Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...

Hop*A*Potamus | Great River Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Very Good
100 Ratings

Brewed by:
Great River Brewery
Iowa, United States

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Hop*A*Potamus is a double dark rye pale ale made with a ton of pale and six kinds of rye malt for a "full" body. This double dark rye pale ale is fiercely hopped with a Northwest blend for a stampede of flavor and aroma.

Added by mynie on 12-25-2011

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 100 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of barnzy78
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

3rd try with this one, and as much as I want to like it more, I can't. It's still good though.

16oz can, pours ruby/chestnut in color with a foamy tan head that holds great retention and leaves thick, chunky lacing on the glass - impressive. Aromas are malty caramel, peppery rye, citric hop. Tastes seem to be muddled, very earthy, rye, herbal, fresh dank hops, resinous citrus & evergreen. Full bodied, creamy and smooth, rather chewy, yet oily and resinous. Alcohol is very well concealed for 9%. Overall, like I said earlier: I want to like this more. I feel like the hops could be brighter and stand out more. It just seems to be too one note for me. It's not bad at all, but just seems to be missing something.

 717 characters

Photo of Iowacraft
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of dbossman
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Reddish brown hue with an enormous cream-colored head

S: The rye and the hops not surprisingly steal the show: some grapefruit and pine and weed--more the latter of the two with the spicy slightly malty grains and rye sneaking up behind

T: Something is not quite right here; I like the rye and the piney hop resin is there too and that's good but there is a medicinal and slightly buttery flavor in the finish--not to mention the prevalent alcohol flavors that make this beer finish in a way it shouldn't

F: Sticky and oily like it should be with medium overall body

O: This is a strange beer; I love Great River and I love everything about this beer except it's taste...but that's a pretty important part--there's just something not quite right for my taste here

 771 characters

Photo of hoppymcgee
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of theminutemen
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Tash2360
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of EinWeizenbitte
4/5  rDev +4.4%

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

Poured from 16oz tallboy into Globe glass.

A. Pours 2 fingers of off white head. Thick lacing. Good retention. color is very dark brown.

S. Rye, hops, caramel, brown sugar. Smell is sweet with piney hops. Interesting aroma, complex and intriguing.

T. Taste is a pretty nice balance of full rye caramel malt with some piney hop taste. Get a really rich flavor from this beer. Has a nice earthy quality to it.

M. Full bodied. Medium carbonation. Lingering sweetness and a little bitterness.

O. This is the 4th beer I have had in the 4pack, and the one I am reviewing. I have to say this beer has kinda grown on me. Its something different, which at first I didn't like but now I have to say I do.

 700 characters

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

I had this hip-hop-a-topamus in a shaker pint.

Appearance- This frothy and beige head grows to an impressive two fingers before settling in at about one. The lid is velvety smooth with very few bubbles.

The depths of this body are a dark ruby with some caramel highlights that shine at the edges of the glass, a very nice looking beer.

Smell- This rye beer exhibits an earthy, almost peaty sweet quality. I also pick up a caramel sweetness that blends with an herbal tea flavor. I like the smell of this one, different.

Taste- The smooth caramel sweetness makes up the backbone of this offering. Then the waves of hop flavors start to smash-up the palate. There is resin, herbal tea, and a little earthiness.

As for bitterness, that hits about mid-drink and carries well into the finish. I think it is well done, and seems big for 99 IBU's.

Mouth feel- This one is smooth. Oh so smooth! It has a big medium body, which I love in hoppy pales. The dryness is also well done.

Overall- This beer is different. The herbal quality and the sweetness do go hand in hand to make a unique palate of flavors. I feel this beer would be hit or miss with most people. If you want to try a hoppy pale, why not Hop A Potamus?

 1,219 characters

Photo of aliving1
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Duff27
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of furthurgone
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of bismarksays
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of EROCK75
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of cpetrone84
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great river brewery hopapotamus - pours a very dark, clear, chestnut brown with red edges and a bubbly light brown head. The nose is interesting, it's a bit light but there is some notes of chocolate and roasted malts. There is a nice rye spice between the malt and hop transition as oily, resinous, citric hop. The taste has the pronounced rye with chocolate malts accompanying. Fairly roasted with a lighter hop presence than the nose. Basically just a light citrus and faint bitterness. A bit thick and syrupy with a lighter carb but soft feel. Pretty enjoyable balance here.

 578 characters

Photo of kawilliams81
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz can into a Bell's tulip.

A- pours a dark amber with a 1 finger tan head. Minimal lacing on the glass.

S- tons of citrus and amazing rye spices.

T- rye spice with some citrus.

M- medium body and carbonation. Some dryness at finish.

O- aroma raised expectations but flavor was a let down.

 311 characters

Photo of mothman
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a finger of tan head. Good retention. Color is a dark mahogany brown.

Aroma: A big amount of rye and spice. Biscuit flavored. Floral and earthy hops. This thing is very hoppy. Orange citrus as well. Caramel with some chocolate.

Taste: Mimics the nose, but much more hoppy. Very juicy and hop resiny. Also a bit more caramel malt.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and sticky. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends sticky.

Overall, a pretty solid rye beer. Definitely drinks like a dipa. Very hoppy. I dig it. One can at a time, however. Too sticky.

 558 characters

Photo of Scotchboy
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pint can (awesomeness) poured into a Sam Smith pint glass - another beer sent from Aaron (thanks man).

A: Very dark brown and red...great lacing from a perfectly tightly-bubbled creamy tan head.

S: Lots and lots of rye here...toasted grain, and bready...piney, herbal hops, touch of sweeter alcohol and even some dark fruits.

T: Dank earthy hops, spices and spicy rye malt, bready, herbal...hints of wood and nuts as well. Unique brew.

MF: Nearly full bodied in its creamy and chewiness. Spicy and moderately bitter.

O: Labeled correctly as a rye beer instead of an IPA/DIPA; the hops, though they mix well with the spicy malts, aren't really at the forefront on my palate. Nice beer anyways.

 697 characters

Photo of ninner00
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of FreshHawk
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep, slightly murky garnet brown. Full, thick, large, pillowy, cake batter, off white head. Very nice retention leaving a nice sticky lace.

S - Interesting mix of fruity and citrus pine with a dark malt. A bit of a dark fruit and subtle fruitiness. A bit of a rye and earthiness as well. Hard to place exactly the style and aromas.

T - Strong pine flavor with some grapefruit/citrus. Slightly juicy flavors. There is a slight dark malt, earthy rye kind of flavor. Caramel malt and a slight sweetness.

M - Medium body with below average carbonation. Somewhat thin with a bit of a stickiness.

D - Pretty nice drinkability. Doesn't fit any style really, but there is a nice mix of dark/rye and hops. Lingering bitterness.

Notes: Interesting beer. Doesn't fit perfectly in a style for me but it is enjoyable. Mouthfeel is a little off, but it doesn't detract too much from enjoying the beer.

 897 characters

Photo of bigbeers84
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Photo of egrace84
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of maximum12
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

All tingly to find a new rye beer showing up in Minnesota, especially one that might be around with some regularity. Now, it just can get all Scott Klingenbeck on me. Nice juicy 16 oz. can.

Poured into a gallon-holding snifter, the brew is a deep red bordering on light black. Nose almost smells like a wort in progress, very rye, unvarnished, The advertised hops are missing.

Hop*A*Potamus doesn't shadow the nose at all. First comes a huge mouthful of earthy dampness that eats the hops & rye alive. The rye gets disgested & shat out by the dankness, with spare breadiness & a flash of spice. The hops bite but are creamed over quickly. Hops do reassert themselves on the finish, but only as a middling bitterness with flavor lacking. The soiliness looms over all.

Not bad, but not what I was hoping for; the can tells a great tale that the beer doesn't back up. Too much farmland soil for me; pretty good, but won't be a repeat buy.

 941 characters

Photo of yamar68
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper red with a healthy cap of tan head. Slow, steady beading and good lacing. The nose is earthy with layers of citrus, like fresh squeezed tangerine all smothered in caramel. There's quite a pine bite on the tongue that transitions through rye and toasted grains. Drawn out, bitter afterburn. Overall, this beer isn't perfect but it's complex enough to keep things exciting.

 386 characters

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

from a pint can

A- pours a clear but dark mahogany color with garnet hues, a tan head and sticky lacing

S- rye, hops and malts

T- rye first with piney citrus hops, nice spice additions malts and bread, a great taste

M- good carbonation with with nice rye and hops its rich and creamy but not a heavy brew

O- very drinkable with the ABV well hidden its rich and hoppy with loads of rye hops and spices, well done delicious

 426 characters

Hop*A*Potamus from Great River Brewery
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 100 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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