Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fresh Hop by Great Divide Brewing Co.

Spring is upon us in North Texas, and with sunny skies, cool breezes and the agreeable company of my wife, I enjoyed a day running errands, seeing The Hunger Games, and cracking open some craft beer on the patio.

Today's selection from Denver's Great Divide Brewing, is Hop Fresh, a pale ale sporting a mid-ranged ABV around 6.1%. It seemed like something to contrast the malt forward brews I have been drinking recently.

Pouring the first half of the bomber into my pint glass, the ale exhibited a nice golden amber/orange hue with a stark white head. Once the beverage had time to settle, the beer, while slightly cloudy was mostly translucent, and showed a torrent of active carbonation that joined the bubbles of the thick, hearty head.

The aroma of this beer, as advertised by the title and marketing of the label, is hop forward, expressed in a grassy, floral, and citrus forward nose. The floral nature of the nose is not as fully expressed on the palate, as flavor wise, grapefruit and orange notes predominate the medium bodied profile. While the beer exhibits a nice, clean, hop bitterness, a nice light caramel malt backend balances the beverage.

Overall, this is just a wonderfully balanced ale. While exhibiting a wide variety of hop flavors, the bitter essence of the fresh whole hop cones are kept in check, and favors balance over a hop bombastic assault on the drinker's tongue.

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