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Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale - Green Flash Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Green Flash Hop Head Red AleGreen Flash Hop Head Red Ale

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

2,973 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,973
Reviews: 917
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 93
Gots: 246 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
In 2011 the recipe was altered to bump the IBU’s from 55 to 70; ABV also increased from 6.4% to 7.0%. In 2014 the ABV increased to 8.1%.

A luscious beauty, Hop Head Red® exudes resinous hoppy qualities from Amarillo, Warrior and Nugget to overtake the full-bodied depths of a caramel malt base. Captivating and seductive floral aromas and alluring hop flavors are the result of dry hopping with mountains of Amarillo. The blissful union of Double India Pale and Red Ale make Hop Head Red an unforgettable obsession. Experience love at first sip. Every time.

(Beer added by: sleazo on 03-06-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,973 | Reviews: 917 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DrDemento456
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's been a while since I had a green flash beer. Hopefully this one will be "drinkable"

A - Ow no sediment and yeast chunks!. Still an amazing inch of head with a sold dark amber body.

S - Kind of subdued but strong pine with a mild malt base.

T - Kind of harsh like a barleywine. Hops are pretty subdued with the sweet caramel like malt. Overall its still quite bitter and kind of off putting.

M - Medium bodied. Pretty easy drinking.

D - Overall much better than the Green Flash "west coast IPA" but still overly hopped with a solid malt balance. I can't say its worth the A rating but at least its drinkable.

DrDemento456, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of HarrisonDean
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 11/17/2009

While big-beer season is almost entirely upon us, I decided to take one last gulp of beer meant for warmer days. To relive more carefree summer months, I hit up Hop Head Red Ale from Green Flash Brewing, one of California's premier breweries.

Hop Head is an American-styled red ale that takes its name not from the bitterness that the hop additions add, but from the massive amount of dry hopping the beer underwent. Dry hopping is a process in which hop pellets are added to the later stages of fermentation or aging, rather than added during the beer's boil. Amarillo hops are commonly used for dry hopping, and it is very apparent that there are buckets and buckets of them is this beer. Poured into a pint glass, Hop Head appears a bright amber with a small but persistent head and a surprising amount of sediment floating around. The initial citrus hop aroma is overwhelming, but it fades into a sweet malt scent.

The theory behind this beer is that the sweet, malt characteristics of a red ale would balance out a substantial IPA bitterness and a huge IPA dry hopping. For the most part, this works, but sometimes the hops overrun the malty body. The body has a medium consistency, but still hints at oily hops. The malts are indeed sweet and bold, but each sip easily yields to floral and piny hops. Several minutes after a sip my mouth still tastes like it was dry hopped, which is spectacular for a hop-lover like me, but probably won't work for everybody. This is definitely an intriguing beer, but you shouldn't try Hop Head unless you qualify as one.

HarrisonDean, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of dippy
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice caramel color with a thick and rocky tan head.

This brew has a nice malty smell to it if you dig past the hops. Not as odorific as I would like though

When I first tasted this it was all hop up front, middle and finish. But I took my time with it. The hops are just a first layer. They are nice and spicy, maybe a bit peppery. As I drank the beer had some more earthy tones to it. It got grainy, malty.. I felt like I could chew it. But don't get me wrong, the hops were the life of the party. I didn't find this as citrusy as some other posters on the site. It isn't just another citrus/cascade hop american IPA. The amarillo hops help to differentiate it some.

Try this beer.

dippy, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite red and almost perfectly clear. Good head and very good lacing.

Smells quite pungent and delicious, a bit malty, quite a bit hoppy, with some citrus and pine notes.

Very flavorful for a red ale, could probably pass for an IPA. Tastes of bready malts, with a pungent, dry, hoppy grapefruit and pine flavor. Pretty darn tasty stuff!

I found it to be medium-dry, but that was merely a surprise, not a detractor. A fine medium bodied beer with ample carbonation and lingering mid-bitterness. The feel for this style of beer is fantastic.

Quite drinkable, both flavorful and bold, yet oh so easy to drink. I'd easily like to have it again and again.

Revised review on 6-15-2011. Bumped the smell a half point. It really does smell quite good for a red ale.

Re-revisited again 8-18-11. Still great stuff!

AlCaponeJunior, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of leedorham
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep reddish amber with a 1 inch head. Good solid layer throughout.

S - Quite a powerful hop aroma. One of the strongest I've ever encountered. Beautiful citrusy, bright character.

T - All hops. Bright, citrusy, very west-coast. Sweetness in the background. I wouldn't call it balanced but it sure is good.

M - A bit acidic to the tongue. Feels like it peels a layer off. Appropriate level of carbonation.

D - I like it. Great example of how a beer should be built for a hop lover.

leedorham, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of jayhawk73
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark red/copper color in my tulip glass. Nice big, fat caramel 2 finger head which lingers for a while. This beer is only 3 months old, so I feel like I will get to try this one on really good terms. The smell is nice. Hops, caramel and malt are the main things I'm getting. Maybe a little orange too?
Wow- The taste of this beer is fantastic. Hops are there in force, but the malt, caramel and orange are there as well. Really well done! This is the first time I've tried this beer, and it doesn't disappoint. The mouthfeel is also fantastic- hoppy, creamy, caramel, bitter and smooth at the same time. Some roasted malt in there as well. Drinkability is pretty good, but I think I would stop at two for maximum enjoyment. I love the Green Flash West Coast IPA, so I figured I'd love this one too. Great beer that I will definitely pick up again!

jayhawk73, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of Satchboogie
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass

A: Pours dark ruby red, almost brown. Very hazy and unfiltered. 1/2 inch light brown frothy head that slowly dissipates.

S: Cherries, caramel, dank citrus hops, spicy alcohol, bread

T: Heavy malt base with plenty of sweetness that ranges from caramel to brown sugar to toffee. There's a good bit of pine/grapefruit bitterness and a lot of resin. Hop flavors range from dank grapefruit/citrus to some dark fruits. There's a bit of a cherry flavor going on as well. Very earthy and bready and the alcohol has a nice spicy kick.

M: Medium, crisp carbonation, medium body that is very chewy and sticky. Finish is sweet malt and pine resin with a spicy alcohol warm.

D: Heavy malt base make this quite filling and the spicy alcohol character and hop bitterness/resin make this a slow drinker for just 6% alcohol.

Satchboogie, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of madvermin
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a copper/red with plenty of bubbles sticking to the inside of the glass. Off-white head that laced a bit and retained not as well.

Smells of grapefruit, leaves, and some grain. Hops are clearly evident, but you can get some malt too.

Taste is strongly bubblegummy, with earthy leaves following, and finished by a grapefruit cleanse. It's a nice combo, although after a whole bottle it gets a bit stale. At first I liked this one a lot, but right now as I finish my glass I'm a bit underwhelmed.

In terms of palate, carbonation is pretty strong and aftertaste is nicely clean and bitter. Love the body of it, as it is smoothly solid and very easy to drink.

madvermin, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of beeragent
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a deep copper, forming a creamy 1 inch off-white head, with medium lacing on the glass.

S - Strong citrusy hop aroma with a hint of sweetness from the malt.

T - The malts come through up front, creating a nice caramel/bready taste, followed by a strong citrusy hop finish. The hops definetly dominate the palate in the finish.

M - Medium body with a smooth creamy mouthfeel.

D - I know this tastes more along the lines of a pale ale with the large hop profile however this has to be the best "red" ale!! Not as balanced as I would have thought between the hops and malt but nonetheless an awesome tasting beer. Highly sessionable!!

beeragent, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of phantomwyse
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber brown body, just transparent enough, with a finger and half dark tan head.

S: Subdued pine, grapefruit juice mixed with quinoa bread, brown sugar grits, a slight tinge of alcohol

T: A fair balance struck between tarry pine citrus, dense brown sugar, short bread, toasted rolls.

M: Medium bodied, with just enough carbonation, finished dry.

D: I was a supreme advocate of hop heavy IPA's (I know this is technically a red ale). However, now a find balance is what I've been appreciating more. This beer is a fine balance of what you'd look for with lots of West Coast hopping with a good malt base. Lacks a bit in complexity.

phantomwyse, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into dimpled mug. Clear medium amber red color with a large, frothy, good lacing, mostly lasting, off-white head. Aroma is moderate to heavy malty, caramel, moderate to heavy hoppy, pine, grapefruit, orange. Flavor is moderate to heavy sweet and bitter with a long duration. Body is medium, texture is oily to watery, carbonation is soft. A great Red Ale that's among my favorites!

CuriousMonk, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of Gobzilla
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a reddish amber brown with pale brown highlights and had a thin bubbly head leaving a little lacing sticking to the glass. There was lost of piney grassy hops in the aroma with plenty of malty sweetness, citrusy, nutty, and mild boozy notes. The piney hop character was also dominating the palate with cirusy, nutty, caramel, grassy accents and a good sweet malty balance but had a touch of booze to round out this brew. The brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, citrusy, piney hoppy, slighty nutty, and crisp finish. It was drinking very good and was really tasty. This brew was my favorite of the bunch when I hit the brewpub this past weekend.

Gobzilla, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of HugePlume
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint.

A- Pours with a pillowy tan head, almost like a cumulus cloud as it collapses. Excellent head retention and lacing. 30 minutes after pouring there is still 1/4 finger. Color is a dusky red like the bark of a Myrtle tree.

S- Bready maly and grassy hops fight for attention. Neither is distinct but the balance works somehow. Hops are earthy, a bit like wildflowers on a cool morning.

T- Flavor comes on like a wave washing over your tongue, building strongly, then flattening out to a very long and pleasant finish. Bitter, with a grainy malt effect, and more of the earthy hops to finish.

M- A a little thin, could stand to be a bit chewier up front. Finish is excellent though.

D- Excellent. I had this after my disappointing encounter with a Northwest brand's IPA and it reassured my confidence in west coaster's ability to craft damn fine hoppy beers, even if it technically is a red. Maybe not? Had half the brew by itself and finished the rest of it with spicy stir fry. Awesome pairing!

HugePlume, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of hosehead83
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an "old-style" stubby bottle into a standard pint glass.
Deep, clear amber in color, with a big, off-white head of foam.
Aroma-Citrussy hops
Taste-Toasted malt, caramel, good strong hop bite that follows you to the finish. A tasty, hoppy red ale that would be a good match for spicy fare. Buffalo wings or tacos come to mind.

hosehead83, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of movingtrain
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Green Flash recently changed the shape of their bottles, and it is really neat and unique. Not that the bottle shape makes the beer taste any better.

The beer is red in color, starting with a strong finger and a half head, but quickly becoming less than half, though the lacing on the sides of the glass is persistent.

The aroma is good and hoppy, but there are some other interesting notes in there, too. A bit of cake batter, rich malts, spice, citrus, damp earth, orange peel, herbal tea.

The flavor is good. I feel like I am drinking hop pellets. The red ale body gives the hops here an interesting compliment. It is a little more sweet than a heavily hopped IPA. It is hoppy, but also quite bready. It somewhat reminds me of some barleywines I have come across.

The body/mouthfeel of this ale is a little weak. The hops give a bitter bite on the tongue, while the malts carry a sweetness across the palate. But the middle feels a watery and, well, weak...like something is missing.

Overall, this beer is trying to do too much. The overall hoppiness balanced with the red ale style gives a less refreshing, and more palate confusing beer. It is interesting, and there are some unique flavors here, but it seems to be just off the mark.

movingtrain, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of mdagnew
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

355ml bottle bought online from Beermerchants.com

Poured a deep hazy amber red colour. Creamy head poured small but quite thick then faded very quickly to light wispy covering with thicker edging... light carbonation... some light lines of lacing...

Aroma - Lots of piney, peppery and grassy hops up front mixed with toasted caramel malts... lightly roasted nuts, spicy dried fruits (raisins, figs), citrus peel, light tobacco, some rubbery traces, toasted malty loaf, blood oranges, light liquorice, some wet hay...

Taste - Good blast of grassy and spicy hop bitterness, piney resin traces, overripe fruits (bitter oranges, apples, bananas), also some dried fruits (prunes, dates, raisins), warming alcohol, brown sugar, crystal malt, toffee, rubbery traces, light smokiness, soapy...

M&D - Fairly sharp and dry initially then smooths out... full bodied... very very quaffable for a 6% brew...

Overall - An exceptional Amber Ale and one of my favourite US beers...

mdagnew, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of jsanford
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received from THECPJ. Cheers, Shane!

A - Pours a cloudy reddish-gold with a thin white head that dissipates fairly quick, leaving a haze and some soapy lacing.
S - Caramel malt, floral hops, pine resin, grapefruit and orange peel.
T - Sweet and sticky grapefruit and pine resin with a toffee and caramel malt backbone. Nicely balanced between the sweet malt and the bitter, pithy hops.
M - Slightly sticky with a medium body and crisp carbonation.
D - Pretty good, perhaps a bit sweet for my tastes.

jsanford, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of AdamF
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bitter start with a crisp finish.

Just as you're about to pucker, it levels out to a sweet, creamy, malt flavor. It smells more bitter than it tastes. Once I got three or four sips in, it got better.

It pours a dark red and was a little lighter than I was expecting. I'm a fan of the taste throughout.

AdamF, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of LukeD23
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, got alot of floaters in this one, It must be bottle conditioned. Pours a nice deep red mahagony. not much of a head

Aroma is full of west coast hop aroma, slightly garlicy, with a good amount of dank, lots of citrus backing nots and caramel.

Taste is very green, but has a good toffee, white chocolate fudge and biscuit backbone. The bitterness is high, this is a good primer beer for a west coast ipa. I love the amount of hop flavor here.

Overall I like this beer, and would recomend

LukeD23, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of goalie33
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Amber in color with red hues. There's a ring of white head around the edge. Very little carbonation.
S: Citrus hops with caramel malt undertones.
T: Very watery flavor. Toned-down hoppiness with a bit of caramel malt.
M: Soft mouthfeel, but a very thin, watery beer.

goalie33, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of LevitatedEep
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my St. Bernardus glass.

A - Dark red in color small head that disappears pretty fast but leaving some very nice lacing and lots of bubbles/carbonation.

S - Dank and musty with some citrus and pine but not overwhelming...not smelling the chocolate like reported on other reviews...smells pretty good overall.

T - Very bitter upfront and all the way through, lots of pine and resin. Can also taste some lemon and biutter grapefruit...pretty tasty.

M - Oily and carbonated but goes down smooth considering how bitter it is.

D - Pretty decent session beer not noticing any strong alcohol taste...all in all a pretty good offereing from Green Flash...I would drink it again forsher.

LevitatedEep, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of alkemy
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Popurs a deep rusty red that's slightly hazy with some yeast floaties meandering about. Light tan head doesn't last long. The aroma is abundant with both grapefruit and caramel. There's also some floral hoppiness and a hint of chocolate. This extends into the taste as well. It doesn't really get to a point where one smell or taste dominates the other. Pretty well balanced, I guess. I don't get a lot of pine, personally, but it is there if you look for it. Rich and creamy with a slightly resinous feel to this medium leaning toward full bodied beer. Goes down extremely easy. While I appreciate the well balanced nature of this beer, with a name like Hop Head I expected it to be completely hop dominant. All in all, it's a good beer, I was just hoping for a different profile.

alkemy, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of russwbeck
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark red with a small off white head. Nice retention and decent lacing.

S: Piney and hoppy. Amarillo hops all the way.

T: Very sweet taste, hops don't overwhelm you. Nice dry aftertaste.

MF: Medium bodied, a little creamy, without noticeable carbonation.

D: Higher than I would expect from the smell. Smoother drink than your average Red Ale.

russwbeck, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Yard House.

To me the style Red Ale is hard to pin point.

Poured a darker amber/red with white head and amazing lacing.

The smell and taste to this beer is very similar to a Pale Ale but it has a bit more complexity. Its a smooth med mouthfeel and on the mid tongue you can taste some bready malt but as it goes down it quickly switches to bitter hops and a dry finish.

Another great Green Flash!

Eriktheipaman, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of Mancer
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark copper color with a two finger high off-white head. The head stayed for the life of the beer and the lacing was thick and sticky. The initial smell of the beer was that of citrus and pine. The initial taste of the beer was that of citrus and pine, but there was a heavy resin presence to the beer. The brew was dry and had a full body with medium carbonation.

I really enjoyed this beer and I'm especially glad that I had it on tap. Everything about it was enjoyable, including the color and head on this beer, which was superb and perfect. Also worth noting is that this beer has an IPA, almost DIPA feel to it.

Mancer, Nov 28, 2010
Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,973 ratings.