Ironbound Ale | Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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3.79 w/ 109 ratings

Brewed by:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed as a medium-bodied American pale ale with significant hop additions. This celebration of American hop varieties includes Cascade, Columbus, Centennial and Chinook hops.

30 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-20-2002

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Ratings: 109 |  Reviews: 48
Photo of DevilDogBeer
4.74/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Ironbound Ale at Iron Hill Brewery in North Wales, PA is an exceptional example of an APA. The pour is smooth with a average head that stays from pour to mug bottom. A strong hop nose is immediately detectable in this amber beer. The citrus aroma makes this beer as refreshing as it is satisfying. The Pale Ale serving of hops is balanced well with a good malt body. The mouthfeel of this beer is crisp and clean, leaving a great citrus aftertaste. A very drinkable beer, crisp in the mouth and smooth going down. This brew does not leave you feeling stuffed.

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Photo of mophie
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An outstanding American ale! Amber color with a thick, white head. Floral hoppy aroma and taste, with a touch of grapefruit. Nice, dry finish, which makes you want to drink more and more. Very well done, and a real treat if you find yourself in the Delaware Valley.

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Photo of brheuer
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of Gavage
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: clear amber / orange in color with a 1" head that slowly fades away. Spotty lacing develops.

Smell: the nose picks up strong hop bitterness, which almost hides the lighter citrus tones.

Taste: typical west coast APA with a well balanced combination of caramel, oranges, and strong bittereness.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start and finish. The bitterness lingers softly on the tongue after swallowing. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: Superb. If I had to drink only one beer on the menu, this would be it. When I think of Iron Hill beers, this one usually comes to mind first.

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Photo of SteveTheDragon
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber in color with a full to medium bodied head.

S - Smells of fruity-light floral hops.

T - Well balanced of hops and malts. Nothing is over powering. The flavor is great, a perfect dinner beer.

M - Smooth, well hopped. Slightly carbonated.

D - Clean finish. A perfect beer to relax and drink.

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Photo of mempath
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

just had a pint at the Media site and decide to get the growler.

of course, i just polished off the massive Hopilicious so this isn't in the same league, nor does it pretend to be.

came to me with a huge head that would settle fast enough...decent lacing. a nice malty aroma that is sharp, perhaps helped by the hops. definitely an APA. taste is actually maltier than expected, but the hop bitterness is really right there, just enough to keep it very balanced. the carbonation is just right, keeping it crisp and creamy all at once. it equals to being an extremely drinkable beer to be done in a session and/or with a burger or about any appetizer at Iron Hill. sippable and quaffable. this is a brew for all tastebuds. it is what it be.

well done! but i prefer the abusive Hopilicious....i don't care that it is almost $20 a growler!...:)

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Photo of stirgy
4.39/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at their brewpub in Newark, Delaware. This one was a deep copper in color. No head, very clear. Beautifully distinct piney resin hop aroma. There’s no mistaking these hops - Pacific NW varieties, like Cascade. The taste is full of flavor, has a decent body of sweet malt, and finishes with the common grapefruit rind bitter tang that is common to many an American Pale. Becomes even more flavorful as the beer warms, and intensely so. Very nice.

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Photo of Foxman
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a clear and nicely carbonated genuine amber, the color of bug-embedded resin, and that's by no means a bad thing. A finger of sticky off-white head swells and sustains. And that stickiness delivers some fine lacing.

The aroma is hops first, with citrus joining a raw evergreen presence, and lending an especially spicy air to the mix. The malt is there with just a touch of berry fruitiness that's promptly cleaned and crisped by the resurgent hops.

Upon tasting, the malt is more apparent here, giving a caramel and berry sweet impression. The hops are again citrus, but here more mandarin orange, and the pine is a slight bit more subdued. The grain and hops join into a brewed tea swell that is soon crisped by a dry bitterness. This same bitterness lingers at the finish and ends up in a clean way. It's unique with a couple interesting turns enroute.

Between light and medium bodied, the feel is lightly creamy and glowing at the close.

This is a case of the end result being more than just the sum of the components. Everything is good and very enjoyable, but combine them and you end up with a very smooth, easy drinking pale ale that, despite its label, hints a little at IPA status. And with the truly moderate ABV, it's got session beer written all over it. This is what's known as a go-to beer, and I'll go to it again, as soon as I can.

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Photo of Stigs
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz pour at Iron Hill Media, standard pint glass

A - finger of creamy just off-white foam, falls with a thick coating of lace downt he glass. the beer is on the darker side of gold.

S - pleasant slightly floral, grassy hops with a handful of wet pine needles thrown in...muted grainy and lightly sweet malts.

T - stonr and bitter...hops come out grass-heavy with some more subtle citrus (grapefruit) and floral notes. lightly sweet caramel and toasted malts underneath, but this is hop-heavy and very nice.

M - light body with moderate carbonation, slightly oily and slick

D - really nice, this would get many pours from me if available...great bright fresh hop flavors and everything else to go along with it. drinks like a solid IPA on the lighter side. well done.

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Photo of Deacon_beer
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of ffejherb
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on draught in a 16oz. pint glass at the West Chester, PA location on 12/1/06.

A - Hazy amber body with a small white head that quickly vanished but left very nice lacing on the glass.

S - Nice blend of malt and hops in the nose. Light hoppy aroma introduced some nice pine and citrus notes with a hint of grapefruit. Smelled very fresh!

T - Mild hop flavor with light bitter initial flavor and finish. Nice balance of malt and hop flavors. This is a very tasty APA!

M - Dry texture, medium body with soft carbonation and slightly bitter finish.

D - More quaffable than the Hopilicious. This would make a very nice session beer. There is a mild hop presence that shouldn't offend most beer drinkers who generally don't like hoppy ales, yet there is a nice, balanced flavor with some bitterness that hopheads can likely appreciate.

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Photo of aengleman
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of dsa7783
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

May 10, 2008...

Had this on tap at the brewery restaurant on Main Street in Newark, DE...
Presented to me in a serving glass with a foamy and frothy head which was rather impressive for an APA... Deep-copper, bronze appearance with a grainy aroma that hinted of hops and caramel...
Taste was rich and thick, with a nice dose of sweet sugars, well-balanced hops, caramel, slight malts, grains, and a noticeable bread and butter flavor...
Great rich, creamy mouthfeel with an equally great level of drinkability to match...
Good stuff and a great representation of the style...

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Photo of sammyt728
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of lccrunchy
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of Boto
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask version in Phoenixville: This one poured a clear amber color with a big, thick off-white head. It leaves a lot of lacing. There was a bit of grapefruit to the nose, as well as a bit of spice. It is served at the proper temperature for a cask. The taste was medium bitter, with a bit of the grapefruit coming through. Decent body. Nice.

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Photo of gpcollen1
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a huge headed monster into my Harpoon IPA glass. Yields quite a voluminous head that does not stick around too long. Appears a dark amberish - clear as a bell.

Aromas are piney with maybe a hint of citrus - more orange than lemon. Piney nonetheless, with a bit of sweetness coming in here and there.

Taste is initially malty sweet, hints of light toffee, but quickly transitions into a mildly carbonated bit of hops. No hopmonster here but the hops is there and transitions into a nice dry finish, just the way I like it.

Only complaint here is this one is thin. May be by design but really thin, just made it not so perfect I guess. Other than that, quite a drinkable little guy for sure. Thanks to leftmindedrighty for a gem for me to enjoy watching the Hoyas beat NC to got to the Final 4.

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Photo of RiekerStarBrew
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recently, I have had this brew on two occations. Out of all the beers IHB offers here in Lancaster, this one is my favorite. The color in my pint glass is a beautiful clear-copper. In the aroma, you get a unique boquet of hops, with a dry, cereal malt base to compliment. There is also a slight hint of alcohol and apple ester. Probably due to the fact that no one can smoke in there, I can pick up on these sublties, which makes me wonder about the beers I reviewed in smokey bars and what I missed. Anyway, the flavor is incredibly hoppy. Paul, the head brewer in Lancaster, told me they use four different types of american hops. The beer has a sweet finish giving it amazing balance with the hops. There is also a slight fruity ester throughout the flavor, but it is very faint. All this being said, this is a really good american ale and I look forward to many more pints in the future.

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Photo of BuckSpin
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beauty to behold, its ruddy orange hue compared very nicely with its white head of tight, clinging lossely to the glass. The nose was sharp, biting, with strong hops and hints of spice (cloves?) - a premonition.

3 words - hops, hops, hops. This is a veritable Easter Rabbit it has so much hop in it. You will definitely want to save this for last if sampling. While there is no mistaking the initial taste, it does segway to a nice malt balance, then finishes with a - surprise - different hop kick. This APA would hold up to the stongest foods well. I enjoyed it, but was glad it was the last beer of the sampler.

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Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a clear amber color topped by a modest head that looked great initially, but quickly dissipated without leaving much lace

Smell: Predominantly grapefruit, with a biscuity element underneath

Taste: Biscuity up front, with a growing grapefruit bitterness by mid-palate; very fruity after the swallow with a dry, slightly woody finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very easy to drink APA, which verges on IPA territory; clearly very fresh

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Photo of beernbbq
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My favorite at Iron Hill. Strong floral aroma, primarily Cascades but other varieties as well. Very fresh smelling hops. The biscuit malt is present but not assertive till it warms a bit. Nice body and very fresh which I enjoy. A great apertitf and gets my appetite going.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes: Presented in a standard pint glass, nice 1" thick, dense off white head, color is dark straw to golden, nice carbonation. The action during settling from the nitro is great and presents well in this brew.

Smell is solid biscuity malt with just enough hop presence to keep it in check.

Taste is very balanced, nice biscuity bready malt flavor and solid hop bitterness and flavor.

Mouthfeel is just right, I think the nitro tap serves this brew very well to keep it in balance with stronger bready/biscuity malt notes.

Overall, I really enjoyed this brew great malt/biscuit mix and just enough hop presence balance it out. The nitro tap works very well for this type of brew, only downside is it almost seems out of style for APA as the hop aroma is somewhat underdone.

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Photo of ZagZagg
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler poured into pint glass

A: Beautiful carbonation that rushes through a rich amber beer producing a white two finger head that sticks around. Lacing is a bit frothy and the viscosity seems light.

S: A lot of hops up front with bitter notes of pine and fresh wood, light citrus fruits are present, but tame. Very similar to an IPA with the hop presence, brings an earthy aroma that is quite pleasant.

T: Good, fresh and refreshing. The taste is floral and a bit like pine or maple wood with muted citrus presence that results in a crisp bite. Picking up a bit of honey with light almost hidden malt/barley profile that plays nicely with the suppressed citrus. Subtle fruit notes lurk in the background and impart desirable sweetness that offsets the initial bitter hoppiness, orange peel, lemon zest, and mango.

M: Light carbonation – medium to light bodied with a suitable viscosity. Boasts the characteristics of a dry finish without the actual manifestation. After taste is a sweet derivative that isn’t over powering

O: A real solid choice for Iron Hill house beer. Light, tasty, and easy drinking – I’ll have no problem drinking this entire growler in one sitting. Drinks like a lighter IPA, but without suffering any flavor dilutions. This is go-to for any visit to Iron Hill.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the Wilimington, DE location brewpub.

A: single finger head on a golden with amber brown hues clear body.

S: foral hops and caramel malts.

T: vry nice balance with the hops and malt. The hops provide earthy and floral note profile.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: again, a nicely balanced and highly drinkable APA. not an exceptional or particularly memorable beer but still nicely crafted.

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Ironbound Ale from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Beer rating: 65.1% out of 100 with 109 ratings
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