Hop Head India Pale Ale - Tree Brewing

Not Rated.
Hop Head India Pale AleHop Head India Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

207 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 207
Reviews: 125
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 10.5%
Wants: 10
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Tree Brewing visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-13-2003

Over a decade ago, we brewed one of the most innovative IPA's in Craft Brewing. To this day, our award winning IPA is the benchmark for Real IPA's...as our saying goes "Drink Real Ale Cause Bud Is Just For Smoking"! Hop Head is full bodied and loaded with hops, delivering a distinct taste and aroma.
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Ratings: 207 | Reviews: 125
Reviews by Yoozeo:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Popsinc
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice amber, generous head...the nose was fruity and floral, lots of fresh hoppiness....the taste was all hops, found that the malts were somewhat lost in the mix, not as well balanced as i would have liked, hop bitterness, mild sweetness...hops dominated and lingered long....nice full, lively mouthfeel, a little drying of the finish...nice beer but a little too hop-dominant to score better drinkability

Photo of niangelo
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased in a Tree Brewing sampler 8 pack (only 11 bucks!) Served in a pint glass.

I fridged this one a while, after I hopped off the hop-wagon, so to speak. But I was in the mood tonight, and this brew payed off. It's nice to have a Canadian brewery that puts out a spicy, hoppy beer that's available in Edmonton. Alley Kat's Full Moon Pale is another great example.

The mouthfeel is lively. Smells floral and hoppy. Taste is heavy on the citrus, floral notes and some light bread notes. Finished with a hint of malt and dark hops.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Six pack from the Uptown Waterloo LCBO. Been eager to try this for quite some time, but distribution was...well...typical.

Poured into a nonic. Amber golden, good frothy head, nice lacing patches.

Nose is a mix of earth, citrus and malty sweetness, with a bit of pine and other damp BC smells. Lovely.

Nice IPA, with the earthy-pine grabbing more attention than the citrus, which is something I haven't seen in quite some time. Like any true "Hop Head", I just can't get enough hops, and yes, even this brew could still use a little more umph. But it's damned tasty and the maple sweetness is quite enjoyable. British Pale Ale-style mild carbonation, slightly creamy.

Solid brew, nice IPA with a distinctly BC flavor to it. Worth a try, might sneak in to my regular rotation.

Photo of chickenm
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a long-lasting light tan head that leaves lots of lacing on the glass. Nice aroma of grapefruit with some caramel malt. The flavor is mostly hops with grapefruit and pine. The taste would be better if it had a stronger malt backbone to balance it out a bit. Medium-light body with a decent mouthfeel, quite dry. Nothing amazing, but this is a nice IPA.

Photo of biboergosum
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

20oz pint at Bottlescrew Bill's in downtown Calgary - this was my introduction to hoppy IPAs (fuck you Alexander Keith!) a few years ago, and here I sit now, with a tap option right in front of me!

This beer appears a clear, medium orange-brick amber hue, with one chubby finger of thickly foamy, somewhat bubbly, and eventually creamy off-white head, which leaves a respectable amount of patchy webbed lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells evenly of grapefruit/orange citrus pith, lemon-heavy iced tea powder, biscuity and bready caramel malt, and further floral, leafy astringent hop notes. The taste is bitter grapefruit, orange, and lemon rind up front, followed tightly by a bewildered dose of crackery caramel malt, a bit of wet white bread, and rounded out once again by some mildly bitter floral hops.

The carbonation is fairly soft, in a tacky, frothy sort of manner, the body a decent medium-full weight for the style, mostly smooth, and even a bit creamy. It finishes more or less consistent, the semi-sweet malt, and varied bittering hops lingering for a whole while longer.

As previously mentioned, seeing this on tap for the first time was a very pleasant surprise. It is a fair bit fuller and smoother in draft form, but is otherwise quite in line, flavour-wise, with the bottled format that I usually put back in large-ish amounts, when the occasion calls for it. One of Canada's best for the style, IMHO.

Photo of mintjellie
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber orange colour, slight haze. Foamy off-white head retains well and leaves a patchy lace. Light citrus, tropical fruit, and pine on the nose. Mildly sweet and fruity up front with notes of toast, mango, and red grapefruit. Finish is leafy, bitter, and long lingering. Medium-bodied with low carbonation. Feels smooth and slick, with lingering oiliness between mouthfuls. A solidly built but unremarkable American IPA.

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A solid and very bitter American style IPA. As good as an average American microbrewery. Not particularly citrusy, that would heighten its drinkability. More banana. Dry aftertastePine and lemon aroma. Hats off to Irondjinn for the sample.
I had this 2.5 years later on tap at Hop In Brew and that rating is now posted.

Photo of pugdogbeer
4.63/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hop Head IPA from Tree Brewing in Kelowna BC is a very smooth, easy-drinking IPA owing more to American IPAs than its maltier Canadian and British cousins.

Cirtusy, sweet smell with a nice orange colour with lots of lovely lacing.

This is one of the smoothest, easy-to-drink IPAs I have ever encountered.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - nice amber hue, one finger of soapy toffee coloured head

S - definite floral & piney hops dominate, exactly what I would expect from an American IPA

T - nicely bitter floral/piney hops at first, then a spicy but caramelly malt linger on the tounge

M - starts sharp & spicy with an expected hop kick, but smooths out nicely on the aftertaste in spite of the spiciness

D - with a 5.6% APV, I still think this is a very easy drinking IPA, enough punch to satisfy the hop lover, but I could see myself easily starting a big night off with several of these

Photo of Orrshow
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Pours deep golden amber with some off white frothy head. The head retains reasonably and leaves tons of lacing.

Smell – Lots of hops odors when put to the nose. Floral and citrus hops are very present. It’s clear that cascades are used here. I can also smell bread and caramel malt aromas. Nice.

Taste – Extremely bitter from the start. Bread flavors come next with slight caramel sweetness. There is lots of citrus as well with some pine flavor. The aftertaste is a dry and bitter.

Mouthfeel – Toned down carbonation and a great body. It’s a little oily as well.

Drinkability – Top notch. I like my hops though…so it won’t be great for everyone.

One reliable IPA that I like to revisit. Tree's best beer by far.

Photo of heebes
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355 ml bottle.
New bottle design. No label on the body, only the top, slightly tapered in the middle, different.
15/01/12 printed on the neck.

Pours a medium orange amber with one and a half fingers worth of slightly off white foamy head. Nose is biscuity, bready, light citrus, lemony, faint pine; mainly balanced with possibly more malt backbone than hop presence - at least in the smell. Taste is sharply bitter pine (from Tree brewing, go figure) with that malt forward body coming next, almost instantly dry mouthfeel. A depth of flavour, thankfully this is where the hops shine most in this beer - bitter, earthy but not floral or citrus. The same malt profile that I remember from the Imperial Hophead from Tree that we tried earlier this year; a little metallic, reminiscent of a beer that isnt so fresh, but hey, traveling from B.C to Ontario im not complaining. Medium bodied, good carbonation.
Overall, pretty impressed - its got the sharp dry hop mouthfeel down, fairly balanced, refreshing and nice to see on shelves in this small rural town.

Photo of vanrassel
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a good IPA, but I can't help thinking it's missing something.

It looks and smells good: a nice copper colour, thick head and a bitter hoppy aroma tinged with a bit of caramel from the malt. The taste has plenty of hop bitterness typical of the style and it has a nice bite, but I thought the mouthfeel was a little thin and watery — a finding I've had with a couple of Tree beers, actually. The finish was a little dry and astringent for my liking, too.

Despite my lukewarm endorsement, this beer still beats a macro any day. The thing is, I can find better IPAs locally (Wild Rose springs to mind, and it's locally-brewed, too) I'd rather drink than this one.

Photo of eat
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was the first hoppy beer I ever tried. I bough a mixed Tree six-pack while I was living in Banff and thought this stuff tasted like freshly cut grass. I didn't know what to make of it at first but ended up loving it. It's been a couple years now since I've had this beer; thanks to wordemupg for including it in CanBIF6.

Hop Head pours a hazy honey colour with lots of visible carbonation and a bubbly white cover of head. Decent lacing but not enough head retention.

The nose is a good balance of caramel malt and floral, grassy hops. Bits of tropical fruit, cotton candy and pine are also present. Pretty nice.

After drinking dozens more hoppy beers since first being introduced to hops by this stuff...I can't really say it's all that hoppy anymore. It smells pretty nice but the taste isn't what I was expecting. Not totally balanced; a little too far over to the bitterness side. It's a bit thin, with the malt presence being pretty weak and the hops mostly showing up as bitter IBUs rather than specific flavours. The nice sweet malt from the smell isn't really present at all. Some slightly-drying grapefruit rind does come through; wheat; a little alcohol blends in with the bitterness. Aftertaste of grapefruit rind.

The feel is pretty average. Light-medium body with moderate carbonation. Nothing special.

This isn't among the better IPAs I've tried and actually isn't what I remember from back in Banff. I wonder if they've changed the recipe at all in the couple years since I last had this one; I remember a lot or grassy hops but they're not showing up here. This one is lacking a bottling date so it's tough to say how fresh it is. It goes down easy enough but seems pretty uninspired.

Photo of elricorico
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper colour with a big bubbly white head that leaves thick lacing in abundance. The smell is lemon lime with a big hop presence. No surprise there, considering the name.

There is a malt sweetness to the front of this beer, but the finish is a long drawn out bitterness that lasts far past the swallowing. IThis is certainly a hopheads beer. Not being a hophead means I shouldn't like this... but... this is the fifth bottle I've had over the past month or so, and I do like this beer. It is big about the hops, but it's not overpowering. It fills your mouth with a bitter flavour, but it doesn't punish in any way.

Mouthfeel is pretty good with a bit of body and a pleasant amount of carbonation. The only place where this beer suffers is drinkability. I can't bring myself to have more than one. I like it, but I feel that one of these is enough for a couple of days. That being said, the first one does go down well enough.

Good beer, I'm not at all surprised that I hear it mentioned amongst people favourites.

Photo of Goldorak
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Translucid copper bronze, with a dense and creamy off white head.

Smell: Citrus, with tangerines and grapefruits, with sort of a grainy, potato starch aroma that I detect in IPAs sometime and I don't know where it comes from but like it.

Taste: Do they put rye or wheat in there? It's quite smooth even though there is a good amount of hoppy bite to it, without ever going overboard and harsh. I really enjoyed the body on this Beer, especially when the hop flavors died off and the residual sweetness of the malt came through. It did get a little more abraisive towards the end of the bottle but not enough to diminish my enjoyment. A solid west coast IPA.

Photo of GrimmReaper
1.9/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a cloudy off orange color with a decent head with decent retention.Fruity aroma with some tangerine in there and some kinda flowery scent also.Taste is very bitter with a sour tangy fruity flavor,kinda soapy flavor also,got a medium mouth to this one which hits you right off the bat with the bitterness and than goes down with a tangy bite and the bitter hits again and stays right at the back of the tongue.Not my style.

Photo of DaveBar
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%

Purchased at the LCBO for around $7.00 for a 22oz bomber. Served at 7deg C in a tulip

A- 4.25- Nice opening beer. Pours a nice head that does not last but is good. Nice dark amber almost brown LOL

S- 3.75- I bit light. Nice hops and typical malt but that is it

T- 4.0- Got a nice bite but light. It is a DIPA though.

M- 3.75- Has it but needs refinement

O- 3.86- Like it but has to be refined somewhat

Food Pairing

This nice DIPA went well with..... Spicey tuna roll sushi. Man I like my fresh sushi


Photo of paxkey
2.88/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

bottle different than one pictured.

pours marmelade orange, honey brown. two finger offwhite head. beer is cloudy. head is sticking around.

pulling tropical fruit on the nose. a little candylike though. might be a sweet syrupy malt bill. smells nice overall

an almost cloying bitterness attacks the palate and leaves a sharp spiked edge on the finish. some of that sweetness comes through in the middle and stays around on the finish.
bitterness is slighlty metallic. not terrible but..
beer has some chewiness to it but leaves some alchohol burn and almost medicinal bitterness on the way down.
love ipa's but a failure is a failure.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a medium foamy slightly off-white head. Aroma of cascade hops is clearly present with a nice touch of citrus. Taste is also characterized by cascade hops with a clear citrus touch and a quite bitter finish. Body is above average and carbonation is a bit low. Interesting take on the style.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Medium orange. Cloudy with one finger of bubbly off-white head that quickly receded leaving some good lacing behind.

S - A seemingly balanced IPA nose. Some bitter citrus and piney hops with a sweet caramel backbone.

T - Follows the nose. Balanced flavour profile with a good hop bitterness and a sweet caramel malt backbone. Some citrus and floral notes come through from the hops as well.

M - Light to medium body. Moderate carbonation.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TheSevenDuffs for this!

Pours a nice clear, light amber color. Head was rather white, fluffy, leaving waves of lace. Aroma was lightly floral, with a big caramel malt backbone. Taste was much more bitter than the nose let on, with a subtle floral, but more grassy hop bite. Nutty, caramel malts make for a nice balance. Very creamy mouthfeel, with a definite full body.

Nothing "wow-worthy", but there's no arguing that this is a nice, tasty, drinkable daily ipa.

Photo of smakawhat
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tulip pint glass.

Deep rusty red and copper orange and very clear. Some good slow rising thing carbonation below a somewhat thick and faint tan four finger billowing controlled head. Some ring like lacing and island retention thick capped top. Always manages a puck while drinking.

Great nose on this. Soft hop citrus, and juicy sensing qualities. Some sweet leafy herbal tea and faint caramel. Highly aromatic but nothing exceptionally large.

Palate delivers nicely with a varied hop quality. First taste is bitter grapefruit oils and warmth, followed by a minty aftertaste and refreshing soft bitterness. Nice toned down sweetness with some caramel like senses in the mid palate. Great controlled lingering bitterness finish with orange pekoe like tea. Very light bodied with just a touch of playful carbonation, but not a wet palate at all.

This really packs a great hop punch for an easy low ABV. One of the better Canadian made IPAs I've had in some time.

Photo of bloberglawp
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thank you IronDjinn for this bottle (CanBIF). Served in pint glass, at 18C.

Immediate hop aroma/flavor (dry hoped?), very nice. Bitter brew, plenty of hops used in this one. Rather neutral malt backbone, could use a little more. Good cabonisation and head retention/lacing for this style.

Photo of Garin
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear coppery gold beer with a nice effervescence. On top floats a creamy, dense, sticky, lacey head that just won't quit.

Pine and citrus hops dominate the nose, with hints of caramel underneath.

The flavour is all IPA. Resinous, and a solid citrus peel bitter, with loads of hops at every level. Strong bitterness starts early and lasts through the aftertaste. A lingering sweetness stays on the tip of the tongue, and a clean maltiness builds over time. Grapefruity burps afterwards.

Smooth and easy drinking, I can drink this all night. At the GCBF this year, I did. It's utterly fantastic. Boy do I ever wish I could get this in Alberta.

Photo of Proteus93
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: New-penny copper pour is just the slightest bit hazy, and topped with a creamy and lightly rolling head of offwhite - gold.

S: Clean, citrus hops; predominately grapefruit. Smells like it could potentially be a single hopped brew.

T: Wow, what a hoppy flavour. Grapefruit, orange rind. A nice touch of malt providing a good balance.

M + D: Carbonation is a bit lower than I would expect for the style, but it's very appropriate in this case. Wet and refreshing, with a clean finish. A very nicely done IPA, I wouldn't hesitate to come back to this one. At just shy of 6%, it is not exactly the perfect session beer, but it's one to spend the afternoon with anyways.

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Hop Head India Pale Ale from Tree Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 207 ratings.