Big Hop Harvest Ale | East End Brewing Company

very good
40 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
East End Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beergeek279 on 09-20-2005

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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 92
Photo of trygelski1
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Growler being drank out of a tulip glass:

Look: Pours a nice golden/orangy color with about an inch of head with tons of lacing present.

Smell: Citrus, pine, grassy.

Taste: Citrus, pine, grassy, also tastes kind of woody, nice touch of malts also to not make this overly hoppy.

Feel: Medium bodied.

Overall: This is one of my East End favorites. This is a solid harvest ale that I visit every year. It is not overly hoppy so might be a good starter for someone just getting into harvest IPAs. I recommend picking up a growler or pint of this at the brewery.

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Photo of Pukstopper
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Pours in a pint glass at the Wexford Ale House. Nice deep bronze color but not opaque. Sort of cloudy. Head stayed a little while and lacing was good. Not real hoppy tasting but a very nice follow typical of a good APA. Had it with fried pickles and it paired great. Wife took a sip and said she liked it and she isn't a Hoppy kind of person. BTW she is drinking the Thirsty dog Barktober.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Growler

Appearance - Golden tan/yellow, with a nice 2 inch foamy head. Tons of sticky lacing.

Smell - Wet hops, orange, pine, grapefruit. Some lemon, grassy with a malt backbone.

Taste - Nice mild wet hop kick, mixed some caramel malts. Pine, orange, lemon along with some added sweet sugars makes a smooth easy drinking beer. A smooth grassy and herbal note from the wet hops mixes well with the malts.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth wet hops coats the tongue. Caramel malts along with some sugars coats the palate. The aftertaste comes up wet hopped, grassy and lemon smooth.

Overall - A nice smooth, easy to enjoy beer. Nothing groundbreaking, just easy to drink and enjoy. Cant beat a solid beer fresh from the brewery that you can sit at home and drink.

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Photo of stakem
3.54/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served in a nonic at Piper's pub. The brew appears a clouded orange color with a frothy white topping. A full wall of lace hangs on the glass as the cap slowly fades.

The aroma is lightly vegetative like many fresh hop ales are but it isnt distracting. There is an accenting rindy note that gets somewhat fruity and floral as it warms up with little to no grain backing.

The flavor is quite grassy with that same vegetative hop aspect that is pronounced in the nose. it has a rindy bitterness zesty aspect across the back with a clean fresh grain appeal that hardly provides any contrasting sweetness.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is easy drinking for the most part and a decent example of a fresh hop ale. I would drink it again but im not in a hurry to go out of my way to have it again.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I have been wanting up try this beer for years, but it never worked out for me to be able to.

Looks good off the pour. Slightly clouded amber brown. Nose is nice. Fragrant oily hops. Unfortunately it faded a bit after initially cracking it. Flavor is more along the earthy wet-hopped character. Oily. Very slightly piney. Never gets obnoxious or loud. It's those NY state hops I suppose.

A nice drinker. Certainly prefer this to the standard Big Hop. But I am sure I'd prefer the wet-hopped version of any beer over the original version.

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Photo of Scrapss
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

.Growler pour from the East End Brewing's substation in the Strip. Now that I have a clean palate, let's review. Served in a 16oz. Turbinator style glass.

A: Wonderful orange/golden hue, with a bit of haziness. Head was poured from growler using a vigorous finishing pour and the head stuck around briefly. 1 mm disk hangs around the edge through entire glass. Beautiful beer.

S: Since fresh hops were stuffed in the neck of the growler, the smell of the fresh hops is strong on the initial quaff. Typical fresh hop smells push through, such as grassy, pine and lemon, as well as a very light astringent, not unpleasant like skunk pee but in the same smellagory/family. Malt is caramel like and not as pronounced as these fresh hops.

T: Fresh hops are forward. Very good flavors of lemony piney citrus. Light caramel malt midway through. Fairly dry finish.

M: Medium body and slightly creamy even after carbonation dies down. slightly hot finish due to ABV.

O: I would like to have more of this. A lot more. Great harvest style fresh hopped IPA.

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Photo of lsummers
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I decided to grab this in growler form at Jean Bonnet in Bedford Pa. To start out, it looks fantastic, a golen orange amber and very hazy. I can't see through this one.

Smells great, it has very nice sweet citrus piney notes, with a touch of vanilla. Almost like it has been aged in oak. It's pleasant and not overwhelming.

Taste is fantastic, the sweetness hits first, then the piney vanilla turns into a fresh cut field of bitter hops. It ends with a very pleasant after taste that lingers on the tongue. The finish reminds me how wood aged Ipa's finish, lots of caramel, malts, vanilla and of course a touch of the hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is also very pleasant. Medium amount of carbonation that lets the sticky sweetness come through. I like the fact it has a touch of thickness to it since it is over 7%

Overall, I really enjoyed this harvest ipa. I would love to try the non harvest version without the fresh picked hops to compare. I think it's a try before buy for the ipa lover. While there's alot going on, I think most would enjoy this one even if they didn't love it.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice warm orange color with thorough hop-hazing. Soppy white head and lacing. 4.5

Mix of orange citrus, pine, and melon hops in the nose with a subtle note of caramel malts. Slightly floral and perfumey. 4.0

Not as melon-y in flavor as in past years (canteloupe). Still delicious fresh hop flavors of pine, citrus pith, and flower petals. Light orange-y zest. Malts are biscuity with a little toast. Nice IPA. 4.0

Sturdy body and some smoother-than-your-average carbonation. Good feel. 4.0

A fall classic in my neck of the woods. Recommended. 4.5

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Photo of AdamBear
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-cloudy dark yellow with a foamy white head. lacing

S-fresh creamy hops. good citrusy scents. strong aroma

T-comes in with bitter and grainy hops. the taste pretty much ends there besides a decent bitterness

M-good medium carbonation with a dry finish

O-pretty good for a pale ale. pretty easy drinking though a big hop presence is missing, though that fact is okay with me. its really enjoyable.

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Photo of kimbo33
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap in Wexford last week. Nice beer with a pleasant aroma. Mine was a bit foamy, could have been the pour but it made the carbonation a bit lower. Overall I liked the beer, didn't know it was 7.4% ABV! Smooth consider the higher alcohol content. Would have again.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at the East End/Harris Grill Beer Dinner.

A: Pours a brownish orange color with a small white foam head. There is decent amount of lacing.

S: Pine and citrus hops are they main scents but there is a nice amount of caramel and toast in there as well.

T: Starts off with a decent amount of caramel malt flavor. In the middle there is some citrus hops coming through but the caramel and toast are still predominant. On the back end the malt still lingers in the forefront while the hops dance in the back.

M: A medium bodied brew that leaves a slightly bitter taste on the palate.

O: I really enjoy the Big Hop but did not enjoy the big hop harvest as much, but it is still a quality brew. I would have expected more hop flavor to balance the malt.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Pours a hazy dark orange with a medium and finely packed white head with great retention.

Smells of piney and floral hops over slightly citrusy malts. The hops are the primary scent.

The taste follows suit. Piney, floral hops. The bitterness is moderate considering the otherwise strong hop character.

Feels moderate, on the fuller side, with fine tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

Great above average IPA, easy to drink, a bit deceptive in its strength, maybe falls just shy of being superb but is definitely very good.

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Photo of terrapinfan88
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy orange with brown tint, spongy one finger head, carbonation clings to the sides of the glass relatively motionless

Smell: Pear, bright fruits, pine, dry and earthy malts

Taste: Not as hoppy as I expected going by the name and the smell a little grapefruit, and pear

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation, slight dryness on the pallet, quite refreshing

Drinkability: Very drinkable. The alcohol did not seem very evident in the taste at all, which might get you in trouble, or you may just end up listening to loud music and dancing in your buddy's garage at a less the desirable hour for the neighbors, but nothing you cant chalk up to boys being boys right?

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Photo of wingman14
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark orange with almost red hints, a frothy off white head that sticks around. The smell is pungent, a delicious aroma of hops, a few sweet notes. This beer is very crisp with sweet hops up front and a hoppy full finish. I was surprised at the amount of flavor and the lack of bitterness. There was no real bitterness to speak of. This one has a medium mouthfeel and nice carbonation. This beer has depth but sticks to the hop flavor and does it very well. This is a must for any hop fan, not overwhelming, great flavor and smoothness to the beer. Very enjoyable!

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Photo of Stigs
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from growler filled at the brewery on Thursday...served in a standard pint glass

A - pours with a solid finger of loose, very creamy eggshell colored foam. settles quickly and leaves random wet lacing on the sides of the glass. the beer is hazy, very dark gold in color.

S - very fresh hop oils, grassy and leafy. loads of sweet caramel hops, just a very subtle twinge of earthy spice.

T - wet, very earthy hops. some lightly sweetened citrus, cut grass, and a bit of pine. sweet caramel and intense biscuity malts just about dominate especially in the finish. very "wet" in the sense of the hop flavors, minimally bitter.

M - medium, creamy body...playful prickly carbonation. finishes quite dry with lingering grassy sweetness.

D - good, and super fresh...but the hop profile just doesnt do a whole lot for me in this year's compared to past releases. lacking a bitter punch through the end, this drinks much more like and English PA than anything else. still pretty yummy and goes down easy.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Al's of Hampden on 8/26/10.

A - Hazy rusty orange, copper-toned liquid with a wispy off-white head that quickly diminished to a patchy film and left a bit of spotty lacing around the pint glass.

S - Sweet aroma with some fresh, juicy citrus notes and green leafy hops. There is also quite a bit of malt character in the nose including hints of caramel and lightly toasted grains.

T - Fruity fresh hops with a citrus character balanced by a grainy malt backbone. Some leafy, herbal notes appear midway, providing earthy tones in the backend. Finishes with a sweet grainy malt character amid fairly predominant hop notes.

M - Medium bodied with bristly carbonation and lots of hop oils, resulting in a fairly sticky mouthfeel. Finishes with mild lingering bitterness and a slight metallic feel on the palate.

D - Pretty solid harvest IPA with a well-rounded flavor, although the hop character could have been more pronounced and cleaned up a bit. It did, however, provide adequate hop burps!

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Photo of philbe311
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Al's of Hampden...

A - A fingers worthy of creamy off-white head quickly fades to a splotchy lacing... An extremely hazed murky gold color...

S - Sweet mandarin oranges... A mild sweet bready maltiness... Earthy with a vague spice quality...

T - Loaded with a subdued malty character... Bready... Biscuity... Mild caramel... A mild citrus hop presence... Grassy and earthy... A distinct spiciness becomes appearant as this one warms...

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied... The carbonation is slightly subdued... Ever so slightly on the thin side...

D - Utterly quaffable... Utterly sessionable... Gulp, after gulp, after gulp... There's nothing outstanding about this one, but it's a super enjoyable and hides its 7.4% ABV extremely wel...

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Photo of Boto
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler from brewery: Thanks to the brewer who sold me some beer even though I wasn't there during their growler hours!! This one pours a hazy orangish color. There was a fair amount of a beige head that leaves some lacing. The aroma is decent: plenty of hops to the nose. Mainly piney, but some earthy notes also. The taste is also quite good. A nice medium body, with lots of pine and grapefruit hop flavors. Given the taste and aroma I expected this to be more bitter, but it is very drinkable. Quite nice.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A golden orange body that has a touch of haziness to it, with about a finger of off-white head.

The aroma is great. A ton of fresh, grassy hops that have a great aroma with some citric hops mixed-in for good measure. A little bit of malt peaking through also.

I have to say, I think this is an improvement on the normal Big Hop. Up fron the fresh, green tasting hops are big and tasty, followed by some bitterness and grapefruit flavor. The bready malt is there, but it is muted.

The mouthfeel for this one is just off. The carbonation is too low, which makes the beer a bit heavy. They were having trouble with the kegs are the brewery when I went, so maybe that was the problem. The sample I tried was much better, so I will average the two scores.

This is a good one for sure; see you next year Big Hop Harvest.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, creating a finger of head (this is at least 24 hours after the growler was poured, so not bad). A hazy, translucent amber tea color with light orange highlights. Various speeds of rising bubbles, some lacing.

Smell is very smooth & nice, mostly grapefruit & sweet orange scents. There's that little bit of hop bite too, crisp. Great smell.

Taste is pretty remarkable, in my opinion: nice mix of lemon, orange zest, some semi-dry iced tea flavors, a little bread crust sweetness, some other fruit (cherries, maybe). A lot more balanced than I'd anticipated, very smooth & refreshing.

The mouthfeel is very iced tea-like, going down easy & leaving just a tiny bit of sugary viscosity. As is my experienced with most growlers, it goes flat quickly but really isn't a problem here. Really drinkable for a non-session piece.

I gotta say, I was very pleasantly surprised by this beer. I'm not a huge fan of Big Hop, & I figured this would just be a hoppier version of such, but the wet-hopping really added some delicious & unexpected notes.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Growler poured a mere hour ago at the brewery.

4.0 A: Hazy brownish-orange copper color. One finger of creamy white head with average retention and modest lacing.

4.5 S: Wow. What an elegant mix of grassy and herbal hops with a touch of citrus. One of the best smelling IPAs I've ever had, which is saying something. Malts add a noticeable sweetness from crystal malts. If it were a bit stronger, this would have been an easy 5.

4.0 T: First thought was: Is this an IPA? No, it isn't, but it's a damn tasty APA. Very fruity, but not so much citrusy. Rather it's peach and apricot heavy, then orange. Formitable bitterness which works well with a touch of crystal sweetness.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good creaminess and ultra smooth, but could use a touch more carbonation, especially since this is basically straight from the tap.

4.0 D: Very good beer all-around. Tasty and easy to put down. It probably wasn't worth the price of $13 for the growler fill, but it satisfied my beer drinking needs and I don't mind shelling out a couple extra bucks for the little guy.

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Photo of Kadonny
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from tap at Capones in Norristown at the Fresh Hop event into a standard pint glass.

A: A deep dark amber orange almost brown color with minimal off white head. Minimal glass lacing.

S: Spice is what I get immediately. Earthy hop tones with a deep mellow sweet malt smell.

T: Deep earthy spicy hops with traces of dirt, spice, grass and a bit of citrus. Very dark flavors with a deep malt sweetness that keeps everything together. Very different, very spicy.

M: Medium to full, it coats the mouth fully. Nice alcohol warming but not overwhelming.

D: Medium to me. I could have only had one or two of these. The flavors were just so earthy and spicy.

Overall a good beer, but not what I expected in a harvest. I bet dry hopping was used as I didn't really detect a ton of wet hop citrus flavors. Overall a good beer.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Capone's (Norristown, PA)

Pours a hazy medium amber (with a coppery sheen) with a thin head of off-white foam. A solid retention yields a decent cascade of lacing down the sides of the glass that doesn't stick. The aroma smells of fresh, earthy hop esters (with a bit of dankness to it), spice, light citrus, and some underlying sweetness.

The taste is fresh, tingling hop profile with a damp and earthy to feel to it that is well balanced by a sweet, supportive mix of tangy citrus and caramel malts. The overall finish is bitter and dry. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a tingling carbonation up front that spreads out into a more creamy feel in the backend.

Nice take on the Hop Harvest style by East End with a earthy hop profile that practically had me picking the dirt out of my teeth but is still well balanced and easygoing enough with the feel to stay quite drinkable. Good stuff.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Capone's.

Poured a deep amber with copper hues. Thin white head had good retention and left some lacing. Smells of grass, earth, malty grain, honey, and floral hops. Tastes strongly of earth and grass up front then some honey and light grainy buttered bread. Finishes with floral notes. Medium in body with good carbonation, smooth, spicy, and crisp. Nice and earthy, not extremely bitter like some IPAs and harvest ales, a nice change from the norm.

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Photo of treyrab
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this also today at the brewery. I love going to East End and trying all their awesome beers. Had this poured into a pint glass...

A: Pours a clear amber with a very large, pillowy white head. Has some sticky lacing too which was nice.

S: Smell is of very floral hops. By no means do the hops smell bitter, but they do smell extremely fresh. A nice grassy smell.

T: The hops are the freshest I have tasted. But by no means are the hops bitter. The hops have a very grassy taste as opposed to the usual bitterness. It is quite unique. For an IPA, this is quite refreshing.

Overall, this was a unique IPA. The hops are there and are very grassy, but not very bitter. A great showing by EE.

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Big Hop Harvest Ale from East End Brewing Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 92 ratings.
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