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.

471 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 471
Reviews: 266
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 13.64%
Wants: 7
Gots: 26 | 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 (32) |  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: 471 | Reviews: 266 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerFink


3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours mostly clear amber with a thin white head. Aroma is much maltier than I was looking for. Some caramel and chocolately notes in the aroma, with slight citrous and estery hop aromas. No freshnes date, so I'm wondering if the dry hopping aroma faded, or was simply weak to begin with. Malty smooth flavor, which the hops fight to break up. Creamy caramel and even chocolate flavor come through. Hops don't win the battle til the finish, where they shine in their full diverse glory. Bitter citrous, pine, and spice blend together in a slightly resinous way. Aftertaste is bittersweet chocolate and coffee. Not a bad brew, just not really what you'd expect being called Hop Hazard. Quirky, yet interesting example of an APA.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2005 01:59:30 | More by BeerFink
Photo of mntlover


3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a copper color with a small creamy colored head that falls fast but does leave some spotty lace.

Aroma is malty more bready then caramel very light hop aromas some citrus mixed with earthy hops. Aroma over all very subdued what gives thought dry hopping gave great aromatic qualities.

Taste is malty bready in nature some light caramel mixed with mediciney like hops flavors and a light lingering pine/grapefruit bitterness in the finish. The hop flavors on this one don't seem to blend together right says five hop blend on the bottle, I think they need to try a diffrent blend myself.

Mouthfeel is ok a good medium feel a decent enough malt body on this one.

Drinkability is well different haven't had a APA quite like this one before. The hops just don't blend well on my tounge for some reason.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2005 17:51:55 | More by mntlover
Photo of mattcrill


3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal clear burnt orange color with a sudsy white head. The head dissolves to pockets of carbonation and rings the glass. Nice sticky lacings here and there.

Smell: Almost like a dopplebock! Very sweet smelling like plums and raisins. I can't believe what I'm smelling. Carmel on the nose as well. I double checked the bottle to make sure I had the right one. Very sweet smelling.

Taste: Some bitterness kicks in here. Floral and tea-like hops with a definite carmel base. Finishes slightly bitter and with some ester notes.

Mouthfeel: Light bordering on thin. A dry finish that doesn't really linger at all.

Drinkability: Very poundable. Not taxing on the palate at all so I could see having more than one of these. Still, I probably wouldn't be motivated to have more than one of these. Seems more like and English PA to me. Not enough hop character for an American original. Worth a try I suppose but don't go out of your way to get it.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2005 18:20:24 | More by mattcrill
Photo of twilight


3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A copper coloured "pale" ale into the glass and away we go with some hints of soy sauce in the scent, but otherwise not too bad. Taste is actually delicious with some roasty crystal malts (ah, the darkness) and a bodiful mouthfeel with the hops in the background. In a way this is a british pale ale but without the hop bite from the hard water. Slightly caramelly and just a wee bit tart. A good standard pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2005 02:06:08 | More by twilight
Photo of merlin48


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

12 oz bottle purchased as a single at the Vintage Cellar in Blacksburg, Va, a week or so ago.
Pours a chill hazed medium copper amber body with a small, but lasting, offwhite head. Lots of island chain patch lacing on the glass as the contents are sipped.
Aroma begins malty, with an assertive breadiness that has caramel notes. Some fruity orange and grapefruit hoppiness quickly jumps into the nose.
Mouthfeel is creamy for an APA, no hops bite, and restrained carbonation.
Taste begins bready with a caramel/toffee malt accent. Hops presence begins with a soft note of orange fruitiness, but quickly becomes more aggressively bitter. Pine and grapefruit rind bitterness occupy the middle and finish. This one is a "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" experience, as the malt dominance transforms into some serious hops bitterness.
Pretty good drinkability, and somewhat challenging in a good way. Some interesting complexities seem to be running amok here, but in a very pleasant and enjoyable manner.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2005 04:29:42 | More by merlin48
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

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

a buddy brought this out during game 7 of the NBA finals, told me it was an IPA (didn't see the bottle). i thought "wow, what a weak IPA." turns out to be a PA

a little watery to me. and the head was a little sudsy, though it did leave some lacing. cloudy amber color
i was never under the impression that the hops were hazardous; this isn't what i would call an outstandingly hoppy beer. nevertheless, it had a decent bitterness

not bad, and not by any means undrinkable (i would have been ecstatic to to have this at parties in college), but rough in comparison to anchor liberty or poleeko gold

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2005 07:04:08 | More by bruachan
Photo of board45

New Jersey

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

Hazy dark golden color w/ a medium fluffy head. Smells only of citrus. Flavors consisting of pine, citus, and loads of malt. I taste lots of grapefruit, and initally almost a taste of kiwi. As the brew sits the malts get stronger and stronger with intermintant blasts of hops. Nothing to hoppy at all though, balanced well. More malt than hops. At first I thought this was going to be a hop-heads delight, though it is not. But, definiatly a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2005 23:51:01 | More by board45
Photo of woodychandler


4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured with a white head of medium body that held up well throughout. It poured a really gorgeous golden-yellow color. The nose was very fresh, putting me in mind of unmowed grass, cotton sheets, and thunderstorms. There was a nice hoppy bite on the front of the tongue, accompanied by a slightly creamy mouthfeel. It had a really good hoppy finish. A candidate for a session beer, IMHO.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2005 14:22:28 | More by woodychandler
Photo of NEhophead


2.83/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Creamy off white head that becomes plastered to the glass' sides. Scattered, wirlwind lace around the glass with good strength. Bright, light bronze in color with a chill haze.

A big caramel malt nose; semi-sweet. A floral hop bouquet with a touch of lemony citrus. The sweet caramel and molasses aromas are overpowering for the style.

Sweet, yet burnt caramel malt character right up front. The floral hops are bitterly burnt and out of place; very perfumey. The hop profile itself seems unbalanced and out of place with such a strong maltiness. Finishes dry with a bitterness reminiscent of burnt coffee beans.

Medium bodied; the hops and malt character are very conflicting which gives this Pale a medicinal syrup-like mouthfeel.

The flavors of this ale are what it 'hazardous'. Unpleasant and off base for the style. My first taste of River Horse and I'm not looking forward to the five remaining bottles from the six pack.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2005 00:46:13 | More by NEhophead
Photo of warriorsoul


3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Lukes Liquors in Rockland, MA...no freshness date...could be trouble coming from Lukes. I'm willing to gamble.
Pours a dark copper color w/ less than a half finger of off-white head...very little lace with no cling.
Smell is mostly malt w/ a distinct bread scent.
Taste is ok...a bit of bitter hops mixed in to the flavor, it could be a nice "gateway" beer for pale ale drinkers wanting to get into IPA's.
The mouthfeel is the best part of the beer, as it is medium bodied and sturdy for its style.
The finish is very clean and quite bitter.
Could be a session brew, but for me, I'd enjoy a pint or two and then move onto something a bit more aggressive.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2005 00:14:18 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

River Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale

Appearance- hazy caramel brown with a decent head.
Smell- hops and fruit.
Taste- woodsy hops and a cherry/ plum fruity taste.
Mouthfeel- smooth at first but bitter in the end.

Overall- a nice, not overly, hoppy beer. A lttle harsh on the aftertaste (bitter and acidic) but decent and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2005 20:47:09 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of edchicma


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

Medium to dark amber..head dissipates quickly. Smell is lightly citrus hoppy with some fruity malt notes. Taste is initially malty with a light hop presence mid-palate that end in a light hoppy presence. Mouthfeel is lightly oily, but not unpleasant. Smooth on the drinkability scale.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2005 00:17:45 | More by edchicma
Photo of necoadam


3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a lightly hazed deep copper color with a somewhat decent head. Smell was a tad light I thought. But some hops could be detected with some light pine aromas. Some floral aromas seemed to be hiding in the background. Taste was somewhat decent. Started off with a good malt base with a lot of hops blending in the middle. Towards the end the hops hold their own and lasts into the aftertaste. A touch of nutty flavors can also be detected. Mouthfeel was medium-light and the carbonation was a tad off, would of liked to see more carbonation in here, but other than that, not all that bad.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2005 17:32:55 | More by necoadam
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

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

Big head on a golden pour, lots of lacing left in my pint glass. Quite a hoppy smell, with lots of floral and pine notes and just a little bit of grapefruit. The flavor is hoptacular with juicy grapefruit, but there's a bit of malt that sticks through with a bit of sweetness. Thick and creamy in the mouth. A little too much hop without enough malt to even it out, but the hop flavor itself is quite piney and would be nice with the right balance. Close to the mark, but not quite.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2005 03:45:09 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of Foxman

New Jersey

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

It pours a coppery amber, with two fingers of beige, fluffy head sitting atop the pitcherful, and translating likewise into the glass. The head retains rather well, then melts to a sparse froth. Sticky lacing wanders on the inside of the glass.

Even after letting the beer warm considerably, the aroma is more muted than I'd been led to expect. Malt makes the first appearance, and is met solidly by a hops melange, but one that is a bit muted and quite vague. And almost mettalic tang lurks.

Upon sipping, the toasted malt character comes through initially, but the hops push in quickly, bringing a floral/pine component into the mix. The hops are still indisctinct, seemingly muddled and confused, but veritably present. A mildly metallic bitterness carries through and lingers at the finish. It's a shame the hops are as muddied as they are, because with a bit more identity, this would be a much better beer.

Smack dab between light and medium bodied, it coats nicely, and leaves behind a bit of a tingle on the tongue and back of mouth at the finish.

If the hops were less blurred, and just half as defined as the malt, this would go down a whole lot better. As it is, it's just okay. It stood up well enough to a bowl full of damned hot wings, and SWMBO and I went through three pitchers in a couple hours, so its big strenght is its drinkability. But, if I'm in the mood for a hops fix, this is not where I'd look. In a local dive with great food, however, and as the only micro on tap, I guess I could do a lot worse.

Serving type: on-tap

04-12-2005 15:52:25 | More by Foxman
Photo of maybrick


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

I poured a slightly chilled 12 ounce bottle from the case that had acquired yesterday, 4/5/2005. Color was okay.... a bit darker than most pale ales I've had. The nose was really nice, very malty. I wonder why though not as much hop was present especially when the brew is labled as being dry hopped and the name, Hop Hazard. Anyway, first taste definitely got a nice toffe type hop profile that was pleasant. I had expected a much more disticnt hop finish that well, just wasn't quite there.

Over all, I do like this beer and I will more than likely purchase another case in the future. It is flavorful and again I like it but as far as being a real hopped up Pale Ale, I just don't get it.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2005 17:22:13 | More by maybrick
Photo of NiceGuyMike

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a bit dark. Not much of a head to speak of.

Smells wonderfully malty (sugar daddy). Taste does not live up to smell, a decent level of bitter with good hoppy flavor. Mouthfeel isn't much to talk of either.

Normally this is not one I'll run to purchase again, but I'm not too sure of the freshness. I may give it another try.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2005 00:19:19 | More by NiceGuyMike
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.15/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark gold color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has an excellent malt scent that is comprised of pale and carapils malts. It adds the balance to the heavy hop aroma that is very refreshing. It is fruity to the nose and bursting of floral hop notes. The taste is good. It has a grainy pale malt flavor that is rich and a bit nutty. It has a very bitter hop flavor that is piney in the mouth and floral on the finish. It has a smooth creamy texture, despite the grainy malt flavor. The mouthfeel is awesome. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very enjoyable beer. It has excellent aroma and flavor; a good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2005 01:17:30 | More by WesWes
Photo of Suds


3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden copper color, quite clear, with a large white head. Unfortunately, the head doesn’t last long and produces essentially no lace. The aroma is I nice mix of hops an malt…pine, woody, resin, slightly fruity, and a generous malt aroma. It’s a deep, well proportioned smell. Taste is fairly sweet, with a caramel, doughy side. The hops really start kicking in at the mid-taste, and finish very strong. Lingering bitterness. The tastes are well framed, and very nicely balanced. Medium mouthfeel, with a little above average carbonation. It’s a good drinking beer, well made, and nicely enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2005 00:28:27 | More by Suds
Photo of hustlemuscle


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

Not a bad looking beer, peachy with slight carbonation. A bit acrid, the hops battle with a slight hint of plums-or some fruit as yet to be identified. Not a bad beer, mildly hopped with a slightly fruity undercurrent. Too much alchohol overpowers the flavor, perhaps this beer was a victim of age. There is no best by date on the lable, unfortunatly. One I would try again should I get a chance to be assured a fresh one.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2005 02:27:45 | More by hustlemuscle
Photo of beveragecaptain

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Pours a clear, light amber color with no head at all. Fruit and hops in the aroma. Sweet at first, followed by a decent amount of hop flavor and bitterness. Medium mouthfeel, not much carbonation. Pretty good drinkability. This is an average, one-dimensional brew. The hop flavor is nice, but there is little else going for it. Worth trying once, but I doubt I will get this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2004 01:35:16 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of Citadel82

New Jersey

3.08/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a cloudy pale gold with a half inch head that rapidly receded. Left thin lacework all down the inside of the glass as it was consumed. Aroma is very citrusy/hoppy with no malt or alcohol detected. This was a decent pale ale, nothing spectacular, just decent. Taste was overwhelming hops, no body and very thin on the "back" side. This could almost have been a hop "seltzer" The finish is grapefruity and shortlived. There are chili-heads and there are hop-heads. I am more of the former. This might pair nicely with a hot, fresh pepperoni pizza with extra crushed red pepper.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2004 01:27:52 | More by Citadel82
Photo of shirfan

New York

3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale copper, average head, with a slight haze.

Earthy, smoky aroma with a floral hop presence.

Taste is sweet, citric upfront; moves to bready, clean malt, with a non-descript, yet pucker-worthy bittersweet finish.

Nothing clashes to detract from drinkability, yet nothing stands out as exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2004 05:46:46 | More by shirfan
Photo of claytri


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

This beer poured a nice bright copper with a nice little head. It lived up to it's name with a lot of hops in the nose along with some fruit and malt. I was really a bit surprised by the taste. I had dropped by the brewery and this was the fourth beer I tasted that day. I found there other beers to be heavy on the hops, so picking up hop hazard I expected a real bite. I was pleasantly surprised to find a very balanced beer that had a nice sharp hop flavor with a bit of fruitieness in the middle. This beer had a nice crisp feel and a good dry finish. I was favorably impressed, but would really only turn to this beer when looking for a heavily hopped beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2004 02:27:08 | More by claytri
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear dark copper in color with a 1" head. Nice lacing develops.The aroma is a combination of sweet and pungent bitterness. The flavor is malt, fruit (plums), mild bitterness, and is slightly metallic. This is medium bodied with decent carbonation levels. The mouthfeel is smooth at the start but ends metallic and slightly dry. Drinkability is only average as I expected more from a dry hopped brew and the metallic taste lingers a little too much.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2004 01:38:35 | More by Gavage
River Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 471 ratings.