Big Hop | East End Brewing Company

very good
101 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Big HopBig Hop

Brewed by:
East End Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The first of the brews from Pittsburgh’s newest and MICRO-est microbrewery to hit the streets. Truly, a hopped-up American IPA with loads of Centennial and Cascade hops, and just barely enough malt backbone to balance it out. Our flagship brew

Added by WVbeergeek on 12-07-2004

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 101 | Ratings: 258
Photo of Paymygasbill77
2.37/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I have been wanting to try this beer for a long time.

From tap into a pint glass.

A: Pours a carmel-amber color with a nice 2 finger sticky head.

S: Only hops, Nothing else. I sniffed it 3 or 4 times toget something else out of it but couldn't find anything.

T: Mild lemony hops up front with an overpowering hop bitterness. Some mild biscuity flavor and a tiny bit of maltyness. This beer is pretty one dimensional. There are way to many IPA's out there to make a beer this plain.

Mouthfeel: I will say that for an IPA this has a decent mouthfeel. Not chewy, but not watery either.

Overall: I give it a 2.5. I hope I get a chance to try it again. Maybe I got a bad batch.

 678 characters

Photo of aforbes10
3.06/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Growler from Capones in Norristown, PA. Pours and amber brown with a nice short white head and sticky, wet spider web lacing. Smells malty, with a touch of lemony hop. Taste is at first quite one-dimensionally bitter, but a caramel malt flavor builds beneath this, along with a biscuity quality that supports the bitterness pretty well. Hops are slightly spicy, no citrus or floral qualities. Medium bodied, drinks pretty well. Overall, its mildly interesting, though I still found it just a bit more one sided on the bitterness than it needed to be.

 550 characters

Photo of umtox
3.11/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Fairly light without much head

S: Faint hops and citrus

T: Clean and crisp, moderate hop, with almost no detectable sweetness, very little bitterness for an IPA and a nice change of pace from the heavy-hitters of this class.

M: Much lighter on the palate than most IPAs, very crisp and dry

D: More so than many IPAs because of the relatively low ABV and therefore, more than one can be enjoyed.

East End has come up with a unique IPA that sits on the lightest fringe of this class, a good beer to try to enjoy the full range of IPAs.

 542 characters

Photo of xnicknj
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

on tap at hawthornes - served in Duvel tulip

Pours a deep copper color, nearly purple in some shades with a thin layer of beige head, fading out completely.

Pretty understated nose with touches of fruity hoppiness and toasted malts. Lightly sweet with caramel and berry.

Snap of hoppiness up front, juicy fruit with orange peel and berries. A bit sweet, layered onto the caramel malts with toasted grain and bread. Finishes hoppy and dry.

Medium body, decent carbonation, dry and chewy on the tongue. Certainly not poor, but there's just too many top flight IPAs all over the place these days for this not to get lost in the shuffle.

 639 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.24/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a orange golden color with a good deal of haze. There was a nice large two finger head upon serving that slowly receded over time. Once dissipated, the head leaves a nice deal of lacing to be seen.

Smell – The smell is a bit light for an IPA. There are lighter hints of citrus and a little bit of floral mixed with some sweet caramel malt aroma.

Taste – The taste is of more earthy hop flavors and caught me off guard at first. The earthy hops really hold their ground throughout the taste and more toward the middle meet up with some of the sweeter flavors that were detected in the nose and the lightest bit of pine. These sweeter and earthy flavors largely take the taste to the end.

Mouthfeel – The body was medium to slightly above medium in thickness with a slightly above average carbonation level.

Overall – The earthiness of the brew made it quite unique in my opinion as all the hop flavor, for the most part, was of its origin. In some ways this earthiness made it very delightful, but somewhat one-dimensional in other ways. This beer would be one that I would have to be in the mood for to go for again( which I likely will be).

 1,207 characters

Photo of sholland119
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a mildly hazy golden color. About an inch of white head and a little bit of lacing.

Big pine hops in the nose with just a hint of malt in the background.

Taste is fine but a little bland. Some pine hops in the beginning and an earthy hop finish. I am not generally a fan of this type of IPA taste and this one does not change my mind. No real detectable malt so kind of out of balance for me.

Mouthfeel is a bit acidic and bitter, moderate carbonation.

Moderate ABV makes it sessionable but I did not like the flavor enough to want more than one. Too many beers, not enough time.


 593 characters

Photo of Illinick
3.42/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got straight from the kettle at the brewery!
A: Burnt copper orange in color. Very similar to iced tea or cider in color. No head whatsoever, even after rigorous pour.
S: Floral and citrus rind hop smells dominate the nose. Grassiness and slight sweet bread in there too.
T: Citrus rind, grapefruit and tart lemon pulp with grassy and hop oil flavors. The floral scents peek through in flavor, but are subdued by the bitter citrus pulp flavors. Slight sweet bread near the end and a puckering bitterness that I like.
MF: Light MF with a bitter end
Overall: A good IPA with nice flavor profile. Seems to be lacking in a few areas, but a solid stab.

 655 characters

Photo of tempest
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint at Capone's near Philly. It made a decent pairing with my roast beef sandwich, but I expected more hops. It poured a hazy orange with a short white head. The big citrus flavor came off soapy, and the sharp, bitter edge felt and tasted muted—a good IPA has more kick. Maybe I got an old keg? I'll give this another try next time I see it, but I wasn't impressed.

 374 characters

Photo of corby112
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

Draft at several different locations in the burgh. Pours a slightly hazy, dark golden orange color with burnt orange hues when held to a light and a 1.5 finger frothy off-white head. Decent retention, slowly fading into a thin lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy hop aroma with lots of sweet citrus character as well as some pale malt and subtle booze. Hints of grapefruit and orange peel as well as some earthynpine from the hops. Thisnis countered by a decet malt backbone with hints of biscuit and alcohol sweetness.

Medium bodied with a sticky, bitter dry hop presence up front which is countered by some sweet fruit flavor, pale malt and alcohol sweetness. Pretty dry up front with a resinous pine characte but is decently balanced by hi ts of grapefruit, pineapple and orange peel. The mal backbone is a bit too strong for my preference with hints of toffee, biscuit and Graham cracker. Nicely balanced and decently drinkable but a bit too malty and boozy.

 1,009 characters

Photo of ADZA
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is definately a first for me and pours a hazy orange honey hue with a creamy two finger head and subtle lacing,the smell is citrus and pine infused hops with sherbet not much else really,the mouthfeel is just over lightbodied and like they state the hops dont get much of a say in this mouthfeel which leaves really unbalanced for me and the taste is all about the hops too with tastes of mandarins,piney bitter hops,grapefruit,kumquats and finished with that ever present piney hop bitterness and overall i like my IPA's but this one is really unbalanced and would prefer a HOP HOG to be honest cheers.

 608 characters

Photo of Dualscar
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at a local tavern the other night, got it for half price so I thought to give it a try.

Appearance: Copper/gold with a bit of a head that sank into the glass leaving a nice lace around the rim.

Smell: Sharp, citrus, pine, hops, crisp and with a bite.

Taste: A bit muddled at first, it feels like the hops want to shine through more but struggle a bit compared to the other flavors going on. After a few sips the hops began to build up on me and came out a bit fuller with a good citrus and tangy aftertaste. A bit herbal at times with hints of pine and bread towards the later sips as the drink warmed up.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thin body as the temperature warmed up a bit. Kind of muddled and cloudy mouth feel.

Overall: If you can get it for a good price you cannot go wrong! I am friends with the man at the tavern and he hooks me up all the time with happy hour deals whenever I am there. However, I would not go out of my way to buy this in a bottle or pack alone. Tons of better hoptastic beers out there to try but still a solid and fair choice overall just nothing super fancy going on.

 1,111 characters

Photo of ckollias
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this on tap out a pint glass.

A: Pours a golden thick white head that quickly dissipates.

S: Mild hop and malt aroma.

T: Similar to the smell there is a good balance between bitter hops and sweet malt.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: Decent IPA – nothing special.

 287 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cask version at Barley’s 4th Annual Mini RAF (05/13/06): Hazy dark gold color with a medium ivory-colored head that dissipates slowly. Thin lacing. The aroma is floral hops and some malt. Medium-bodied with a good bitter character. Citrus, floral hops and malt flavors are pretty well-balanced. The finish is clean and citrusy with a lingering hops aftertaste. Pretty good.

 374 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Paid the toll on this on $4.25 for the single at the House of 1,000 beers.

Very cloudy IPA with good lacing sticking to all sides. Smell is quite good hoppy bite. Taste is a good balance of malt and hops with a very homely taste.

Overall I kind of regret buying this its not clean or crisp tasting compared to cheaper alternatives. Skip this one if its over 3 dollars a pop.

 377 characters

Photo of John_M
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Industry public house the other evening.

The beer pours a copper orange color with fairly decent head retention and light lacing. Don't get a whole lot on the nose in this one... just some light dry citrus, a hint of malt (sort of reminds me of malted vinegar without the vinegar), and something of a cereal grain aroma. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this nicely balanced, on the dry side IPA. As the previous reviewer noted, this really comes across as more of an English style IPA, and so I think calling this a "Big Hop" anything is something of a misnomer. Frankly, I was hoping for more of an American styhle IPA in this beer, as there's really not much citrus or hoppy bitterness in the finish in this one. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth, with the carbonation dialed down quite a bit. Finish is fairly long and the alcohol is completely undetectable.

Had this beer prevoiusly on cask, and I thought perhaps the cask conditioning played a role in killing the hop profile in this one. Nope. The version I had at the public house was very, very similar to the cask version I had previously.

Not awful, but very much a "mehhhh" in this one I think.

 1,198 characters

Photo of Bone53
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Claddaghs

Appearance: Copper color with a one finger off white head

Smell: Citrus and pine, grassy, light grainy malt

Taste: More well rounded than the smell. First some funky, grainy malt with grassy notes, then mellows out into a citrus and floral aftertaste. Its pretty unrefined

Mouthfeel: Medium body; As with the taste, the feel is unrefined as well with bitterness throughout

Overall: There are WAY too many great IPAS available (especially during the summer) to consider this a good one. It's pretty decent, but the funky, grainy aspect of it kind of throws me off. Its pretty much the opposite of clean. Good aftertaste though. If it were labeled a pale ale I may have rated it a little higher. I'm sure I'll have this again as it's local to me, but I'm not going to seek it out. It's worth a try, but I'm not entirely sure I recommend it.

 863 characters

Photo of MmmIPA
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Fresh growler from East End.Drank from a Steelers glass.

Nice orange body with a nice one finger head.Lacing is left on the glass.

Notes of hops and breadiness.

Very well balanced for a ipa.The hops and malts never overpower each other.Not very bitter at all.

Nice carbonation and mouthful was light but never thin.

Good ipa but I think they should up the hops and make it a little less english.

 400 characters

Photo of Florida9
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the growler into a nonic pint glass. Forms a moderate sized off-white head. Reduces to a stable very thick and creamy surface coating. Beer itself is a dull rusty orange. Mostly clear, but there is a lot of yeasty sediment on the bottom of the growler.

S: Aroma is pretty good, but nothing earth-shattering. Typically American IPA aroma. Pine and grapefruit with a sweet, lightly malty background.

T: Taste is more of the same, but with a name like "Big Hop" I was expecting a bit more in the way of hops. Mildly sweet caramel malts. A touch of nuttiness. Hops are mostly pine with some citrus pithiness. Quick finish.

M: Medium bodied. Lower bitterness. Appropriate carbonation. A bit watery.

O: Well a better-than-average, but still not overly exciting IPA. A fairly easy drinker with a modest ABV makes this one sessionable.

 849 characters

Photo of RustyDiamond
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ BSP during the April Fools Day festival. Opaque burnt orange in appearance with a near white frothy head. Aroma of orange creamsickle. Sourdough rye malt up front...quite noticeable. From there, a subtle grapefruit/navel orange hop flavor arises. Chalky citrus and clean mouthfeel with a nice hoppy finish.
Nice to have a 5% sessionable IPA for once.

 359 characters

Photo of wampahoofus
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Murky light amber color. A bit of light yellow head. Average carbonation.

S: Lots of citrus suggesting a nice supply of hops are on the way. A bit of sweetness as well.

T: Ah. Lots of wonderful hops! The carbonation is a bit flat. Maybe my growler did not keep it crisp for the two hours between filling and drinking. This reduced the enjoyment a bit but all in all it was an intense but still balanced hop head fantasy.

M: Taste is smooth. Hops linger in the background. Still missing some of the carbonation.

D: Nice hoppy beer. Hop head friends will love to share with you. Pick it up with a growler of Fat Gary and you will have a good balance for a party!

 667 characters

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The lone beer (and not the one AKSP and I SHOULD have ordered) at the Sharp Edge Creekside location in Pittsburgh. As previously noted by AKSP, this is a local brew that was scheduled to be infused through the Randall later this month. Given that I loves the hoppy beers, this was a good choice.

Hazy dark honey-copper in color with a semi-thick off-white head. Nice lacing of the glass. Hoppy aromas (duh!) with grassy and floral notes. Lots of hops in the flavor as well, but it was a little too brash and "dirty" in the flavor. Hard to describe...not as clean of a hoppy flavor as expected. This carries into the aftertaste as well. Felt like it needed to be "cleaned up" some.

AKSP nailed it: "Should ordered the Urthel Hop-It instead..."

 748 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Big Hop is a solid drinkable ipa. It poured a copper clear with white head that left a spotty lace. The scent was bitter with slight citrus backing. The taste was nice and ever...but bitter enough to make sure you knew it was an ipa. The mouthfeeel was medium in body with good carbonation. Overall....solid.

 317 characters

Photo of Omnium
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can > SA Sensory pint
A - Murky orange with a huge 3 finger thick bubbly off-white head, thick lacing.
S - Aroma is kinda basic, pine, orange zest, grapefruit, caramel malts.
T - Taste is pretty much on par with the aroma, lots of bitter grapefruit and pine, orange zest, sweeter malt notes underlying
M - Dry soapy bitterness, kinda chalky
O - A decent IPA thats been around the burgh a while.

 400 characters

Photo of number1bum
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to mymrnngjckt for sharing a fresh growler of this.

Poured a hazy amber color with a finger or so of light beige head. Kept only a thin lace.

Smelled of citrus hops primarily, with a nice fruitiness to the nose. Some malt sweetness is there too.

Taste was a bit more muted than the smell. Hops were citrusy and were balanced well by some sweet malt. Malt backbone was maybe a tad too big imo; the hops didn't really stand out that much, and were not terribly bitter either.

Mouthfeel was creamy and smooth, a nice medium body. Carbonation was pretty modest.

This is a pretty drinkable IPA and I think it'd go over especially well with people who like a more balanced, less intensely hoppy IPA. That's actually not really my preference in an IPA, which is why for me this is just a so-so brew. It's pretty good, but not one of my favorites.

 858 characters

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a big German beer mug at Fathead's in Pittsburgh.

A: Hazy copper with a thick, deep head composed of coarse bubbles. It hangs around for a little while, I wish it could be there for a little longer.

S: Interesting hop character here. Citrusy, bready character with a little funk. I am compelled, but it isn't really the smell that I am looking for in my IPA.

T: Light wispy citrus hops with an undertone of sourdough bread yeast that keeps the malts from taking over this beer. The wild yeast flavor at the end is surprising, to say the least.

M/D: Smooth with a little hop bit. I enjoyed this beer, but in my mind, it isn't a glowing example of the style. Definitely a sessionable beer, despite that yeasty funk that could turn some people off. The flavor is good, but not my idea of a good, solid IPA.

 819 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Big Hop from East End Brewing Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 258 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.