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 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 dawg
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 1/6th on September 28, 06 straight from the source.

Thought I'd review before I run out.

I guess I am fortunate to have a sixtel. This is some tastey stuff.

Poured from the 1/6th into a wheat beer glass. Poured with an inch and a half head...very fluffy and hard. Looks like spray insulation. Probably could have floated a penny on top. Orangish brown and cloudy. Not as cloudy as when I first tapped. East End does not filter. Good thing as the feel of this beer is nice and rich. I could crush tons of these sixtels.

Taste suprised me as I and friends enjoyed this years harvest. I expected more of a bitter and crisp hop smack in the face. This is not the case. The ale is well balanced with a huge malt pofile that leaves the insane amount of wet hops lingering in the aroma and finish. I've had some growlers this year with fresh wet hops added but I think I prefer the kegged version from home. Although I have to admit, it was nice to chew on some green hops.

Hopefully Scott does another Harvest next year. Perhaps I'll get a half. At 7ish % it should last awhile.

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Photo of oneeye
4.67/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a growler into a Iron City Beer pint glass. According to the breweries web page; "The Big Hop Harvest Ale is a wet hopped beer using freshly picked hops. The hops were picked on Wednsday, brewed with on Thursday, and the beer tapped on Saturday."

A. A unfiltered IPA that pours a murky cloudy copper orange. A glowing body with a thin eggshell white head. A lot of sticky lacing left clinging to the pint glass.

S. The aroma of a Fall day as if you were taking a walk on a path through nature. A earthy smell of dried leaves, leafy hops, and freshly cut grass. Sweet caramel malts and citrusy hops.

T. A earthy hop mixture that almost tastes dirty. A fresh taste of bitter earthy grassy hops blended with a floral citrusy dry finish. A well balance of caramel sugary malts and earthy citrusy hops. A few freshly picked hop cones floating about to add a additional fresh hop goodness.

M. The mouthfeel was a bit thin. Though crisp and creamy. The Harvest Ale finishes dry and bitter with all flavours lingering on.

D.The drinkability is tremendous! The abv. of 7.40% is well hidden. The Big Hop Harvest Ale is easy too drink and tastes good to the very last swig. I could picture this beer pairing with many things on a cool afternoon Fall day. I could drink this all day long!

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy golden bronze body with small off-white head. Head fades quickly and no lacing or collar is left behind. Head retention is somewhat disappointing; but I love a cloudiness this thick in an IPA.

S- wow is this beer fresh! Lots of pine and citrus hop aromas with a solid caramel malt background.

T- Upfront is a big balance of citrus and pine hop flavor with a subtle caramel malt background and very little bitterness. The finish is all pine hop flavor. A big refreshing dose of piny cascade hops take over and make a nice clean-yet wet-finish. Nothing lingers on the palate.

M- Medium carbonation and smooth body. Not very oily. Goes down easy.

D- Its a shame this beer is a seasonal. The fresh hops make a world of difference here and it is delicious. Luckily, I live in the Pittsburgh area and can enjoy this one every time it comes around.

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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 rabsten
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a growler drawn on the afternoon of Saturday, September 30 2006, poured into an East End pint glass for review. I got the extra hops in the growler, which is a nice touch.

Pours a cloudy copper amber, nice head with good retention, fluffy lacing.

Very hoppy aroma, fruity and clean. Tasty to smell, better to drink. Crisp hop wallop up front with a clean malty finish.

Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Drinkability is high but takes a bit of a ding because of the alcohol content (two a session, tops).

It's brews like this that make East End a must stop whenever I visit the 'burgh. Another good one, Scott. Cheers!

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

Mad Mex Robinson had this brew flowing. Appearance is amber hued with an off white fluffy head leaves thick lacing around the pint, nice. Aromatics are this brews highlights flowing tones of some of my favorite "C" hops namingly cascade citrus and floral notes with a bigger malt profile to back up the fresh hop harvest. Flavor profile is lucious, upfront bitterness with balancing alcohol and malt sweetness combines very nicely beefier than the average Big Hop very nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with some slightly resinous hop oils gliding across the palate tame carbonation that doesn't over do it in anyway. Drinkability is definitely pretty high with this brew beware it's probably around 7% or so, great treat from a local hardworking brewpub.

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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 jeffbearer
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer at the Harvest Ale Debut last night at the Pittsburgh Deli Company. It was served on both draught and cask. I'm reviewing the hand pumped version.

The beer poured a rich cloudy orange with a creamy white head. The aroma was hard for me to pick up; the bar was a little smoky. From what I could smell it had a light hop smell compared to what I expected for a wet hopped IPA made with fifty pounds of fresh hops.

The flavor was big and juicy; a full malt backbone supports a load of hops that bring a lot of citrus to the beer. The beer sports a higher gravity which adds some alcohol warming to this beer making it taste and a bit 'Imperial'. The mouthfeel is huge; it reminded me of biting into an orange.

Any grassiness that you would expect from the fresh hops is minimal or imagined but it does not take away from this beer, it's a great offering from East End Brewing, find it while you can, there is only 14 barrels of it out there.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A. Pours cloudy orange with a pillowy off white head. A little lacing effect. Hop blossoms were floating in the growler and poured into my beer.

S. Light on the nose surprisingly. Floral hops and some malt.

T. With the hops floating around in there, I expected intense hoppyness. It was hoppy, but the hop used was delicate and floral, with some earthyness to it and a lingering bitterness. The malt was sweet (caramel?) Spicy Hops linger on the palate

M. Pretty smooth and refreshing.

D. This is a very well balanced drinkable IPA. Worthy of a growler pick up from time to time.

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

On-tap at the Creekhouse. Served in a Guinness pint glass.

Appearance: Beautiful golden amber color. Thick white head that clings to the glass.

Smell: Total hop aroma...grassy and citrus together. A little malty, but mostly hidden behind the hops.

Taste: This beer hides the alcohol content well. Great combination of hop flavors, mostly citrus and grass. Complex fruit and sweet flavors hover in the background. No hint of any alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel: Great carbonation and feel. Medium bodied and clean.

Drinkability: This is a dangerous brew - very drinkable despite the higher ABV. Scott has created a nice, clean beer.

This beer was going fast at the Sharp Edge. The bartender said that they got the last keg the distributor had. Great beer, Scott!!

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Photo of foureyedgeek
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an East End growler filled October 5 and sealed until this evening.

Pours a cloudy copper color with a fluffy finger or so of head that leaved moderate lacing behind as you drink it.

Smells of hops (duh) citrus and a little like fresh cut grass as well as a little malty sweetness.

In the mouth you get that malty sweetness first and then the Big Hop kick, plus the added hops flavor from the wet hop. Not that I can tell that they are we hops specifically, just the difference between this and the 'regular' Big Hop. An added level of hoppiness, let's say. As it warms its even more prominent.

Smooth feel and crisp finish as well as a very well hidden alcohol make this a very drinkable beer.

Go East End!

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Photo of LeftyBWS
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a fresh-from-the-brewery growler into a 12 oz. pint glass.
A: Hazy orange/amber in color, with a smooth and bubbly layer of whitish head on top, 2 inches +. Not much lacing.
S: Citrus and oily hops, with a nice caramel malt scent. Good blend of hops and melts.
T: Smooth and malty at first, followed by a nice mix of bitter hop tastes. The finish lets the hops linger, mixed in with some caramely sugar tastes. Neither one dominates the other, and the combo is quite good.
M: Mostly hop bitterness with a bit of smooth maltiness. Little carbonation. Satisfying for an IPA.
D: Delicious. I could have many.

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Photo of jasonm
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 edition. Picked up a growler at the brewery on 9/23.

A - Hazy, dark orange-red iced tea color. Tightly packed dense two-finger width off-white head. Leaves a goodly amount of lacing on the glass.

S - Smell is lemony, grassy hops. Not overpowering but a bit more assertive than the standard Big Hop.

T - The higher malt profile is evident with a big-bodied chocolate malt roastiness. This provides a nice counterbalance to the burst of grassy, floraly hop flavors. Mild touch of alcohol warming and a short lingering bitter finish.

M - Full bodied, hop-oily juicy with a crisp tartness as well.

D - Big Hop extreme, bordering on the 2IPA territory, but with some restraint. Good job Scott. Better get some before its gone.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 brentk56
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper color with a modest head that leaves some lacing

Smell: Fresh hop, grassy aroma

Taste: Starts with a vaguely caramel, grassy, resinous flavor; after the swallow, the resinous hop flavors become intense, and linger well into the finish; if you squeeze the hop blossoms into the brew, it takes on an almost pesto-like character

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Interesting flavor profile that is difficult to describe; very different but enjoyable; make sure to extract the hop juice from the blossoms into the brew

Thanks, DrunkenPanther, for the opportunity

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