Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hophead n.2

[hop n.2 /SE hops + -head sfx]

1. (US/N.Z.) a drunkard or a beer-drinker; an alcoholic.

[US]S.F. Call 21 Sept. 11/2: Until there is some way of raising campaign funds ‘de push’ — ‘stew bums,’ ‘hopheads’ and all — will have to go dry .
[US]J. Conroy Disinherited 232: Don’t let that hophead feed you bull. He’s full of smoke.
[NZ]D. Ballantyne Cunninghams (1986) 166: It’s Betty that can’t hold the liquor, isn’t it? She’s a real lily of a hophead.
[Aus]D. Niland Call Me When the Cross Turns Over (1958) 31: A terror for the grog, my old woman, a real hophead.
[US]H.S. Thompson Hell’s Angels (1967) 23: According to the newspapers, at least twenty of these dirty hopheads snatched two teenage girls, aged fourteen and fifteen, away from their terrified dates.
[US]Maledicta II:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 160: Hop-head Usually a beer-drunk.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 58/2: hophead drunkard and/or crazy person.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].

2. (N.Z.) a wild, eccentric person.

see sense 1.

3. (US) a German-American.

[US]Maledicta II:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 160: Hop-head [...] Sometimes applied indiscriminately to persons of German background, referring to the German fondness for beer.
[US]Maledicta VII 27: Germans, probably only in this century, rarely were called hop head, not from dope but from the hops in German beer.