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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 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 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 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 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 LXIXME
4.08/5  rDev +18.3%
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.

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Photo of Josiah2729
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Light amber color, two finger head, excellent lacing all the way down, decent head retention. this is a clear beer with nice effervesence.

Smell: Sweet malt, nice bitter hopiness.

Taste: Malty sweetness followed by strong bitter hop presence. Hops stay with you.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light carbonation.

Overall: This is a nice hoppy beer. Nice to try some new brews in this area.

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Photo of davecavemaster
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This frosty barley pop is from one of the most historic beer brewing cities...Cincinnati, Ohio. Back in the late 1800s, Cincinnati was home to over 30 different breweries. Building on that proud tradition is the Rivertown Brewing Company. My first selection from this brewery is the Hop Bomber. The bottle says that it is named for the B-24 Liberator. The Hop bomber is a very malty brew, courtesy of "Dark English crystal malt and spicy fresh rye malt" I've had malted beers that are too sweet and overpowering, but this flavor is right on the money. But let's not forget, this is "Hop" Bomber after all, so let's get to the hops. Rivertown dry hops (that means they add the hops to the wort after the boil) the brew to get a great aroma and taste. I don't know the varieties, but they use two different kinds of American hops for the process. Some of the "hoppy" beers can have a bitter aftertaste, you'll find none of that here. Beautiful dark color, nice foam head, great smell..this is one good beer. Nice to see Cincinnati putting out some great homemade craft beers again.

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Photo of ajanesz
2.91/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Dark golden bronze in color with two fingers of creamy yellow white head that sticks around. Rather murky but nicely carbonated. Nice lacing.

Smell- A slight hint of mouth watering floral citrus scent derived from the hops. Not much else here.

Taste- The first thing that hits me is the rye followed by a medium biting hop flavor. I expected more hop bite, but this pale ale has a rather malty flavor start to finish. Unexpected but intriguing spicy rye flavor.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium body with some creaminess, but still crisp.

Overall- I like the rye kick at the beginning, but it is tough for me to compare this to other top pale ales. The finish lacks character and a notable hop character that I was expecting. Nonetheless, a very drinkable ale, but not one that I would look for one the shelf.

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Photo of DrinkinBoy
3.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a deep amber to light copper. Thick head with good retention appears an off-white color. Did have some sediment in it.

S - Aroma consists of hoppy resin with some slight fruit candy and caramel tones.

T - Light sweetness and tiny bit of roast on the front with a lack of a mid palate presence. Finish with expected hop bitterness for style, but without any nuances.

M - Slightly lighter than expected, with appropriate carbonation.

O - Overall this beer is a pretty average APA. There is some slight complexities which makes it just interesting enough to keep you attention. But in a market full of Pales, this one doesn't really stand out in a good or bad way. Worth a try, if you like to try things from all around.

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Photo of zeledonia
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another BIF bottle, and another brewery that's totally new to me.

Pours a medium coppery amber, quite clear, and on the dark side for a "pale ale". One finger of light yellowish tan light, decent retention, and some nice gobs of lacing left on the glass.

Smells nice and balanced. Sweet malts come through most clearly, with some dark fruit and nut. The hops aren't super aromatic, adding mainly a crispness and light airy feel to the aroma. Interesting.

Taste is a little flat. Half-way through, when I want it to pick up and bring me something new, it just fades off. There isn't much to hang onto here - I find it bland, with a very light touch of hops in the back end. The bitterness actually builds after most of the other flavors are gone, but that doesn't salvage it for me. Just not very flavorful, in any way.

Mouthfeel is fine. Medium-bodied, enough carbonation. No complaints here.

I find this beer... uninteresting. There's just not much that I can point to that I like about it. Maybe I'm getting too accustomed to aggressively dry-hopped pale ales, but this beer, while fine and drinkable, doesn't present much.

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Photo of WesWes
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer ours a dark amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a complex malt scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with some Victory and biscuit malts for added character. The hop aroma is mild, yet well balances the beer well. The taste is good as well. It has a smooth bread-like malt character that melds well with excellent hop flavor. It's mildly bitter, but enough for hop lovers to enjoy. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking APA with lots of complexity and tremendous drinkability.

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.08/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is golden brown with a huge head and nice lacing.

Nose is musty, creamy, with Lemonhead candy.

Taste is nutty, malty, with almond and a slightly sour finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, full-bodied, with a good amount of carbonation.

Overall, it is very drinkable with solid flavor.

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Photo of yourefragile
1.73/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Stubby 12 oz bottle. Fun extra from a brewery I've never heard of.

Pours a perfectly clear cola amber with a bubbly, clear light tan head that fades to a ring of bubbles with no lace. Sweet bready and caramel malt aroma; no hop presence. Watery medium body with extremely low carbonation and a cloying finish. Slightly medicinal flavor, overly sweet and bready, slightly more of a hop presence in an earthy finish, but bitterness is still trace. I'll have to sample some other beers from this brewery, but will pass on "Hop" Bomber in the future.

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Photo of spitInTheOcean
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

amber color. clear. tan head. fair retention. fair lacing.

citrus. floral. thin malt/ caramel aroma. thin yeast aroma.

hoppy. hoppy. good. citrus and floral flavors. pretty thin body. not much malt flavor. not much sweetness. bitter in finish, though not overpoweringly. good balance. just hop forward on all fronts. no alcohol flavor/ heat.

thin body. not too crisp finish.

this beer does not have a complex character. it is good, but not remarkable. i like how thin it is. i think it is appropriate for how (little) complexity the flavor has.

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Photo of jmarsh123
2.83/5  rDev -18%
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.

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Photo of wingman14
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of WoodBrew
2.89/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

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Photo of jurban
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hops hit quickly but then there is a smooth and watery, but nice finish. Alcohol taste is minimal. Has a bit of an unpleasant after taste. Overall the taste is remenscent of a watered down ipa. Makes a good session beer due to its lower alchohol content and non-overwhelming flavor.

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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 mattboyer182
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - super dark almost brown little head that dissipates quickly.

S - subtle malts then a crazy sweetness that smells almost chocoltey to me.

T - I like this flavor. it's nice dark malt and a sugary sweetness.

M - medium bodied and light to medium carbonation.

O - decent brew. I think it's original and good too.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.13/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Here is an Ohio brewer previously not known to me that can do it right. This is a very good APA. I'm drinking it kinda warm, and that is recommended. Head out the wazoo. A nice aroma, but a little light. A taste that makes me want MORE.

The taste isn't especially strong or complex, but it is well balanced and pleasant. The label is certainly cool. What ale's you, it asks. It's nice to finally have a Cincinatti microbrew that I like. A lot.

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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 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 WVbeergeek
2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

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Photo of dmfrench
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A unique, spicy, floral, slightly thin APA

A: Not your typical APA look... body is clear and deep reddish brown in color... a very Euro appearance. Head is one finger of yellowed white, sticks around a fair while, and regenerates a bit with each sip.

S: Not your typical APA nose either... more like a light barleywine. Sweet, lightly spiced, fruity (cherry), and somehow even a bit of alcohol. There are hops in the nose, of the floral variety, and more typical caramel malt aromas as well.

T: Ah, there it is! For all the uniqueness of the look and nose, There's plenty of resinous and floral hops to go round on the palate. Fruity notes are still there, rye spice makes itself known, and a decent backbone of caramel malt hold up the bottom end. Somewhat reminiscent of Founder's Red's Rye PA, but definitely smaller in every dimension.

M: Just a hair on the thin side, but substantial enough to be a pleasant experience.

O: A unique and fine effort if not a knockout.

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