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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: 273
Avg: 3.45
pDev: 29.57%
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: 273
Photo of metter98
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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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 RblWthACoz
3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer looks nice, but it smells like hairspray. The taste of it is, okay. It's just an odd mesh of thick malts that don't really show this as a pale ale. Where are the hops? Where's the attitude? Not here. A pretty forgettable beer, and more waste of my time and money. (This whole driving south thing hasn't panned out on the beer front so well on much of these brews.)

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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 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 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 Stinkypuss
2.61/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Rivertown Hop Bomber

Pours a clear copper with a very nice foam cap and some lace. Aroma is faint, floral hops and a sugary sweet malt. In the flavor, green apple, caramel, near cloying sweetness and a flash of citrus hops in the background. Mouthfeel is decent, semi dry light to medium bodied feel and almost crisp. Overall, I hope my bottle was an older sample, because there was little to no hop presence for a beer touting the name "hop bomber".

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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 aasher
1.38/5  rDev -60%
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.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
2.61/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I purchased a single at a Kroger store in Dublin, $1.50. It pours a dark copper color, very clear, with about one finger of nearly white foam. It smells bitter, nothing flavorful in the aroma from the hops, just bitterness and toasted malts. And same in the taste, I'm sorta disappointed with the flavor as it's billed as "Hop Bomber". No hops flavors except a somewhat unpleasant bitterness.

Not recommended, too many good choices out there to ever drink this again.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass...Pours very dark for a pale ale, a dirty, medium copper with a light tan head, good retention here...Aroma is super light, only light hops come through...The taste is also pretty light, bready backbone, spicey, with some hops coming through, not enough to get me excited. This doesn't taste bad, just doesn't have a ton of flavor. Full bodied, but one bottle is more than enough to drink.

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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 OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to amber color with a light tan head. In the aroma, small citrus, but mainly pine like hops. In the taste, a mixture of orange and lemon citrus, hints of pine hops, with a mellow tea like maltiness. A nice hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry citrus hop in the aftertaste. Almost an IPA, big hops and enjoyable.

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Photo of Brent
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - orangy amber, lots of tiny particulate in suspension. Two big fingers of foam, had to pause the pour and wait for some settling. An airy, cakey head of light mocha leaves craggy trails of lace around the glass as it recedes.

Aroma - pleasant citrus and caramel grain. Even, not overbearing.

Taste - light caramel toasted edge to the grain, some earthy grassiness as well. Very fruity citrus angle to the hops. More of a bitter edge on the swallow, pushing a little medicinal. Dry, a little prickly on the aftertaste and finish, with a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel - I like the smoothness, it gives the beer a bit of creaminess. Moderate to lower carbonation, fairly weighty for a pale ale.

Drinkability - I had no problem dispatching this sixer of Rivertown.

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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 beergoot
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a nice honey-amber colored body with a thin white head. Strong caramel malt aroma infused with a bit of fruity esters. Gentle caramel malt flavor with a very subtle apple-like fruitiness; a decent sharp bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium-light; smooth; crisp and semi-dry.

A good enough APA offering that doesn't break away with any distinctive qualities, but it's definitely drinkable.

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Photo of nrbw23
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one tap when I was drug down to Mileston 229.

A- Pours a rich clear amber color with a nice foamy off white head. Head has some good retention and leaves some layered lacing.

S- Smell is quite a bit like rye. A strong pine hops as well, along with quite a bit of tropical fruits.

T- A very nice balance between the malts and hops. A bit of a really nice spicy notes to it. Pine and tropical fruits make themselves known for sure.

M- Lighter side of medium in body and good carbonation.

O- Not too bad by any means. I could drink this one again.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.18/5  rDev +21.2%
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.

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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 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 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 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 Ryan011235
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass on 7/27/10

Darker shade of burnt amber; tobacco hues, as well. Two fingers of billowy foam. It appears to be holding well, though - after a few minutes it's around 50%. Thin retention throughout; alright lacing. I noticed a few clumps of sediment when I took the last drink.

The aroma is rather subtle. Solid malt presence of toasted rye bread. Seems fairly dry, though. Sharp yet restrained hop aromas. Pine & lemon zest; maybe a hint of orange peel. Right after the pour it had a soapy smell, though it has since subsided.

Between the hops & rye malt, there's a nice spiciness upfront. Piney bitterness & zesty citric notes are well seated with the malt backdrop. Pretty even balance. Quite dry, which accentuates the bitterness. Rye certainly seems to be the predominant malt; possibly some pale malts, also.

More or less medium body, possibly slightly fuller of body, at least for the style. Appropriate carbonation adds just enough agitation. My only complaint is the finish, which is messy & at times seems almost waxy. Weird...

Hop Bomber may be somewhat unconventional for the style but it's enjoyable regardless. It's interesting enough that I'm looking forward to trying some of their other beers. I'm glad to see more beers coming out of Cincinnati.

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