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 SetarconeX
3.63/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've only had a couple of organic beers before this one, but this is the first I've considered drinkable. Very pretty lager, clear, reddish, and with a huge, wonderful froth on the top. Doesn't smell like much, perhaps a tad metallic. Taste is a dash sweet with a rather subdued hop flavor that makes this beer drinkable and enjoyable, if not overwhelmingly impressive.

There's few good organic beers out there, and this is one I can get behind.

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

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a very clear golden-copper color with a thin, white, bubbly head. The smell is not very apparent, but is sweet with amber and pale malts. The taste starts with a very light sweetness which quickly transitions to slightly bitter and finishes that way. Earthy, grassy hops are detectable. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a hint of mouth-burning carbonation. This is a decently drinkable beer, I would drink it again but I will not buy a second time.

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Photo of jmbranum
3.28/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(This review is of the 3.2 ABW version (4.0% ABV) sold in Oklahoma grocery stores. The normal version of this beer is 5.0% ABV according to the brewer's website. I paid $7.99 for a six pack at Albertson's.)

I had enjoyed the Stone Mill Pale Ale (another A-B organic offering) and hoped to also enjoy this organic beer. Unfortunately I didn't think it was near as good.

The appearance is very good. Sorta a light brownish-amber copper color, clear as you would expect from a lager, and nice white head that settles down pretty quickly.

The aroma is non-descript. No hops that I can tell and almost smells like a macro. The flavor continues with the theme. Even though the label says that there are no adjucts, I'm getting the weird macro aftertaste going on. I can taste the grain which is nice though. It's sorta grassy.

The hops are disappointing. There are a decent amount of bitter hops but I can't pick out any floral hops at all.

Compared to other Macro beers, this is a way above average. Compared to quality European lagers, this is a disappointment. I do look forward to drinking other organic beers (and again I did like the Pale Ale from this same brewer), but I doubt I would buy this one again.

I also do wonder if my review would be the same for a regular alcohol strength version of the beer. Compared to other 3 point beers for sale in Oklahoma, it ain't half bad. The only ones better are Shiner Bock, Amber Bock, Boulevard Wheat, and Blue Moon.

Also for more info on A-B's organic beers go to this story from the San Francisco Chronicle...


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Photo of wcudwight
2.2/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

So who brews this beer? Green Valley, Crooked Creek, or Anheuser Busch.
Looks decent enough. Nice brass/copper color with a solid half inch of sticky white head that quickly recedes to a whiff of lace on top. Ok a full minute later it no longer looks decent. Now it looks copper and watery. It was just a tease.
Smells like mildly buttered corn.
Taste some malt, corn and grain. Where's the hops. Wild Hop is in the name of the beer isn't it?
Thin and watery in the mouthfeel.
Drinkable as a lawn mower beer.
Don't think I'll try this one again. I think most of us are suckered into buying this beer thinking it's a new organic craft beer we haven't seen yet. When in reality it is really just Anheuser Busch trying to sucker us into buying a beer that we think is a craft brewed organic beer with lot's of hop flavors. The marketing works the beer doesn't

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Photo of ski271
2.58/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Medium orange/amber with a large, off-white, frothy head that diminishes to a thick film fairly quickly. Decent amount of stringy lacing Smell is of sweet hay and grain, a little spruce-like hops and a bit of sweaty yeast. Taste is citrusy right away, then the malt flavors are dominant. Caramel and grain with a weak grainy finish. It has a medium-thin body, watery texture and moderate-low carbonation. The words “wild hop” are twice the size of any other words on the label and placed on a banner of red to really make those words jump out at you….. what the heck are they doing that for on the label of a beer that is hops-wise quite tame?!

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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 pweis909
3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vienna lager? Don't know about that. I'd say All-Malt American lager, which is the basis for my review. And don't let the name "Wild Hop" trick you into thinking you are in store for a hoppy experience. This is a lager, and the hop levels are low.

Yellow gold in appearance, not too much head.

Not much going on aroma wise. There is little malty flavor in the profile-Malt american lager. Crisp and clean, mild.

I'd say worth a try, but not at great expense. Try to find it as a single. I bought mine as a single, in a wine bar of all places, at the exorbitant price of $4.50. I don't feel strongly compelled to try it again, so I figure I saved myself from shelling out $7, the going rate for a 6-pack at the local liquor stores.

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Photo of Enola
3.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very clear golden orange. there was a fair head that popped like Rice Crispies. The smell is metallic. I am a machinest and this beer smells somewhat like machined aluminum. The taste is smooth for the style. A refreshing beer that would certainly be good on a hot afternoon. Drinkability is good, as is typical of the style. I could down a sixer of these and still be good. Not a great beer, but average for what it is. Drinakable and refreshing.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.37/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I do my best to try and hopefully really enjoy anything that strives for the goal of totally organic. I havn't been able to fall in love with Organic Beer or Wine however.

AP: A totally clear and active light-amber with a thin, bubbly, pure-white head that dissipated quickly to a thin cap.

Nose: A mildly sweet and wheatie scented malt with a whiff of yeast. A very subtle herbal scented hop is detected way down deep.

Taste: A pleasant but a bit thin and mildly sweet malt dominated flavor with hints of nutmeg and an herbalized, wheatie flavor. There is a very subtle hop flavor that pops out at the very end.

MF: A rather light bodied brew with a mildly crisp and smooth feeling. A tad bit thin on overall.

DA: I tried.

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

Pours golden copper with perfect clarity. Fizzy one finger head shows poor retention and no lacing. Weak nose, hint of lager malt and toasted Munich. Flash of pilsener upfront, followed by sweet Munich and a touch of grainy Vienna. Curious stawberry fruit notes pop up briefly to be washed away by subtle dextrins. Drying aftertaste, hint of german hop flavor but mostly just bland bitterness that is somewhat underbalanced. Thin in body, and medium-highly carbonated. Finishes mostly clean- just a bit grainy with a light residual sweetness mostly from the dextrins. A strange and fairly underwhelming Vienna lager, I wonder if this was how it was brewed before A-B took over.

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Photo of Morris729
3.58/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden amber color with a tall off-white head that settles into a heavy thick lace that sticks to the sides of the glass in rings as you drink. Nose is toasted malt, fresh grain, and floral hops. Taste begins in much the same way with toasted malt and nutty grains followed by some herbal grassy hops. Mouthfeel is a bit thin perhaps. Otherwise, it’s an easy-drinking decent brew.

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Photo of Phatz
3.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

What a surprise. Green Valley Brewing Company aka A_B does a decent job. Like Sam Adams it is not what some of our local micros are capable of but it is actually hopped.

Appearance: Pours clear copper with a white head.

Smell: Grassy hops are pleasant with a dull malt and grain attribute.

Taste: Sweet to start with a notable bitterness. not the bold fresh hop flavor I would hope for but a worthy attempt nonetheless, and for a Macro-ish Vienna Lager it is quite respectable.

Mouthfeel: It is a light weight. A bit over carbonated but again not bad.

Drinkability: Like many other middle of the road almost craft beers this is a drinkable step up and if served at a party I would gladly drink several.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of zymurgy4all
2.8/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought this beer at our local fancy grocery store called Brunos. It was expensive (around $8) a six pack, but common for this store. I was interested in the fact it was organic. As a homebrewer, I've put fertilizer on my Cascade hops I'm growing, so even when I use those I'm not "organic". I'm wondering how that affects the beer. Maybe I'll try to grow some organic hops and buy some organic grain. I have a feeling that you will get less alpha acids from the hops, so you will have to use more. I could be wrong, and this beer may be proof of it.
This beer pours with a slightly darkened straw color (I'd guess an SRM of around 8~9). The head disintegrates rapidly after pouring, leaving just a film of foam on the top.
I taste a lot of bittering hops, and a little flavoring hops. I also get a kind of sourness that I've only tasted before in pale ales that sat on the shelf too long. It tastes a little more like an ale or steam beer than a lager. I can't quite pick out the malt bill, but probably 97% or so pale, and a little bit of red for specialty. It doesn't taste too complex.
Mouthfeel is typical of a pale ale.
Drinkability is a little rough for this one. This isn't a session beer for sure, but you can definitely have more than one in an evening.
I think the organic brewers need to work on this recipe some more before they convince people that organic beers are good.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks nice enough; a rich amber color but not much head or lacing.
Smells of herbal hop and grains. Taste is very much in that vein with some earthyness.
The mouthfeel is a little abrasive.. reminds me a bit of a dirty hippie.
This could stand to be more refreshing and drinkable but it's not too shabby, especially with being affiliated with Bud.
Not an awful idea if it's dirt cheap but otherwise you're better off with a Boston or Brooklyn Lager.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have no idea what the helium-double-hockey-sticks "organic" is supposed to mean, but that doesn't detract from (or add to) this beer. Wild Hop has an inviting amber color, a little bit of beer smell, and a crisp, simple taste with a touch of bitter. Not superb, but overall a nice beer that is worth a try. Maybe you can bring it to an Earth Day party.

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Photo of Doppelmax
2.34/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got this as a Christmas gift. Not an especially notable product.
Clear amber head dissipated very quickly, no veil. Aroma, hello where are you? Light flavor, I guess it was to be expected from this quasi AB product.
Carbonation seemed to be the strong point of this beer for me. No thanks, no more for me. Try a Peak brewing product if you want to go organic.

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Photo of bort11
2.05/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle picked up in a mix & match.
Poured into a pils glass. Color is a dirty straw with lazy streamers of carbonation. Mild head for a lager, no real retention.
Smell is barely noticeable. Slightly yeasty and grain. Taste is a bit bubble gummy. Not really what I expected.
Overall, just kind of blah.

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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 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 theozag
3.03/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smell is slightly weak to me, but fresh and sweet with some floral character. In the glass this beer is a crystaline amber brown with a lasting but very thin eggshell-white head. Starts creamy, gentle, and crisp. Settles on the tongue with a medium body and flavors including pepper, oats, and something slightly sour. Hop bitters are distinct throughout. Finish is smooth but strong. Expect a llong-lasting, bitter aftertaste with this one.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
2.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark golden color with a touch of a reddish hue. Medium carbonation, and a short lived foamy white head. Some minor lacing in the glass.

S: Fresh nip of hops and a sweet malt note. Not a whole lot else, but what's there is nice.

T: For a Vienna, it's kind of different. A mild hop character permeates through the otherwise malty backbone that's peppered with yeasty notes. A feremented grainy sense is present. Not bad, but I thought this was gonna be more of a hoppy lager, like what the label said.

M: Medium light bodied. Light fizziness is present. Somewhat crisp, and totally average.

D: I'm not really thrilled with this one. Lucky I got a single instead of the full 6.

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Photo of Redrover
3.4/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz brown long neck served in a standard pint. The beer is a decent darkish gold with a 2 inch head & fair lacing.

The nose is of light malts and a bit of spice. No off aromas.

The taste is slightly sweet with nice minor hop bitterness. There is some wheat cracker taste that is not bad. Nice bit of flowery hops to finish.

The mouth is decent for a lager. Easy enough drinker, but you can get some better examples for less money (think Berghoff & La Crosse Lager). This may be the best AB product I have had.

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Photo of mentor
3.97/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle was a 2006 GABF left-over that was given to me as a reward for my volunteer efforts. Thanks a million to GABF and to Green Valley for the opportunity.

Hard pour earns a half finger dirty tan-white head over a crystal clear copper liquid. Pretty. Smells soured malt with a touch of citrus and caramel. Iron and pine.

Tastes dry iron and oranges with biscuit malt. grassy hops. Malty, but not wet. Little bit of tettnanger or hallertauer (noble for sure) hop finish. Heavy carb washes the liquid off the palette. body may be as much as md, but hard to tell with the too much carbonation. Decent offering.

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Photo of guinnessfan
3.7/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle given to me by my boss to try. Anything new he finds, he gives me one to critique.

A: Nice golden honey, copper, rust color. Thin head, dwindling to a thin ring with almost no lacing.

S: Mild sweetness with a very mild hop smell.

T: Pleasant but mild. Good enough. Mild hops.

M: Carbonation, but not that bad. Very thin.

D: Very good, easy to pound. I like this beer as a staple, but it is not great. I am highly pleased that this quality can come from AB.

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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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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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