Brew Review

Beer Review – Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale


Green Flash: a momentary green appearance of the uppermost part of the sun’s disk at sunrise or sunset that results from atmospheric refraction.

Green Flash Brewing Company is yet another San Diego based craft brewer. They were founded in 2002 by the husband and wife team of Mike and Lisa Hinkley, and for a relatively young brewery, they have an extensive variety of beers which includes the following: 5 West Coast style ales, 4 Belgian inspired ales, and 6 seasonal beers.

They offer the following description for their Hop Head Red Ale: “Resinous hop character and bitterness balance the rich carmel malt base. We took it a step further and Amarillo dry-hopped the brew to 45 ibu’s, creating refreshing and savory hop flavors and aromas. Is it red IPA? That’s your call.”

Let’s see if this beer is any good…

  • Appearance: What a beautiful pour! Thick, creamy head that lingers for quite awhile. Opaque red/orange color. Lots of floating sediment. Heavy lacing that clings to the glass.
  • Aroma: Sweet orange marmalade. Yeast. Roasted malt. Strong hop aroma.
  • Taste: Medium carbonation. Creamy texture. Roasted malt flavors upfront which give it a mild sweetness. The hops start to kick in towards the end. Pleasant, mildy bitter finish.

My first Green Flash experience involved their West Coast IPA, which I had on draught at The Pourhouse. That was so good that I just had to pick up their Hop Head Red Ale when I spotted it at The Foodery. For a beer with an ABV of 6.4%, the Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale is a smooth and easy drinking ale. If you enjoy a beer that’s not too sweet and not too bitter, then you should give this one a try. I really enjoyed it!

15 replies »

  1. As a former Malibu resident and frequent visitor to San Diego I can attest to the accuracy of both the phenominon of the green flash and of the review of Green Flash Hop Head Red. Cheers!

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  2. I just tried a Hop Head Red and I have to say it was too hoppy for me. As per Beer Advocate, the formula was altered in 2011 so the IBUs are up to 70 and the abv has been jacked to 7%. So, the first flavor is hops, followed by hops, then a hint of pine and the tartness of grapefruit followed by a hoppy and bitter finish. The Mrs. took a sip and commented that it was terrible and had an astringent or antiseptic quality. This reformulated beer is not for the weak-hearted.

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