Hopvale Organic Ale
Summit Brewing Company

Hopvale Organic AleHopvale Organic Ale
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American Pale Ale (APA)
3.86 | pDev: 8.81%
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Hopvale Organic AleHopvale Organic Ale
Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 148 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of freakspank
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Darker yellow.. great taste if one likes the light piney citus flavor... not as hoppy as most IPAs but a very good full tasting beer but very easy drinking.. this is and IPA that one could drink a number of on a hot day..

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours bright gold under a 1” off-white foam collar that descends over a 3 minute period to a thick, sticky film.

S: Minty lemon citrus, some light grains. The Hop aromas are medium, the malt aromas are medium low.

T: Fruit flavors dominated by lemon and other citrus, light malt balanced by a citrus rind bitterness. The added lemon is restrained with just enough to know it is there but not too much to get in the way of the other ingredients. The hop flavors are medium high, the hop bitterness is medium to medium high and the malt flavors are medium. There is some drying hop astringency on the finish.

F: Medium body and medium high carbonation.

O: A very flavorful, refreshing session beer.

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Photo of Wer34truh
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a large foamy head which retains for quite some time. The color is golden, with quite a large degree of murkiness.

Smells heavily of citrus, whether it's grapefruit, lemon or just citra-laden hops.

The citrus is undoubtedly at the heart of this beer, yet the taste as a whole is fairly subtle. Once the citrus-abundant initial taste disappears, there is a fair amount of bitterness present. Feel is light, with very little carbonation. While the taste was slightly disappointing to me, I consider the feel of this to be essentially perfect.

Picked up a 4-pack (of 1 pint cans) for $10.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Organic Hopvale was quite nice and perfect for the late fall evening. It poured a golden yellow with white head that laced like a Vicky secret model all the way down the glass. The scent and taste were mostly bitter with touches of citrus. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with smooth carbonation. Overall it was good and worth a try.

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Photo of ctylinebeer
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16 oz. can poured into a tulip. From a 4-pack at the beer store I work at.

L - amber color with a hint of yellow. Cloudy hue with yeast floating around a bit. Standard two-finger head on the top.

A - strong, citrus notes of grapefruit and the lemon peel shows up very well.

T - subtle grapefruit notes and bitterness. Really an explosion of citrus goodness.

F - sessionable beer for easy drinking. Medium-Light on body with the yeast and the alcohol is just right

O - I've never had an organic beer before but it does not taste any different that other craft beers I've tried. Not sure what the deal is with organic beers vs craft but for what it's worth, it's a very good beer. The 4-pack cans makes it convenient for outings and such.

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Photo of rolltide8425
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very easy drink for a warm summer day. Rich, citrusy, aroma and flavor with light malt undertones. Crisp and very refreshing, I could crush these all day.

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Photo of barczar
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very grassy, piney, earthy, floral hop aroma, with a touch of sweet caramel malt to balance the resin that surfaces late.

Flavor reveals an initial hit of caramel malt, which fades to bitter resin at the finish. There's a light muted citrus character mid palate, along with floral notes, which add complexity.

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Photo of Jason
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Fresh, Citrus, Pungent, Crushable

While I’m not into the whole “organic” thing, I do love how Summit defines this beer as an organic session ale. Hopped to the hilt, with overtones of fresh citrus and lemongrass. Light and drinkable with a crisp refreshing factor throughout. Even with the heavy head of hopping there is balance in Hopvale. Fitting that they packaged in tall boy cans, there’s no problem crushing this beer. This is the modern American Ale.

STYLE: Session Pale Ale | ABV: 4.7% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #101 (JUN 2015)

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted in a Teku glass from a 16 oz can on July 30, 2015. Look is a nice golden amber, tall white head and thick lacing. Smell is caramel malts and both floral and citrus hop notes. Taste is a nice balance of pleasantly sweet malts and complex hop flavors. Feel is crisp and a bit dry. For my tastes, this is a beer worth repeated sessions.

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Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to the captain of the canship, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, light floral hops. Taste is malts up front, lemon peel, hops kicking in at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall, a bit different for the style, but a pretty good beer.

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Photo of Omnium
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pounder Can > Sensory SA Pint

A - Hazy golden orange with two fingers of fluffy white head, thick lacing.
S - Smells fresh, light caramel malt, fresh bread, herbal notes, pine, orange.
T - The hops are on the earthier side of this brew, herbal, some spice like a subtle black pepper bite, then you get some lemongrass, pine, and some citrus notes and lemon, malt has an earthy kind tone as well.
M - Easily drinkable, mild mouthfeel.
O - Pretty good pale ale, nothing to rave about, but nonetheless its a solid ale. Especially stoked that this is a year-round beer in 16oz cans. Thats the selling point about this beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.36/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I bought this at The Fridge recently and since I seem to be mired in "Session" beers, I might as well make a session of it. The CANQuest (tm) rolls on!

From the CAN: "Proudly Brewed In St. Paul, Minnesota"; "Session Ale Brewed with Lemon Peel"; "USDA Organic"; "Brewed with Organic Hops, Organic Malts, and Organic Lemon Peel."; "Mother Nature Doesn't Want Your Empties. Please Recycle."

The Crack! was loud and inspirational, so I CANducted an inverted Glug. This produced three fingers of fluffy, rocky, eggshell-white head that hung around just long enough to create some nice lacing on its way out. Color was Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9) with a slight haze. Nose had a pleasant lemongrass scent, but the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was rather sharp. It was hoppy, but without any malt to take its edge off. The lemon peel was not a good addition as it was creating an unnecessary rind-like bitterness that I could not get past. The finish was dry and bitter and where that might usually be a plus for me, in this case, it was a negative. Man, I just need a drink of water.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2015-07-18 and again on 2016-04-06 in Columbia, PA from fresh 16oz cans. Had this again on 2018-08-02 from my last, stashed can (see notes below).

A - Mildly-hazy golden-orange with a 1.5-finger pillowy white head and mild lace.

S - Bread, lemon, flowery. Mild yet pleasant.

T - Cracker, light touch of caramel, orange and lemon, some pine and herbal spice. Reasonablly bitter finish for the style. Tasty.

M - Light body and medium carbonation. Crisp, dry and a bit prickly.

O - I really appreciate that this is a low ABV Pale Ale and not a session IPA. There's enough malt/fruit to keep it balanced. Good job!

Notes: This was one of my favorite beers for a couple years but unfortunately, Summit stopped brewing it sometime in 2016. I bought cases as long as I could and enjoyed them from time-to-time. Today, I'm having the last one. There's no date on the can but I suspect it is about 2 years old. It has held up quite well with not much oxidation and plenty of lemon, pine and other hop flavors present. I wish Summit would release this one again.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this from the can in a tasting glass chilled , shared with Mark.

The color is a golden clear shade with white head and fine bead. The smell is dank and herbal with floral hop quality. The feel is very good with light body and medium carbonation with slight sweetness and moderate bitterness with mostly dry finish.

The taste is tangy with citrus and herbal hop flavors with a subtle cracker-like malt taste with mild, clean yeast profile and hint of peppery spice in the finish. Overall this is a solid take on the style -it is dry and refreshing in a simple and easy on the palate way. This could use more hop aroma or flavor but I don't think that is what the brewer was going for -it is a great pale for quaffing.

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Photo of Chaz
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a nice hazey golden-amber in color, topped with an off-white head which leaves behind a solidly-sticky Brussels lace as it falls.

Nose is hops and more hops: Sticky, resiny Pine + grapfruit rind and even a little bit o' that West Coast style aromatic fruit salad that all the hip, young kids are raving about these days (git offa my lawn, ye whippersnappers!) Very light touch of the malt and - - - OATS!?! Nah, that's Surly's bag, baby, and they do it better besides. But the malt* complexion seems a touch hazier than normal. Maybe it's a deal with the yeast, but whatevs. This one is all 'bout them' hops.

Not a bad impression on the first sip: Sharp, lemon-zest and piney hop goodness overwhelms the aromatic portion of the palate as the softer malts dance across the dull an' soft tissues of that thirsty tongue. It's been a long day in the cyber salt mines, RIGHT? Well this one will liven you right-up.

This is a *very* light-bodied ale by comparison to many. It's almost a 'session' ale, but I know that the U.K. guys would lose their shit if I called it that. I.P.A. in the American / West Coast style (duh), and yet... not quite the booze goin' on. It's not quite an 'session I.P.A.', either. It's caught betwixt those U.S.-dominated, hype-infiltrated beasties and it is straddlin' the line very ably, thank you.

This will pair with light, even summer cuisine, but might also hold up to heavier, zestier offerings (B.B.Q., even curries) in a pinch.

By itself it is an excellent one to have more than one of in a sitting.

Very, very easy drinking, and really pleasing to the palate.

In my mind it's one of Summit's -great- not just good offerings to date.

*It's organic, so maybe there's a difference in the proteins vice the ordinary Summit rochambeau of English ale yeasts and throttled-down commercial malts. Yeah... that's the ticket.

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Photo of zeff80
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16oz can. Poured out a clear, golden color with a small, white head of foam. It smelled of citrus, floral notes and caramel. Sweet citrusy taste with toasted caramel and a sharp bitter bite.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.32/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Enjoy by 8/27/15.

Appearance: Pale caramel color with a ton of suspended sediment, not typical in a Summit beer. Thin cap of subsiding off-white foam. Surprised by the suspended particles, hopefully it's evidence of a ton of dry hopping.

Aroma: A balance of earthy spice, grain, and some light citrusy hops. That cascade/centennial combo always has a soapy orange aroma to me.

Taste: A lot of good flavors in there: spicy/sweet grain and hops combine for a nice base. There is a pretty good balance, as far as session pale ales go, with bitterness outweighing the malt just enough to be both crisp and refreshing. I think I get the lemon peel in the finish but it is a bit astringent. Unfortunately, there is also a soapy/metallic aftertaste that I can't shake. It might just be the lemon peel. Pretty good depth of flavor for 4.7% ABV but not overly impressive.

Mouthfeel: Between thin and medium in body with average carbonation for a lighter beer. Good drinkability.

Final Thoughts: I'm not sure what to make of this beer. It seems like Summit is torn between providing craft beer for craft drinkers and craft beer for the masses. While their Unchained series consistently produces high quality one-offs, the release of Hopvale with year-round status is confusing. Would I drink it again? I'd probably reach for an EPA before Hopvale.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.11/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a watery golden color with a quickly receding head. The aroma is faint with some floral hop character. The taste is fainter than the aroma, and disappears from the palate quickly. The mouthfeel is thin, and watery. Overall, this is a weak beer. I expect better things from Summit.

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Photo of brentk56
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with an impressive head; gobs of sticky lacing

Smell: Redolent of wort, very malty, with a touch of lemon

Taste: Bready malt, up front, with a touch of lemon peel arriving in the middle; the hops fade somewhat, in the finish, leaving the malt to take over once again

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I have enjoyed a number of the recent beers I have tried from Summit far more than I had expected to; this one, not so much

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Photo of ajchocholousek
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is pretty nice! A lively nose brings light citrus and mango notes that dance with a bit of pine and touch of grainy, dirty malt on the tail end. Nothing groundbreaking here, but it is a nice, slightly juicy, highly-drinkable session ale, and I really value the effort to go organic here. After all, this IS how brewing grains and hops used to be...sans the lingo.

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Photo of 57md
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Light copper in color with about a finger of head. Solid hoppy nose. Light bodied but still plenty malty. The hop finish was quite potent for an APA.

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Photo of ta_hagen
4.77/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Orange peel, smells great... The taste is very fresh, lots of hop, very floral. Nice crisp body, good flavors. Overall , its strong, flavorful, and very refreshing. Overall, this session is a go to summer session, got to get it, would love for them to make a six-pack or 12 pack. They would make some serious dough.... Love this stuff.... For sure they hit it great!!!!!

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Photo of Mdog
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 16oz can:

Appearance: Yellow gold with lots of particles, good head.

Smell: Bready with a bit of lemon.

Taste: Light and hoppy, starts with citrus then some bready body, finishes with more citrus.

Overall: Summit's new organic pale ale is a light and easy drinker with a little more body than most of the session IPAs out there. Not quite as hoppy as others, but overall a better balanced beer.

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Photo of MNAle
4.34/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Slightly hazy orange appearance. Active small-bubble carbonation visible. 1/2 inch white head. Fresh, citrusy aroma is very inviting. Good mouth feel, not thin at all despite the relatively low ABV. Initial taste is smooth, with lots of bitterness in the middle that lingers into the aftertaste. This is an excellent IPA-style ale with citrus juiciness in the aroma and in the taste, and with the hops bitterness IPA drinkers should enjoy. This is a very refreshing beer. The certified organic seal should appeal to some that seek out this sort of thing, but it is not a big issue with me. Nonetheless, this is a very enjoyable beer in its own right with no "for a" qualifications, whether "for an organic" or "for a session ale." I expect I will be a repeat buyer of this beer, but the premium price (for a Summit non-special release beer ... compared with others in the market, it is not especially premium priced) and the 4-pack pint packaging will make it a less-frequent purchase.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hopvale pours a cloudy copperish color with a small but strong lacing head. There is a very fresh hoppy aroma. The taste is very fresh, lots of hop, very floral. Nice crisp body, good flavors. Overall , its strong, flavorful, and very refreshing.

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Hopvale Organic Ale from Summit Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 148 ratings