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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

3,083 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,083
Reviews: 930
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 107
Gots: 306 | 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: 3,083 | Reviews: 930 | Display Reviews Only:
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!

Photo of bayougutter
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark copper a with reddish hue to it. Some sediment present. Nice two finger head that had great retention and good sticky lacing.

Smell is malty with citrusy/earthy hops. A good aroma just not real bold.

The taste is a balance between the malty goodness and the grassy/earthy/citrusy hops. Not real bitter but the hops come thru.

Mouthfeel is spot on for an IPA, not too heavy or light.

Overall this is an above average brew and worthy of a go. The sediment doesn't bother me but may be a turn off for others.

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

Poured into a Surly pint glass. Dark red color and a bit cloudy. A firestorm of tiny carbonation bubble race to the top. Head is two fingers of light tan colored froth. Retention is outstanding, this isn't going anywhere. Lace sticks remarkably to the end.

Smell is a bit earthy. Yeast and malted barley and a bit of sweet citrus.

Taste is sparkling citrus. Maybe a lime/orange. The sweet is out matched by the bitter though. The bitter mellows a bit as this warms. Some earthy notes but just enough to balance this out. Not too bitter, not too barley.

Mouth is great for an IPA. Carbonation is bright and the flavors and richness of this stay all the way to the end.

Overall I expected more from this. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. I wanted more West Coast IPA but got more Red. My bad. This brewery doesn't have misleading labels. Their West Coast IPA is named West Coast IPA. A must try if you can.

Photo of seeswo
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent red-copper-brown color with an off-white head. The nose is toasted and caramel malts, with a backbone of hops. The flavor is layers of strong hoppiness and toasted malts, with the hoppiness being more dominant in the front and the malts in the finish. There is just a touch metallic flavor in the hops, but it is super minor. Mouthfeel is nice with a good body and a nice medium carbonation. Sits a touch sweet on the tongue. Overall, I think this beer is pretty decent. Substantial hoppiness for an Amber. I am enjoying it probably more than I will rate it, but it is nice on a hot day. High overall as it was a great beer to grab a 4 pack of and drink it all.

Photo of StoneTSR
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Deep, dark copper with a very strong, off-white head. The head was a good inch thick stuck around for a very long time. The beer was also very opaque and cloudy with some yeast floaties. The lacing wasn't all that great, but the head hung around until mid-glass.

SMELL: Toasty malt and brown sugar with some citrusy hops lurking in the background.

TASTE: This is a very wide-ranging beer in the taste department. It begins each sip as a lighter, slightly bitter, hoppy beer and then all of a sudden, towards the end of the sip a malt bomb explodes and smoky, toasted malt is everywhere on the palate. A strongly bitter aftertaste then settles in and that aftertaste builds throughout the glass, providing a little more hop flavor with each sip.

MOUTHFEEL: Just like the taste, the Hop Head is a very wide-ranging beer in this category. It begins each sip as a light, crisp beer and then about halfway through, just before the malt bomb explodes it seems to fizz up almost to the level of a soda. It also has a bit of an odd mouthcoating property that dries the mouth out. I would prefer that the mouthcoating feel went away in this case, but it is nowhere near strong enough to ruin the beer for me.

OVERALL: This is a strong and complex beer that keeps things interesting. Each sip allows the drinker to learn something more about the beer.

4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a Nonic glass.Enjoyed on apr´11
Reddish amber color,red to the light.Foggy.Ivory foam.Close & dense.Good retention & nice lacing rings left.Yeast & slightly hoppy aroma.Toasted malt hints.Malty flavor,gentle bitterness.Coffee notes at the second sip!!.Smooth bitterness on the aftertaste.Refreshing.Wonderful drinkability.Some hops makes sunny & hot days worth living.Say "thank you Amarillo"

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

From bottle, into a pint glass.

Pours a deep caramel amber red, with a frothy and sticky beige colored head which provides plenty of lacing. As with the west coast IPA, there is a ridiculous amount of unfiltered sediment floating around after the pour, which can certainly be off-setting. Good thing I know that it's good for ya.

Nose is full of sweet malty goodness with some bitter and citric hop notes also apparent. Bottle informs of dry hopping with Amarillo, so I'd say that explains that. Sugary, slightly fruity, and zesty, yet well balanced.

Taste is what you'd expect given the nose. Enormous bread and caramel malt flavors balanced out by a lingering hop bitterness and dark fruit sweetness. Hints of citrus and some spice as well. Again, tasty with a nice equilibrium of flavors that hits a groove between the two styles.

Creamy consistency with a very drinkable medium body and good carbonation levels, finishes tremendously dry.

Great beer, although a bit pricey. If it were a bit more reasonably priced, I'd probably buy it on the regular.

Photo of warbird07
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into old trusty....

appearence is a bit odd..not bad..deeep red..almost mahogony..creamy off-white head that recedes into a ring with rarther sticky lacing...what is also noticable is a good amount of sediment that stays in a state of suspention...does not drift down at all...

smell is big malt sweetness and hops..and another element..moss maybe..kida wierd but not unpleasent...

taste is fairly sweet malt..tastes like a red..but with a noticable hop presence and bitterness that really enhances this otherwise mundane style...

mouthfeel is heavy, a little chewy..not surprising...good though..

overall this beer is good but it is one and done for me....

Photo of TCgoalie
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark caramel reddish hue with a two finger eggshell colored head. Once the head recedes, a lovely sticky lacing appears where the head used to be.

Caramel malts are complimented with some orange and candied sugar.

Bready and malty up front which is subdued with grassy hops. There is a character of toasted barley as well.

Full in the mouth with a very dry finish. This serves the mouth well.

A very nice red with ample hops to drown out the typical too-malty red style. Worthy of multiple pints and should please most hop heads as the name indicates.

Photo of robbrandes
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle.

clear, deep brown, hints of purple. big white head of fine bubbles, lacing that goes on for daaaays. smell is a pleasing mix of bready malt, with just a touch of darker fruit, almost berry-like. hops are not as assertive as i expected, but pretty piney and resinous.

taste - wow, big bitter hopbomb. any thoughts of subtlety from the nose are demolished, but make no mistake - very well balanced and refreshing. this beer is big, assertive and dry - great crisp finish.

nice compromise of the two styles.

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

This red IPA has a deep burgundy color that is really attractive looking, especially with light passing through it. Head formation and retention are good.

The aroma is top notch: lots of sharp piney hops, making me wonder if Simcoe is the star here. Also some berry fruitiness (from the yeast?). Some orange zest is in the mix, as is slight sugary malt. A fine aroma!

Taste delivers all those mouth-watering hops and leaves a stinging bitterness on the tongue. Body is on the full side but ends light enough. Hops are dialed in nicely here; they're bold and clearly IPA in strength, yet they allow the ale to remain drinkable and aren't too fatiguing. There's a spicy finish that's reminiscent of rye—really good!

Hop Head Red is a bit too pricey to enjoy on a regular basis, which is a shame as it's a real pleasure to drink.

Photo of fox227
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber, small head, very good lacing

S: Very hoppy, some sweetness as well.

T: Explosion of hops - hop head indeed! I also taste some orange peel, a great deal of pine, and a muted malt character that I can't quite make out due to my palate being overwhelmed by biting hops. The latter is a very good thing for a hop head such as myself.

M: Very dry, hops scathe the tongue. I love it.

O: This beer is as advertised. Hop Head Red has more of a bitter edge than many of the beers that boast these bloated, high IBU levels. I am SHOCKED to discover that this beer has a meager 45 IBUs, making this beer a real curiosity.

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

Impressive look, almost perfect. Big head with an attractive red deep brown colour. The smell of hop is everywhere. An unusual hoppiness too which is rather atypical but intriguingly incredibly dry and robust. I've had wetter martinis to be honest but that ain't no bad thing. Just wish a tad more of that red beer sweetness (which I often, ironically, find sickly) would come through.

Pretty unique here and it does what it says on the label. Like it but the straddling of styles gives me the impression of being sort of four square. Despite the minor whinge this is still prettty fannytastic.

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

A: deep amber, slighty hazy, and 2 nice fingers of head. The fine head sticks to the glass.

S: Herbal, citrus smelling hops. There is a hint of cedar.

T: piney hops that briefly smack you in the face. Then it rounds off with a deep caramel flavor.

M: medium to strong body, lighty carbonated and rich.

Photo of BJA
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into perfect pint glass

A: Deep, crisp amber color with bubbles casually making their way to the top. I got a finger and a half of creamy, slightly tan/off-white head. The head stuck around for a few minutes and left generous lacing after dissipation. The deep, crisp amber look of the beer is impressive.

S: I get a fresh, slightly dank and piney hop scent with a little bit of toasty malt in there.

T: The taste of fresh hops hits me first but it is not overwhelming. It is followed by a toasted maltiness that adds a nice balance and finishes with resin and pine hoppiness that lingers on my palate. The balance is quite nice, and as I get farther into the glass, I find that it goes down easy and leaves me wanting another sip.

M: It feels great in my mouth. Has a medium to full feel.

O: This is a well balanced beer from a brewery that I find to be in love with hops and hoppy beers. I too love hops and over-the-top IPAs, but I really appreciate when a brewer can put together a well-balanced and very drinkable IPA. This is one of those IPAs.

Photo of Nugganooch
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*Bomber to pint glass

A: Hop Head Red pours brilliantly clear and is a ruby amber color that would probably be best described as chestnut. An amazing 2 or 3 finger billowy taupe colored head formed and just speckled my glass with tiny spiderwebs of lace. Awesome retention. Very nice!

S: Bursts of pungent pine escape as I pop the cap. Sweet citrus fruits and a caramel nutty finish on the nose.

T: Resinous hops. Sticky citrus & pine. The Amarillo dry hop really does come through. Almost grassy even. Great chocolate caramel nuttiness that is signature of the style with a nice peppery hop bite. Really works well together here. Citrus really comes through nicely and segues to the caramel malt body. Light dry finish. Quite tasty.

M: Light creamy body with a little bit of stickiness and light dry mouth finish.

D: Great drinkability. This brew is rich with caramel malt character yet pleases a hophead like me with an over the top dry hop coming in at only 45IBU's. It's a Red IPA!

One of my favs for the style. Super hoppy with that stylistic caramelly nuttiness and very quaffable. Excited for Green Flash's expansion and more to come.

Photo of StLThrash
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Green Flash just started distributing here in St. Louis, so great to finally be able to try some!

A - Beautiful, dark red / amber with a frothy 2-finger off-white head. Left some nice lacing on the way down. Small cap throughout.

S - Very similar to an IPA. The name of this beer is a perfect representation to what it is - a nice hoppy red ale. Lots of grapefruit / citrus along some piney resin. Also some caramel / toasted grains / malt in the nose. Very good smell.

T & M - Very similar to the smell. Up-front hop bitterness, followed by some sweet malts. Medium-bodied, medium carbonation - nicely balanced. Left a little bit of dry feeling / aftertaste.

Overall - Very nicely hopped red ale. Good alternative to an IPA if you don't quite as much hops. Being a hophead, I really enjoyed this and would recommend it.

Photo of HopHead84
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


On tap at The High Dive

A: Very dark reddish brown with a one inch fizzy beige head. Lacing is scattered on the glass as the head recedes.

S: Aromatic grapefruit with a little orange flesh. Pine is perfumy and resinous. Malt is caramel and biscuit with just a touch of sweetness. There is no evident alcohol.

T: The beer opens with a high moderate level of bitterness and a healthy dose of caramel and biscuity malt. Hops are expressive, imparting pine and grapefruit with rind matching the intensity of flesh. The beer is pretty well balanced, but the hop profile is slightly stronger than that of the malt. The finish is dry and bitter with lingering grapefruit and a dash of alcohol.

M: Medium body with an upper moderate level or carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry and sticky.

Overall: A nice hoppy American Red. Recommended.

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

Hop Head Red Ale begins with a nose that lives up to the title, full of citrusy hoppy goodness, and bursting with sparkling grapefruits, touches of pine, lemon zest, and a tinge of rosewater. Lively malts and sugars float just beneath, adding toasted grain and brown sugar aromas.

On the tongue, the beer also lives up to its name, beginning with an onslaught of hops that tingle the tongue and tantalize the tastebuds with grapefruit peel, pine, lemon, and fresh-cut grass. Biscuit-like malts add texture, and bring some sugary relief from the bitter hops by way of orange and brown sugar notes. But the hops are what stand out the most, and while they only clock in at 45 IBUs, the Amarillo variety used in the making brings good flavor and resinous balance, all of which dominates not only the main mouthful, but the aftertaste, which lingers for a very long time. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium-high, adding to the buzzing mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a good hoppy beer, though I do find that several quick mouthfuls in a row produces a pine tar sensation at the back of the tongue that can be distracting. Sip slowly, then, and enjoy.

Photo of dpnelson1978
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into glass pint.

A: Hazy deep red brown body topped with a huge rocky head of fantastic retention that leaves behind thick sticky lace and a dense cover. Speckles of flocculation float near the bottom (my mistake). Obviously bottle conditioned.

S: Pine and citrus blended with a potent malt sweetness and some interesting spice character.

T: Very sweet caramel backbone and again that spice character. Almost tastes like rye. Again citrus and pine up front maintaining a pine flavor well after the taste. The sweetness is a bit overbearing.

M: Medium body and moderate carbonation. Hop oils coat the tongue maintaining a light astringency over time.

O: The sweetness is a bit much for me. Two max, but the beer is obviously well crafted. Nice alternative to an IPA.

Photo of angrygrimace
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is a super dark red or amber. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber with quite a bit of off white/reddish head which took a while to subside. It looks delicious on appearance.

Tons of hops in the nose here, although there's certainly a lot of caramel-y malts present, enough to distinguish it from a typical IPA.

The taste strongly reflects the nose; strong hops paired with caramel malts up front. The hops mellow out as the beer warms up, which is either good or bad depending on your tastes; it thus tends to seem a bit less dry as you go, which lends itself to drinking it much faster the more you go down the pipe.

I quite enjoyed this one; it should tempt me to get down to their new brewery/tasting room to try a few of their others out.

Photo of swierczt
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - The beer poured an extremely deep amber color – in fact this was the deepest red/amber color I have ever seen for the style. Only very little head, which was off white in color and subsides quickly.

S – There is a big hops profile in the nose! Beginning with fresh citrus fruits (the most predominant was grapefruit). Also contains piney, earthy, and floral aromas from the hops. There is a slight presence of caramel sweetness in the background.

T – I would categorize the taste as moderately assertive in the hops category. The flavor was crisp transitioning from citrus hops to earthy or herbal flavored hops. There was also a nice malt backbone containing caramel and hints of toffee. The finish was a lingering bitterness that would lend itself to wanting another sip.

M – Carbonation was moderate and on target. Medium bodied with a crisp or dry finish.

O – This was the first offering that I’ve tried from Green Flash. I enjoyed it enough that I will be seeking out other styles from this brewery.

Photo of jmarsh123
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Everything about the name of this beer seemed right up my alley despite my not really liking too many Green Flash offerings.

Dark amber pour with a big light tan head. Lacing ran down the entire glass.

Tons of floral/citrus hops in the nose with a little breadiness.

Taste is similar to smell with a ton of upfront hop bitterness smacking your palate around. Lingering smooth light bitterness.

A little thicker, but overall not too sticky.

Next to only NN in my book of hoppy reds, I've finally found a Green Flash beer I'm eager to drink again. Got a few bottles of it for the trip home.

Photo of warnerry
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat muddy amber with a fair amount of sediment suspended near the bottom of the glass. Dense two finger light brown head has decent retention and leaves some lacing behind.

Smell starts with a big punch of grapefruit rind. Also a nice amount of florals. Small amount of caramel malt.

Similar to smell, initial taste is a nice burst of bitter grapefruit with a touch of resiny pine hops. Slightly sweet malts are more prominent in the taste than the smell. Finishes dry with lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium, slightly sticky.

I like hoppy ambers much more than more traditional ambers. This one is pretty good, but a notch below the best.

Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 3,083 ratings.