Hidden River Pale Ale | Cold Spring Brewing Co.

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22 Ratings

Brewed by:
Cold Spring Brewing Co.
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-15-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 20
Reviews by Bunnyhop:
Photo of Bunnyhop
1.36/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A clear, golden yellow Pale Ale with a bubbly, creamy white head. The smell is sweet and hoppy. The taste is slightly sweet and spicy, but there is a strong paper-like taste and a slight soapiness to the finish. I would guess that this is corn based. The body is thin in my mouth. Overall, this is one of the worst beers I've ever had, and the finish reminded me of cardboard.

Not that price is a direct determinant of a beer's quality, but this beer was very inexpensive ($3.69 a six pack) and tasted it too. The clerk at Albertson's (grocery store with separate liquor store next door) told me that this was brewed (obviously contract brewed) exclusively for Albertson's. I won't even pawn off my remaining bottles of this to my Macro-beer-drinking friends.

(source: Albertson's Grocery; Ocala, FL)

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More User Reviews:
Photo of IntriqKen
1.55/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Pours a too-dark golden yellow with a scant half finger head that melts away way too fast.
Aroma is surprisingly sweet for a pale ale...almost like a honey ber.
Taste seems to have some underlying of corn, to my palette. Initially sweet then sharply bitter but not fresh hop bitterness in the least.
Mouthfeel is too creamy and sticky for a Pale Ale.
Not a terribly pleasant experience.

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Photo of fattyre
1.48/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

First off I have to say that this is definitely the worst beer I have had to date.
I often find myself wandering through stores looking for something new. My eyes settled on a six crap of this "pale crap". I thought "what the hell", the packaging looks good (what was I thinking) and it was damned cheap. I was even wrong about the packaging. On second look it seems like an elk standing next to a radioactive waste site. Or perhaps that was the water they use. At any rate:
The "beer" pours a clear golden yellow with a bubbly creamy white head. Maybe I should have stopped here. The body is thin with a "soapy character" to it. The smell is slightly sweet and sort of spicy. The taste is a mild yet sickening sweetness with a lingering yet balancing sickly soapy bitterness. I couldn't even bring myself to pawn this stuff off on my macro-swilling friends - I usually pour the bad stuff on my plants but I feared for their lives. It is a good thing this stuff is cheap-otherwise I can't imagine how it would sell- and still I'm not quit sure why. Perhaps I'm not the only idiot out there buying beer out of curiosity.

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Photo of uabigdaz
1.94/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Pours a dark yellow, slightly orange color. Head hit a maximum of only about 1 finger depth and quickly dissipated to a very thin layer of bubbles. The most impressive part of the appearance of this beer is that bubbles continue to rise. Smells better than it tastes. There seems to be some sort of honey smell similar to a honey brew, which overpowers the smell. Taste is quite bitter, with a hint of that honey smell, although it does not overpower the taste the way it does the smell. Mouthfeel is thin, watery, nothing much to discuss there. This is an okay beer, but not on the top of my list. At $4.99 for 6 bottles I will likely try the others by this brewer, I mean, it's not the worst beer I've had, just the worst microbrew I've had.

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Photo of Noelito76
2.25/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Pegasus
2.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Light golden in color with a half-inch thick white head that exhibits good retention. The carbonation is quite abundant with lots of broken lace.

Aroma: Oily hops present themselves in the aroma, along with faint hints of fruity esters.

Taste: The taste begins with sweet malts, quickly followed by sour flavors and bitter hops that linger well past the tea-like notes of the finish. There is also, as another reviewer notes, a certain soapiness in the aftertaste - I need not relate how unappealing this is.

Mouth feel: The mouth feel is, at least, pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: There are a number of superb pale ales that are currently available - but this is not one of them.

Presentation: Packaged in a brown glass longneck bottle with a twist off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

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Photo of Zorro
3.01/5  rDev +44%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a super clear golden brew.

Smell is sweet and malty with a woody perfumed tea aroma from the hops.

Taste is sweet with a decent amount of malt and hops in it. This tastes like a great ale watered down, all the elements are there but the end result isn't what it could be. Flavor ends with a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin.

Not a great brew, but it certainly beats drinking Budweiser. In sum it is leaning in the right direction but it ends up washed out in flavor as if too much water was added to the mix.

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Photo of tang214
3.34/5  rDev +59.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a decent pale ale, nothing special though. It has a golden color and a soapy head that fades quickly to a thin layer. It smells nicely hoppy and refreshing. The taste is only average but has a good combo of malts and hops. It is fairly smooth and and very drinkable. I like this brew as a pale ale considering I got it on a whim.

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Photo of DogFood11
1.15/5  rDev -45%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pilsner glass it dies quickly, fizzy white head is never to be seen again shortly after the initial flair up, no lacing.

Pretty light smell and taste, very macro lager type personality. Some sweet corn, grain and little else. I can't detect much of a hop profile or much of anything for that matter.

Notes: Not much of interest here. With all the great pale's out on the market today this one "Pales" in comparison... moving on.

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Photo of elmocoso
2.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Doh! Cold Springs, MN! I should have looked for this mark of the devil before i laid down a 5 spot for this sixer, but hey, I'm Cheep and often look at prices first. oh well, i get to review it and give a few beers away. How's that for advocacy. "would you like a Hidden River?"

Anyway, It was a nice solid gold straw color when it came out. I couldn't get much head out of her, but what was there was white and thin. Better than, say, bud. Carb, quite active. Nose is corny and sweet, a little of hops.

Blech! Sweet, sweet, cloyingly sweet and simple. Sugary. Cant finish it. Maybe a new beer drinker might enjoy this, but man skip this one of you have a decent palate.

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Photo of harpus
2/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of shirfan
2.25/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pale gold with a thin, rapidly vanishing head. Faint aroma of soft malt and cooked vegetables.

Taste: beer water. Exceedingly thin, almost the consistency of Corona. This is probably a good thing, as the flavors I can detect are cooked veggies, DMS, and green apples.

Drinkable as a thirst-quencher but not as a beer. Impulse buy of cheap unresearched beer at Albertson's for the loss.

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Photo of allengarvin
2.23/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a quite clear golden amber with a small head that fades away. Malty aroma, no hop aroma detectable. Light body with malty sweetness predominate. Hop bitterness is very low, and hop taste not present at all. I'm glad I bought a single of this instead of a six-pack. A bland, uninteresting beer, that doesn't fit the flavor profile of Pale Ale at all.

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Photo of HardTarget
2.5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ah, another Gluek product, the progenitors of Malt Liquor.
Aroma: Like aroma with a small whiff of corn that could be dimethyl sulfide (DMS). Not so much to be unpleasant, just noted.
Appearance: A full yellow glass with a white cover. Looks like yellow beer.
Flavor: Hops seem rather subtle for style with some pine flavor. Also had a slight artificial banana flavor that was distracting and a slightly stale finish (no date on bottle, so brewer takes the hit).
Mouthfeel: Light-medium body with a thin mouth coat. Fair carbonation.
Overall Impression: Not bad. Overall I’d say a little too light in body and hops. With so many APAs out there it’s hard to stand out. The few minor flaws really drug my scores down. Thanks to Pegasus for the sample.

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Photo of mjurney
1.23/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Pale golden straw color, clear. Some carbonation. A little head, no lacing.

Adjunct, grainy and some bitter hops.

Very thin and watery at first. Sweet grainy, adjunct, alcohol, and some bitter hops. Rough finish with harsh dry bitter aftertaste. Over carbonated.

Undrinkable. Aftertaste is just so bad I couldn't drink this beer at all!!

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Photo of BeerBob
1.48/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Hidden River Pale Ale poured a golden amber from a 12 oz dark brown bottle. head went to about two fingers and then slowly collapsed to a rocky ring with islands of foam working their way to the center of the glass. Nice lace patterns are adorning the sides as the fluid is drained from the glass as well.

Nose is sweet corn... strong sweet corn... much, much too strong.

Pallet is sweet corn... strong sweet corn... much, much too strong. This stuff tastes like one of those high gravity brews with most of the alcohol taken out, all of the bad taste, and none of the kick

The conspicuous absents of any hop signature is alarming, beer without hops? how can that be?

Unbalanced flavor of corn with no bitter of hops makes this one of the worst brews I have ever had the displeasure of drinking, Hidden River Pale Ale is a total mess.

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Photo of ybnorml
2.65/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A clean yellow beer. Has a small white head that dissappers way to quickly and no lace. There is a very light malt aroma which is over powered by a strong corn character. The malt and corn notes hinted at in the aroma are even lighter in the taste. Mouthfeel is thin . About the only good ting I could say about this is that it doesn't taste bad (it just doesn't taste).

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Photo of Gagnonsux
2.18/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

My hundredth beer to review at BA, wish I had a better beer for the occaision. On with the review. Appearance is the color of apple juice, smallish head with quickly dissipates. Smell is somewhat surprisingly similiar to a typical macro aroma. Maybe adjuncts were used? Taste is too sweet for the style and is similiar in flavor to their Amber Ale, except it doesn't cloy nearly as much. There is some evidence of hops, but not enough to balance this out. This is not a good example of the APA style at all. Somewhat drinkable, and cheap, but I won't be getting it again.

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Photo of jettjon
3.08/5  rDev +47.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Highs: None
Lows: Borderline beer

Pours golden orange with no bubbles. Head of fluffy white foam, thick and lingering, leaving some decent lacing. Nose of malt and scant hops. Taste is sweet—not ale-like at all—borderline cloying, but not quite there. The sweetness fades to a light bitterness and a hint of hops, saving this beer from complete undrinkability. However, it finishes that semi-cloying malty sweet. Mouth is watery, very lightly carbonating and refreshing—pretty good. Average drinkability—your typical lawn mowing beer.

Overall: A hops teaser in the middle of a watery malt beverage. Not recommended.

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Photo of colts9016
1.84/5  rDev -12%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This beer is at least four years old. It is a long story how I got and I am blessed, I think, I have the bottle. Poured into a pint glass at 35 degrees.

Appearance: A one finger foamy creamy white head that has very poor retention. The color of the beer is a dark straw color with brown hues. The clarity of the beer is clear with some haziness. There is some carbonation in the beer, I hope that is a good sign.

Nose: A light malty aroma with some toasty and yeasty notes. There is a light floral aroma that has notes of grapefruit, and floral bouquet.

Taste: A over ripe malt flavor with toasty notes, and floral bouquet.

The mouth feel is carbonated, slightly astringent, and dry.

Overall: The body of the beer is light and the finish is light. Surprisingly this beer has held up some. It is still very terrible the malt runs into the floral, and it is just a train wreck. I am going to make this beer a drain pour.

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Photo of Morris729
2.56/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a bright golden amber color with a thin white head that fades into a thin and wispy lace. Nose is sweet and malty with some faint notes of hops. Very light in body and a bit watery. Taste is rather bland with some papery notes. Turns slightly sour towards the end. Probably not a beer I’ll be drinking again any time soon.

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Photo of alexgash
1.3/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

“Aged in cold cellars,” touts this cheap-looking bottle. It also touts being brewed by the Old Fort Brewing Co., Cold Spring, MN, which we all know means Gluek is behind this and that it will most likely taste like shit. Sorry. I really want to like stuff that comes out of Cold Spring, because it’s a nice town and I went to college near there (St. John’s University), but they aren’t helping me much. Anyways, here’s to hoping that someday Cold Spring will brew good, drinkable beer…
As far as the Hidden River Pale Ale goes, I had low expectations upon opening. Unsheathed and glassed, HRPA shows a clear, golden-yellow body with a minor, guazey, off-white head. Very minimal aromatics. Light apple malt, with kinda-citrusy hops. Tastes like blecchh. Very soapy. A touch of sweetness, then more soap water. Apple core flavors in there, accompanied by minimalist recycled (apparently) *hops*. Finish is apple dish soap. Good thing this was a BYOB party leftover, otherwise I’d be cursing myself for buying this! Drain pour.

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Hidden River Pale Ale from Cold Spring Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 2.09 out of 5 with 22 ratings