Hop Head India Pale Ale | Tree Brewing

very good
124 Reviews
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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: 221
Photo of timtwoface
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a 12-pack of BC Craft Brews and this was thankfully one of the beers included. I've had it before and enjoyed it and looked forward to having it again.

Brought to you by your friends at Tree Brewing, I found this IPA - rather weak by IPA standards at only 5.6& ABV - to be rather delicious, if you're a fan of hops. It's easy to drink, and easy to have a handful of these - if you're a fan of hops. I would definitely recommend this beer, and I'm happy it's slowly becoming more easily available in the Vancouver area.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear gold. Solid foam.

S - A light citrus/pine with hints of grass and honey. Lightly earthy.

T/M - Good hoppiness - leaning towards the bitter side over flavour. A bit of acid up front and fairy bitter with a long finish. A little bit of apple, herbal notes. Moderate body and good carbonation level.

D - A bit coarse. I would prefer a bit more citrus from the hops but still, fairly drinkable, solid choice.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TheSevenDuffs for this!

Pours a nice clear, light amber color. Head was rather white, fluffy, leaving waves of lace. Aroma was lightly floral, with a big caramel malt backbone. Taste was much more bitter than the nose let on, with a subtle floral, but more grassy hop bite. Nutty, caramel malts make for a nice balance. Very creamy mouthfeel, with a definite full body.

Nothing "wow-worthy", but there's no arguing that this is a nice, tasty, drinkable daily ipa.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
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 paxkey
2.88/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

bottle different than one pictured.

pours marmelade orange, honey brown. two finger offwhite head. beer is cloudy. head is sticking around.

pulling tropical fruit on the nose. a little candylike though. might be a sweet syrupy malt bill. smells nice overall

an almost cloying bitterness attacks the palate and leaves a sharp spiked edge on the finish. some of that sweetness comes through in the middle and stays around on the finish.
bitterness is slighlty metallic. not terrible but..
beer has some chewiness to it but leaves some alchohol burn and almost medicinal bitterness on the way down.
love ipa's but a failure is a failure.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Six pack from the Uptown Waterloo LCBO. Been eager to try this for quite some time, but distribution was...well...typical.

Poured into a nonic. Amber golden, good frothy head, nice lacing patches.

Nose is a mix of earth, citrus and malty sweetness, with a bit of pine and other damp BC smells. Lovely.

Nice IPA, with the earthy-pine grabbing more attention than the citrus, which is something I haven't seen in quite some time. Like any true "Hop Head", I just can't get enough hops, and yes, even this brew could still use a little more umph. But it's damned tasty and the maple sweetness is quite enjoyable. British Pale Ale-style mild carbonation, slightly creamy.

Solid brew, nice IPA with a distinctly BC flavor to it. Worth a try, might sneak in to my regular rotation.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber with a near peach colour and a great fluffy creamy foam head that rests on-top like a marshmallow. Very good retention and good lacing.

S: Healthy dose of pine and grapefruit, strong baked bread-like malt, an earthy nutty aroma, honey, and some vanilla.

T: Similar to smell with a bittersweet herbal hop presence, bread-like malt, and a damp woody earthy taste (that's appealing). Also detecting a maple syrup quality to this, or perhaps it's that wood taste coming through.

M: Near perfect mouthfeel for the style with an oily medium mouthfeel and moderate carbonation.

O: A good IPA that's certainly sessionable. Could easily have a few of these in an evening. Reminds me of Sierra Nevada a bit- obviously a good thing.

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Photo of sholland119
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up at Premier Wine & Spirits, Halifax.

A-Pours a crystal clear orange amber with a frothy off white head and nice sticky lacing.

S-Lots of malty richness, some good pine and a hint of citrus.

T-Lots of caramel malt, some good earthy hops and a bit of grapefruit bite in the finish.

M-Medium bodied, good carbonation.

O-Nice. A bit underhopped for my liking but still nice.


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Photo of shamus
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent IPA but not going to be a favourite. It's got that nice hops richness as you would expect with an IPA called Hop Head but it's not quite spectacular. Maybe it's the kind of hops. Hmmm I'd rather have a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I guess in general I prefer APA to IPA but I would definitely buy this again.

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Photo of nighthawk
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated 330mL bottle poured into pint glass. Procured from Premier in Halifax.

Pours a typical clear copper with orange hues and lots of visible carbonation. Head is initially two fingers high and white, fading to a thin haze that leaves a little lacing here and there.

Mainly hops to the nose, citrus with some pine and grassiness. Some caramel from the malt.

Hoppy at first, sweetly citrusy leading to more bitter pine and herbaceous notes, with a mice malty backbone to it of caramel and cereal grains. Finishes slightly sweet but with an accompanying bitterness.

Nice robust body with gentle but noticeable carbonation. Finishes clean and crisp.

Very nice IPA from Tree Brewing. Worth picking up.

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Photo of mrnobody
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a hazy orange/amber with a finger and a half of off-white head. Good retention and lots of sticky lacing.

S: Smells of pine, caramel, grapefruit.

T: The flavour follows the aroma: piney grapefruit with a nice complementary malt base.

M: Medium body with a fairly creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is subdued.

D: The drinkability seems pretty high. A good AIPA.

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Photo of zachariaIPA
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice bottle. Pours a crystal clear copper with a finger of lingering off-white head. Very attractive.

Biscuity malts and piney hops, with light notes of citrus and honey.
For "Hop Head" I was expecting something a little more hop-forward and daring..definitely not a bad beer..quite good, actually..but just a little retrained..overall it's got a nice bitter and malty backbone..finishing smooth and dry. Good drinkability.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
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 MattyV
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent orange-copper colour, airy white head with average retention but good lacing down the sides of the glass. Some caramel maltiness is immediately noticeable in the nose along with some green/herbal hop notes and a slight metallic tinge. Taste follows the nose with a sizeable sweet crystal malt backbone that counters the fruity/herbal hop flavours and bitterness. Finishes with a sharp, 'pithy' bitterness. Medium slick body with average, slightly prickly carbonation. Nice to see more (Canadian) IPAs on the shelves lately, even some of the more average interpretations of the style such as this. Quite enjoyable and well-balanced, lending itself to a good session or two, but perhaps if the juicy hop flavour was dialed up a bit this beer would stick out more for me.

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Photo of peensteen
3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lightly hazy copper colour, one finger of off white head, lots of lace left behind. Smell is full of hops and pine notes, some citrus and grapefruit, malty with some sweet notes. Taste is fairly malty, quite sweet, floral pine presence, big peanut oil like flavours are a little unwelcome. Med-high prickly carbonation, medium body with some hop oils present. Overall a bit of a let down, looks and smells quite good but that was the highpoint, a bit bland and fairly average.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
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 bryehn
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, rusty amber colour with a sizeable and frothy off-white head that settles quickly as a collared film while leaving a generous amount of lace.

The aroma is not what I was expecting and a bit muted overall. Lightly caramelized malts with a fresh, grainy backing and a semi-sweet floral tone. A subtle hint of lemon oil and alcohol as well.

Tastes like toasted malts up front. A light buttery tone gives way to an earth-like taste and a fairly strong bitterness that really lingers, but remains in control. Again, a hint of lemon or orange oil pokes through in the finish. Very well-balanced.

Rather light-bodied with a medium-heavy carbonation that really pops on the tongue. Has a distinct oily quality that smooths over its bitterness in the aftertaste and adds to its drinkability.

After trying the double IPA version of Hophead I was genuinely surprised at the lack of any real citrus or fruity bite, however this is a fairly easy-going take on the style that would work well with grilled meats, salads, breads and pasta with red sauce. Will likely sneak into the regular rotation.

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Photo of fostachild
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a really nice amber color - extremely clear. good amount of foamy head with nice retention.

smell is piney hops, citrus, bitterness.

taste bit of hops with a sweet malty aftertaste. also a slight bitterness to it. okay balance with good carbonation.

overall a little different than what i expect from an american ipa, but still good.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
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 +1.6%
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 drinkininthewood
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was in the LCBO to pick up a six of Muskoka Mad Tom when i actually tripped over a case of this fine brew...Oh fine brew, are you ok? I am! Now that im walking out of the LCBO with some Mad Tom and Hop Head.

Nice bottles, served into a pint glass, no freshness date.

A- Nice appearance, reddish copper color with a thick frothy cap of white foam, sticky lacing.

S- the aroma is floral with some hints of citrus.

T- Nice malt sweetness, caramel, touch of honey, hops are good, cascade, citrus and grapefruit, quite earthy, finish is dry. Not as bitter as I would have expected based on the strong aromas of pine.

M- smooth medium bodied wholesome mouthfeel, carbonation on the low side.

D- Excellent.

Overall and IPA thats greatly drinkable and flavorfull, sessionable too due to a low ABV. The LCBO may be years behind the world of beer but its nice to see stuff like this come in from time to time.

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Photo of heebes
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355 ml bottle.
New bottle design. No label on the body, only the top, slightly tapered in the middle, different.
15/01/12 printed on the neck.

Pours a medium orange amber with one and a half fingers worth of slightly off white foamy head. Nose is biscuity, bready, light citrus, lemony, faint pine; mainly balanced with possibly more malt backbone than hop presence - at least in the smell. Taste is sharply bitter pine (from Tree brewing, go figure) with that malt forward body coming next, almost instantly dry mouthfeel. A depth of flavour, thankfully this is where the hops shine most in this beer - bitter, earthy but not floral or citrus. The same malt profile that I remember from the Imperial Hophead from Tree that we tried earlier this year; a little metallic, reminiscent of a beer that isnt so fresh, but hey, traveling from B.C to Ontario im not complaining. Medium bodied, good carbonation.
Overall, pretty impressed - its got the sharp dry hop mouthfeel down, fairly balanced, refreshing and nice to see on shelves in this small rural town.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.49/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great bottle. (It's different than what's pictured here)

Pours and orangey amber topped by a thick, foamy 1" head. Laces and retains well.

Aroma of pine and grapefruit, stevia leaf and canned peaches.

The taste is pine with a herbal grassy bitterness with not quite enough caramel malt to equalize things.

Medium bodied, crisp carbonation, somewhat creamy.

Yep. It's a textbook IPA. Better than many. But after going through a good two dozen or more Red Racers this summer, it's kind of hard to be wowed by this one. Unfortunately.

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Photo of ericj551
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hophead IPA pours a slightly hazy orange red with a slightly off white head that lingers as a thin layer. The aroma is herbal, floral and slightly citrusy hops with a nutty, toasted bread malt character. The same floral, herbal hops pop up in the flavor, just a bit earthy. The caramel malt sweetness is moderate, with the same warm toasted bread character as the brewery's pale ale. The bitterness is solid, but not lingering like I expect with an IPA.

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Photo of marty21
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear golden orange with one finger worth of off white head. Settles to a solid cap and left tons of lacing.

S: Very nice hoppy aroma up front with some malt and earthy aromas in the background.

T: Light malt with earthy tastes. Finishes with some hops but not nearly as much as I was picking up in the aroma. Bit of a let down.

M: Medium carbonation with a medium body.

O: It’s a pretty good IPA but I was a little disappointed in the lack of hops in the taste. Freshness wouldn’t be an issue either because I bought them right in Kelowna where the brewery is. I still really enjoyed it but just wished there were a few more hops in the taste.

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Hop Head India Pale Ale from Tree Brewing
3.82 out of 5 based on 221 ratings.
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