I'm not really getting much hop aroma. Some light malts. Hardly any aroma.

T/M: Decent bitterness level. Some light citrus, maybe some pine. Malts definitely balance and the light rye adds a nice complexity with the touch of spiciness. Body is about medium with a good carbonation level. Some dryness on the finish.

D: Drinks easily enough and the touch of rye keeps it interesting. Might be a bit overbalanced to the malt side but that's probably just me wanting a super hopped IPA whenever I drink an APA.

Photo of LXIXME
4.08/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a big light tan head above a clear copper colored pale ale.

A light caramel malt aroma balances well with a light citrus to slightly bitter hops and even lighter yeast notes.

Lightly roasted caramel malts blend very well with a variety of hops notes including light citrus and light bittering.

A dry aftertaste that harbors some of the caramel notes from the taste on this medium bodied beer.

A light tasting pale ale with some strong tastes, I was very pleased with this beer, very good without being overbearing.
Although I like overbearing hopsy beers I really see a need for beers that have a distinct hops taste but on the lighter side. This is a great beer to help bridge the gaps from one style to another without losing taste.

Photo of secondtooth
3.97/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This attractive pale ale pours a clean amber in my glass, with a thick head of bone-white foam. Decent spoke-style lacing.

Olfactory-pleasing, with touches of pine and orange.

The taste is mild, but distinctive and full of character. I get some citrus hops notes up front, with mostly orange peel, followed up with a malty backbone that smoothes out the hops and suppresses the bitterness. This one's a sturdy, well-balanced, and very enjoyable ale.

Photo of WoodBrew
2.89/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was able to try RiverTown's Hop Bomber during a recent visit to Cleveland. The beer poured a clear, copper/gold in color, with a nice head of frothy, off-white foam which laced. The scent included grain, toasted malt. The taste was mostly toasted malt with earthy hop note and hop-leaf flavor add balance. The mouthfeel was light to medium body with decent carbonation. Overall it was ok but I was expecting more.

Photo of RickS95
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bit dark for a pale ale, kind of a bronze color. The head is more cascading than forming; a soft pale yellow, it's got an IPA-like look in that it's thick and craterous, leaving a nice lace behind.

The smell is very yeasty and malty up front. Smells like some sort of fruity bread. On the back end, some floral hoppiness shines.

Very malty and earthy. Some flowery tastes, tree bark even. There's some sort of berry flavor, but I can't put my finger on it.

A bit thick and medium bodied. Has some IPA qualities, like a piney, hoppy resin, oil feel. Very bitter and slightly dry finish.

Overall, it's a pretty good beer. A bit more like an IPA than an APA, but shares characteristics of both.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.18/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to bamadog!

pours a rich bright copper with hints of ruby. light fizzy cream colored head, retains well.

sweet malts up front. light citrus with hints of tangerine.

lots of vibrant bitterness in many levels. the rye adds a nice crisp bitterness in the backbone. light pine with citrus hints complete the hop bitterness. a bit of an earthy hop flavor. well balanced all around as they both compliment each other. nothing was too overpowering and full of flavor.

moderate carbonation that stings the gums a bit. full bodied. very crisp.

this was one easy drinking APA. lots of fun flavor and never dull. i would happily drink this more often if i had the chance.

Photo of zimm421
3.28/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a standard pint glass at Bodega on 6/8/11. Appears copper with a thin white head and some slight lacing left after each sip.

The aroma is subdued, with a tiny amount of sweet malts and citrus notes. The taste is more powerful with earthy and floral notes as well as some nice spicy rye malts, but still nothing that flows really well or that makes you think about each sip.

Medium bodied and carbonation, something that goes down fairly easily even without it being great tasting. Overall, this is a decent APA, but not overly impressed. The aroma was so faint and the appearance was just a little off as well. The taste was definitely the best part, but overall there are much better options for local APA's.

Photo of KYGunner
3.45/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The body was clean copper while the head was a quickly fleeting rush of tiny bubbles that built a tall foam but disappeared even quicker.

The aroma is a touch of pine, a touch of tea leaf, a bit of caramel and some rye.

The flavor mimics the scent with a light array of pine, malt, rye, caramel, tea leaf and a nutty sweetness in the end.

The feel is a bit bitter and astringent but slides down easy. Nothing remarkable but not detracting.

This is easily the definition of okay but it has enough diversity and complexity that it earns extra points.

Photo of Beejay
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper red, with a nice tan head.. a good bit of floaties in there as well. Little dark for the style..

S: Sweet carmel, and maple undertones. Slight hop scent from in the finish, but mostly a very sweet scent. The hops that are there are earthy.. Surprised there isn't more hop scent.

T: There are the hops.. Grapefruit, and citrus (tangerine) with a nice burnt carmel flavor in the finish. Fruity hops (tropical) with good balance of malt.

M: Medium body, with decent carbonation.

D: Good, well balanced, not amazing, but nice. A good balance of malt and hops, with a nice clean finish.

Photo of wingman14
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper orange with a frothy off white head. The smell is sweet and hoppy, not a huge smell here, but still nice. Taste starts with some hop and malt with the hop increasing through the sip with the sweetness finishing. A hint of hop bitterness hits in the aftertaste with a nice swell of hops. The taste is nice but not huge or in your face. Nice medium mouthfeel, a beer with good depth, heavier than expected, but still good. Overall a good beer, has nice flavor, nothing about it is extraordinary or different, but a satisfying pale ale nonetheless.

Photo of screamking
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Pours a slight dark amber color with a 1 finger khaki head. The head seems to dissipate very quickly. Aroma is a mixed bag notes. There's a little bit of citrus working around but pine comes in the strongest. Lots of bread in the first taste. Some bitter grapefruit peel. Not a whole lot of sweet here, just bitterness. The aftertaste comes thru surprisingly clean and light. Fairly light bodied, easy to drink, small ABV. I've had this beer several times and I think it's growing in me. This pale ale isn't world class, but a solid beer, worth a try and and occasional drinking session.

Update:10/24/13- got this fresh from a 16oz can, much much better fresh.

Photo of jmarsh123
2.83/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear deep amber with barely any head or lacing.

Sweet malts and just a hint of citrus/earthy hops.

A bit of a citrus hit at first, followed by sweet bready/caramel malt finishing with a buttered popcorn flavor and slightly bitter. Kind of odd.

Thin and watery. Not the highlight of the beer.

Not terribly great. Outside of the butter flavor it isn't too bad, but very mediocre aroma and mouthfeel.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.41/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Dark copper color, with an off white head. Great head retention. Lots of sticky patches of lace. A little sediment floating about. Not a bad looker.

Aroma is very slight. Hard to imagine this is dry hopped. Slightly spicy hop aroma. A few fruity notes. Bready, almost biscuity malt character.

A fair amount of bready malt. Spicy rye character. Some earthy flavors. Good amount of bitterness.

Lighter side of medium body. Carbonation is good. Alcohol well hidden. Not bad.

Photo of metter98
3.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation along with some hues of yellow. It poured with a quarter finger high light beige head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface along with lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrusy and floral hops and spicy rye are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the rye is a little stronger and the spices stand out in the finish. There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The use of rye in this beer lends a little complexity and makes this pale ale have a very good balance among the malts, hops and rye.

Photo of Brent
3.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A moderately aggressive pour resulted in a disproportionate gigantic, merangue-like head that filled 3/4 of the glass to overflowing. By the time I got the beer to settle down enough to sample, it was running low on carbonation. Well hopped, but no hop bomb by any means. Hopping was a bit rough around the edges with some raw notes.

Photo of maxwelldeux
3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a moderate off-white head on it and a little bit of floaties in there. Nose has a little bit of hoppy bitterness to it, but not a lot of substance. Taste is balanced in that it’s not bitter nor sweet, but there isn’t a lot of flavor to it.

Photo of damndirtyape
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle (no date) served in a Libby globe stout/porter glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy orange-amber. Looks almost identical to a glass of iced tea held up to the light in regards to color. Very little head upon pouring, thin white skin that died back to just a ring of foam at the edge. With some swirling the foam came back a bit, but then died again. Some small islands of lacing, but not persistent.

Smell: With a swirl, orange citrus. After the foam died back the orange citrus is still there, along with some leafy herbal smells. A few floral notes come out as the beer warms up.

Taste: There is an attempt at some hop flavor and malt at the beginning, and then wham, a massive bitterness settles over everything. A bombing of the palate with bitterness if you will. Not sure I want my palate carpet bombed though. Even Ruination by Stone, which was another beer that really hit my taste buds hard, had more nuances of flavor in every sip. This is unbalanced. The bitterness is a combination of pine, tea-like bitterness, and some strong grapefruit citrus. There is an attempt of the malt to come out as the beer warms up and I can taste some buttery notes under it all, but the bitterness again clouds everything. Certainly more flavorful than some beers I've had, but way out of balance unfortunately.

Mouthfeel: Sticky on the teeth - lots of hop oils attacking the enamel with this one. Thickness above water, but nothing special.

Overall / Drinkability: Neat label and name, and perhaps some truth in advertising with the name but unfortunately unbalanced. I like my hops, but the malt backing is mostly absent in this beer, and so one and done.

Photo of aasher
1.38/5  rDev -59.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This beer pours a nice vibrant copper in color with a one finger cream colored head. It smells of rancid butter mixed with three day old sweaty gym socks. I haven't smelled something like this since the White Birch Wild. It smells like a drainpour. The flavor is bitter and again of rancid butter. It's pretty awful. A couple sips of this and I'm done. It drinks sticky and dry and leaves that godforsaken after taste behind. This one is pretty bad. I assume they didn't intend on it tasting like a combination of buttery syrup and BO.

Photo of CFHMagnet
3.45/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Got this from my brother coming back from a trip to Cincinnati. No bottle date found.

I poured a thin looking sand colored head over an amber body. The head dissipates rapidly, while lace tries but does not quite cling to the glass.

The rye really comes through in the nose. Other than that I get a grassy/gardeny hop presence.

This beer starts out sweet and malty with a kiss of citrus up front, then the rye and the hops take it over. It is gardeny with a little pine and a kiss of grapefruit. Bitter on the very end.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. It feels clean and well carbonated.

Photo of TheHoppiest
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

SEE UPDATE BELOW.

Poured from a squat 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours with an enormous white head that takes forever to dissipate. The brew itself is a slight cloudy amber color.

The nose is almost nonexistent, with the slightest hint of a straw , and floral whispers flitting about the glass. Even pulling these in, however, is an effort.

Taste is jarring; slightly funky and sour, with a metlallic bitter that is completely out of place. No malt at all, this is nothing but a lemon-sour acidity that is not very pleasant.

Lighter bodied, with a metallic alkaline feel that leaves you wanting to pour this own the drain.

Wow. I'm struggliing to find something positive to say, but it was a poor pour, a non-existenet smell, and a sour taste; what kind of pale ale is this? I only bought this a month ago, so I know it is not old. Perhaps a bad batch? Whatever it is, I certainly can't recommend this to anyone.

UPDATE:

So I decided to give this beer another try, hoping that my earlier review was an aberration.

The pour into a mug revealed a copper color brew ith a 1" off-white head that reduces with a bit of pillowing.

Aroma is malty, with a bit of creaminess, grassiness and corn. Certainly better than I was the first tine I reviewed, but still not a typical pale ale smell.

Starts with a nice citrus bitter, with mild pepper, a bit of biscuit, grassiness and hops. Finishes clean and bitter.

Light to medium bodied, this has a dry clean finish that is rather refreshing.

Much, much better than the last time I had this beer. A serviceable pale ale with a session-like quality, I'd definitley try this again, and a glad I gave it a second chance.

Photo of Groomsy
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

The body is darker than I expected for an APA. A dark bronze/orange color, a head of tight-knit white bubbles forms in the glass and come to a height of about two finger before dissipating to a cap of foam. Strings and webs of lacing spiral down the glass. A nice looking brew.

Unorthodox for an APA - that's what springs to mind as I smell this beer. I've had several bottles of this and all have had the same symptom: A case of remarkably un-hoppy smells for a traditionally hoppy beer. While not a bad thing, I generally expect a nose full of citrus and pine with this style. The citrus smell from the hops (think orange peel, maybe some grapefruit) take a backseat to fruity/ester-like smells (yeast?) balanced by toasty caramel and fresh grain.

However, the nose slightly betrays the flavor profile. While a very malt-forward example of the style, the hops still play a role. On the front of the palate, flavors of caramel and bread dominate, followed by a flash of fruity sweetness. The hops really come in on the finish: A wave of grassy, citrus, and pine flavors mingle on the back of the tongue and leave a long lingering finish. The balance is admirable, but I feel that the name of the beer is a misnomer.

The body of the beer, medium in weight (fairly light for the style, I'd say) goes down dry and accents the bitterness in the finish, which, unfortunately, is a little too astringent for my liking and hangs around too long. Usually with this style, the bitterness comes at the beginning, so having the reverse of that is quite a surprise. Carbonation prickles the tongue without being overwhelming.

While somewhat misleading in title, this beer is still solid. It's a sessionable ale, but don't expect a "traditional" APA here - I would say this is closer to an English-style pale ale.

Photo of 5thOhio
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is reddish amber with a quarter inch white head that dissipated to a thin film of foam on the surface and rim. Smattering of lacing.

Aroma is malty up front and follows with slight floral/pine hop notes.

Taste is initially heavy on malt with subtle hints of, maybe, molasses & licorice but finishes with pine and spicy bitterness lingering. Mouthfeel is solid, not too thick or thin and strong on carbonation.

More malty than I would expect for an APA, but it works since the mouthfeel and appearance are also on the heavy side. A decent APA overall, but somewhat huskier than usual for this style.

Photo of AleWatcher
2.53/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hop bomber, eh? Sweet...
Hmmm... So where are the hops? I smell some hop activity... And there is a larger bitterness present... So they used the whole hop bill on bittering and aromatic, eh? Ok. That's gonna hurt the score a hair:

Looks ambery orange in color with an off-white head of 3 fingers. Decent retention, but no lace.
Smells of bitter hops, perhaps a citrus and floral profile.
Taste is pretty bland except for the bitterness, and that is no exaggeration. I wish I were able to pick up more here, but I get virtually no malts and only pungent and abrasive bitterness from the hops.
The body is very carbonated and that leads to it feeling thinner than it is (and should be).

Overall-- meh. This isn't bad, but I love too many other Pale Ales to ever drink this one again. It isn't terrible, by life's too short for mediocre.

to view more.
Hop Bomber Pale Ale from Rivertown Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 267 ratings.