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 JRed
3.16/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden hue with tumultuous body and exceptionally large white foam head. An unpleasant grass, hay, hops in the nose. Tastes of grass, light hops from middle to finish, alcohol, light floral. Mouthfeel is light and flat on the palate. Lacking in notable characteristics that standout. Chalk this one up with Rolling Rock and other macro light fizziness.

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Photo of icefisherman
3.01/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up as a freebie in a trade a few months back and well curiosity finaly got to me. Pours a slightly darker shade than most BMC with no haed and no lacing as expected. Smells of slight skunk hit me followed by faint malt. Taste not bad not as bad as it smells but still not great. It is kind of drinkable could totally see myself with this beer on a nice warm summer night easy drinking not offensive heck I bet the neibors might even drink this

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Photo of BeerSox
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into pilsner glass.

Hazy deep goldenrod hue with a one finger white head that slowly settles to a thin cap. Little bits of sediment floating around.

Very light and sweet malt aromas, along with a slight creaminess. The flavor has a light sweet grain flavor mixed with a bit of orange peel. Light bodied.

This is a very basic beer, and on the better side of the style. Not quite like Budweiser but more like a Heineken.

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Photo of jlandis
3.38/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Crystal clear and golden in color with a thin 2cm white head.

S - Typical European pale lager simple malty aroma.

T - Malty with a bit of a fruity citrus flavor. Slightly grainy with a very clean finish.

M - Decent carbonation with a solid body - not thin at all like many other beers in this category.

D - Highly drinkable and decent tasting. Fairly basic, but that with this style you don't really want anything too over the top.

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Photo of Vendetta
3.43/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy yellowish orange hue. Very little head, a medium to small amount of lacing.

Smells of mild citrus, lots of biscuity malt though and any particularly specific notes are not very present. Doesn't advertise too much.

Initial taste is malt followed by a short burst of sweet fruit. Coliander, a hint of apple. Has a really spicy character to it, some mossy hops ad to it but there's a hint of pepper there as well that really makes this one more enjoyable than ratings on here would indicate.

Mouthfeel is pretty average... A little bit thin with way too much carbonation. Not a good feel but it is easy to drink due to the lack of body.

All in all, the rating on BA is a little bit harsh in my opinion. This is one worth trying but not a world-beater by any means.

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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 KOPBeerDrinker
3.46/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a golden straw color from the bottle into the pint glass. Pillowy white head took a long time to recede, leaving nice lacing behind.

Earthy smells of grass or straw, with some spiciness.

Tastes of biscuity malt with some sweet graininess. Almost no aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is crisp and light. Very easy to drink.

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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 BWH3
2.87/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: This is a beautiful lager. Golden, clear, big slow moving bubbles crowned by a foamy white head that stands the test of time.

S: Very little malt sweetness detectable. The hops are somewhat wrong. They give off a sour tart scent. The aroma is not musty and skunky.

T: The aftertaste is probably the best part of this beer. Starts bubbly and oddly tart malt sweetness. The hops are too harsh and not subtle or noble. The aftertaste eventually mellows to a mild malt sweetness tempered by a rich mineral hops bitterness. It ends right but starts off on the wrong foot.

M: Great head retention for style. The carbonation is appropriate. Nicely weighted beer.

D: Fine but not great.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.38/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

River horse- Lager

Finally decided to review this beer.

A- Bright yellow with a good moderate size frothy white head. Decent lacing along the top half.
S- Very sweet lemony hay/ straw with hints of caramel malt.
T- Big sweet wet hay/ straw with a dry grainy touch. Bits of sweet shortbread malt appear.
M- Very sweet up front with a grainy body and a buttery slick touch in the end. Mild earthy hops give off a dry ever so slight bitter finish.

Overall- Better than I recall. Decent lager that won't offend. A good light beer!

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Photo of micahgoldfus
3.17/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a yellow, clear color, but with a surprisingly full, thick head. Looked fairly generic. The smell was mostly malty, with a pinch of spicy hops, but overall also kind of generic. The taste was similar to the smell. The beer was dominated by malts and grains, but ended with a little bit of dry hoppiness (but not really any bitterness). However, there was a light, sweet presence in the aftertaste that did separate this beer from some standard marco brew. It was well carbonated, with a thin mouthfeel, which left me the overall impression that this was just a micro version of an average, light session beer.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.38/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Sierra Nevada pint glass.

A: Poured a dirty, golden amber color with a two-finger head of loose carbonation which faded to a neat ring. Retention and lace were lacking, but carbonation was decent.

S: Smells a bit like the cellar this brew is supposedly stored in. A bit of sulfur and spicy hop to go with the hay barn aroma.

T: Taste is thankfully better than the smell. A fairly creamy blend of lightly hopped and toasted malts which let off a bit of sweetness to counter the graininess. The flavor is gone in a flash, finishing a bit watery, but with a distinct farina flavor.

M: Mouthfeel is thin-medium bodied, a little creamy and really quite smooth.

D: Not the best flavor, and in fact, the nose and some of the plain Jane grain might deter some. However, I found it pretty inoffensive, if unspectacular, but of a sessionable ABV, great smoothness and some intrigue for the style. Not bad.

I was a little taken aback by the color and smell of the brew, but the taste redeemed it from a flush. I wouldn't pick up a 6, and I'm a little hesitant of what my perception of the next one of these from the mix pack will be, but for now, it's okay.

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Photo of ajhod
3.06/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Too sweet for a lager as far as I'm concerned. Even the carbonation levels Left me feeling a little flat at the end.

Its got very little hop flavor, a bit over malted and kinda bland.

Nice that its unfiltered and lower in alcohol, but not impressed. Shame.

Got a variety pack so I'm going to taste them all though.

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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 dedrinker
3.07/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It looks freaking GRAY almost - a very dull and hazy gold color. I smell some classic lager sulfur notes and a slightly sour grain note. The taste is pretty mediocre craft-brewed lager - more hops than a macro or euro-lager, but the malt taste and body suffers. I could totally drink this all day if it was free. Buy it? Nah.

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Photo of tempest
3.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single from Abe's in Bethlehem.

Basically a decent, inoffensive lager. The malts are a little similar to an export lager for the sweet grains. I also get a yeast character that reminds me of apple pie filling. So while this isn't a terribly complex beer, it's something a little different for the style and tasty.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.35/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Glowing sunny golden color. Tons of carbonation. Thin layer of Italian ice head. Clear.

The aroma is barley lager. Fresh crisp biscuity lager malt. Just a touch of sour apple. Devoid of adjuncts.

The taste is a solid lager taste with a crisp, slightly citrusy taste (but not from the hops, it seems). The malt is slightly bready. Sour apple, hint of butterscotch. Pleasant for a summer lager. Tangy bubblegum at the end.

Thin and watery feel. Not unpleasant but not much there. It's a not-bad lager. Very run of the mill but drinkable.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A clear, bright yellow.... a mediocre head that doesn't stick around.

S: Quite a crisp scent. Light citrus, pale malts, some touches of grassiness and cloves.

T/M/D: Malty sweet, some sugary flavours, a bit of light citrus. Mouthfeel is a medium carbonation and a lighter body. A touch of bittering on the finish, but a little on the light side, overall. Decent drinker, certainly easy enough, but other options are out there.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single, twelve ounce bottle copped from Sparrow Wine and Liquors in Hoboken...
Pours a dark-gold, light-copper colored hue with a decent sized foamy head that slowly receded and left a thin film of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Malt-dominated, nutty aroma with hints of vanilla and honey...
Crisp, medium-bodied, refreshing taste, heavy on the malts, with a touch of honey, vanilla, nuts, bread and butter, and sugars...
Medium-bodied, crisp mouthfeel along with a good level of drinkability to match... Not the company's best brew, but a decent stab at the style nonetheless...

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.19/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Translucent tarnished orange coloring with a steady, quick paced effervesce factor. Milky white head is frothy, whipped, one inch with a lasting retention. Full sheet lacing covers the glass.

S: Light lemon grains, fresh wet scent, hops are are a bit above the norm per style, toasted dry sweetness, fairly clean, touch of sour orange.

T: The flavor was sweet upfront, a dry sweetness, toasted bread, dry caramel with fresh flowery hops. The speciality grains add a sweetness above the norm per style. Some honey flowery, wet lemony toffee flair.

M: Dry toasted caramel with a slippery, syrupy fullness, wet granular and medium body. Mid-range carbonation factor with a dry bready finish.

O: Overall a dry, sweet lager that sits somewhere between a boston lager and a yeungling. Its been years since ive had this so decided to update review. Has a bit more flavor and sweetness then a yuengling, but a bit rough around the edges at times, and not as smooth or polished as a sam adams.

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Photo of craigowens
2.22/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

As the previous reviewer accurately (and much more tactfully) points out, the label is about the only thing of any interest with this beer. Tried as part of their three-beer sampler case, this lager unfortunately represented the most drinkable of the three with the other two being (mistakenly??) way, way too overcarbonated.

Clean golden color with a loose, minimal head, it does have a moderately interesting, very slightly hoppy aroma that I enjoyed. However, when it comes to taste..ummmm....what's the opposite of bold? Mild I guess would be generous description - or maybe like an English-style bitter of sorts. Water-like and uninteresting is probably more accurate.

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Photo of AltBock
3.07/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle that has a green and white striped label. On this label is a cool looking "Alice in Woderland" like picture of a very bumpy frog drinking it up with a hippo (river horse).

When poured into a standard Victory pint glass, this River Horse is a clear sunshine yellow that had a miniture head of fizzy white bubbles. It only took these fizzy white bubbles to fizzle away into a few rings along the edge and if you're lucky, a spot or two of lace. It had a solid burnt aroma of toasted malts, citrus fruits, citrus hops, and it finished up with a little lemon zest. It had a crispy taste that contained toasted malts, a small slice of lemon, a few more citrus fruits, and then it ended with some spicy and dry floral hops. It was clearly a light bodied beer with a crispy and dry aftertaste of floral hops and a touch of toasted caramel malts. It was really nothing more than your run of the mill clean fresh session lager.

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Photo of callmemickey
2.61/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark golden body.. thick fluffy white head.. not much in the way of lacing...

S: Mostly malts... bready and biscuity...

T: Taste is bland malts with a slight citrus tone... not very complex...

M: Light bodied.. not as crisp as one would like..

D: Could be sessionable, but there are other choices out there... not the best from River Horse.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.18/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The clear golden color has a slightly orange tint topped with a modest head. The aroma is muted, but what is present is pale malt with a small hint of yeast. The flavor mirrors the aroma, with subdued malt and slight sweetness. Not much of a finish. The mouthfeel is light and not bad. This beer is not very assertive, but the flavors that do come through are not bad.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- This lager is a golden amber with medium carbonation in the body rising to form a large head.

Smell- A nice sweet malty odor was the first thing I noticed. It smelled like biscuits.

Taste- I was surprised the flavor was very fruity and citrus like for a non fruit beer. There was some very strong berry like tones even in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- It has average lager crispness to it and a little fizz bite to it.

Drinkability- It wasnÂ’t what I would really call a regular lager but it was good and I would have to say very refreshing.

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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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