Hop Head India Pale Ale | Tree Brewing

very good
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Hop Head India Pale AleHop Head India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Tree Brewing
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Over a decade ago, we brewed one of the most innovative IPA's in Craft Brewing. To this day, our award winning IPA is the benchmark for Real IPA's...as our saying goes "Drink Real Ale Cause Bud Is Just For Smoking"! Hop Head is full bodied and loaded with hops, delivering a distinct taste and aroma.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-13-2003

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Reviews: 124 | Ratings: 223
Photo of headlessparrot
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

BA's listings for Tree Brewing are all screwy--a lot of stuff is listed under a separate entry, for the Tree Brewing Institute. That despite the fact that beers that were unique to the Institute are now being distributed under the standard Tree Brewing label.

Take Hop Head IPA, for example, which is now Hop Head *unfiltered* IPA--a development that started at the Institute but has become the standard IPA offering for Tree.

But anyway.

Pours super murky orange-ish, lots of head with decent retention and lots of lacing. Smells piney, resin-y, cat piss-y, only slight (super bitter) citrus. Malt undertones. Taste presents more on the citrus side, but it's still a very bitter citrus, all rind and pith. Bitter but not unmanageable. Dry but not unbearable.

A solid, if unspectacular IPA. I prefer more juicy citrus, but this is a decent offering and widely available in Western Canada. I ain't mad at it, as the saying goes.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- This nectar was poured fairly aggressively into a pint glass and the result was a nice, tightly wound layer of bubbly foam that starts out around one finger thick and settles into a thick patchwork over the beer itself. The color of the brew is a very hazy coppery-gold color with tinges of orange when held up against the light. Hard to tell what the carbonation is like but the lacing is very nice with thick clumps of foam clinging and creating shapes on the side of the glass, before slowly sliding back into the beer.

S- Well balanced between somewhat citrus hop bitterness and caramel malt sweetness. The hops themselves have grapefruit qualities with other assorted citrus rind tartness while the malt portion of the aromas suggest honeyed toffee and bready richness.

T- Overall this is rather light in flavor, however, after the swallow, the sticky honey sweetness really lingers on the palate. Balancing tastes of caramel malt balance orange-esqe bitter/tart hop cones that are somewhat floral, somewhat piney....perhaps some other assorted fruits are mixed in this as well but are too muted to define properly.

M/O- Good medium bodied brew with decently aggressive carbonation make this quite a delightful IPA to enjoy....I enjoy the chewy malts and the bitterness to counter the sweetness....this is rather drinkable and this one really is assisting in me getting more into the style! Good with a salty snack and the alcohol is hidden but creeps up on a person! I recommend this one.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Craft, Vancouver.
Crusty parchment cap with rusty amber body. 4
Pure floral soap nose. 3.25
Peanut brittle then resin, pine sampe and herbal-lime water hops. 3.75
Tea leaf dinish and apple skin linger.
Lt-med, lively, some cling. 3.5

Oddly toothless. Thin and fizzy, English more than American, and balanced towards malts. Does slightly better if you consider it an English IPA. A light touch, but an abomination of naming, too. 3.5

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Photo of snaotheus
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a little pilsner glass. 16/02/15.

Pours slightly hazy amber-bronze with a decent sized pale head that fades fairly slowly. Quite carbonated. Smell is old hops, a little pine, slight flower.

Taste is better than the aroma suggested. Crisp, bitter, but on the pale ale side more than the IPA side. Straw or hay.

Mouthfeel is dry. Overall, not bad, quite drinkable.

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Photo of Bunman3
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

This is a winner - one of my favorite in this style of IPA. When I first encountered HopHead several years ago, my palate was softer and somewhat unprepared for the hop bite. I was pleased to find this in a winter mixer pack and give it another whirl. It has a nice citrus nose, a nice color, and a pleasant mouthfeel. There is plenty of structure in the overall flavor, with hints of tea and spruce. The hopping is subtle and provides a great overall balance to this beer. Bravo!

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Photo of DaveBar
3.86/5  rDev +1%

Purchased at the LCBO for around $7.00 for a 22oz bomber. Served at 7deg C in a tulip

A- 4.25- Nice opening beer. Pours a nice head that does not last but is good. Nice dark amber almost brown LOL

S- 3.75- I bit light. Nice hops and typical malt but that is it

T- 4.0- Got a nice bite but light. It is a DIPA though.

M- 3.75- Has it but needs refinement

O- 3.86- Like it but has to be refined somewhat

Food Pairing

This nice DIPA went well with..... Spicey tuna roll sushi. Man I like my fresh sushi


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Photo of LampertLand
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tree Brewing 'Hop Head IPA' @ 5.6% , served from a 6pack of 330 ml bottles purchased for $14 / $2.33 a bottle

A-pour is a pale gold from the bottle to clear amber in the glass , with a big frothey off-white head leaving a streaky lace along the pint

S-pleasant hoppyness

T-not as big and bold as HH DIPA , butt has some boldness to it with a slight dry finish

MF-ok carbonation , medium body

Ov-ok beer , decent enough PNW IPA for the price

prost LampertLand

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I never go to Beer Revolution here in Calgary without sampling at least one IPA. This was last night's example, a light bronze/dark amber pint with whitish froth an inch or so deep. Smells somewhat floral and quite tropical, with a sweetish citrus iced tea undercurrent and a whiff of darkish malt. This IPA does possess some English character even if the hopping regime is American, with pleasant brown sugar, mellow molasses, raisin, and toast flavors propping up non-aggressive but flavorful hops ... These evoke lemon/lime/grapefruit rinds and oils, peach, refined (not harsh) pine/menthol, melon. Very balanced and the individual flavors meld together. Finish is pleasantly mentholated and bitter but not over the top or coarse. I need to develop some sort of matrix-type rating system in which to plot IPAs along various dimensions like citrus, floral, tropical, orchard fruit, pine, etc. to capture the hopping. This one is mild on most of these dimensions in terms of intensity but they are all present to some degree, and I enjoy the dark malt flavors lurking in there. Great if I am in the mood for something hoppy yet refined and balanced, as opposed to aggressive, uber-flavorful, and harsh. Depends on the mood.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tulip pint glass.

Deep rusty red and copper orange and very clear. Some good slow rising thing carbonation below a somewhat thick and faint tan four finger billowing controlled head. Some ring like lacing and island retention thick capped top. Always manages a puck while drinking.

Great nose on this. Soft hop citrus, and juicy sensing qualities. Some sweet leafy herbal tea and faint caramel. Highly aromatic but nothing exceptionally large.

Palate delivers nicely with a varied hop quality. First taste is bitter grapefruit oils and warmth, followed by a minty aftertaste and refreshing soft bitterness. Nice toned down sweetness with some caramel like senses in the mid palate. Great controlled lingering bitterness finish with orange pekoe like tea. Very light bodied with just a touch of playful carbonation, but not a wet palate at all.

This really packs a great hop punch for an easy low ABV. One of the better Canadian made IPAs I've had in some time.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one at the LCBO back in The Loo.

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, fluffy, off-white head with very good retention. Clear burnt orange in color with lower levels of carbonation. Head slowly fades to a full wisp and sticks to the sides of the glass. Splotchy wisp remains and leaves lots of nice lacing down the glass. Good looking beer for sure.

SMELL: Pale malts, caramel, honeydew melon, toffee and some floral hops on the nose. Bold enough.

TASTE: Pale malts, caramel, melon flavors, then some bitter-sweet flavors after the swallow. Medium but lingering aftertaste of sweet caramel and toffee, decent hop bitterness and floral flavors. English in style for sure, with a solid malt backbone.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Semi creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating.

OVERALL: Solid beer. Nothing worth writing home about, but a good English style IPA that's easy to drink. Enjoyable and worth drinking for sure. Pretty good looking too. Recommended.

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Photo of mick303
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330 mL bottle poured into tulip, colour is a bright orange gold, cap of white soapy head, pretty good retention and lacing that sticks around. 3.75

S ā€“ sweet grapefruit citrus, honey, some subtle pine notes, pleasant citrus notes, bright florals. nice caramel toffee notes. I imagine it would be brighter if a little fresher, this has a bit of dankness. 3.5

T ā€“ sweet caramel malts with dry grapefruit, clean toasty biscuit, with some slight drying floral and piney notes coming in on the end. Full citrus, pear, lemon, some nutiness and cherry, all fairly tight and not that deep, some graininess with carbonation, the finish is dry, crisp and biscuit with some lingering citrus. 4

M ā€“ moderate body, good amount of malty body, plenty of carbonation with a bit of a souring bitter kick. Easily sessionable, enough bitterness to keep it fairly balanced. 3.5

Makes me want to try it really fresh, feel this has put on some age on the trip to the lcbo here. Still a pleasant though standard citrusy IPA, some pine and spiciness to it, wouldnt mind some more hops in it. Iā€™d like to see how it is fresh, but with some improving local IPAs Im more inclined to head for that direction.

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Photo of leaddog
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a pale copper with a finger width of bubbly and fluffy head.

Smell- Piney hops, citrus, tropical fruits, caramel.

Taste- Piney hops upfront. The citrus, tropical fruits and caramel shine through afterwards. Leaves a slight to moderate bitterness lingering.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Pleasant creaminess.

Overall- A good representation of an American IPA by Tree. This definitely hits on the hop level for the style. One of Tree's better offerings. This is a good intro into the style of American IPA's.

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Photo of kjyost
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL undated bottle purchased at the MLCC, fairly fresh to them. Chilled to 4C and poured alongside 2 other Canadian IPAs (Smashbomb & Mad Tom). Served in sampling glass.

Pours a light amber with a light white head that drops much too quickly, yet leaves nice dabs of lacing. The aroma is quite enjoyable, with fruity notes alongside honey & floral notes. The body itself is less flavourful going down without major hop flavours bursting forth. Some dankness, with strong earthy notes. The beer has a strong bitterness(though not as strong as Smashbomb), especially when paired with a seemingly dry body (why they call it full-bodied on their bottle I know not). Finishes cleanly.

A nice IPA worth drinking fresh. It just needs a little more hop presence in the body.

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Photo of digdug1810
3.05/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got a mix six from my g/f's uncle after sharing with him some beers from the states.

Not bad, not great.. easy drinking... flavor on the backend, not much from the Start... good brew, just not one that stands out or screams... take me home and drink me

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hop Head pours a golden color, with a very small lacing head. There are surprising sea water aromas, with bits of hops. The taste is nice and has a full hoppy taste. Rather dry, but not as dry as others. Rather easy to drink. Overall a very good IPA, a bit different form others, so worth a try.

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Photo of papat444
3.26/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Chad for this one.

Poured from a 330ml. bottle, best before 17/09/12.

Appearance: A light honey colored body with at least 4 fingers of foam and latches onto the glass. Very nice.

Smell: Sticky hops, some caramel and some sweetness.

Taste: A bit of sugar cane but not much fruit. Flavors are more in the back end and not very prominent as upfront it's kind of neutral.

Mouthfeel: Clean, a bit bitter in aftertaste and slightly better than taste.

Overall: A timid IPA and ordinary. Doesn't distinguish itself.

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Photo of maclean25
3.46/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got a six-pack of bottles. I have really liked what I've had from Tree Brewing so, even though IPAs are not my favourite style, I am hoping for a high quality beer.

It pours with a finger of white-caramel-coloured creamy head. The body is slightly hazy, bronze or caramel coloured. The aroma has fresh hops, earthy-grass, burnt sugar, and some light citrus. The taste has clean clear hops of course with floral and grapefruit notes, but also creme brule and little pepper. I find it feels full bodied with a buttery quality. Perfect carbonation. Overall, good. I'm not the best person to judge an IPA but I liked it better than the standard Alexander Keith's IPA but Tree Brewing has better beers available than this one.

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Photo of SebD
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice semi cloudy golden/orange color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of piney, earthy and citrusy hops with some bready malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has the piney, earthy and citrusy character but also has a decent malt presence with some caramelly notes.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel but it doesn't leave a lingering bitterness, something I look for in IPA's.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

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Photo of Caudalie
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a bormioli beer tasting glass

A: pours a clear golden color, with good head

S: really reminding me of pot, resin, leafs, nice smell

T: pretty light, refreshing and hoppy. I like this style of beers

O: well done, cheap, refreshing. A nice go to thirst quenching beer

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 1/2" cream coloured head that left a nice lacing over amber liquid with excellent clarity.

S: Nutty malt and floral hops dominate the smell profile.

T: Citrus, pine and mostly floral hops dominate the taste profile.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium level of carbonation.

O: An approachable IPA for those who cannot handle the more bitter varieties.

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Photo of mintjellie
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber orange colour, slight haze. Foamy off-white head retains well and leaves a patchy lace. Light citrus, tropical fruit, and pine on the nose. Mildly sweet and fruity up front with notes of toast, mango, and red grapefruit. Finish is leafy, bitter, and long lingering. Medium-bodied with low carbonation. Feels smooth and slick, with lingering oiliness between mouthfuls. A solidly built but unremarkable American IPA.

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Photo of Converge
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Big foamy white head. Three fingers off a hard pour. Rusty copper hue. Good head retention, nice and foamy. Solid lacing clings to the glass thoroughly.

S - Lots of piney, citrusy hops. A little bit of tropical fruit going on; grapefruit and orange. Not a lot of malt though, and I'm not really picking up any caramel malt. Nice floral character to it as well.

T - Solid floral hop presence, not quite as citrusy as anticipated. Bigger caramel malt presence in the finish than the aroma had me thinking. Overall, really clean ale with a nice hop kick to it. Fresh mango, unripe orange, and a touch of grapefruit. Much more balance between the malt and hop character than I had expected too. More pine than fruit in the hops, but it's really good.

M - Subtle, but prickly carbonation, with a medium-bodied feel. Well done, but nothing spectacular; very easy to drink though.

D - A domestic IPA that I'm sure will be a mainstay in my fridge for years to come. Well hopped, tasty, and easy to drink. Definitely beats out a lot of other Western Canadian IPAs too. Good stuff.

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Photo of NightINgale
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle. I reckon it's the new design.

A - Looks beautiful! Pours a slightly hazy copper-coloured body, with a nice white foamy head. Suberb lacing and good head retention. Almost looks like a perfect IPA!

S - Grapefruit-like citrus hopness. Hints of tropical fruits (passion fruit, mango). A bit of caramel. Smells pretty promising.

T - Starts out with a very pithy, grapefruit hop kick. Then you get some pine and caramel. Not very sweet. The after-taste is dry and bitter. I was a little upset that I didn't taste any tropical fruits, though.

M - This definitely is a full-bodied IPA (as claimed on the label). However, it is way too dry for my taste; and that does not necessarily have to do with the level of bitterness (which is okay). Slightly astringent. No trace of alcohol.

O - Overall, this is a solid and HOPPY Canadian IPA. Nothing less, nothing more.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangey-amber with a thin white head, barely any lacing.

The aroma is somewhat subdued, some spicey, floral hops and light citrusy notes.

Tastes sharp and hoppy upfront, not much of a malt backbone here. Lots of citrusy, floral hops and lots of different spice notes. Seems a bit harsh, nice and bitter, but almost too much, not balanced well enough.

Overall a good beer, but I enjoyed their double IPA more.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Heavily malted ale is a pleasure to drink.

Beautiful amber colour with decent head. Mouthfeel and carbonation level is also pleasant, although oilier than 6% typically warrants. Aroma of roasted and caramelized malts, which transcends directly into the taste. Flavours also yield a pleasantly hoppy & dry finish, although without the citrus highlights often associated with an APA.

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Hop Head India Pale Ale from Tree Brewing
3.82 out of 5 based on 223 ratings.
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