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Hop Riot IPA | High Water Brewing

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BA SCORE
83
good
63 Reviews
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Hop Riot IPAHop Riot IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
High Water Brewing
California, United States
highwaterbrewing.com

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Hop Riot IPA is our flagship beer. Brewed in the American IPA style with a definitive "Left Coast" attitude. We brew our IPA with an aggressive bittering level which is complimented and balanced by a defined malt backbone. Our final signature is the dry hop step where fresh hops are immersed in the finished beer to provide the floral and citrus aromas of our IPA, a Hop Riot indeed.

7.3% ABV 73 IBU

Added by womencantsail on 02-05-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
63
Ratings:
170
Avg:
3.63
pDev:
21.49%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
18
For Trade:
1
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Reviews: 63 | Ratings: 170
Photo of kevanb
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This IPA has been getting some buzz in SoCal recently and for the low price of five dollars for a bomber, I had to try one. This beer pours a very earthy light brown color almost like a dark honey color but more brown than orange. It has a pretty nice thick head that renders some really webbed lacing. It smells hopped up, lots of citrus in the nose as well as some resinous pine and some earthy root notes, not really any malty flavors. The flavors are pretty powerful, LOTS of bitter hop flavors with some lighter citrus notes and some firm pine flavors. This beer is a true hop riot, it’s very aggressively hopped and the flavors are a bit out of balance. It goes down pretty smoothly, has a nicely carbonated body but leaves a little astringent feeling from the alcohol, but at only 7.3% it could’ve been hidden a bit better.

Verdict: Certainly an aggressive IPA. I don’t mind an IPA this bold and for the price it’s certainly a bargain compared to some other offerings, but this one isn’t for everyone.

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Photo of jvillefan
4.52/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: It looks like a typical IPA. The holds a decent head for a short period of time.

S: Very good. The intense hop and citrus. These aromas are nicely balanced with the smell of pine.

T: Awesome. There is the perfect balance one expects from and elite IPA. There is hops, citrus, and pine in the front of the flavor. The subtle undertones of caramel are present in the background.

M: one of the best. There is a nice buttery feel to it and is incredibly smooth.

O: You need to get it now. One of the best IPAs out there.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased from Whole Foods in Los Altos, CA.

Pours a very clear, but slightly murky amber golden colour, laced with a dusty brown hue. Head is filmy and frothy, but settles down to large bubbles pretty quickly. Decent lacing. Body is right on what you want for around this ABV. Looks pretty good.

Nose is green and sharp, with big, leafy hop characters coming through on top of a rubbed citrus and spicy resin aroma. It's almost too vegetative—there's pine and cedar, clipped grass and eucalyptus in there, and the mellower, fresher, fruitier citrus characters get lost. All power to them, though.

Taste is in the same vein, with a powerful, biting resiny hop character coating the centre of the palate and refusing to let go of its mighty grip. By the time it eventually dissipates, there's nothing left on the palate, leaving a dry and rather jarring experience on the finish. Malt on the front cushions the hops slightly, still perhaps not giving the level required, but pushing the biting hop character to a more citrus sherbet character.

A pretty exhausting beer to drink, truth be told. The hops are big, and not necessarily all that well balanced—furthermore, it's one type of persistent, goading, sharp bitter hop character, which makes it harder to understand, or appreciate.

It's a pretty respectable IPA, especially if you like huge doses of bittering hops, but by the end, I was wondering when I'd choose to drink it again.

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Photo of mactrail
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A really big hop ale. Comes on in an alluring malty rush. Nose is quite nice, resins and pineapple. It is quite sharp. I wouldn't call it dry, as there is an underlying sweetness, but that is crowded out by the hop acids or whatever gives it that tartness. More like a very tart berry with a lot of grapefruit peel that smothers it out in turn. Okay, plenty big hop, bro, but after a few tastes it gets more harsh and lowdown.

There are so many big, big hop beers out there that the occasional stars greatly outshine all these regular IPAs. It won't be wasted, though. Should be a good flavoring hop juice to add to those Trader Joe's bock beers and Simple Times lagers.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.83/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass in the wee morning hours on 9/10/11

Thanks to nickd717

Burnt amber color with golden highlights at the stem; mostly clear. A two finger head thins slowly to a decent layer and leaves good lace. A thin layer of retention lasts the duration of the glass and lacing is comparable good throughout.

Hop aromas of pineapple, grapefruit pith, orange and earthiness are balanced by notes of toasted grain, biscuit and bread crumbs. Malt and hops seem to have equal footing here. Notions of pine sap emerge as it starts to warm. Very dry. Eh.

The taste has more of a penchant for the earthy hops and a low-slung, modest piney bitterness. Said bitterness does build over time. The citrus notions in the aroma are nearly absent here, like buried wires strung about in a few places. The malts are similarly bready with a hint of cracker. The malt bill is quite grainy and seemingly dusty at times which furthers the overall dryness.

The overall feel is of the medium sort. Carbonation is comfortably tilted toward the low end of the spectrum; right on. The most distinctive attribute of the feel is the aforementioned grainy, dusty aspect; kind of has a dirt-like feel in that respect. Finishes dry with a mild bitterness lingering.

An ok IPA that leans toward the earthy side of things. Drinkable.

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Photo of flannelman808
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: well I must say this does look quite good. Crystal clear orange amber in color and topped with an off white head. The sea foam like head has pretty good retention and great lacing.

S: Smell is of crystal malt and tangerine.

T: Muddy hop flavors consisting of orange and pine are pretty evenly balanced with malty background toast like sweetness.

M: Pretty crisp but it's not notable.

O: This stuff is alright, not a bad find if you need an IPA and supply is limited. That said I wont be buying this again.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

To note, I was speaking with the distributor along with the beer buyer at Whole Foods when I made this purchase and this beer has been bottled within a week. Had this once before that was 2+ months old and WOW, what a difference.

A - Caramel - Copper that I wasn't that impressed with but the lace, head and crazy active bubbles rusing from the bottom were more than impressive - Good

S - So-so here. Dark oranges, brown sugarish malt, pine and grass

T - To me, this tasted like a extremely well done IPA homebrew. Not really that citrussy, but the grass and pine were there and the caramel malt was apparent. Oranges would describe the citrus I found. There was an almost clovish spicy note in there if you look for it which was neither appreciated nor offensive. Crisp but not juicy like I prefer my IPAs

M - Flawless. Here is where you know it's a top notch brew. perfect dry, EXTREMELY crisp bitter finish that lingers. Grassy - almost reminded me of RRBC's hoppy brews in the finish where it's grassy and keeps begging you to keep sipping.

O - When fresh, solid brew whereas the mouthfeel pulls everything else off.

Final Thoughts - If they could take this beer, pump up the citric notes and make the hops more juicy, we have a world class beer here.

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Photo of biglobo8971
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

got to try this back to back with their Retribution beer. Solid, not great, not bad, just a solid offering. Cant tell which one I would prefer. Looks good, not great. Smells good, not great, even though its the best attribute. Solid offering, not great in any means, but if it was at my local shop, would try it again.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly clear copper-orange color with a thin half-finger of slightly off-white head. The head hangs around forever leaving behind some nice lacing as it finally fades.

S - Aroma is a mix of mostly pine and herbal hops and a bit of grapefruit hops as well. There is a bit of bready malts in the background as well. Aroma is a bit mild.

T - Starts off with a kick of grassy hops and lots of bitterness. Through the middle, the bitterness gets even stronger with some grapefruit hops and some bready malts coming through as well. The finish is big on the bitterness with a bit of pine and citrus hops lingering alongside.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer feels smooth and very dry from the strong bitterness throughout.

D - Very drinkable. The beer is a quite hop dominated with very strong bitterness throughout. Could have maybe used a bit more balancing, but the strong bitterness is really nice.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up today at Monument Wines and Spirits.

Appearance- golden color, thin head

Smell- piney hops

Taste- piney hops, bit of a bitter finish

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought it was pretty good. I would actually buy it again.

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Photo of avaldivia
2.85/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Coddingtown Whole Foods Tap Room is Santa Rosa

A: Clear golden hay color. Decent white head with ok lacing.

S: Pine. Nothing special. A little bit of grapefruit.Honestly, it smells like any other middle of the road IPA.

T: Taste is the same as the smell. Honestly, there is nothing to differentiate this from any other IPA out there. A bit dry, a bit piney, a bit citrusy.

M: I'll admit, good mouthfeel. It had a nice body, and good carbonation.

O: I doubt I will ever pick this up again. I thought it was a pretty standard and unimpressive IPA.

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Photo of biegaman
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hop Riot IPA is a deep caramel colour that does offer some clarity but you need a bright light source and the right angle to make it happen. The ring around its circumference and splashes of white on the surface are hardly what you'd consider a head, but it certainly isn't flat.

A note to High Water Brewing: dry-hoping is not your "signature" move, a lot of brewers do it. And if you're going to boast about it, do so in the aroma not on the label. There's an awful lot of toasted biscuit and bread crusts that come through in the smell, considerably more so than anything citrusy or floral (although bitter pine resin is abundant).

Indeed, bitter pine resin is a recurring character, making appearances also in the taste and aftertaste. Sharing the spotlight again, however, is that toasty, bready maltiness. It is tasted equally along with the candied citrus notes and a grassy, lightly pungent herbal flavour. I could probably name more herbs than fruits when it comes to taste resemblances.

The beer has some sweetness - like burnt brown sugar - but by and large it's the bitterness that'll impress upon you; the dry taste of fruit peel and pith reverberate but it's the very earthy, herbal, plant-like bitterness that resonates longest. Potent notes of melon and lychee liqueur are also noted as it warms, but things never get out of hand with regards to alcohol.

This beer falls a little short of what I'd consider a hop 'riot' but it does bring a respectable ruckus to the palate. Its bitter hops have a definite snarl but the turmoil arises from a bulky maltiness that tempers the beer's citric, floral personae. It doesn't succeed entirely; all that resinous pine flavour delivers the characteristic 'Left Coast' formula with gratification.

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Photo of beagle75
2.83/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, medium amber color with less than one finger of diminishing white foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Crisp and clean biscuit malt is the most defining smell, a little grainy around the edges. Hops are nearly absent, with just a hint of herbal spice.

T: Begins off-dry, with a heavy presence of toasted grain that turns slightly vinous toward the middle. Citrusy aromatics are very understated, while acidity is moderate in intensity. Bitterness arrives early, becoming quite pronounced and astringent by the finish, but is very neutral with nothing in the way of flavor accents.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly astringent on the palate but complementing the bitterness well, with moderate bitterness.

D/O: This IPA is out of balance, strongly favoring malt components while interesting hop flavors and aromas are remarkably lacking. Bitterness is present, however, raw and discontinuous--appearing bolted-on to the latter half of the taste, rather than being integrated with a host of other (non-existent) appealing flavors. While not undrinkable, this beer is entirely forgettable.

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Photo of bashiba
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nice clear dark amber color with a light slightly lacing head.

The smell is very malty, bready, with a big Belgian aromatic or biscuit presence.

The flavor is very strong and bitter, still a lot of malt flavor and not much hop flavor. Hardly any sort of Hop Riot going on at all.
There is a bit of caramel malt residual sweetness sneaking through the big backend bitterness.

The mouthfeel is a bit resiny with a medium body.

This is a tough beer to score, I don't really hate it, but its incredibly out of style. The only thing hoppy about it is the bitterness, no hop flavors or aroma's at all.

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Photo of illidurit
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Burger. in Santa Cruz. Pours a dark golden bronze with a huge creamy white head. Thinking the CO2 might be off on the tap line, because the foam is massive, billowing, and constantly fed by tons of streaming bubbles. Aroma is leafy and green, with some bitter grapefruit and a touch of metallic character. Flavor has a low-sweetness pale malt profile with a little caramel as it warms. Hops aren't too forward here, light herbal notes with a vague citrus thing going on. Nice bitterness and dry on the palate. I'm left wanting some fruitiness. Solid west coast IPA but not elite. I liked the Valley Cobra IPA better.

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Photo of willjschmidt
2.97/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Sierra Nevada hop tulip glass.

A: Pours a rather dark amber color with a thin off-white head. Nice lacing.

S: A hint of citrus, pine, earthy, some herbal accents.

T: A very bitter IPA. Tea leaves, herbal, with a hint of citrus. Very, very bitter in the finish as well as in the aftertaste. A bit too harsh.

M: Nice mouthfeel, slightly oily from the hop resins. Proper amount of carbonation.

O: A decent IPA but very harsh and bitter. Wouldn't get again as this style obviously has such a plethora of other outstanding options available.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber into a shaker

A - Gold flaxen yellow. Very clear. Nice fluffy white head with strong lacing

S - Very bitter, pine, grass, some lemons and oranges. Very little to no malt noticed

T - Dang! Bitter! Lots of grassy hops with a lesser component of grapefruit and lemons, however it is not the 'juicy' hops usually associated with the citric hops. I literally do not pick up any malts. I am trying to seek out even a hint of caramel or something, but, nope, nothing, nada.

M - Light and very drying.

O - A very single dimensional IPA. I do love the bitterness but there was no malty sweetness to help balance it out (that I could pick up), and that would have been appreciated.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark amber pour, off white head. Aroma was hoppy, but not dry hoppy.

Massive bitterness that stays forever. No discernable descriptor to call the flavor, not much citrus or pine to it, would have to go grapefruit since it is so bitter w/o much else to sport with it. All bittering hops. One trick pony.

Alcohol a little to evident.
Its not a bad beer, but even at $5 a bomber, it probably won't be anything I go back to. Would do the trick when your palate is already shot for the day I guess.

Could use more dry/flavor hops and more caramel to smooth it out.

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Photo of alexhahn82
4.06/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Average, normal medium gold slight amber color for an IPA, 1 finger head that dissipates quickly but leaves behind a very nice lacing.

S - Intoxicating! I can't quite put my finger on exactly what I'm smelling, for lack of a better term, this is a very danky, funky smelling beer (in a very, very good way.)

T/M - Wow. This beer is pretty god damn good. The smell translates over to the taste. Cleverly played with the hops, a definite dry hop at the end delivers on flavor and scent! Medium carbonation that compliments the whole package.

O - 7.3% ABV that delivers with massive aroma, massive flavor and mouthfeel. Seek out and destroy! This is a needle hidden in a a huge hay stack! Highly recomended.

PP (Price Point) -- $3.99 for a 22oz. bomber??!! Yes, worth every penny. Seek this beer out. Invest, buy more, drink more!! Crap I should have bought a case, I will next time I'm at the store I picked it up at!

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Photo of womencantsail
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear and amber in color. A nice big off-white head to go with it.

S: Really a nice citrus aroma to start this one off. Plenty of grapefruit and tangerines with a hint of grass. Light bread and toffee notes in the background. Quite a bit of floral character is present as well.

T: A bit more malt forward than expected, but still some good hops. Grapefruit, tangerine, and various floral notes give a decent hop profile. It is a touch watery, however.

M: Medium (barely) in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: A decent enough IPA, but it doesn't quite stack up to my expectations.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of westcoastbeerlvr (thanks Craig!), and while this is appreciated it's probably not going to be the best review.

The beer pours very clear, with a reddish-tinted golden body and a thin white foam. It smells sweet and hoppy, more floral than citric. The sweetness hints at strong caramel malt, the hoppy aromas are on the odd side (minty, tea-like, vegetal, "floral" if being kind).

It tastes VERY bitter (which I like) but with limited counterpoints (which I don't like as much). Still, on the whole this isn't a bad approach, I'd rather have brutal hops than overly sweet malts. The malts in this case are hard to detect, this is all about alpha acids.

Difficult to keep drinking through the entire bomber, but I'm finishing it. It would be good in much smaller doses, the bitterness just makes it hard to drink too much of it.

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Photo of Sideswipe
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from the ever generous Arbitrator. Bomber poured into my Coast pint glass.

A- Hazy, dark orange/amber color with a finger of white head. Foam recedes quickly leaving minimal lacing.

S- Malt, Hemp, grass, a hint of pine and subtle citrus. It smells bitter.

T- Bitter, bitter hops. Sweet malt. Overwhelming grapefruit. Did I mention bitter? Finishes dry with a lingering bitter aftertaste, go figure....

M- Medium, leaning towards sticky. Carbonation is about right for the style and might even lend a bit of creaminess to the beer if it weren't overpowered by extreme bitterness.

O- I like my IPAs bitter, but this is a bit one dimensional. It's not terrible, and I'd probably drink it again in a pinch, but I wouldn't go out of my way to seek it out. Glad I had the opportunity.

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Photo of flexabull
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New arrival at my local store. Odd that the BA listing has this as Redding, but the guy at the store said this is brewed at Drakes in San Leandro by a former Valley Brew guy.

So here goes...

Pours a bright darker orange color, pretty clear, pretty good lacing and head.

Aromas are resiny, with some pine, and mixed citrus fruits, and little bit sugary too.

Taste is earthy, with malty caramel sweetness, some spiciness, and hints of bread dough. Finish is dry, with some really lingering pine needle like bitterness that is on the strong side.

Mouthfeel is full, thick, and a little sticky. Comes off as being a bit too heavy.

Overall, this is a pretty good IPA with some flaws. The lingering bitterness is a bit much, and the earthy sweetness is a little to sticky and heavy. Reminds me of some IPAs brewed on the East Coast. Still, it's worthy of trying, and pretty tasty.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a light amber with a small white head. Leaves solid lace.

S: Very biscuity malt and toast initially with pine and orangey citrus.

T: Fairly heavy malt character, bready. Tangerine dominant with pine and cedar, definitely some good hop character in there but a bit erratic.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth, resiny, soft carbonation.

O: Just a solid CA IPA. Certainly more to the East Coast style, but an enjoyable effort.

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Photo of edproctor
3.87/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a- pours a nice amber hue with lighter edges. not much head.

s- very piney with some citrus. like palmolive... but in a good way if that makes any sense. fresh squeezed lemon juice mixed with cool mountain air.

t- this is a very hoppy, bitter ipa. it just takes over your palate with the hops. i like...

m- not much in the way of effervescence. goes down smooth.

o- overall i found this to be quite an enjoyable brew.

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Hop Riot IPA from High Water Brewing
3.63 out of 5 based on 170 ratings.
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