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

BA SCORE
80
good
587 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good
Read the review
River Horse Hop Hazard Pale AleRiver Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
587
Reviews:
281
Avg:
3.52
pDev:
13.92%
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
97
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 587 |  Reviews: 281
Photo of DevilDogBeer
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

River Horse Hop Hazard pours a nice orange color with a cloudy look indicative of the unfiltered brew. The head settles to a nice white cap with little bubbles that clings to the glass. The smell is floral and citrus with the hops coming to the forefront of the nose. The taste is very good, with a hop bite on the front of the tongue finishing with a nice malty aftertaste. This beer is well balanced and presents the hops up front but it is not so bitter it can't be enjoyed. There are notes of citrus and flowers in the brew which would seem to indicate a nice blend of hops used. There is a slight taste of a caramel or high crystal malt in the beer but the finish is pleasant. The mouthfeel is very smooth and rich, but it leaves no unpleasant aftertaste, just a slight malt tone. At 6.5% ABV, this beer goes down smooth but should be enjoyed in moderation or with food since it can stack up on you quick. Overall this is a well balanced IPA that is worth a try.

 967 characters

Photo of mltobin
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle bought at Ancona`s in Ridgefield.

Poured into a pint glass, this offering from River Horse is a light but deep brown with a one finger head that turns mostly to a lace ring after a sip or two. The smell is interesting, sweet like a colored marshmallow with some of those hops present as well. The taste is a little bitter, hops are there, with a faint sweetness. It is pairing very well with the chili that I am eating for dinner tonight. Mouthfeel is spicy with some hops and finishes dry, I think I will need to cleanse the palate with some water after this. As I continue with this, I realize the drinkability is just about average despite the abv not being too high. It is however a very good beer to pair with a nice meal of chili, wings, pot pie, etc.

 774 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.31/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - One fingers worth of frothy slightly off white head... Loads and loads of rapid carbonation throughout... A toasty golden copper color which is a little lighter at the bottom and darker at the top... A faint haziness... Loads of foam cling to the sides of the glass...

S - A faint citric hoppiness... Lots of bready malts... Green apple... Mellow, but still pleasant and enjoyable...

T - Much more assertive hop presence than I expected, but far from overpowering... The hops dominate throughout, but minor notes of biscuit and malt were noted...

M - A lush creaminess if first detected as the foam reaches first, but quickly dissappears... Pringly biting carbonation up front... Dry and chalky... Medium bodied... Slight solvent aftertaste burns on the back of the tongue...

D - An assertive American Pale Ale... Without knowing better, I would have guessed it was an IPA... Drinkable and enjoyable, but not overly memorable...

 939 characters

Photo of rfgetz
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy, orangy amber. Thin head.

S: Roasted malts, bread and fresh floral hops.

T: Sweet, bready malts. Floral hops and carmel. Slight bitterness to finish.

M: Medium bodied, slightly bitter aftertaste

D: A little on the bready and sweet side for an APA. Mosre british influence.

 287 characters

Photo of dacrza1
3.34/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Situation: A relaxing Friday...
Glassware: Yuengling pint...
Appearance: Light orange, almost pumpkin-colored body with a steady stream of effervescence--ACTIVE; bubbling clustery head, thick and pillowy with traces of lacing...
Aroma: fruity esters awaken the nostril, with the expected pine bite from hops--appropriate...
Palate: medium-bodied and tipped to the throatmalts thrown in provide a late balance, but the majority of this beer lingers between the teeth--a bit less easy drinking than I'd imagined!
Taste: First sip is hoppy and sharp, arush to the throat; by last sip, this beer could be either a nacho chaser (my plans tonight), a sessioner if you are up for it, or a single drink for any season--quite versatile...
Overall: Nice tracings as the glass drains, suggesting a well-crafted pale... do not experience the malts as much as the brewery advertises, but still pleasantly dry... the sum of its parts add up to more than this rating, perhaps...

 963 characters

Photo of maddogruss
3.21/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle of this in a River Horse mixer.

A: Pours an orange-amber body with a nice, two finger, off-white head that was pretty silky. Nice retention and lacing until the end.

S: A fairly sweet, malty, citrus smell with some bitter hope notes as well as some earthiness. A nice, pretty balanced smell for an APA.

T: The taste was fairly equal to the smell, but not overly bitter. More of an earthy hop taste with some bitter notes to balance. A slightly malty backbone was evident in the aftertaste. Pretty nice overall.

M: A medium-bodied mouthfeel that was pretty nice on the palette and fairly smooth. Mouthfeel was fairly typical of the style.

D: A fairly nice drinking beer with a pretty solid mouthfeel and taste combination. The beer could have used a little less carbonation, but the offering was still good, nonetheless.

 837 characters

Photo of Durge
3.44/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very cloudy dark amber color with lots of big white floaties, a respectable blotchy off-white head and nice streaky lace. The aroma is a maple peanut butter stink bomb with just a hint of yeasty bread. The flavor brings out sharp citrus peppery hop bitterness. There's some maple and even some clove-like qualities going on. It's interesting but not hoppy enough for something called Hop Hazzard. Relatively thin, average drinkability based on a middle ground feel and dubious flavor. It becomes mellower and more enjoyable toward the end of the pint. Not bad, but not great, a bit odd as hop brews go.

 604 characters

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.

 666 characters

Photo of TLove
3.82/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet glass.

Appearance a touch cloudy, but on par with most substantive pale ales.

Smells like a caramel IPA with a light body.

Substantial and sharp hops, lighter body, but really full, dark malts blended in with the light.

Nutty finish with a date/raisin fruit taste lingering with the hops.

Very nice beer and surprisingly well-balanced for a pale ale.

 379 characters

Photo of emsroth
2.42/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle.

App: Small head that quickly dissipates, but decent lacing follows. A hazy honey brown color

Smell: Slight floral hops, but the scent is dominated by alcohol and toasty malt.

Taste: Light flavor. Slight bit of malt but mostly a hop bitterness that controls the flavor. Sweet caramel flavors come through as it warms.

Very light mouthfeel that is a slight bit chewy.

Taste almost like a bitter with the light toasty malt and dominant hop bitterness. Really a one dimensional beer that is barely enjoyable.

 522 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy honey brown color with a tight, cream colored head that settled into a sparse cap with some lacing on the side of the glass. The aroma is quite bready, with some caramel and a light peppery spicy hop. The bready caramel malt is forefront with a stale grassy hop following that offsets the sweetness. There is a bit of a nutty and rusty metallic flavor going on as well. Moderate body with semi-soft carbonation, starts off malty sweet but finishes with a bitter hop. Definitely a malt forward APA; solid malt body, heavier than most though it does have a solid hop presence. Perhaps a bit too much caramel malt. Worth trying.

 638 characters

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.

 1,370 characters

Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.96/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a shaped pint glass.

River Horse Hop Hazard pours a deep hazy cloudy bronze with a pillowy three-finger head. It leaves a wall, rather than lace, of foam on the glass. This is a pretty APA.

The smell is subtle and pleasant, but difficult to pinpoint. The taste is earthy and grassy with a hint of pineapple in the finish. The feel is bitter and bready--very substantial for an APA. It's a pleasure to drink, but not as refreshing as a typical APA.

As a result of its richness, River Horse Hop Hazard is almost more a highly drinkable IPA than an APA. As an APA, it looks and tastes terrific.

 618 characters

Photo of Martin2D
3.46/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber with a huge white head that laces

S - Almost soapy, not much going on for me, but not unpleasant as that might seem.

T - Some malts going on with some hop balance. Quite balanced in flavor, but not really explosive in flavor either.

M - Medium-high in carbonation and medium-light in body.

D - Super drinkable. No real evidence of alcohol, not a lot of flavor. Wouldn't turn it down, but wouldn't seek it out. Hop Hazard is not aptly named either because there's not really much going on for hops here.

 517 characters

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.

 288 characters

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!

 2,144 characters

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

Thanks to hoppymcgee For sending this one my way.

A - Poured a copper color with a big off white head that covers my glass in lace

S - Lots of malt upfront then the citrus hops come out

T - Has a very strong malt backing with caramel flavor the bitter hops fight to come through almost

M - This beer has a creamy smooth body with lighter carbonation to it

D - Overall a good beer not as hoppy as other APAs would be a good gateway pale into hoppy beers it has a good taste thats easy to drink worth trying

 511 characters

Photo of pinotboy007
3.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful amber color with a deep, thick cap that receded slowly and left decent lacing. Head returns somewhat with a swirl.

S - Light hoppy aroma, malt, raw honey.

T/M - Modest hoppiness with some decent grapefruit, malt, tea, leather and "Band Aid." Reminds me of DFH 60.

D - This would be nice in warmer weather - quite refreshing but I must agree that it's not as hoppy as I thought it might be given its label.

 422 characters

Photo of jlandis
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Translucent copper with a thin 2cm white head.

S - Malty with subtle citrus hop aromas. Malts are clearly dominant over the hops. RH mentions a 5 hop blend, and I would be interested to see what varieties they used.

T - Balanced hop bitterness with a strong malt profile. Some nutty flavors.

M - Creamy and smooth with subtle carbonation.

D- At times the hop bitterness seems a little harsh and was a stark contrast against the mellow nutty malt flavors. I would have hoped for a little more in the hop flavor area, but I think it is important to have a nice malt balance to back up hop levels. I wouldn't mind having this one again.

 642 characters

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.

 1,402 characters

Photo of hoppymcgee
3.29/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Nice foamy head, glowing amber color, great lacing, carbonation floating up adds to the effect. Perfect!

S: Leafy, woody, nutmeg notes.

T: Bitter to the bone.

M: Sits on the tongue well.

D: Definitely a sipper. Couldn't drink more than two in one sitting.

 311 characters

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

Appearance: Pour shows a amberish color, off white head, with extra sticky lacing. Nice renteion, the head stays in tact the entire way down the glass.

Smell: Piny citrus hops explode off the aroma, a bit of earthy spiciness is here too, smells a bit like a christmas tree engulfed in grapefruits.

Taste: Grapefruit, mango and other citrus properties are supported by a decent amount of malt backbone. The maltiness sweetens the brew a bit on the finish, alot of the hoppiness gets drowned out by the malt in the end. Not balanaced to the T but pulls it off nicely for an APA.

Mouthfeel: Decent amount of carbonation, this APA is smooth and bitter all at the same time. I love how the finish is hoppy and bitter, yet first contact is a nice rounded maltiness.

Drinkability: This was definetley a different Pale ale, it has alot more of a malt backbone then the others I've had, yet has a nice amount of hoppy grapefruit goodness for me to come back for more. Decently sessionable and decently priced, I picked up a single of this for a 1.30 at the Pin Shop Liqour Outlet in Oakville. A good brew from one of the better up and coming brewers.

 1,145 characters

Photo of Redwood21
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: the haead does last the entire beer but it is of the semi fizzy type and not too sticky. the amber body is nice though

S: smells overly malty and almost brown sugar syrupy

T: this beer throw me, how is it an apa, it tastes like an amber ale. if it were an amber id give it a 4, its caramel and malts with a slight bitterness, but none of the classic apa tastes

this is a solid beer, more amber ale than ipa, but good none the less.

 437 characters

Photo of Vendetta
3.11/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a sparkling pale brown. Some thin foamy white head that lasts for a little bit but nothing crazy.

Some backseat hops there with a bit of malt. Sort of a non-present nose. Very backseat, not super apparent. A bit disappointing -- A beer named "hop hazard" should burn the nose hairs out of my schnoz with hop aroma.

Taste fulfills the hoppy name, very solid American style pale ale. There is some coriander, and a bit of citric bite aside from the hop bitterness. Not quite enough to be called an IPA but this will be a good session beer for hopheads and is enjoyable for anybody that values a quality brew.

Mouthfeel is decent, a little bit overcarbonated but overall not too bad. Drinkability is pretty decent, harmed a little by the overcarbonation but not too bad at all.

 783 characters

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

This poured a hazy light copper with off-white head. It smelled like honey and light caramel malt with orange hops and a bit of creamy yeast and mint. It tasted like orange and grapefruit hops with sweet honey malt and a bit of burnt coffee. It was slightly thick with some carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this had a very nice, clean flavor with pretty good body. It was well balanced and very easy to drink. There was nothing too exciting about it, but it's a pale ale, so that makes sense. A solid beer that's significantly better than their ESB.

 566 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More