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

281 Reviews
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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 GiantMidget
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a River Horse variety pack, served in a bottle.

Poured into pint glass. Clearly an unfiltered APA by the appearance. Minimal head and lacing.

Nothing unique about the smell, hoppiness and malt.

It has a good flavor, although the slight sediment from the unfiltered nature is evident.

I'm more of an IPA than an APA guy but I can say that the hop nature is clear in this with a malt clarity afterwards.
Strong carbonation.

Overall a very solid effort at an APA, while the unfiltered nature makes it different than many others I have had.

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

A sweet, easy-sipping Pale Ale. Poured a hazy iced tea color into a pint glass. Smallish white head, less than average retention and some bands of lacing on the glass.

Smell is sweet/caramel malt, fairly mild.

Balanced taste. Maltiness is more pronounced. Sweet caramel malt and a kind of apple juice flavor. Just enough grassy hops to keep the sweetness from getting too cloying. Overall pretty pleasant flavor, goes down easy.

Mouthfeel is crisp and rich enough for the style. Goes down smooth.

Overall a pretty good beer, but a bit high octane for a session beer.

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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 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 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 Samp01
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy brownish amber with a large lasting white head with good lacing. Aroma and Taste of caramel malt, yeast, citrusy, some grapefruit notes, citrus floral hops. Palate is a medium body, crisp, with good carbonation. The finish is sweet caramel malt, yeast, fruity with some good citrusy floral hops bitterness for balance. A good nicely balanced, solid brew.

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Photo of Lordquackingstic
2.53/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark copper, murky, definitely unfiltered.

S: Weak hoppy aroma, slight malt. Nothing special.

T: Better than the smell. Hop forward pale ale with slight fruitiness. Malt definitely present, but well balanced with the hops. Sort of a metallic taste, but not an unpleasant one.

M: Very full bodied, especially for an APA.

O: Not bad, just not great. I love APAs, and I love unfiltered ales, but this one didn't impress me. I'd drink it again if offered, but I wouldn't buy it.

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

Poured into a room temp pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A- orange-copper color, very clean. barely a one-finger head yet great lacing. This beer looks good in a pint glass.

S-Honey for sure, a note of caramel as well. There is also a touch of roasted malt to balance out that sweet aroma from the honey and caramel. Suttle.

T-it is kind of sweet and malty but there is a clean hop finish without any bitterness. The sweetness lingers via the honey.

M-good carbonation and a sticky feel. I'd say a 'full body feel for an APA'.

O-a friendly, accessable brew. This would be a hit at a gathering of non-craft drinkers.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-amber slightly cloudy coloration with a a nice white head and a little lacing

S-light malts and caramel with a little grassy note

T-solid malt flavor with some caramel and mild hop character, not much bitterness

F-medium body with moderate carbonation

O-a decent, but not spectacular APA, would have liked a little more balance with hop flavors and a little too sweet for my taste

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Photo of ChrisPratz
3.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep dark, unfiltered brown with lots of tiny bubbles. Pours nice with just under 1 finger of foamy head. Color really jumps out at me. Head disappears to a very nice amount of lace all the way across that sticks to the sides of the glass as I drink more and more. Seems like alot of carbonation coming thru but lace never seems to dissipate.

S: Nice malts with some sweet scents drifting thru. Light citrus and some floral aromas coming out. Gets more defined as the beer warms.

T. Citrus at the start, leading to some maltyness and sweet brown sugar/caramel flavors. Hops hits at the back of the palette with an enjoyable bitterness that isn't overpowering like some APA's i've had lately. Lingers a good amount and some citrus bitter is present among the hops.

M: Slightly more then average carbonation, and with 6.5% ABV I was expecting a more dryer feel but its not there. Adds to the enjoyment.

O: Not a bad APA in my opinion. Flavor is nice, clean and crisp. Appearance is really a highlight here to compliment the flavors. Catching myself swirling and sniffing more all the way thru to the bottom of the glass. Would def like to try this on tap and compare.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from a variety pack. Pours slightly hazy-orange with a long lasting white head and a lot of lacing. Aroma is of caramel malt, some citrusy hops and ripe fruit. Body is full and very crisp. A lot of grapefruit hops balanced on the palate by caramel malt and ripe fruit. Finish is long lasting, dry, grapefruity. Nice APA

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Photo of bogus564
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 fl. oz., poured into a pint glass.

I’m a happy man. My beer fridge is more than half full, the Devils are playing hockey tonight, and I’m going to have myself a beer from my home state of New Jersey.

A: Nice color – it looks like the jersey of a University of Texas player. Having been born in El Paso, Texas, I can get behind that. The head, with a reasonably aggressive pour, goes to 3 cm, and is the color of an orange rind. The head does not last more than a minute, though, and leaves a bit of lace on the side of the glass.

S: Okay, now I’m ready to get into this one; I’m picking up hops up front, and citrus hops at that. I’m getting, oddly enough, orange and grapefruit, then some roasted malt, dark fruit and either brown sugar or molasses. There’s certainly enough to keep you entertained and interested.

T: It’s not what I expected, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s a little sweeter than I expected up front, competing with the hoppy sensation. The hops stick with you on the back end, not unpleasantly. All the things I smelled are there for the tasting, in good proportion. The brown sugar or molasses turned out to be dark syrup, which worked out just fine, in my humble opinion. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about, Willis!

M: It’s very good. It’s bordering on medium-bodied, with good carbonation, and it washes nicely over the palate, leaving a hoppy finish. If you like a nice hoppy beer, you will certainly appreciate that. Man, that’s good. Or as they say where I grew up, das ist ein sehr gut bier, fantastich.

O: It’s a solidly good beer. It tastes as good as it looks, and it’s a perfect counterbalance to the saltiness of a bunch of potato chips. I should have bought two of these, but alas, I’m out of chips, and I don’t think this beer goes that well with yogurt. Until the next time, everyone.

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Photo of CHickman
3.98/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy copper brownish color with a tremendous 3 finger foamy beige head that looked like a malt shake with tons of bubbles of all different sizes in it that faded very slowly, leaving foamy stick lacing on the sides. This head rose like dough baking in an oven, and I can’t recall ever seeing a pale ale that reacted like this out of the bottle – it was volcanic and seemed like this beer couldn’t wait to be released; good stuff to look at, so bonus points for the looks. An unfiltered American Pale Ale indeed.

Smells of floral hops, herbs, roasted grains, sweet malt, caramel, grapefruit, lemon, citrus hops, flowers, fresh cut grass and fruit; basically it smells like a nice late spring day, with soft, sweet hints of flowers, citrus and herbs.

Tastes of floral hops, herbs, grains, sweet malt, caramel, grapefruit, lemon, citrus hops, flowers, fresh cut grass, apple, pear, perhaps apricot, light honey, tea leaf, parsley, light yeast, medicine and some earthy notes; a robust pale ale, but not as hoppy as the label would lead you to believe. Flavor was good, and well balanced, hiding the alcohol very well.

Mouthfeel is zesty and smooth at the same time, with a medium body, average carbonation and a slightly bitter aftertaste that trails off herbal and grainy. A very nice pale ale that I would definitely have again.

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Photo of kolbe21
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a variety case of River Horse and found this in it

Poured a the bottle into a pint glass, left a fluffy head with lacing around. The head eventually disappeared after 2 sips.

A: Dark burnt orange in color, it is an unfiltered beer

S: Sweet and floral scents but not over powering like most pale ales.

T: A lot sweeter than I expected, little bit bitter on the after taste. I really like the taste of this beer, probably one of the sweetest APA's I've had in a while

M: Very easy to drink, while tasting great as well. Very low carbonation level also.

Overall i did enjoy this beer. I would definitely order it if i notice at any of the local bars. Maybe I will even buy another variety case I enjoyed all 5 beers I had from River Horse so far. (Special, Lager, Hop Hazard, Oatmeal Milk, and Belgian Freeze)

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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 Tucquan
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2012-01-19 in Columbia, PA. This bottle was given to me today by my barbers, Gary and Joel. Apparently, they've started an informal beer club where they and customers exchange beer. They've got a fridge in the back. Guess I'm now in the club. Cool.

A - Very hazy, golden-orange (unfiltered) with a giant 3.5 finger pillowy eggshell head into a nonic glass. Head fades slowly leaving mild lace.

S - Pleasant hop floral, honeysuckle, light malt. Not very strong.

T - Sweet light-medium roasted malt, ripe apricot, pine, reasonable leafy and citric bitterness as it dries. Tastes pretty good.

M - Light-medium body and medium carbonation. Smooth a bit effervescent.

O - Pretty decent brew. I've got to get my haircut more often.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A pretty hazy amber brown with a slight layer of head that looks very sticky.

S - Initial smell is a very nicely hoped pale ale. Not so much as a "hazard" but a good balance of hops to malt.

T - For me the initial taste is mostly malt maybe a touch of hops in the finish but nothing to label "hazard" since it has no lingering hop flavors. Not bad though!

M - Light to medium a very balanced pale.

Overall I wouldn't write this off as a bad beer just not as hoppy as the label described. A very balanced pale ale overall. Would get it again but not distributed to PA

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Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got from Spirits as a single bottle which means its probably been sitting around for a while (as that's really the only singles that every spirits in nj sells) Besides a faint skunk smell though the beer still seems good. Pours a golden amber color with a two finger white head thats nice and sticky. Very clear. After the slight skunk resides I can pick up some tobacco, and earthy herbalness and an underlying dried fruit taste.

Big body for a pale ale. Bitterness is decent. Chewy like graininess up front with a biscuit like sweetness. Some tobacco flavors on the back end which mask an underlying fruitiness. On the darker side of bright tasting but still bright none the less. Malt body holds the hops together pretty well.

Stella lacing.

Nice and different in the fact that it shows some earthy qualities yet manages not to taste like a barnyard. The faint fruit taste that's there manages to balance this earthiness but not with the normal tropical fruits I'm used to. Pretty different and packs quite a lot of flavor for a pale ale.

Flavors are layered very nicely.

I did enjoy this.

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Photo of Guden
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A hazy mid-copper with gold highlights and a one finger off white head that fades slowly leaving a trace of lace. Looks like a standard APA but a little hazy and a bit redder.

S- A lot going on here, bread, pineapple, wood, toffee and a little leather and alcohol. Not super strong but complex and appealing.

T- Up front the sweet, toffee and bready malt characteristics come through with a big floral, leafy and grassy middle that has a little bit of bitterness trailing off to a nice end of balanced malt and bitterness. Pretty good.

M- This one is an easy drinker with medium body and a mild carbonation that allows it to fill the mouth then go down smooth.

D- This isn't anything exceptionally fancy but it does everything it sets out to do. The flavor is complex in that it has many components but it isn't overly strong or lasting. I also wish the bitterness was just a tiny touch lower for this style. Pretty good beer I'd happily have again.

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Photo of Florida9
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy dirty amber in color. Forms a decent sized white head that slowly reduces to a thick, stable surface coating. No lacing.

S: Aroma is a bit off for an APA. Caramel malts, cream, and floral hops. Maybe a little orange. But the mix comes off smelling stale.

T: A bit more balanced in the taste. Light caramel malts and a light, but noticeable, sweetness, along with some malty fruit flavors as well. Some orange, grapefruit and floral notes, but the hops are fairly subdued. However, this isn't an overly malty beer either.

M: On the lighter side of medium with appropriate carbonation and a mild bitterness.

O: A fairly average APA. Decent, drinkable, with no apparent flaws, but not necessarily something that I would bother with again.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.08/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: cloudy bubbly burnt orange, 2 finger head,
fine lacing

S: faint lemon grass, bit of floral scent

T: earthy/grassy, light malt, mild bitter semi-dry finish

M: light/med body, dry finish

O: Curious beer, perhaps the flavor
would be great for newbies, but
many seasoned beer vets will be
disappointed. ABV well hidden.


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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Dark orange color. Transparent. Nice tight head that retains well and leaves textbook lacing. Nice looking beer.

S-Hmm. Nose is weak. How can this be called Hop Hazard if there is hardly any hop in the nose. The hops that are there are grassy. Grainy backbone. Light cracker malt.

T-Flavor is pretty mellow. I will say that the flavor is decently enjoyable. But boy, this beer is far from a Hop Hazard. Hops are floral and a bit citrusy. Malt may actually be more accentuated than the hop. Good balance for an APA. Definitely a letdown though.

M-Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Lightly bitter.

O/D-Disappointing. Not hoppy enough. Aside from that, its a decent APA. But don't call it Hop Hazard if its not very hoppy. But hey, the name got me to buy it didn't it?

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

A good APA with a sweeter and maybe maltier edge, which does not compromise much its drinkability.

Presentation: 12 oz brow capped bottle. Hippopotamus branded label with a security tape design/like warning of the Hop Hazard. Back paragraph offers a disclaimer about the lack of hops and a predominant balance… Shows 6.5% Alc. by Vol. Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Slightly hazy deep amber pour, 1" frothy head with fair retention, good surface memory and nice lacing.

S - Nose is somewhat subdued on the hops… with a nice sweet malty touch, and a hint of floral bitterness...

T - Taste follows in similar sync with a fair balance tilted by the caramel sense of the malt, hint of a hoppy edge moving to a finishing bitterness with some fruity touches.

M - Medium body, with medium low carbonation held up by the hop bitterness.

O - Good flow of a Pale Ale, a tad short and apologetic on the hop edge but pleasing nevertheless.

Notes: Dunno, it says American Pale Ale but at one point, maybe the hops are somewhat faded?, it feels more English than American. There is a fruity hint in the sweetness and that floral insinuation in the bitterness… Not something that I would personally brand as Hop Hazard, and the bottle description by way of a disclaimer is a bit pathetic, but overall the ale works decently.

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

12oz bottle given to me as a gift from a buddy.

Appearance: Pours a deep iced tea with a 1.5 finger slightly off white (lightest red/brown tinge) billow crown that shows good retention and lace.

Smell: Nice bready and toffee malt presence with a decent dose of floral hops.

Taste: A touch soapy. The malt profile washes out a bit. The floral hops make a disjointed appearance towards the end and the beer finishes with a bit of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

Overall: Drinkability is good thanks to the mouthfeel but the flavor hots it back from a better score.

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