River Horse Lager | River Horse Brewing Co.

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River Horse LagerRiver Horse Lager

Brewed by:
River Horse Brewing Co.
New Jersey, United States

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A crisp, refreshing Lager. Bready notes and a subtle maltiness are balanced with just enough hops.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-20-2002

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Reviews: 108 | Ratings: 226
Photo of Dougal
4.8/5  rDev +45.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is cloudy, pure unfiltered beer... amazing

smell and taste both have notes of hefeweizen. smell is nice lager scent of grass and hops

taste is smooth, full and unique. It is a lager with all the natural characteristics of real beer from it's natural state.

The brewery is discontinuing the beer! There are NO lagers that exist, to my knowledge, that are unfiltered. This beer is so unfiltered it looks just like a genuine German HEFE.... but tastes like a lager with some of those natural notes from the yeast.

This is a LIVE Cultured beer - Very Unique - if you get the chance you have to try as it is NOT being brewed any longer

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Photo of mrgrinch
4.77/5  rDev +44.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - River Horse Lager has a nice dark golden orange hue, and more-than-average carbonation. The frothy ¾ inch head lingered around the top of the pint glass after I poured it and took my first sip. This beer has a modest turbidity and looks very tasty

Smell - This one smells sweet. I might call it floral or flowery, but not like a real hoppy beer. Definitely more aromatic than what the word 'lager' brings to mind. An exceptionally nice scent.

Taste - RH Lager tastes really, really good. That sweet scent carries through to the taste. I can't say what the flavors are, but they are lightly sweet without taking away from the refreshment of each sip. It is well balanced and there are no extreme elements. I imagine that this is a much more full-flavored beer than your average "lager."

Mouthfeel - This is a hearty beer. It is smooth and almost creamy. The carbonation is delightful. I would characterize RH Lager as a bit on the heavy side in this category.

Drinkability - This is an awesome beer. I think it is making my list of faves.

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Photo of tjd112
4.56/5  rDev +38.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation - I am one of the few people who poured this in a pilsener glass, which is the appropriate glassware for an EPL.

Appearance - Poured a translucent gold color with rich white head and awesome lacing.

Smell - Smells a bit doughy, dare I say, almost reminiscent of the fried oreos you get on the boardwalk

Taste - Doughy, bready, sweet, a hint of vanilla, with some citric hops balancing it out

Mouthfeel - Medium to light and lots of carbonation

Drinkability - I could drink these all day

Overall - This could be the state beer of NJ; could be the SABL of New Jersey and a shore fixture.

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Photo of FatSean
4.45/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice take on a European pale lager.

Poured from 12oz glass into 22oz Otter Creek glass. Bottle came from a River Horse mix pack. This mix pack showed up on local shelves about two weeks ago.

A beautiful golden color with some brown/bronze in it.

Smells of slightly bready malts with a hint of hop spice. It does have the 'euro funk' I associate with this style, but the scents are more delicate and robust than the imported bottles. A bit grainy.

Taste is to style...breadyBicuity malts with very light finish of earthy hops. The clean finish is wonderful.

Carbonation is quite noticable on the tongue, if not from the bubbles in the glass. A bit too fizzy perhaps. Something seems a bit off on the mouth feel, but still quite nice.

I love this stuff. Lagers, especially pale lagers, are my favorite style. They are woefully underrepresented by American craft brewers in my opinion. Much respect to River Horse for this offering.

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Photo of tigg924
4.33/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: gold in color, 1/4 inch head, clear, high carbonation

Smell: grass, honey, and toasted malt

Taste: grass, honey, and bread

Mouthfeel: light bodied, high carbonation, sweet with a bitter backbone, smooth

Drinkability:Super sessionable. I like the grassy honey combo. River Horse's best so far. For the style, this beer is exceptional.

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Photo of palma
4.3/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lable says "don't even try to out geek us". Funny.
One of the best lagers I've had in a while. Meduim hop profile and clean sweet malt flavor. Great balance. Very nice biscut taste towards the end. Finishes pretty clean but still sweeter than other euro lagers. I was itching for another sip again and again. Went great with my buffalo wings. The drinkabillity is exceptional. Ill definately be looking for offerings from this brewery in the future.

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Photo of cooch69
4.2/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured into a pint glass a lovely hazy deep yellow. For some reason I could'nt help but think Hefeweizen minus the head. It barely had a head which clung to the glass in tiny gobs.
This Lager smells like crisp pale biscuity malts, fresh grass, and a slight herbal hop hint.
The taste is very bready malts with a slight sweetness. There was also fruity(apple and pear) hint in the finish. A bit of a hoppy biterness in the finish caps things off pretty good. Definetly a clean crisp quality Lager. The beer is medium and a lot fuller than I expected it to be.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.1/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

(12 oz bottle, no freshness date... poured into an Innis & Gunn fluted goblet)

L: pretty darn clear first half of bottle, toward bottom being poured in, liquid takes on a relatively mild haze... pearly white, fluffy-frothy pad of foam... liquid color a light, but not pale, sunny gold with yellow highlight... some wide bands of lace

S: surprisingly fruity aromas, almost like red grapes, maybe a little bubblegum mixed in... mild-moderate musty phenol and dry spicy grass... floral petal and green-stemmy highlights... grist powder... overall intensity excellent, but definition and dimension a bit muddy

T: rich, almost doughy malt flavor hits up front right away, with some lightly bitter, mildly spicy grassy hop fluttering out on the perimeters... back end has some toasty, semi-sweet, somewhat nutty grainy flavors... the malt flavors are excellent, but this is missing some of the almost citrus-zest fruitiness of some of Germany's best examples

F: light-bodied, buoyant, pliable, softly-smooth, with a little fine-grainy gummy viscosity... doesn't leave much of a trail on the back of the palate, but it's not quite crisp... the flow is fleecy

O: well, this was a pleasant surprise - essentially a kellerbier... I do love unfiltered pale lagers and they did a find job putting this one together... might not have guessed immediately it wasn't a German import... the taste is dimensional, rich, and layered... balanced nicely...

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Photo of vfgccp
4.1/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- similar in appearance to blue moon, hazy and light in color. Low head retention, with medium lace.

S- there is a nice sweet ands bready smell, slightly yeasty but very nice. Touches of citrus and lemon zest.

T- it is very interesting, it has the light and melow characteristics of a lager yet a great sweet bready malt flavor from the wheat.

M- great, creamy and smooth. Nice bright intro with a mellow smoothness to the back end.

O- very surprising. I went into this with low expectations, but came out pleasantly surprised. Infinitely drinkable with great smooth and well blended flavors.

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Photo of andjusticeforale
4.05/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a six pack of this and poured it before I read the bottle and saw it was an Irish lager style. I was not overly impressed with the look or smell; though they weren't bad.

The. first impression of taste really impressed me. There was just the right amount of carbonation. There was a really nice refreshingly slick feel. There was also some actual taste in this Irish Lager. I'm sorry to say this but I just had some Smithwicks the other day and I prefer this beer(I know thats an Irish red Ale, I just wanted the comparison of Irish products/style lines). Lots of zesty grains and malt flavor; some nice balance. This would go really well with a burger or hot dog with spicy mustard.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.05/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straw colored with a wispy white head. Leaves a light lace. Light grainy malt aroma and taste with malt character dominating all around (no hop character to speak of). Light bodied (leans medium) and smooth.

Not sure I'd call this a German Style Pilsner but I can't really say ... may also have to go with Helles as mentioned in one of the posts.

Going to have to disagree with some of the previous posts and say this is a decent session beer -- there are times when a beer like this is just what you need when you just need a beer. ;-)

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Photo of ericj551
4.03/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

River Horse Lager pours a hazy light gold with a thin and quickly disappearing head. The aroma is sweet pilsner malt with hints of fresh baking break and herbal hops. The flavor is sweet and malty, without being as cloying as I expected from the aroma. There are some herbal hops in the flavor, but the bitterness is light to non-existant. Overall, this is a pretty solid beer, not too much to intimidate a BMC drinker, with enough flavor to please a craft beer drinker.

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Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright gold color with good clarity for being unfiltered, big fluffy bright white head. Dry grain and biscuit on the nose with touches of floral hops.

"Wow" was the first word out of my mouth after tasting this. Incredible clean and smooth. Bit of sweet apple and dry cereal on the front end with a very dry finish. Bit of nuttiness through out. Balance is impeccable. Well blended with a body that's on the heavy side of light. The body really makes this beer, being well carbonated but well held together as well. Very good.

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Photo of coalcracker
3.95/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a lighter gold color with decent head retention.
Smell: Light malty aroma, mild floral hop presence.
Taste: Lighter malt presence, bready in nature, with a small degree of balancing hops. I can also detect some honey. Finish is clean.
Mouthfeel: On par for a euro pale lager, IMO. Smooth and clean.
Drinkability: Quite drinkable. Light and well-balanced.

Overall- nicely done lighter lager. Pleasant brew here.

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Photo of Philabeerphia
3.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into a pint glass. Big pillowy two finger dome, takes about 2 minutes to recede into a minimal cream cap. Bright golden honey colored, cloudy and hazy. I'm a big fan of this appearance for the style. SWEET!

S> Raw grain feed. but thats not all...tomatoes, corn, and lettuce, all wrapped up in a nice biscuity package delivered into my nostrils. Hmm, wait... some rotting tree leaves, black tea leaves and probably some other light earthy herbal smells. More going on than typical for the style - above average.

T> My sensory modules are still going with the salad thing. Sour spinach, and the same bitterness I get eating raw broccoli, this is swarming on the front of my tongue, quickly dissipates and is overcome with a taste of sweet corn backed by biscuity malt. It is opening up now, the finish completes the trip with a semi sharp saazer style hop. My mouth is left full of broccoli bitterness and english biscuitness in the aftertaste. again, above average.

MF> much fuller body than most "euro" lagers I've had in the past.. but a bit too buttery in the finish, and this brew could use a little more carbonation to pep things up and play around with the hops.

D> definitely a summer beer I'm downing in the middle of winter, I'd be lying if that didn't impact my thoughts a bit. But overall a very solid example of the style in my eyes.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.87/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

An unfiltered lager, this "Ungespundet Hefetrub" will be served at fridge temperature in the SABL glass. Thanks to S.K.I. in New York for the opportunity to sample this beer.

Appearance- Pours a slightly hazy bright gold color, supporting a rich, creamy two finger head. Some lacing sticks in rings along the inside of the glass. Nice looking beer.

Smell- A very pleasing aroma of marshmallows and vanilla greets the nose immediately, reminding me of how much I loved Charleston Chew back when I was about 10. Sweet and bready, with a terrific yeast profile that reminds me of a German wheat beer... unique and very desirable.

Taste- For a lager, this beer really has an amazing depth of flavor. Spicy and doughy, it delivers huge doses of what tastes like wheat malt and phenols that are typically experienced in a hefeweizen. Quite surprising, to say the least.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The explosive, overactive texture in the mouth is definitely detracting... coupled with the bold flavor, it becomes a bit noisy for the palate to relax and enjoy. However, the overall session was an eye-opener to a very expressive, well done example of an unfiltered lager.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.85/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured, the color was of a hazy light golden yellow with a fair acount of white foam and no lace retention.

The smell of mild hops and hint of fruit and citrus was evident in the aroma.

The taste was very pleasant. Not bitter or sour, but, mildly pleasant for a lager. Great summer quincher or just sit back and enjoy this good lager.

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Photo of Finn
3.82/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No visible freshness date.

Slightly hazy dark gold in color, this beer supports a nice frothy white head. It has a pleasant, clean aroma of sweet grain and maybe a hint of hops. It has a fuller body than most euro lagers, and it tastes much how you would expect from the smell: smooth, mellow, and sweet, but with enough balance to keep it drinkable. Overall a tasty lager worth trying if you are in the lager mood, but nothing stands out. Well done.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.8/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a hazy light amber color with scant white head. Smell is slightly sweet, but very minimal. Taste is very sweet and citrusy (lemon) and extremely pleasant. Finish is refreshing, but a slight dryness coming through. Was a very easy drinking beer. Would be a good session beer for a hot summer arfternoon. Nothing complex about it.

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Photo of kcillini77
3.69/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in the Amazing Clubs Beer of the Month Club August shipment.

I'm going to go a little contrary to the other reviews here. This is not the style of beer I would pick up in the store, and getting it as part of a club forced me to give it a try. When compared to other examples of the style I think this stands up quite nicely.

Smells of hay and crisp spicy hops. Good smell.

Taste is fairly typical golden lager, but the hops stand out well and there's a lot of flavor here.

There is a lot of carbonation, but in this style I think it goes well with the slight spiciness of the hops.

Reading the other reviews, maybe it's just that my standards are low when they come to this style, but if this was available in my neck of the woods, I would certainly use it as an introductory beer to the macro types, and go back to it occasionally myself.

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Photo of JMWEB2
3.68/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very hazy orange, almost like a burnt orange colored body. Nice white head on this lager, and some significant lacing.

S: Bready smell, honey, and malts.

T: Suprisingly sweet and plain, very nice lager.

M: Medium to light, well carbonated, refreshing.

O: River Horse has an exceptional lager here, will enjoying this again for sure.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.65/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Honey colored beer that has a slight haziness.
A well carbonated brew and it has a rather large off white head thats long lasting.

Aroma is fresh with malts in the fore front and light hop bouguet in the back.

Tastes good with lots of malts and some hops for balance. Hops are light and I can't really pull out any particular flavor. Finishes with a grainy ending.

Thinner mouthfeel, dry and tart.

A good tasting beer with lots off flavor well made.

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Photo of boatyard
3.64/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well it's wet. Typical lager with not alot to talk about. It doesn't pour like a Sam Adams Boston Lager. With not much head to speak of. And what there is of it, doesn't last long so i believe this is a prime example of an adjunct lager.

I Taste alot of fruit, almost like a granny smith apple. it leaves no lace around the glass, however it goes down real smooth and tastes real good in your mouth. Almost like you could leave it there for awhile. I could see myself drinking this on an everyday basis.

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Photo of tone77
3.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a brown 12 oz. bottle. Pours a cloudy brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Has a mild, sweet aroma. Taste is crisp with, somewhat malty with a bit of hops. Feels good in the mouth and goes down very smooth. Overall this is a quality lager and worth checking out.

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Photo of Gmann
3.6/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with a small tight white head that settles into a light ring. The aroma is of light hay, some green apple and lemon. The taste is sweet, not cloying or anything close to that but kind of a sugar sweetness. Some hay or grass flavor, perhaps a touch of grain. A light body with plenty of carbonation, quite fizzy, maybe too much carbonation. Starts and finishes sweet. Quite a unique lager, IMO not a Euro lager in any regards. I don't know much about this brew but I would say that it has some wheat malt in it. The back of the label seems to suggest this. A sweet lager, though not that sweet. Different but easily drinkable.

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River Horse Lager from River Horse Brewing Co.
3.3 out of 5 based on 226 ratings.
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