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

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Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale
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very good

2,792 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,792
Reviews: 898
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 83
Gots: 190 | 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: 2,792 | Reviews: 898 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HopDerek
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%

Thanks to Kegatron for this birthday gift.

Pours a burnt orange/copper color with a few floaties. Two fingers of fluffy tan froth has great retention and provides excellent sticky lacing. Smells of dried grass, pine needles, caramel, citrus rind, and ripe fruits. Tastes of grapefruit and orange peel up front with a nice caramel malt backbone and a dry bitter pine finish. Medium in body with good carbonation. Smooth and sticky with great balance and a nice hop kick. Sweet with a dry and bitter finish. An excellent red ale, made West Coast style.

HopDerek, Oct 09, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%

Into BMS mug during Talladega on the tube and SIRIUS...

Pours a deep, dark amber color with nice cinnamon/capuccino head into BMS mug.

Grapefruit hops mesh nicely on the nose with copious amber/caramel malt in Beautiful Chemistry. No disconnects here - this one is synced up extremely well so that all ingredients complement each other.

Crisp, clean citrus/floral and a little grassy hop texture balances overabundant, woody yet slightly sweet malt profile. Nice!

For all this malt it's very clean on the palate. Finish is full and strong as expected with such a malty offering but the citrus from the hoppiness gives a nice tangy kicker.

Sessionable as all get-up. Drinkability is off the charts for something so big. Amazing!

IBUnit63, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of joe1510
4/5  rDev +0.8%

12oz Stubby

Russpowell sent me this hoppy red in a recent trade, thanks again Wolf! Hop Head Red pours mildly hazy amber with ruby highlights when backlit. A stream or two of carbonation curl slowly to the surface. A standard pour produced two fingers of ecru head that became meringue-like as it sat and left sticky drink lines all over the place.

Big sweet caramel is the first thing to jump out of the glass but is quickly rivaled by resinous hop goodness. The resin qualities of the hops seem to pull out ahead as this beer warms slightly. There's some lightly toasted breadiness in the far back and tea leaf like hoppiness floating through here and there.

The caramel seems to stand out in the flavor first and foremost but the resinous hops quickly catch up. Caramel comes big upfront but fades as the resin drops mid palate and leads through the finish. The tea leaf like hoppiness shows up occasionally, which leads me to believe this beer has been sitting for a little bit. This is a good red with a respectable hop presence.

Hop Head red is medium bodied with a surprising silkiness that I thoroughly enjoy. The carbonation is soft while the hops end up leaving some chaos in their wake with a growing bitterness.

This would be a highly sessionable red for me if available in my area. One bottle of this hoppy red in a sitting isn't enough.

I always enjoy a hoppy red and this didn't disappoint. I may have to try and get my hands on a few more of these soon. Thanks for the bottle Russ!

joe1510, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of Bitterbill
4.13/5  rDev +4%

I got this bottle in a trade with russpowell. Thanks Russ!

This pours a hazy red colour with close to a 2 finger head of foam. Nice lacing.

The smell is a nice mix of sweet and bitter. Good caramel malt and pine and citrus hops.

The taste follows the nose...strong flavours of both caramel malt sweetness and ample hoppiness with pine being primary and citrus being secondary and I notice some roastiness and some grain after the first couple of sips. Very close to being balanced but the pine just edges out the malt.

The mouthfeel is solidly medium as is the carbonation, and it finishes with some roasted malt goodness and just a touch of pine. Nice. Nice and very drinkable. Btw, head retention is quite good as is the lacing.

Bottom line: This is definitely one of the better Red/Amber Ales I've tasted to date. I'd like another please. ;^)

Bitterbill, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of Gavage
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%

Appearance: pours a hazy reddish amber color. 1/2" head falls quickly to a thick surface foam. Nice lacing develops.

Smell: caramel, ripe fruits, and grapefruit are easy to detect.

Taste: caramel, grapefruit, lemon zest, ripe red apples, and a hint of pine. There is a grainy malt profile here too. Bitterness is upfront but well balanced with the caramel.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start, smoother and dry towards the finish. Medium bodied. Aftertaste is long on the bitterness.

Drinkability: easy to quaff this one. Nice hearty red ale that everyone should drink.

Gavage, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%

A: A really nice pour. Deep golden red, with a soft rolling head that leaves a huge wall of lacing behind. A bit of haziness from fine sediment that appears to be in stasis.

S: Orange and grapefruit rind, even a light splash of lemon rind in there, as well. While the hop aromas are quite strong, there is a notable malt backbone that provides a nice balance.

T: Citrus and an earthiness. A bit of a caramel flavour comes through over over the middle of the mouth, finishing with a solid bittering. A little astringency, perhaps.

M + D: A full bodied brew, by all means. It almost goes a little heavy and doesn't seem to lighten up on the finish, making it feel a little weighty. This isn't a horrible attribute, but it was a little bit unusual, I found. That said, I could do another - the hop presence does do a number on the palate, though. Not one to try another tasting after!

Proteus93, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of prototypic
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%

Appearance: It pours a hazy, really attractive deep red color. The head is really impressive. It easily stands two and a half fingers tall and is a light caramel color. Retention was excellent and thick sheets of lace lined the glass. Really impressive.

Smell: The nose is just as impressive. There's some initial citrus orange and pinepple aromas. Caramel malts are sweet and prevalent. It is very hoppy in a very west coast way. Very piney and citric in character. Interestingly enough, the malts don't smell like they've diluted the hoppy character of this beer too much. That's a plus. I'm hoping in holds true in the flavor profile. I like the idea of a hopped up red ale.

Taste: It's definitely got a lot of flavor, but it's not quite as good as the nose suggested. Initial orange and pineapple flavors are sweet, but are not as prevalent here as in smell. Caramel malts are sweet and give this beer a very solid base. Hops are mostly citric and piney. They do have a nice bitter taste, but it is muted a little by the malts. It's actually pretty well balanced and very nice in a red ale. I'm just appreciating such a nice hop flavor in a beer of this style. It finishes sweet and a little bitter.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's got a medium body and is smooth. Carbonation is active and high which keeps it from reaching a creamy or silky level. But, it goes down easy. Drinkability is very high. I'm really enjoying this and would love to have a few more. Can't get much better than that.

Hop Head Red's a hell of a good beer. One of the better and more interesting red ales I've had. Something about the fine hop flavor kept me wishing for a little more bitterness. But, it's very tasty and enjoyable as it stands. Definitely recommended.

prototypic, Sep 26, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%


A: Against natural lighting a deep merlot red pour was filled with an abundance of macro-particles that was densely spaced. A beige capping was slight both in size and retention while a visible effervesce was light in nature and hard to see within the turbid affair.

S: The nose was spicy of caramel apples and toasted grains with mentions of fresh citrus. Dried maple syrup and caramel grains add a bit of sweetness while some wet lemony hops layer overtop.

T: Toasted sweet grains jump out at you from the start along with a dried fruitiness of caramel apples and a bite of flowery lemons. Bitter, dry and flowery the hops really brings out and dryness of the palate complimenting and balancing the sweet grains at the start. I really like the underlying fruity ale character that lurks beneath the ample hopping that finishes up with a flowery dry bite of citrus and a slight spicy alcohol twang.

M: The mouthful was light, possible bordering on medium consistency and was dry, bitter but washes out on longer holds. A lax and unexciting carbonation factor fails to bring a bite of crispness to the table garnishing only average regards here.

D: Nice drinkability, I could go for a few here with an ample amount of complexity for a red as well hoppiness.

beerthulhu, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of HardTarget
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%

A: A nice clear dark red glass that holds a solid dirty tan head that laces all the way down with thick tidemarks: easy on the eyes all the way around.

S: Very earthy, a bit worty for my tastes, smells (and tastes) under-attenuated.

T: Hops are in your grill, full flavors, mild burning acidic, but not fully citric as I like my hops, again, the earthy quality, almost English in character. Little more sweetness in the finish than I care for as well, which I'm calling under-attenuated, it may be just a ton of grain. There's a mild buttery finish which again fits with more of a English style. No flaws, it's well brewed, I just have issues with the recipe.

M: Carbonation is a little higher than I like, leads it to be fizzy in the beginning of the glass, but it settles down. Medium body, oily finish.

D: Eh. I guess I'm spoiled now that I get Dale's Pale on a regular basis. The emphasis on hops in the name has me thinking more of APA/EPA/IPA/EIPA than Red/Amber, and the flavor is more that way, so I guess you dance with the one that brung ya. A good beer, but I can't see regular revisits.

Afterthoughts: I think I figured out what bugged me about this beer; it's a Barleywine Lite. The basic characteristics are there, juicy hop oil, big sweet base malt, but it doesn't have the weight to carry all the hops leaving it seemly thin, bitter and a touch too sweet.

HardTarget, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of bifrostguard
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%

A- A deep red with a tall off white head that really sticks to the glass.

S- Caramel malt and grapefruit.

T- Has a good caramel malt flavor with some hop bitterness added to it. Grapefruit is notable as well.

M - This is a nice thick beer. The persistent head and nice body really make this pleasurable.

D - Goes down smooth, just bitter enough to keep the sweetness from setting in, would do well in the long hall. Very enjoyable.

bifrostguard, Sep 24, 2008
Photo of jraycee
4.13/5  rDev +4%

Pours a beautiful dark red with a thick head that fades slowly to half and then really sticks around

Smells just as beautiful as it looks. Big hops, grapefruit, more hops. More grains as it warms, but not much.

Tastes sweet just a little up front, but the bitter hops come in quick, some esters in a sticky finish. Carbonation is good but fades before the finish.

Overall better than average for my tastes. This brewery hasn't disappointed me yet. Drinkability is good, but it tastes higher than 6% for some reason.

jraycee, Sep 22, 2008
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%

Grapefruit aroma fom the fragrant amarillo. Initially big head. Smooth easy drinking, I can just picture the guzzlers downing 6-paks. A nice bitterness that is left on the aftertaste. Well balanced at 45 IBU.A fresh and bold taste, can use to transition to craft.

Sammy, Sep 19, 2008
Photo of boralyl
4/5  rDev +0.8%

A - Pours 2 fingers of white head that leaves nice lacing and has a good retention. The beer is a darker red color.

S - Has a pretty hoppy aroma with a mix of citrus and pine. The malts also play a role with some sweet caramel and some toasted malts. Overall a nice aroma.

M - A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. It has somewhat of a creamy feel to it and finishes dry.

T - The sweet caramel malts hit first, followed closely by generous amounts of citrus and piny hops. It finishes with some of the toasted malts to balance it out, but in the end the hops win, leaving a bitter taste. A great flavor for sure.

Overall a nice hoppy amber style brew. It has a great flavor and is I find it to be very easy to drink. Green Flash continues to impress.

boralyl, Sep 19, 2008
Photo of ncvbc
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%

Bright, glowing amber with lively carbonation and a medium head that fades somewhat quickly. It leaves spots of lacing down the glass. Smell is nice fresh hoppy goodness. Much more of a distinct hop presence than from the bottle. This stuff seems super fresh or maybe it's just that different on-tap. Juicy, citrusy hops. Lightly sugared and quite tasty. A smaller malt base than the bottled version as well. Just a bit of caramel and a biscuity undertone to support the delicious hops. A nice bitterness with light dryness. Good carbonation leaves a tickle on the tongue and it's so refreshing that you can't help but take another sip soon after. I think this is much better on-tap and even though there were a few beers I had yet to try on the board, I stuck with this one after the first pint. Great stuff!

ncvbc, Sep 16, 2008
Photo of toweringpoo
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%

This is the second offering I've enjoyed from Green Flash. The first, their IPA, was good, but nothing special. This one is significantly better in my opinion.
This beer has: *Balance*
That is the best way to describe this beer. It's sooo well balanced. The hops and malt are perfectly matched and neither overpower the other. Floral, citrusy hops and toasty cereal malts. Great flavor, the mouthfeel is relatively light and fades quickly. A great session beer, too bad I only have one...

toweringpoo, Sep 16, 2008
Photo of Rzzzzz
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%

On tap at Mission Pizza in Fremont. Wow, this is great stuff. Deep red with a creamy white head that paints the glass with some very impressive lacework, all the way down. Malty flavor balanced nicely with a crisp hop bitterness. Hops definitely make their presence known, but do not overwhelm this beer as is the case with many other Green Flash offerings. Great balance, medium body and simply a terrific quaff for a hot day. Destined to be a heavy rotation beer for me.

Rzzzzz, Sep 15, 2008
Photo of niz
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%

pours deep opaque orangy red with about a finger of fluffy off white head,
smells of exceptional hop presence and a sweet spice.
taste is remarkable, wonderful sweet spiced caramel malt in the start. then there's the hops, big and abundant,.. finishes dry and bitter and leaves me wanting more.
i will definately buy this beer, never seen one quite like it, similar to rogue's dry hopped red, but better, in my opinion.
new addition to select vancouver beer and wine's i will stock up before they are out.

AMAZING! a must for any hop head.


niz, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%

Pours a nice deep red color with some orange highlights and a nice, unusually tan head that leaves good lacing. Nose is quite hoppy with slight biscuity malt. Taste follows with quite a bit of hop flavor, a nice citrus hop profile with a decent malt presence, but I would have expected a bigger sweetness from and amber/red ale. Good hop bitterness on the finish. Mouthfeel is nice and dry, slightly thin *for the style*. Drinkability is good, if your a hophead that is. Overall, this is a very nice tasting clean, well made beer. I always debate whether or not to reem beers like this though, because to me, this is more like a red IPA (ala mars, celebration, furious, etc.) than it is like your average, stereotypical amber/red ale, although there are some amber ale characteristics in this. They clearly wanted to express the hops in this one, as stated on the label, so I gave it an honest rating, as they let me know, hey this red ale has some hops. Really though, who gives a shit what the *actual style* is if the beer tastes great, which this one does, so go get some, its good.

AKBelgianBeast, Sep 08, 2008
Photo of CrellMoset
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Bottle from Wine Warehouse, Charlottesville, VA. Poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dirty amber brown - like a dark blood orange - with a one-and-a-half finger tan head with thin and delicate sheets of solid lacing. Retention is nice.

Aroma: Great hop notes in this one! A lot of nice grapefruity/orangey citrus, definite Amarillo-esque spicy, grassy, vegetal dry hopping notes. There's some slight bready caramel here, as well, but yep, all about the hops here.

Taste: Spicy, vegetal notes up front, followed by a ruby red grapefruit citrus overtones and a lasting bitterness that, unfortunately, covers up a few of the more delicate hop notes imparted here. Toast and heavily roasted malts emerge a little as things warm, but the bitterness remains.

Mouthfeel: Oily and resinous, a excellent level of thickness, and that great fluffy, medium-bodied web of fluff that good dry-hopped beers always have. Tingly, whether from carbonation/hop bitterness/citrus/or the alcohol, with a very fresh feel imparted by the dry hopping.

Drinkability: One of the better Green Flash brews, in my opinion. The alcohol is, of course, nice and low (6%), making for a sessionable and tasty beer. The bitterness may perhaps be a little high (45 IBUs), which covers up a few of what I imagine are some pretty tasty hop notes, but by and large it's a pretty tasty brew.

CrellMoset, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of allengarvin
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%

Poured into a 12-oz mug, this beer is a fairly dark reddish-mahogany color. Only a small head forms on top, but it provides modest lacing. With the name of this beer, the aroma is hardly unexpected: a hugely hoppy nose, full of citrus, pine-resin notes--but there's also some sweet, lightly caramel malt. Flavor is better than the IPA, more balanced. There's still a very high bitterness, load upon load of hop flavor, but also some lightly toasted, sweet malt. The sweetness is forcibly dried out by the finish, but it still makes a good flavor component. A pretty darn good ultra-hoppy ale.

allengarvin, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of hellomcfly
4.53/5  rDev +14.1%

Big thanks to chefnash51 for this beer.

Poured from bottle into tulip glass.

A - Very nice looking dark amber brown color with big foamy tan head. Okay lacing.

S - Huge citrus smell in the head of this this. Very strong grapefruit and orange aroma. Little earthy and caramel smell as well once the beer warms up and looses some of the head.

T - Nice grapefruit and orange citrus hop flavors as well as caramel malt. A nice balance that gives way to a nice hop aftertaste.

M - Silky smooth but a little bit thin.

D - Very good, I could drink several of these. Probably one of the best red ales I have had.

hellomcfly, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of batty
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%

pours a slightly cloudy dark red-amber-brown with thick off-white head. head dies down to a 3/16 inch and stays, great lacing.

smell is malt and hops -earthy plus citrus, american hops. minimal malt presence, and could use a little more overall smell.

taste is exceptional. starts a nice well-balanced red, not too sweet but good malt, and ends with a huge hop kick, ipa style. some would say over-hopped, i'm sure, but to me this is just a beautiful melding of styles.

mouthfeel is very smooth, silky almost, decent carbonation, maybe a tiny bit thinner than i would like.

if you like hops this is a great session beer -6% alcohol is pretty nice -though if it was higher i would consider this an american strong ale.

batty, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of chemmie
3.85/5  rDev -3%

I think the hoppy red ales are getting me more into malts than I have been previously. The Hop Head Red is my newest encounter with this style, and is one of the better ones I've tried.

It pours a more red color than simply an amber. The head is a thick cream color with a little pinkish tint and a lot of lacing around the glass. The smell is a lot of citrus, with a bit of the roasted malt in the background.
Most of the hoppy red ales I've had usually hit you first with the malt, then the hops come into play. This one seems to be the opposite. The citrus hops come in, with a lot of grapefruit, and it is followed up very lightly by the malt. I'd say the malt in this red is a lot less pronounced than many in this style. It's a good, hoppy, beer that leaves the grapefruit taste in your mouth for a while.

chemmie, Sep 02, 2008
Photo of Metalmonk
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%

The burnt ruby color not only sports a plethora of bubbles feeding a tan-tinted off-white head, but there are a zillion tiny bits of sediment floating around, which I'll assume is the result of the Amarillo dry-hopping. Head remains foamy and thick, and the occasional swirl coats the walls of the glass with lace which doesn't stick well but who cares...this is a beautiful beer.

Big spicy hops in the aroma. Hints of cinnamon dust and brown sugar show up, light mint, but it's mostly big, leafy, resiny, grapefruit-rind hoppiness. Hoppiness is happiness.

Flavor-wise, it's immediately clear that hops are spotlighted-- they're as fresh-tasting as you can imagine a dry-hopped Green Flash beer being. This brewery seems to be master of the hop, and here they balance them with rich, savory malt, offering both spicy and sweet elements. It's not insanely complex, but it's not supposed to be. It is incredibly delicious, which I'm pretty sure is that they were aiming for.

Could've used a slightly less tingly texture, but even that has its buttery side at the beginning of the sip, before it scatters and kicks the tongue around a little bit. Could be the hops taking over and giving more oomph. Deceptive in this department, yet still very solid.

This beer is the perfect example of why big flavor doesn't necessarily need to come with a big ABV or big price tag. (Says 6% on this bottle.) Since this is relatively obtainable, I might just buy this by the case and make it my #1 every day beer. Perfectly balanced, ridiculously flavorful, completely outstanding.

Metalmonk, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of tdawgydog
3.85/5  rDev -3%

Had a pint of this on tap at Blue Smoke BBQ in NYC. It was one of the few things on tap that I hadn't tried. This was a little bit of a conflicting beer for me. I like Red ales but not a big fan of the heavy hops. I was pleasantly surprised. It looks innocent enough and the hops are certainly the signature taste (hence the name) It paired well with the spicy chicken we were eating and I would probably drink this again. This beer is well done and although the strong taste of hops is prevalent it's not overpowering enough to take away from the beer itself.

tdawgydog, Sep 01, 2008
Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,792 ratings.