A Word to the Wise: Beer Names Matter
A Review of Hoptober by New Belgium Brewing Co.
Posted on 11/2/2011 by Chops
                   
Decent
A word to the wise to all breweries: beer names matter. I recently tried New Belgium's Hoptober thinking I was getting an oktoberfest beer. After all, 'tis the season and my mouth waters every time I see ''October'' misspelled. Sure, I could have carefully read the label and saw that it was a Golden Ale, but my eyes will always stop at ''tober'' and instantly dump the container contents into my mouth hole. Unfortunately that backfired this time around. Not saying that Hoptober is a bad beer, I was just irritated to get a mouthful of non-oktoberfest. But anyway, moving on...

In the glass, Hoptober has a pretty standard Golden/Blonde Ale appearance. It it crystal clear with a fluffy white head and is, well, golden. The aroma threw me off a little because it smells much like a pale ale with a strong hop presence. Blonde ales usually have more of a sweet and floral vibe with a significantly muted hop profile. Many even come across as tropical. So at this point I'm not exactly sure what New Belgium was hoping to accomplish with this beer.

Hoptober's mouthfeel is quite thin and has a very light body, which is pretty typical for a blonde ale. Much like with the aroma, the flavor train reminds me more of a pale ale. It has a dominant hop bite coupled with several floral notes. The finish is crisp and decently bitter. At this point I had to read the label again and confirm that Hoptober wasn't a pale ale. Nope, still a golden ale. Hmm.

Overall, New Belgium's Hoptober Golden Ale is a decent brew. I would have enjoyed it much more if it was denoted as a pale ale, and in that arena it's not too shabby. It doesn't really work too well as a blonde ale, but some core traits are certainly met. I'd recommend going into this beer thinking that you're going to enjoy a mild pale ale. It's a good beer for novices wanting to further explore the craft brew world, but seasoned beer drinkers will find this beer to be a bit bland. As with most of the New Belgium line, I remain underwhelmed.

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Hoptober by New Belgium Brewing Co.
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