Hoptober Golden Ale | New Belgium Brewing

very good
497 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 497 | Ratings: 963
Photo of RickS95
3.19/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Not what I look for in a beer and a little light for the style. Golden straw, very clear, but has a great white head and lots of retention.

I love the smell of Cascade hops and this is no exception. Your nose fills up with pine and citrus notes.

Deosn't taste as good as it smells. The pine and citrus is there, and your palate will mention spices like cloves and all spice, but the different flavors don't seem to go well together.

The mouthfeel isn't great either. It's pretty much bitter from beginning to end, which is fine, but it's almost sour in the swallow.

It's not a bad beer to drink, but the flavors are pretty stout and like I said, I didn't feel they went very well together. It has great lacing, however.

 723 characters

Photo of lonestar4lunch
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a bright golden color with a good 1/2inch foam on the top. The smell somewhat funky as to what was expected. Aroma isn't that strong and really doesn't stick out. Maybe it's me. Bottle says it's a 5 hop 4 malt cornucopia of the earth and I get it but this doesn't really bring anything to the front. I keep getting an almost Belgian funk on the inhale before the sip but then comes a mixture of hops and malts. Sometimes it is a bit sweet others bitter. I am gonna have to try this one again.

 498 characters

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.

 722 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.22/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Right out the gate this wasn't impressing me, it had the usual AAL yellow color and head, meanwhile the aroma was pretty mute not giving off much in the way of characteristics that you could describe.

Taste brought on a very slight, warm fall day bitterness and Saaz like hop mouthfeel. The word hop in the beer is a little bit of a curve ball, but ultimately the taste and mouthfeel are the strongest aspect of this beer, which I guess is the most important. Its a decent gateway blonde with slightly more toasted pale malt and light hopping than average.

 559 characters

Photo of DrCronic
3.22/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Beautiful straw yellow with solid head retention
S: Hoppy smell of citrus, almost orange.
T: Citrus hop taste with not alot of carbonation bite. I feel they were going for a smooth drinkable version of an APA and the combinations of hops is very tasty
M: Creamy light carbonation but solid.

D: This is a solid beer however not what I was expecting. I was thinking hoppy Octoberfest and I feel this is more like a lighter APA. I should have known this since the beer is an ale and not a lager. This is a nice fruity ale and at 6% and 40IBU will not not kill you to drink a few.

 580 characters

Photo of hoppyweasel311
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pale golden with nice frothy white head.
Aroma- Very citrusy and piney
Taste- kind of blah... hop bitterness at end... not much else.
Mouthfeel- High carbonation with a smooth mouthfeel

Not my ideal fall beer... Would have liked them to made a hoppy brown ale..

 275 characters

Photo of Thur123
3.27/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice golden yellow with just a bit of orange color. Little to no head and average carnoation. Smell is light floral hops, citrus and a bit of spice, over grainy malts. Smells balanced but on the hoppy side. I want this to similar to A little sumpin sumpin, but i dont have my hopes up.

glug glug

A lemon hop burst comes in first followed by a bite of floral hops. There is a taste of pine and maybe even a bit of the booze comes through. Not nearly as balanced as I hoped, it also feels a little thin. The hops flavor could use a sweeter balance throughout. The texture of this reminds me of a BMC. Overall, eh.

 622 characters

Photo of bsp77
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Very clear, light yellow-gold with nice foamy stark white head.

Smell: Citrus, apple, candied sugar, dry pepper, and very light metal.

Taste: Very light semi-sweet caramel and fruity malts, which are quickly overshadowed by spicy, peppery hops with just a tinge of citrus. Ends bitter and a little metallic.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, light to medium body, very dry finish.

Drinkability: This is a crisp, fairly bitter beer, but the hops don't have as much taste or complexity as I would have hoped. At least it doesn't have that damn biscuity Fat Tire taste that most of their American-style beers do.

 680 characters

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....

 667 characters

Photo of alleykatking
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap last night....

A- Poured a golden orange color. Half finger white head dies by the time it is actually set in front of me. Couple stringy style lacing on the side of the glass but those fall back into the beer.

S- Malt forward beer. Light citrus hops in the background but the caramel malts overtake everything. A light citrus (orange) tone here and there but really nothing else. Kind of thinking this might not be the freshest keg or the lines haven't been cleaned in awhile.

T- More caramel malts come out on this one in the front. Light hop bite on the back end of the front of the beer but dies into a ceral grainy middle. Light earthy hops on the backend with more caramel malts on the ending.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation was good for the style but I thought high for this beer. Sweet malts left on the palate and long into the aftertaste. Flavors were mostly one sided and lacking any real body to them. Light drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D- This beer was a ok at best. Nothing that I would really want to spend my money on. The lack of alcohol taste in the beer made it super drinkable. Although, this beer might just be a little old so I'll try it again from a place that I know keeps their beer rotated.

 1,245 characters

Photo of Padron4KM
3.32/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dec 25, 2009
12 oz bottle, 2009 release.
Golden straw with a tight cream colored head. Fine lace left on the glass.
Aroma is grapefruity hops with bready malts. Missing the typical NB yeast notes.
Flavor is citrusy hops, with a light sweetness in the middle and a medium length bitter finish leves the mouth tingling and wanting more.
Not as sweet as most New Belgium's offerings, a pleasant surprise.

 403 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.32/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

turns out hoptober isnt very octobery at all. the tap had autumnal colors and fall leaves all over it, i thought this beer would do much more justice to the season. poured a watery yellow into a pint glass, nice lacey head. aromas of hops are robust and somehow also seemingly delicate. mouthfeel is light, this beer doesnt have much of a body to speak of. taste is good, not as unique as other new belgium beers, but its a nice pint. i enjoyed it with a burrito, but i find it not too fall. might be better as a spring seasonal, light and growing kind of, like spring itself. it worked out well enough though, given that october 1st here in denver was sunnny and 80 degrees.

 675 characters

Photo of CHSLBrew
3.36/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a large mug at Old Chicago, Roseville, MN.

A-Pale white head, 1.5 cm off the pour, retained pretty decent as a consistent layer. Golden-amber brew, a bit darker than typical blode ales, crystal clear.

S-Herbal hoppiness, slightly grainy.

T-Lots of herbal hoppiness, along with a spicy/floral character, pair with malty semi-sweetness which tastes remniscent of a fest lager, slightly biscuity. Assertive bitterness, slightly herbal, tips the scale twoard the hoppy/bitter category. Finisher herbal, semi-dry.

M-Moderate body. Appropriately moderate carbonation. Lip-puckeringly bitter.

D-Deterred slighly by a balance too much towards the bitterness, which defied my expectations and hindered its drinkability compared to typical Oktoberfest brews. Still, I enjoyed this beer.

 793 characters

Photo of TexIndy
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my NBB snifter. Best before 2/12/10 on side of front label. It was a clear golden yellow color with good carb streams and good lacing. It had a good sized head that settled into a thin film and good collar.

The aroma was more IPA than a blonde ale - not sure the style is right here. Citric, grassy, a little pine and rye malt. Mixes pretty well in the aroma but didn't like the blend in the taste. The hops dominate the aroma but the rye malt really jumps out in the taste and it clashes oddly with the hops used here. Ends with a chemically aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel with good carb but the odd aftertaste hurts.

Overall, a good but not great beer. The aroma had me excited but it feel apart in the taste. Pick one direction or the other and I think it would be a winner. Mix it and it misses for me. Rotation: avail here. The 3 in my mixed 12 pack are enough for me unless I got a tap opportunity.

 935 characters

Photo of robwestcott
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

full disclosure... i'm not a big fan of hoppy beers. this one was included in a new belgium variety pack bought over a year ago. this bottle hung out in the wayback of the frig for months and in fact was a couple months past it's "best if consumed by" date. my hope was that the aging would mellow out the hops to a point i wouldn't pour half of it down the drain...

that said, this beer poured a very nice golden yellow into a dogfish head signature glass with a finger and a half long lasting almost white head.

still a strong hop smell, but it mellowed out over the course of 15-20 minutes. fairly hearty beer for its type and bitterness was mild to even less than mild, but still with a strong taste of the hops,as well as spices and fruit.

i'd agree with the earlier reviewer that this one is more of a pale than a blonde.

 831 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.39/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not bad, didnt expect to like this beer so much. Appearance was pale straw yellow, usually not the greatest sign in a beer. Smell, aroma, didn't give me anything to think I was getting into anything good.

But alas, the taste, not very complicated, light, but a good little hop zest and mild bitterness. I don't know that I would call this "hop" tober and all, but for an all access type of beer like New Belgium makes (this would be a good alternative to the fat tire hags), this makes sense to bring them in another direction.

Mouthfeel and drinkability rate higher, because it doesn't fade, nor does it get tiresome.

 620 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear golden in color with a decent white head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Aroma is pale malt with a a pleasant grapefruit citrus character.

Taste is sweet, pale malt and lemon grass. The fruity hop aroma led me to expect more aggressive hops. Finish id crisp and clean.

Mouthfeel is light bodied.

Overall a decent lawnmower beer.

 342 characters

Photo of langcpa
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A:head retention is fair with a rocky white head,pours golden clear, nice thick white lacing on glass,

S:smell is a very pleasant clean pine like smell, with the hop notes calling you to have a sip

T:Hops are definitely present without being overly strong, a shafe of maltyness comes through ath the finish. Very refreshing. The taste definitely matches the smell

M: Medium body with slight carbination, a very slight hop aftertaste that finishes to the dry side

D: A geat seasonal beer for sitting on the porch watching the harvest moon rise. Two or three of this beer at a setting would be plenty. I would be this beer again. Toured the brewery in August and would recommend the tour, very interactive and casual.

 720 characters

Photo of Phelps
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks: golden and perfectly clear with a foamy half-finger head of pure white that dissolves into a thin top coating that leaves thick webs of lace as I drink.

Smells: hoppy. Lightly floral, with some citrus flavors of limes pineapple and tangerine. In the background there's some honey and light crackers.

Tastes: like a pale ale. Honey-sweet and floral, like honeysuckle. Also orange blossoms and lime juice along with the peels of oranges and grapefruits. I'm also getting some spiciness -- coriander, perhaps? Pine needles as well. All this is rather subdued, but it's not bad.

Feels: lowly carbonated and fizzy with a light body. It's nice and crisp.

Drinks: I like what New Belgium has been doing with hops lately, but I'm not sure this one fits with the fall seasonal theme. It also seems to me a little over-hopped for an American blonde. Still, it's not bad.

 875 characters

Photo of Autumnotter
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Nice but fairly standard dark gold or amber, fairly clear. Some bone white bubbles hang on for a long time, though the main head dissipates fairly rapidly. Slightly fruity, spicy aroma, understated. Hop forward aroma but not intense. Mild hop forward flavor, cant tell what kind. Good malt character, but not intense. Dry finish with some hop bitterness.

 356 characters

Photo of ChopperSmith
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear golden and decent white head that didn't retain long, but had nice lacing.

Smell: Crisp pine hops scents and light malts behind it. Nice.

Taste: As it smells, bright and crisp grapefruit and pine hops up front, sweet malts a little more subtle on the finish.

Mouth Feel: Medium body and lighter carbonation Crisp hops bite on the tongue.

Drinkability: A respectable hoppy blonde ale. I've had better and I've had worse. All in all a decent seasonal offering.

 482 characters

Photo of NODAK
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma here is predominately hoppy; strong grapefruit and citrus notes are there. Some sweet malt sits in the background.

The taste is certainly hoppy, and it belies its 40 IBU rating. Strong notes of grapefruit and floral hops abound in the body and the finish of this beer. Malts are almost nowhere to be found, except for a slight creamy sensation on the finish. It seems to be just a tad shy of becoming a pretty standard IPA. However, the bitterness wraps up on the finish and doesn't stick around much in the aftertaste, giving this beer a fairly clean ending.

This is an interesting autumn seasonal. While most of them are either oktoberfest or pumpkin ales, this one ends up being one of the most hoppy beers in the NB line-up. It's not a bad beer, but people have to be in the mood for something resembling an IPA to enjoy it.

 836 characters

Photo of Magpie14
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: visually this beer boasts a light yellow hue with a tinge of orange and gold. If anything it leans more towards a fuzzy yellow color. The lace was in good order with a very nice film hugging the upper rim of the glass. As drinking continued the lacing took charge and provided a visual experience (high marks for the lace). Just a thin layer of cream sits on top

S: light smells of toasted malts with earthy hops and not much else. It seems usual in the sense that it boasts toasted malts as so many of NBBC brews do. Otherwise the nose is lacking

T: the flavors are in harmony with the nose. I guess I was thinking of an october fest type of brew. Instead a light hopped, citrus spiced blonde ale is swirling on my palate. A light slap of hop oils hits the tongue. It also maintains a backbone of toasted caramel drizzled malts for an even character

Overall this beer has a faint commanding presence. Nothing really stands out for me

M: the feel is light, crisp, and airy with some noticeable carbonation. Body is average and seems to fit the style

D: a nicely hopped brew and a nice diversion from the usual autumn brews. I still have yet to find my niche with New Belgium. This is a decent brew and easy to put a few down the hatch

 1,242 characters

3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into pint glass.
A: A explosion of carbonation pumps towards a fluffy white head. The body is a light gold, clear body. Lacing in the form of layers on glass.
S: A grainy aroma of clove and citrus hops are found in the aroma.
T/M: A bit of spice on the mouthfeel and front. Layers of hops are found on the off taste, but all so far back and light it makes it hard to truly enjoy. Malts are also far back on the palate and are very light. This has a strange finish of light lager, that is not pleasing. Notes of citrus and clove are light thrown into the picture.
D: I feel that this does not stand a chance for a autumn brew, too light and lacking up front flavors. While it goes down easy and if need be, I could drink plenty of this brew, there are many other offering that I would choose. Oh why New Belgium this style for a fall seasonal?

 854 characters

Photo of DenverHopHead
3.44/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle with a best by date of 1/17/16; into a pub glass.
Appearance - gold and very carbonated, looks like apple juice; fairly thick, foamy white head. Lacing is abundant and strong!
Smell - nose is very similar to an American pale wheat ale, though leans more towards wheat. Some floral and citrus hops noticeable.
Taste - bitter hops are apparent, however this is really the only strong flavor making an appearance.
Feel - light and crisp, which is a bit surprising at 6%; bitter up front and on the finish.
Overall - not bad really, but the flavor profile ultimately lacks punch.

 596 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.