Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fresh Hop Pale Ale, Great Divide Brewing Co., Denver, CO

Fresh hop beers (a.k.a. hop harvest beers) have been reviewed here previously, so it should not be surprising to see another review. Great Divide Brewing Co. is taking a very different approach that most other fresh hop products.

The Fresh Hop Pale Ale is basically a very nice pale ale that happens to use fresh hops. The brewers don't try to choke you with hop flavor, but rather have created a well-balanced and drinkable ale. The hop taste is definitely assertive, but not overpowering. Drinking this beer, you can definitely taste the ingredients, instead of a glass of hop extract with hints of beer flavor in the background.

The ABV, at 6.1%, is appropriate for the style, as is the copper color. The fresh hops give the beer an interesting earthy flavor, making me think of clean air and green grass. While this sounds odd, it is a positive sensation.

Rating = 4.0

All in all, a very solid, well balanced beer which exhibits the different taste profile of fresh hops without clearing your sinuses with "quadruple hop flavor". I'd buy this beer if I saw it again. Of course, it is only available for about 2 months every fall.

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