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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

2,971 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,971
Reviews: 916
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 93
Gots: 245 | 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: 2,971 | Reviews: 916 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of paulozanello
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a translucid ruby-red color with a huge creamy beige head that lasts forever. Lacing and retention are amazing. Gorgeous beer!

Aroma is very hoppy with tangerine, grapefruit and freshly cut grass. Some charamel malts are also there.

Taste is very fresh with orange and grassy hop presence that soon turns very bitter and lingers for a while. I sincerely don't get that much malt charachter so, as far as taste goes, this is much like an IPA to me.

Body is medium with high carbonation. Aftertaste is bitter and pleasant.

Great refreshing beer from Green Flash. I got my daily hop fix from this one.

paulozanello, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of spinrsx
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a murky amber/brown colour with a nice size beige soapy head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some very nice lacing. The head lasted for several minutes before it was gone.

Smell - hops, brown sugar, malts

Taste & Mouth - There is a fairly high level of carbonation and the beer has a very full bodied taste. The most noticeable flavours are hops and a brown sugar sweetness. There is also lots of malt and pine flavour. The beer finishes with a bitter sweet hop aftertaste.

Drink - A really good brew; it reminded me of a scaled down version of Pliny the Elder. Worth seeking out.

spinrsx, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of SkunkWorks
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. I can't see a freshness date on here but given the hop aromas I can already get, it must be pretty fresh.

Look: despite a conservative pour, the head is kind of out of control. Its a 4 finger head that's a little off white. I'm okay with the extra large sized head so I won't hold it against it that much. Red beer is probably my favorite color for a beer so this one really does it for me. It is ruby red. Additionally, bits of yeast and sediment are floating around in there too along with some carbonation bubbles. As the mega huge lace is disappearing, its already leaving sticky lace along the sides of my glass. Excellent looking beer.

Smell: serious Amarillo hops! Amarillo is one of my favorite hop strains so I'm looking forward to drinking this already. Also smells like caramel and a little orange. Smells amazing.

Taste: surprisingly, fairly different from the nose. There's a bit of sweetness in there somewhere but its very hop centric, with some serious resin flavor. The malt flavor is kind of biscuity, with a little toasted malt as well. I'm surprised to see this listed as an Amber/Red Ale and not some kind of Red IPA, because that's what this tastes like.

Feel: I think the beer's initial burst of carbonation has run out because this is a little on the flat side now, which is a shame because I could see this being better if it was a little more crisp. Its still a fine mouthfeel, with the bitterness taking a front seat with the sweetness of the malt dangling precariously from the rear bumper. This is exceptionally bitter. The alcohol is hidden well and there's no bite from the alcohol.

Drink: while it is very good, I don't know how many of these I could sit down and have. I'm happy with the one in front of me but I don't think I'd ask for a second.

Overall, this is a beer that every serious hop head needs to check out. That said, I wish it were a bit maltier. I like reds for the malt and even though I expected this to be hoppy, I didn't expect it to be THIS hoppy. Still, definitely worth checking out and I'll probably end up having this guy again. Cheers!

SkunkWorks, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of nickhiller
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: a beautiful blood red with an amazing one and a half finger yellow head with impressive retention and thick, sticky lacing.

S: grassy, pine-y hops as strong as hop pellets. The hops are I get apart form a hint of malt in the background.

T: pretty much a hop bomb, but fresh with nice grassy, earthy aromatics and a bitter bite, balanced by a caramel-y sweetness from the malt. Finish is bittersweet.

M: medium bodied, good carb, dry finish.

D: a little underwhelming. As mentioned in the taste, I would characterize this as one of many hop bombs out there. Nothing much distinguishes this from the masses, and I'm not sure what is red about this apart from the color, but it also has decent drinkability, so I can't hate on it too much. My only critique is that it's a little unoriginal and it fails to deliver as a red ale.

nickhiller, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of CaptCleveland
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from 4-pack purchased at local Whole Foods. No dates on bottle.
Hazy, copper liquid, tan, thin head, belgian lace.
Mild hop fragrance, slight citrus and pine.
Smooth, bitterness abuts a nice biscuit backbone.
I would prefer more Amarillo hops and less malt, especially for a brew labeled "Hop Head". But it's tough to beat Founder's Red's Rye.
Overall a nice balanced red ale.

CaptCleveland, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of PicoPapa
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no Freshness date. Pours a murky rust color with some sediment floating around. No head and some good lacing. Great aroma of piney hops. Slight hint of malts. Taste is more of that big hop aroma. A good piney flavor with a nice bitterness. This is a great hoppy red ale.

PicoPapa, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of dgilks
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hop Head Red is one of those beers that strikes you because it keeps up the high hopping levels that I love in a beer while teaming it with a great malt profile that supports the beer and the hops. The pour is good with a nice, fluffy off-white head contrasting with the red body. The aroma combines those citrussy West Coast hops with a light bit of malt (and unfortunately a touch of dustiness). The flavour comes down to a balance between citrussy, piney, resinous hops and the caramel, toffee malts of the red ale. The body is neither thick nor insipid which is nice in a beer like this and it helps to make it feel like you can drink more.

dgilks, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bodega. Naturally its served in a crappy shaker pint. This place needs better glassware. Perhaps Ill start requesting a wine glass, but thats neither here nor there.

A- Red for sure. Its a clouded rusty red color. A small head is probably the result of the bartender's habit of pouring off the foam to give the customer more beer. No matter, this is still a decent looking beer.

S- If there is one California brewery that is more synonymous with hops than Sierra Nevada, Green Flash would be that brewery. A lot of pine and some citrus. Some malts come through, which are very welcomed by my nostrils.

T- Very hoppy, but I was glad to taste some malts. They are a rich type of malt that give it an almost chocolatey flavor. This is still secondary to massive pine and grapefruit/citrus rind hops.

When IPAs have gotten too monotonous, this is a great beer to turn to.

MbpBugeye, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of LairdChisholm
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a murky reddish-orange color with a very frothy, one finger cream colored head with excellent retention. There is significant lacing that sticks and stays there. There is also a wee bit white sediment hanging around the bottom. A great looking brew.

S - Very strong and pleasant smell. A good balance of pine and citrus hops with some slight sweet malts to even it out. Very nice.

T - Amazing balance here. There is a great mixture of floral and citrus hops mixed with some sweet caramel malts. The after taste is a very creamy with some bitter pine hops for this finish. Wonderful.

M - This is so smooth. Reminds me of a good Sweet Stout. Perfect amount of carbonation dances on my tongue. Incredible

D - Even though very good this is really the only category that leaves something to be desired. While these are very easy to drink, I feel they could sit a wee bit better with my palette. Overall, an amazing brew.

LairdChisholm, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of mulder1010
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a globe glass

A-- Poured a dark crimson color. Light brown head that settled at one finger, nice and fluffy head. Good head retention and some nice rings of lacing with the beer.

S-- Citrus, carmel, and pine. Orange, lemon, grapefruit stand out well and has good doses of pine in this. Good malt background mixed in.

T-- Orange peel, Grapefruit, pine and Carmel. Very forward fruit and pine taste with flashes of carmel. Good first bite to this.

M-- Well balanced. Shows flashes of everything real nicely. Lower medium carbonation and medium feel. Pine sticks around a nice long time after you finish each sip.

D-- Well hidden ABV and just plain drinkable. Can have 2 bombers easily and would want more. One of the styles Australian breweries just do not do and they should.

mulder1010, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of brendan13
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - The appearence is a deep reddish copper that pours a couple of centimetres of off white head that slowly falls away leaving a bit of lace
S - Caramel malt aroma with some lovely piney, floral & grapefruit hop notes.
T - Rich caramel malt flavour but not cloying which is wonderful. Grapefruit, piney & floral also in the taste.
M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation, lingering bitterness.
D - I could drink this all day long. Until I fall over anyway.

brendan13, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of stonermouse
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

This brew is really gorgeous. Nice hint of red, obviously, but the cloudiness swirls around and give the beer a nice look. Head is off-white and puffy; almost too big even with a careful pour.

Smell is right on for what I was expecting. Nice blast of hops, and pretty thick.

Taste is as anticipated as well. The red gives this one a nice bite at first, and the hops come in at the tail end and really give a piney whack. The hops are resiny and stick for a while, while the initial bite comes and goes quickly. There is also a bit of a fruity kick in the background... I can't put my finger on it, but hopefully I'll peg it by the end of this six pack. Good complexity to this one.

The mouthfeel is dense, which I expected when I saw the cloudiness. The head sticks around for the entire brew, which added a little wrinkle to the flavors.

Drinkability is high. Good solid flavor, and the ABV is reasonable to session. The price is high for this brewer in my area, which doesn't necessarily influence my score, but is a little unfortunate.

stonermouse, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of grittybrews
4.53/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a brownish amber into a pint glass with two fingers of creamy white head. Strong aroma of sweet caramel malt balanced by hoppy grapefruit and pine.

Moderate carbonation and a full mouthfeel. Complex malt sweetness with notes of caramel and vanilla is quickly overtaken by citrus hops, which dominate the lingering bitter finish.

Excellent drinkability. The flavors are a little two dimensional, but each element is executed extremely well. I wasn't expecting this brew to make as much of an impression as the West Coast IPA, but was very pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it.

grittybrews, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of zhanson88
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hop Head pours a deep amber color with about a finger of tight, light khaki head. Retention is okay, as is the lacing that remains.

Smell: Caramel malt, and sticky, resinous pine and hops. Not overly complex but very balanced and pleasant.

Taste: Caramel malts up front, with sticky pine in the middle with a medium amount of hop bitterness at the end. I also get some coffee-like bitterness in the aftertaste, which is unexpected but not at all unpleasant. Gives an extra layer of flavor.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This is a nice solid medium-bodied beer that is smooth and creamy going down. Drinkability is high, this is an extremely balanced beer that is not too heavy and flat out nice all the way around.

zhanson88, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of nhindian
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A - Pours a dark amber, burgundy, ruby color. Has some sediment in the glass and builds a beautiful 2.5 finger, foamy head. Reduces to a silky cap after a few minutes but leaves moderate to heavy lacing throughout the entire drink. Really pretty.

S - Nose of bitter hops and smooth malt twisted with wisps of citrus. Smells quite balanced and about evenly distributed. Not getting anything overwhelming.

T - Taste is a really smooth blend between the pine tree, citrusy hops and the more mellow hops that comes together nicely. The cap aids in releasing the bouquet throughout the sips and adds a bit of texture. Aftertaste is of hops and a twinge of alcohol. Some stickiness.

M - Body is medium to heavy bodied when taking the head into account. Not light by any means but definitely adds a bit of substance.

D - Drinkability is relatively high. Nothing really detracts from the beer too much, and is balanced to the point of preserving the palate, but it doesn't really push any envelopes. For a beer in this price point, I'd definitely be looking for more distinguishing characteristics. The beer is good, but not really memorable.

nhindian, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of drpimento
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured with a giant, foamy, frothy, fluffy, light tan head that lasts a long time, lots of big bubble trails, and loads of lace. Color is an almost clear red medium amber. Aroma is hop, grapefruit, pine, and a little malt. Flavor is like aroma, plus a little butter, wet leather. Body is good and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor and very long with lingering hop bitterness. Not as balanced as I'd prefer, but not bad. Don't think I'll have another for a while.

drpimento, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of fourplayed
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 o bottle into 12 oz glass

Nice 1" lite tan brown head breaks up slow and looks sticky and leaves med lacing as it breaks up. Nice dark deep burnt red-orange color. hold it up to the lite to get the color hues.

smells mostly of malts with a mild caramel sweetness. Hops take back seat. reminds me of a rich brown ale but more complex with the hops added.

Tastes of mildly sweet caramel with fair amount of malt and bready taste with touch of nut. A nice smack of hops breaks through.

Mouth feel -good carbonation & hops hit your tongue first. medium heavy body. smooth malts linger in aftertaste with a dry finish.

IMHO This drinks like a good brown ale that has a generous addition of hops. makes it interesting. Not a bad brew if you like both brown ales, and hoppy style brews.

fourplayed, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of dcguitar
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer came from a bottle and was poured into a pint glass.

A: This beer pours a nice dark amber color with a very light foamy head.

S: The smell has some nice citrus and hoppy aromas.

T: Nice citrus and hops with some malty and even spicy characteristics. Very tasty.

M: Warm and full.

D: A nice beer all around. A really tasty green flash treat!

dcguitar, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer appears a dark amber color with a sizable head that leaves plenty of caked on lacing all over the glass.

S: The aroma is primarily of hops, followed by citrus and bready malts. Alcohol is slightly detectable. It smells like an IPA.

T: The beer is tasty. The aroma is an accurate indicator of what to expect in terms of flavor. The taste profile premiers with hops and is closely pursued by a biscuit malt character and a caramel sweetness that balances the beer gracefully.

M: Decent feel with a subtle alcohol note in the finish.

D: A good beer I'd drink again. I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as the Green Flash West Coast I.P.A. I just had, however.

Huhzubendah, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of hophead247
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish amber with a large beige head that left a ton of lacing. Nice bright citrusy hops with a little bit of a resiny accent. Lots of caramel maltiness here too. Biting bitterness hits you right away and never lets go. The maltiness emerges mid swallow with some caramel and crystal malt. Pretty full bodied with a fairly thick texture and a slight resiny stickiness on the finish. Nice soft fizzy carbonation. A nice hoppy red that's as hoppy as an IPA...

hophead247, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a six pack of this one for ten bucks, and I was very excited to try it as this brewery has rarely let me down. Here, they continued to impress. Pours a dark reddish-orange color with a half inch or so of medium tan head. Good hops here, both on the nose and on the palate. A Piney, grapefruity (and other assorted citrus) nose leads nicely to a well-balanced palate, featuring more of the same, along with caramel and a little dark brown sugar. Very enjoyable.

emmasdad, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of xraided81
4.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into and 8oz, sampling glass. Pours a nice orange -redish color. clarity is great considering its a bottle conditioned beer. Head retention is great a 1/4 inch he is still present 5 minutes after pouring in glass. Smell is of piney, grassy, hops with a hint of earthiness. thinking citrussy hops such as amarillo and simcoe. First sip i get a strong bittering hops, get more of the citrus hop present in the back of the palate, caramel notes are present at the end of the drink, very little malt character is present in this beer. The bitterness does not linger in the mouthfeel as does an ipa. Overall this is a great example of a west coast red ale. I would buy this on a regular basis if i could have access to this beer more often.

xraided81, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of EgadBananas
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep mahogany, rather hazy, fingers worth of light tan head. Lots of lacing.

Smell is slightly sweet, lots of sweet citrus, ending with a nice slightly muted resiny hop aroma.

Bitterness is stark, and stabbing. I'm diggin' it. There's some slightly sweet malts, and some slightly sweet citrus, namely grapefruit, that round it out.

Decent amount of carbonation, body is on the lighter side, which is fine.

Good drinkability, and an all around great red!

EgadBananas, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"The red it filters through." -Chevelle

Clouded rust color, not a pretty lass. Sloppy lace strewn about by a crescent moon retention. Aroma is grapefruit and candy and even a little tropical floral. Good stuff. Taste features grapefruit bitter aplenty, 45 IBUS taste like 65. Sweet caramel malt compliments the hops but by no means is this balanced--and that's just fine. Full, resiny mouthfeel.

Not my favorite of this style (this is my favorite style by the way) but I'm definitely a fan.

donkeyrunner, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of beagle75
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a shaker pint.

A: Hazy, dark amber color with one finger of persistent peach-colored foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Intense grapefruit citrus, as well as some pine, account for much of the detectable smell. The faint toffee of the malt, combined with the citrusy hops, suggests sweetness.

T: Begins with slightly off-dry caramel and aromatic hops that combine in the mouth to produce a tea-like quality. The hops come across initially as floral and vegetal, contributing to this effect. Flavors transition smoothly into a bitter grapefruit finish.

M: Medium viscosity, sticky with hop resins. Carbonation is moderate, its presence is noted, but it does not detract from the other sensory qualities.

D: This beer delivers fresh hop flavors but is able to pair with most foods better than an IPA. The intensity of flavors here are comparable to those of many imperial red ales, such as Oskar Blues Gordon, while the abv remains in the neighborhood of the typical IPA. As a result, the drinkability found here is truly superior.

beagle75, Sep 29, 2010
Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,971 ratings.