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Rye Hopper - French Broad Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Rye HopperRye Hopper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

220 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 220
Reviews: 133
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 10.21%
Wants: 15
Gots: 7 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ncvbc on 09-22-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 220 | Reviews: 133 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

BuckeyeNation, May 12, 2009
Photo of pwoods
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JCB for this extra.

22oz. brown bomber poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a deep coppery amber, somewhat opaque. About a finger worth smooth head forms and holds a bit of retention. Good lacing.

S: Lots of spicy rye. Some hops come through past the rye, maybe a bit piney. Some sweetness. Really, rye dominant.

T/M: Again, lots of rye. A pleasant light sweetness from some toffee comes out, tasty. A bit nutty as well. Hops are not too big at all... not enough to be called 'hopper', that's for sure. There is a touch of bitterness as well as a bit of pine and some grassy/pollen-y hops. Body is medium to medium full and smooth and creamy.

D: Label says 5.9% ABV, about what I would have guessed. Drinkable with plenty of flavor.

pwoods, May 08, 2009
Photo of tastybeer
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a bad looking brew. Woody auburn color topped by an initially large tan, finely bubbled head. Aroma is of decomposing leaves, wood, mulch mixed with cocoa, orange pulp, sweet grain and spice. Taste is interesting. Earthy cocoa + mulch, root veggies (perhaps beets and/or potatoes), rye tartness, and a little caramel. Texture is slippery smooth, undisturbed by the extra fine carbonation. All the while, various flavors slide around within a medium body. The slickness makes this go down very easy, leaving the the mouth thinly coated.

This is an interesting brew. A nice change of pace from the all the IPAs I've been drinking lately.

tastybeer, May 04, 2009
Photo of wedge
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy copper hue with a short, creamy head. Rye grain is forefront in the aroma...sweet, woody, and earthy. Some chocolate as it warms. Hops are grassy with a good bit of citrus pulp. Spicy rye and sweet caramel flavors. Not a hell of a lot of flavor from the hops, but a nice balancing bitterness that works well with the spicy qualities. This is getting chocolaty the longer it sits in my glass. Medium bodied and creamy smooth which thickens it up a tad.

Better than anything else I've had from French Broad. I like it.

wedge, May 04, 2009
Photo of rajendra82
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the first French Broad (love the name) beer I have ever picked up. The Rye Hopper was poured into a standard pint glass, and it looked darker than I was expecting. The body was a deep shade of copper and clear, and the head atop was foamy. I did not see any carbonation streamers. The smell was sweet and fruity, which is odd for a beer named Rye Hopper. The taste was also sweet and mildly bitter. The bready taste was followed by a bit of spiciness. The body was soft, but this beer lacked the carbonation to make it feel creamy. Easy to drink for sure, but not the most memorable beer made with Rye.

rajendra82, May 03, 2009
Photo of shivtim
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BSP.

Served in a pint glass. Dark copper, mostly clear but a slight bit of haze. Nice little whitish head fades quickly.
Nose is hoppy. Not much of the rye there.
Taste is spicy rye, interweaving pine hops and malts, and more lingering bready rye. Nice combination of flavors.
Pretty decent mouthfeel and drinkability. Nice beer.

shivtim, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.28/5  rDev +12%
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.

TurdFurgison, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +6%
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.

glid02, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Georgiabeer, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of beer2day
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with little to no head. Decent lacing. Minimal carbonation.

Nose hints at rye and hops, but not as strong as I would like. Somewhat flowery, but very mild. Some breadiness as well, but not yeasty.

Malty sweet on the hit, but the rye zing quickly kicks in. Nice dry rye finish. Mouthfeel is just chewy enough for the style.

Overall, very good and worth seeking out if you like rye's.

beer2day, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of atsprings
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a Duvel snifter pours a crisp copper with a decent cream head. Aroma is a nice bit of rye with citrus hops right behind. The taste is a nice sharp rye bite balanced nicely with citrus hops. The beer is light and smooth with decent carbonation, very refreshing. This is certainly a great beer, one I'd love to see around this area as long as the price isn't jacked up by the distributor.

atsprings, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of CrellMoset
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rye Hopper Ale, growler courtesy of dkachur - thanks!

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark orange amber, one-finger of sticky, offwhite head with good - perhaps great - retention, replete with tons of fast, fine-bubbled effervescence. Very nice across the board - retention, clarity, and color. Great stickage on the lace too, falling like rings with every sip.

Aroma: Rye is huge in this one, spicy and bold, and comes accompanied by tons of other hop notes - orange zest, slight herbal notes, and a well-roasted array of backing malt notes (though the rye's definitely the real star here).

Taste: Rye is huge again, bigger than in most brews I've had. It's almost like "hey, so THIS is what rye tastes like!" Remainder of the malt bill is slightly toasty, with hints of toasted bread and faint cocoa. Overall, it's sort of dry, with hint of bitterness and perhaps a few other faint hop undertones.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly smooth and soft, though it does manage to still be slightly crisp given all the carbonation, all wrapped up in a medium body. Very light and airy.

Drinkability: A damn good beer, in my opinion, and one of the few rye beers I've truly enjoyed. I'd glad to have this one again, and would really like to try it on tap. Manages to strike all the right notes without going overboard, and the abv% seemed low enough to where a few of these wouldn't be a problem. Recommended.

CrellMoset, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of wcudwight
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber in color with no head and no lacing. This could be more from the pour than the beer itself.
Nice aroma of earthy hops and rye.
Sweet caramel malt backbone with a healthy dose of rye. The hops are more subdued than expected given the name of the beer. But they are there and of the earthy variety. This beer is more rye heavy than hop heavy imo.
Mouthfeel is medium with a bit more sharpness from the rye which I like.
Overall it's a good beer that you should give a try if you have the chance.

wcudwight, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of tmoneyba
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft sample at KBJ08.

Poured clear copper color with an average fizzy off-white head that mostly lasted and produced good lacing. Moderate rye & citrus hoppy aroma. Medium body with soft carbonation. Moderate bittersweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

My expectations where met and I hope this was not a one off.

tmoneyba, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of GJ40
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the Mellow Mushroom in Asheville.
A - An amber, caramel color with good clarity. It had almost no head and very little lacing.

S - Mostly toasted malt. I was expecting more hops but there wasn't much.

T - Starts malty and sweet but quickly goes to a nice hop flavor with grapefruit. Some rye flavor joins in but not a lot. Slightly tart and bitter in the finish.

M - A bit thin with a nice low carbonation.

D - Very smooth, balanced and drinkable. I really enjoyed this beer.

GJ40, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on draft at both the brewery and at Barleys in Asheville.

Dispensed from the tap a chocolate brown color with a small white head. Not much in the way of lacing or head retention.

Aroma is clearly rye and some hops. Not much else. Some chocolate and coffee but rye seems to be the star of the show, and that is fine with me.

Very nice flavor. Chocolate and rye greet the tongue immediately. Medium body and such a smooth and sweet drinkability. I really enjoyed this: so much so that I had the same beer in two different places. Well done!

SaCkErZ9, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of ckeegan04
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Barley's in Asheville.

A - Dark brown with ruby red highlights. Very thin tan head that quickly dissipates to a thin layer. Very good lacing.

S - The nose was the most disapointing part of this beer. Faint spicy rye aroma and some darker caramel malts. Very little hop presence.

T - A somewhat medicinal spiciness initially, priamrily a rye spiciness. Caramel sweetness comes through quickly providing a nice balance. A lightly spicy bitterness comes through mid drink before the medicinal spiciness comes back through.

M/D - Very dry like a good rye beer. Medium bodied and very crisp as well. Easy drinking but not the best rye beer I have had. Still not sure why they chose to highlight hops in the name.

ckeegan04, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of rtratzlaff
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 20 oz Draft of a clear amber body below a thin white head that dissipates quickly.

Aromas of bitter hop character with a slight hint of rye.

The taste is great with a balance of malt, hop bitterness and a slight rye spice. A caramel malt character that gives some sweetness lies just beneath the surface of flavor.

This is probably one of the best rye beers I've had.

rtratzlaff, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of ByTor2112
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Asheville Pizza.
Poured up a light brown, almost copper color, with some reddish hues escaping with the light.
No head, minimal lacing.
Aroma- malty with some very faint piney hops notes.
Mouthfeel- I found this to be rather bold in the flavor profile- mlaty with some caramel, hops are medium but the Rye, oh the Rye doth give this one an edge! me likey! Finishes with a bit of a medicinal bitterness. I'll agree with the previous review this one does not get crazy with the hops but the Rye really makes it a bit more aggressive on the palate. I could session this one but it feels like it might have an ABV of at least 6.5%. Good brew

ByTor2112, Oct 07, 2008
Photo of ncvbc
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one is a brownish hue with amber and ruby shades. Minimal head and retention isn't the greatest. Smell is nice but not what I had expected from a beer with Hopper in the name. Bigger on the malts than anything. Some caramel, chocolate, and a distinct nutty scent. Very light to no hops present, though still very enticing. Taste is much of the same. Reminds me of the malt profile of many Catawba Valley brews. A definite malt presence. Oh so yummy chocolate and caramel malt. A good nutty flavor to compliment. A hoppy flavor shows up toward the finish but could have done wonders if used a bit more liberally. Of course, there is a light spicy flavor, though like the hops not as present as I had imagined. Still, very nice and interesting to say the least. Mouthfeel lacked the bitterness that again I had expected from the name alone. Smooth, good carbonation, though lacking a certain bitterness from the "hopper" in the name. I could have a couple, if not a few, pints of this. A good beer that just didn't live up to my hop head expectations. I still want to give it another go.

ncvbc, Sep 22, 2008
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Rye Hopper from French Broad Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 220 ratings.