1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Hopback Summer Lightning - Hop Back Brewery plc

Not Rated.
Hopback Summer LightningHopback Summer Lightning

Educational use only; do not reuse.

170 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 170
Reviews: 150
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 15.75%
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:
Beer added by: pezoids on 09-11-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (10) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 170 | Reviews: 150
Photo of 31Sam13
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of buzzy
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of speedvagen
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of KevinRailton
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Garthy
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of SiW
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of SnifterLifter
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

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.

Photo of DirkNachbar
4/5  rDev +10.5%

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.

Photo of pin
3/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of steveh
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of matjack85
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of mizx
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of Jetulio
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
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

Photo of GreggBarton
4.75/5  rDev +31.2%

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.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.45/5  rDev -32.3%
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.

Photo of MEP
4.75/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of fullsweep
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of fizzyted
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of weaselchew
5/5  rDev +38.1%

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Hopback Summer Lightning from Hop Back Brewery plc
82 out of 100 based on 170 ratings.