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River Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale - River Horse Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
River Horse Hop Hazard Pale AleRiver Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

491 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 491
Reviews: 268
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 13.92%
Wants: 6
Gots: 37 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
River Horse Brewing Co. visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-14-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of River Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 491 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dsa7783
4.33/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A slow and steady pour resulted in a bright-amber, ruby-red colored hue with an impressive frothy head that lingered on for a bit before slowly receding and leaving a nice amount of lacing around the edge of the glass...
Aroma was dominated by grains, earthy hops, caramel, and a tinge of vanilla...
Taste strongly complemented the flavor, with a noticeable suggestion of hops, caramel, bittersweet fruit, grains, and earthiness thrown into the mix...
Nice, creamy, thick mouthfeel and an excellent level of drinkability make this one another winner from a great New Jersey brewery...
Good stuff and a great depiction of the style...

dsa7783, Apr 09, 2008
Photo of AltBock
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle that has a label of 2 men lugging around a barrel of beer or someking of old brewing device.

When poured into a Victory pint glass, this River Horse beer is a clear light amber hue with a small less than 1/2 inch head of white foam. The retention was good that left behind foamy white rings and a streak or two of white lace. The aroma was dry and crispy at the same time and featured burnt malts, caramel, and a faint whiff of spicy hops in the finish. If it's swirled around, a lightly tart fruity aroma will come out. The taste too is crispy and dry at the same time, but this time it contains toasted and burnt malts, a dab of grapefruit, a small touch of caramel, and then it finishes with a nice mild hop punch of spicy floral hops. The mouthfeel was light with a nice soft aftertaste of toasted malts, a splash of grapefruit, and a pinch of spicy hops. This is one of the better River Horse beers. I could actually see this one as somekind of lighlty hopped session beer.

AltBock, Apr 09, 2008
Photo of dmamiano
3.05/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pored golden in color, rather light but sparkly.
Nice clarity and carbonation. Ample white head.
Smells of hops, citrusy for sure. I am guessing cascades were the prevailant hop.
Taste was very hoppy, citrus dominate, and not much noted in the malt dept.
Kind of thin in mouthfeel and body.

dmamiano, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bright, very clear orange color with a creamy 1 finger light beige head that recessed to a sparse macro-bubbly layering.

S: a nice toasty caramel aroma along with spicy oranges.

T: The initial flavor was dry toasted caramel, and smokiness. There was a fresh flowery hopping and a sweet and smoky nature to the flavor. Dry toasted caramel, smoky woodiness, dried leaves all combine to add depth and complexity to this beer. Finishes with a light dried woodiness and smoky hints.

M: medium full with a nice smooth dry maltiness, bittering flowery hop bite and some burnt woodiness.

D: Nice drinkability, a malt dominant pale with a smoky, dry woody fade makes this unique and different.

beerthulhu, Mar 25, 2008
Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured an amber to copper color. The aroma is balanced with malt and hops and also some earthy spices. On the palate, the beer has a medium body with decent carbonation. The flavor has some caramel sweetness and bread-like characteristics. It finishes off with a slight hop bitterness. This beer is not hazardous in the hops department, but also not bad overall.

BeardedBoffin, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of pwoods
1.75/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Thanks to NJpadreFan for this extra.

12oz. brown bottle poured into a imperial pint. No dating.

A: Pours a dark amber with good visibility. Tons of carbonation and bubbles, 2 fingers of rocky head. A bit of patchy lacing.

S: First thing I noticed was it's extremely yeasty. A pleasant grapefruit hop character can be found under it but it's nearly dominated.

T/M: Dominated again by yeast. It's to the point that it tastes more like a weizen with all the banana and clove etc. A creamy malt backbone comes in but is muted by the yeast. At the very end I get a nice sweet citrus hop flavor but only for a second. Carbonation is ridiculously high.

D: This one just isn't for me. Thanks anyway, Alan :)

pwoods, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clouded amber with a one finger crème head. Nose is hoppy, metallic, and a bit like an acorn too. Flavor is slightly sweet with a calm hop presence. Feel is a bit thick but with low carbonation. Overall it is pretty drinkable. But I won’t be saying it is one to run out to the store for.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of GFSchwab
3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a medium haze of copper with a considerable head, a little more cloudy then a usual pale ale, most likely because of the dry hopping, an apect that will go on to define most of this beer's unique characteristics.

The smell was rich in the numerous hops used in making this beer, it was the high point of the overall experience.

The taste ws suprisingly bland for a pale ale, although the hops were well represented and a dry drawing aftertaste resonated from the dry hopping process. The malts gave a very wheat/bread like feeling, while at the same time having slight notes of corn, much like an american macro lager.

The mouthfeel was good at all, it termed to fizz and foam upon entering my mought and it was difficult to really enjoy the beer after the initial taste.

Although the beer is acking in some areas of quality, it wasa very light pale ale and did not take much away from you after finishing one or two, its drinkability again brought me back to the feeling of how it tasted ike a macro lager, something to wash down BBQ with.

GFSchwab, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of Viggo
3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle picked up at Premier Gourmet in Buffalo.

Pours a slightly hazed copper, medium sized off white head, some lace spirals, thin layer. Smell is citrusy hops, caramel, butter, floral, breads and fruit, pretty basic, may not be the freshest bottle. Taste is nice and malty, very bready, toffee, some spices, citrus/floral, balanced finish, somewhat bland. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low carbonation. Not too bad, would be half decent fresh, still pretty easy to drink.

Viggo, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of marcpal
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Recently visited the brewery in Lambertville and sampled all from tap. This was by far my favorite of the bunch. Well done.

A: Amber with a consistent head and nice lacing, especially for an IPA. Appearance definitely a nice start

S: As you would expect, extremely hoppy and malty. Biscuit/bread were blantantly in your face here..

T: Very well done for an IPA. Matched the aroma and the taste completed the malty background and was good up front and in back. The breadiness of this beer was very good and had some real substance to it.

M: Substantial body to this one that really held on and the carbonation was also appropriate.

D: Remarkably drinkable for an IPA. Actually chose to have several more of these after sampling all the varieties.

marcpal, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of OKCNittany
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear amber body. Huge off white head w/ lots of lacing everywhere.

S: Aroma seemed off. Stale malt more than anything - certainly not what I expected from a dry hopped beer. Did it get old before its time?

T: Bitter hops well balanced by caramel malt. Pretty much what you'd expect from a standard, decent APA.

M: Thin to medium body, lightly carbonated. Walked the fine line between smooth & flat.

D: Went down ok - no major complaints other than the smell, but nothing special either.

OKCNittany, Oct 18, 2007
Photo of shaebs99
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy orangey amber. Small head with little lacing.

My favorite thing about this beer was the aroma. Not overpowering, just a nice light hop aroma with some caramel maltiness. The fact that the nose is so light might spell trouble for the flavor.

The taste is well balanced in that I can't pick out the malt or hops as the dominant flavor. Some slight sweetness and the hop taste might just be a hint of (or it is just assumed from the aroma as I drink). Very thin mouthfeel. I could have used some crisp carbonation or something thicker or creamier.

Besides my disappointment in the taste (mostly that I felt that there wasn't enough) this could be highly drinkable. Nothing in the taste to scare you away after 1 bottle and the abv% is reasonably low.

If I find this on tap I would probably give it another chance and I am open to trying something else from their lineup. However, I doubt that I would seek out or pick up this beer again

shaebs99, Oct 07, 2007
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean copper color with a small tan/ off white head. Aromas of hops, very small grapefruity smell and a bit sweet. In the taste, a small bitter, yet smooth, and a sweet malty presence. A bitter mouthfeel, with a clean malty aftertaste. Nice hops for a pale ale, easy to drink and balanced.

OWSLEY069, Sep 07, 2007
Photo of DGryger
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pale orange amber color with a slight murkiness to it. About 1-1.5 finger sandy colored head. Pretty much what I’ve come to expect from a pale ale. A few coarse carbonation bubbles bubble up through the body.

Very floral hop aroma from the dry hopping. Underlying biscuit-like malt notes.

Slightly balanced. Malt body maybe a little too heavy and overpowering. Floral aroma mirrored in taste. Slight grassy, almost pilsner like finish. I suspect that five kinds of hops may simply be too many as the hop profile is slightly muddled. Maybe not the greatest pale ale, but it is still a tasty overall beer.

Maybe slightly overcarbonated as the mouthfeel is a little coarse. Body is a little thicker, almost leaning towards a maibock.

Despite its flaws, Hop Hazard is a decent, tasty interpretation of the pale ale category. Plus at 5.5 ABV and about $24 a case it doesn’t kill you liver or wallet.

DGryger, Aug 20, 2007
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from a 12 oz amber bottle into "Boston Lager" pint.

Pours golden, almost crystal clear, only slight carbonation--a very aggressive pour down the center was necessary to stir up a nice 1/2 tan head that left a bit of lace.

Aroma is balanced with maltiness vs pungent hops, with some grassiness thrown in.

Flavor is sweet with crystal malt, but mouthfeel is very thin and watery, a surprising combo. Sweet hops linger on the palate after the finish.

Overall, not a bad pale ale, but in a crowded category this one shows some weaknesses. Recommended, but not by the 6-pack.

BattleRoadBrewer, Aug 16, 2007
Photo of scott
4.5/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Soapy fluff sitting prominently that leads into thick lacing. Inside my newly acquired SA Lager glass, I can see layering; an amber/garnet above and pale gold below.
Clear, with no significant carbonation.
Huge aromatics ( I enjoy it every time I take a pull), with bready malt smacking floral hops with a pimp hand. Awesome.
This delivers a great, yet, indistinguishable taste. Normally, the tongue follows the nose but this one has a twist. This is like a big English Pale. A little brown sugar, some flora here, and maybe some orange zest there. Damn, I want an expert's opinion to provide some definitive clarity. Whatever is going on, I like it. Alot.
Pleasant body that slakes the thirst due to a perfectly crafted offering. Starts off malty, but delves quickly into a dry hop finish.
Truth be told, I tried this about a year ago and didn't like it (it seemed off-putting). Luckily, it fell into my lap for rediscovery. I've been drinking this for a couple of days now, so I am confident in giving this praise. A new favorite.
Highly recommended.

scott, Jul 31, 2007
Photo of mobud
2.95/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured into pint glass from bottle.

A- Amber color with an 1/2 inch head that goes quickly.

S- Very faint citrus and light bisquit.

T- Mostly the citrus hops here with an almost orange/floral feel.

M- Very thin with a light soda-like carbonation.

D- Not for me on a regular basis. Enjoy the chance to try, but would not seek this beer out again.

mobud, Jul 30, 2007
Photo of JFazekas
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Standard 12oz bottle.

Appearance: A nice rich medium brown body that poured with very little head.

Smell: Citrus hops overwhelm the nose.

Taste: A rich malt body is smoothed over by a nice early and secondary hop flavor. The bottle indicates a blend of 5 different hops, which I think has been done very well. The balance is very good but there is a slight bitterness as the beer warms above around 40 degrees. Of course, this is an APA so I would expect this, but it doesn't mean I have to like it.

Overall: This is one of the better tasting APAs that I've had. Although it is dry hopped it isn't overboard. There is a decent balance between the hops and malt that give this beer a decent mouth feel and a nice drinkability.

JFazekas, Jul 19, 2007
Photo of EStreet20
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Noticed today that my "Good but not Oaktree Buy-Rite level beer shop has started a section of single 12 ouncers. Excellent. Not much up there yet butr I grabbed a few, including this brew which I've always been interested in but have shied away from as I never liked River Horse brews. Here goes...

12 ounce bottle, shaker pint.

A - Translucent, slightly cloudy copper color. A heard pour yet only a small head of white foam, less than a finger thick.
Still, the head appears to cling to the glass a bit.

S - Not big on the hops as I expect from a dry hopped pale ale. More of a sugary smell.

T + M - Some crisp hop on the taste, but the feel (very watery) keeps it from really being enjoyable.

D - The lack of any mouthfeel does this beer in a bit. Not all that bad, but not on par with many pales available for comparable or cheaper prices.

EStreet20, Jul 06, 2007
Photo of longarm
2.98/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I typically don't comment on these kind of things, but I like the label. It has a bit of a rustic edge to it. Nice job.

Appearance: Dirty orange. Very little carbonation and little to no head. While it doesn't go completely flat, it's not as robust as other competitors.

Aroma: Good aromatic interpretation of an English Pale Ale...oh wait, they're selling it as an American Pale....Still it's has some very nice floral hop hints with a well-balanced foundation of sweeter caramel or crystal malts.

Flavor: It finishes a little sweet, but noticeably hoppy snap tries to clean the palate. I can't say I'm a big fan of the flavors swirling around in this beer. The flavor doesn't match the aromatic balance mentioned earlier on the aroma. It''s a little sugary-sweet.

Drinkability: In spite of my minus comments, this beer is slightly greater than the sum of its parts. I wouldn't pass on it, but with a market flooded with great APA's why bother?

longarm, Jun 26, 2007
Photo of boelker62
3.08/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a frothy, rocky but small white head into a wine glass. The wine glass let it leave virtually no lacing from the light amber hue on the way down.

Smell was better than what I remembered this brew to be. The initial maltiness was there, present in the nose and palate. The floral hoppiness was not overpowering, albeit a bit dry for the style. Definately not an IPA, but lacking the smoothness of a pale ale. Still, I enjoyed it.

I liken this beer to be a Pilsner/Pale Ale Hybrid. Call me crazy, call that unlikely, but that's what I got from it. I would not seek it out, but would never turn one away.

boelker62, Jun 19, 2007
Photo of Atron67
2.63/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So I was a little dissapointed in this beer

A- it poured a nice orange body, didnt get much head, but i wasnt too phased
S- it smelled pretty good, hoppy, citrusy, what i was looking for
T- This was the disapointment, there was no zing from the hops, they were trying, but it was just too overcome by the malt. Not a bad taste, but not an IPA taste, and not what i was looking at/ hoping for
M- medium, not bad, not anything full bodied either, didnt do anything to hurt, but it didnt help
D- a decent flavor but not so much fitting for the style i would say.

Atron67, May 24, 2007
Photo of treehugger02010
2.83/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I purchased this single at Michael's Deli in King of Prussia, Pa. and poured it into a pint glass.
Appearance: A nice dark amber color, almost brown. There was about 1/8 finer of head from a pretty hard pour, leaving no lace and no judgement about the retention.
Smell: A decent, yet muted, floral and critus hop aroma with not much complexity or depth.
Taste: The first couple of sips proved to be nice and filled with citrus hops, then I left to clean a table only to come back and discover my APA had turned into a malt bomb. Sitting by myself I uttered "woo" (Like Keanu Reeves), catching myself in a terrible suprise.
Mouthfeel: A fair ridgid and crisp mouthfeel that didn't stray to much from style.
Drinkability: I placed average only because the malt suprise was so weird that it much be experienced to understand, other than that, not very good.
Don't drink and review.

treehugger02010, May 08, 2007
Photo of MmmIPA
2.05/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I once knew a girl from Lambertville NJ that was a flake but thats besides the point.

Nice clear orange body with a small white head that fell pretty fast.

Citrust hops smell and the malt comes in after that.

The malt and hops are fighting for beer domination and the malt is kicking ass.I can taste hop but its the malt that keeps over powering.

Mouthful is kinda thin and the carbonation is pretty tame for the style.

Cmon River Horse you have to do better then that to keep my attention.Its even dry hopped so I thought it would be bitter but this beer falls flat.

MmmIPA, Apr 30, 2007
Photo of Hibernator
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

River Horse Hop Hazard
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a hazy orange with a decent head on top.

Floral nose with whiffs of assertive hops and sweet malt.

Strong malt backbone with hints of caramel. A biting hop finish provides a statement.

Hibernator, Apr 29, 2007
River Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 491 ratings.