Wild Hop Organic Amber Lager | Green Valley Brewing Company (Crooked Creek)

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Wild Hop Organic Amber LagerWild Hop Organic Amber Lager

Brewed by:
Green Valley Brewing Company (Crooked Creek)
California, United States

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-11-2006

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Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 143
Photo of BEERchitect
3.82/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok beer, but nothing really special. I appreciate the eco-friendly and all-natural approach, but I won't go out of my way way for it again. A light caramel malt body and flavor with an assertive addition of grassy, earthy hops. Lightly pecan-like and mildly peach and appricot tasting. All characters blend well in the nose, but the flavor is dominated by the hops, leaving the beer seemingly thin and out of balance. I think that the malts are properly scaled, but the hops are very heavy in comparison.

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Photo of zeff80
2.82/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, orange/yellow color with a white, foamy, two-finger head. It was highly carbonated and left a little bit of lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt and some hops.

T - It tasted of caramel roasted malts with some spice hops. As it warmed it had an odd bitterness.

M - It was crisp and dry. A light-bodied beer.

D - This is an okay vienna lager. The odd bitter taste wasn't good but it still tasted descent.

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Photo of oberon
3.54/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A lager beer I have to say I had never seen or heard of until today,poured a lear bronze with almost no head to speak of and what was there really left quickly leaving a flat looking beer afterwards.Decent aromas some toasty and lighlty sweet caramelly malt with a decent dose of grass and sharp herb,basic not much frill on the palate outside of a pretty good sharpness imparted by a healthy dose of hop otherwise somewhat sweet and caramelly upfront.Somewhat flat mouthfeel kinda wentdown like water in a bad way.Its decent close to being very good but misses on a few key points.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.15/5  rDev +37.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear amber body. Off-white head that holds very well and leaves nice lacing.
S: Sweetish, lightly toasty malt and floral hops.
T: There's some nice malt here, gently toasty and grainy, even nutty. It's threaded through with gently spicy, herbal, and lightly floral hops. Interesting...there's a kind of anise or cardamom like spiciness to it. Bitterness is well-heeled, leaving the malt to kind of teeter toward sweetness, but never really letting it go there.
M: Medium bodied with a fine-bubbled, median carbonation that's initially crisp before settling to become almost creamy.
D: Nice. Interesting. There's more malt here than I was expecting based on their pale ale. And the unusual hop flavors are intriguing. It's also balanced nicely and it kind of draws you back to have another sip. I could see this pairing well with veal sausage, maple-barbequed cornish hens, pumpkin soup, salmon, or a baked potato with sour cream and chives. I'll keep this one in mind when I go to pick up beer for a party where drinkers tend to be on the fence. Worth trying!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of tea, hops, caramelized malts and citrus.

T: The taste is sweet with flavors of honey, caramel and citrus. Then there's a mild hops presence that comes in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and there's a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, it might not be the best organic beer out there but it's worth drinking for a little while.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.41/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pristine coppery pumpkin with a host of large bubbles hurrying up to a beige cap that looks a little ragged. The head reminds me of the heads on poor quality macro lagers, with its soft, mealy, unsticky texture and almost complete lack of lace. It does last a while though, thanks to all that carbonation.

Why has a Vienna lager been given the name Wild Hop? Either the brewers are intentionally misleading us and have brewed a classic Vienna lager or they've hopped the beer beyond all reasonable sense. The first option is the more likely. After the sniff test, I'd have to say that it's neither. Wild Hop smells nothing like the stated style. In fact, it doesn't smell like much at all.

I can kinda, sorta appreciate the stab at the Vienna lager style. It's a wild, off-balance stab that completely misses the mark, however. There's a trace of mildly toasted, modestly earthy, probably Munich, maltiness that acts as the (blurry) focal point. I might be able to pick up a hint of spicy noble hops, but I can't be sure.

I'm certain that hops are present, because the beer is much more bitter than a beer of this style should be. Some amount of malty sweetness would improve things considerably. Things dry out impressively on the back end and finish with a saliva-sucking aridity that borders on annoying.

The mouthfeel favors the lighter end of the style spectrum and those big, soda-like bubbles contribute much more fizziness than is tolerable. I had hoped that they'd have burned themselves out by now, but they're still going strong. That, along with the bitterness, makes me think that I'm drinking beer-flavored tonic water.

I didn't expect Wild Hop Lager to compare favorably to Eliot Ness or Sams Adams Boston Lager. Hell, I didn't even expect it to hang with Bohemia. On the other hand, I didn't expect the lousy beer that I just finished either. It's my own damn fault. After drinking Green Valley's Stone Mill Organic Pale Ale, this one shouldn't have been any great surprise.

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Photo of russpowell
3.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a 3 fingers deep white head.Slight lacing & zero head retention

S: Slight hop nose

T: Citrus hops & malt sweetness up front. Not enough malt to really round the taste as a vienna, works more like an amber lager.
Slight fruittyness follows & then you get a hoppy/lemony finish

MF: Light/medium body & decent carbonation

Drinks okay, but not enough here to get excited about, having said that this is a step in the right direction for AB & I'd buy it again at many locales where there aren't many micros to choose from

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.03/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appears a light copper amber hue with an off white decen sized head dwindles pretty quickly carbonation is large bubbled and lacing is sporadic and sparse on my glass. Aroma has soft bready sweetness touch of caramel malt with a light hop profile definitely shouldn't be called "wild" hop maybe "tame" hop would be more appropriate pretty boring. Flavor is really mild grainy sweetness no real hop profile here touch of herbal mix of grassiness with a light toasted caramel malt flavor, very boring and tame at eight bucks a sixer I'll pass. Mouthfeel is light bodied carbonation is a bit too high and somewhat sharp on the palate. Drinkabiltiy is low my crave factor to have or want another is nonexistent, I'll pass on this one in the future.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden amber with nice clarity. The thin white head becomes a lasting patch that leaves some trails of lacing.

The smell is floral with earthy fruitiness.

Well-balanced between malt and hops. There is a malty, grainy sweetness with a crisp bitterness in the finish. Not complex, but clean with enough taste to make it enjoyable. Flavorful though mild.

It has a smooth, medium body.

This is nothing earth-shattering, but nice for its simplicity. A good choice for an easy-drinking "session".

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Photo of Billolick
2.88/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Seek out craft beer not this bogus, AB swindle of a brew, "Green Valley Brewing" please, this is a rip and a greedy grab for a sliver of the organic brew market...NIce looking brew, clear, tan head, respectable lacing left on the glass, but things go downhill from there....thin nose, cabadgy notes, sweet, sweet, sweet, minimal complexity..pass this stuff by...not to hard to find a "'real" craft beer made by folks who care about their product, not just profits and ripping off the consumer...sorry to rant, but this type of swindle pisses me off...

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Photo of Gavage
2.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: clear light amber in color with a 1/4" head that disappates immediately. No lacing develops.

Smell: no discernable aroma at all.

Taste: mild malt profile with caramel, hints of grass, and a touch of grapefruit. Little bitterness at all. Dull and unexciting beer.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Almost a clean aftertaste. Lighter side of a medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: overall I found this a boring beer that I had a hard time finishing the pint. Not worth trying.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

And now for something completely different, a beer made using organic barley malt. On to the beer:

It's clear copper in appearance with a two-finger head on top. Metallic hop twag and sweetish malts make up the aroma in the beer. Sweet and doughy flavors from the malt in the taste with a mild bitterness for balance. It has a thinner feel with mild carbonation. The aftertaste has a mild biscuity note. Overall, a middle of the pack brew.

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Photo of plaid75
3.68/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger pillowy white head. There was very good retention ad vey good sticky lacing.

The smell featured a soft grainy malt with a solid flowery hop aroma.

The taste was well balanced. A gentle pale malt doughiness was complimented by a light saaz hopiness. There was a hint of wildflower honey as well.

The mouthfeel was clean and a bit creamy. Good carbonation.

Overall a very drinkable lager, I was pleasantly suprised with this beer.

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Photo of Zorro
3.33/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear gold colored lager with a distinct orange cast to it. I don't think I would call it amber it is to close to orange for that. Good white head forms and stays.

Smell is sweet fruity with a distinct melon scent to it specifically muskmelon. Malt doesn't lend a distinctive aroma of its' own just a general malty sweetness. There is a mildly strong aroma of noble hops present but it isn't particularly outstanding.

Taste is barely sweet and malty with a decent caramel flavor to it. Good strong Nobel hop bitterness in this lager along with a mild flavor of straw. And that is about it, decent lager with a good hop kick.

Mouthfeel is good.

An OK lager in all respects. This stuff isn't going to put Germany out of the beer business but it is significantly better than most. Not worth a lot of effort to get but not bad.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
2.79/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Looks good- nice amber with healthy head and good lacing. Smell is somewhat harsh- raw grain and alcohol. None of that lager yeast tang, and no crispness. Taste is no great shakes either. Also harsh, with more grainy notes, a touch of metal, and sweet fruitiness on the end. Mouthfeel is slightly prickly, but not especially crisp. Eh. Willing to give it a chance despite the ploy, but not much here for me.

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Photo of cjgator3
3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a light orangish amber color that produces a small fizzy head that quickly dissapears into nothing. Very faint and mild aroma that features some mild toasted malt and a faint whiff of hops. Taste is faint toasted malt that finishes with a faint hop presence. Overall, I find this to be a pretty bland and extremely watered down brew. I can almost compare it to a watered down Sam Adams Boston Lager. I like that A-B is trying to make better beer, but this one needs a little more work.

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a sunset orange color with a slight off white head. Visible carbonation was light.

S: faint caramel with some grains.

T: The flavor was light toasted grains, honeymalt sweetness with a mild herbal hopping. The flavor was fairly clean with the exception of a slight metallic tang. The beer finishes sweet with light toast notes and a dry herbal hopping, but was not as hoppy as the name led you to believe.

M: thin, a bit watery and lightly carbonated.

D: Mediocre drinkability and overall enjoyment. Worth a curious try but not at the expense of a six pack.

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.37/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours from 12oz bottle a clear gold with a small head of foam that shrinks quickly. A few minutes in and there's just a fine ring around the edge of the glass.

The smell has a nice hoppy smell to it.

The taste is nice and hoppy up front but it doesn't really hang around very long and what's left is a touch of grain and even that doesn't last. My, this is a pretty flavourless Lager in my book.

Bottom line: There are lots of better samples of the style. I cannot recommend this one.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.5/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Looks like an amber ale. Lots of clarity. Aroma was disappointing for having the word hop in the name.

Taste was bland, amber lager kind of thing. No hops, just a colored beer lacking in malt viscosity and mouthfeel. Lame.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.6/5  rDev +52.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice bright light gold color with a nice full off-white head and very active carbonation. Very nice grainy and light hop aroma. Nice grainy lager with good hop balance. Medium-light bodied, crisp, clean and smooth with a lightly dry finish.

Not sure I'd say Vienna Lager but certainly a very nice Premium All-Malt Lager from A-B which I didn't know until after reviewing... way to go A-B !

Per label: "USDA Organic"

Per GV-WH website: 100% organic barley malt certified by the USDA. Cascade hops from Willamette Valley.

'06207' printed on label (Bottled?)
Tasted: 09/03/06

($6.88 / 6-pack)

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.58/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The looks is a light amber, more like a honey copper. Light and clear. Good sporadic lacing and very strong bubbling. The aroma is an adjuncty cream with pellet hops and rice. The taste is like a macro with a little more style and attention to ingredients. The adjuncts seem to meld with the real malts and mild hops in this brew. Could be the next craft excuse for a macro.

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Photo of drpimento
2.45/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Trying to figure out the purpose of this beer and I can't do it. Considering the resources behind the brewery they could do anything and instead you get this: a lightly hoppy, light bodied lager with light body, very little character, almost no head and no lace. Fruity. Nice clear amber color tho for what that's worth.

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Photo of Suds
3.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This brew pours with a truly amber color, very clear, and with a white head. The head is fairly dense, with respectable longevity and lace. The aroma is a mix of hops and toasted grains. There’s a hint of malt in the smell as well, but it’s certainly tilted toward a lightly floral hop aroma. The taste has slightly toasted malt and caramel flavors, followed quickly with a nice bitterness. Hop bitterness is a nice theme that runs through the beer, but there’s not much depth of character. It’s a fairly one-dimensional brew. The mouthfeel is pretty disappointing. It’s got a smooth, but very watery and unsatisfying feel. Although it started out with promise, this one showed itself to be just an okay, almost ho-hum sort of brew.

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Photo of ZAP
2.58/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Orangish golden color...big fluffy white head..

Nose is perfumey...some mild toasted malt characteristics..

Don't really care for the taste much....it has some toasted maltiness but along with a bit of the perfume like hoppiness....leaves a bland aftertaste...relatively watery body....not a whole lot of flavor...personally I think I'd take a Bud over this....not impressed with AB's latest foray into microstyle beer (And I wanted to like this one)...

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Photo of mynie
3.95/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Wild Hop" is a rather bold name for what gets sold as an Amber (what the hell is the difference betwen an Amber and a Vienna, anyway?). And, although I know that I can't blame Green Valley brewing what I'm about to rail against, I must nonetheless speak out:

People are misusing the word "hop." Not beer people, and certainly not hop heads, but the general public. At THREE separate bars in my area, I've had the bartenders claim that a beer with little to no hop presence was "totally hoppy." At one bar, the tender told me that La Choufe was the hoppiest beer that they had--in spite of the fact that they had Alpha King and dozen others.

I'm afraid that "hop" is becoming a generic placeholder for "flavor," so far as beer novices are concerned; kind of like how every cocktail is now referred to as a "Martini."

Please, stop this. Don't be a jerk or a snob when people make this mistake, but gently explain to them what hops actually are, and why a good malt or spice complexity in a beer should be regarded as something different.

Now, onto this beer, which pours a very nice dark amber below a small head that fades to a tasty foam cap.

Smells of single pilsener-y malt, grassy and flowery, with a distinct but non complex hop. If this was a pilsener It'd be a 4.0 smell, but for a Vienna it's a little weak.

Tastes great. The grassy and floral malt starts things off, gets nice and sweet near the middle, and then ends on a very pronounced, dry west coast hop. It's simple, but it's a wonderful simplicity, and the hop really is there.

Good session brew, this. Also a great crossover beer. But certainly not something for hop heads.

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Wild Hop Organic Amber Lager from Green Valley Brewing Company (Crooked Creek)
3.01 out of 5 based on 143 ratings.
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