Hop Bomber Pale Ale - Rivertown Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Bomber Pale AleHop Bomber Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
80
good

84 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 84
Hads: 270
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 9.14%
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: 270
Photo of Rhynes2
3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
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 -9.7%
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 +14.3%
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 +4.3%
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 +15.1%
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 +11.1%
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 -11.4%
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 +3.4%
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 +15.7%
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 +5.1%
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 +0.9%
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 -4.3%
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 -1.7%
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 -16.9%
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 +11.7%
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)

Photo of 5thOhio
3.5/5  rDev 0%
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. (612 characters)

Photo of davecavemaster
3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
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. (1,079 characters)

Photo of bjmh
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Maybe my palate lacks the sophistication of some of the other reviewers, but I really like this beer! It is plenty hoppy with an ibu of about 50, and the complex malt comes through to give it a great balance. The rye really comes thru for me, and I find it a very enjoyable, drinkable beer. It may not be typical of the style, but taste is what I base my judgement on. I have tried four other beers from this brewer, but the Hop Bomber is my favorite. The brewery is about 5 miles from my home. (494 characters)

Photo of rodney4130
2.5/5  rDev -28.6%

Don't call it Hop Bomber unless it's hoppy. This is a below average APA with absolutely nothing to recommend it. Very cloudy. Muddy flavor. Just not very good. Trying to come up with something, anything, positive to say. I guess it's drinkable, if paying a lot of money for a mediocre homebrew is your idea of drinkable. Should be avoided, even in a pinch. (363 characters)

Photo of brucer1
2.16/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

i wonder if this old? cant really tell if its skunky or not. very carbonated... pour carefully or you'll get nothing but head. smells and tastes more like a belgian, albeit a darker version. not so good...adequate though because it is beer. the computer says i need more characters this should do...don't get this the name and bottle appearence don't jive!!! (358 characters)

Photo of agleas1
5/5  rDev +42.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The most well balanced Pale I've ever had! It seems like the go to answer for most micro brewmasters is just to hop, re-hop and hop again to mask the inequities. These guys, while at a nice IBU level, don't knock off your nose or tounge with flowers. They simply wow you with their quality! (290 characters)

Photo of GoRedlegs
4.03/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a pub glass.

A: Dark honey color with an off white thin head. Mild lace.

S: Smooth malt overtones. Simple.

T: Creamy and straight forward ale with a quick finish. Warming aftertaste.

M: Slim and quick to wash away.

O: A nice example of an american ale made in my home town area of lovely Cincinnati. A pleasing offering with great drinkability. (374 characters)

Photo of jurban
3.03/5  rDev -13.4%
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. (282 characters)

Photo of VinceHCFS
4.75/5  rDev +35.7%

I had a draft at the Cincinnati Bearcats basketball game. RIvertown has recently signed on as a sponsor. I found it outstanding. It had a dark rich amber color, great smell, solid taste. I thought the beer had a strong hop sense to it, but not too much to overpower the drinker. Nice kick to it as well. I (312 characters)

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