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

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Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale
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very good

2,801 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,801
Reviews: 900
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 85
Gots: 196 | 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: 2,801 | Reviews: 900 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Florida9
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Bronze, approaching brown, in color. A good two fingers of tannish head on an aggressive pour from the bottle. Decent lacing.

S: Malt quickly overpowered by pine and citrus hops.

T: A good dose of sweet, earthy, caramel malt followed by the freshness of lively piney hops. A moderate bitterness that grows after the swallow.

M: Medium, maybe a little heavier than medium. Heavier carbonation, but the carbonation seeks to "lighten" the beer and activate the hops.

D: Very good red ale. Tasty and I like the heavy hand on the hops as most red ales fall into the "malty" category. If I didn't know any better, I'd say this one could pass for an IPA.

Florida9, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of paco1029384756
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber color with a small sticky white head.

Scent of bitter, piny, resiny hops, a hint of caramel, some sugar, and light raspberry. Great scent, strong hop presence with a nice hint of sweetness.

Taste bitter piny, resiny hops, caramel, and some earth. Simple and effective, this is a tasty Red Ale.

Mouthfeel is medium light bodied with a good bite of carbonation.

paco1029384756, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of jwinship83
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle drank from my sierra nevada hop tulip glass.

A- this one pours a beautiful ruby red colored body with a finger of bright white head on top. head lasts a while and leaves behind solid rings of lacing. perfect.

S- caramel malts upfront with an intensely hoppy finish. full of citrus and pine.

T- jut like the smell, this one starts with somewhat sweet caramel and toffee like malts, and is finished with a massive helping of citrus and piny hops.

M- medium bodied and well carbonated.

D- very easy to sit back and enjoy a few of these. the bottle suggests that this is like a red IPA, and i think theyre dead on. check this out of you get the chance. i dont think it gets the respect it deserves.

jwinship83, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of drabmuh
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on draft at Churchkey in D.C. Beer is copper, clear, thin white head clings to the glass edge of the beer but leaves very little lacing. Carbonation is low. A little disappointing in appearance, lets see if the rest makes up for it.

High malt aroma, low hops. There is some alcohol or solvency in the aroma and the nature of the hops is citrus. Interestingly smelling, a slight deduction for the solvent though.

HOLY SHIT! This beer is DRY! I coughed after I drank it. I was not expecting that, how interesting. Hops are way more presents in this beer than the aroma would indicate. Drinkability of this beer is high (especially if you like dry beers). The dryness is so great that is interrupts my enjoyment of it, but I see hwat they are doing with it. There is an unfortunate aftertaste as well though. Another slight deduction. Check it out if you like hoppy reds that are dry, otherwise avoid.

drabmuh, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of taxguyjase
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer looked intriguing before I even opened it, as it was a red ale that was hoppy. Given it came from Green Flash, I figured it was going to be pretty good. The brew pours a sturdy red, darker than most red ales you'll come across, and a nice, foamy auburn head. The aroma is a nice blend of hop and malt. Not as robust and hoppy as you'd expect in an IPA, but definitely hop-worthy and fragrant. The first taste was where I really really enjoyed the beer - citrus hoppiness, but not overly bitter; malty, but not what you'd expect in a red. Good body, not heavy at all. The bitterness of the hops mixed with the smoothness of the red made for an excellent combination. I would definitely get this beer again, since it's an awesome blend of two styles I really enjoy.

Appearance - 4.0/5.0 - sturdy red, darker than normal red, auburn head
Smell - 4.0/5.0 - a nice blend of hop and malt, not overly strong but fragrant
Taste - 4.5/5.0 - definitely hoppy, but not overly bitter, malt flavor there - medium body, flavors of an IPA, but definitely a red
Feel - 4.0/5.0 - bitterness of ipa with smoothness of red, really good, lingering bitterness
Drinkability - 4.5/5.0 - would definitely have again, a good alternative to an straight IPA

taxguyjase, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of irishkyle21
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a fluffy of white head. Lots of lacing and the foams holds up for most of the drinking experience. Has a hazy amber color.

Smells great, lots of hops up front, pine, hop resins, grapefruit and a bit of caramel malt.

This is one great tasting red. Pine, citrus, the malts there but the hops just over power everything (I mean that in a good way). Should of bought more.

irishkyle21, Oct 28, 2009
Photo of Durge
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Happily encountered at the Flying Saucer in Carlotte, NC, this great brew shows a dark brown root beer-ish color with a slight orange hint. The head is a very substantial light tan bit of topography that collapses into a thick lace. The aroma brings a very nice citrus pine blend over the sweet malt, very enticing. The first swig is WOW with crisp citrus bite that settles into some of that green pine that was evidenced in the aroma. The malt is a more bready variety and the woodsy pine really grows, taking on a medicinal tingle that is very likeable. The carbonation is lively and tasteful in a solid mid-bodied brew that is refreshing and dangerously drinkable. The hops are just lovely here as they settle in a dry sheen on your tongue with a pleasant horshound sort of sweetness. This is my style of red ale! Sweet and bitter married and mellowed, yet lively. Beautiful!

Durge, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of NorCalYeti
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

taste- sweet malt

color- deep red copper

clarity- clear

smell- fresh hops, grapefruit, sweet malt

body- medium weight, smooth mouthfeel, alcoholic

appearance- nice color, off-white creamy relatively flat head, nice lace

overall impression- good beer, i don't consider it a red...maybe more like an esb

glassware: pint

NorCalYeti, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of sml505
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear med to dark amber. High carb. Light, lasting tan head

S - Rich malts of grain, toast, caramel, grassy, citrus hops.

T - Sweet and follows arorma. Chewy malts and nice bitter finish

M/ D - Medium, chewy mouthfeel. Great malts and nice fuity hop bitterness. Closer to APA, but tasty!

sml505, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of BlueBloodBrew
4.83/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle served in an oversized wineglass. This is a terrific all around hopy beer. This beer has a great citrusy start followed by a distinctive bitter ending.

A - The beer poured a very clear dark amber almost caramel color with a two finger head. The beer is low carbonation with allows you to reap all of the liquid flavors.

S - On the nose there is an immediate sense of citrus, a bit of grapefruit, floral scents, and perhaps some herbal undertones.

T - The taste is citrus on the front end upon entry and a hard kick of bitterness at the ending. There is a very eclectic balance reached between the citrus and the bitterness of the enormous hops in this beer. Greenflash did an extraordinary job of reaching the right balance of citrusy flavors and the bitterness of the hops.

M - This beer has a good medium to light body that also provides a distinctive smooth quality.

D - This beer is very drinkable. I could down a sixer (or two) without even thinking much about it.

BlueBloodBrew, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of kingcrowing
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured in a 12oz tumbler.

Pours a dark gold/brown with a nice small light brown head. There's a ton of sediment in here so be warned (I usually pour aggressively on hoppy beers so I get a nice fluffy head), I got a ton of floaties in this, and I'm not a fan of that. has very nice lacing.

Taste is very bitter and and hoppy. Some citrus, grapefruit. This really seems like a dark IPA. Awesome beer, I'd seek this out on tap.

kingcrowing, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of rapidsequence
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

Appearance: Looks like iced tea, but has tons of dead yeast bodies floating in it. That doesnt really bother me, but clear is nicer for a beer defined by its color.

Smell: Lots of sweet citrusy and floral hops. Very malty.

Taste: Sweet caramel malt initially, then huge hops flavor followed by a long nive bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Very full for a 6% red ale. A little foamy and almost creamy.

Drinkability: This is a great hoppy red with good malt backbone. Its almost like a low alcohol barleywine. Really nice stuff.

rapidsequence, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of hiikeeba
3.18/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Labels coming off the bottles make this look cheap. Decant, decant decant. First bottle I poured up made this look like a snow globe! Second bottle was more carefully poured, yielding a clear, dark amber beer with, because of the careful pouring, a thin off white head that dissipated quickly.

S - Raisin and dried fruit notes, hints of pipe tobacco.

T - Some dark caramel flavor, with some roasted notes. Finishes with a lackluster peppery hop bitterness. With a name like Hop Head, I would expect a bit more.

M - Good mouthfeel, and strong carbonation

D - An okay beer, but a bit disapointing.

hiikeeba, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of Docer
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a 6-pack from New Seasons... I love the West Coast IPA so I thought I'd give another favorite style of mine a try from them. I don't see any freshness dating on their brews which I wish they would do... and I know many grocers like Fred Meyers and QFC do not handle their beers very well i.e. leaving them outside under the sun on pallets etc.

- Nice thick molasses of a look, hazy brown, thick, foggy.. thin mocha head... left a ton of lace-maker on top. Muddy water.

- Thick caramel nose... strange because when I cracked the bottle I got nothing but zesty Amarillo in the nose. Sweet murky sugar water.. bitter punch in the face..

- Did not expect the flavor and mildness I have received. I expected something more like the Raven Mad Imperial Red... but didn't get that. Nice mild caramel malt with a big hit of tea... grassy and piney hop... smooth creamy brown sugar.. and light... like a mass produced iced tea.. but a fine craft beer.

- Bit chewy and dry... little oil, but not much.. nice aftertaste..

- A very drinkable red ale... and different.. almost could be dubbed a west coast red ale.. although all the reds I have had like this are only from CA... OR reds are much different and not so caramelized.

Docer, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of RobH
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Had this one right after finishing a Sierra Nevada Kellerweis. It may have taken 1/3 of the glass for my palate to acclimate to the much hoppier profile of this beer. I generally prefer a more malt to hop balanced Amber/Red Ale.

That said:

A: Attractive deep red. Clear and inviting.

S: Hops. And more hops. This is definitely going to be a hop experience.

T: Hops up front. Bitter for sure compared with the Kellerweis (of course). Hop bite, too. As the beer warmed and my palate acclimated, the malt bill started to shine through. A much better beer for me when not "refrigerator cold". Evolved into a very nice beer.

M: Lively hops on the palate. Medium-bodied.

Overall: Suggest letting it warm a bit from the refrigerator. A very well-made beer, and truly a hop head's Red Ale. For me, while I did like it and will have it again, it doesn't have the quaffability of other Ambers/Reds such as Anderson Valley Boont Amber or even Bell's Amber Ale.


RobH, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of m1ked
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Craft beer week NYC

A- I'll start by saying this looks like a red ahould like to IMO. This pours a clear on the edges translucent in the center deep caramel garnet. An imprssive sandy colored foamy head with signifocant clingy lace as it recedes to a this sandy cap.

S- Piney resiny hops mingled with some sweet grainy caramel...in like a 80:20 ratio.

T- Piney hops right out the gate with a consistent hint of biscuity malts. Bitter pines linger.

M- Medium bodied. Not as resiny as I thought it would be, but hops do coat the tongue. Good crisp carb.

D- If I had my eyes closed and tried this this 10 different times, I would havw guessed IPA (west coast style) every time...I don't think I would have ever have thought red. With that being said, its good and tastey. If you want a "regular" red/amber, not this one. If you want a tasty hoppy beer, this one.

m1ked, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of dwilson01
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Definitely a very solid brew, the Green Flash Brewing Co continues to live up to my expectations...
I poured out of a 12oz bottle into a glass, pretty much the color you would expect out of an amber (red) which I always think looks pretty cool. For a beer with "hop" in the name the first whif I took came away with a little less of the bitter scent and I got a pretty smooth sweet smell which was very pleasant. The first taste had me wanting more which is never a bad thing in my opinion. I came away with a sweet malty very well balanaced IPA-Amber ale hybrid (it reminded me of Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye). Definitely sweet in the mouth with the aftertaste reminding me of a milder IPA although I didn't get too many of the fruity floral notes that some other people have noted. This was a very smooth beer, mouthfeel-wise there was seriously just about zero spiciness which I consider a flagship component of IPA and of many American Amber ales. This characteristic made it very drinkable, I was suprised when I looked at the ABV which is 6.4%, if this was any more this beer would get you messed up pretty fast!
Overall, this seems to me like a hybrid style of beer that has some potential as either an IPA or an Amber Ale (does a new catagory need to be created for this??) They suggest Red IPA on the bottle but I don't know that the name fits perfectly for me. Anyway, I would pick it up if you get a chance although I would definitely pick the west coast ipa over this for a pretty easily found 6er of Green Flash

dwilson01, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of quinnsi
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Deep Amber color, with hints of dark orange. Nice solid finger of head.

S: Classic IPA pine followed by hints of sweet malt

T: Hop bite at first, followed by nice carbonation tingle and finally some semi-sweet malt flavors, after which the hops return and linger on the tongue.

M: Nice hop bite with good carbonation

D: I had no trouble putting one glass away, and could easily have had another.

Overall, while very hoppy, this beer remained well balanced with the red ale malt flavors.

quinnsi, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of cooncat
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one on tap at the UPICK6 Beer store in Erie, Pa.

The color is very red, almost like red brick, but darker. Head is substantial and blocky ... it sticks around for a long time, and leaves lots of nice lacing on the glass. Can't do much better on looks.

The nose is mostly citrus hops, with maybe a touch of pine thrown in. A slight note of caramel is in there fighting for recognition (in a losing battle).

The taste follows the nose pretty close. "Hop Head Red" is a good description of the beer, and it actually seems like a higher IBU than what's listed. I've found most Green Flash brews to be well hopped, yet, with enough malt (caramel) backbone to support the hop onslaught. Hop heads will not be disappointed. If you were looking for a typical 'malt foward' red, this isn't your beer. Mouthfeel is medium, and might be medium full as it warms. Drinkability is good, but you're going to need some food to give your tongue a break from the hops.

Nice job on this one Green Flash! Recommended!

Na Zdravje!

edit: 1/29/2010 ... Just tried this from the shorty bottle ... still an A beer in my book .. very solid!

cooncat, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of tavernjef
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mega murky, unfiltered haze of burnt orange. Foamy medium capping of yellowed whiteness sits well before getting to a thick skim. Lots of fienly etched lacing of thick cob webbings and some spots.

Could smell this one once the cap popped, nice caramel dryness mixing with a hoppy dryness that lends hints to peach, cedar, orange, and citric pithyness.

Solid taster with, again, lots of fantasticly woven and delicate dryness of caramel and pale malt, perhaps a touch of biscuityness is underscored with a bit of that crackery snap. Mellowing cedar and other wood-like dryness escapes well on to the palate with ease as nice little notes to citric floral pithyness(orange, white grapefruit, peach) settle over the top with floating bitterness.

Medium body, smooth, very well balanced, dry with woody hints and citric nudges. Bitterness is way in control as dried caramel and very slight cardboard hints sooth into a tiny grip of grit.

Wow, a very well balanced treat of an Amber and quite drinkable by a few or more.

tavernjef, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of wertperch
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I always have mixed feelings about beers that have the word "Hop" in their names, but I decided to risk this one, as they had it on tap in my local. Served in a pint glass, it's not much to look at - clear, dark reddish-gold colour with a good thick head, it certainly looked the part.

The nose was fair, given the "hop" warning I'd had - there were the hops, a little grapefruit and quite a toffee smell as well.

The flavour is quite rich, sweet and tasty, and not surprisingly, quite bitter hoppiness. After the initial roughness it felt good too - there was quite a bit of carbon fizz initially, but once that settled down and the beer warmed a little, it felt a little less harsh.

My main criticism is that it's a little rougher around the edges than I'd expected. If you like hoppier brews, approaching IPA bitterness, give this one a turn if you come across it.

wertperch, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of lstokes
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rusty brick red, sort of thick, maybe that's the yeastiness, beautiful, beautiful lacing, but I just wasn't in love with the color.

The smell had all the lovely malt of a red and the lovely hops of an IPA, and they were more than the sum of their parts.

As for the taste, it was definitely solid, I don't think there's a hoppier red, I almost wanted more malt taste. But there was a lot of malty resinous feel, which was frustrating because I missed the taste that I would associate with that feel.

I also almost felt like my tongue was getting torn up a little bit from all the bitterness of the thing, and for that reason it's not the most drinkable beer. A spicy burrito was just the thing to cut the bitterness and will up the drinkability considerably.

lstokes, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of Ek0nomik
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured In: Tulip Glass
Attained through a trade

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a thin finger of white head. After warming for a half hour, a very thin layer of white head remains. Not very much lacing presented itself while the beer slowly left my glass.

Smell: The initial pour shows itself as being an IPA. A pleasant hop aroma, but still plenty of malt showing its face to balance out the aroma.

Taste: Initially a sweet toasted malt flavor presents itself. Following the initial sweetness comes the hop bitterness. The bottle says Amarillo hops were used, and I'm tasting a slight hint of orange on the aftertaste along with some earthy hops including pine.

Mouthfeel: A very smooth beer. The carbonation level is just right, unlike the last two west coast IPA's I've had. The hops leave oils coating my tongue and teeth. This is a medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: Sitting at only 6%, a few bottles of this could easily be had, but I'm sticking with one. This would make a nice session beer.

Ek0nomik, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Arrived in a standard shaker glass. Appears a clear rich amber color with a finger of off white foam. A sticky lace is left on the glass as I sip my way to the bottom. Nose and flavor are of ruby red grapefruit juice, pink grapefruit, citrus such as tangerines and lemon, nicely toasted bready grains, caramelized malt in abundance to balance everything out, some pine as well. The ale falls somewhere between medium and full bodied with adequate carbonation. Really nice stuff!

ClockworkOrange, Sep 03, 2009
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

More from the recent brewery addition to Chicago: Green Flash.

12oz bottle poured into a Brooklyn shaker pint glass.

A: Pours out a slightly hazy and deep amber brown but glows a deep and rich peachy red when held near the light (not directly into it mind you). Head starts off at about an inch, sort of bad pour on my part, then settles into a thin cap for the duration.

S: Mighty heavy on the pine and grapefruit, but not as abrasive as an IPA, this one is a bit sweeter and brought back from the brink by a strong, healthy, dose of a sweet and crusty bread dough maltiness.

T/MF: Opens, and by this I mean as the first drops of beer splash down on the tongue, surprisingly fruity, almost a kind of plum and grapey like juiciness, but then quickly moves away into the more familiar territory of earthy hoppiness and doughy maltiness that the nose initially indicated. This beer truly comes into its own about halfway through, when the hops and malts really start to melt together and define what this beer is all about: honey, ripe peach and cherry with a thick crumbling of fresh bread crust. I'd say mouthfeel lands right about at medium bodied, very chewy, with a light, prickly carbonation that really carries this beer all over the tongue.

D: This beer really grew on me, at first I didn't think this beer was anything out of the ordinary, but midway though this beer took a turn (perhaps warmed to the correct temperature?) for the better and really become something remarkable, though more than one or two of these in a night might be pushing it in terms of keeping me interested. Still one of the better red ales out there though.

EDIT 3/8/2010

Not really sure why this only scored a B+ in my first review. This is easily one of the best Red Ales out there. Amazingly hoppy and even fruitier than Green Flashes' own IPA. If just smelling this beer is heaven imagine what it must be like to taste it!

bluemoonswoon, Aug 30, 2009
Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,801 ratings.