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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,081 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,081
Reviews: 930
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 107
Gots: 305 | 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:
Beer added by: sleazo on 03-06-2007

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,081 | Reviews: 930 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rayek
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hop Head Red hits my glass a hazy garnet tinged amber. A strong and lumpy cream cap slowly falls to a patchwork quilt of foam. A nice amount of lace is left behind.

The nose is fruity at first, with a hint of bubblegum and some dark cherry. Lemon and grapefruit Citrus, plus some pine take over from there. The beer hits the mouth with toasted grains, plum and (dare I say?) a bit of baking chocolate. Bitterness is sharp, but not overpowering. It carries the citrus and pine from the nose quite nicely. The bitterness carries through the finish as the beer gets tart and dry. A medium body has an oily feel and a hair too much carbonation.

Green Flash's West Coast IPA is a personal favorite. Hop Head Red follows that beer's lead nicely. This was a very strong pickup.

Photo of gc4hokies
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with a very thick off white head. Highly carbonated. Mine wasn't cloudy like others have said.

Aroma is very nice. I'm a fan of Amarillo and the smell is fantastic.

When I taste it, the hops bitterness is there along with some roastiness of the malt. Finish is very bitter.

All in all, not my favorite style but this is a very good beer.

Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very hazy russet color; the ecru head sits permanently atop the liquid and leaves quite a few strands of lace behind and a curtain at the base

Smell: Strong caramel malt elements combine with a resinous hop character

Taste: Opens with a blend of the caramel malt and the resinous hops with the hoppy character building through mid-palate and into the finish; aspirin-like bitterness in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: While I am not the biggest fan of Amarillo hops, this is one of the better Red IPAs I have encountered as the balance is excellent; Green Flash is one of the kings of the west coast style and this beer is no different

Photo of beerismysavior
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Date: --/2011
Glassware: Pilsner Glass

1st pour: Slight citrus upfront, rounds into a more complete fruity / esthery nose
2nd pour: Bright burst of citrus, background of pine, immediately rounds into a softer and juicier nose, definitive hop and malt presence, wonderful balance

Appearance: Deep, beautiful red color. Frothed buttermilk colored head (a tad lighter than buttermilk), semi-fine bubbles, solid head retention

Taste: Upfront bitterness, reminds me ever so slightly of candied fruit / caramelized apples you'd get at the fair (no flaws), surprisingly earthy all at the same time. Also detecting slight hints of spice, not peppery necessarily but definite spice character. Did they sneak a very small amount of rye into this malt bill?

Mouthfeel - Bing, Bang, Boom
Bing: Definite bitterness upfront
Bang: Medium carbonation, whipcrack sensation as it drives towards the back of my palate
Boom: Medium thickness and long lasting bitterness on the finish, also somewhat dry, very low if any residual sugar.

Overall: Being a red ale, it only seems easy to borrow some references in describing this beer. Sure as a redhead is to captivate you with her looks and ultimately steal your heart, this beer does it. She's got red hair and curves, watch out.

Photo of tony223366
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From my beer journal. Reviewed on June 29, 2011

A: Deep amber color with some sediment at the bottom. I wasn't expecting this. Very cloudy. Great head that sticks around nicely.

S: Lots of hops but a nice maltiness too

T: Piney hops up front with a really nice malty toffee backbone and a great bitter finish.

M: Nice medium body. Tons of carbonation in this bottle that works.

O: This is a really good beer. I love the hop kick at the finish. The carbonation really helps to carry this beer through.

Photo of mkotsayfan
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a very dark amber color with two fingers of frothy head. The aroma is a mix of hops (mostly citrus) and toasted malts. The taste hits you with enough of those hops to remind you that this is a "red IPA", and the toasted malts after. The mouthfeel is somewhat strong bodied with light carbonation. Also has a fairly dry taste.

Overall, a good red ale that is a nice session beer and very drinkable.

Photo of ReelBigwigFish
3.49/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into mug from a bottle over a year old... not expecting much.

A: Very dark amber hazy color with nice big light tan head. Full veil of fluffy lacing around the mug. Lots of yeast bits floating around.

S: Malt... sweet caramel, toffee, dark fruit, and maybe the slightest hint of citrus hops.

T: Sweet maltiness with the littlest bite of grapefruit, but it's nearly washed out by more sweetness. Figs/raisins mixing in with caramel malt. The finish is the only part where you can tell hops used to be; mild grapefruit flavor lingering on the tongue.

M: Solid medium body that gets creamy, decent amount of carbonation, and pretty easy finish.

O: Well it's much better than Killian's, which according to Untappd, is what this beer is comparable to. Realistically speaking though, this beer was too old, the hops are just gone. I bought a sixpack of this years ago when it was fresh, and I was blown away by how intense and bitter it was. Unfortunately I didn't write reviews back then, so... looking forward to a fresh batch and a new review!

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Saranac pint glass.

A: Medium copper-orange with loads of suspended yeast sediment beneath a creamy, two-finger head of off-white foam that left some decent lacing.

S: Toasted, bready malts, a hint of fruity ester and some spicy, herbal and citrus hop resins.

T: Sweet, roasted caramel malts up front followed by a nice complex of fruity malts, pears, apple and citrus fruits that usher in a spicy, grassy hop flavor. Medium bitterness dries the sweetness a bit before washing down with a spicy, slightly alcoholic hop resin.

M: Medium-full bodied ale with a solid amount of chewiness imparted by all those yeast particulates. A steady drinking red ale with hop bitterness and a touch of heat.

O: A really nice, complex red ale that lets the hops shine through without skimping on a nice, bready and sweet malt backbone. A little off-kilter and boozy at nearly 6.5% ABV, but it's easily replaced Cascazilla as one of my favorite hopped out reds.

Photo of ehammond1
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Green Flash Brewing Co.
Mira Mesa, CA

Thanks for the growler Josh!

A very dark, rusty, coppery, red and brown. This is far darker than I remember this beer being in the past. Thick, persistent khaki crown and sheets and webs and lines of lacing left down the glass.

Pungent and powerful aroma of citrus, mainly grapefruit. There's a bit of malt sweetness but this is hugely hoppy--the name fits. This smells like a wonderful San Diego IPA.

The malt shines a touch more than it does in the aroma providing a bit of caramel, toffee, and bready sweetness, but this is still hugely hoppy: lots and lots of citrus flavors and a bit of pine.

Medium to thick mouthfeel. No alcohol presence.

An accessible, delicious, super hoppy red ale.

Photo of Philousa
3.64/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sits a deep ruby red, nearly brown, with 1.5 fingers tan head. Aroma is very hoppy, earthy, slightly citrusy, with darker malt characteristics wafting through the hops. Taste is very bitter and a bit piney. Dark, thick caramel comes through with a slight hint of chocolate. I also get some orange flavor but maybe I'm just associating it from past experience with the dark malt. This is a medium bodied ale with good carbonation.

This is a solid beer. I'm fast becoming a big imperial red/red IPA fan, and this is a great example of the style. More of an IPA with amber characteristics, it's very hoppy, and the hop flavors and aromas are balanced well with the malt. Nothing too complex, but definitely a good beer to reach for now and again.

Photo of tronester
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear red with a big airy tan head. Smells of earthy, dank hops. Taste is a biscuity malt up front, followed by a sweet toffee middle and a big citrus, earthy finish. Big hop flavor, not a lot of bitterness though. Mouthfeel is average, slightly low carbonation. Overall a quite good red ale.

Photo of blknikon
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Although I got it expecting it to hold up well to my own expectations, it surpassed them by leaps and bounds.

Appearance - A darker red, as to be expected, with a deep reddish two-finger head. A large amount of floaties or signs of how very unfiltered this beer comes. For the record, any traces or signs a beer is unfiltered that I've found have never been an issue for my experience of the beer.

Smell - The Smell was mostly of very floral hops. Considering the fact it's dry hopped is fairly understandable why this comes out the most.

Taste - An immediate bombardment of hop character which mellowed out to a slight citrus and piney.

Mouthfeel - It was smoother than expected and fairly malty. Medium body for sure with just right amount of carbonation (for the style).

Overall - I really enjoyed it. It's a solid beer that for fans of Amber/Red Ales and IPA's will love. Very similar to Nugget Nectar which is one of my favorite beers and probably why I like it so much. Not to say my review is (overly) bias but if you like hoppier IPA's and you enjoy Nugget Nectar then there is no reason you won't like this.

Serving type: Bottle (poured into a pint glass)

Photo of Sideswipe
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a tulip.

A- Deep red color with a two finger, off-white head. Great lacing.

S- Citrus hops dominate the nose. Some caramel malt and pine.

T- Opens with notes of orange rind and grapefruit. Hops are nicely balanced by a biscuity malt backbone. Caramel and pine give way to a pleasant hoppy bitterness in the finish.

M- The beer is medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

O- I really like this offering from Green Flash. The new packaging bills it as a "Red IPA" and it lives up to that classification. A great hop profile balanced with a nice malt bill make this a very tasty and drinkable ale.

Photo of micromaniac129
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This woderous beer is a deep amber color, held to the light it shows a beautiful red hue and brilliant clarity. Pouring this beer softly produces copious amounts of dense mousse like foamy head with a nice tan color.
Sticky foam lacing covers almost the entire glass.
Alas, attenuation is light.

Aromatics are all hops being dry hopped producing an abudence of hop aromas. I really can't pull out any particular hop aroma it just has a fresh hop aroma. After letting the beer rest for a bit sweet malts start to pierce the hoppy aromatics.

Taste is malty sweetness upfront followed by hoppy bitterness towards the end. Like in the aroma, hops really don't present themselves with any particular taste.
A medium body brew with a smooth sweet malt start then turns to a dry bitter finish.
There is a very, very weak metallic taste but really a non issue. If it was stonger well...

This is a good beer similar I think to Troeggs Nugget Nector I think.
All star worthy.

Photo of kojevergas
3.18/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a three finger head of nice thickness, okay cream, and respectable retention. Colour is a semitransparent copper-amber.

Sm: Bittering hops are all me broken nose detects.

T: Bittering hops are tamed, which I like. Caramel is in there as well. Moderately complex, but more importantly balanced. I like it.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Complements the flavour of the body in a general sense.

Dr: Very drinkable, above average ABV, and fairly priced. I'd certainly have it again if it were on draught.

Photo of musicforairports
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 8/15, reviewed 9/23.

A darker ruby color, with a big head that leaves a lot of lacing.

Smells like sticky citrus and pine hops and a lightly roasted malt character. Smells sweeter than it tastes.

Taste is very hop-forward, with darker caramel malt behind...a bit bitter, both in the hop and malt character, and not terribly sweet. Pretty robust. Its quite hoppy, especially at first, but the malt bill is there for more than just show and is that of a decent amber. But this is a hoppy beer above all (it's been re-branded a "red ipa" on the bottle.)

Mouthfeel is a solid medium and right for an amber.

Overall this is a really good beer. I like that it's got IPA levels of hops, but in a slightly different framework. A good hop fix with something more than just hops.

Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Green Flash Hop Head Red is a GOOD beer...definitely worth a smackerle. The appearance is dark ruby read with white frothy foam which laced beautifully down the glass. The smell was subtle and not overpowering with any one theme. Certainly malt and hop were present. The taste was a very nice full bodied red ale that had good malt character with hints of hop that balanced the beer very well. The mouthfeel was good and certainly will try this again if I can find it in my local beer store.

Photo of steelerguy
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark amber, ruby tones. Low carbonation, but from a growler, think it would normally be higher. Nice head that faded rapidly to a covering...again probably do to low carbonation of keg it came from.

S - Pine and citrus from the hops, a bit of caramel malt, but overall subdued.

T - What the beer lacks in aroma it makes up for in taste. Huge malt backbone, lots of caramel malts along with some roasted notes. Hopes are up front and balance the malts nicely, lots of pine and citrus.

M - Right about what you would expect from an American Amber.

O - Very solid beer, that is on the verge of great. A bit more aroma and carbonation (probably not Green Flashes fault) and this would be exceptional...still very, very good.

Photo of WMEugene
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Regular bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Dark amber color with a good-sized head. Nice head retention and lacing. An attractive pour.

S - Very hoppy smell, some hint of underlying malts but the hops dominate this category overpowering any other smells.

T - Hoppy and more bitter than sweet. Sort of a floral/piney taste to it. A taste of malts in the background, but once again the hops dominate. Despite that fact, it is a relatively well-balanced beer.

M - Medium bodied with a strong hops aftertaste. Carbonation level is fine. A little dry in the finish, which works out well.

Overall, I consider this to be an Amber/IPA hybrid that, to me at least, is closer to the IPA side of things. It has the malts and color of an amber, but the hops profile of an IPA which definitely stands out more. It definitely lives up to its name. A nice hybrid, but there are definitely individual Ambers and IPAs I would prefer to the Hop Head Red. That being said, I would have it again and it is an enjoyable beer.

Photo of ADZA
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby red hue which leaves a two finger creamy head and heaps of clingy lacing everywhere,the smell is medicinal piney hops,boiled candy and sweet toffee,the mouthfeel is medium bodied,sticky and resinous with tastes of piney medicinal hops,grapefruit,orange zest,boiled candy,sticky toffee,a touch of marzipan and finished with a sticky piney bitterness and overall it looks brilliant smells alright and tastes good and with a few tweaks could could be right up there would buy again though cheers.

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.49/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear amber with lots of small, medium, and large particles. Giant, off-white foamy head that lasted a good few minutes.

S: Strong hop aroma. Some toasted malt, but not very fruity.

T: Light sweetness and strong bitterness. Floral hops and some toasted malt. Pretty bitter finish.

M: Very smooth and creamy. Slightly dry. Soft carbonation.

O: Pretty good amber ale. A little too hop-forward for my taste as far as ambers go. Very smooth though, and it looks fantastic.

Photo of Cavery
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up in a four pack for extras, figured I'd give it a novelty tick. I've had this beer so many times before, It's like writing a yelp review for your middle-school.

A: Deep cherry woody core with some slightly off-white coffee cream bubbles. Thick spongey bubbles that hold onto the glass like gossamer algae. Really a nice looking beer, especially with the constellations of lacing that the thick head leaves behind.

S: Sweet white sugars and big hunk/nougat. A really cutting sweetness that is potent like recently dried berries sweating with sugars. Definitely some toffee and caramel malt sweetness, but it's not too overwhelming. A mild marachino cherry character that mixes well with some piney hops.

T: Big resinous hop character with a sweet caramel liqueur. This beer really does make me think of hoppy candied apples. There isn't much to say apple in here, but that red candied flesh with that initially sweet candied note is enough for me to mention the connection. There's a little bit of a marzipan taste, and it at times can come off a bit waxy. However, I think that this bottle might not be as fresh as I'd like. I can't recall having quite that amount of awkwardness before.

M: Medium body with a lighter finish. The bubbles come off creamy and delicate, but also rapidly dissipating. It's like when you drink hot coco with a marshmellow cream topping, it's chewy and creamy at first -- then just thin chocolate water in the end. Good in the mouth, a nice balance between traditional malty irish reds and a hoppy american amber. It's less a hybrid, and more a temporary hommage to both with a slight favoritism towards the American IPA spectrum. Light astringency; slight aspirins.

O: This is a good beer, and some time ago I think it might have been seen as a very good beer. For me I think my palate has gone more places, but I respect the fact that this is one of those southern California session beers that craft and BMC people alike could appreciate. For what it is, it's hard not to appreciate it. That said, it comes off a bit too tame to me now. Still a good combination of resiny pine and light candy sweetness, not hard to drink at all.

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a very dark, red color with a two-finger, thick head of tan foam. It was fairly long lasting and left some sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of citrus, pine and strong grapefruit notes.

T - Good bitter hop bite of citrus, grapefruit and pine. Then there's a strong roasty character, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is an outstanding red ale. I really was impressed with this one, although it really could just be called an IPA.

Photo of jpro
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Total Wine (Park Rd/Woodlawn)...

A: Pours a cloudy amber with a nice, two-finger, fluffy beige head; magnificent retention leaves quite a bit of chunky lace; a steady stream of tiny bubbles rush continuously up the side of the (Piraat tulip) glass; some nice sediment enters the mix on the final pour.

S: Caramel malt is pretty big; piney hop notes and some earthy citrus peel highlights, too.

T: Toasted grain maltiness with some sweetness get promptly blown away by a blast of piney hops and some citrus / grassy (i.e. amarillo) notes; although its rather hoppy, its not overpoweringly bitter.

M: Medium body; high carbonation; a touch dry on the finish, which is kind of odd considering the level of maltiness, but this adds to the refreshment factor - which is kind of weird, considering we’re talking about a red ale.

O/D: A great beer! Very hoppy but not out of balance; pretty drinkable, too - quite a bit of taste packed into this 6.4% beauty.

Photo of hoppyweasel311
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep copperish red color with nice head... Smells like fresh hops, piney. citrus/green apple. This beer starts out with a faint sweetness.. nice smooth mouth feel... good carbonation.. then come the hops... and finishes very bitter. I really like this beer... at first I was kind of skeptical because I do not like their west coast IPA.. so I'd say go out and try it.. it's really good!

Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 3,081 ratings.