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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

204 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 204
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 204 | Reviews: 125
Photo of bigox420
5/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of jmdr
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of jsnoek
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of RedAleMan
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of virinow
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of allergictomacros
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear gold. Solid foam.

S - A light citrus/pine with hints of grass and honey. Lightly earthy.

T/M - Good hoppiness - leaning towards the bitter side over flavour. A bit of acid up front and fairy bitter with a long finish. A little bit of apple, herbal notes. Moderate body and good carbonation level.

D - A bit coarse. I would prefer a bit more citrus from the hops but still, fairly drinkable, solid choice.

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 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 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 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 Digimaika2
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber with a near peach colour and a great fluffy creamy foam head that rests on-top like a marshmallow. Very good retention and good lacing.

S: Healthy dose of pine and grapefruit, strong baked bread-like malt, an earthy nutty aroma, honey, and some vanilla.

T: Similar to smell with a bittersweet herbal hop presence, bread-like malt, and a damp woody earthy taste (that's appealing). Also detecting a maple syrup quality to this, or perhaps it's that wood taste coming through.

M: Near perfect mouthfeel for the style with an oily medium mouthfeel and moderate carbonation.

O: A good IPA that's certainly sessionable. Could easily have a few of these in an evening. Reminds me of Sierra Nevada a bit- obviously a good thing.

Photo of sholland119
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up at Premier Wine & Spirits, Halifax.

A-Pours a crystal clear orange amber with a frothy off white head and nice sticky lacing.

S-Lots of malty richness, some good pine and a hint of citrus.

T-Lots of caramel malt, some good earthy hops and a bit of grapefruit bite in the finish.

M-Medium bodied, good carbonation.

O-Nice. A bit underhopped for my liking but still nice.


Photo of shamus
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent IPA but not going to be a favourite. It's got that nice hops richness as you would expect with an IPA called Hop Head but it's not quite spectacular. Maybe it's the kind of hops. Hmmm I'd rather have a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I guess in general I prefer APA to IPA but I would definitely buy this again.

Photo of nighthawk
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated 330mL bottle poured into pint glass. Procured from Premier in Halifax.

Pours a typical clear copper with orange hues and lots of visible carbonation. Head is initially two fingers high and white, fading to a thin haze that leaves a little lacing here and there.

Mainly hops to the nose, citrus with some pine and grassiness. Some caramel from the malt.

Hoppy at first, sweetly citrusy leading to more bitter pine and herbaceous notes, with a mice malty backbone to it of caramel and cereal grains. Finishes slightly sweet but with an accompanying bitterness.

Nice robust body with gentle but noticeable carbonation. Finishes clean and crisp.

Very nice IPA from Tree Brewing. Worth picking up.

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

330 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a hazy orange/amber with a finger and a half of off-white head. Good retention and lots of sticky lacing.

S: Smells of pine, caramel, grapefruit.

T: The flavour follows the aroma: piney grapefruit with a nice complementary malt base.

M: Medium body with a fairly creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is subdued.

D: The drinkability seems pretty high. A good AIPA.

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

Nice bottle. Pours a crystal clear copper with a finger of lingering off-white head. Very attractive.

Biscuity malts and piney hops, with light notes of citrus and honey.
For "Hop Head" I was expecting something a little more hop-forward and daring..definitely not a bad beer..quite good, actually..but just a little retrained..overall it's got a nice bitter and malty backbone..finishing smooth and dry. Good drinkability.

Photo of jrenihan
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is amber in colour, with a white head. Good retention and lacing.

Scent is good. Consists of citrus - primarily pineapple - and caramel malt.

Taste is fairly bitter, and the citrus and caramel from the scent are present. A bit of pine is in the background as well. Finish is bitter.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. A little chewy.

Decent IPA, but the Double Hop Head is considerably superior, in my view.

Photo of MattyV
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent orange-copper colour, airy white head with average retention but good lacing down the sides of the glass. Some caramel maltiness is immediately noticeable in the nose along with some green/herbal hop notes and a slight metallic tinge. Taste follows the nose with a sizeable sweet crystal malt backbone that counters the fruity/herbal hop flavours and bitterness. Finishes with a sharp, 'pithy' bitterness. Medium slick body with average, slightly prickly carbonation. Nice to see more (Canadian) IPAs on the shelves lately, even some of the more average interpretations of the style such as this. Quite enjoyable and well-balanced, lending itself to a good session or two, but perhaps if the juicy hop flavour was dialed up a bit this beer would stick out more for me.

Photo of peensteen
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lightly hazy copper colour, one finger of off white head, lots of lace left behind. Smell is full of hops and pine notes, some citrus and grapefruit, malty with some sweet notes. Taste is fairly malty, quite sweet, floral pine presence, big peanut oil like flavours are a little unwelcome. Med-high prickly carbonation, medium body with some hop oils present. Overall a bit of a let down, looks and smells quite good but that was the highpoint, a bit bland and fairly average.

Photo of tbeckett
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of bryehn
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, rusty amber colour with a sizeable and frothy off-white head that settles quickly as a collared film while leaving a generous amount of lace.

The aroma is not what I was expecting and a bit muted overall. Lightly caramelized malts with a fresh, grainy backing and a semi-sweet floral tone. A subtle hint of lemon oil and alcohol as well.

Tastes like toasted malts up front. A light buttery tone gives way to an earth-like taste and a fairly strong bitterness that really lingers, but remains in control. Again, a hint of lemon or orange oil pokes through in the finish. Very well-balanced.

Rather light-bodied with a medium-heavy carbonation that really pops on the tongue. Has a distinct oily quality that smooths over its bitterness in the aftertaste and adds to its drinkability.

After trying the double IPA version of Hophead I was genuinely surprised at the lack of any real citrus or fruity bite, however this is a fairly easy-going take on the style that would work well with grilled meats, salads, breads and pasta with red sauce. Will likely sneak into the regular rotation.

Photo of fostachild
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a really nice amber color - extremely clear. good amount of foamy head with nice retention.

smell is piney hops, citrus, bitterness.

taste bit of hops with a sweet malty aftertaste. also a slight bitterness to it. okay balance with good carbonation.

overall a little different than what i expect from an american ipa, but still good.

Photo of spinrsx
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Photo of biegaman
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Hop Head India Pale Ale from Tree Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.