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 Sammy
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprisingly good American style pale. Tasty dry hop, some juice, an understated IPA. Good head, lots of lace in glass. Citrus fog aroma. Good mouthfeel, sligtly sweetish well-malted. Give me much more of this. Slight ageing, thanks to sample delivered directly by Captain Couger.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a nice golden color with some lively head on it. The smell was on the hoppier side but it's not too hazardous. The taste is decent I expected it to be much stronger on the hoppy side because of the name on the label. The mouthfeel for this beer was alright too. I just felt that a beer with this kind of name it should be stand out in the flavor and stuff. This beer to me was a little disappointing in that sense. It's not a bad beer though.

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Photo of metter98
3.64/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured hazy amber with a small head that quickly diminished into lacey patterns of bubbles on the surface. There's a light- to moderate level of carbonation.
S: The aroma of oily, piney hops is rather strong and stimulates your interest in taking a sip.
T: The initial flavor is a huge one in the way of hops and piney oils, while the finish is rather bitter. The hoppy flavor is huge but not completely overpowering, as it is toned down a bit by the underlying malt, yet it is rather assertive.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate.
D: I don't know if I could down more than one of these in one sitting, but it's certainly a beer that packs its punch with flavor.

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Photo of brentk56
3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a head that fizzes away quickly while leaving a few traces of lace behind

Smell: Very malty aroma, with lots of caramel and a hint of earthy hops

Taste: Rather sweet on the opening, with a lot of nutty caramel flavor, perhaps a bit of diacetyl in there; the earthy hops arrive by mid-palate, but are never able to overcome the big malt flavors; after the swallow, the hint of hops remains but it is mostly the sweeter elements that were tasted up front

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Just too darn sweet to be enjoyable, I'm afraid

Thanks, donkeyrunner, for the opportunity

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.63/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a light amber color ale with an average head with OK retention. Aroma consists of light dry caramel malt mix with some metallic and somewhat resinous hops. Taste is also a mix between a non-descript dry caramel malt base with some notes of resinous hops and a metallic aftertaste. Body is about average with good carbonation. There was definitely something off in that one and I am not likely to revisit anytime soon.

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Photo of jlindros
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to juliusseizure (Reddit) for this one, although I think I waited a little too long to drink it, but no date so screw.

Pours a very light fizzy head that fades very quickly to almost nothing, although the foam on top leaves bits of lacing on the sides, over a semi hazy slight sediment laden coppery orange red colored beer.

Nose has some hops, light citrus and candied orange peel, little fruity stone fruit hop, touch tropical fruit, touch pine and grassy even, with some caramel malts, plenty of malts underneath.

Taste starts with a light sweet malt, chewy malts, with some caramel, toffee, and toasty reddish malts before the hops kick in. Fairly bitter but not a lot, with a light citrus candied orange peel, little fruity hop flavors again, hint spicy pine hops. Balanced fairly well with lighter overall hop presence but typical in line with APA. Finish is still slightly sweet, fairly bitter as the bitterness ramps and it dries more on the later finish, more spicy slight piney and citrusy hops.

Mouth is med to slightly fuller bodied, decent carb.

overall pretty good, nothing special, decent hop presence, nice malt profile and balance, drinkable and tasty, wish I remembered to have this a bit fresher, and wish there was a date on it.

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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 dbrauneis
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a bottle at Village Pourhouse in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a cloudy amber in color with some orange + ruby red highlights, light amounts of visible carbonation, and a fair amount of dark sediment in the bottom of the glass. The beer has a finger tall creamy/foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of pine hops with a touch of oiliness and just a hint of spicy hops. Light amounts of caramel malts can be detected in the background.

T: There is a light flavor of caramel malts with just a touch of sweetness underneath the strong flavors of the oily pine hops and moderate notes of spicy hops. Moderate to strong amounts of bitterness which fade in intensity but linger for quite a while. Not too aggressive in the bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly oily/slick.

O: This is a pretty intense APA and I'm not sure that I could have more than one of these in a session - there is just too much intensity to the pine hops, somewhat overpowering the other flavors in the beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.95/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a reddish copper-hued, clear body with a loosely organized, thin ring of white bubbles set around the far edge of the beer. Positively headless!

Smell: Little else besides a light, bready malt aroma with just a bit of grassiness.

Taste: Middling, sweet malt dough flavor. Some citrusy hops, however faint, finally present themselves in the abrupt, dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Somewhat watery.

Drinkability: Though one might think a "Hop Hazard" would imply some sort of hop-based danger or calamity, it's nothing of the sort - I hereby propose a change of title to "Hop Kitten".

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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 Slatetank
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought this at Quick six in West York, PA. poured chilled from the 12oz into my dfh shaped pint.

A - A somewhat dark turbid caramel shade w/ particulate settling in the bottom (hops). 2 fingers of light cream tops the ale w/ a fine bead and sticky lace rings the glass.

S - A very fragrant hoppy nose w/ both herbal and sweet aromas. The odor of fruity yeast esters hint at English pale, but a slight nutty caramel hint is there too.

M - A slightly syrupy sweet texture w/ mellow bitterness. There is more spice from the hops than flavor really. A yeasty soft texture is there w/ medium carbonation and mild bitter tinge in the finish

T - The flavor is mild w/ subtle fruity flavor and mild caramel malt w/ a subtle bitter tinge w/ a piney hop note. A mellow pepper-like spice follows the creamy malt w/ a slightly acidic hop taste which is lemony and the flavor is mildly tart as it finishes

D - An average pale drinkability-wise for me. The ale lacks any thing to set it apart and comes off slightly one-note to me

edit -5/23/10
thanks to carlos for sharing this
A-4, S-3.5, M-4, T-3.5, D-4

A - A slightly hazed caramel colored light brown with thick cream cap of tan which has tight beading. Lace clings to the glass in ringlets

S - A sweet worty caramel malt smell with mild floral citrus hop aroma w/ a hint of pepper

M - A smooth balanced feel of biscuity and spiced hop with moderate carbonation and medium bitterness w/ a clean dry finish

T - The flavor is good whil not outstanding hop flavor, a nice balance is achieved between the crystal malts and mild toasted quality w/ a slight lemony bitterness with mild pepper in the finish

D - Overall a solid beer I wouldn't mind having on hand, a decent pale ale. I think it fits the style well

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Photo of woodychandler
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured with a white head of medium body that held up well throughout. It poured a really gorgeous golden-yellow color. The nose was very fresh, putting me in mind of unmowed grass, cotton sheets, and thunderstorms. There was a nice hoppy bite on the front of the tongue, accompanied by a slightly creamy mouthfeel. It had a really good hoppy finish. A candidate for a session beer, IMHO.

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Photo of stakem
2.92/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle with no indication of freshness care of Jdiddy, thanks.

Poured into a snifter this brew appears a very dark amber that is almost brown in color and quite hazed. An aggitating pour provides little to no head beyond a thin bead of bubbles around the inside perimeter of the glass. Very faint spotty amounts of lace cling to the glassware.

The aroma is not all that exciting, kind of a let down from the large "dry hopped" advertisement on the label. Minor notes of citrus, floral and herbal hops all come together to form a sweet smelling nose that accents the maltiness. There is a peculiar smell of malt that comes across with a scent that is almost chocolate-like and very out of place for the style.

The taste has very faint hop bitterness upfront that is blended with the malt and a bit of a fruity skin flavor. Just like the nose suggested, there is a bit of a chocolate malt flavor present that is strange. The hops lend themselves as being a bit herbal and musty that lingers in the mouth.

Overall feel of this brew is light and watery with a very low level of carbonation. I could finish the glass but this is not something I would want to have another of. Perhaps this was not a very fresh sample.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clouded amber with a one finger crème head. Nose is hoppy, metallic, and a bit like an acorn too. Flavor is slightly sweet with a calm hop presence. Feel is a bit thick but with low carbonation. Overall it is pretty drinkable. But I won’t be saying it is one to run out to the store for.

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Photo of jwc215
3.89/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazed orangish amber with no head - just a thin, lasting swirl.

The smell is of citrus, sweet bread and a touch of pine.

The taste is of citrus, tea-like leafiness, a hint of pine. Sweet caramelish, grainy malt balances it out. Finishes fairly dry.

A tad watery, but not enough to fall apart. Smooth. Some flavors linger.

The hops are noticeable, but mixed into a caramelish, doughy body. Nicely balanced.

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Photo of Billolick
3.72/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness indication. pours slightly hazy or chill hazed, brownish amber, with an off white tiny bubble head/film and leaving blotchy lacing. Nose citrusy and also some malt picked up. this is a better then average P.A. well balanced between some grapefruit studded hops and some nice maple infused matls. Nicely crafted and a worthy sessioner.

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Photo of Gavage
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear dark copper in color with a 1" head. Nice lacing develops.The aroma is a combination of sweet and pungent bitterness. The flavor is malt, fruit (plums), mild bitterness, and is slightly metallic. This is medium bodied with decent carbonation levels. The mouthfeel is smooth at the start but ends metallic and slightly dry. Drinkability is only average as I expected more from a dry hopped brew and the metallic taste lingers a little too much.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dominated by hops. Taste is good, hops up front, a bit of malts and some notes of citrus. A little IPA like in it's flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall makes for a solid offering.

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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 plaid75
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger creamy white head. There was good retention and very good lacing.

The smell had a very malty base with a spattering of oily hop aroma. A sweet toasted grain aroma was detected as well.

The flavor had a solid malt backbone with a citric hop finish. There was an enjoyable toasted biscuity aftertaste. Much more body than the typical APA.

The mouthfeel had a medium fullness and a very dry finish.

Overall a very enjoyable APA. Due to its solid malt backbone, this beer could easily pass for a good replication of an English Pale Ale. As far as the claimed five hop blend, I am not all that convinced.

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Photo of dar482
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer has good grapefruit and floral hop aroma.

The flavor follows with some American hops in the front of grapefruit and citrus peel. Then the beer has a substantial malt backbone, with surprisingly even some alcohol on the back. This is a bit of surprise considering the ABV.

One of the poorer, yet somewhat reasonable attempts at the style.

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Photo of biegaman
4.01/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's easy to defend giving the beer a perfect score on appearance. Its coppered tone is icy and deeply tanned. The colour is rich and resplendent. Its complexion antiseptically clean and the clarity unimpeded. Its head, a lovely stain of off-white, is ultra creamy and impassively resilient. It coats the glass in thick, super crusty remnants that look dauntingly hard to clean. Looks exceptional to me.

Hey, and that smell is not too bad either! It's actually pretty darn exceptional itself, dare I say! Fresh cut grasses, freshly tapped tree resin, freshly cut open mango and pineapple all arise from the smell of freshly picked and added hops. River Horse doesn't disclose which are the five varieties used (nor the one for dry hopping) but it's a combination that procures herbs, vanilla, flowers, tang and plenty of exotic fruits.

A lot of these flavours carry over into the taste as well. The mango, pineapple, orange, melon, cantaloupe makes for an exotic, citric fruit salad. The warm, bready fresh-out-the-oven biscuits I failed to mention smelling in the aroma are also present, again with just a dab of vanilla extract. All elements, malty and hoppy, come together fantastically to make for the tastiest pale ale I remember having in some time!

The mouthfeel is the only thing preventing this really good beer from being really great. It is overly bready with a curious absence of bitterness given all the hoppy flavours. The carbonation is just a smidgen low given the citrus and acidity. There also seems to be a hint of ethanol floating around there somewhere, mighty unusual for a beer under 6%. To their credit, however, the dry hopping has paid off huge in terms of flavour and aroma.

River Horse's Hop Hazard is only hazardous to those who believe in a world of bland, tasteless beers. Anyone who appreciates the craft movement, or certainly anyone with an affinity for hops, should love this pale ale. I'm beginning to think this brewery deserves more credit for what they do, more credit for this beer at very least. I'd place this above a lot of reputable IPA's even. Yup, the only danger here is running out of it!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Cool beer received in an easy trade with dberger624... Thanks Dan!. Pours deep orange with an okay mostly white head.. citrusy hops with some background pale malt and hints of toasted malt.. Medium body for a pale ale, but the ABV is 6.5%, so a little thicker is certainly acceptable... Nice drinkability.


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Photo of jdhilt
2.7/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a two finger cream head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving a little lace. Cloudy amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Floral/hoppy nose. Starts hoppy, midway some mellow sweetness, finish is hoppy/bitter. $1.75 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bright, very clear orange color with a creamy 1 finger light beige head that recessed to a sparse macro-bubbly layering.

S: a nice toasty caramel aroma along with spicy oranges.

T: The initial flavor was dry toasted caramel, and smokiness. There was a fresh flowery hopping and a sweet and smoky nature to the flavor. Dry toasted caramel, smoky woodiness, dried leaves all combine to add depth and complexity to this beer. Finishes with a light dried woodiness and smoky hints.

M: medium full with a nice smooth dry maltiness, bittering flowery hop bite and some burnt woodiness.

D: Nice drinkability, a malt dominant pale with a smoky, dry woody fade makes this unique and different.

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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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