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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

3,174 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,174
Reviews: 951
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 122
Gots: 370 | 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: 3,174 | Reviews: 951
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!

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....

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Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 3,174 ratings.