Hop Test #1 | Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing

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17 Ratings

Brewed by:
Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MicroBeerMan1980 on 12-11-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 10
Reviews by akorsak:
Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A growler filled earlier today. Hop Test #1 with Citra hops.

A: The IPA (or DIPA or however you want to classify it) is a light golden color, yellow with a few drops of darker brown to add that heft. Each pour generates a sizeable head, over a finger, that laces like a frosted glass.

S: The citra really sings in the ale, a powdery orange zest aroma that drips with sweetness. Underneath the hops, an average caramel base lingers.

T: Boy, that citra really is awesome. Easily in my top five, it brings so much sweet orange pulp and zest to the ale. The citrus sweetness never rises to the too-bitter realm, a solid sweetness that runs throughout the ale. The caramel and biscuit underbelly is soft and able to hold the hops without problem. The rich citrus bite (that bitterness builds as I go on) drives a solid finish, mildly bitter with that orange undertone. Far and away Pizza Boy's pièce de résistance.

M: Sweet hoppiness defines the ale, leafy and dripping with soft bitterness. Easily the best beer to date. I'd love to see this become the house beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
3.78/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: White, fluffy head with decent retention. Nice lacing around the glass. Straw/orange hazy body.

S: Pine and citrus. There's a sweet and slightly sour tinge in there. The hearty, sweet malts are very prevalent.

T: Very nice pine and citrus hop profile greets you immediately. It overwhelms the malt profile a bit. I was expecting more layers of malt underneath. It lays a bit flat in that regard. Balancing is a tad off. It's a great test beer though.

M: It's wide and flat on the palate. The hops leave a tannic piney taste that lingers for a while.

D: This ale could be very drinkable if it's tweaked a little bit. I look forward to the next batch!

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Photo of prdstmnky
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of bum732
3/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of DrBier
3/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of StormKing47
3/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of prodgerm
3/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of John_M
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted at Al's the other day. There were two different Hop Test IPA's available, and I went with the citra hop version.

The beer pours a golden amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. I don't get a whole lot on the nose, just some light dry citrus and very light pine. The flavor profile replicated the nose pretty closely in this dry style IPA, and I felt as if there was some underlying "graininess" as well. There was some noticeable bitterness in the finish, but not as much as I was expecting in an IPA/DIPA. Mouthfeel was actually pretty light, and the beer does not come across as a 9% abv. DIPA (I don't recall seeing the abv. listed as that high on the draft menu board).

Mehhhh.... while not a bad beer, I didn't feel there was anything to get very excited about either. I tried this side by side with the hopslam (probably a bit unfair, I'll be the first to admit), and the quality difference was pretty extraordinairy. The hoptest seems a bit weak in the knees even as a straight IPA, and I'm surprised to see it listed on BA as a DIPA. Still, this is a just a test batch, and hopefully the brewer will tweak and improve the recipe over time.

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Photo of yergermeister
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Photo of orangesol
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on cask at Al's of Hampden. I have had all the versions of this one but this review will be for the Warrior version.

A - Pours amber orange with a dense one and a half finger tall white head leaving thin streaks of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of strong citric hops, pine, light spice, and some buiscuity caramel malt. The bitterness is pretty strong but not overpowering.

T - Starts off with a big dose of citric hop bitterness that never really fades away. Hints of pine resin, light spice, and lightly toasted caramel malt try to keep things balanced but the over the top bitterness make it hard to detect much more. Finish is very dry from all the bitterness with a touch of sweetness creeping in as it warms. Dial back the bitterness and this one may be pretty good.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Gets a bit watery as it sits in the glass but most do. Very bitter feel throughout, leaving the pallet very dry.

O - Not a bad start. It needs to have the bitterness toned down a bit but other than that it was pretty good. I am looking forward to when he gets this one dialed in, should be pretty good.

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Photo of stakem
2.95/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

(Review from notes taken 2 years ago.) Hop test is a sort of collective playground name that encompases several different brews. This is a consolidated review of the nugget and warrior versions of "hop test." On cask served in a nonic from the handpump. The brew appears a hazed amber with frothy white head that maintains with decent retention. The more I look at the glass, the more it takes on a clouded orange coloration.

The smell of the nugget version is fruity with rinds and cheese. A tropical fruit aspect mingles with a cooling almost menthol aspect. Across the back is faint caramel sweetness with a bit of biscuit quality. Quite a bit of yeasty sulfur notes are evident. The warrior version is quite similar but with more focus on minty herbal elements with the fruited quality hiding behind. The warrior version as has a slight mineral aspect that was not found in nugget. Strangely enough, even though nugget had more of a focus on fruit, the warrior was more juicy smelling overall.

The taste of this brew will set you in place. Brutal hop forward bitterness is huge with rindy aspects, pulp, herbs and pine. This brew makes chewing on grapefruit pulp seem like an easy walk in the park. A bit of mango aspect comes across with more sips. Half-way through the glass, it gets so bitter that it almost tastes burnt. The warrior version slightly shows some toasty grain indications behind the oily hop bitterness. Rindy with a bit of dirty fruits. Mildly reminiscent of burnt plastic.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a light level of carbonation from the cask delivery. At times it seems a bit watery but is excessively oily and harsh with its bitterness. This is not balanced and the overall drinkability suffers from that. For someone craving more hops the better this might be your thing but I think it needs tamed back quite a bit.

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Photo of runner_pe
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of OldYoda
3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is exactly what it claims - a test batch from cask #1.

Appearence is great - looks like a standard Imperial IPA, golden and slightly opaque.
Smell is pine and hops with a faint hint of citrus and malt
Taste is sharp and right up front. The hops linger.
Mouthfeel is strong and again, right up front. Nothing shy about this batch.
Overall a fine first effort. I would come back to this again and I would almost compare this to what I think an Imperial Two Hearted would taste like. I look forward to Pizza Boy coming to full production.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.37/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ran through some of the IPAs brewed at Al's of Hampden a week or so ago. Catching up on reviews now. Let me tell you something, go drink their beer. They have some real brewing geniuses in the making there.

Went for the Citra version of this.

A: Semi-hazy yellow pour without much head.

S: Very much the typical Citra hop aromas. Piney, citrus, and a big hop bitterness.

T: The taste is pretty light. Oranges and piney hops. The taste is a bit more fruity than I was expecting.

MF: Light, carbonated well, crisp finish. The hops do linger on the palate a bit too long. It borders on unpleasant.

O: This was only OK. That's why they test them!

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Photo of Slatetank
2.87/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I had this on cask at Al's -served cask temp in a Pizza Boy Brewing pint.

The color is bright amber with gentle has as expected from the cask, but light cloudiness with thick white cap with average sized bead. The smell is very fruity with a tinge of spice and mild pine esters, very heavy on the hops in the scent of this ale. The feel is less than pleasant with overdone bitterness and astringency intensity, like sucking on a hop pellet it is mouth drying and acidic almost hearburn inducing with the alcohol on top of it.

The flavor is half decent with some raw hop tastes and light malt, the hops overwhelm immediately with bitter and acidic taste with a relativelly high amount of alcohol in the flavor. The drying bitterness removes the opportunity to taste after a few gulps so unsure if there is more to this than the 1 note of hop assault. Overall I would not recommend more than 1 - I thought it was interesting using different dry hops in the cask, but honestly feel it was a waste because it is so bitter you don't really get much enjoyment from the small amount of hop flavor. It tastes like it was made to wreck your palate -not my thing.

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Photo of THECPJ
2.98/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes:

Appearance: golden yellow orange with a 1 finger white head

Smell: citrus, papaya, tropical fruits, hops, malts,

Taste: tropical fruit, hops, malty,

Mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

Overall: decent IPA, I think pizza boy is going to be on the up and up from here.


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Photo of HopHeadRyan
4.47/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Disclaimer: This brew is listed as an American Double/Imperial IPA - should be a regular American IPA - this brew is only 6% alcohol and is not imperial...

A truly great brew! Very unique and different but an excellent take on a Citra IPA...I might have categorized this as something other than an IPA but not sure what...maybe a Pale Wheat...none-the-less it is a great brew!

Growler fill from Al's of Hampden (my second growler fill for this particular brew; I've also had their porter which was amazing)...

A - Foggy blonde yellow...creamy 1 inch head...some mild lacing...appears to have some wheat mlat based on the clarity and color...(also softness of mouthfeel; however it could be due to hard water in these parts)...

S - Delicious dank tropical fruits, herbs, pine resin...the Citra hops are definitely working their magic here...can't wait to drink...

T- The taste follows the smells perfectly...very juice dank citrus and pine...creamy...not too bitter but enough to qualify this b/w the lines of a pale ale and an IPA...very unique and delicious!

M - Soft, creamy, lower carbonation, very nice!

Overall - An excellent hoppy pale brew! Not sure if this is a pale ale, and IPA, or a hoppy wheat...no matter...it is an excellent brew and should definitely be in Pizza Boys future flagship line up!

Try it if you are in the area...growler fills are very reasonable...excellent brew!


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Hop Test #1 from Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing
Beer rating: 3.38 out of 5 with 17 ratings