1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Hopback Summer Lightning - Hop Back Brewery plc

Not Rated.
Hopback Summer LightningHopback Summer Lightning

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

167 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 167
Reviews: 150
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 16.02%
Wants: 12
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hop Back Brewery plc visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 09-11-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 167 | Reviews: 150 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KevinRailton
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

KevinRailton, Jun 30, 2014
Photo of Garthy
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%

Garthy, Apr 03, 2014
Photo of SiW
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

SiW, Mar 18, 2014
Photo of SnifterLifter
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

SnifterLifter, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

BillRoth, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of FLima
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright golden color with apparent carbonation and a four finger aired head with excellent retention and leaving laces.
Aroma of lemon, pine and bread malt. Interesting I had the impression it smelled more like a Belgian Golden rather than an English ale.
Sweet citrusy and bitter taste with notes of lemon, oranges, fresh grass, earth and tea leaves. Quite astringent aftertaste with a nice and prolonged bitterness. Hints of minerals.
Light body with effervescent carbonation.
Original taste and incredible refreshing summer ale while still being tasty and bitter. If you like lemony and dryness, try this brew. Suggestion: drink it fresh or don’t drink it all.

FLima, Nov 18, 2013
Photo of DirkNachbar
4/5  rDev +10.5%

DirkNachbar, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of dwren89
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: pale gold with fluffy white head, good clarity

Aroma: lemon zest, biscuity, slight tartness,

Taste: cold, refreshing, thirst quenching biscuity malt flavor with balanced hop bitterness, finishes with a bitter tinge; not a lot of distinguished hop or malt character, just a nicely balanced summer ale to slake a thirst on a hot day. Short finish

Mouthfeel: Tingly carbonation, light body,

Overall Impression: Not a bad ale to drink on a hot summer day to refresh your system. But not an ale (or style, for that matter) that provides much complexity or depth. Balanced. Not bad, but not earth shattering.

dwren89, Jun 27, 2013
Photo of pin
3/5  rDev -17.1%

pin, May 27, 2013
Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Slatetank, May 16, 2013
Photo of steveh
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%

steveh, Feb 04, 2013
Photo of matjack85
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

matjack85, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of mizx
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

mizx, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of Jetulio
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle poured into a Pint glass
Appearance,... light yellow a little bit hazy, big head colour white very persistent
Aroma. ... malty smell, wet grass too
Taste.... little touch of citrus with a dry middle bitter end
Mouthfeel... medium body with medium carbonation (a little high for an standard English ale in my opinion)
Overall... very refreshing, easy to drink but not so hoppy as you expect for an English bitter ale

Jetulio, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of GreggBarton
4.75/5  rDev +31.2%

GreggBarton, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of thierrynantes
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer bottle (50 cl.) purchased from Cave'Ale, and tasted in 2012.

Appearance : golden color, with white foamy head (not persistent).
Smell : grassy and hoppy aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : malty and hoppy flavors with bitter finish.
Drinkability : an average beer in the style English bitter.

thierrynantes, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.48/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Summer's almost over, so I thought I should drink this before it goes entirely.

A 500ml bottle with a BB of May 2013. Picked up a little while back from Booths. Features an image of Dionysus on the label (the brewery's logo) - I previously thought it was a green man. Bottle conditioned.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A clear pale-gold hue with good carbonation and slight sediment (most of the yeast sticks resolutely to the bottom of the bottle). Yields a huge head of frothy white foam with good retention; this slowly subsides to a surface layer, leaving nice lacing as it goes. Looks great. The aroma, however, is not nearly so pleasant. A distinct note of harsh stewed leaves, faint solvent and sulphur. Virtually nothing else is discernible. Another reviewer mentioned that they thought the aroma was butyric acid, so perhaps that's what this is - at any rate it is vile and seriously detracts from the beer.

Tastes of light malt with a dry, mildly bitter finish. Notes of stewed leaves, sulphur, earthy yeast and a whisper of citrus aroma. A restrained, dry bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and full-bodied, with a dry character. Pretty astringent, with an aftertaste of harsh stewed leaves and a sulphurous note.

Disappointing - I had expectations of this being a pleasant pale ale with a hoppy character. Not so. I looks nice and has decent body, but the aroma is horrid and the flavour also leaves much to desire. Not sure what's wrong with the smell but it is dominated completely by a harsh, sulphur-like quality. This carries through into the flavour, masking this ale's subtle malt and hop characteristics. All said, not a good drinking experience. It's a pity because I've had this before (ages ago) and liked it, so I don't know what the issue is here. Perhaps I should seek it out on cask. At any rate, I'd have to recommend avoiding this in bottles if you like beer.

jazzyjeff13, Sep 18, 2012
Photo of MEP
4.75/5  rDev +31.2%

MEP, Aug 27, 2012
Photo of fullsweep
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mini-keg served at a recent birthday party; poured into a pint glass tumbler.

A: very pale/blonde/straw-coloured--exceptionally light in colour for a bitter ale. Leaves a nice off-white/eggshell foamy head.

S: a mild sweetness with some powdery in the nose.

T: tangy and fruity (orange/citrus) upfront with a chalky bitterness on the finish. A relatively complex but well-balanced and unique take on the English bitter.

M: mellow, light on the tongue, moderately refreshing, and slightly dry-ish.

O: nice for a change. Would definitely try this again, particularly from a different serving format, just to see what differences there might be.

fullsweep, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of fizzyted
4/5  rDev +10.5%

fizzyted, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +10.5%

nmann08, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of weaselchew
5/5  rDev +38.1%

weaselchew, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +38.1%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of akorsak
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the General Sutter. I originally saw this beer in one of Michael Jackson's books, so I am excited to finally try it.

A: The bitter is a pale straw color (seemingly par for the course here), fizzy and clear. The fizziness leads to wispy lace.

S: The bitter brings light bitterness and ample pale malts. The hops are vegetal at times but generally mild and earthy. The pale malts are light and bready.

T: Light and refreshing, a perfect way to start the day. Balance is key, at least initially. Upfront, light malts are biscuity and the hops earthy - very mild. That changes as each sip progresses. The hoppiness builds quickly, a bitterness that, by the end, is surprisingly strong and dry. The lightness of the ale is nice, plenty of flavor in such a small package.

M: While the ale is light, it doesn't skimp on flavor. The rising bitterness is a reminder that the Brits know their way around hops too.

akorsak, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of Koufax21
2.93/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on cask a Bull's Head Cask Festival in Letitz, PA.

A - poured a faint yellow straw color with a hint of fizzy white head that disappeared after a few moments.

S - this one smells pretty good. A bit more of a hop aroma than I would typically expect from British beer.

T - mildly bitter with a dry finish. I keep hearing from people how good this one is. To each their own, I guess.

M - dry and no carbonation. Light bodied.

O - nope. A very average beer in my opinion. I tried on a recommendation. While I'm glad I got to try this highly touted ale, it just didn't blow me away.

Koufax21, Nov 05, 2011
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Hopback Summer Lightning from Hop Back Brewery plc
82 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.