Hoptober Golden Ale | New Belgium Brewing

very good
497 Reviews
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Hoptober Golden AleHoptober Golden Ale

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Riccymon on 08-20-2009

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Reviews: 497 | Ratings: 963
Photo of musicman575
3.21/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I started drinking Hoptober a year ago. It was my gateway to beers with more hops. This is a good beer to drink for my 1st BA anniversary!

Poured aggressively into a stemmed New Belgium glass and the head is still small. It has the color and transparency of pure, filtered apple juice.

The oatiness is much more apparent to me now than it was a year ago, probably because I am more used to the hops now. This beer used to finish like a stronger pale ale, but now I can hardly taste any bitter hops. It's all aromatic citrusy, piney, and pineappley hops.

Even at 6% ABV, this beer feels very drinkable, much like an oktoberfest is drinkable. The bottle says that this is a medium-bodied beer and I don't agree with that.

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Photo of argock
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased at Whole Foods (Charlottesville, VA) for $3.99.

A: Pleasing light amber with 1-2 finger foamy light beige head with good retention and plenty of lace up and down the glass.

S: Very nice rounded aroma with good balance of hops and malt aromas. The hops are a little more pronounced with citrus, herbal, and floral most prominent, but the maltiness is no slouch with a good dose of crystal malt which provides a good balance of caramel and toffee along with the pretty substantial pale amlt base.

T: This beer is one of my biggest surprises of the year. It is balanced and highly drinkable. I don't think blonde ale is correct for this beer as it screams APA with the strong orange citrus and floral flavors. It has some English pale ale flair as well with plenty of tea-like and herbal flavors. Maltiness is not forgotten, and caramel, toffee, and some soft chocolate flavors come through. This is a really nice rounded brew that really fits the APA style more in my opinion as it promotes hoppiness foremost but also doesn't neglect malt complexity. Hoptober is the best APA I have had this year.

M: A nice coating mouthfeel to this beer with even carbonation and a firm medium body, supported by generous malting.

O: This beer does not get enough respect -- it is a very good APA with plethora of hops and malt aromas and flavors. I am really impressed with this beer. Will I spend the money to buy this over a now $12.49/6-pack FW Union Jack -- probably not as I think UJ is one of the best IPAs around. But Hoptober is a sneaky good IPA that I would love as an everyday beer for its balance, body, and fresh hops and malt flavors.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

New Belgium Hoptober is a pleasant and drinkable beer. Not a whole lot of flavour though.

A: Yellow colour with a 3 mm head that fades to good lacing. 4

S: Grainy with a reasonable amount of hoppiness. 3.5

T: Grainy with a hint of tanginess in the tail. A small amount of bitterness is noticeable. 3.5

M: Foamy. 4

O: Pleasant and drinkable. 3.5

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Photo of grover37
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Half of a 22oz bomber ($4 from D'Vines) poured into a 40cl Allaglass.

Appearance (4.5): A very clear light gold or dark yellow. One fat finger of dense head reduces to a thick layer. Some lacing at the top. Lots of carbonation with streamers maintaining the head.

Smell (4): Strong citrus notes of lemon, mango, and some grapefruit. Some bread or cracker but mostly dominated by fruit and perhaps some pine(-sol?).

Taste (3.5): Orange and mango up front, with a moderate bitterness balanced by a light bready character. Middle is mellow but with a stronger, but smooth, bitterness. The finish is more orange and a touch of lemon and pine. More sweetness here than I thought with a lingering flavor; not very crisp like I expect from a blond (a good thing?). A touch of bitterness sticks around on the tongue. Overall, the flavor is characterized by a semi-sweet fruitiness with a muted malt character.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Fairly effervescent but not particularly prickly. A smooth and somewhat soft mouthfeel juxtaposes a decent amount of bitterness. The flavors linger and are slightly coating.

Overall (4): Somewhere between a blond and an IPA, this is a very drinkable beer. Very light overall but with some great fruit flavors. This is better than I recall when I last tried it in 2009 and I will probably pick up some more.

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Photo of cbarrett4
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with persistent head, sticky lace, good golden hue.

Simple and straightforward aromas of spice and peach, perhaps a gourd like hint. The flavors miss big time. Overly sweet and sticky, lacking the acidity or texture to really overcome the fruit cocktail medley of flavors.

I was at first expecting a more 'Oktoberfest' style brew, but even this being dubbed a golden ale, I found the style departed from the usual drinkable and balanced New Belgium recipe. Perhaps the 2011 batch had a little extra something that added more sweetness and less acidity. Though it does seem to be a commercially appealing style. But it reminds me waaay to much of Blue Moon....

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Photo of secondtooth
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clean and golden, with a thick and frothy head of whitish bubbles. Supremely beautiful and detailed lace.

Nose says citrus-hoppy. It's clean, fresh, and enticing.

Taste is zesty --- hops present up front, with citrus (lemon and orange) coming up prominently. Malts seem to balance well, giving a highly drinkable, session-worthy feel.

Delightful, light, and quite tasty, Hoptober's a winner any way you look at it.

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

Pale gold color, and brilliantly clear. Pours a rocky white head with moderate retention.

Aroma is piney hops, and generally quite clean.

Biscuity malt flavor, followed by a nice gentle hop flavor. Finishes gently bitter, and this bitterness lingers into the finish.

Medium body and low-medium carbonation. No astringency or warming, the mouthfeel is fairly non-descript and unoffensive.

Overall a nice little hoppy ale with that New Belgium tweak. Very pleasant and clean, and not overpowering in any way.

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Photo of billab914
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into my Allagash glass. It poured golden amber in color with a frothy white head filling the top inch of the glass. Good head retention and excellent lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a bright, floral hoppiness to it. I get some citrusy notes of lemon and grapefruit to it. I get a little of the pale malts peeking though, but the hops are definitely steal the show in the aroma at least.

The taste starts off with more of the floral, citrusy hoppiness to it. Towards the finish I get more of a bitter, citrus rind hoppiness coming through. More of the pale malts come out as well in the finish. Nice flavors to it overall.

The mouthfeel definitely has a little added body and creaminess from the oats, which I really like. The carbonation is moderate. Overall it was a very flavorful and delicious beer. The hoppiness was very bright and fresh which made it very drinkable overall. really liked the mouthfeel as well. Excellent beer for the style as well.

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Photo of KMcG
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very clear straw color with nice 1-2 finger head that settled quickly.

S: The aroma is sweet with citrus and very mild (faint) floral tones

T: The malty and hoppy components are quite balanced at a medium range. There is an earthiness to this beer and the hops are noticeable, especially toward the end.

M: medium-light body and definitely creamy. A little heavier than I would expect from a blonde, but it works for fall style.

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Photo of Chris585
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden Blonde Beauty poured from my bottle. Slight bubbly, with a one inch foamy head. VERY fresh. Retention is excellent.

S - Clean wet hops, grassy and slightly lemon peel and malt in the back, maybe way back.

T - Hoppy and lemony up front with great carbonation that I enjoy with this style. Its a Hoppier Octoberfest style brew that I enjoy.

M - Mouth is sticky and slight frothy from the head and carbonation. Its a Beautiful Blonde Ale that matches this style great, and a little different for October style beers.

O - One of my favorite go to beers for this time of year. Great refreshing taste which I crave around April - July...always anticipated this coming back this year....Very NICE! Glad I could find this so quickly this time!! CHEERS! would be nice if New Belgium made this a year round brew!

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Photo of afdempse
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into a chalice

Pours a light golden color, crystal clear. White creamy head that gently fades into a wisp.

Nose of ripe fruits and spice - difficult to detect much in the way of hops at this point, although it seems as though there may be a Belgian yeast strain at play.

Rounded flavor with a bitter edge. Malt presence is light and slightly fruity. A peppery twang comes on later along with some creaminess in the mouthfeel. Carbonation is medium-high.

Finishes semi-dry with a mildly astringent hoppiness.

A refreshing beer, not quite what I was expecting, but I enjoyed it.

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

Two things to start. I don't like seeing Fall beers in August, and I don't like Blonde Ales as fall beers. I'll try to not let that affect my review!

A: Yellow, bubbly pour with a huge white head. The sticky lacing and retention are both wonderful. Great looking beer.

S: Wow this is a hoppy smelling blonde ale. Very grassy, slight notes of malt.

T: The grassy hops start the beer off nicely. Malt backbone. The taste is subtle, balanced, not in your face. Great drinking beer. Wouldn't mind having this at a tailgate for sure.

MF: Light, smooth, a slight creaminess. Carbonation seems low.

O: I was impressed here. The taste is solid, goes down easily. More of a summer than a fall seasonal though.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoptober Golden Ale is a clear, golden colored brew with a big, bubbly white head. Lots of lacing sticks to the glass. There's just a slight chill haze, and no rising carbonation bubbles. The scent is pretty nice and consists mostly of a variety of hops, ranging from floral to citrus and just a bit of bitter. The taste starts off with a pale malt start, toasty, pretty spicy, I guess very spicy for the style. Nice floral undercurrents, some wheat grains, I think some rye as well. The malt profile is getting fairly complex the more I let this one run around my mouth. Some lemon zest and some grassy notes as well. The hops finish bitter. Medium bodied with a dry finish.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice yellow/gold, small head, mild lace.

The smell has some bubblegum up front with some very nice floral and citrus hop notes. Keeps me interested.

Pale malts and earth start the taste. Floral hops and a hint of caramel sweetness follow. Citrus and a slight hint of minerals make up the finish. A little heavy in the mouth for a blonde.

Good seasonal brew from NB. I grew up on (and outgrew) Fat Tire, and love to check in on one of my homestate OG's. I grabbed a sixer and will probably wait until next year to grab another.

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Photo of jefe2
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at trudy's 8/21/2011
a slightly hazy yellow w orange tinge, white med size head
S faint smell, little bit of eatery fruit, faint citrus hops
T- citrus hops, mild diluted eatery fruit juice, tiny bit of
tangy malts.
M light, good crisp carbonation
D very easy to drink, eatery refreshing sweetness, light citrus hops with a bit of bitterness in finish, thirst quenching

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Photo of Chaney
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Welcome to DC New Belgium.... earthquake and all....

NB is new to the DC area and everyone's excited.... including me. Not only is it in the craft beer gourmet markets, but I bought this one over at Safeway!

Presently #3 in the Blonde Ale category huh? Hell, I thought Victory Summer Lover was much better.

A: Golden ale for sure! Crystal clear, with a slight foamy head that died down within seconds.

S: Not much.... maybe some slight puffs of malt.

T: Hmmm... Slides down the throat VERY well. Blonde Ale huh? I can see that. Mild hop profile, but overall, this was very lager-like.

M: First of all, the lacing was ridiculous! After that, the carbonation was great for the style, and the brew had a very clean finish, but nothing special.

O: I think the other reviews on BA are totally in line with my experience overall. Good, but not great. Someone would have to twist my arm to order this one in a bar....

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Photo of drabmuh
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this is #3 American Blonde Ale on beeradvocate.com best of styles lists. Served in a New Belgium goblet because I am one sick bastard and this sort of thing gets me off.

Beer is amber to blonde....clear with a thin white head of small bubbles, some lacing moderate carbonation.

Aroma is mildly sweet and a little grainy, eh...

Beer is light in body with a grainy finish but not offputting. It is an interesting and decent beer, I drank the whole bomber of it out of my awesomeness tulip and I'd have more. It is mildly hoppy even on the midpalate, minimal yeast contribution.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very shocking large white head with some fairly good retention and foamy, sits on a crystal clear lager like straw gold body.

Sweet grain and almost corn like, but goes more to honey on the nose. Faint hint of grass like hop, but sweetly dominant smelling.

Taste is a hop and grass mix of crispness. Sweet grain in the mid palate and doesn't bring a hind of adjunct suggested from the nose. Small lingering hop bitter on the finish with some citrus zest in the aftertaste. Texture is a nice mix of smooth and crisp.

Overall pretty enjoyable, and highly drinkable as well.

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Photo of jgreenearrow
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a translucent light tan color with golden hues around the edges of the glass. A fluffy white head appeared at the top of the pour with lacing present on the sides of the glass.

S: Citrus and honey combine with malts and some earthiness in the nose. Some biscuit and light pine notes are present as well.

T: Sweet malts and some citrus flavors hit the tongue at the outset of the sip. The flavor transitions through sweetness of honey to earthiness of malt and slight smoke in the middle. The honey follows into the end of the sip with a slightly dry, bitter finish.

M: This is a pretty light bodied beer with good prickly carbonation on the tongue and in the throat.

Overall, this is a good beer. It's an interesting Fall seasonal in that it is pretty light in color and light in body. However the balanced flavors provide a refreshing beer that is perfect for the warmth of late Summer and early Fall days.

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden in color and perfectly clear topped by a bubbly (big bubbles) head which laces to the glass in nice patterns.

S: Interesting, it's not too hoppy, but thats the first thing I get. Citrus all the way, it's like walking through an orange grove with a few lemon trees sprinkled in. The maltiness peeks into the smell as well in the form of a mild sweetness.

T: I get a tad more lemon in the taste than what presents itself in the smell. The beer has a somewhat bready note as well, accentuated by fresh citrus. The rye and wheat malt give it a unique herbal/spicy background flavor. Nothing new here, but it is quite tasty.

M: It's creamy and smooth, you can thank the oats for this. Carbonation is on the moderate side, along with the body. I really like how this beer drinks.

D: Drinkability is in the moderate range. It is quite easy to drink, though I don't quaff the ones above 5% like I used to. Personal preference.

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Photo of endincolorado
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear and gold with a pretty white head, good head retention, nice lacing.

Light, cereally pale malt balanced with pleasant, floral hops.

The flavor is incredibly well balanced, with a nice honey-sweetness alongside just the right amount of hop-bitterness. Light-medium mouthfeel is satisfying and leaves a nice clean aftertaste.

Overall, this is one hell of a session beer. Well-balanced, subtle flavors come together very well.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber purchased at a VA grocery store! missed the kickoff party so im having my own tonight.

A: bright clear, brilliant gold. white head isnt the biggest or has the best retention, but some lacing is on the glass.

S: a spicy floral hop component. hop character is closer to that of an APA than an american blonde. chalky earth tones as well. after the hop blast, rye tries to make a point, but this is definitely more on the american hop end.

T: bitterness mixed with a creamy body. tones of vanilla in the middle. the sweetness grows as the beer warms. fruitiness from the hops accentuate the malt to make this a very unique blonde. finish is slightly bitter and mostly dry.

M: pretty moderate to heavy carbonation on a light body that is very close to pushing medium.

D: definitely more "extreme" considering the style, but well welcomed.

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Photo of oline73
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden/light amber color with a finger of thick white head. Good head retention with some nice lacing.

Smell: Citrus hops with a bready malt background. Mildly sweet.

Taste: A nice hop bitterness up front, citrus and mild herbal hop bitterness. As the hops fade, there is a bready biscuit like malt that shows up. The finish is a bit bitter and slightly underwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer. I would have liked the finish to be a bit more dramatic, but the taste was very nice and easy to drink. I would have another.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle at Rustico Alexandria yesterday during the New Belgium kickoff. Served in a goblet.

Pour brings a light yellow liquid with a good white head and a bit of foam on top. Nice lacing as it goes down.

Nose brings forward some light floral hops and a touch of citrus. Light malt base. Flavor is slightly hoppy with some light bread to back things up. Just a touch of sweetness.

Light body with crisp carbonation. I guess the hops are the biggest component, though they're not all that strong.

Pretty good for a blonde. A nice summer brew that could serve well as an introduction to craft.

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Photo of doughanson78
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Light golden color. Super clear. Slim and trim, half finger, off white head, that quickly disappears. Leaves a halfway decent lacing.

S: Lots of honey. Caramel malts. Very sweet. Citrusy hops take a back seat although they are present. Orange and lemon. Slight pine. Some light floral notes. Very slight toasted aroma with a hint of spice.

T: Sweet upfront with honey and caramel. Floral hops come through in the middle with the sweetness continuing to linger on the tip of the tongue. Very bready finish with the light spice coming through.

M: Light bodied. Very crisp and refreshing. Medium to high carbonation. With a decent creaminess. Nice lingering mixture of sweetness and floral hops.

O: New Belgium never fails to hit me with a good beer. None are Exceptional but all are worth buying and drinking. Great go-to brewery. This is a super drinkable beer.

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Hoptober Golden Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.83 out of 5 based on 963 ratings.
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