Sep 12, 2011

Green Flash Hop Head Red

Hop Head Red photoHoppy and red

Here’s further proof supporting my theory that if you include enough hops in a beer style that I don’t normally favor, I will in fact, love the hell out of it. Green Flash Brewings Hop Head Red is, well you guessed it, one hell of a hoppy red ale. This 6.4% ABV unfiltered Red Ale is made with Columbus, Nugget and Amarillo hops, as well as further dry-hopping with Amarillo. The result is a 70 IBU beer that carries the tell-tale red ale caramel malt backbone, but also has a solid helping of piny, resinous hops thrown in for good measure.

Needless to say, I have since purchased a couple of packs after enjoying the single bottle I purchased for this review.


A glowing orange-red in color with a light beige cap, Hop Head Red looks like an unassuming red ale…


… that is, until you catch a wiff of the resinous pine and fruity hops that fill the air upon opening the bottle. The beer still has a fairly solid malt base (caramel and a touch of brown sugar), but the hops do their best to dominate the aroma.


Loads of hops fill the mouth from beginning to end with this brew. The malt base struggles to come forward as the earthy, piny hops cover the palate almost immediately, leading to a moderate bitterness that hangs around for a bit in the finish. A touch of toasted malt sweetness makes a brief appearance toward the tail end, but for the most part this beer is all hops.


It looks like I’ve found the right formula for my thorough enjoyment of red ales — hops, hops and more hops. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not, but I’ve since tried more “standard” versions of the style after sampling their more hopped-up brethren, and I still can’t get into them. Looks like I’ll be sticking to the likes of Hop Head Red for my future red ale enjoyment.

Rating: 4/5

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