Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 84 | Hads: 273
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.

 558 characters

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.

 592 characters

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.

 613 characters

Photo of beerman207
3.13/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear reddish color that has a nice white head that sticks around a little while.

S - Definitely could be better here. Can't really pick much up other than malt and some faint hops.

T - Some rye and some bitterness that isn't strong enough in my opinion.

M: Decent but nothing special

D: Can't say I'd try this one again. However, being a Cincinnati brew, I had to try it.

 381 characters

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.

 692 characters

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.

 425 characters

Photo of screamking
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

 700 characters

Photo of maxwelldeux
3/5  rDev -13%
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.

 290 characters

Photo of raznug
4.12/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It pours a deep golden with an inch of tight white head that tends to hang around for quite a while.
Smell: Hop Bomber smells of a nice blend of hops and malt smells tasty.
Taste: It tastes as it smells, a nice balance of malt followed by hops in the background
Mouthfeel: I think this beer tends to feel a bit thicker than expected but that isn’t a bad thing for the taste to hang around on a pale ale.

 418 characters

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.

 298 characters

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.

 616 characters

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.

 749 characters

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.

 981 characters

Photo of Groomsy
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

 1,847 characters

Photo of fitrock2112
4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured Hop Bomber Rye Pale Ale into a Belgian Tulip.

A - Pours a clear amber with a half of finger of white head.

S - The aroma comes through as soon as it's poured. Getting smooth grapefruit, rich malt.

T - Its has some light toasted malts on first taste with medium hops mid palate. On second sip it has some grapefruit, and light carmel notes. On the finish getting more hops with some bitterness.

M - About perfect for a good pale ale. Medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

O - This a very good pale ale. I believe this is Rivertown's flagship beer and it shows. Delish ! Cheers!

 593 characters

Photo of AnotherBeerGeek
3.89/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a medium-dark hazy copper color with a craggy, well-structured tannish head. Nose is a little stubborn but shows caramel malt with pine hops hiding underneath. A bit of burnt-malt/molasses sweetness up front quickly transitions to a powerful pine-hop bitterness that carries through to the finish. Feels nice and round with a slight creaminess to the texture. Even though Cincinnati has a great brewing history, and is making a comeback that way, I generally find myself unimpressed with local offerings, with a few notable exceptions. This is one of them. Definitely worth a try.

 586 characters

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.

 731 characters

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.

 548 characters

Photo of rembrant
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks--Interesting...had my first Hopslam an hour ago and this looks the same,deep orange,a bit hazy,almost no head,just enough tan top to cover.

Aroma Definitely more caramel malt tilt than Hopslam,though there's a lighter but similar fruit salad nose with both grapefruit and pineapple. Kind of interesting I followed Hopslam with this,and get that same hop mix with the pineapple. Maybe Hopslam inspired Hopbomber?

Taste NOT Hopslam but closer to a hop-malt balance without the Big IPA zing...however...this is also half the $. I had some last summer and wasn't getting analytical with it.. The German beer traditions in Cinci slip in as the yeast and grain (including some rye) have a play in the mid sip. The caramel and light toasted malts lead,the hops finish with good flavor if not "Hop Bomb" intensity. Overall I rather like the balance and flavors here.

Mouthfeel A bit of sticky caramel, the rye's boost,some hop oil give a good texture. Good finish and aftertaste

Drinkability Around here,easy to find and a good price. It's no big drama but the flavors are full and balanced and it's a pale that's not as pale or light as most,which I like.

 1,158 characters

Photo of ltjska04
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, this beer was a clear amber with an inch of creamy, foamy head. The smell was of citrusy hops but also a little cheesiness which might mean older hops were used but I'm not sure of this. The taste is a pretty good balance of malt and hops with a slight bitterness. Don't mistake this for an IPA, the hops are not very strong for an American style. The drinkability and mouthfeel were both good and made me wish I had another. There's not a whole lot to make this stand out amongst the many APA's out there but it's a good solid beer from a new brewery that I would buy again.

 601 characters

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.

 807 characters

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.

 816 characters

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.

 344 characters

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.

 865 characters

Photo of bevenson
3.91/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - Deep copper and clear. Fluffy white head that quickly falls, but leaves a white ring on the edge of the glass to the end.

S - Spicy, floral and herbal hop aromas, wiith a little spiciness from the rye. Light caramel malt to balance out the hops.

T - The taste definitely tells you this is a unique twist on the American Pale Ale. The rye and the hops give a firm spiciness and herbal flavor that reminds me of a German Pilsner. But then there's the caramel malt and light ale yeast flavor that reminds me this is an American Pale Ale. Bitterness lingers long after imbibing.

M - Medium to light body and bone dry. Very crisp and clean, which is what I look for in an APA.

D - A very clean, easy drinking APA. Definitely a beer that I could drink throughout the night.

 820 characters

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