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Fresh Hop Pale Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

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683 Reviews
Fresh Hop Pale AleFresh Hop Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 683 | Ratings: 1,552
Photo of amneziak
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nose: As one would expect from a beer called Fresh Hop Ale, there is a ton of hop aromas on the nose right out of the glass. It's very citrusy and clean smelling with a bit of pungency from this abundance of hops. Finally, there are lots of grassy and bitter grapefruit components present in the end that almost confuse you into thinking it's a double.

Appearance: The FHA pours a warm coppery orange color with a nice subtle (yet rocky) tan colored head. The presence of carbonation is visible as you hold the glass up to a light. There is a very nice foamy three finger head, which on the top, almost looks like frothed milk. As the head settles, it hangs on to the side of the glass leaving its fair share of lacing.

Taste: There's not as much carbonation on the tongue as you would expect from a beer with this much head. Unlike a lot of other hoppy beers along these lines, though, there is a good amount of flavor coming through. The citrus components that I got on the nose don't fully translate to the palate. These hops have a much grassier or pine needle quality than those others.

Palate: The mouth feel on this one ranges between light and medium bodied in that your mouth wants it to be a potent Imperial IPA, but that fact is that it's just a Pale Ale with lots of hops. It coats the tongue nicely, though, and never leaves you needing more bitterness.

Overall: The beauty of this beer is that it's not considered an Imperial IPA - it's a Pale Ale. This difference alone brings the alcohol content down 3% from its older brother, the Hercules Double IPA, which I prefer greatly over this. The problem with the FHA being a Pale Ale, however, is that hop heads will really wish there was more going on in this glass if it's going to include lots of fresh hops. You are basically getting 75% of the experience of a double IPA.

Ultimately, this is a really nice beer because it can be a lower alcohol percentage beer while still hanging on to a lot of the same hoppy characteristics of a double. And to be perfectly honest, it truly is better than a lot of the "Imperial" IPAs I've had from other breweries around the world.

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Photo of onecrazybreeze
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at the Falling Rock. Pours orangish with nice head. Smells of hops and floral, a nice crispness to it. Was hoping since it is described on here as the Liberally Hopped made for the DNC it would taste more like it. Tasted citrusy, hoppy and clean but not like the Liberally Hopped at all. Overall a good beer though.

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Photo of CONOR8832
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful golden amber colored into the glass with a nice fluffy white head, left some great lacing on the glass. The smell is to die for, it probably has to do with the fresh wet hops that they use but its aromoa is extremely grassy with a ripe great fruit scent that almost makes you think you are about to drink an IPA. The taste is equally as enjoyable as the smell. Very fresh taste, crisp taste, great hop to malt balance. Leaves a nice hop coating on the palate, I had a hard time convensing myself that this is a pale ale not an IPA. Great beer for hop heads, to put it in a nut shell if you could take the breaking of fresh celery stalks and put a flavor and feel to that sound that is what this beer is. I wish it was a year round brew but I guess I will just have to stock up on it.

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Photo of Ninjabrew
4.69/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very little head when poured aggresively. Nice color otherwise.

Smell: I don't know if this is marketing related or not, but it actually smells fresh! Maybe like fresh cut grass.

Taste: An excellant example of this style maybe even more earthier than most. Yum

Drinkability: They don't get any easier to put down than this.

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Photo of pourmeup
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on Sept. 29 2009

A- Retains a thick off-white cake-like head throughout the entire glass, has a nice golden-orange color to the beer itself, leaves behind clumps of lacing in random places on the glass
S- Very heavy on the citrus rind in the nose, light sourdough bread smell at the end
T- It was almost as if I walked headfirst into a hop wall. Hops are present in every part of this brew, heavy citrus notes with even a bit of pepper evident on the after-taste.
M- Leaves your mouth with a lingering hop taste, but what remains is very subtle, has a slight creamy texture from the thickness of the head, overall a nice a texture
D- Not a terribly heavy beer, but slightly unrelenting in the hop department, which lowers the drinkability a little, but not much.

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Photo of MattyBones
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pores a nice copper color with a good amount of carbonation readily visible with a nice thick foamy head.

Smells: Getting mostly a grapefruit nose and a light grassy/earthy kind of scent to it.

Taste: A solid amount of citrus but the main pop comes from the hops. A very fresh hoppy taste with a slight...very subtle backbone of malts.

Mouthfeel: slick with carbonation, very smooth but doesn't linger for too long.

Overall: A pretty fresh tasting APA. You get a nice burst of hops but it finishes sort of empty. Once the hops hit the palate they are gone not too long after and there isn't much left to it. I like brews with a little more bite with a solid aftertaste. It's still a solid brew from Great Divide and I would definitely dig into another bottle.

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Photo of OutlawJoseyWales
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

app: caramel, with one finger of head

smell: grassy hop aroma, with hints of sugary malt

taste: sharp intense hops, especially in the finish. very clean and crisp
a caramel, sugary malt in the background, not as pronounced as it couldve been, but this beer really delivers on its title 'fresh hop'

mouthfeel: slightly prickly and moderately dry. very refreshing beer.

Drinkability: solid, just the right amount of pungent hop bitterness that doesnt go into the extreme category of the double IPAs. drank a bomber of this no problem at only 6% abv.

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Photo of ryanismean
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bomber a crystal clear darkish amber with a nice quarter-inch head, which settles to a respectable layer of foam and leaves sticky lace down the sides of the glass.

Aroma is unsurprisingly dominated by oily northwestern hop, all piney and grassy floral herb, with just a hint of sweet, fruity malt bringing up the rear. Flavor is much of the same. Resinous hop bitterness coats the tongue, although the aromas seem a little muted in the mouth, at least until it warms a bit. There is some sweetness up front, but it is quickly overpowered by the bitterness--are they sure this is just 55 IBUs!? Tasty in any case, but hardly balanced, which, fortunately, is exactly what I was looking for. Finish is long and bitter, the hop oils just take up residence in your mouth and refuse to be evicted.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin for my tastes, but not bad. Nicely carbonated, but not enough residual sugar to create a pleasant stickiness. I could drink a couple of these in a session perhaps, but in my opinion this would be much better paired with a meal. The thought of downing a bomber of this alongside a plate of blackened chicken czarina makes my heart melt.

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Photo of TheDudeBeers
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber to a glass

A - Nice golden orange with about an inch of head

S - Hops, Citrus, malt, grassy notes

T - Sharp hops and grain with a nice citrus finish.

M - Smooth, good carbonation

D - Very easy to drink. Nice Fresh balanced taste.

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Photo of wasso67
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2014 version, best by date of 12-31-14. Interesting as I first enjoyed this beer in early December, obviously same bottling run. I found the first beer to be amazing, layers on layers of hop goodness. Just really popped. Today's is obviously aged further.

Still excellent, but lacking that hop pop. I rated this as the earlier tasting of this beer. My advice...look for this early next year and drink it fast!

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Photo of mike24
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

beautiful golden amber with a nice sticky head and good retention. unbelievable lacing going on here. smell is equal parts piney hop and citrus hop with a little floral backing. bright and citrusy when it hits the tongue rounding out with some bitter hop coming in with a faint alcohol warmth. finishes with a little bitterness and some acidity. crisp and medium bodied, i feel like the malt is a little lacking here to combat some of the acidity and make it a little less harsh. drinkability is very good, but i might try something a little smoother.

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Photo of weezyfart
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Beautiful fresh hopped pale ale. The color is like polished copper, but i could've done with more lacing, but whatever. Love that it has so much flavor but almost void of sticky mouthfeel. Drinks so fresh and so clean clean. I would definitely reinvest in this beer soon.

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Photo of fugitive
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle 650ml. Color unclear hazy orange with smal not lasting white head. Aroma malt ,extremely hoppy giving it notes of citrus and pine, grass. Taste sweet, bitter, citrus, long duration. Body is medium, texture is oily, carbonation is soft. Refreshing.

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Photo of beveragesampler
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours light amber with one finger head. some lacing. smell is faint earthy, citrus. 55 IBU but real smooth. taste is well ballanced grapefruit, citrus and earthy tones. lite creamy maltyness with crisp finish. finish is a little oily from the hops but welcoming. very drinkable 6.1%ABV well done pale ale. bottled on Oct 4,2010 drank on Oct 20,2010 . Pairs fantastic with a wide range of foods.

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Photo of Meandmymonkey
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

clear, deep amber color. thin head but very nice piney, citrus smell. I would like to know exactly what variety of hops are used but they are super strict on revealing recipes. A very drinkable pale ale from a very good brewery, all bias aside. Thinking about "wet" hops makes this beer very appealing and I was sad when my bomber was empty.

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Photo of HoopTime
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a freshly filled growler into a Sam's perfect pint glass.

A - Clear golden amber with just a hint of reddish-orange. Pours a thick, foamy 1.5 inch head that retreats slowly leaving a nice froth on the top of the beer and remnants of the head sticking to the glass.

S - Moderate citrusy-pine aroma from the hops, though not as pronounced as other fresh hopped ales I have tried. Hint of caramel..

T - The piney hops taste is the first thing that hits the palate, but it is well-balanced with enough malt sweetness to pleasantly, but not overpoweringly hoppy. Slight citrus with hints of fresh cut grass..

M - Very nicely carbonated, it is light on the tongue and very smooth.

D - I have developed a real liking for fresh-hopped ales and this one does not disappoint. Very drinkable and at 6.1 abv, not too strong to enjoy drinking more than one or two in an evening. A very nice beer.

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Photo of BillyBroas
3.69/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love seeing more of these fresh hop ales.

I got a whiff of the hops during the pour - ahhh nice...

Appearence is medium-copper/gold, little to no head. Also very little carbonation in the glass.

Aroma - Fresh, wet grassy hops. A bit of toasted malt too.

Flavor - Pretty unbalanced pale ale, which isn't exactly my preference but is expected with american beers. Still though, too much hop flavor. The malt tries to stick its head out but it is shielded by the hops. Not bad tasting. Just not as much balance and complexity as I would like.

Mouthfeel - Too thin for this beer. Biting on the tongue.

Overall - Disappointing by this one. Labeling it an IPA would probably score it higher marks, although then it would have faults as an IPA. It's refreshing and is just what I need at the moment, bu they have much better beers.

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Photo of bthompuz
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A – reddish amber color with nice lacy head

S – some citrus hops in the smell, but not nearly what I was expecting from a fresh hopped beer

T – wow, huge hop flavor. Grapefruit and pine tastes really dominate and are followed by a smooth bitterness in the finish.

M – medium moutfeel, a little slick

D – very drinkable, although the bitterness starts building up halfway through the 22 oz bottle. I like the way the hops really dominate, might be room for a little more malt for balance, but this is the best of the few fresh hop beers I have tried.

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Photo of IrishTed122
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 650ml bottle. Poured into a pint glass

Appearance: An orange-golden color, nice creamy head with thick bubbles, a slightly below average amount of small carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom. A good looking beer.

Smell: Very hoppy for a normal pale ale. The bottle says "Citrus and Grassy" and I Would agree with that.

Taste: I was surprised with the hop character and the bitterness of this one. It actually had quite a bite for a pale ale and if I hadn't known what beer I was drinking, I might guess it was an IPA. Good balance though. As I continued drinking I noticed a nice finish to the beer, an aftertaste which was neither good or bad, just interesting. The beer definitely tastes like it smells.

Mouthfeel: To me it's a beer that is trying to be very smooth, but also overwhlem you with flavor. It's an interesting taste and in my opinion could be a bit lighter and smoother but still very good. I'm a big IPA fan and was expecting something a bit lighter with this APA, but again I found it a lot like an IPA.

Drinkability: I had the entire 650ml bottle, but that was plenty. I think a regular 12 oz bottle or 16 oz pint at a bar would be a great beer to start the evening or a single serving if you're looking for that to accompany a meal.I wouldn't be pounding down a lot of these.

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Photo of ATraurig
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Bright copper/orange appearance with a white head when poured.

S: Smells slightly on the malty side yet still hoppy. Also has earthy notes.

T: Nice flowery, hoppy taste when it first hits your tongue. Then has a bit of a malty taste, though, after the hops run their course. Slight hint of citrus but if I had to desribe the taste in one word it would be earthy.

M: Good but a bit shallow. The hops hit your tongue quickly but then leaves you hanging a little (as compared to the top tier APA/IPAs).

D: Very smooth. Lighter than I'd expected.

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Photo of damjadi
4.97/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The last of my hoppy stash here in Germany....

A: Beautiful orangey-tan with myriad tiny bubble coalescing into a tight, creamy head.

S: A citrusy/piney bouquest.

T: First, the tangy citrus of the hop hits, then the floral hops oils mix with the sweet malt to coat the tongue for a slow, sensual finish.

Mouthfeel: The creamy head is the first introduction to the smooth, velvety nature of this great beer.

Drinkability: Damn! Last one I have! Hopefully more when I get back to the states!

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Photo of Alanthebeerguy
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. The Fresh Hop has a beautiful reddish copper color with a good off white head. The nose was a mix of grass and citrus, it smells good,a relaxing smell. The taste is hoppy but not to hoppy. I like this beer, the hops are not so overpowering, which is a good thing to me. I would recomend this beer, it is very easy to drink and will buy more of this beer before it is gone.

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Photo of track1646
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour reveals a beautiful copper colored ale with a nice bright white head. From the moment you crack the cap and foil it "stinks" of pungent hops...almost smells like a pile of fresh pot.

A - Great translucent copper color with a nice thick bright white head. Head dissipates into a nice lace film.

S - Like I said this beer "stinks" of fresh hops! This smell is off the charts good. Not so floral or citrus like many fresh hop beers I've had lately, but more a smell of very grassy fresh wet hops.

T - If anyone here has soaked whole hops in a growler of beer for any period of time (East End Big Hop Harvest w/ fresh hops added to the growler!) then you can understand this flavor! Its a mix of fresh grass, fresh green onions, and a mild but long lasting bitterness. Remarkably good!

M- The fresh hops impart a sort of oily texture to this beer...but it isn't bad at all...it compliments the smoothness and overall round character.

D- Very good! I don't want to sip this..if anyone has seen the show Three Sheets when he is in the Czech Republic then you understand the "sips" I'm taking. At this pace my glass is very very low!

Fresh hop beers are the "new rage" and this is easily in my top 3 favorites!

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Photo of KOrtega
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a cervoise goblet (bottled on 21 Oct 2011)

A-Pours a bright and clear orange-amber color with a thick, creamy off-white head. Some lacing as the head settles.

S-Fairly mellow grassy aroma mixed with sweet malt.

T-Starts with some slightly sweet malt with a bit of toffee or caramel. The hops come with the finish: bitter with a little citrus-sweet mixed in.

M-Starts off very smooth drink and finishes with a good bitter hop bite. Gets the mouth watering.

O-The beer has an awesome appearance. The aroma is pretty mellow, but the taste is solid. Occasionally can come off watery or weak-ish on drinks, but I think that contributes to the beer's drinkability.

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Photo of dontworrybeh0ppy
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

At first glance, seeing the shameless label consisting of a large hop flower taking the place of the 'O' in the word "Hop," my first thought was that this is brand bait for some giant macro-brewery. Of course, the phrase "That's why you play the game" came to fruition at first pour, as you can't judge a beer by its cover.

Cranking the beer open - the aroma of hops poured out, as expected, but not as obnoxiously as one would expect. This proved true in taste as well.

Upon pouring the beer out, there was ample head, which really clung to the sides of the glass as if to say "no no, you'll want to enjoy me later as I slide down to the bottom." Yes, beer, I'm going to want to continue drinking you upon completion of you.

Mouthfeel - excellent. Smooth, silky, yet crisp to the taste. The hops was overtaken with citrusy, somewhat natural flavors that really engulf the palate. The hops taste quickly was alleviated with a smooth, aftertaste of the earth. Quite delightful! The overture of hops was not as obnoxious as one would expect based on the name, label, etc. The beer leaves you wanting to keep sipping heavily all day, just to keep getting that wonderful aftertaste. Definitely one to sip along through the days and nights. Enjoy!

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Fresh Hop Pale Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 1,552 ratings.
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