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

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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.

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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 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 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.

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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 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 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 Beejay
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper red, with a nice tan head.. a good bit of floaties in there as well. Little dark for the style..

S: Sweet carmel, and maple undertones. Slight hop scent from in the finish, but mostly a very sweet scent. The hops that are there are earthy.. Surprised there isn't more hop scent.

T: There are the hops.. Grapefruit, and citrus (tangerine) with a nice burnt carmel flavor in the finish. Fruity hops (tropical) with good balance of malt.

M: Medium body, with decent carbonation.

D: Good, well balanced, not amazing, but nice. A good balance of malt and hops, with a nice clean finish.

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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 nlmartin
3.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer was served chilled in an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: The body of the beer is a clear amber. The head is a nice pillowy off biege coloration. Great head retention with lots of residual sticking to my glass. They say we eat with our eyes. Very often I drink with my eyes. This beer looks tasty. Very nice!

Smell: I am not blown away with the aroma. Nor I am offended by the aroma. The beer kicks up a flash of pine and just a very light citrus aroma. The malt splashes up and brings an interesting maple syrup / caramel aroma.

Taste: The hops seem to lead with citrus. Then the malt steps in with caramel / vanilla sort of flavor. The hops at this point reassert themselves and finish with a nice bittering finish.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The body is medium carbonation levels work well with the beer. This is a nice throw back pale ale. Not super aggresive but not in the least boring. Well done.

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