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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.

489 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 489
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
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Ratings: 489 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of daliandragon
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.

daliandragon, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of EPseja
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.

EPseja, Feb 06, 2006
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.

jmz62565, Dec 25, 2005
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.

BlitzShadow, Dec 21, 2005
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.

FranklinPCombs, Dec 20, 2005
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.

bjohnson, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of Billolick
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.

Billolick, Nov 04, 2005
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.

abcsofbeer, Oct 22, 2005
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.

Hagbard, Oct 18, 2005
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

tgbljb, Oct 12, 2005
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!

sulldaddy, Oct 11, 2005
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

FLAbeergutinMASS, Sep 28, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
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.

GCBrewingCo, Sep 25, 2005
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.

meathookjones, Sep 14, 2005
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.

jakester, Aug 15, 2005
Photo of Higravity
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I think the majority of the low ratings for this beer, sub-3, are because it comes from River Horse. While it was not a second coming of the style this is a decent rep of what an APA is these days.
It is a nice copper color with a decent white head. The smell is a nice fruit clean hop spice over top of a caramelly malt. This is pretty good, if they had pushed the hops any further it would have been too bit-ty and tanic. Still the hops chew on your tongue and the malt backs them off with a sweetness of crystal and long boil maltness. It is a little over carbonated, but still easy drinking.

Higravity, Aug 11, 2005
Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's like there's a Hazard in my mouth, and everyone's hoppin'!

Very hoppy, just the way I like my pale ales. I'm not sure what keeps this from being an I.P.A., since it is every bit as hoppy as one. It has the familiar bite you know & love. Delicious.

An interesting color to this beer. Kinda reddish/orangeish, etc. A little strange, but oh well. Color doesnt matter where you're headed, beer!

Smells like it should - hoppy. Not too much more to say about that.

Feels good in my mouth - not too watery, not too thick. Pleasantly medium bodied.

I would purchase a 2nd 6-pack, which indicates high drinkability points from me for River Horse's Dry-hopped Hop Hazard.

chOAKbarrell, Aug 11, 2005
Photo of cubedbee
3.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a bright amber with no head to speak of, and a tiny bit of lacing. Aroma is a big bready and caramel malt with a small dose of grapefruit and citrus hops. Taste is sweet toffee upfront with rounded citrus hops fading into a piney hop finish. Taste doesn't balance well---seems a little too sweet upfront and a little too jaggedly bitter at the end. Mouthfeel is overly thin to a distraction. Overall this is a mediocre pale ale that I doubt I would buy again.

cubedbee, Jul 31, 2005
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.

BeerFink, Jul 21, 2005
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.

mntlover, Jul 20, 2005
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.

mattcrill, Jul 16, 2005
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.

twilight, Jul 09, 2005
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.

merlin48, Jul 01, 2005
Photo of bruachan
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

bruachan, Jun 24, 2005
Photo of board45
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.

board45, Jun 21, 2005
River Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 489 ratings.