Hop Head India Pale Ale | Tree Brewing

Hop Head India Pale AleHop Head India Pale Ale
224 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 224 |  Reviews: 124
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A solid and very bitter American style IPA. As good as an average American microbrewery. Not particularly citrusy, that would heighten its drinkability. More banana. Dry aftertastePine and lemon aroma. Hats off to Irondjinn for the sample.
I had this 2.5 years later on tap at Hop In Brew and that rating is now posted.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

20oz pint at Bottlescrew Bill's in downtown Calgary - this was my introduction to hoppy IPAs (fuck you Alexander Keith!) a few years ago, and here I sit now, with a tap option right in front of me!

This beer appears a clear, medium orange-brick amber hue, with one chubby finger of thickly foamy, somewhat bubbly, and eventually creamy off-white head, which leaves a respectable amount of patchy webbed lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells evenly of grapefruit/orange citrus pith, lemon-heavy iced tea powder, biscuity and bready caramel malt, and further floral, leafy astringent hop notes. The taste is bitter grapefruit, orange, and lemon rind up front, followed tightly by a bewildered dose of crackery caramel malt, a bit of wet white bread, and rounded out once again by some mildly bitter floral hops.

The carbonation is fairly soft, in a tacky, frothy sort of manner, the body a decent medium-full weight for the style, mostly smooth, and even a bit creamy. It finishes more or less consistent, the semi-sweet malt, and varied bittering hops lingering for a whole while longer.

As previously mentioned, seeing this on tap for the first time was a very pleasant surprise. It is a fair bit fuller and smoother in draft form, but is otherwise quite in line, flavour-wise, with the bottled format that I usually put back in large-ish amounts, when the occasion calls for it. One of Canada's best for the style, IMHO.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a medium foamy slightly off-white head. Aroma of cascade hops is clearly present with a nice touch of citrus. Taste is also characterized by cascade hops with a clear citrus touch and a quite bitter finish. Body is above average and carbonation is a bit low. Interesting take on the style.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy, dark copper body with a thin, wispy, off-white head.

Smell: Grainy pale maltiness with vague hints of caramel and notes of pine and citrus fruit.

Taste: Light, fleeting flavors of grains, pale malt, and, to an even lesser degree, caramel. Minimal sweetness. Pine-based and citrus hops deliver a moderate bitterness, a bit astringent at times. Finishes crisp, bitter, and quite dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Didn't care for this one. Thanks, but no thanks, Tree.

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Photo of imbibehour
4.23/5  rDev +11%
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 jwc215
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Voonder for this one!

Pours orange amber with a thin off-white head that becomes a swirling patch. No lacing really sticks.

The smell is perfumy, piney, fruity hops with a sweet caramel background.

The taste is resiny/piney - Hops stand out just ahead of the sweet caramelish malt. Sweet resin turns to a bittering, citric, dry finish.

It has a firm medium body. Pretty chewy.

This is a nice well-balanced, though appropriately hoppy, IPA. On the modest side of abv for the style (and well-hidden), and with the nice aroma, taste and body, it makes for a great call for a "sessionable" IPA for sure!

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Photo of liamt07
3.36/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 341ml bottle into a tulip, courtesy of IllNate.

Gorgeous dark orange colour, with an off white head, which settles to a collar. Great hop-haze going on, can't see clearly through this beer; looks great and hope the taste is there too. Aroma is tropical fruits; maybe a bit of grapefruit, but also has some mango and orange going on, among others. Light bitterness, but doesn't stick out; a sweet, caramel malt stands out from underneath this as well. Taste is kinda weird; I get some fruits upfront with a bit of bitterness and some pine lingering on the palate. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but it's got some good drinkability on a nice hot summer day. Bottle probably not as fresh as it could have been however.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

02/29/06- Taken from notes on my last Kelowna trip in September. Had on tap at Tree Brewery.

Presentation- Via the tap into 4oz tasters.

Appearance- Lighter amber colored pour, 1/2 inch head with light lacing.

Smell- Darker roasted malt background, minimal, but sweeter and floral scented hops.

Taste- Hmmm, really light on the hops here. Tastes like a pale ale that has more malt than hops. Just a small hit of grapefruit bitterenss. The malt is medium dark, not as dark as from the scent.

Mouthfeel- Good carbonation level. Light aftertaste.

Drinkability- I will have to try this one again when I go back. It gets good reviews. Stale batch? Doubt it though because I got it straight from the tap at the brewery itself. Just wasn't hoppy at all.

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Photo of Erik-P
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Medium orange. Cloudy with one finger of bubbly off-white head that quickly receded leaving some good lacing behind.

S - A seemingly balanced IPA nose. Some bitter citrus and piney hops with a sweet caramel backbone.

T - Follows the nose. Balanced flavour profile with a good hop bitterness and a sweet caramel malt backbone. Some citrus and floral notes come through from the hops as well.

M - Light to medium body. Moderate carbonation.

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Photo of Derek
4.36/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the Guildford mall Liquor store in Surrey, BC. I'm not sure if this was a particularly fresh bottle, but this is AWESOME!

A: Very clear, orange-copper tone with a fluffy white head, great retention and lace. Exceptional.

S: Citrousy Pacific Northwest hops (floral & citrous), with a little bready malt.

T: Certainly balanced towards the bitter side, but very smooth. Not at all harsh. Pleasant British Pale malt, slight caramel flavour, with a huge wack of Northwest hops (quite assertive, but not overbearing). Very nice.

M: Moderate body with a slightly acidic feel. Moderate to high carbonation, prickly.

D: Very drinkable.

I think this one's under-rated. In a blind tasting, it should compete with the best of them. Perhaps it's the modest 5.8% ABV that detracts people... but it's still packed with quality flavour, and it's just that much more drinkable!

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Photo of spinrsx
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml Bottle

Appearance – The beer pours a clear copper colour with a large size frothy and fizzy beige coloured head. There isn't a whole lot of carbonation to be seen, and there is some really amazing lacing going on. The head hung around for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel, grapefruits, pine

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and a fair amount of hops. There is also an earthy flavour mixed with pine and some light grapefruit. The beer finishes with a caramel sweet aftertaste with a few seconds of lingering hop bitterness.

Overall – Don't get me wrong, this is a very good IPA.. but I prefer more of fruity juicy west coast flavour. This is more along the lines of the east coast variety.. kind like a sam adams latitude 48 meets a smuttynose finest kind.

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Photo of biegaman
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is about the only place you won't find evidence of hops; despite a hefty indulgence of lupulin the beer didn't turn green. Rather, its copper coloured body glistens like tinsel, despite that it's too hazed to properly see through, and its toasty complexion suggests a good proportion of malt, as would the sturdy head retention.

Judging by the smell, Tree Hophead might have just as much swagger as its bigger brother, Double Hophead. While there isn't much alcohol and far too much balancing malt to mistake it for a DIPA, its hop bill sure could fit the description of one; a very 'green' bitterness (like that of steamed greens) comes across as quite stinky, with a heavily herbal mustiness.

IPAs don't put the same emphasis on 'balance' - some argue, in fact, that the less of it the better - but I feel it depends on what variety of hops is used. A resinous, pine-y, almost ganja-like herbal bill, like the one used in this recipe, benefits from a good dosage of toasty, caramelly malt, which is most complimentary, combining to make a candied-fruit finish.

Hophead packs a lot of punch for a beer that fails to exceed 6%; while most would agree that its alcohol content is moderate, I'd bet most people would be turned off by a beer that's so unapologetically bitter. Oily resins drench the palate, tangy alpha acids singe the throat and hop leafs can be felt wedged between the teeth. I'm gonna need some floss.

Although British Columbia may belong to a separate country from Washington, Oregon and northern California, the fact is that all parts of the Pacific North-West share a common, indissoluble culture between them. Their citric, resinous, bitter beers are case in point. Indeed, I'd put Hophead up there with any other flagship IPA from that part of the world.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured into pint glass aug17 2009

A clear golden copper, with a big head that slowly forms a island, lots of lace, not quite marking each sip but still very nice

S lots of hops(go figure) heavy citrus lots of grapefruit and some pine

T like it smells, but bigger flavor and a little bit of well balanced malt and some booze i could not smell. other then there DIPA this is the best tasting beer ive had from tree brewing, just a toned down version of the DIPA

M/D no complaints here this was hard not too drink, downed 2 in the time it took me to write this

too bad the DIPA is a seasonal, this works very well in between, well worth trying

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Photo of bylerteck
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours bright with a a golden colour and decent carbonation. One finger of creamy, fluffy eggshell head. Chunk of lacing in one spot and good one finger retention.

S - Lot's of citrus pineapple and grapefruit with a solid malt body. A little subdued. The pineapple comes out strong though.

T - Nice malt body of rich caramel malts balancing with a strong citrus hop profile. A nice West coast punch of pinesol soapy hops and a little earth come together with that caramel and bready body for a pretty good IPA.

M - Plenty bitter with proper carbonation and a medium body with a little chew.

O/D - A fairly balanced example of the style with a bitter punch I wasn't expecting to get so high. If you're looking for a more balanced example of the style then this is probably it. While it gets going with a strong hop note, the malts are much more present than with other examples.

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Photo of Howlader
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of StJamesGate
3.57/5  rDev -6.3%
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 DrJay
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep golden colour, clear, with a rocky, off-white head. Plenty of lacing. Hop aromas are very nice, mostly floral with a bit of citrus. Caramel maltiness is also present. Caramel malt flavour starts things off and ends part way through. Moderate bitterness. Hop flavour stays muted until the end and it finishes dry. Medium carbonation and body. Very nicely balanced, which helps the drinkability. Overall, quite a good beer.

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Photo of Viggo
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear golden/orange, medium sized white head forms, stays all the way through, laces nicely. Smell is hoppy, lots of pine, caramel and citrus. Taste is nice and balanced, lots of pine and floral, with some grain and caramel. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Excellent IPA, best Canadian IPA I've tasted yet, at least in bottled form.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Long time reader, first time reviewer. Figured I'd start with one of my favourites, hopefully it's not too biased. Bottle poured into my favourite pilsner glass (which after reviewing the glassware section, was the wrong glass... should've been a mug!).

A - Deep caramel in colour. Decent carbonation with a strong lace off the pour, diminishing over time.

S - Overwhelming hop scent, with a mild malt offset.

T - Strong hops off the start, with a malty aftertaste. Bitterness increasingly noticeable over time.

M - Noticeable carbonation on the palette which mellows and smoothes on the swallow.

D - Given that this is my go to beer, I find it highly drinkable, though, my opinion may be slightly biased! If you like hoppy beers, which are sessionable, this one is highly recommended. A nice balance of hops making you wanting to come back for more!

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Photo of jrenihan
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is amber in colour, with a white head. Good retention and lacing.

Scent is good. Consists of citrus - primarily pineapple - and caramel malt.

Taste is fairly bitter, and the citrus and caramel from the scent are present. A bit of pine is in the background as well. Finish is bitter.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. A little chewy.

Decent IPA, but the Double Hop Head is considerably superior, in my view.

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Photo of bumchilly25
3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of papat444
3.26/5  rDev -14.4%
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 schopenhauerale
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

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Hop Head India Pale Ale from Tree Brewing
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 224 ratings
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