Rye Hopper - French Broad Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Rye HopperRye Hopper

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BA SCORE
87
very good

134 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 134
Hads: 239
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 6.98%
Wants: 15
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
French Broad Brewing Co. visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Rye Beer |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ncvbc on 09-22-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 134 | Hads: 239
Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle from Bruisin' Ales. Pours medium yellow, with initial foamy head that settles into lots of lace. Fresh hoppy malty aroma that includes some rye bread. Taste is, with middling mouthfeel, a fairly bitter high IBU ale that is blended with the rye for flavour. Drying finish. Very drinkable. (300 characters)

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear amber in color and poured with a thin white head.
S: There are moderate aromas of grapefruit hops in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has some citrusy flavors as well as some flavors of rye.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: This beer is very drinkable because there is a good balance between the flavors from the malts and hops. (415 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

When the mere bit of hops isn't enough.... enter: rye grain! The French Broad brewers execute a snappy and emboldened taste that each ingredient could not simply muster on their own.

Rye hopper kicks off with a glowing bronze color, just off of pale and eludes to to the rustic taste within. With American pale ale threads weaving the aromas and flavors together, its the taste of hops that stand tall above a steely caramel sweetness. Citrus and tropical fruit align on the front of the tongue in both dry and juicy portrayal.

Drying considerably over the middle, its the taste of true pumpernickel, equipped with peppery caraway, husk and its own earthy bite. The caramel fades and allows the hops to bloom- pink grapefruit, vibrant orange and tropical pineapple and mango all share the stage with that peppery rye character tethering through.

Its quick and bone dry finish is given a compelling creamy dryness that keeps the ale supported even in its fleeting moments. Hop bitterness seems exacerbated by the bite of rye grain, elevating both to utmost proportions. An aftertaste of dried citrus and peppercorn linger on. (1,127 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous orange-bronze with radiant tangerine highlights. A sturdy chunk of sandstone colored foam occupies the upper quarter of the pint glass and looks damn good doing so. The head becomes softly rocky as it melts and is beginning to lay down thick sheets of finely pocked lace that stick like glue.

Rye Hopper smells like rye and hops. Imagine that. The intense earthiness of the rye malt is dominant, yet the fruity qualities of the hops shine through as well. Too bad FBBC isn't more specific in telling us what ingredients are used. (edit: Amarillo hops. No wonder I like it.)

This is delicious beer. My suggestion is to drink it fresh while the hops are still going strong. The malt-hop balance is exceptional at the moment, something that probably won't be true after several months. 59 IBUs seems about right, although I might have guessed a handful higher.

Anyone who thinks that rye malt and American hops is a fantastic combination should find plenty to like in Rye Hopper. I'm seriously considering a taste score of 4.5, and might get there by the bottom of the bomber. Each mouthful is a slam-bang mouth party of sweet, bitter, spicy and earthy. Flavors include rye toast (complete with caraway seeds), bitter grasses, citrus peel and a pleasing tannic woodiness.

The mouthfeel keeps the quality meter on 'high'. This is amazingly full beer for an ABV of 5.9%. Each sip (okay, gulp) fills the mouth on contact, which is always the hallmark of a well-brewed ale. The carbonation is p... e... r... f... e... c... t.

Even though I've only had two of their offerings to date, I am supremely impressed with French Broad Brewing Company. Altbier was delicious and drinkable. Rye Hopper is even more so. If you love rye beer and hops as much as I do, then you owe it to yourself to acquire a bomber as soon as possible. It looks like North Carolina is rapidly becoming a hotbed of great craft beer. Thanks Rbald42. (1,928 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thick off white head that rose to about two fingers high and left a thick coating of lacing all around the glass. a rich thick lacing ensued throughout the glass.

aroma is thick hoppy goodness, a rich aroma with a hint of spice comes through on the nose right away. really nice blended notes of pine resin, warm malts, a nice touch of buttery middle and a touch of rye. really well done and this carries over to the flavor perfectly. smooth, effortless feel on this one delivers a light hoppy goodness with hints f spiced rye and buttery malts. nice clean finish with a light dryness and a touch of kick to wind it down.

overall a really soli rye beer. a bit hoppier then most (678 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a one-finger, egg shell white head of foam. Short-lived retention and very little lace.

S - It smelled of citrus (mostly orange) and rye bread.

T - Nice citrusy hop presence. Very good rye flavor with some bready malt backbone.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium bodied rye brew.

D - This is a pretty good rye beer. (381 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have enjoyed the French Broad beers I have had and this is no different.Poured into a imperial nonic a dull slightly hazed deep bronze with a creamy/frothy 1/2 finger head that settled very slowly leaving shotty lace behind in its wake.Nice sharp citric aromas imparted by the rye and healthy does of hops.Flavors are nice but dont hit home as much as many of the american style like Founders Red Rye,Bear Republic Hop Rod etc...,but there is a light sharpness to it and a decent citric bite.A smooth near creamy mouthfeel makes the beer feel like it glides down the throat,a solid brew,I would buy again.

Lets go Red Wings ! (628 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The beer is amber in color with a white head and a touch of haze.

S: Slightly sweet on the nose with a nice hoppiness to it. It has a bit of grapefruit as well as orange zest and lemon. Some other fruit notes, though they're a bit less obvious. And there's toasted bread on the background.

T: The malt components are a bit more on display on the palate. Toast, bread, and plenty of rye to start off. The hop flavor is mostly grapefruit with a touch of lemon zest and only a moderate bitterness. While the flavor isn't bad, I don't really enjoy it much for some reason. Perhaps it's the hint of chocolate on the finish.

M: Medium in body and medium in carbonation.

O: Not something I'd really look to have again. Not my kind of beer. (776 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Lightly hazed, mahogany-hued body with a small-sized, ivory-hued head.

Smell: A scent of slightly toasted, nicely spicy rye bread, citrus-minded hops, and a few oh-so lonely drops of pristine caramel.

Taste: Sweetened, lightly toasted malts with a meager hint of dry caramel. Ah, there's my spicy-tasting, damn-near peppery rye. Earthy, lightly citrusy hops with a moderate amount of bitterness spurred on by the endearingly spicy rye qualities. Becomes increasingly dry approaching the finish. Touches of spice and earthiness linger into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: "What some rye? 'Course ya do." Rye Hopper maintains a more than pleasant balance between the sweetish malts and the spicy rye and bitter hops. Pleasantly drinkable and good expression of rye in beer, though, I will admit, I'm a bit partial to Terrapin's Rye Squared. (898 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Revolution Pizza (Charlotte, NC) on 9/4/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber, with a finger of soft looking brite-white head. Retains with a creamy and smooth look, that just slathers the sides of the glass with rich lacing. The aroma is floral and piney in the nose, with an earthy spiciness to it, from a combo of the hops and rye. Sweet notes of bread, caramel, and citrus, give this a sticky backing.

The taste is sticky sweet, with a spicy and drying nature to it. A moderately sharp bitterness, lingers long and steady. Nice soft tang to this, from the malts and citric notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied (maybe a tad lighter in spots), with a softer and slick creaminess to the carbonation. A bit more of a prickly nature rears it's head in the back, giving this some pop towards the back of the swallow.

Nice. Solid blend of hops character, spicy rye, and sweeter malts here, wrapped up in a sleek and drinkable body. I didn't quite expect to like this one nearly as much as I did. A winner from French Broad. (1,046 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A new brewery for me. Looks good off the pour. It’s kind of a mild rye. Nothing overly abrasive or way out there. Easy drinking and smooth enough. Nice level of spice from rye. Minimal hop abrasive tones. Like I said: easy drinkin’. This could be an every day ale. I wouldn’t mind some more punch out of it, but it’s pretty good as it is. (346 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared 22oz bomber shared with 2 friends. Served in large wine glass.

A: Pours with a very attractive copper brown color; sparkling clear with barely visible fine carbonation. A small white head reduced to a ring that left little lacing behind.

S: There's rye in the nose, and plenty of sweet malt, but the hops come through first and foremost, making this pleasantly citrusy.

T: This is a rye pale ale with a strong malt base and enough rye to significantly modify the flavor. There's plenty of hops in the flavor, like a typical Amer. PA, and the hops are the main contributor to the fine and lasting finish.

M: very good carbonation level; medium body

D: A good bomber to share; plenty of flavor but not extreme. (721 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes 4/8/11. Thanks to mikesgroove for this bottle!

A: Pours a clear amber/copper color with a very nice 2.5 finger off white head. Nice retention and rings of lacing left behind.

S: Light pine hops, a little bit of citrus. A good bit of spicy rye and some bready malt.

T: Not as much rye translated to the flavor profile but there is a little kick upfront. Drinks more like a pale ale though. Nice hop flavor with some citrus, mostly grapefruit. There is a little caramel malt on the backend.

M: Medium bodied, crisp and little lighter than expected. Carbonation level is very nice.

O: A solid beer, would have liked a little more rye spice in the flavor profile, but I liked it. A nice first beer for me from French Broad. (746 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Village Draft House in Raleigh

Arrived a dark amber with little head. Smells of roasted malts and peppery rye. Taste is predominantly rye, but with a nice malt balance. The rye sits on the tongue and offers a good bite, but isn't overpowering. Reminds me of a good pastrami sandwich. Medium bodied and well carbonated. I don't think I could have too many of these at once, but this one was good. (410 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from Princeton Liquors. It's a surprise to find this beer in MN when I didn't see this beer the last time I was in North Carolina.

At first whiff, this beer reminded me of the Middle Ages Wailing Wench, so being a hoppy beer with (my guess here) Ringwood yeast character and duacetyl. After the initial punch of butterscotch candy, there's richly earthy rye layered with biting grapefruit and citrus rind hops. The body is crisp and drinkable and overall this is a fine (and interesting) rye beer. Certainly worth a try. (541 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another solid beer from French Broad. So nice to see these available in Atlanta now. Pours a slightly hazy dark amber with very little head and relatively low carbonation, but with some scant lacing left behind as the beer is drained. Smells of spicy rye, piney hops, and a touch of malt. Fairly well balanced in the nose. I wouldn't call the taste balanced, but it's delicious nonetheless. Starts with a bang, with a big blast of rye and piney hops intermingled to create a quite spicy, dry, bitter, prickly mouthfull. I like it, and the rye and the hops work well together. Bone dry with very little noticeable malt makes this almost tannic, and approaches rye whiskey in its flavor profile, without the burn. Big and spicy in the mouth, this one surprised me when I poured it after working in the yard expecting a lawnmower beer. That it is not. My only real complaint is that it's a bit one-dimensional, but this is one of the better beers out there for showcasing the beauty of rye, so I'll forgive it its singlemindedness. Nice, I'll be buying this again. (1,061 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottles courtesy of JCB. Thanks again!

Pours a hazy dark copper, almost chestnut brown color with a two finger frothy white head that very slowly settles into a lasting ring. Large chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Subtle rye presenc in the aroma with some sweet malt, caramel and hazelnut. This is countered by a slightly earthy, floral hop presence with faint pine.

Medium bodied with a nice bitter hop presence up front that is countered by a sweet, slightly roasted malt backbone. Hints of caramel, rye, toast and dark fruit. Slight creamy texture with a dry finish. Hoppier and more complex than expected. Well balanced and easyto drink. A pleasant surprise from a brewery that I was unfamiliar with. (712 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a slightly hazed, amber-highlighted copper coloring with a frothy, foamy, off-white head and a ton of carbonation action throughout the body. Aromas of hops first and foremost, with a resinous blast, moss and pine, and some subtle tropical fruit, all on a roasted and slightly bitter, grain backbone. Flavors are more of the bitter and pungent rye forward, with a bitterness around the edges from the hops, resinous notes, and citrus highlights. Smooth, light bodied, with a crisp endfeel. The aftertaste has a bit more of the citrus notes coming to the palate, with the bitter grains still providing a solid foundation. The finish has a grainy and citrus linger. Not bad overall, very balanced, and the light body keeps it refreshing. (788 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a dark caramel body that is crystal clear with a slow carbonation of bubbles that feed a bubbly beige head.

S- The light aroma of soft herbal pungent hops is soft and finishes with a plastic aroma that grows as the beer warms. The hop aroma does not grow as it warms.

T- The dry biscuit toasted notes give way to a green spicy hop flavor that compliments a spicy rye note aswell. There is a soft but full vegital pungency and a green grapefruit pith note that lingers. Some citrus notes come through in the hops as the beer opens.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a soft fizzy hint in the finish.

O- This beer has a nice malt flavor with some good soft rye spice to compliment the hops, but the only real hops flavor is a strong pungent bitterness and not a lot of hop flavor and aroma. (861 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ffejherb for sharing this bomber at the Brass Rail on Tuesday. It's been on my wants list for a month or so.

A: The rye beer, looking like a pale ale, has a copper color that allows the ale to remain translucent. A small ring of white head left no lacing behind.

S: The nose is heavy with rye, bready with dark notes and pepper. Hops are no slouch either, pleasantly citrusy.

T: More pale ale than not, the ale offers a powerful strong malt base that focuses on the rye. Dark bread, thick with heft, adds flavor without darkening the ale signficantly. Plenty of hops linger, especially after the rye passes. Citrus is well-equipped to stand up to the rye. Another treat from French Broad.

M: The mouthfeel gets bogged down with vegetal tastes occasionally. For the most part, however, the rye and hops are pleasant. Rye Hopper isn't a Zeno's Rye-level hopbomb but it packs enough punch.

D: A good bomber to share. I wouldn't be upset if another one showed up at my door. (985 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to cvstrickland for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice hazy golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little one-finger creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice hop notes, sweet/bitter, with some nice caramel notes. The taste is slightly sweet, bitter, malty, hoppy, nice touch of rye, and caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, really enjoying this one. (428 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.26/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Brick Store Pub in Decatur GA. The beer was hazy dark copper color, thick rich looking off-white head, lots of wet lacing on the glass. Spicy rye and earthy hops in the aroma. The taste had a nice bite of rye and bitter hops, caramel malt througout but the spiciness sets the overall tone. Very good, as drinkable as any rye beer I've had to date. (372 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of grassy hops and robust caramel malts with a hint of spiciness from the rye.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Caramel malt flavors up front are soon joined by grassy and piney hop flavors. Near the end of the sip a good amount of spiciness kicks in before a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing my glass and could have a few of these.

Overall this is a good and hoppy rye beer (as the name would suggest) that does a good job of integrating the rye. It falls short of the best rye beers out there, but is still worth a shot.

Note: I tried this side by side with the bottle version and the tap version is thicker with a cleaner hop flavor. Definitely try on-tap if possible. (962 characters)

Photo of avalon07
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brown color and a clear texture. There was an inch of creamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A sweet smell of citrus, hops, and a tinge of rye.

T: Tasted of hops and lemon, with some malt and rye in the finish. A very sweet and vibrant flavor that seems to have more in common with an IPA than a rye beer.

M: A well carbonated beer with a slick, oily finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A pleasant, drinkable beer. (459 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, $4.25 at bruisin ales, brought back via NW airlines

appearance: poured into an imperial pint...great looking brew - rich amber body with a full creamy, frothy beige cap and fluffy retention. very nice indeed

smell: aroma is fairly hop-driven, pine and citrus play equal parts, definitely some nice spicy rye notes in the background, a touch metallic, but very solid

taste: in my limited experience, this is my favorite french broad offering. the balance between bitter hop and spicy rye is wonderful and its got just enough bite to justify the addition of rye to what seems like could have been a great base-APA as well.

mouthfeel: creamy and medium bodied, nice spicy dry finish

drinkability: a bomber of a spicy rye is hard for any man (756 characters)

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Rye Hopper from French Broad Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.