1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

474 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 474
Reviews: 267
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 13.64%
Wants: 7
Gots: 29 | 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)
View: Beers (33) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of River Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 474 | Reviews: 267 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of horndecker

New Jersey

3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bit cloudy copper with an off-white decent froth, which is gone pretty quick. Lots of sprightly floral hop aroma, citrus and hay. Taste is more reserved than one would expect from something called "hop-hazard". Nice balance of malt and hop, but nothing to write home about.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2006 13:41:58 | More by horndecker
Photo of arizcards


3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of the MicroBrewClub May shipment.

Brew poured a copper color with a minimal head. Nose is very malty. Taste is actually pretty well balanced given the APA style. Beer starts off very malty and finishes with a slight dry hop. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, suitable for the style. Overall drinkability is pretty good. This is OK to try but one I would not be inclined to hunt down.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2006 23:56:11 | More by arizcards
Photo of benmiliron


3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Paid 1.79 for a bottle. Slightly cloudy, brownish orange, not unlike Sam Adams. Smell is strong hops but not too floral. Very acidic. Taste is similar - again strong hops but too heavy and unbalanced with the malt. Highly astringent. Mouthfeel is very light, low gravity, maybe a bit sticky with good alcohol bite.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2006 20:05:19 | More by benmiliron
Photo of bditty187


4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown-bronze in hue with a tickle of copper as well, it is much darker than a typical APA. I like that. Beige foam, at the apex the bubbles were two fingers tall. Head retention was excellent, but once the head started to fall it collapsed to a thin collar. However, there was tons of subsequent lacing. I dig the darker color; this is not a shabby looking beer.

At first the nose was pleasantly hoppy, it is clearly dry hopped. But the harder I sniff the more the malt shines. Talkative caramel notes with a chocolate-earthy underlying note. By the end the hops reemerge with a smack of citrusy-piney and kiss of flowers. Quite nice, really. Taken on the whole, the nose has great balance. Moderately high potency, chatty… oh yeah, it is inviting. The bouquet shows more depth than an average APA.

The palate is balanced but no aspect of the flavor profile is noteworthy. Okay, I take that back, I do like the earthy-caramel chocolate maltiness. This is a lovely aspect. It is a shame the hops are not louder. Not all that bitter but the hops impart flowers, citrus, pine, and hay notes. The finish is very tasty. This is not a great beer. It is a different take on an APA and, if for no other reason, this is a good beer. Solid. I like it.

About medium in body, low but natural carbonation, the mouthfeel fits the beer well even if it is nothing special.

It is sure is tasty plus it is easy to drink and enjoyable as well. I could kickback and kill a six-pack at a BBQ it no time flat. I realize this beer is nothing special and it is not a great beer but it is well-made and, dammit, I like it. Well-made and solid is not a knock. Thank you Daniel for the bottle. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2006 14:12:33 | More by bditty187
Photo of hanco005


3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Part of my beer of the month shipment. 12oz bottle, no freshness date indicated, poured into a nonic pint glass

A—slightly hazy amber with a ¾ inch fizzy head that is gone almost instantly, very little lacing is produced

S—hops and malts are balanced very well, a touch of caramel, a touch of citrus, nice

T—more malty than I was hoping for, the citrus and caramel come out together, but I was hoping for a little more hop bitterness

M—maybe a bit thin, light bodied, just a bit flat as well

D—it’s ok. I will drink the other two I have, but probably won’t seek it out again.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2006 14:26:21 | More by hanco005
Photo of MaltyGoodness


3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle

Pours a hazy orange amber with a white head that thins. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is hoppt and citrusy, and the hops let a bit of caramel malt to sneak through.

A weak caramel maltiness upfront followed by a tame bitterness and light citrusy hop flavor.

Thin body, carbonation is fine.

An underwheming IPA. It needs to grow some balls.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2006 01:45:59 | More by MaltyGoodness
Photo of ggaughan


4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this bad boy in my basement fridge for some time and thought it was a good candidate for a midweek drink. This beer poured a cloudy amber color with a massive off white head with very fast bubbles running up from the bottom of the bottle. I got a faint aroma of hops in the background and a bit of sweetness to boot. The taste is a nice mix of hop bitterness and caramel sweetness, both complimenting the other well. The body of this beer has some nice carbonation but is pretty drinkable and worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2006 15:27:05 | More by ggaughan
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

2.68/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a two finger cream head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving a little lace. Cloudy amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Floral/hoppy nose. Starts hoppy, midway some mellow sweetness, finish is hoppy/bitter. $1.75 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2006 22:45:43 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Phatz


4.4/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a pleasant surprise! I got this beer out of a mixed variety case. I was not familiar with River Horse beers and this one I saved for last knowing I don't prefer the APA style beers. This beer is brilliant. It seemed to me more like an English IPA than an APA to me and I REALLY enjoyed it! I poured it into my pint glass at about 55 degrees like I would an English IPA and it only improved as it warmed to room temp. Though you might normally drink an APA cold, I suggest you let this one warm, IMO!

Appearance: Beautiful amber brown with ruby highlights. Tight sudsy off white head. Medium lacing.

Smell: The smell is sweet and malty. It has a bit of toastedness to it. Then comes a very subtle gentle floral hop character. There is a bit of sugary sticky bun sweetness as well.

Taste: The taste is remarkably laid back (quaffable) easy to accept. It is gentle and yet complex as well. It does not require any thinking but it does stand up to further scrutiny. It is tasted malty and extremely smooth to start. Immediately following is a gentle ambush of floral hops, which is just as quickly met by a pleasant dryness and again a sweet, almost citrus, fruity attribute. The aftertaste is both sweet sugars which fade and then bitter hops that leave a lingering flavor (a bit woody) that kept me salivating for the next sip. WOW!

Mouthfeel: A masterpiece. The body was light medium but full of dry hops and carbonation that kept the mouth feeling both creamy and smooth. Nice!

Drinkability: This is a great everyday beer. This is so easy and yet full of pleasant flavors. This beer sits easy in your stomach, it is approachable and sessionable. It has instantly become a part of my regular rotation. I highly recommend giving this a try.

Hope this is helpful.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2006 07:05:10 | More by Phatz
Photo of quasimoto


3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - It pours a nice copper color that is rather cloudy. There is no head and has a steady stream of carbination.

S - IT has a smell that reminds me of caramel, and a slight apple aroma. Or maybe the carmel reminds me of a caramel apple. Not too sure. There are strong aromas of piney hops that encompass all of the caramel aroma. Very pleasant.

T - There is a rich strong hoppy flavor. It is mixed with a bunch of caramel malts that balance it out. There is no aftertaste of bitterness from the hops.

M - With the abscence of the bitterness of the hops, it is very easy to drink. There is some strong carbination on the tongue, but other than that it is very easy to drink.

D - This is a beer that has potential to be a great session beer. Great flavor and aromas give this a nice spot among pale ales in my book.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2006 21:50:07 | More by quasimoto
Photo of daliandragon

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a River Horse mixed twelve this afternoon at St James Beverage. I don't know much about Jersey beer so I'm looking forward to there. This is the Hop Hazard, which features a nice toothpaste white head and bright orange color. Little carbonation visible. Nose has mucho hops but also decent hop flavor as well as yeast and chocolate tones. Pretty impressive so far.
Hops are bursting with juicy bitter flavor Wow, almost too much hop action, and normally I enjoy extra hoppy beers. Also, here there isn't much malt or other flavors to mellow the bitterness. Taste is refreshing and mouthfeel is round and wide.
I like this beer as it's well made and crafted but probably a little too much naked hop for my favorite pales and such.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2006 22:34:09 | More by daliandragon
Photo of EPseja

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served form a 12oz. bottle in a pint glass at just above fridge temperature. [initial review edited 03-30-2006]

A - Pours a hazy light honey-amber color with many small particles in suspension. Interesting for an APA. The head starts out small but hearty, and diminishes to a thin film with a few crags hanging about. The lacing is fairly good, leaving sticky remnants of the successive but shrinking liquid heights.

S - The smell is a very mellow but refreshing mix of fruity hops and honey sweetness. There are also hints of toasted malts, golden raisins and vanilla. Yummy!

T - The initial taste showcases a full bodied, toasted maltiness that really adds good backbone. As the beer makes its way to the middle and back of the tongue, the whipcrack of bitter hoppiness begins. In the back of the throat, some yeasty notes are evident in amounts that make this beer a bit more interesting than your standard APA. The swallow leaves you with a dry throat and a slightly musty hoppy aftertaste.

M - The carbonation is active, but very tiny-bubbled, giving a pleasant tingle without blowing up in your mouth. Turns into a tight-knit froth after a moment, and slides hastily down the throat in the swallow.

D - This is a very tasty beer for people who are looking for not only the bitter snap of well balanced hops, but a very nice malt profile not found in your standard APA.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2006 01:35:55 | More by EPseja
Photo of jmz62565


3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a reddish amber with a foamy one finger head.The smell is malty,but not too strong.The taste is a nice malty and carmel mix,but it's not hoppy.The m/f is light and well balanced.This is a tasty brew thats not exactly what the advertisement says,but it's still worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2005 04:14:52 | More by jmz62565
Photo of BlitzShadow


3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: The body is an orange-brown color with a thin (1/4") beige head.

Smell: Hoppy, fruity (somewhat like an orange), and very distinct malt presence.

Taste: The taste is immediately bitter and very dry. Not too bitter and it compliments the rich malt with a very good overall flavor.

Mouthfeel: From the smell I expected something a little thicker and heavier, but it was rather thin. Not a disappointment at all, though. Not much going on in terms of carbonation.

Drinkability: It was nice hoppy beer and I'm going to have another.

Notes: I poured from a 12-oz bottle. The label design has a rustic/classic look to it. There is no brewed-on date.

I was fortunate enough to be able to pay a visit to the River Horse Brewery and I would recommend it. They serve four 5-oz samples of their freshest beer (probably unpasteurized, too) for $1. The beer on-site easily earns an extra 0.5 each in smell and taste making it well worth a trip if you are in the Trenton, NJ area.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2005 02:30:16 | More by BlitzShadow
Photo of FranklinPCombs


3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks nice, a lot of bubbles on the glass initially, but it dies down. Rising "champagn" bubbles visible too. The head is more of a hard bubble, leaving a bit of lace and a thin layer leftover. The smell is immediately sharp and malty, with a distinct crumbly-cheese tang. There's a strong bit of hops too, but not so much the hop flavor as just the bitter essence. The taste could have been better, the burnt malts overpower the hops, though the hop taste was, again, more bitter than hop flavor. Also it was a bit watery on the back side. Its fine to drink though, as it's the first decent beer (read: not Genny Light) I've had, and the first I've reviewed in nigh on a year.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2005 04:57:39 | More by FranklinPCombs
Photo of bjohnson


3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle that pours cloudy orangey amberish with a small head with little retention that doesn't leave any lace. Fruity malts and hoppy arommas with a fruity hoppy taste that goes down smooth. Smells like it could be heavy, but alas, not with this beer--that could be the abv% though. Leaves a little bitter aftertaste in the mouth. Decent mouthfeel making it a pretty drinkable beer. Nothing special however.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2005 03:34:18 | More by bjohnson
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness indication. pours slightly hazy or chill hazed, brownish amber, with an off white tiny bubble head/film and leaving blotchy lacing. Nose citrusy and also some malt picked up. this is a better then average P.A. well balanced between some grapefruit studded hops and some nice maple infused matls. Nicely crafted and a worthy sessioner.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2005 22:10:50 | More by Billolick
Photo of abcsofbeer


3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Trying this one a second time and I like it much better this time. Pours a slightly cloudy amber color with lots of bubbles. There is a nice 2 inch head that leaves nice rings of lace around the glass.

The hoppy aroma reached my nose right after the pour while the glass was on the counter. Hints of citrus oil, grapefruit and pine in the smell. The taste is a nice balance of malt and medium to strong hops. There seems to be some sweetness in the backend, maybe some apples and cinnamon. Good beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2005 22:38:23 | More by abcsofbeer
Photo of Hagbard


2.78/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reddish gold with a very thin white head. Hazy and cloudy, not much light shines through. The aroma is very subdued, dominated by a malt background with a very light essence of hops. The taste begins sweeter than I expected. Eventually, a less than appealing hoppiness enters. The hoppiness is a little raw and harsh.. After a bit, and into the aftertaste, an odd chemical comes into play. This leaves a rather unpleasant aftertaste causing you to "suck on your tongue." The mouthfeel is fine and the drinkability is ok because there's not a whole lot there (although the longer I drink it the more unpleaseant the aftertaste). A very average to below average APA, I'd stick to something else.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2005 12:37:22 | More by Hagbard
Photo of tgbljb


3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a cloudy copper with chunky white head that was easily revived with a slight swirl. Smell is strong of hops, grassy, citrusy, and very pleasant. Taste is very strong on the hops initially, but quickly fades to reveal a nice maltiness. Each subsequent taste revals the same hoppy bitterness mixingf with the sweetish malt. The aroma with each taste is very enjoyable. Finishes more dry that malty. A pleasant enough beer, but nothing fantastic

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2005 00:15:16 | More by tgbljb
Photo of sulldaddy


3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BA Stopper shared a bottle with me.
I am sampling a chilled bottle in a tulip snifter. The beer pours a cloudy amber color with a thin off white edge layer of fizzy head shaping up.
Aroma is lite and rindy citrus hops with some grassiness as well.
First sip reveals fine tingly carbonationand medium body. The flavor is grainy malt with sweet toffee up front and general slight sweetness. Hops come through about mid way with a citrus and grassy notes. There is a bit of a bite on the finish. The beer is tasty crisp and well balanced. A pretty easy beer to put down the gullet!

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2005 00:32:52 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS


3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kind of indifferent about his beer. Bought a sixer form Ryan and Casey in Greenfield, Ma. It has taken a while to get through them, my review is septupletly written.

Good looking beer, hazy, deep orange and caramelly. Very little head. I am starting to wonder if that's my pouring, and me or something else.

For an APA is is relatively hoppy, but not warranting IMO of its marketing scheme of "Hop Haze"

Decent APA, but not worth the cashola, there are definably better out there at this price

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2005 03:45:30 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass hazy medium amber brown with a low wispy and nearly non-existent head.

The aroma was strong caramel malt coupled with a bready/biscuit character. No real hop aroma was present except for a light earthiness.

The flavor was more caramel malt and biscuity flavors which quickly were chased off by a strong bittering component which was lightly citrus with a woodsy, earthy component. Hop flavor was definitely present, but bittering leads the day.

The finish was dry with a lasting bittering long into the afteraste. The body was medium. If you like a bitter and hoppy brew, this one is for you. Not your run of the mill Pale Ale and the hop flavor shows more than just some American C's hop usage.

12 ounce bottle purchased at Vintage Cellar.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2005 21:10:46 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of meathookjones


3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden orange with an off white foamy head. Light lacey strings were left around the glass. Some hoppiness comes out with a bit of a citric edge before the sweet caramel malts start to dominate. Sweet malty backbone with light citric hoppy flavors. A bit of the iced tea flavor going on but no overly done. Some hints of lemon. Solid mouthfeel and pretty easily drinkable. A solid all around version that I could have a few of.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2005 17:27:05 | More by meathookjones
Photo of jakester


3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this sampler from Shelbourne Beer Dist. near Reading. I drank this in a pilsner glass.

Pours a slightly hazy copper with a one finger head of off-white foam. The head eventually drops to islands and a ring, but there is decent lacing on the glass. A medium level of carbonation is observed.

Aroma is grassy/spicy hops, with a fruity toasted caramel candy malt base. Smells very clean. As it warms, the caramel character becomes more pronounced.

The first flavor is toasty caramel malt, followed quickly by a decent level of hop bittering. The hop flavor is spicy, like black pepper. This is very well balanced. The aftertaste is toasty malt, slightly thin.

As APA's go, this one is pretty good. Well balanced, on style, not overdone in any way. You can't compare it to Alpha King, but it's a good representation of the style. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2005 19:03:57 | More by jakester
River Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.