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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

2,805 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,805
Reviews: 900
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 85
Gots: 197 | 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: 2,805 | Reviews: 900 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of boralyl
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 03, 2008
Photo of Metalmonk
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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
Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Clark's Ale House. I ordered just a half-pint, served in a wine glass.

This is a god beer, but it doesn't stand out in my mind among the other hopped up red's. The body is a bit thick with caramel and lightly roasted malts. The hops form a collection of pine, citrus, and pineapple flavors that finish with a big bitterness. And while this is all good and tasty, I'm left feeling full with this beer. The body and bitterness overwhelm me to a degree and as a result I'm not wanting more.

tempest, Aug 31, 2008
Photo of nrbw23
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark reddish brown color with a nice foamy cream colored head that has great retention and leaves some spotty lacing.

S- A nice bold aroma of piney and spicy hops with some caramel sweetness.

T- Great hop flavour backed by an interesting sweet caramel malt. Very interesting.

M- Medium body and carbonation.

D- Pretty solid brew, different and easy to drink.

nrbw23, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - pours a caramel reddish hue with lots of haze. The head forms up quickly, a finger of beige with a meringue-like look and plenty of staying power. It leaves a solid coating on the glass as it slowly falls.

Aroma - huge caramel and citrus. Straightforward, intense, and it holds the aromatic levels nicely.

Taste - sweet, lighy biscuit grain. Some toasted malts sneak in before the impressive wave of hoppiness. Slightly sweet, very bitter, too much I think. A very acrid, harsh flavor past the herbal, grassy swallow. Intense medicinals are pulling the rug out from under this beer. Stays very bitter throughout the swallow and aftertaste. Quickly becoming a chore to drink.

Mouthfeel - medium body, plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability - I am regretting buying two of these now. Too harshly bitter for my enjoyment, I managed by adding a half shot each of peach schnapps and Lemoncello. Kind of a Joseph's childen's aspirin effect.

8/28 edit - my second bottle was a better experience. Still too bitter, but I was able to drink it without additives. Anyway I bumped a few scores to reflect that, Taste +1.0, Drink +1.0

brewdlyhooked13, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of ckeegan04
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark amber color, verging on brown. One finger plus head, light brown in color. Excellent retention and lacing.

S - Strong aroma of spicy and piney hops. Also some caramel malt sweetness.

T - Sweet malts up front, biscuity with hints of caramel. A strong hop bitterness comes in, spicy in taste. Finishes rather sweet.

M/D - Medium bodied and very crisp. A little heavy on the malts for my liking.

ckeegan04, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of floral hops, caramelized malts and citrus.

T: The taste is bitter up front with a decently strong floral hoppiness. There are sweet flavors of caramel and citrus that comes in next to balance things out. The malt character is hearty. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, I've had better hoppy red beers but this is still a good beer to drink for a while.

TheManiacalOne, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of deepsouth
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours an amber (duh) cloudy color with about a finger of nice thick beige head and lots of lovely lacing.

the smell is huge citrus. orange and lemon dominate the nose, but not so much that some malty sweetness shines through.

the taste is orange and toffee. a very bitter-sweet beer. delicious.

the mouthfeel is medium with explosive carbonation that really wakes up my tongue.

not sure the abv on this one, but drinkability is fantastic. not far behind nugget nectar, if it is at all. i'd love to have access to this beer.

deepsouth, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of jasonjlewis
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a 2 finger initial head with great lacing and a layer of head that never leaves. The color is clear ruby red.

Smell is of toasted malts and hops that remind me of marijuana a little bit. They infer that there might be a bit of a hop lovers delight in store. AS the beer warms I pick up a hop that may be a centennial/cascade type with some citrusyness and a little bit of an earthy aroma.

Taste is toasted malts with a more than satisfactory bitterness. The bitterness is there and it's bold, but it's not abrasive. It gives you that hoppy resiny flavor in a very adequate amount, but it's somehow not over the top. Somehow this beer has a cohesiveness in it's hoppyness. Beers like this are what I think of when I say that I love hoppy red ales and want to put them in their own style in order to separate them from the lackluster pedestrian red ales commonly associated with the style.

This beer has a crisp carbonation and is very refreshing on the palate. This beer is a summer/early fall time hop fix. Could be drank on a gloomy day or on a hot summer day and still leave one feeling that it was the ultimate beer for the season.

If someone told me that I could only drink this beer until I died, I wouldn't mind all that much.

jasonjlewis, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of koopa
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poors a beautiful ruby color with an amber / buttery head. Strong hop taste really cuts through nicely without offending. Extremely drinkable mouth feel. This is a 4 season brew....enjoyable year round. I'm rating it lower in a bottle than I did from a Growler as it didn't hold a candle to my previous taste from the tap.

koopa, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glowing rust orange with influences from brick red and bronze. A considerable yeastiness adds visual interest and the caramel colored cap is exceptional as well. It looks like coral (not the color, but the creature) and is absolutely slathering the glass with some of the most gorgeous lace that I've seen in quite some time. What a looker!

The nose is as expected... as long as one expects a well-crafted, caramel malt-intensive, Amarillo dry-hopped American red ale. Since this bottle can't be more than a few months old, the hops should still be kickin'. It smells like it anyway. Let's go with candied orange peel and musky peach skins dipped in melted caramel.

Hop Head Red Ale is aptly named. I may have had a hoppier red over the years, but at the moment, none are coming to mind. The 45 IBUs seem like 75 at least. Bottom line: if you aren't hop-crazy or think all beer has to be balanced, buy something else.

There's just enough caramel malt to avoid being overpowered by the aggressive alpha acid attack. Other than an early glimmer of sweetness, it's nothing but floor-to-ceiling resinous bitterness. In other words, be prepared to have your tongue roughed up. Orange peel is probably the most dominant top note, along with spruce sap.

The mouthfeel is more than solid. The beer isn't huge (no surprise given the 6.0% ABV), but it's becoming increasingly silky smooth as the ounces rush by. As silky smooth as a beer this bitter can be, anyway. The next highest score is oh so tempting.

Green Flash seems to specialize in hop-soaked beer. Extra Pale Ale, West Coast IPA and Imperial IPA are great. Nut Brown, Ruby Red and Trippel... not so much. Hop Head Red is the best one yet. It's a tour de force of flavor and bitterness that every hophead should seek out. Highly recommended.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of Atlas1
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think I got the last six pack of this at the Central Market in SA about a week ago. We don't see much Green Flash in SA, so I've been savoring them one by one. This is my last bottle.

Pours a beautiful reddish-orange color; dark and serious, with brown hues throughout, but bright and welcoming when held up to the light. The head is a big, two-finger, tan behemoth. Sticky and clumpy. A great looking red ale. The nose is also big, with lots of fresh hops and fruit. Malty too, with rich caramel and the faintest hint of chocolate. Toffee in there as well. Nice. Tastes great. Hoppy and flavorful with a distinctly tart and tangy sweetness just before you swallow. Mellow hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is bold, but smooth.

A highly drinkable beer for hopheads, and something that all beer lovers should at least try. They do big, hoppy beers at Green Flash, but every one I've had so far has been delicious. The Hop Head Red is no exception.

Atlas1, Aug 19, 2008
Photo of midaszero
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark hazy amber with one finger of tan head

S - Piny hops with a small caramel malt

T - Roasted hops with some woody flavor

M - Medium body and light carbonation

D - Easy to session but overall not going to be at the top of my list in the style to grab.

midaszero, Aug 19, 2008
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle bought as a single for $2.50 at Andersons in Columbus. The beer is dark copper colored with a thick tan lacing foam. The smell is mostly hops. The taste is OK, more bitter than I like even for a hopped ale, not enough flavors from the hops, just the bitterness. Overall OK but not exceptional, nowhere near as good as Nugget Nectar.

TurdFurgison, Aug 17, 2008
Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,805 ratings.