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Hop Head India Pale Ale - Tree Brewing

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

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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 bludtek
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Slightly hazy light amber. Not that much of an off-white head.

S - Fresh and hoppy. Citrus and fresh cut juniper boughs come through.

T - Grapefruit and bitter hops quickly has its way with the initial malty sweetness. This beer is all about the hops. Wonderful floral,then intense citrus, and finally pine and cedar sharpness carry this beer through its long finish. This micro brew conisitently delivers.

M - I have to say the hops dominate this one (not that there is anything wrong with that). The malt puts up a good fight, though, and makes for a good mouth feel. A lingering bitterness follows(another characteristice I do not mind) that wants my nose to explore a bit further on the next sip.

D - I love this beer. It gives me the bitterness, taste, and aroma of hops I often feel is missing from other beers. I definitly seek out the few stores in town that carry it. I can see how it might not be for everyone, but for hop lovers it is definitey worth a try.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Christie's Carriage House - pint comes a golden color with a thin sweater of head.

Nice light, fruity hops smell on the nose - grapefruits and other citrus fruits couched in a sweet malt backdrop.

Not overwhelming hops but they're lively and fresh. Grapefruit with dashes of other citrus, mixed with bittering hops in the body and a hint of pine. Not an overly active malt body but a sweetness is hidden there. Too light body but enough hops to keep in mind that this is a legit IPA.

Good carbonation, lively exciting drink. Not an American West Coast IPA but close - a Canadian version. Hoppy enough to meet my fix and drinkable enough to have multiple pints. Check it out!

Photo of CoolJosh
3.22/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Incredibly see through grapefruit pink/yellow. Small layer of white head that doesn't last more then a couple seconds but does leave some lacing. Some slight activity but the color is really turning me off from the start.

Some ok citrus pulling through, mainly. Grapefruits and lemon, hops are minimally present. I'm getting an almost sour like scent.

One of the weirdest tastes I have ever seen in an ipa. It starts off with sour lemon and orange and grapefruit mixture that blends together in a very odd way, and follows with a malty grainy flavor before leading into moderately sharp hop kick. A little bit hot in the beginning and middle which probably adds to the weird flavors.

Photo of jwc215
4.07/5  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!

Photo of pootz
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep gold-orange with a puffy 1 finger cap that lasts and laces well (this is this beer's signature, if you don't see this you have a oxidized ample or a dirty glass)

Aroma is a Canadianized version ow the west coast APAs...chinook hop grapefruit aromas over toffee malts.

Tastes pretty much as it smells; standard APA tastes but in good balance and a lighter clean finish,

Glad Tree makes this or Western Canada whouldn't have a local bottled pacific NW styled APA..two thumbs up!

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a 12 ounce bottle - Pours a slightly cloudy orange/red with low carbonation, and below average lacing. Delightful smells of sweet malts and tons of sticky hops. First sip is bitter with a welcomed hop presence but lacking in a strong enough malt backbone to really balance out the aggressive hops. Just not enough balance to make this anything more than mediocre.

Photo of prosper
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served at 45F.

Pours a nice clear golden amber color. weak head that dissipates quickly, some of the foam clings tenaciously to the glass - but not much.

Smells absolutely glorious. A toasty, yeasty smell, like fresh baking bread. Lots of caramel, and slight hints of fruity esters, like peaches or apricots. Fruity, citrussy hops are a highlight - probably Cascades or Crystal, or one of the other pacific west coast varieties.

Tastes like it smells. Has a hint of evergreen, perhaps, with lots of earthy, toasted flavours, and dried fruit. Finishes with hops, and a grapefruit-like astringency. Quite dry, but with a very full body. There are far more hops in the aroma and flavor than bitterness. I'd guess most of the hops were added late in the process.

Mouthfeel is slightly astringent, moderate acidic co2 zing. Full body.

I could down plenty of these. I'll buy more.

Photo of santa109
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at 40 degrees. Received as part of CanBIF4, thanks seldomseen!

A: Poured a nice orangey-copper color with about half a finger of head into a pint. The head quickly diminishes into a thick bubbly foam. A quick swirl brings back some liveliness into it. A healthy stream of bubbles rush to the surface feeding the patches of foam left until the end of the glass. Leaves a decent amount of lacing throughout the session.

S: Biscuity malts dominate the aromas with an underlying floral hop smell as I give it a swirl. I generally prefer my IPA's to be more accented towards the hops.

T: Quite similar to the smell. Biscuity malts dominate once again. The hops make a faint attempt at pushing through but seem to fail. I was expecting a much stronger hop character from something named hophead and from of the other reviews. I've had some pale ales with more bite than this one. Still enjoyable but I feel like it let me down. A hint/touch of citrus in the aftertaste but that's about it. Surprisingly for an IPA, it developed some punch as it warmed up a bit which is usually when most others lose their hoppy feel.

M: Nice carbonation which gives it a lively/prickly mouthfeel. On the lighter side of the spectrum in terms of fullness yet it suits the beer well. Leaves a lasting drying effect.

D: Easy to drink, nothing extreme for an IPA, might even be a good intro to the style. A strong point for this beer.

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

Pours dark amber color, very clean and clear. Head is very thin and disappeared almoust immideately.
Very hoppy fresh smell. Tastes like hops as well with a little bitternes, but not too much. I'm not a huge fan of IPA's but this one tastes really good. I've had this before and will have that again for sure.
Drinkability is good.

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.

Photo of bobsy
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of markaberrant
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - light copper, brilliant clarity (boo-urns on the filtering). Decent off white head leaves a sheet of lace down the glass.

S - grapefruity nose, with a touch of caramel sweetness. One of the few Canadian IPAs that actually smells like hops!

T - The first sensation to hit my tongue is bitter grapefruit, this flavour carries all the way through to the finish. There is a gentle malt sweetness that is rather subdued for a Canadian IPA, but still stronger than some American IPAs. Finishes with a good bit of bitterness. Aftertaste is more grapefruit (surprise, surprise).

M - low carbonation, medium body, creamy. I'm not getting a lot of resiny hop dryness, but the finish is certainly dry and crisp, sorta reminds me of a good pilsner.

D - probably too bitter and hoppy for a newbie, but goes down way too easy for me.

I haven't had a Hophead in 2 years. At the time, it was the first American-style IPA I ever tried, and it was quite an experience! To come back to it now is quite enjoyable. I remember thinking it was out of balance, but I don't find it to be that way anymore. Definitely something I will purchase more of when I am in Alberta again. This is definitely the closest a Canadian IPA comes to tasting like an American IPA.

Photo of Graham5161986
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a crystal clear copper colour with a nice frothy two finger off-white head that has good retention and leaves a nice sticky lace on my glass.

S: lots of hops and caramel malts on the nose. bitter sweet :). Definite citrus notes as well.

T: very hoppy up front with a touch of caramel sweetness in the middle with a nice hoppy long finish. I detect a tad bit of breadiness and nuttinness on the finish as well. crisp and refreshing.

M: medium bodied and slightly creamy with a good carbonation sting and a smooth, dry finish.

D: I love me a good IPA and this one from Tree doesn`t disappoint. It really bothers me when some brewers put out so-called “IPAs” and I’m left wondering...so where are all the hops??? This one delivers strong hop flavour and is very refreshing and easy to drink. I have bought it before and I will buy it again. Good stuff.

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 BeerBelcher
3.36/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Although I would disagree with the description slightly (I wouldn't call this "extrememly hoppy"), I still thought this beer was pretty decent. It was a very light and drinkable IPA which still had some presence in my mouth despite a lot of refreshing effervescence. It was an OK-looking golden brown with great head formation which stuck around forever. Aroma was just a touch off - there was a fair amount of grassy hop but somehow it was weirdly wheaty.

Not bad, and I'd recommend it.

Photo of MAB
4.54/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beerfly notice: Often available, on-tap, at the Hop-In Brew house, in Calgary.

Quite possibly my favorite bitter. I had this at a "Beerfest" event in Penticton, BC once and the guys had samples of cask-conditioned Hophead (with handfuls of hops thrown into the cask just before sealing it, they told me). It was heavenly.

This is not a beer for the faint of heart. If you don't like tasting hops, you're going to hate this beer.
But if you're the kind of person who would almost rather smell the beer than drink it (I said, ALMOST rather), then this is the beer for you.
Nice color, a bit more red than gold. Not as yellow as the picture on the box.
Fabulous aroma- as noted.
The taste is almost all hops, all bitterness, but it doesn't rip your tastebuds apart, either. There are also citrusey notes and there is an underlying sweetness from the malt. I find the balance to be not as badly skewed as others have suggested.
Well worth seeking out if you're a fan of the style.

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

This is a North American style with no matching European style. Very fruity and grassy smell with some sweetness. Poured in a nice reddish, golden yellow colour with litlle foam. The taste was very citric, sweet and grapefruity, and dominated by the hops. I found it to come very near to the hop-limit for a drinkable beer but I guess that's the point with a hop-head? It makes me wonder if the name refers to the beer or the drinker.

Photo of grub
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of canadianbarman
3.42/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

--came in a standard 341 ml bottle.
--Poured an orange like in color. Not much head and average lacing.
--A strong smell of hops with a slight sweetness to it. Ends with a bitter taste.

This is an average beer of this style. I would seek out an English IPA before I try another one of these. Thanks.

Photo of trevorwideman
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to vanrassel for this one.

Pours a filtered copper colour with a slight golden sheen. 1 inch of head leaves a very pretty lace. Medium-high carbonation keeps the head up on this one. Aromas are subdued to say the least. Sweetly floral hop aromas are present, but not in spades. Muted orange-like citric aromas mix with a light caramel apple sweetness. This would be a great nose on a APA, but on an IPA it just seems a bit weak.

Taste is mostly bitterness, and here we get into what an IPA is about, raw hop juice. Unfortunately my first impression is that there's no balance here. Crackery malt leaves no sweetness to balance the particularly vinous and stringent hop flavours. Hops lean on the side of piney and grapefruity, there's not much floral here at all. It's not unpleasant, but it's one dimensional and not really balanced at all. A bit more maltiness and a little more variety in the hop department would have pushed this one into better territory. Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin but the carbopnation is about right. Dries the palate, but not overly so, this is a surprisingly wet IPA. Wow, I am not blown away by this at all. The nose, the flavour, just nothing to get too excited about really. Drinkability isn't bad I guess due to the thin body but I would move on to the next IPA if one was on the table.

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

Funny side note..gave one of these to a friend who is a big Alex Keith's fan..figuring he'd appreciate an IPA.... he said it was the first beer he had to pour down the drain...beer mail me with your comments..I'm LOL

Certainly looks like an IPA..that nice reddish amber with a slightly off-white head that was average..but oh--the lacing! I'm going to have to actually scrub to get that off of my glass.

nice aroma equally spilt between floral and the expected grapefruit citrus. Very nice!

Tasted that citrus hop, but very well balanced with some mute carmel malt after the initial citrus kick. Nice muted citrus finish.

Found this to be very full-bodied with a very good level of carbonation.

As my beer buddy IronDjinn has proclaimed....'I think i'm becoming a hop-head'. Could easily drink 4 or more of these(at my peril of course) in a night.

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 Hornet2003
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-This looks like your average IPA. Coppery reddish brown colour with a fluffy white head.

S-Hoppy. haha. What do you expect? Citrusy fruits. My friends are regular Molson drinkers and they thought it smelled like grapefruit. That's what I like to hear!!

T-Very refined, clean, crisp taste. Not too bitter even though it is aggressively hopped. Somewhat dry finish since the malt back bone is not as pronounced in this beer. This is pretty much the hop bomb of BC IPA's(well this, and Phillips).

M-Very pleasant. Not too prickly on the tongue. Just enough to keep the tastebuds on their toaes.

D-This is my daily drinker beer. Very smooth. Not too much alcohol(5.8%ABV) and no where near as ridiculously bitter as some of the other PNW IPA's around these days.

Photo of MMansfield
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BigBry for the bottle.

Appearance: Pours a golden amber colour with a big fluffy white cap, dimishes to a quarter inch which stays the duration.

Aroma: Big hop smells, caramel, biscuits and plenty of florals. Sweet malts also apparent.

Taste: Big hops! It's called hop head for a reason. Sweet with honey and maybe some pine or maple. Nice bittering in the finish and well balanced. Not a very complex IPA, but good nevertheless.

Mouthfeel: Not creamy, but still has substance. Not a lot of carbonation and goes down quite smoothly.

Final Statement: Not the best IPA, but if I lived in Kelowna, I'd drink it with pride. It's a good beer, worth a try. Nothing complex, but it's just good easy drinking.

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