River Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale | River Horse Brewing Co.

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River Horse Hop Hazard Pale AleRiver Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A golden-orange hue, medium body and a floral, hoppy finish make this American Pale Ale perfect for any time of year.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-14-2002

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Reviews: 281 | Ratings: 587
Photo of mlhall55
4.69/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I found this beer to be exceptional. This is definitely not to heavy or filling and it has a great flavor with almost the perfect amount of hops. I have become a big fan. I could drink these through out the day like it was a lighter beer, no problem. Kudos to River Horse on a great beer.

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Photo of scott
4.5/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Soapy fluff sitting prominently that leads into thick lacing. Inside my newly acquired SA Lager glass, I can see layering; an amber/garnet above and pale gold below.
Clear, with no significant carbonation.
Huge aromatics ( I enjoy it every time I take a pull), with bready malt smacking floral hops with a pimp hand. Awesome.
This delivers a great, yet, indistinguishable taste. Normally, the tongue follows the nose but this one has a twist. This is like a big English Pale. A little brown sugar, some flora here, and maybe some orange zest there. Damn, I want an expert's opinion to provide some definitive clarity. Whatever is going on, I like it. Alot.
Pleasant body that slakes the thirst due to a perfectly crafted offering. Starts off malty, but delves quickly into a dry hop finish.
Truth be told, I tried this about a year ago and didn't like it (it seemed off-putting). Luckily, it fell into my lap for rediscovery. I've been drinking this for a couple of days now, so I am confident in giving this praise. A new favorite.
Highly recommended.

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Photo of jhammel01
4.43/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1st beer from River Horse...

Pours a clear golden honey color Without much head at all. The head dissipated pretty quickly. Some reviewers have stated that theirs was pretty cloudy but mine is very very clear.

The smell is great. Its nice and hoppy! Also a little piney.

At 1st taste, I really thought this was an IPA. Only after seeing the discription on here did I realize it was an APA. Hops, pine malt and a bit of alcohol come through. As it warmed it really lost a bit of its bite somehow. Not to the point of being bland though.

All and all, I found this to be a pretty well rounded beer. I'd love to pick up a 6 pack next time instead of only one single.

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Photo of Phatz
4.36/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a pleasant surprise! I got this beer out of a mixed variety case. I was not familiar with River Horse beers and this one I saved for last knowing I don't prefer the APA style beers. This beer is brilliant. It seemed to me more like an English IPA than an APA to me and I REALLY enjoyed it! I poured it into my pint glass at about 55 degrees like I would an English IPA and it only improved as it warmed to room temp. Though you might normally drink an APA cold, I suggest you let this one warm, IMO!

Appearance: Beautiful amber brown with ruby highlights. Tight sudsy off white head. Medium lacing.

Smell: The smell is sweet and malty. It has a bit of toastedness to it. Then comes a very subtle gentle floral hop character. There is a bit of sugary sticky bun sweetness as well.

Taste: The taste is remarkably laid back (quaffable) easy to accept. It is gentle and yet complex as well. It does not require any thinking but it does stand up to further scrutiny. It is tasted malty and extremely smooth to start. Immediately following is a gentle ambush of floral hops, which is just as quickly met by a pleasant dryness and again a sweet, almost citrus, fruity attribute. The aftertaste is both sweet sugars which fade and then bitter hops that leave a lingering flavor (a bit woody) that kept me salivating for the next sip. WOW!

Mouthfeel: A masterpiece. The body was light medium but full of dry hops and carbonation that kept the mouth feeling both creamy and smooth. Nice!

Drinkability: This is a great everyday beer. This is so easy and yet full of pleasant flavors. This beer sits easy in your stomach, it is approachable and sessionable. It has instantly become a part of my regular rotation. I highly recommend giving this a try.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of alexgash
4.35/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Cool hippo. Very unfiltered pale ale as the body is a murky, soupy mix of burnt sienna, yeast particles, and hop detritus (I hope). Dense blanket of creamy beige head (with a few darker sediment specks interspersed). good lacing. Mostly hoppy nose with notes of orange, pine resin, mango, and nettles. Decent malt aroma as well with lots of candied fruit.

Herbal, tonic bitterness up front. Becomes more resinous and piny as sweetish candy and fruit malts come in. Floral hop notes as bitterness increases toward the finish. Dries out a little, but there is some nice lingering candied apple malt that goes great with the floral bitterness. medium-bodied with a creamy, lush feel.

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Photo of devinoconnor
4.32/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little surprised to see this brew rated as a B. Maybe it's all the hop heads who expected a hoppier beer than what they got.

Pours an amber, golden color and the smell is fantastic. Not overly hoppy, barley and citrus.

Taste is very smooth. I love IPAs, but sometimes they are overwhelming and when you want to have a few, this is a much more well-balanced choice.

Nice beer, perfect for summer.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.3/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A slow and steady pour resulted in a bright-amber, ruby-red colored hue with an impressive frothy head that lingered on for a bit before slowly receding and leaving a nice amount of lacing around the edge of the glass...
Aroma was dominated by grains, earthy hops, caramel, and a tinge of vanilla...
Taste strongly complemented the flavor, with a noticeable suggestion of hops, caramel, bittersweet fruit, grains, and earthiness thrown into the mix...
Nice, creamy, thick mouthfeel and an excellent level of drinkability make this one another winner from a great New Jersey brewery...
Good stuff and a great depiction of the style...

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Photo of magnj
4.3/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Conveniently poured into a River Horse 2008 Oktoberfest glass.

a - 1 finger off white head sits atop a hazy burnt orange body. On this one I tried to leave the yeast sediment in the glass but some crept in anyway. Only a few tiny bubbles here and there. The head remains a thin film for the entirety of the glass but leaves little lacing.

s - To be honest I can't smell a damn thing today but from past bottles the aroma has produced mild piney and citrus hops. A somewhat smokey/oak malt aroma pokes through. Overall mild but pleasant and inviting.

t - Unique, mildly smokey and wood type flavor bordering on musty but not really. Hops are present throughout, less in bitterness than in flavor. Pine and citrus again in the hop profile. Carbonation adds to the subtle bite that is nice but leaves me looking for a little more with a name like Hop Hazard. Some sweet malts come through towards the end as the residual flavor settles on my tongue. I expected this to be an IPA, as an APA is certainly does not disappoint.

m/d - Light but fitting for the style and bitterness, flavor lingers briefly. Tasty and light, good flavor and not offensive to the taste buds with an average meal, this is a beer you can drink all night as long as you don't use it for pong...trust me. However at $9.50 for a half dozen, you can find better bang for your buck in terms of IBUs.

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Photo of fishtownhxc
4.23/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i ran across this beer at a bar about two years ago and wasn't really impressed with what i found. for a pale ale, it was really lacking, and didn't really hold up well to others in the style. i decided to give it a second chance, and things have either really changed at river horse, i got a pint from a bad batch, or both. honestly, it doesn't even look or taste like the same beer.

pours an amber color with a nice bishop's collar that remained in some distinguishable size for the entire beer. it's got a nice hop aroma, and is well balanced up front. the hop finish ranks well with other beers in the style, and reminds me a lot of sierra nevada pale ale, but a but bolder in color, body, and finish. i don't know what the brewery started doing different, but what they're doing now certainly makes this beer live up to it's name of "hop hazard." i wouldn't call it an IPA by any stretch, but it certainly has more hop character than many beers out there billed as IPAs, yet is definitely a beer i could drink in numbers over the course of a night.

if you ran into this beer before and didn't like the results, definitely give it another shot. this brewery seems to have found their sea legs.

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Photo of Brianjames16
4.18/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

* Tasted off tap at A & R Beverages In Seaford, NY*

A - pours a hazy copper with a beautiful fluffy two finger width head. Thin lacing on the glass dissipates somewhat quickly.

S - Nice aroma of pines, citrus, grapefruit and some malts.Nice balanced aroma.

T- Extremely balanced IPA taste. Nice subtle hop bitterness but not too harsh making it a great session beer. Citrus and pines blend well with a tangy grapefruit finish.

M- Light body and very refreshing IPA. Decent amount of carbonation give this beer a crisp finish.

O- A very drinkable and pleasing IPA. Great session beer for any occasion. Cheers!

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Photo of WesWes
4.17/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark gold color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has an excellent malt scent that is comprised of pale and carapils malts. It adds the balance to the heavy hop aroma that is very refreshing. It is fruity to the nose and bursting of floral hop notes. The taste is good. It has a grainy pale malt flavor that is rich and a bit nutty. It has a very bitter hop flavor that is piney in the mouth and floral on the finish. It has a smooth creamy texture, despite the grainy malt flavor. The mouthfeel is awesome. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very enjoyable beer. It has excellent aroma and flavor; a good drinker.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.17/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - copper colored ale, head quickly disappeared and turned into a good amount of lacing

S - very sweet smells, some caramels even perhaps?, slight citrus/flower aroma

T - initial bitterness followed up by a very delicious sweet flowery hops

M - very easy going down and leas the tongue wanting more!

O - a great pale ale very close in comparison to sierra nevada's pale ale, but sweeter (which i think makes it more enjoyable)

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Photo of albern
4.15/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a real treat, quite unexpected. This pale ale is sufficiently complex and pushing the boundaries of what an APA typically is, that the beer is worth seeking out on that basis alone. It pours a slightly cloudy orange amber color, with a smallish white head and not much lacing. The nose is quite yeasty and filled with caramel malts.

The beer has a wonderful caramel malty base, and a nutty vanilla flavor, both creamy and smooth. The carbonation is slight, there are some chocolate hints throughout. The slightly vanilla nutty flavor complements the caramel malts very well. This was a delightful beer in all aspects.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.12/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very cloudy copper color with a thick tiny bubbled eggshell heading with very good lacing throughout.

Smell is of caramel malts at first whiff. Followed by nice citrusy hops and dry hop aroma. Very nice maltiness to me is dominant.

Taste is very hoppy,bitter hops at that. A slight thickness like a syrupy taste. Extremely sweet caramel malt's flexes it's muscle. Very slight butteriness to this beer.

Mouth is very smooth and finishes dry. Medium bodied with a balls out carbonation that never ends.I've swirled this a dozen times and the same amount of carbonation fills the glass.

Drink is excellent nice hoppiness not to overpowering and malts to match.

A very well balanced APA. It reminds me alot of the 90 min IPA but less syrupy. Awesome beverage.

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Photo of ToasterChef
4.12/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is rusty orange in color, with some cloudiness. It has a good sized head of very light brown bubbles. The aroma is of cherries, clover honey and a bit of earthiness. There are certainly some hops in the flavor, but it isn't too bitter. The bitterness gets more pronounced at the end, but still, it isn't overwhelming. It doesn't linger long after you swallow. There is a grassy flavor up front. The beer feels very smooth, with an average amount of carbonation. It has bit of a fuller body than I expected. This is a very enjoyable beer. I may be a bit biased, as this beer is unavailable in Maine I'm reviewing it while on vacation, but I could really drink a bunch of these. I'm glad I picked up a six pack, knowing nothing of this particular beer or its brewery.

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Photo of hopley
4.12/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Really like this beer - not amazing in any respect - but solid in all. Nice heavy amber color with nice lacing. Medium body feel accentuated by the solid but not overbearing layer of head, and nice to capture the decent lacing by revolving the glass 60 degrees or so for each sip.

Sortof tastes a little like a Longtrail Double Bagger but not at thick or heavy - this one is nice and thick malty on the front end with a small amount of back end bitterness. Very tasty.

Great frigging beer!

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Photo of allergictomacros
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly hazed copper with a sticky head of off white foam. Juicy hop aroma with a bit of fruit and a light toasted edge on the nose. Flavour leans to the sweet side with some fresh apple cider, tangerine hops, pears and a light finishing bitterness. Body is appropriately soft and smooth. Flavours are solid but controlled in this eminently drinkable session ale.

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Photo of mempath
4.09/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

very impressed...my first HR brew...nice unfiltered appeareance, very foggy on the pour, not expected. oh and this is from NJ? nice. rich, deep amber color leaning towards honey-red. lacing is extremely dense and the head subsides in a very slow manner. at this point, it's total world class.

smell doesn't match the look. minimal smell, where are the 5 hops? even the malt backbone is not asserting itself. hmmm. from visual quasi-opaqueness to barely present olfactory impression. let's jump to what counts most...

ok, we're back to what was hop(p)ed, expected...and it's what it claims to be: "...malt rich base that could counterbalance a combustible 5 hop blend..."
i will say it is still it tends towards sweetness, though it is very well counterbalanced with the hop sting. it is what it claims to be. would like maybe one more hop to the mix? THEN, it would stand out. i will return to this on a spring day...mouthfeel complements taste in spades...carbonation is melded well with each swallow. easily stands up to most east coast giants. why oh why didn't the smell assert?

quite quaffable, hophead or not. nice balance all around. funny how some brews that approach perfection, just disappoint (in a positive way) because they simply came close to perfection. smell suffered. but everthing else clicks in an extraordinary way. glad to know i am surrounded by great brews in DE, PA and NJ.

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Photo of magine
4.08/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep dark orange, almost amber. Unfiltered and cloudy with tons of sediment suspended throughout. Off white head; dense and lots of bubbles. Lots of very nice lace and a thick layer head remains. Very, very good looking APA.

Brew smells of lots of oily hops; fruits and floral with some caramel malt. Very good aroma here. Smells like it is going to be a full bodied brew. Good nose.

Brew is full bodied; creamy smooth upfront. Creamy malts up front and then a fruity hop sweetens things up in the middle and nice oily floral, bittering finish that is semi dry. very good flavors and great feel here. A complex interesting APA. Great stuff.

This is a great APA here. Case worthy and very sessionable. I love unfiltered offerings, this is among my favorites of the style.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.07/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The body is a slightly hazy and deep copper in color with a creamy ivory head that holds fairly well and leaves some nice lace throughout the glass. The aroma offers some bright grassy, piney, floral and lightly citrusy hops (how many different varieties are in here?) which occassionally step aside to allow some caramel maltiness to show through. It's not outstandingly hoppy, but very interesting in it's wide range of character! The body is medium with a restrained carbonation that leaves it lightly crisp in the mouth. The flavor starts hoppy (and maybe even a touch fruity), quickly reveals some malt that's immediately coat-tailed by firm bitterness, and finishes with another show of maltiness and then lingering bitterness. Although the flavors are not very rich, there is some complexity going on in the way that the flavors are perceived. It's a solidly bitter beer, but far from being overwhelming, and there's alot of hop flavor present but it's not really clear (I'm guessing mid-boil and kettle-off additions). This is a pale ale that's on the edge of becoming an IPA. Quite British, but also clearly American. Really quite unique, and easily my favorite beer from this brewery.

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Photo of marcpal
4.07/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Recently visited the brewery in Lambertville and sampled all from tap. This was by far my favorite of the bunch. Well done.

A: Amber with a consistent head and nice lacing, especially for an IPA. Appearance definitely a nice start

S: As you would expect, extremely hoppy and malty. Biscuit/bread were blantantly in your face here..

T: Very well done for an IPA. Matched the aroma and the taste completed the malty background and was good up front and in back. The breadiness of this beer was very good and had some real substance to it.

M: Substantial body to this one that really held on and the carbonation was also appropriate.

D: Remarkably drinkable for an IPA. Actually chose to have several more of these after sampling all the varieties.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.06/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

trade via duffextracold

Thin head with poor retention that leaves some snow spots on the glass. Hazy honey color. Smells mainly of caramel and hops with some orange rind and vanilla.

I usually equate pales with boring, light beers. With Hop Hazard such is not the case. If most pale ales are Metallica than this is Lamb of God. It's heavy! Heavy malt balanced by heavy fruit and citrus hops. Chewy mouthfeel with a wet finish.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

nice clean amber pour with loads of carbonation coming up to the surface to form a nice little head of white that was about an inch or so high. nice lacing coming down the sides of the glass as well. aroma is nice and tight, clean piney hop notes give way to grapefruit, light lemon grass and a decent touch of simple malts. crisp, clean, and completely drinkable flavor has me from the first sip. really easy to put down and i could see myself easily drinking 4 or five. nice sharp bite of hops on the front which mellows into a very well balanced and lightly sweet buttery flavor, but keeps it all very, very light. nice light nd slightly dry finish seals the deal for me.

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Photo of hopsolutely
4.04/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a pleasant surprise!

Fantastic multi-layered hop nose, with a delightful taste that isn't quite as complex as the aroma, but still leaves a beautifully dry & bitter (lingering) finish.

My bottle looks very different than that shown above in Beer Advocate, but this version is quite enjoyable. A very drinkable American pale Ale - from New Jersey!?

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Photo of AngryPenguinBrewCo
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy Amber pour with a thin but soft white foam that coats the glass. Classified as an APA but the abv of an IPA. Malt forward with a caramel sweetness followed up by a resiny bitterness.

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River Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
3.52 out of 5 based on 587 ratings.
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