Farmington River Hop River IPA | Ipswich Ale Brewery

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Farmington River Hop River IPAFarmington River Hop River IPA
35 Ratings
Farmington River Hop River IPAFarmington River Hop River IPA

Brewed by:
Ipswich Ale Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 09-19-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 |  Reviews: 28
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of far333
3.65/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear liquid, but dark honey colored with a frothy orangey-beige head that rises up high and falls back slowly leaving oily legs of lace running up the glass. Aroma is light sweet malt and a mix of flowery and citrusy hops, neither one overpowering the other. Flavor is intially sweet biscutity malt, followed by citrus hops, a bit of tangerine, and a piney finish. Orange peel lingers in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is full and creamy, not too bubbly. Wouldn't mind it more hoppy, but it's very smooth and pretty drinkable.

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Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Delaney's. Serviceable IPA. An understated bitterness, drying. Orange body with some white head.Ho-hum flavour for the style of an American IPA. Still drinkable.Nothing stands out, unoffensive. I should get some hop aromas and am not.OK if only beer on for the night but its not.

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Photo of akorsak
3.3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle brought back from Massachusetts by a friend. This is also my 100th American IPA review.

A: The ale is a dark brown color, looking like muddy creek water. At the narrow base of the glass, brighter orange colors emerge but they can't cut through the haziness.

S: The nose is grainy malt, biscuity with some caramel sweetness. A hoppy aroma cuts through the malts adding a light citrusy profile.

T: More of a plain ol' pale ale than an India pale ale, this beer relies on the biscuity malt body to carry the day. Nutty toffee flavors mix with the biscuity cereal flavor to create a full taste that doesn't need much help from the hops. Only in the latter stages of a sip do the hops emerge. They add a subtle zest before allowing the malts to send the beer on its way.

M: Definitely an APA, this beer is focused on the malty side, giving only cursory glance to the hops.

D: The ale is an easy drink but don't expect an abundant hop profile.

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Photo of fitzy84
2.24/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bought a sample pack recently of the Farmington River brands from Mercury. The appearance had a nice ruby look the drink with some decent lacing and a thin head. The color was darker and thicker near the top showing through the light. The beer lacked any good solid aromas for my palate. Sensed the subtle spice and hop, but I really felt the aromas were really weak. Taste follows the aroma in rating. Specifically, the taste has a really dull, bitterness to it without any of the hinted spice. Mouthfeel aids in giving the drink crispness. However, I do not consider this an IPA I would drink now and again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.18/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am getting spoiled being able to start drinking in the afternoon lately, lol. I cracked this one open with a couple slices of pizza for lunch. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 12/27/2009.

Wicked pour, very, very nice I have to admit. Deep amber color, with loads of copper hints to it that really set it apart from the crowd. Thick, sticky head forms on the top and just drips down the sides of the glass, coating the entire thing on the way down, really just wonderful looking. Deep, resin filled aroma. Loads of pine, with caramel malts, touches of rich hop notes a plenty come wafting through the air. The first sip was alot fuller then I thought it would be, really full bodied for an IPA, with a smoothness that was very welcome. Nice touches of fruit start biting through the hops as you work your way down the glass and the smooth, mellow balance between the malt was superb. Very rich and easy drinking it made a wonderful start to the afternoon.

Overall very solid. I was not expecting it to be as good as it was and was quite shocked. A must try ipa.

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Photo of Jahsteve
3.75/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of Boccu
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Nice head. Nice aroma. Nice beer not amazing. Average at best. Very drinkable. Dark Amber coloring. Great Brewery. I'll explore the rest of the line.

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Photo of geexploitation
4/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This IPA pours with a nice, small-bubbled foam and a base that's almost ruby brown. The aroma is nice, with soft, earthy hops and a distinct zestiness. On the tongue, this beer is initially nicely bitter, but not overpoweringly so, with a fruity/sweet malt background. It's somewhat like an English bitter with more (and more assertive) hops. Mouthfeel is a touch astringent, but well balanced by the malt.

This is an excellent session beer, much like an English bitter with a more bitter kick.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

T: The taste starts out a little malty with sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. Then a decent hops presence comes in but doesn't over-power you with too much bitterness. The hearty malt character provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, there are a lot of other IPA's I would pick first but this is still a solid beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of JTomczak
2.5/5  rDev -24.5%

Photo of jdhilt
1.72/5  rDev -48%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly, leaving some lace. Cloudy brown/amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Piney hops and paint thinner nose. Flavor starts with sweet malt but quickly goes to hop and finishes with a paint thinner aftertaste. IPAs are not my favorite but this one needs a lot of work. Overpriced at $1.50 for a 12oz bottle from Manchester Wine and Liquors Manchester, CT.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.52/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hop River IPA pours a cloudy orange/red copper color with a medium bodied creamy off white head on top. The foam dissolves quickly down to a thick ring around the beer leaving behind a few spots and lines of lace on te glass.

The aroma is rather faint. There's a fair amount of toasted and caramel malt with hints of floral and citrus hops in the nose. Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is very smooth and almost chewy. A soft fizz tingles the tip of the tongue. The flavor is more malt than hops. It begins sweet with caramel and pale malt. Almost like butterscotch. Towards the end the hops move it and balance out the sweet with bitter flavors of grass and orange citrus. Once gone some of the sweet malt flavor lingers on the palate.

This is a strange IPA. Not very hoppy and I'd say it's almost like a scotch ale with all its sweet malt flavor.

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Photo of jaxon53
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of KarlosT
3/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this as a cask ale at the Grill Next Door.

I love IPA's. They're my beer of choice.

However, I did not like this beer. Although I'm sure they used fresh hops both in the wort and during dry hopping, it reminded me of pine sol. The plant smell and taste (pine trees) was a bit over-whelming.

Would not order again.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.32/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew was served from the tap at The Boxcar Cantina in Greenwich, CT. It arrived in standard pint glasses as a dark amber color. There was no head to speak of, and thus no lacing. There was a mild haze throughout, and the carbonation was lighter. The nose sang of malts which were toasty and metallic. Dried apricots and cranberries added sweetness and fruitiness. Additionally, fruity and floral hop inclusions were there through the back. Buttery notes, with salt and synthetic chemical phenols rounded out the back. Our first impression was that this is pretty mild. As we sipped, bitter grass and floral hops hit first. Metallic, grainy malts mixed in, giving even more bitterness. There were watery, metallic malts through the middle, with light apricot, much like Magic Hat #9. There was more bittering rind of lemon on the back, with more citric hops and metals. Chemically, aspirin bite came through, with a puckering sour finish. The aftertaste was buttery, metallic of green peppers, toasted of caramel, and bitterly of grass. The body was medium, and the carbonation was way up there. The mouth was lightly coated, with astringency of grain. There was decent froth and bubble, but this became a bit overwhelming. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank easily with the meal (enchiladas and mini burritos).

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the ease of drinkability and the refreshing nature of the beer. The mild hop inclusions and malt profile make this an easy beer to enjoy. It goes well with a spicy meal, but the metallics, underwhelming hops, and overbearing carbonation make us search for more.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.24/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

from a brewery whose flagship offerings are somewhat middle-of-the-road comes a determined, focused effort. cheers!

burnt amber orange with patchy film on the surface of a pint glass. microscopic lace beads and a ring of white foam. nice caramelly aroma balanced with grassy, oily green hop additions. fresh and rich nose. dastardly piercing taste bud introduction, with an immediate bitterness activation. what follows is unexpected refreshment for something so resonant. lots of carbonation in the mouthfeel, possibly a contributing factor (which can't even attempt to interfere with flavor or texture). helps the beer feel light going down. trace amounts of lawn flavor in the end and pretty much no fruit or citrus anywhere to be found here. interesting and overall a fresh, local offering that i'd recommend to any hophead.

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Photo of WesWes
3.78/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a hazy light amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a wonderful malt scent that boasts of pale, light crystal, and bisquit malts. There is a light hop aroma, but nothing too pronounced. The taste is decent also. Don't get me wrong, I love the malt flavor, but it really overpowers the hop content. It's smooth with breadlike character along with a bitter hop finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is extemely drinkable. It's smooth, malty, hoppy, and just a fine session beer.

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Photo of bjohnson
2.91/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: When opened this beer pours almost all foam into the glass. After it's opened for ten minutes or so, it pours much easier. With that said it pours a cloudy amber color with an extra frothy head with sticky lacing and great retention. Theres both good and bad here.
S: Slight citrus and pine hop presence, but not much else going on.
T/M: Floral and pine hop flavors are the first hop noets but are quite subtle. Maltyness is in there but only as a supporting actor. Slick across the palate--bitterness is a bit sharp. Dry finish with a fruityness to it--bitterness lingers in the back of the throat.
D: I'd pass on this if seen again. Not very complex or well balanced.

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Photo of Jayli
2.22/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Acquired this one from TheManiacalOne so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!

A: This beer pours a murky copper color with a thin offwhite film that sits on top. Leaves a decent amount of wispy lacing on the side of the glass.

S: Nose is quite off. Some piney hops touch of caramel malts but they're sharp and distracting.

T: Taste is overbearingly sweet of caramel malts. Minor hints of citrus hops are present. This beer is not well balanced and that malt flavoring dominates any hint of hops.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, somewhat creamy with a dry finish.

D: This beer is far too malty to be representative of an American IPA. It may fall more in line with an APA. Flavors are somewhat harsh. I would pass on this one in the future.

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Photo of Stimack
3.97/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew poured to a amber color, that was somewhat cloudy. Did poses a fair sized light tan colored head that did not have much retention and left only a slight amount of lacing. The aroma is nice, toasted malts along with a pretty strong hop scent, citrus from my take. The flavors are also nice, has a creamy feel mixed with the roasted malt flavor at the start, which quickly breaks to a hop taste that dominated through the end. For an IPA the hop taste seems to be refined and a little laid back, a little light for an IPA? Over all this is a fine brew, one I would get again. This is a nice brew for sitting back and taking your time with.

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Photo of optikon44
3.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Though the label suggests this beer is "deep golden," mine poured cloudy amber. Evenly dispersed bubbles float up to the head, which holds tan and creamy for about a minute before turning to lace.

Since I am a big-time hop fan, the fact that I can smell this while it's still sitting on the table is nice. Beautiful spice overtones mix with toasty malt and sharp, flowery hops.

And the sip... Big beer, definitely makes its presence known. It's soft and creamy with a healthy dose of malt. Though wrapped in hoppy bitterness, the balance between the yeast, malt, and hops is a bit off - leaning more toward the former elements. It has a nice astringency in the finish, but the flavor that sticks with you is malt.

Overall, I think this is the weakest offering from Farmington River. Drinkable, but not the one I'll reach for when it's an IPA I crave.

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Photo of rorjets
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of NEhophead
3.23/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle.
No best before date.

A clean looking caramel in color beneath a lightly tan head, dense head of foam. A wall of condensed lacing that holds nicely.

Semi-sweet, burnt caramel malts. Gritty and musty, pine-scented floral hops. Hints of lemon zest and grapefruit.

Biscuity, burnt caramel creaminess. Piney floral hops with an overriding chlorine-like mustiness. A dark, mellow bitterness filled with spruce and pine needles. Toasted bread and pine in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied; mild and creamy on the palate that leaves a layer of film from the bleach-mustiness.

An IPA too heavy on the biscuity-malt character in an effort to balance the intoxicatingly musty pine, hop profile

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Photo of UnionMade
4.74/5  rDev +43.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a pint of this at it's debut at Eli Cannon's earlier today.
Deep, rich reddish caramel, in the vein of new england style IPAs, topped with a full froth of sticky head. Aroma is a citrus explosion. Very punchy, with a lighter floral nuance from the dry hopped East Kent Goldings. Plenty of malt backbone on this beast, toasty caramel, slight buttery creaminess, with hop flavor riding high all the way through. Finishes with high tension bitterness, still within reason, absolutely glowing with american citrus. Super fresh. Nice little floral nuance throughout. Pretty clean, with minimal esters and really no off flavors, at least that I can pick up. Sturdy carbonation, and fairly full bodied.
They really outdid themselves with this one. Wow. Right up there with Smutty's IPA and Willibrew's. Wonderful. This is serious session beer. Now where's the bottles?

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Photo of eyeamthewind
2.88/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Looks richer than other cheap IPAs, orangey brown, not hazy, pretty bubbly. Small head, some lacing but falls down the sides.

Has a malty yeast smell with some muted citrus scent and a slight funk. Smells better as it warms up, nothing floral though.

Tastes bready at first and then bitter like an esb. The hop bitterness is squashed up against the malt bitterness and neither one is spectacular to begin with. The malt is more apparent and it plays on your tongue nicely until the finish. Fades to a metallic bitterness that kind of kills it for me.

Pretty rich in the mouth but the bubbliness robs some flavor. Bites the tongue going down and is pretty thirst quenching.
The final taste clings to the back of the tongue and leaves an unpleasant aftertaste, bitter steel.

A thirst quenching but odd and unsessionable ipa. My local store had 6$ sixers and 10$ mixed 12 packs. Really not horrible, better than the other farmington river brews. No pleasant hop flavor that I look for in an IPA. A good beer with a horrible aftertaste.

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Farmington River Hop River IPA from Ipswich Ale Brewery
Beer rating: 3.31 out of 5 with 35 ratings