Thunderhop IPA - Church Brew Works

Not Rated.
Thunderhop IPAThunderhop IPA

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227 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 227
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 15.24%
Wants: 4
Gots: 31 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Church Brew Works visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ZimZamZoom on 02-08-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 227 | Reviews: 74
Reviews by dogma33:
More User Reviews:
Photo of asabreed
3.66/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A huge and frothy copper-colored head sticking like ice cream hangs out at the top, leaving huge chunks of thick lacing all around the glass. Resilient like crazy. But oddly enough there's hardly any carbonation shooting toward the top in the lighter amber-colored body.

Smell: Very rooty and earthy and grainy hops. Almost tree bark-like in its earthiness, which I like a lot. Some orange and grapefruit come through. Totally earthy all over the place, which is odd for an IPA in my opinion, but I like it.

Taste: The grain and earth flavors come out a lot with the hops here too, seemingly like they're fresher or whole hops, though I'm not sure. More citrus than pine for sure, and nicely balanced with some malt characteristics too, since the bitterness isn't over the top. Again, maybe it's the freshness here that I like, if that indeed is the case, though the actual hop and malt complexity could be more and make this pretty wild overall. Fairly long finish with some herbal flavors, slightly tea-like, emphasis on slightly, coming through also.

Mouthfeel: A little slickness takes away a bit from this probably lighter to medium-bodied brew, I would say. I had a feeling from the lack of physical carbonation with the first pour that this would be the case.

Drinkability: A pretty drinkable brew overall, and an IPA that I could easily session with the hops becoming too bitter. Yet there's enough hop flavor to this, and the freshness factor, if I'm correct, and either way I like the earthy and root-like feel of it, has something to do with that.

Photo of Stigs
3.89/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz pour at Fat Head's, served in an English-style pint glass

A - amber colored and crystal clear, served with a thin layer of loosely frothy, off-white colored foam which quickly fell to nothing. no lacing, a bit boring through the drink.

S - citrus-heavy hops, over ripened melon and orange, pinapple. ample amount of dark caramel malts which work well and bring a bit of spice to the nose.

T - sweet again with some very noticeable caramel malts, yet a solid amount of citrusy and slightly piney hops assure you this is an IPA at heart. very balanced.

M - very thin body and a bit watery, carbonation is good and pretty mellow. goes goes a bit slick with just some lingering dryness.

D - not bad, this one really looks a bit boring. good lighter-character IPA to start the night.

Photo of prototypic
2.74/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thunderhop IPA is a deep copper color. It’s very clear. A little light behind it shows some crimson and orange highlights. It’s topped with an off-white had that rises to nearly a finger in depth before falling back quickly. It held up at the surface for a short few. Lacing was spotty and on the lighter side. Not bad.

The nose is easily below average. It’s definitely lacking in strength. Saying it’s aromatic seems a little disingenuous, to be honest. It does have a sweet, sugary, caramel malt base. Not my favorite thing. Its biggest fault is that there isn’t much of a hop presence. There are some light spruce-like notes, but they’re subtle and don’t smell all that great. Alcohol isn’t much of a factor. That’s a positive. All in all, not good.

The flavor is better, but is average at best. The malt base is mostly caramel and is very sweet. For an American IPA, it’s too much caramel (in my opinion). It seems like it’s the focal point of the flavor. Hops are secondary. Not good for an IPA. They have piney, spruce-like flavor that adds just a touch of bitterness. It’s alright, but isn’t nearly enough. Needs a lot more in the hop department. It’s sugary and sweet. Alcohol seems fairly light and doesn’t come through all that strong. Finishes sweet with a heavy dose of caramel malt.

Thunderhop IPA has a body that’s on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation seems active, but isn’t quite buzzy. While it’s not quite smooth, the feel is alright. This might be its strongest point. For what it’s worth, the flavor limits its drinkability quite a bit. Not a bad feel though.

Thunderhop IPA is not a very good American IPA. It has way too much caramel malt and seems to be hop deficient. I’m not sure what the hop bill is here, but it’s kind of weird, frankly. A little diversity from the strong pine and spruce flavors would be good. Eh. It’s not great. Needs work.

Photo of BigIrishman
3.29/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark hazy ruby with a head that dissipates quickly, really dark for an AIPA.

Smell: Resinous and piney upfront with a big hit of sweetness following. There is some residual hoppiness in the background, might be some flavor left over front the bittering hops (slightly citrusy).

Taste: Very malt heavy on this. The big piney aroma gets a bit dominated by the maltiness and non fermented sugars. This leaves a bit more of a mix between citrus and earthy hops without much of a bitter bite.

Mouthfeel: Pretty heavy overall, has the body of a brown IMO and the smoothness of a really malt heavy IPA/DIPA.

Drinkability: This is probably the category that this beer shines, even though the beer has a whole lot of non fermented sugars. Not to sure on the ABV but whatever it is you really can't taste it. Probably could hang out on these all night long.

Photo of Kolsch
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap: Pepperwood Grille, Greensburg PA

Appearance: Clean looking red with small cusp of head. Head did not stick around but just enough that it did not look flat.

Smell: hops are dominant smell, though not overpowering the malt underneath

Taste: Starts out slightly sweet and then the bitter hops stick in the rest of the swallow. Clean and smooth tasting. Actually quite balanced and could see drinking several of these which I did with dinner.

Overall: I don't think the name does this one justice at all. Thunderhop? I think people going in are expecting a hop bomb and this is clearly not the case. This is actually a very good Red Ale that is hopped up but definitely not an IPA.

PS: Much better on tap than bottle. Out of the bottle, the hops are quite muted.

Photo of paKIRK
3.16/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance--a slightly cloudy deep amber with mid-sized bubbles thinly laying on top

smell--its got a little pine-like scent with citrus and malt

taste--caramel sweetness with a citrus bittering hop

mouthfeel--is a medium light

drinkabality--goes down nicely on a rainy spring day

Photo of Beejay
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A very red copper, crystal clear and a nice tan head. The head is fairly small, but I am not concerned.

S: Sweet with caramel, and sweet malt dominating. Some raisons and wheat bread in there as well. Some very nice American hop aroma in there as well.

T: The hops are a bit more aggressive in the flavor than in the aroma. It starts out with a nice bitter punch, grassy with a bit of grapefruit. The malt is somewhat subdued in the taste, which is a bit unfortunate.

M: Medium texture, with a bit of an oily texture. The carbonation seems a little on the high side.

D: Good over all, though I would like to see a bit more of a balance between the hops and the malt.

Photo of Dodo2step
3.21/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

P- Pittsburgh Bottle Cafe

A- burnt orange with an amber color mixed in with it. decent one finger head that runs off fairly quick. tape like lacing on the glass. No holes in the lacing.

S- a strong does of lemon in the nose scent but also some juicy grapefruit. poor faint caramel smell that smells old.

F- The grapefruit comes out stronger in the tongue and it leaves a sour afteraste that is not desirable. i dont get any of the lemon or any other malt.

M- a watery dry feel to it. Kind of like biting into the hop and wtaer flows out.

O- Not awful but not in the good category. i love CBW and this one fell short of expectations.

Photo of wcudwight
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to kennyo for the bottle.
Copper, bright amber, with ruby highlights in color. Very clear beer. 2 finger sticky off-white head that falls to a 1/4" of sticky lace on top. Lot's of tight sticky lacing. your face aroma. Hops. I also get some mint and wintergreen. Interesting to say the least.
Bitter hops flavor. Not much malt appearing. What malt there is has a grainy flavor. This is all one sided hops. That's what I like.
Good mouthfeel but a bit too carbonated.
Nice drinkable IPA that I'd like to have more of.

Photo of andylipp
3.52/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchased while visiting the Bottle Shop at Capone's in Norristown, PA. No bottling date on the 12 ouncer.

Appearance - A cloudy copper pour yielded an inch of fine, white head which died rather quickly in my Corsendonk tulip leaving rings of lacing as I sipped. No evident carbonation clinging to the sides of the glass. Swirling elicited a bit more head.

Smell -A bit swampy, with wet hay, pine resin and a bit of a sweet note as well. In general, not a lot of aroma at all until it was near room temperature.

Taste - It starts with the pine resin tastes and finishes with a long grapefruit note. The center has a bit of malt sweetness, but that part of the flavor profile is fleeting at best (this improved as it warmed). Over-the-top hops, which is (I guess) the idea.

Mouthfeel - Rather average, but not thin, to be sure. Just not remarkable at all in this category.

Drinkability- It lacked the malty balance necessary to make me want another one any time soon, although the malt became a bit more noticeable as it warmed. OK, though.

Comments- If it were the only IPA available on any given night it would be just fine. Other than that, not much to recommend other than a ton of resiny hop flavor. Color me unimpressed.

Photo of twiggamortis420
2.6/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of tommyguz pours a hazed, dark amber color with a moderate tan head. Retention is no bueno but does leave a smattering of lace.

Nose is lots of toffee and caramel, not much hops. Sort of metallic and off-putting really. Kinda smells like a penny that has been sitting in a wet cupholder for a month or so.

Taste is a little bit better, plenty of hop bitterness - just not a whole lot of hop flavor. The malts are too heavy, dripping with toast and caramel. Mouthfeel is ok, but the flavors are just not to my liking at all. It's not a drain pour, but it is not even an average IPA for me...aroma plays a big part in IPAs and this beer smells pretty gross.

Photo of plaid75
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper hue with a one finger frothy off white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a resinous citrus hop and a moderate crystal malt.

The rated wad upfront oily hops with elements of orange and pine. Good biscuity malt blances out the experience.

The mouthfeel wad toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a tarty hop forward IPA.

Photo of oline73
2.33/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy dark amber with a half finger of off white head that goes away completely.

Smell: Some sweet malt and faint citrus peel hops. There is a mild bready smell as well. The overall smell is a bit weird.

Taste: Quite malty given the style. Not particularly sweet, but the hops don't show up until late. The malt is bread like, and the hop bitterness shows up big time in the finish. Slightly metallic in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and just a touch of dryness in the finish.

Overall: The finish was a bit rough on this one. The metallic taste along with the bitterness wasn't great. Not again.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.84/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - pretty good for an IPA. Considered it quite dark amber rather than hazy. No carbonation so this really lacks.
S - Well I could smell grapefruit and citrus with a little bit of light fruit.
T - Kind of weird. It starts off as a good IPA but instead of being bitter hops and smooth malt its kind of mixed. Drinkable but not the best.
M - Slick and smooth. Very nice.
D - Na no thanks I have better IPA's to drink. Pretty much strictly purchased for the cool cover art.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was an orange amber color with cobweb film and similar lace.

Smells of apricots and apple juice with dry wafts of distant pines.

Tastes of apple juice and whole wheat bread with a cedar dryness that finishes off with a pungent hop dryness that leaves my tongue with a bitter numbing sting.

Feels light and a bit dense but dry.

If you like hops for the sting, you'll enjoy this one.

Photo of alcstradamus
2.51/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Got this in a trade as an extra. Nice artwork.

Pours a near-brown copper color with a finger of head. Big caramel malt aroma, not a whole lot in the way of hops other than some citrus and floral varieties hiding deep in the background. Taste follow suit, although the hops are even more hidden. This one kind of tastes like cardboard and wax, perhaps a bad bottle? Mouthfeel is normal for the style but drinkability is low due to the bad taste. I'm not liking this one at all. Oh well, at least it will look nice in my bottle collection!

Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased as part of a mixed case from Wide-Lo Beverage, Somerset, PA, while on vacation.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" beige head over the clear orangey amber brew. Dense head lasts reasonably well, with average to good lacing. Aroma is sweet malt, with balancing but piercing pine and citrus. Flavor mirrors the nose, no surprises. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is good. Enjoyable IPA.

Photo of llllDrGONZOllll
3.43/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Deep amber color slightly cloudy with only a tiny ring around the glass of tiny bubbles. Sugary grains with a touch of piney hop aroma are all that fill the nose. The first sip reveals a rather heavy body for the style, but that gives the hop bitterness a place to rest coating your mouth in the aftertaste. Roasty caramel combine with a grainy sweetness that I find uncommon in IPAs but not unpleasant. This would be a great beer for a picnic or lunch where you want to have more than one but not too many because it is so early in the day.

Photo of foureyedgeek
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange amber with an enormous pillowy off-white head, falls to a cap of foam, nice fine lace left behind.

Smell is sweet, hay-like, grassy apricot hops, a little bit of citrus. Not a very huge aroma all in all.

Taste is dominated by the bitter hops. Its got more of that peachy/apricot from the aroma, pretty balanced towards hoppiness, just a touch of grainy spiciness. Pretty tasty.

Decent mouthfeel, this beer seems 'perky' at first but mellows as it warms.

Overall pretty drinkable, I'm happy to see a new addition to CBW's bottled offerings. I'm not sure where this sits as far as ABV goes but this is a fairly drinkable beer, if not one I'd buy regularly as its part of the mix case, its certainly a nice way to boost the CBW variety.

Photo of Rifugium
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First had: on tap at the brewery

Poured a darker copper color with a small off-white head that retained and laced fairly well. Hop-dominant aroma, notes of citrus and sweet malts. This follows through into the taste, citrus and piney hops, bready malt base, caramel, grassy dryness, pretty well-balanced overall. Medium body, drinkable, and about middle of the road for the style.

Photo of jaz58
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A good IPA.

Orange / amber colour.

Thin off white head.

Grapefruit, fresh brewed tea and lemon nose.

Tea and lemongrass flavours followed by a good bitterness. Well balanced.

Round mouthfeel. Refreshing and enjoyable to drink.

Well worth having.

Photo of OWSLEY069
2.39/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clean orange-ish to amber color with an off white head. In the aroma, quite malty, with a small hop presence. In the taste, small citrus hop to a big malty body. A small hop bite with a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry small hop in the aftertaste. Pale a pale ale, it's ok. Quite thin and a mellow hop.

Photo of Edgecrusher
3.1/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very cloudy.Reddish brown in color. Very opaque. Minimal head and lacing on glass.

Smell: Hoppy aroma with a caramel like overtone.

Taste: Very tart-not citrusy like most hopped up beers. Malt presence is minimal.

Mouthfeel: Good-slighlty oily with medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not very drinkable due to poor taste.

Overall not a very good beer. A different take on the style but not satisfying.

*Note-I bought this at Capones-no date on bottle-could have factored into the quality of this particular bottle I sampled.

Photo of jaxon53
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served this chilled, in a pint glass, from a twelve ounce brown bottle. My first beer from Church Brew Works.

Appearance: Thunder Hop IPA pours out a murky, dirty brown amber color. Not the most beautiful beer in the world, but it will do. A somewhat strong pour yielded about a finger of off-white, almost tan colored head. Head faded rather quickly, but did leave a bit of spotty lace behind on the glass.

Smell: Not a huge nose on this beer. A nice, subtle, floral hoppiness out front. Bits of pine and citrus are noticed. Thick bready malt with a bit of a yeasty aroma. Smells like it has some balance to it. Also noticed a bit of tobacco.

Taste: Hops out front that fade quickly leaving a chemical like bitterness behind. Notes of citrus and pine show themselves a little. The malt flavor definitely takes a back seat to some of the other flavors in my opinion. A bit more of the tobacco that was noticed in the nose. A very bitter, dry finish with not much noticeable alcohol.

Mouthfeel: The best part of this beer, in my opinion, is the mouthfeel. Medium bodied, almost thick, mouthfeel is quite pleasing. A bit oily like, with plenty of prickly carbonation.

Drinkability: Decent drinkability. The strong bitter finish makes it a tough drink for me. Not bad overall, just wouldn't go out of my way to get this.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass at Churck Works in Pittsburgh during my visit Fall of 2010. Pours clear dark orangish amber with small light tan head. Aroma is citrus, pine, floral hops, sweet malt and some spices. Flavor is citrus, pine, hops, caramel and sweet malt and finishes bitter. Lots of sweet malt. Mouthability is medium and decent carbonation. Not enough hops for a double in my opinion but it is not a bad beer just not a good DIPA.

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Thunderhop IPA from Church Brew Works
82 out of 100 based on 227 ratings.