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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

528 Ratings

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Ratings: 528
Reviews: 275
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 13.92%
Wants: 7
Gots: 57 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-14-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 528 | Reviews: 275
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.

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of JFazekas
3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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.

Photo of longarm
2.95/5  rDev -16.2%
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?

Photo of boelker62
3.07/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

Photo of Atron67
2.69/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

Photo of treehugger02010
2.85/5  rDev -19%
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.

Photo of MmmIPA
2.06/5  rDev -41.5%
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.

Photo of Hibernator
3.8/5  rDev +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.

Photo of jwc215
3.89/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazed orangish amber with no head - just a thin, lasting swirl.

The smell is of citrus, sweet bread and a touch of pine.

The taste is of citrus, tea-like leafiness, a hint of pine. Sweet caramelish, grainy malt balances it out. Finishes fairly dry.

A tad watery, but not enough to fall apart. Smooth. Some flavors linger.

The hops are noticeable, but mixed into a caramelish, doughy body. Nicely balanced.

Photo of Rudgers73
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The appearance is really well minus the lack of head. Nice amber color, and a slightly syrupy consistency. The smell lets you know it's dry hopped. Pungent, piny, American hops followed briefly by a sticky sweet malty smell. The taste is good. It isn't as bold as an IPA, but it is certainly characteristic of the more lax and mild taste and mouthfeel of an APA. It has a full body and moderately thick mouthfeel. Seems to be drinkable. Not too shabby, overall.

Photo of riversider76
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy copper with a slight red hue. Smell is of sweet honey,fruit,and grassy hops. Body is thin,and flat. Taste is sweet fruit,carmel,and honey. Just a bit of hops. A bit on the watery side, but not bad.No comparison to the Stone Pale Ale I just had, but worth a try.

Photo of jcdiflorio
2.08/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz browm long necked bottle with a crimped on cap.

Hazy,cloudy reddish/orange color.1/2" white head from a hard center pour dissapated quickly to a slight coating of foam. looked flat.

Strong sweet carmelly aromas with some grassiness,not much of a hop aroma.

Bittersweet carmelly,nutty notes of sourness. Grassy,not a bad balance, just not impressed with the taste, doesn't have any hop bite to it ,a flat taste. Has a bit of tangyness also.

A medium body,syrupy with some cloyingness. The sweetness made this beer hard to drink. Would not want to drink another. The beer reminded me of tasting your homebrew berfore it is ready. A really flat taste all around.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.95/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a reddish copper-hued, clear body with a loosely organized, thin ring of white bubbles set around the far edge of the beer. Positively headless!

Smell: Little else besides a light, bready malt aroma with just a bit of grassiness.

Taste: Middling, sweet malt dough flavor. Some citrusy hops, however faint, finally present themselves in the abrupt, dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Somewhat watery.

Drinkability: Though one might think a "Hop Hazard" would imply some sort of hop-based danger or calamity, it's nothing of the sort - I hereby propose a change of title to "Hop Kitten".

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.8/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Hazy copper brew with three fingers of head and substantial clumps of lacing cling all over the glass. The head has decent retention at that.

S - Very mild. The most pungent aspect is some sort of hop over caramel malt. Smell a tad like a dusty pine smell. A tiny bit of vomit and maple syrup too, odd . . . I don't care for the smell.

T - A bit of a sweet coffee flavor with a strange pine and grassy bitterness in the finish. Pretty bland, a bit of style for an APA,but nothing offensive.

M - Thin, rather harsh and a little drying - superficially refreshing.

D - Not awful. I'll pass in the future, but, in typical APA fashion, it is easy to drink. It is sessionable and consumable with foods. But it lacks a whole lot of flair - and the smell kind of sucks.

Photo of pbr85
3.39/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Bright gold with a very small head. Small particles of yeast floating in the beer.
S: Subtle hop odors, sour malts, caramel.
T: Very malty with little hop presence, considering the name. The hops that are there are metallic, not the most pleasant taste to find in a beer IMO. As the beer warms there are hints of orange but they are still overwhelmed by the metal.
M: Pretty decent. Nothing extravagent, but the carbonation level is good.
D: A local brewery to where I used to live and on that I would be happy to find at my uncle's, who lives 10 minutes away. Not something I would pick up on a regular basis.

Photo of warchez
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ar: mild caramel sweet malt smell, this is dominant aroma as hops are only mildy-faintly apparent.
App: Deep copper, darker than I would expect but within range for beer style Some particulates in the glass though. I didn't notice if htere was yeast in the bottle or what. Head is good and has some retention.
Fl: sweet up front. Nice malt nut in the middle with a hop/fuity finish. No noticable bitterness "where is the Hazard?"
Mo: clean finish, dry hop finish on palate. slight lingering bitterness.
OV; this beer seems to showcase the malt more than the hops. I would love this beer just the way it is with more hop flavor and aroma and no change in the mild bitterness.

Photo of Naes
3.02/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This pale ale pours out a dark copper color with orange hues. It has a small off white head that vanishes quickly.
The aroma is fruity and sweet with trace amount of hops.
The flavor has a solid malt base with a citrus hop presence. The finish has a bit of caramel malt.
The mouth feel is medium in body and moderately carbonated.

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

Surprisingly good American style pale. Tasty dry hop, some juice, an understated IPA. Good head, lots of lace in glass. Citrus fog aroma. Good mouthfeel, sligtly sweetish well-malted. Give me much more of this. Slight ageing, thanks to sample delivered directly by Captain Couger.

Photo of Winter
3.86/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gorgeous copper. Aroma of caramel, malt and hops. Nose is a touch buttery also. Thinnish mouthfeel with just enough carbonation to make things interesting. Hopped malty backbone. Flavors of sweet caramel and toasted biscuit are detected initially. Nice hop abrassiveness hits midway. Hop bitterness lingers into a long grainy finish. I was pleasantly surprised with this one. Although not as hoppy as I was expecting considering this is "dry hopped", it was still a very nice pale ale.

Photo of dickroop
3.27/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

River Horse gets initial bonus points for its cool name, eye-catching packaging, and the neat labels on the bottle. After all, presentation counts for a lot, and the design of the six-pack wraps and bottle labels really stands out.

The beer is an amber/bronze, not quite clear, and poured with minimal head. The taste / flavor is 'understated' (that's the kindest way to put it). There is a nice combination of hops and malt, but ... it is .... just... so... small. I can't dissect any particular hop flavor notes - maybe slight citrus. There is a pleasant bitterness to the finish. Further through the drink, after it warmed a bit, the flavor seemed to come on a bit stronger.

Mouthfeel is OK, body is medium-to-light (almost watery, actually), carbonation is not aggressive. Drinkability is actually a little higher than you might think. My impression of the beer improved as it got warmer and I got past my initial expectations.

I think the real problem with this ale is the expectations and the impression of false advertising. Here your have this "hung like a horse" image, compounded with the greatly overblown "Hop Hazard" name. "River Horse" brings on the anticipation of power and mighty flowing water, and "Hop Hazard" leads you to expect at least a hop blast if not a hop bomb. This beer could serve as an introduction to pale ales for somebody who had never tasted beyond MGD or Killians... but the Hop Hazard name so inflates the expectation as to lead to... disappointment.

Rather than trash this beer as a teeny weeny ale with oh-so-modest endowments, I prefer to judge it for what it is instead of what it pretends to be. It reminds me of the story of the rabbi who circumcised babies for 20 years. He collected all the foreskins, then took them to a leather craftsman to have them sewn together into a change purse. He gave the change purse to the King, who looked at it and said "It is so tiny it can only hold a few small coins. What good is it?" Said the rabbi, "Just rub it a little".

So it is with Hop Hazard, just rub it a little, let it warm up some, and the taste expands a bit.

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

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours amber with a 2-finger head. Sheets of lace.

Very citrusy. Smells of orange and caramel malt.

Taste is sweet and citrusy up front with a roasted malt roundness throughout and a bitter hop finish.

Mouthfeel is a little on the light side and slick. Low carbonation.

A very smooth and drinkable pale ale.

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River Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 528 ratings.