Hoppy Face Amber Ale | Hoppy Brewing Co.

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Hoppy Face Amber AleHoppy Face Amber Ale

Brewed by:
Hoppy Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-30-2003

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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 64
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. A foamy latticework of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a medium hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lightly foggy kumquat with an impressive amount of furious carbonation that has created an elephantine head of pale orange froth. The head is firmer than it is soft and bears some resemblance to merigue. It isn't nearly as sticky as that sugary confection though, and doesn't leave much lace as a result. A few small splotches, no more. The beer itself looks great and is the main reason for the above score.

The nose is moderately hoppy, concentrating on fresh-squeezed grapefruit, lemon and orange juice. I have no knowledge of the hop bill, but I'm relatively certain that Cascade (and probably at least one of the other 4-Cs) is present. I smell nothing that would lead me to think that anything darker than pale malt is in use.

When is a beer named Amber Ale not an amber ale? When it looks, smells and tastes like Hoppy Face, that's when. More importantly, when the brewery calls it a 'West Coast' IPA. I'll say one thing for these guys, they brew tremendously hoppy, borderline unbalanced beer and are proud of it. Of course, who really expects a beer named Hoppy Face, brewed by Hoppy Brewing Company, to be a malt bomb?

There may be a smidgen of caramel buried way down deep, but it's fighting for its life in this midst of the citric hop storm. I'm well aware that IBUs aren't always a reliable indicator of bitterness, but I'm betting that they're somewhere north of 70 in this beer. Grapefruit and lemon pith and peel are along for the alpha acid ride so that HFAA isn't bitter merely for the sake of bitterness. Still though, non-hopheads might find it to be too biting and sharp.

The mouthfeel can either be thought of as corresponding to a full APA or a relatively light IPA. It fills out a little as the beer gains a few degrees and the initially chaotic carbonation settles down by mid-bomber and ends up being enlivening rather than annoying. A tad more malt would be beneficial in any number of ways.

Hoppy Face Amber Ale is my favorite beer from Hoppy Brewing Company, one of the less well-known Southern California breweries. Even though their offerings don't compare, on average, to many of the other second tier breweries in that region of the country (such as Hoptown and Reaper), this one is worth a look. Especially for those of us in the 'hoppier the better' brigade.

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Photo of smakawhat
2.38/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into an elongated tulip glass.

Opaque orange glowing tangerine body color. Thick head and enormous even off a slow pour. Large retention and thick clumping. Very aggresive, a little overboard, but still impressive.

Thick doughy malts. Lots of bakery smells and doughy yeast. Light caramel and a slight floral hop angle. Not particularly hoppy or hop forward.

Palate is very watery. Lots of seltzery feel and perrier like carbonation. Wet and mineraly. Virtually no malt presence or chew. No caramel and more importantly no hops. Weak. Wet. Lifeless. Aftertaste brings a little taste of hop bitterness, but it is indistinct, and makes the beer come across as slightly hoppy perrier.

Overall even with no bottling date or the possibility of faded old hops, this brew just isn't even getting the basics right. No malt backbone or sweetness, very dissapointing since it is an impressive looking beer.

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Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, hops, a touch of citrus. Taste is a good balance of malts and hops, some mild notes of citrus, bitter at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ericandernavy for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a light orangish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is strong toffee with not too much hop character. The flavor is toffee, iced tea, dirt, earthy hops and a little bit of piney hops. Low to medium bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours a slightly hazed amber color with with an off-white head with pretty good lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is toasted malt, caramel and some citrusy hops.

T- The taste follows the aroma with some malt and caramel flavors up front with the hops creating a lingering bitterness in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good amount of bitterness.

D- Overall, this is a solid Amber that is worth a try. Not the best within the style, but certainly not the worst either.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.52/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I remember when I had to point out to these noobs that this was an amber ale, not an ipa. Like, its amber in color and it says "amber ale" right on the label, how do you screw that up?

Anyways, like I said, amber ale, amber color. Had a nice 1/2" off white head, decent retention to it. Aroma of those Cascade hops and red malts.

They definitely drop a lot of C hop bitterness into this beer, for the better. Caramel and cascades. Chinook? I actually like this beer and it isn't really much different than Nugget Nectar, but a huge difference for me is the format. Bomber only? Screw you, even if relatively decently priced.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.09/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazey orange glow copper color with some sand like suspended sediment. Great head after teh pour and lots of foamy film residing after each sip.

Earthy, musty, and sweet is the overall aroma of this brew. Great earthy and even citrusy, but not dominating. Well integrated with the toasty malts and fruity yeast even.

Toasty, earthy, soil, pine needles, pine oil palate. The pine and the malts come together great once the pine bitterness takes a more citric turn. Good, HOPPY, amber ale.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Label says amber ale, website here says ipa. Certainly looks like an amber ale. Wispy head. Great hoppy aroma, very citrusy old school Cascade hopping.

Taste, again, one of the hoppiest amber ales around, reminiscient of the good ol' Bert Grant's Amber Ale when the legend was still around. Obviously some caramel in an amber ale. Very sturdy. Bitterness very much appreciated, just the right puckering amount that plays with that caramel just right.

This beer is always at the beerfestivals, but rarely in the stores. . .

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.27/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours a finger and half of head on a clear dark straw body.
The aroma is a lot of pine resin.
The taste starts with mild lemon bitterness, then middle to end is a big pine resin bitter. Not my favorite flavor.
The texture is crisp.
It has an intense resin smell and flavor which is great if you like that.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.01/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Funky looking Bomber, which along with 2 other beers from Hoppy Brewing immediately grabbed my attention from behind the glass doors of the Coolers at Morry’s of Long Beach. The third and last of which is the Hoppy Face Amber Ale. Plain brass colored crown cap, and just one main obverse rather Psychedelic looking label with an attractive Californian Tie-Dye coloring, as per the BA Database picture. The label on my bottle has a strength of ‘Alc. 6.1% By Vol’ [differing from that listed] listed in the bottom right hand corner of the label, but no freshness date.

Appearance: I used my straight sided handled pint Mug for this one. It looked damned good in the Glass from the off. Guess what? Yep it has an Amber colored body, pellucid with a dark orange rusty tinge. The head is a creamy off-white mass, smooth looking and rather uniform compared to the other Hoppy Brewing beverages that I tried previously. This one looks very impressive in the Pint Glass.

Nose: Relaxed but inviting, the nose has a very American Pale Ale cum ‘New Wave’ Hoppy English Bitter Pale Ale (ala Roosters) tingle. Focused clean lines. Freshly mown grass cutting detritus boldly backs up hops, some lightly toasted biscuit malts. Deeply inhaled – it is marvelous.

Taste: Toasty malts with a light caramel sweetness entrance the beer. Bitterness rises in the middle followed by a wallop of hops. Ooh, I like this. Bitter and malty, lightly sweet, astringent and hoppy. I like this one.

Mouthfeel: Soft and creamy, the Malt and Hops play the Good Cop – Bad Cop routine to perfection. Talcum powder soft malt background with a rough fresh grassy Hop feel on the tongue.

Drinkability: Hmmmm, easily downed, it drinks well. The crisp clean malts and rough grassy hoppy bitterness in the back end precipitates a saliva reaction that really signals the brain to tighten the muscles in your drinking arm as soon as it replaces the chosen drinking vessel on a hard surface. This is a pounder, even if it is designed to be cherished! I found it very hard to put the Glass down, but very easy to put the beer down.

Overall: Of the three Hoppy Brewing beers I have tried so far, this was by far my favorite and actually felt Hoppy - I would most certainly buy this one again. So OK, strictly speaking it may not be your ‘classic’ “Amber Ale”, but it is a damn nice quaffer. I actually quite like the Hoppy-Amber concept, anything that sticks a middle finger to straight-jacket definitions and the Beer Style Nazis gets my vote. Up the revolution! A decent enough Session Bomber. Worth a try, and not bad at all for $3. This would be f’in good on Cask I reckon.

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Photo of DmanGTR
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

After a long evening of jamming and doing everything but studying, this is a great chill out beer. Poured a deep tangerine hue, with a nice, frothy white head that left patches of lace and a tight ring around the edges. Perfectly clear. Very pretty. Light grainy and cereal aroma with hints of earthy hops. Touch of orange peel and grapefruit rind. Flavor is very well balanced. Nice caramel and cereal in the background hand in hand with a grapefruity and bitter finish. A lingering aftertaste of freshly mowed grass makes for a refreshing sip. Light bodied with a well done carbonation. Definitely a great "chillin" beer. And for $3.99, you can't go wrong with this.

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Photo of ThickNStout
2.49/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle from Total Wine (Naples, FL). 4.99. Served in my trusty $2 Goodwill snifter. 

Dark amber with 2.5 fingers pillowy head. Leaves nice lacing as the foam recedes & I drank it down. 

Not sure what that smell is, but it sure isn't hops. An almost metallic light beer scent. Ever so faint citrus fruit. 

There isn't a whole lot goin on in this one. Kind of dry, bitter, almost burnt grain taste. The hops advertised in "Hoppy Face" finally show up in the back half of the taste- but they're restrained and just all around weak. 

Medium light body with a healthy dose of carbonation.

I was able to finish the 22oz (and it really wasn't bad) but I'll be passing on this in the future. Too many other truly great beers out there to waste any more time here. 

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Photo of Offa
2.4/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Although this has promising flavours lurking underneath, I find it far too hoppy, grapefruity-bitter, and unbalanced. This seems to be a trait with "Hoppy Brewing" beers and perhaps the name gives some insight.

Anyway, it is copper with a medium, light tan head slowly shrinking to a permanent thin head with even rings of thin lace.

The aroma is quite nice, but deceptively so, again a trait I have noticed in Hoppy Brewing beers. It is somewhat like Lagunitas Censored and has bread, caramel, grapefruit, pine, and dust.

The taste, though, is unbalaned, mostly bitter with lemon and grapefruit pulp and light hints of pine, sweet caramel, and grain. There are good flavours, but it's far too dominated by bitter citrus pulp character, making it very unbalanced. The finish is rough and drying. It is somewhat reminiscent of say, Bear Republic Red Rocket, but with thinner body, weaker, less clear flavours, and no balance. At least, with more flavour than Hoppy's Liquid Sunshine, this has somewhat better balance and taste.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.06/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 22 oz. bomber picked up at BevMo. Pours a clear golden orange with a half inch of off white head. OK retention and some lacing as a result.

Some sweet malts and citrus hops on the nose, though not nearly what one might expect from the name, and in fact a bit metallic at times. Called an Amber by name, and an IPA on their website. Seems like a rich Pale Ale to me. As an IPA the nose is average at best.

Taste follows the nose and finishes bitter. Initially offering a bite of carbonation, this lessens quickly yielding a slightly resinous feel and a chalky close. Carbonation continues to decrease as I constantly agitate the beer looking for some hops. Not bad overall but not quite what I as expecting, even after recognizing the IPA factor, which is a bit of a stretch.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.84/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a tulip. Carefull with this one as it takes a gentle pour to get the desired look. Big tan head that peaks in a mountain shape, sea foam texture, loose bubbles.

Large hop presence, rather on the raw side, leaning heavily towards the citrus, rind, variety. They certainly live up to their namesake, hoppy? YEP. Amber ale ...ehhh whatever its a hopped up red, lets run with that. Malts are nearly extinct in this brew. Carbonation is a bit on the high end with a sizzle effect. I could see this beer being reviewed very high and very low, it has a wild discombobulated, unorganized taste. Works for me. I really liked the young, rawness of the hops. Finishes astringent and lingering.

Notes: This brewery is starting to climb the ranks at the DogFood household. For the price, its a winner.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.8/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a mug on 9/3/11

Hazy, almost cloudy. Dulled honey-yellow with something of a pond water hue. One finger cap of foam eventually leaves a thin layer of retention. A second glass doubles the head and leaves a solid layer of retention and a decent amount of lace.

The aroma is plain and pretty much average, neither great nor bad. Caramel, bread, pine, earthy hops and faint hints of citrus rind. The taste is just more of the same. Reasonably bitter throughout; dry pine notes are coupled with a dirty tasting earthiness. Caramel and bread are both prominent. Medium body with fizzy, lively carbonation; too much for me. Residual bitterness.

This is a passable beer but it's hardly worth a repeat purchase. What can I expect from a $4 bomber in Ohio? Exactly.

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Photo of shand
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a nonic. ABV is 6.1% as opposed to the 5.5 listed.

This brew pours an amber colour, slightly cloudy, with a finger of white head, that retains poorly but laces very well. The smell is primarily hoppy, with some nice citrus scents as well, on top of some smooth malts. The taste here is primarily piney and earthy hops for sure, with some nice citrus character. There's just a touch of caramel malts here to round everything else out. Well-done.

The mouthfeel is nice and medium-bodied, the carbonation rolls in a bit through the sip, and the ending feel is nice and drying, and the drinkability is quite good. A nice hoppy amber from a brewery I've tended to look past due to their terrible labels, I'm more than willing to give them more shots based on this.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.27/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a surprisingly good beer. A lot better than I expected. The beer pours to a copper color, fairly hazy with sediment. Nice thin white head that retains very well at a mm. Decent carbonation.

The smell is good. Nice spicy floral hops. Nice caramel malt aromas. Fruity esters of apple and pear. The taste is similar, but amped up. Great hops flavor. Works very well with the fruity esters. Great lingering hops bitterness. Very tasty.

The body is medium with a sharp carbonation. Bitterness is a bit high for the style, but it woul make an amazing IPA. Very drinkable. I will try the other beers from this brewery I was at first hesitant to try.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cute labels on these beers. I'm not typically a big fan of the Amber style, but I do like me some hops, so what the heck.

Pours a dark copper in color with a thin halo of a head. Lots of fresh, West Coast "C" hops in the aroma. More than I'd expect from the style, actually. But still enticing.

Middling sweet malt body starts the sip, but is quickly overpowered by a big citric hop blast at the finish. There's a bit of European grassy/floral hops back there too, actually. Bitterness lingers well into the aftertaste.

A bit rough in the finish, and, well, not very Amber-like. But as some of my SD buddies have pointed out, this could work alright if billed as an IPA. Not great, but alright.

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Photo of supercolter
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I completely agree with the reviewer before me. There is no way this is an amber/red ale. It looks, pours, smells and tastes like an IPA or possibly an APA- It is very oily and hoppy with a hint of malt to give it a backbone. The mouthfeel is medium in body and there is very little carbonation. Drinks easily.

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Photo of tapman
4.5/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whipped light brown head that pours as big as you want, mine was a little over 2 fingers. head is a rusty brown and clear. lacing is creamy and sticky.

Hops are mellow, earthy and tea-like. Malt is grainy, sweet, brown-sugar-like and with a little raisin or dark fruit. Malt is biggest though the hops come through and support them, for a change.

Taste is sweet, like a sugarless cookie. Malt is a little caramel-like, with some toast and fine hints of roast, though no astringency. Bitterness is moderate and strongest in the finish. Hops are very floral and sweet.

Not too dry, though not too sweet and sticky. Carbonation just bright enough.

I think this is a great example of the style. Many are not hoppy enough, or are too sweet and toasty. A pleasant surprise as this one was 4.99 and I bought it while on a budget for the evening. Two thumbs up for a decent session beer that fits its style criteria!

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Photo of rkuhnel
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The name is very misleading because as soon as I poured my 22 oz bomber into the glass my first reaction was, goodness this sure looks like an IPA. It was an amber-orange wtih a huge foamy off-white head that left gigantic chunks of lacing on the sides of the glass. This one has some head, in fact almost too much of one. Nose was very much piney and floral hops. Sure smelled like an IPA to me. Mouthfeel was thick and oily, and flavors including roasted malts, caramel, citrus, and some spices. Finish is nicely bitter. I checked the brewers webside adn they call this an IPA, so in spite of the name I condider it mislabeled. It should be called an IPA, and it is a good one.

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Photo of hophead247
3.36/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a substantial foamy head, aroma is sweet malt with floral hops. Sweet apricot, malt is present and piney hops is there to balance nicely. Medium bodied but a bit watery mouthfeel, finishes crisp. Very drinkable, more hops than you might expect from an amber but then it's name should let you in on that fact.

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Photo of RunDWP
3.26/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Those 70's era yellow hoppy faces work well for kitsch, but do they belong on a beer bottle? I sipped a Hoppy Face Amber Ale while pondering such deep philosophical questions.

Another deep philosophical question: When is an Amber Ale really an IPA? When is a Hoppy Face Amber Ale apparently. The hoppiness was surprisingly stronger than the malt, and I expected more roasted malt. The malt had a slight nutty note, but it was a bit overpowered by the hops, which tasted of grapefruit peel and resin. Put it all together, and I didn't find the flavors blended well. It's not a bad brew, it's just that the flavors seem sort of out of synch with each other, and the hops just seem a little too strong. It was little harsh and astringent, so I can't give it great drinkability marks. It did look pretty good in my tulip, a hazy orange brew with a light brown fluffy head floating on top. The head stubbornly refused to go away and plenty of sheeting action on the glass.

Any decent brew will give me a happy face, and this is a decent brew.

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Hoppy Face Amber Ale from Hoppy Brewing Co.
3.53 out of 5 based on 64 ratings.
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