Fresh Hop Pale Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

Fresh Hop Pale AleFresh Hop Pale Ale
BA SCORE
4.06/5
1,589 Ratings
Fresh Hop Pale AleFresh Hop Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
greatdivide.com

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 10-07-2005

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,571
Reviews:
693
Ratings:
1,589
pDev:
9.85%
Bros Score:
4.18
 
 
Wants:
157
Gots:
141
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,589 |  Reviews: 693
Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The color is deep amber with an orange tint. It has a thick off-white head, which fades but not too quickly and leaves decent lace.

S: Strong hop aroma with a heavy dose of citrus along with it. You can also smell the alcohol a bit.

T: As indicated in the name of the beer, a very intense and decently bitter hops flavor hits you right away and remains dominant throughout. There is some malt and citrus that follow to help balance it out, but as sweetness fades, the hops return to stay in a bitter after-taste.

M: Very crisp, medium body with medium carbonation and the more you drink it, the smoother it gets.

D: As stated above, the beer seems smoother as you drink more of it. If you combine that with the fact that it’s not very filling, the beer is pretty drinkable as long as you’re down with the hop taste. I’m not sure how many I could drink at a time; since I only have the one 22 oz. bottle, but I’m sure I could put away a decent amount. Overall this is a good beer, but not for beginners. I find it a bit stronger than other beers that I’ve had of this style.

 1,152 characters

Photo of oberon
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice offering found here in Greensboro,poured a rich copper with a fluffy 2 finger head that left a nice sheet of lace behind as it settles.The label says whole hop cones are shipped wet overnight to Denver to be brewed the very next day after being shipped and let me tell ya the aroma of this baby shows it.Intense grassy,piney,resiny goodness smacks you in the face and the aromas just continue to linger well after being poured.The big dose of fresh hops are not overpowering in this brew yeah its big and resiny but there is a sweet caramel malt backbone that holds up extremely well.At 55 IBU's its not insanely bitter but the freshness of the hops makes it immensley flavorful,I will be getting more of this very very soon for sure.

 741 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.31/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at State Line Liquors yesterday. Poured into a Stone IRS tulip.

Pours a moderate copper color with a single-finger white head after a fairly hard pour. A bit of lacing remains on the edges of the glass; mostly spotty. Nose is light floral and citrus hops with a bit of earth. Light caramel malt. The taste is mildly hoppy with a bit of green character and some floral hops. Slightly bitter mouthfeel and a bit dry. Good drinkability and a pretty nice beer.

 467 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Two fingers of off-white head on top of a clear, orange body. The merangue-like foam settles slowly and leaves a thick patchwork of lace.

S - Citrus and pine hop notes with orange and cranberry. A sweet, bready background of toasted malt backs up the hops along with a hint of caramel.

T - Dry, toasted bread malt notes up front are quickly countered by resinous pine hops. Notes of lemon and juniper come out to compliment the tarry pine. Strong, solventy bitterness blows away any malt sweetness in the finish and leaves only a lingering grapefruit pith feeling on the palate with just a hint of tobacco.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - I expected a very hop foreword beer, and I was not disappointed. The hop aroma is very nice and fresh, but with a malt character that is more than an afterthought. The flavor is not quite as three-dimensional, with more of an emphasis on bitterness and a gin-like pine hop flavor that almost totally crushes the malt character. A good fresh hop beer, though it could easily tolerate more malt character (especially in the flavor) and perhaps a more varied hop profile with some floral or fruity additions to augment the pine and citrus.

 1,218 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Handsome amber in the glass with a touch of burnt orange. Nice lacing and pleasantly carbonated.

Flavor and mouthfeel are more like a DIPA. Big and rich with malt. Tangy and winey. The hops are resiny and aromatic, but not as bitter as you might expect in a Pale Ale. Sweet and malty on the tongue, but it dries out in the aftertaste. A great mouthful of flavor and a bigger, better brew than most APAs.

On tap at Zero One in San Angelo, Texas [Transcribed notes from 11/13/2012 tasting].

 490 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is copper with a large, off-white head. Retention is very good. The aroma is solely of strong, delicious, citrissy hop smell. Taste is more of the same, very flavorful, yet at the same time I was a bit disapointed because the flavor wasn't much different than standard dry-hopped APAs. Freshness was perhaps a little bit more noticeable in the flavor. Bitterness was moderate. Okay, this is a great APA, but I didn't find it to be as exemplary as most other reviewers.

 478 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear, dark golden color with off-white head. Aroma is slightly dank and vegetal with nice grassy hops. Taste starts grassy with fresh hop flavor but there is also a nice nutty malt backbone. Finish is quite balanced with just a light to medium bitterness. Light body but quite smooth on the palate and well carbonated. Overall it's a really nice, easy drinking fresh hop ale.

 376 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice clear copper with a medium sized lather of off-white foam that stuck around and left some rather fantastic lacing. Aroma seems subdued at first but as it warms, some great tones of grassy, lemony fresh hops and a somewhat spicy smelling earthy maltiness come through.

The taste is just as advertised. An abundance of fresh, piney hop character with a nice dollop of lemon and grapefruit for good measure with bitterness that lasts the whole way through. A subtle undercurrent of sweet caramel maltiness seems to somehow glide under all that hop explosiveness. The mouthfeel is medium and crisp and feels oh so right.

Great Divide comes through again with this years batch of Fresh Hop. Bold hop character and a medium ABV make this easy drinking for not only Hop Heads but also lovers of fresh tasting APAs in general.

 874 characters

Photo of billab914
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured an amber color with a large white foamy head. Lots of grass and grapefruit in the aroma. Taste is also dominated by the grassy and citrus flavors of the hops with some pine coming through as well. The malt is there but the hops are clearly the star of the show. It wasn't bad by any means but I didn't enjoy this one as much as some of the other Fresh hop & IPA's I had this weekend. It had too much of the grassy flavor for me.

 435 characters

Photo of smithj4
4.1/5  rDev +1%

Photo of vfgccp
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best buy Dec 30th 2013, opened Nov 20th 2013.

A - Hazy orange marmalade body. Mixed bubble white head settles into a sable crown around the rim of the glass. Surprisingly stable retention. Low lace.

S - Soft citrus, pine, melon rind, and fresh pumpkin. The pumpkin note ebbs and weaves, but when it's there it's almost musky, like scooping out a fresh pumpkin.

T - Dry cantaloupe, orange pith, vegetable funk, honey, waxy resin, and pine wood. Feels like something is off - might be a bad bottle?

M - Dry, smooth, medium-full frame. Low carbonation

O - Not terrible, but there's something either in the execution or unique to this bottle that puts the balance out of whack.

 679 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of smcolw
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy with an orange-amber color. Steady head that remains throughout the tasting. Lace is left as a ring after each sip.

Excellent fresh malt flavor with an aromatic flowery hop background. Attractive.

Strong peppery hop flavor. The only demerit comes from the thin body. The carbonation is okay. Spicy aftertaste that lasts a long time.

This is one of GD's best beers.

 381 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a honey-hued bronze with loads of effervescence & 3+ fingers pillowy pearl-colored head. Superior head retention & lacing

S: Grapefruitty & metallic hops, plus some breadyness as this warms up.

T: Grapefruitty & lemony hops, slight honey notes & bit of cakeyness up front. As this warms, I get bready notes, caramel & then more grapefruitty hops. Finishes with a bit of boozey warmth, grapefruitty + lemony hops, & dry bready notes

MF: Medium-bodied with lively carbonation, & very good balance

Drinks easy, not as impressed as the last 2 vintages, but nothing to sneeze at, one to look forward to every harvest!

 624 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazed, caramel-hued body with a smallish, frothed, white head. Slight speckling of lace on the way down.

Smell: Pleasing, vibrant aroma of fresh-cut grasses, sliced pink grapefruits, and processed pine wood planks, all interspersed with rich, toasty caramel notes.

Taste: Pale and caramel maltiness with a meager handful of toasted bread crusts and sweet tastes of brown sugar and caramelized sugars, though, it's brief and sets up a nice launch pad to catapult the hops. Grassy, earthy, pine blossoms, citrusy (even citric) with a moderate amount of hop bitterness -- it's bold and assertive without becoming overbearing, instead maintaining a constant balance with the malts. A touch of acidity. As is the norm for me, the back half is predominately bitter, though the malts really do their best to counter-assault the hops. Finishes dry and bittersweet with the malts and hops still duking it out in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A nice treat! Paired well the Pinback tune "Offline P.K." and "Soaked". The beer presented a more than sturdy malt base and plenty of hop flavor and bitterness without the ponderous, heavy DIPA body and subsequent, downright bothersome alcohol content, which keeps this brew surprisingly drinkable. Of note, however, is the fact that though the Great Divide's Espresso Yeti and Saison I recently purchased had "bottled on" dates, the Fresh Hop Pale Ale is curiously missing it, though it is of the new label styling. Still though, it's one I cheerfully recommend.

 1,575 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Here it is, approximately 5.5 years since my original bottle review and they have CANned this year's version. I have been solidly attacking my Bottle Backlog, but today is Thanksgiving, 24 Nov 2016 & I am thankful to be able to take a momentary respite to return (albeit briefly) to The CANQuest (tm).

From the CAN: "Brewed Fresh to Drink Fresh"; "Great Minds Drink Alike"; "Limited Release Tank Farm Series"; "Keep It Cold".

I CAN't adequately express my happiness in being able to CANduct a Crack! & inverted Glug! It has been far too long since the last one. The head was really coming up quickly as I pulled the CAN from the glass, so I left a little bit of liquid still in the CAN. It actually had a pseudo-cascade going before settling into two fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, tawny head with great retention. Color was Amber to Deep Amber/Light Copper (SRM = > 9, < 13) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was both earthy and minty, like making tea with freshly picked mint leaves. Ahh, fresh Fresh Hop Pale Ale ... I just knew that something was missing from that old bottle. Mouthfeel was medium to full, not quite creamy, but big, especially for the style. The taste had that earthy mintiness that is the hallmark of a fresh/wet hopped Pale Ale. We have begun talking about terrior as it relates to beer, just as oenophiles have related it to wine for so long. Here, the earthiness revealed the freshness of the hops and the mintiness was an offshoot of that freshness. It was not pungent or overpowering, but just right for an APA. Finish was dry, but not overly bitter. It was the sort of thing that I would drink as often as it is available (fresh). Next, my original, bottle review, dtd 12 Feb 2011.

Say, since when did it become customary to leave this beer on the shelves for so long? I had stopped in at one of my up-and-coming bottle shops to score some CANs for a CANTrade and snagged this while I was there. I now notice a "Bottled On OCT 14 2010" stamp on the label! WTF, over?!? It's not the bottle shop's fault, per se as they are just recently stepping up their game, but their master distro must have decided to unload some outdated beers on them. Fooled me once, shame on you. Oh well, I like beer.

From the bottle: "Fresh Hop Pale Ale is brewed with fresh whole cone hops from the Pacific Northwest. We ship these "wet" hops to Denver overnight and brew shortly after harvest, imparting an intensely grassy hop aroma and citrus hop flavor in a medium-bodied ale."; "Suggested Food Pairings: Grilled trout, grilled bratwurst, garlic/ginger sweet potatoes, Epoisses (a rich, washed rind cow's milk cheese from France.)"

I loved the visual aspect of this beer! I got two-plus fingers of tawny head off of my pour, and the color was a deep-orangish/ coppery amber with NE-quality clarity. The nose had a very earthy, grassy, hay-like aspect underlain by a caramel/biscuit sweetness. I'll bet that this would have been killer, had it been fresh. I was reminded of summers in my youth, when my maternal grandparents were still largely surrounded by farms and the meadows were freshly mown and left to dry before raking. Mouthfeel was medium with an initial hit of grassy, minty hops before allowing a caramel sweetness to pop up like Whack-a-Mole. Finish had a slight hoppy bite, and again, I wept for what might have been. It was as if the Volume knob had been turned to "2", vice "11". Awww, man. The sticky lacing that appeared looked like it was going to require a jackhammer to remove later. If it is still on their shelves on my next visit, I am going to bring this to their attention. This travesty is on their distro, not them. My original scores were 4/4/3/3.5/3 = 3.35

 3,700 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bentwookie for this one! Bottled 9/30/11

A: Pours a clear copper color with a two finger white foamy head on top. Pretty good retention and sticky lacing left behind on the glass.

S: A little bit of citrus and some pine. There is a heavier caramel component than I was expecting. Some lemon in the front.

T: Maltier than I was expecting and hoping, possibly due to age. Lots of caramel with a little bit of lemon and a hint of pine.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Drinks pretty smooth, slightly dry finish.

O: Not bad, would have loved to try it a bit fresher. Will look for it next time it comes out though.

 638 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright brassy orange with butterscotch trim. I expected to see hop flecks, but the initial pour is as clear as a bell (perhaps the good stuff is hiding at the bottom of the bottle). The lovely looking liquid is topped with a thick, creamy cap of lemon mousse that melts into a semi-stiff mesa over time. Sticky bridges connect head and glass, leaving a wonderful array of lace when they break.

The nose is a citrusy symphony of grapefruit, orange and lemon zest. The brewery wouldn't divulge the hop bill, they would only say that the hops are all American varieties. I'm guessing Cascade and Amarillo... or Centennial and Simcoe... hell, I don't know. The very best thing about the nose is that there's none of that pesky malt to get in the way of the lupulin love.

I had little doubt that a fresh hop pale ale, brewed with some of my favorites little green cones, created by one of the best breweries in the country, would be fabulously delicous. Fresh Hop Pale Ale is exactly that. I also expected it to be more IPA-like than APA-like, but Great Divide managed to keep it solidly within the bounds of the stated style.

There's just enough pale malt to keep the mouthfeel from losing its composure and no more. Sweetness is at a minimum, other than a light stickiness on the finish. Fresh Hop's raison d'etre is citric hops and lots of them. This is one of the brightest, purest, most freshly hoppy pale ales that I've ever had (from a bottle). I'm glad that I got a chance to sample it while it's still young.

While it isn't quite a wrecker of palates, it certainly does scratch that hophead itch that is ever-present in my brain and on my tongue. I love the way that each mouthful explodes with citrus zesty splendor and leaves echo upon echo of sticky hoppy resinousness. Pine sap is becoming a bigger contributor to the flavor landscape as the beer warms.

The mouthfeel doesn't quite achieve IPA-like fullness, but then this isn't an IPA. It's most certainly a big APA though. I'm sure that it's difficult to brew a silky smooth beer with this much hoppy resinous and I'm not sure that I'd even want such a thing. A little mouth and tongue abuse goes with the territory when there are this many alpha acids flying around.

Great Divide Fresh Hop Pale Ale is pretty close to the beer that I thought it would be. It's a showcase for the (warning: bias ahead) best, most delicious hop varieties in the world. I can't think of one thing that I'd change about this ale; something that I don't say all that often. It's a damn shame, given the nature of the fresh hop style, that beer this good can only be released once each year.

 2,648 characters

Photo of Jason
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown bomber with a bottled on date.

Clear and beery appearance of amber color and bubbles, lacing on the glass is extraordinary. Smells of fresh mint, wild herbs and soft pine with some bread crust in the back. Creamy medium body. With no warning the taste buds get smacked with a heavy hammer of hop character. Yeah, this is a very hoppy beer. As for the bitterness, yes ... The bitterness is there but the flavor clearly dominates. Lots of spice, orange rind, tobacco, hemp, pine, mint and leafiness from the hop flavor. Hint of lightly toasted malt and alcohol middle to end. Finishes hoppy as well, a little raw but very flavorful.

I'm certain to get my hop fix here. Exceptional.

 692 characters

Fresh Hop Pale Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 1,589 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.