Hop Explosion
Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works

Hop ExplosionHop Explosion
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
IPA - American
Ranked #6,683
ABV:
7%
Score:
82
Ranked #42,899
Avg:
3.59 | pDev: 12.53%
Reviews:
31
Ratings:
115
From:
Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works
 
Pennsylvania, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  2
Gots
  21
SCORE
82
Good
Hop ExplosionHop Explosion
Notes:
Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 115 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Wattie83
Wattie83 from Pennsylvania

3.37/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat cloudy dark gold color with rocky white head. Some particulate floating around. Aroma is dull. Some malt, some citrus, but really subdued. I went back to check the date on this because the taste is missing the hops...its straight malt. Date is unreadable so I'm taking this with a grain of salt. A bit of fruit, no bitterness, no real character. Feel is medium and smooth. Overall, I may have an old can here, so I'll revisit when I can, but this one was not great.

Mar 19, 2020
Photo of tigg924
tigg924 from Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear, tan in color with 1/4 inch head. Taste is pine, grapefruit, and earthy hops with caramel malt. Light bodied, bitter with moderate carbonation. Hops jump in this one. Solid west coast style hop explosion. Good brew. Would have a couple but prefer others from the brewery.

Jul 06, 2019
Photo of JJKBeerLvr
JJKBeerLvr from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into pint glass in November 2017. No packaged date on the bottle, but I drank it less than 1 week after purchase.

Appearance: Deep gold body with thick light-tan head. Beer is a little cloudy as typical of an American IPA. Head is thick, and leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Aroma filled with a strong hops aroma, and includes grapefruit, pepper, other citrus, and pine smells.

Taste: There is a noticeable hops flavor, with some bitterness from the hops. There is good bite from the hops along with other flavors like citrus, and the hops bitterness is not overpowering. There is a little sweetness. The aftertaste provides a variety of flavors over time. Not overly bitter or hoppy, and has a nice balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, and alcohol, which matches the 7% posted.

This is a smooth medium-bodied beer, that is complex and enjoyable to drink. It is a good IPA, and is very well balanced. The aftertaste is really enjoyable. I would definitely drink this again.

February 3, 2018 update:
Compared Hop Explosion to the brewery's Hop'solutely IPA. The Hop Explosion had a much larger head and more lacing. Both have citrus and pine aromas, but Hop Explosion has more sweetness, while the Hop'solutely has more bitter aroma. Both has good IPA bitterness with citrus flavors, but the Hop'solutely is more intense. The mouthfeel of the Hop'solutely is heavier and stronger. Overall I prefer Hop'solutely over Hop Explosion, but both are good, and Hop Explosion is a good daily drinker.

Nov 26, 2017
Photo of IronLover
IronLover from Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

No freshness date on the bottle. Weathered copper orange in color with good clarity. Poured with a thick, off-white, creamy foam with good retention. Medium malty and caramel malt aromas. Medium spicy hop aromas. Medium bodied, a bit on the thinner side considering the malty character, with medium carbonation. Feel is a bit thin. Medium malt and caramel flavors. Medium light spicy hop flavors with medium high, sharp, spicy hop bitterness through the middle. Herbal, spicy flavors to the end. Finished semi-dryly with caramel maltiness followed by lingering spicy hop bitterness. A rather malty IPA, with sharp, biting bitterness. Feel was a bit thin. Easy drinking and malty.

Aug 14, 2017
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

3.14/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Clear amber with a large, frothy eggshell head leaving layers of lace.

Smell is biting pine, a little cat pee, and grapefruit zest.

Taste is less powerful zesty pine, not too woody or bitter, with bready caramel, and a little lime and grapefruit zest.

Frothy feel with a bitter, dry finish.

Sep 17, 2016
Photo of undeadozzy
undeadozzy from Pennsylvania

3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a deep golden hue with intense creamy solid white head that never went away,

S - Not picking up on any particular scent, maybe a little buttery cracker, but not very much in the hops department.

T - A heavy dose of hops on the initial sip, lots of pine and citrus that stains my mouth for several moments afterward. Some touches of pepper spice, maybe a hint of ginger freshness, some smoke, a little pineapple and grapefruit on the end. The end of the taste is more of the same, a little salty with some citrus hoppiness, and a even some cornbread sweetness on the way out.

M - Not very sticky, but thick. It has body, but not much character.

O - On it's own, it's a great IPA, but for something called "Hop Explosion", I was hoping for face warping levels of hoppiness not seen in quite some time. Still, the beer itself is wonderfully crafted, and tastes great. Just waiting for more of the namesake explosion of hoppy goodness.

Jan 18, 2014
Photo of LI_PO12
LI_PO12 from Pennsylvania

2.41/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Nitro On-tap growler fill into pint glass

Appearance- Dark copper, clear about a finger of white head that fades quick

Aroma- Faint for something named hop explosion, There are grassy hops some pine, caramel, biscuity malt but its not very strong. Was hoping for some citrus or tropical fruits but not to be.

Flavor- Some caramel malt sweetness, decent bitterness, grassy hops, some pine, its pretty muddy hard to pull out anything strong.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, fairly low carbination for an IPA, no alcohol present

Overall- Its kind of bland for the style not a whole lot of hops in terms of aroma or flavor here. Its not bad, just not something I would seek out or recommend.

May 10, 2013
Photo of Pencible
Pencible from Virginia

3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear dark gold with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like lemon and mango, with some copper and bready malt and a bit of honey.
T: It tasted like citrus zest and copper and grapefruit, with some honey and mango. It had a clean and bitter aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with a little carbonation. Oily body.
D: This was a nice IPA. The scent and taste were enjoyable. The body was good with a pretty smooth finish, so it was easy to drink. Nothing ground breaking, but a nice brew anyway.

Feb 03, 2013
Photo of Jimmys
Jimmys from Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. no date listed.

A: hazed orange/golden hue. bright white head left behind. good retention.

S: oranges, pine. hops off the bat.

T: lingering fruity/bitter flavor. oxidized. tired hop flavor. nothing to write home about, unfortunately.

M: moderate mouthfeel,medium bodied.

D: nothing too impressive. lots to be desired. beat hop flavor, but potential.

Nov 23, 2012
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.41/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at The Brass Rail in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a crystal clear dark copper in color with absolutely no hint of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall sticky/frothy/dense light beige head that quickly reduced to a very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a mottled group of thin patches with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of pine/resin hops with even lighter hints of grapefruit/citrus hops. Some light maltiness as well.

T: Moderate amounts of malt flavor with some light caramel malt sweetness and a heavy dosage of the pine/resin hop flavors. Additionally there are some lighter notes of grapefruit/citrus hops and a moderate bitterness that fades quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly sticky yet slightly thin at the same time.

O: A little too heavy with the pine/resin hop for my enjoyment but the alcohol is very well hidden in this one. Easy to drink and enjoy but not anything special.

Aug 16, 2012
Photo of mvanaskie13
mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass, color is copper to light amber with a nice light tan head that laces very well.

Smell is toasted and caramel malts with a nice hop fruitiness, notes of grapefruit and light pine with grapefruit flavors winning out.

Taste is prety clean, but a little to bitter of a mouthfeel makes the flavors tough to pinpoint, but mostly some clean malt hints of toast and caramel leaning more towards caramel at first but the toast/biscuit type flavors come through as it warms. hop flavors are different than the scent more towards the pine, resinous flavors with grapefruit flavors in the background.

Mouthfeel is more towards bitter at first but comes through more smoothly as it warms.

Overall, a solid ipa, maybe a bit to biscuity/toasty/caramely but the hop flavor is just right and a nice solid bitterenss.

Mar 21, 2012
Photo of PatDreadful
PatDreadful from Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Victorry Tulip.

Appearance: The crystal malt gives this a very nice dark amber complexion that yeilds a big fluffy two finger white head. The head leaves a beautiful sticky lace that lasts the whole drink through.

Smell: Typical West Coast nose with citrus dominating. The main difference here is the strong aroma of red grapefruit which is rare (at least for my nose) in an IPA. It works well and the piney notes really help to keep this thing grounded.

Taste: There are hops up front but not nearly as bright as I had hoped. The grapefruit and orange play center stage but quickly give way to a sweet malt and it all finishes with some strong hop bitterness. The middle and end are great for the style but with a name like "Hop Explosion" well, I guess I was hoping for a bit more up front.

Mouthfeel: Above average with a nice creamy feel and medium to high carbonation that allows the hop flavor to pop off your tongue.

I love to support local breweries but the higher tier pricing on this ($13/six pack) and the lack of upfront hop flavor may keep me away in the future. Of course, if I were ever to get this fresh I'd order it up in a second. Simply put- an average IPA that is nice but doesn't do much to impress.

Feb 21, 2012
Photo of iterationzero
iterationzero from New Jersey

2.73/5  rDev -24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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

Pours a nice dark golden color with one finger of head, decent retention and nice lacing. Light citrus notes highlight a wonderful smelling brew. Unfortunately, it doesn't drink as well as it looks and smells...

Nice start with fruit undertones that quickly give way to an over-hopped beer with little balance and an almost musty finish. Decent body and carbonation for an IPA.

There are certainly better IPAs to be had.

Feb 19, 2012
Photo of vicsju1991
vicsju1991 from Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass
A - dark amber/gold pour two finger head, with good lacing
S - delicious citrus, particularly grapefruit
t - hop explosion on my tongue, with a wonderful grapefruit finish
M - creamy and easily drinkable
O - delicious small ipa that was highly drinkable, and local and wonderful

Dec 18, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overheard a story about this beer about a month ago, apparently it got it name due to a freak accident at the brewery. Something left loose during the brewing process and it actually made the beer spray all over the place. This was just a story I heard not I don't have any facts to back it up. However the beer is pretty good. It poured out as a copped yellow color with a creamy white head on top. The smell of the beer was loaded with grapefruit and pine aromas. The taste of the beer is pretty good also, has plenty of hop sweetness and bitterness. The mouthfeel was good and overall I found this ipa to be enjoyable. I would drink it again if they ever have it on tap again.

Jul 20, 2011
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB from Pennsylvania

2.88/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Gotta 32oz growler from whole foods of this IPA

Out the growler, Not much of a explosion in terms of look, a copper lagerish look with a nice amount of foamy flimsy off white to tan head, no stick. It dies down real quick.

Smells real earthy and grainy and hoppy but not citrus laden. It's a grass bomb, that turns sweet malty quick. Not picking up any disernable fruits from the tropics.

Yeah, not so great, I guess Im just not digging the hop variety in this one as the tropics are not present, and while malty, it's not sweet enough to be in the realm of the East Coast IPA's, To tell you the truth I don't know what this is, it's different though. Grass, hay grain caramel, yep.

Feel is less than medium with a lowish carb, not that bitey on the tounge, sort of comes and goes which is nice in this case. Not my glass of beer.

Sep 03, 2010
Photo of oglmcdgl
oglmcdgl from Pennsylvania

3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A growler from whole foods.

A- two fingers of tan head from a hard pour that settles in a bit to a small cap nd a nice ring crystal clear orangeish brown in color.

S- big time caramel malts bounce off the grapefruit and pine hops.

T- definitely a east coast ipa here. Lots of toasty sweet malts with the hops playing second fiddle. Hops come off with lots of pine and to a lesser extent some earthy vegetative hits and a grapefruit rind touch.

M- on the fuller side of medium in body and on the other side of medium in carb.

D- its nice enough ipa. A bit heavy on the malts of my taste but its solid. I would love this at a spring bbq when there might be a cool breeze going.

Sep 03, 2010
Photo of mgbickel
mgbickel from Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub.

Served in a standard pint glass. A single finger of bone white head rested upon the golden-orange body.

The nose was weaker than I expected. Some light hops on top of a grainy backbone.

The taste is pretty much in line with the nose...some hops bite up front and at the end, but the middle is pretty boring...grassy with a tiny bit of malt flavor.

Light bodied, slick and well carbonated pretty much sums up the mouth feel.

Meh...not a bad beer, but not outstanding either. Refreshing and tasty still...

Aug 05, 2010
Photo of thain709
thain709 from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Served with a glowing amber body and a small, white head...the head didn't retain very much and didn't leave much lacing

S - Big, juicy, citrus hops...very nice aroma

T - The hops are the star in this beer...up front they are juicy and sweet with traces of grapefruit and some orange...in the middle there is a touch of caramel malt for balance...the end is bitter piney hops

M - Medium bodied...crisp and refreshing...good bitterness

D - This was a nice surprise from the Brew Works...this was a mild version of their Hops'lutely which was a little over the top if you ask me

Jul 26, 2010
Photo of hopdog
hopdog from Pennsylvania

4.32/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the BBW Brew Pub.

Poured a deeper orange/amber color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of overall citrus (grapefruit), pine with a splash of caramel. Tastes of the same. Very light alcohol in the finish. Nicely bitter. Light lacing left on the glass. Menu had the Alc Content @ 7.2%,

Notes from 9/9/06

Nov 25, 2008
Photo of doubleipa
doubleipa from Georgia

3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this at the Harrisburg brewfest. Appearance - amber color with a mostly diminished head. Aroma - mostly pine and resin. Taste - bitter, dry and noit much hoppiness. Mouthfeel - dry. Ok as an IPA, ut not something I would go our of my way to drink or find.

Jun 26, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu from New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a bright, hazy golden-orange with a creamy white head.

S: On the nose was some citrus and flora notes, a moderate level of hoppiness. Nose was lighter then expected.

T: there was a medium level of hoppiness, fresh citrus, some grapefruit against a nice palate of fresh wet grains. There was a dry floral hop fade.

M: was light, a tad watery but modest on hopping and very smooth.

D: A very smooth and light drinking ipa which is best suited as a session ipa rather then one named as such. A tad disappointing considering name and style but moderately enjoyable by itself.

May 24, 2008
Photo of tempest
tempest from New York

3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewpub.

This immediately reminds me of Weyerbacher's Hops Infusion made up the road in Easton. While there's a lot of citrus hops flavors, this beer has almost no balance. Just really big hops. It's too much I think, the flavors are too intense for their own good. I like a good IPA or DIPA, but this one doesn't drink right.

Nov 17, 2007
Photo of brentk56
brentk56 from North Carolina

3.44/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Arrives at the table with a clear dark golden color and a modest head that drops to a film but continues to provide sheets of lace

Smell: There is some citrus here, but an unfortunate vegetal aroma is clearly present

Taste: Starts out with a sweet bready flavor as the malts assert themselves; after the swallow, the hoppy flavors arrive but it is not a citrusy west coast hop profile (as advertised) but rather a piney, slightly metallic bitterness

Mouthfeel: Just a tad slight of a medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not a bad IPA, but lacks the citrus to proclaim itself as a true West Coast version of the style

May 19, 2007
Photo of jdg204
jdg204 from Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this brew with a lovely dinner at the very loved Bethlehem Brew Works and it was quite an intense experience.

Appearance - Very nice amber color with a thick white head.

Smell - HOPS, WOW. This beer was so intensely spiced that it came through overwhelmingly and it gave the beer an odd, raw cheese smell. The first sign that we had gone overboard a bit here, though a citrus undertone was present (note it the tone undertone should be the other way around).

Taste - WOW, again the hops just blow you out of the water. The sweet citrus flavor was nice, but the hops were totally out of balance and completely overwhelmed the flavor with their rawness.

Mouthfeel - Consistency of the brew was pretty good but again the hops overwhelm your mouth and really overwhelm the taste buds.

Drinkability - Well it definetly belongs in the West Coast style IPA camp as proclaimed, but it's way too much. I've finally met my match in hops, though I'm not sure if it was the amount as much as the lack of balance and the sheer rawness (leading to the odd cheese odor). Not a great recco.

May 12, 2007
Hop Explosion from Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 115 ratings