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Hop Bomber Pale Ale - Rivertown Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Bomber Pale AleHop Bomber Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

84 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 84
Hads: 271
Avg: 3.45
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 3
Gots: 36 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 84 | Hads: 271
Photo of phiberoptik
3.16/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Local brewery time... I had to give it a review.

Poured 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. This pours a very clear copper/amber color with a two finger white foamy head. The head seems to hang around a bit too but not much in the line of lacing.

This doesnt smell or taste like an ale. It actually reminds me of Sam Adams lager more than a hop front ale. It smells slightly musty and not any clear hop character, despite its name. Tastes of spice, malts, and some bitterness with very little hoppiness otherwise.

Feels pretty clean and nicely carbonated.

I want this to be good, being from Cincinnati but I am not a fan. Maybe I got a bad batch... something tastes off. I will update this review if I try it again and notice a difference.

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Photo of Rhynes2
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this one up about an hour ago. First beer I have had from Rivertown Brewing. Poured a dark orange color with an over foamy head. Even with a careful pour it still almost overflowed. When it did back off after about 5 mins it left some great lacing down the sides. A notch at almost every sip. My problem with this beer is just that there is no outstanding characteristics. I prefer a beer that has something that jumps out and grabs me and this beer just doesn't have that. It you are looking for a mild pale ale with some decent malt character this might be up your alley but not something I would buy again.

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Photo of zimm421
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of brown2cu
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice amber color, it was definitely one of the darkest pale ales I have had. The head was nonexistent after a minute of pouring and there was no lacing to speak of

S: Hops are relatively mute the rye stands out the most.

T: Not too bad. The hops are more affirmative in the taste but the rye makes a serious contribution. It doesn't taste similar to most pale ales infact in a blind taste test I would probably assert that it was a rye ale. It is definitely interesting though and worth a try.

M: softer carbonation than I was expecting. It was also dryer than I was expecting, it suited the beer nicely though.

O: Not bad definitely worth a try. A most non-traditional pale ale.

Edit: From my notes after finishing the 6 pack: taste needed reevaluated wasn't at the 4 level after some consideration.

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Photo of confer
3.36/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The color is amber and it is perfectly clear. The head that comes with it was unexpected. Big and fluffy, looked like whipped cream on top.
The smell is what you would expect from an apa, faint piney hops.
The bitterness doesn't come through until the aftertaste. A little to watery.
Overall a decent pale ale.

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Photo of rangerred
3.36/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 12oz bottle.

Pours with a nice rocky 3 finger head. Excellent head retention and great lacing as well.

The smell is of caramel and toffee along with some earthy hops.

The taste is immediately dominated by an odd butterscotch flavor. Not sure if it is intentional or not but it gradually fades as the beer warms. The rye is detectable along with moderate hop bitterness and flavor.

The more I drank this beer the better it got. Still not sure if I would drink it regularly but it might be worth revisiting.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.38/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


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.


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.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Ryan011235 for this 12 ounce bottle, poured into a Duvel tulip. See-thru singed amber with a promising off-white head that dies down to a skim in short order. Good retention from that, though, and scattered creamy patches of lacing are left.

Smells citrusy but not juicy. Almost a little spicy, like orange marmalade on rye bread. Sounds weird, but it works well enough.

Robustly malty without a lot of sweetness; more toasty than anything. The rye works quite well with the malt profile, expressive without being oppressive. Could perhaps use a touch more of the orange zest hops. Gets a little cedarish toward the finish.

Overall impression: A unique and enjoyable take on the style.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours a golden amber with a thick billowing tan head that makes it's way down the glass very slowly leaving some residual lacing.

S. Smells of caramel malt sweetness with a mild citrusly hop aroma.

T. Piney hops upfront and throughout. The sweet malt helps balance out the flavor at first, but then the hops come in and dominate especially in the swallow.

M. Thin to medium bodied with a fairly high level of smooth carbonation.

D. Although it's rather one dimensional (not unlike many pale ales), it's light and crisp and refreshing.

Definitely good enough to continue to support this small local brewer.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.41/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of rinhaak
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

With a name like "Hop Bomber," I think expected something that was, well, a hop bomb.

Quite the contrary, Hop Bomber Pale Ale is a pretty mild and very malty English-Style Pale Ale (I don't care if the Beer Advocate style listing says otherwise). Despite being hopped and dry-hopped with American hops (though exactly what hops, I'm not terribly sure), they definitely take a back seat to the full maltiness that make up the centerpiece of this beer: caramel, toffee, and even a raspberry-fruitiness are the primary flavors.

Hop Bomber is very drinkable and pleasant though grossly misnamed. A worthy beverage for a session ale that isn't necessarily worth going out of the way to seek out.

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Photo of pwoods
3.44/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of NCalement
3.44/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Copper color with a thick white head that holds well. Looks sticky.

S- Rye, spice, bitter hops, honey, biscuit, and hay.

T- Bitter soap, rye, citrus, sweet malt and pine resin.

M- Medium body with a crisp finish. No sign of ABV and has a lingering flavor.

O- Not a bad rye IPA at all. Nothing to heavy on the hops but well done for sure.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.45/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.45/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Brenden
3.46/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of Omnium
3.46/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours out a cloudy amber color, half a finger of fizzy head, no lacing.
S - Juicy citrus aromas, honey, then some rye and a little toasted grain, toffee and biscuity malt.
T - Some mild hop bite in front and middle, but its rather weak, the rye hits you strong mid way, some diacetyl in here as well, not a totally appeasing flavor.
M - Buttery feel, mild bitterness, meh.
O - Kind of a disappointment, I like the name and the label. But there's no hop bomb to be found here.

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Photo of 5thOhio
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Soft orange blossom notes up front. Notes of caramel sweetness in the background. Clean fermentation character.

Appearance: Slightly hazy amber pour with a thick off-white cap. Head retention is good.

Flavor: A nice blend of bready malty and slight doughy sweetness balanced with some citrus hop flavor. Balance is nearly even. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. No alcohol heat, astringency, or creaminess noted.

Overall impression: A safe, balanced American Pale Ale. Nothing over the top but not sure why it hasn't gotten more love. Worth a try.

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Photo of RickS95
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's the starting point for homebrewers and professional brewers alike. It's the epitome of balance, done the American way. It demonstrates the soul of malt and the personality of hops with ways that on the American pale ale can- and Rivertown nails the style effortlessly and modestly.

The classy ale starts with a pour of solid copper hues that protrudes through a slight hop haze. A creamy and evenly dispersed head tops the beer with firm formation, retention, and lace of off-white foam.

Balanced aromas of caramel and citrus swirl about the olfactories, never allowing one to command the other. Background notes of toasted grains bring out the scent of baking bread, ginger snaps, light earthen spice, pine, grass, and light wood. It's a clean and coherent scent that invites the first sip immediately.

Delicious flavors of caramel come first, but without the sweetness associated the the taste. Instead, a dry-malt flavor of bread crust, caramelized malt, rye, and light grain strike first- just before the growing intensity of hops. Where the early palate appreciates malt, the middle palate morphs toward a waivering sweetness in order to favor the citrus and grass flavors of hops: white grapefruit, orange zest, fresh cut grass, and light pine blend with the caramel malts and make me think "ginger snaps" if only for a fleeting moment. Because its then that a finish of malt dryness, sprucy bitterness, and barley husk finishes the taste.

Medium bodied, but the body develops nicely into a dry finish of alcohol warmth, moderate hop resin, and slight astringency from both leafy hop matter and grain tannin.

It's a refreshing beer that does all that the style wants. It straddles well known examples of Flying Dog's Doggie Style Pale Ale on the low end and Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale at the high end. With this gauge, I'd happily enjoy this beer any day.

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Photo of GregBlatz
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Alright, a local beer. Never heard of Rivertown Brewing Co. so let's give it a shot.

A - Copper amber in color. Head is white and lightly fluffy. Recedes to 1/2" and stays there. Very clear beer.

S - Very estery right up front. Malt sweetness and hops.

T - Malts are very nice. Rye stands out with that puckering dryness. Very strong hop bitterness. Not a lot of hop aroma or flavor. What hop flavor is there is of an earthy variety rather than citrus or pine. This is more of a Rye Bomber than a Hop Bomber in my opinion.

M - Carbonation is medium to med high. Body is somewhat thin.

Overall - a very nice Pale ale. I like it, but was expecting more hop flavor. I'm assuming that this is an American pale ale. The rye and american dry hopping indicates this, but the label also mentions English malts.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a "stubby" 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass. Clear, copper/gold in color, with a nice head of frothy, off-white foam.
Aroma-Biscuit, toasted malt
Taste-Toasted malt, bread, earthy hop note and hop-leaf flavor add balance. Nice and quaffable. A nice match for burgers or dogs off the grill.

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Photo of tmoneyba
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear dark copper color with an average frothy white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate citrus hops and earthy malt aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation. Medium bittersweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration. I would recommend this to a freind.

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Hop Bomber Pale Ale from Rivertown Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.