The Name Doesn't Lie
A Review of Hop Head Red by Green Flash Brewing Co.
Posted on 11/29/2011 by Brew's Your Daddy
Of all the beer styles that are out there, there is something about ambers and reds that make me want to throw things. They are sort of the ''catch all'' category for brewers. They can span the spectrum from savory malty sweetness to painful hops bitterness, and anywhere in between is totally acceptable. It just doesn't seem fair. Unless you have had one of whatever you are about to drink at some other time, you really have no idea what you could be getting yourself into when you order one. I recently had my own ''pot luck'' session with the Hop Head Red from Green Flash Brewing Company.

First off, on the label, they call it a Red India Pale Ale. Can you see how I was already in trouble? When it was poured from the bottle, the confusion continued. It held a murky, dark brown color in the glass, and was accompanied by a white, somewhat rocky head that stayed around for a while. The aromas that were spilling from the glass were true to the name. Hops, hops, and more hops. There was a grapefruit aroma that was a bit sweet, and reminded me of the juicy, ruby red variety. Some resiny pine notes peeked through occasionally, and a medium malt layer could be found with some patience and digging. So while the beer reminded me of a dark amber bordering on a brown ale in the looks department, the nose was right up IPA alley. I mean, how could I not place my face in it for a sip of mass confusion?

The first sip was again straight from the IPA handbook. A good bitter hops bite was present from the get go, and the citrus punch of grapefruit was right upfront. Again, it was sweet, but not over the top. It held on for quite some time before it gave way to the malt layer that actually had a bit of a roasted nuts taste to it along with the caramel noted in the nose. Strangely, I really started to enjoy it. I kept at it, and after some good chewing time, I noticed that the aftertaste came through as a totally different and distinct layer of oily pine hops. Now it was a bit thin, but it still was a good surprise.

So when it comes down to it, the Hop Head Red is a fairly decent brew. Yes, you will end up a bit confused in the beginning. And yes, you will be a bit confused in the middle. And yes, you will even be confused in the end. But there are definitely some good flavors in it, and isn't that what we are really after in our beers? For some strange reason, I would recommend it to all levels of beer drinkers. Hop heads would have no problem falling in love with this beer. The name doesn't lie. Hops abound in it, and your taste buds will have no problem picking them all out. Those more experienced in the ways of the better beer drinking lifestyle could enjoy it as a good conversation/session beer. It will definitely cause you to examine your understanding of the style. And those new to our world can toss all the rules and regulations out the window, and just drink it as a good example of distinct flavor layering while remaining quite tasty and drinkable. So for once, just take a break from having to study everything and break it down into good or bad categories and just drink it. Is that easy enough for you?

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Hop Head Red by Green Flash Brewing Co.
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