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Hop Head India Pale Ale - Tree Brewing

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

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

198 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 198
Reviews: 120
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 10.21%
Wants: 10
Gots: 4 | 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:
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.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-13-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 198 | Reviews: 120 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Sammy, Aug 01, 2004
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Phyl21ca, Sep 06, 2005
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy, dark copper body with a thin, wispy, off-white head.

Smell: Grainy pale maltiness with vague hints of caramel and notes of pine and citrus fruit.

Taste: Light, fleeting flavors of grains, pale malt, and, to an even lesser degree, caramel. Minimal sweetness. Pine-based and citrus hops deliver a moderate bitterness, a bit astringent at times. Finishes crisp, bitter, and quite dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Didn't care for this one. Thanks, but no thanks, Tree.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of biboergosum
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

biboergosum, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of jwc215
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Voonder for this one!

Pours orange amber with a thin off-white head that becomes a swirling patch. No lacing really sticks.

The smell is perfumy, piney, fruity hops with a sweet caramel background.

The taste is resiny/piney - Hops stand out just ahead of the sweet caramelish malt. Sweet resin turns to a bittering, citric, dry finish.

It has a firm medium body. Pretty chewy.

This is a nice well-balanced, though appropriately hoppy, IPA. On the modest side of abv for the style (and well-hidden), and with the nice aroma, taste and body, it makes for a great call for a "sessionable" IPA for sure!

jwc215, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of GClarkage
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

02/29/06- Taken from notes on my last Kelowna trip in September. Had on tap at Tree Brewery.

Presentation- Via the tap into 4oz tasters.

Appearance- Lighter amber colored pour, 1/2 inch head with light lacing.

Smell- Darker roasted malt background, minimal, but sweeter and floral scented hops.

Taste- Hmmm, really light on the hops here. Tastes like a pale ale that has more malt than hops. Just a small hit of grapefruit bitterenss. The malt is medium dark, not as dark as from the scent.

Mouthfeel- Good carbonation level. Light aftertaste.

Drinkability- I will have to try this one again when I go back. It gets good reviews. Stale batch? Doubt it though because I got it straight from the tap at the brewery itself. Just wasn't hoppy at all.

GClarkage, Mar 04, 2006
Photo of smakawhat
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

smakawhat, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of biegaman
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is about the only place you won't find evidence of hops; despite a hefty indulgence of lupulin the beer didn't turn green. Rather, its copper coloured body glistens like tinsel, despite that it's too hazed to properly see through, and its toasty complexion suggests a good proportion of malt, as would the sturdy head retention.

Judging by the smell, Tree Hophead might have just as much swagger as its bigger brother, Double Hophead. While there isn't much alcohol and far too much balancing malt to mistake it for a DIPA, its hop bill sure could fit the description of one; a very 'green' bitterness (like that of steamed greens) comes across as quite stinky, with a heavily herbal mustiness.

IPAs don't put the same emphasis on 'balance' - some argue, in fact, that the less of it the better - but I feel it depends on what variety of hops is used. A resinous, pine-y, almost ganja-like herbal bill, like the one used in this recipe, benefits from a good dosage of toasty, caramelly malt, which is most complimentary, combining to make a candied-fruit finish.

Hophead packs a lot of punch for a beer that fails to exceed 6%; while most would agree that its alcohol content is moderate, I'd bet most people would be turned off by a beer that's so unapologetically bitter. Oily resins drench the palate, tangy alpha acids singe the throat and hop leafs can be felt wedged between the teeth. I'm gonna need some floss.

Although British Columbia may belong to a separate country from Washington, Oregon and northern California, the fact is that all parts of the Pacific North-West share a common, indissoluble culture between them. Their citric, resinous, bitter beers are case in point. Indeed, I'd put Hophead up there with any other flagship IPA from that part of the world.

biegaman, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of Viggo
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear golden/orange, medium sized white head forms, stays all the way through, laces nicely. Smell is hoppy, lots of pine, caramel and citrus. Taste is nice and balanced, lots of pine and floral, with some grain and caramel. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Excellent IPA, best Canadian IPA I've tasted yet, at least in bottled form.

Viggo, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of DrJay
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep golden colour, clear, with a rocky, off-white head. Plenty of lacing. Hop aromas are very nice, mostly floral with a bit of citrus. Caramel maltiness is also present. Caramel malt flavour starts things off and ends part way through. Moderate bitterness. Hop flavour stays muted until the end and it finishes dry. Medium carbonation and body. Very nicely balanced, which helps the drinkability. Overall, quite a good beer.

DrJay, Jul 04, 2005
Photo of liamt07
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 341ml bottle into a tulip, courtesy of IllNate.

Gorgeous dark orange colour, with an off white head, which settles to a collar. Great hop-haze going on, can't see clearly through this beer; looks great and hope the taste is there too. Aroma is tropical fruits; maybe a bit of grapefruit, but also has some mango and orange going on, among others. Light bitterness, but doesn't stick out; a sweet, caramel malt stands out from underneath this as well. Taste is kinda weird; I get some fruits upfront with a bit of bitterness and some pine lingering on the palate. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but it's got some good drinkability on a nice hot summer day. Bottle probably not as fresh as it could have been however.

liamt07, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of Derek
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the Guildford mall Liquor store in Surrey, BC. I'm not sure if this was a particularly fresh bottle, but this is AWESOME!

A: Very clear, orange-copper tone with a fluffy white head, great retention and lace. Exceptional.

S: Citrousy Pacific Northwest hops (floral & citrous), with a little bready malt.

T: Certainly balanced towards the bitter side, but very smooth. Not at all harsh. Pleasant British Pale malt, slight caramel flavour, with a huge wack of Northwest hops (quite assertive, but not overbearing). Very nice.

M: Moderate body with a slightly acidic feel. Moderate to high carbonation, prickly.

D: Very drinkable.

I think this one's under-rated. In a blind tasting, it should compete with the best of them. Perhaps it's the modest 5.8% ABV that detracts people... but it's still packed with quality flavour, and it's just that much more drinkable!

Derek, Dec 18, 2005
Photo of wordemupg
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured into pint glass aug17 2009

A clear golden copper, with a big head that slowly forms a island, lots of lace, not quite marking each sip but still very nice

S lots of hops(go figure) heavy citrus lots of grapefruit and some pine

T like it smells, but bigger flavor and a little bit of well balanced malt and some booze i could not smell. other then there DIPA this is the best tasting beer ive had from tree brewing, just a toned down version of the DIPA

M/D no complaints here this was hard not too drink, downed 2 in the time it took me to write this

too bad the DIPA is a seasonal, this works very well in between, well worth trying

wordemupg, Aug 18, 2009
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

TheSevenDuffs, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of spinrsx
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml Bottle

Appearance – The beer pours a clear copper colour with a large size frothy and fizzy beige coloured head. There isn't a whole lot of carbonation to be seen, and there is some really amazing lacing going on. The head hung around for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel, grapefruits, pine

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and a fair amount of hops. There is also an earthy flavour mixed with pine and some light grapefruit. The beer finishes with a caramel sweet aftertaste with a few seconds of lingering hop bitterness.

Overall – Don't get me wrong, this is a very good IPA.. but I prefer more of fruity juicy west coast flavour. This is more along the lines of the east coast variety.. kind like a sam adams latitude 48 meets a smuttynose finest kind.

spinrsx, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of tbeckett
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours bright with a a golden colour and decent carbonation. One finger of creamy, fluffy eggshell head. Chunk of lacing in one spot and good one finger retention.

S - Lot's of citrus pineapple and grapefruit with a solid malt body. A little subdued. The pineapple comes out strong though.

T - Nice malt body of rich caramel malts balancing with a strong citrus hop profile. A nice West coast punch of pinesol soapy hops and a little earth come together with that caramel and bready body for a pretty good IPA.

M - Plenty bitter with proper carbonation and a medium body with a little chew.

O/D - A fairly balanced example of the style with a bitter punch I wasn't expecting to get so high. If you're looking for a more balanced example of the style then this is probably it. While it gets going with a strong hop note, the malts are much more present than with other examples.

tbeckett, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught. Railway club. Brass. Slow rising bubbles of carbonation. Small off-white head. Aromas are hop heavy, but not saturated for an IPA. PacNW variaties and a nice blend of them as well. Nice biscuity caramel maltiness back up the hops, and make for a very nicely blended adult beverage. Taste is bitter on the front of the tongue, with a nice sharp hoppiness that most seattle IPAs have. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and drinkability is great. A lovely little IPA from these BC brewers.

francisweizen, Jul 18, 2005
Photo of EgadBananas
3.63/5  rDev -5%
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.

EgadBananas, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of canucklehead
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tree Brewing from Kelowna have shot the first volley in the B.C. alpha wars with Hophead. The IBU's on this brew must easily be over 60 and the only beers this hoppy come from south of the border.

The colour is a nice dark gold with a solid head to cap it off. The nose is dominated by pnw hops which certainly intice me to take a sip. The flavour is hoppy and bitter with a good balance between the hops and malt. The finish is dry and makes me want to have another sip. This is one of my favorite session beers especially on tap. Pick this one up if you are a "Hophead' like myself.

canucklehead, Mar 14, 2003
Photo of andrenaline
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Long time reader, first time reviewer. Figured I'd start with one of my favourites, hopefully it's not too biased. Bottle poured into my favourite pilsner glass (which after reviewing the glassware section, was the wrong glass... should've been a mug!).

A - Deep caramel in colour. Decent carbonation with a strong lace off the pour, diminishing over time.

S - Overwhelming hop scent, with a mild malt offset.

T - Strong hops off the start, with a malty aftertaste. Bitterness increasingly noticeable over time.

M - Noticeable carbonation on the palette which mellows and smoothes on the swallow.

D - Given that this is my go to beer, I find it highly drinkable, though, my opinion may be slightly biased! If you like hoppy beers, which are sessionable, this one is highly recommended. A nice balance of hops making you wanting to come back for more!

andrenaline, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of bobsy
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Textbook IPA appearance - light amber body witha thick white head. Leafy, citric hops in the aroma - remarkably fresh smelling, but a little unbalanced. I find this in the flavour too - it has a wonderful taste of grapefruit and leafy, grassy hops, but the malt is too subdued to effectively balance it out. Again, good fresh taste, though. Nice medium, creamy body and medium-low carbonation. Solid drinkability. I was mildly disappointed by this beer - even though it was solid enough, I expected big things and had been looking forward to it for a while.

bobsy, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of oldp0rt
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

oldp0rt, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of IronDjinn
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hubba hubba, I'm glad I brought a 6 of this home with me from the West coast. Great looking ale, tight creamy white head that recedes to a solid cap, brilliant clear copper body with lots of carbonation action. Considerable lacing as well. There is some caramel malt hiding behind the lip-smacking aroma of aggressive hops, along with pine, grapefruit, and some lemony citrus as well. The flavour is one big soul kiss of Cascade hops, earthy, piney, citrusy, through which a small breath of toasted malt manages to come up for air briefly every once in a while. The best Canadian IPA I've sampled yet. Smooth creamy mouthfeel at first, but becomes oily on the finish due to the hops.

We used to have this available in Calgary back when Tree first started in about 1994-95. I think it's high time we got it back on the shelves here in Alberta again, I'm chomping at the bit for more.

IronDjinn, Jul 14, 2004
Photo of grub
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

presario hooked me up with this one as part of CanBIF3. thanks trevor!

12oz bottle.

pours a deep golden colour, almost orange, with a big off-white head. the head drops fairly fast and leaves a fine layer of lace.

aroma is nice. lots of biscuit malt. grapefruit and a bit of tangerine. hint of alcohol.

taste is nice. medium bitterness level. touh of grapefruit, but not much else from the hops. bit of alcohol. lots of biscuit again.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level is great. nice medium body.

drinkability is quite good. well balanced and very nice. i would have liked a little more hop presence in the taste, but enjoyed it overall.

grub, Jul 30, 2007
Photo of Jeffo
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one at the LCBO back in The Loo.

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, fluffy, off-white head with very good retention. Clear burnt orange in color with lower levels of carbonation. Head slowly fades to a full wisp and sticks to the sides of the glass. Splotchy wisp remains and leaves lots of nice lacing down the glass. Good looking beer for sure.

SMELL: Pale malts, caramel, honeydew melon, toffee and some floral hops on the nose. Bold enough.

TASTE: Pale malts, caramel, melon flavors, then some bitter-sweet flavors after the swallow. Medium but lingering aftertaste of sweet caramel and toffee, decent hop bitterness and floral flavors. English in style for sure, with a solid malt backbone.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Semi creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating.

OVERALL: Solid beer. Nothing worth writing home about, but a good English style IPA that's easy to drink. Enjoyable and worth drinking for sure. Pretty good looking too. Recommended.

Jeffo, Oct 11, 2013
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Hop Head India Pale Ale from Tree Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 198 ratings.