Abstract : Aims: The BL Lac object RGB J0152+017 (z=0.080) was predicted to be a very high-energy (VHE; > 100 GeV) gamma-ray source, due to its high X-ray and radio fluxes. Our aim is to understand the radiative processes by investigating the observed emission and its production mechanism using the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) experiment. Methods: We report recent observations of the BL Lac source RGB J0152+017 made in late October and November 2007 with the H.E.S.S. array consisting of four imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes. Contemporaneous observations were made in X-rays by the Swift and RXTE satellites, in the optical band with the ATOM telescope, and in the radio band with the Nancay Radio Telescope. Results: A signal of 173 gamma-ray photons corresponding to a statistical significance of 6.6 sigma was found in the data. The energy spectrum of the source can be described by a powerlaw with a spectral index of 2.95+/-0.36stat+/-0.20syst. The integral flux above 300 GeV corresponds to ~2% of the flux of the Crab nebula. The source spectral energy distribution (SED) can be described using a two-component non-thermal synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) leptonic model, except in the optical band, which is dominated by a thermal host galaxy component. The parameters that are found are very close to those found in similar SSC studies in TeV blazars. Conclusions: RGB J0152+017 is discovered as a source of VHE gamma-rays by H.E.S.S. The location of its synchrotron peak, as derived from the SED in Swift data, allows clearly classification it as a high-frequency-peaked BL Lac (HBL).