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Hop Head Ale - Mishawaka Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hop Head AleHop Head Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
72
okay

54 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 54
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.03
pDev: 22.77%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mishawaka Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Sephiroth on 09-03-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 | Reviews: 51 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by GreenWBush:
Photo of GreenWBush
3.45/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I love seeing some of these micro-brew labels. A crazy low-budget “hop-turtle” on the bottle. I had feared that this beer was simply the “Indiana Pale Ale” repackaged, but it is apparently not. This particular bottle was a bit of a bottle bomb, eventually pouring out a deepened gold with wicked lace and cling.

Nose is citrusy, hoppy, and floral. Cascades seem at play and dominant here, but I’m glad the brewer’s seem to taken some notes from some other Northern-Indiana brewers when it came to the hop-bill being at the forefront.

Taste is malt-gum with big IBU metallic histrionics. Harsh, bristly malt interplay. Brackish. Tart apple high-notes. Sits on the side of the tongue with a high AA afterscorch. Doesn’t all congeal quite right together.

Not watered down like the Indiana pale ale seemed to be, this one wasn’t perfect either. Pop-out bitterness seems one-sided but still seems surprisingly good for a brewer not known to be sensational.

GreenWBush, Aug 07, 2007
More User Reviews:
Photo of Duster72
2.9/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy straw color with a finger and a half head that decent retention. Aroma is bready malts and earthy piney hops. Taste is very sharp bitterness with a very earthy/dirty taste. Not pleasant to me. I didn't pick up nearly enough of the sweet citrus or warming pine to offset the bitterness. Body is a little on the watery side. I had to struggle to finish one.

Duster72, May 19, 2007
Photo of zonker17
3.5/5  rDev +15.5%

zonker17, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of Generik420
4.58/5  rDev +51.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured this into a traditional 16oz pint glass and couldn't finish the pour due to the very thick slightly off white head. Lacing, no.. that just doesn't do this head justice, maybe plastering around the side of the glass would be better. Intensely thick foam.

The beer came out as a cloudy somewhat dark golden color. Really a very interesting color to just look into. The aroma is absolutely dominated by hops. I mean this is almost like going into a homebrew store and sticking your nose right into a jar a fresh hops. Somewhat of a citrusy hint is creeping around in the back of the aroma, making me think maybe there is some amarillo somewhere in there.

Taste is wonderfully hoppy. Great bitterness, but not so intense that you feel your mouth puckering unconsciously after a sip. There is a great bite in this flavor right in the middle. When the beer first hits your tongue there is a smooth bitterness, then as it slides to the back, there is a distinct bite. Very enjoyable.

I would say this is a medium body, maybe bordering on heavy with a pretty high level of carbonation that remains long after the pour. The whole time I drank this there was a steady stream of bubbles rising from the bottom. I could definitely stand to drink more then one of these and and am kicking myself that I only bought the one bottle.

My one and only complaint is the label on the bottle. Truly the least important aspect of this beer, but it just looks low-rent in my book. I understand this is a small brewery with pretty limited distribution, but with a beer this good, they need to make an effort to upgrade their label design. The current version looks like something a photoshop hack put together in 5 minutes. Anyway, that doesn't take anything away from how good the beer is, but I honestly almost didn't buy this beer due to the label alone. I guess that old saying about judging books by their cover is true.

Generik420, Oct 24, 2006
Photo of alleykatking
3.5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap today at "The Pub"

A- Came to me a nice coppery burnt orange color. One finger off white head comes and goes leaving some light lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Sweet caramel malts popped up first in the aroma which threw me off. There was a dirty earthy hop boom in the front of the nose as well. Some light citrus in the back end of this. nothing really going on in this beer other than those 3 things.

T- Nice citrusy bite in the front end of this. It's very calm and not very in your face. This quickly gets washed out with a strong sweet malt middle. Almost a homebrew extract IPA taste to it. Nice bitter hop bite in the back that was pleasant and not at all over the top. Everything is pretty well balanced in this beer.

M- Medium mouthgfeel. Carbonation is like usual a little lacking but doesn't kill the beer. Semi-sweet malt and bitter hops on the palate and in the aftertaste. Kind of creamy or full feeling in the mouth.

D- This was a session IPA that I had a couple of glasses of. Nothing special at all but I have had a lot worse IPA's. Would buy this again if I could have it on tap.

alleykatking, Feb 05, 2010
Photo of emerge077
2.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up partly due to it being a regional beer, and partly for the goofy label.

Poured it into a Duvel tulip, hoping to get as much out of it as I can. High clarity orange body, large soapy bubbles that cling and lace the glass.

Vegetal aroma, backed by a hard mineral water note. More like river water to be honest. Something medicinal that I can't place until I taste it.

Aspirin. Big time...chalky, bitter, artificial. Astringent bitterness, some vague honey from the pale malt. Very dry and chalky. Truly discordant and jarring, nothing works together, it's all dissonant chaos. Thins out after a bit and gets sort of watery. On a hot day I drank a couple, but would never revisit or recommend this.

My main problem with it is the hops that are used. Tastes like a bittering hop x10, not aromatic or flavorful at all. Yes, "hopheads" enjoy bitterness, but why not add some flavor to match? Pass.

emerge077, Jun 19, 2008
Photo of Another6Pack
3/5  rDev -1%

Another6Pack, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of biggred1
2.68/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazed amber body with almost no head after a pretty rough pour. Some lace left down the glass.
Smell is kind of "forest floor" earthy and hoppy.
Tastes okay, but not up to snuff for $10 a sixer. Mild citrus hops with a faint caramel backbone lead to a salty kind of mildly bitter finish. This beer is kind of flat and way under carbonated IMO. Drinkable, but very pedestrian.

biggred1, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.7/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired from BlackAngus, courtesy of Birthday Club 2, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark gold color with a short foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is sweet with a strong floral burst of hops and a little bit of caramelized malts.

T: The taste hits hard with a strong burst of floral hops which you would expect from the name of the beer. There’s a decent malt character with flavors of caramel and citrus that provides a little balance. The after-taste is hoppy and very bitter.

M: Very crisp with a little smoothness, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is very dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, nice representation of style, it might not be the best IPA that I’ve had but it’s definitely one worth drinking for a whole evening especially if you’re looking for a nice hop-bomb to drink for a while.

TheManiacalOne, Oct 25, 2007
Photo of lightindarkness
3/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, marked 7133 73E0620 on the bottom.

Pours a glowing orange with a creamy head that foamed up kind of late after the pour. Consistent bubbles rise from the bottom. Plenty of lace.

Nose is full of spicy pine with an earthy grainy note. Light syrupy sweet aromas and some juicy fruits such as peach and pineapple. Everything is sort of wrapped up in a popcorn-like scent with a little funk to it, almost an awkward mix of bubblegum and intensely biting hops.

Taste brims with resiny hops and a grainy back end. Bitterness sits very high on the palate, kind of lofty and umbrella-like. Grainy funk comes out a little in the taste, with some cardboard. A bready finish rests smoothly at the end, with the bitterness still hanging for a while. I like most of the hops in this beer, but it lacks a good balance in the hop profile to smooth out the bumps in overall taste. Something seems a bit off here.

Feel is smooth and medium bodied, with a little oiliness coming through and some bite from the bitterness, a little dry at the finish. Hop resin even prevails in overall feel.

Drinkability is definitely knocked down due to the off scent and flavor in the hops. I can finish the bottle, but I don't really care to try it again. As far as hoppy beers go, I could maybe develop a taste for this, but would probably choose not to with so many others out there to enjoy without the effort.

lightindarkness, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of youngblood
1.65/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A - Not bad, it's got a coppery color to it. The head was... inconsistent in shape. Left lots of lace though.

S - Seeing as how this is an IPA, I expected that refreshing cut-grass smell of hops and some citrus, I got none of that. I got malt and caramel. Odd.

T - I was skeptical by the smell and it turned out to be true. I got strong caramel flavors and an overwhelming manure-like flavor. This is the only beer that I have spit out.

M - I didn't have it in my mouth long enough to get a good mouthfeel, but it felt very chewy.

D - Tough to say seeing as I didn't like it.

youngblood, Jan 15, 2009
Photo of bheilman
2.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours and stays cloudy. It has a nice honey like color, but I would prefer it to be less cloudy. The smell is the best thing this beer has to offer. It is a very fruity fresh hoppy scent. The taste is not so good. It has a sort of chemical rubbing alcohol type feel to it and the aftertaste is a little dirty. I will give it another try and am excited to visit the brewery since it is fairly close to my house, but it definitely doesn't make my top 20 list of IPAs.

bheilman, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of Thorpe429
1.1/5  rDev -63.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

"Thanks" to my Dad for offering Amyliz4 and I a bottle of this. I was glad to find out that he was just being mean to us and didn't enjoy this either. Reviewed from notes.

Pour brings an orange-copper body with a slight white head and just a very minor touch of lacing. Then all things go wrong. The nose is wet cardboard with some oxidation and a disgusting malt character...it's hard to even begin to describe. Other than the cardboard, there's something musty and off. There is a tiny, tiny bit of citrus still sitting in the background.

The flavor is just bad. Bad. Cardboard plus some really strange, astringent malt characteristics. Slight sourness. It just seems like everything went wrong with this brew. Stay clear of it.

Thorpe429, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of cpz28
2.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Let me start by saying that this beer absolutly has the worst label/packaging design ever. The beer itself while bitter tastes like an extract brew. It isn't by any means one of the hoppiest beers I've ever had. I keep tasting a peanut butter after taste. The color is nice, and the smell is so-so. Not worth the nine dollars and change I paid for it. Bottom line this is a poorly crafted beer that lives up to its label in terms of quality.

cpz28, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of tmitch75
3.48/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, cool label on the front. Beer itself pours a clear amber color with a white head of big bubbles.

Smell is of sweet resinous hops, bubblegum and pine with a little mint. Very hoppy with a bizarre sweetness.

Slight malt sweetness with very significant hop bitterness. Oily, resinous, and pretty tasty. The flavor lacks the variety indicated by the nose.

Medium-bodied or even a little lighter.

Not bad, but not great either. Hoppy for sure, but bitterness appears to be the only objective here... if that's the case, then mission accomplished.

Tasted 7/30/08.

tmitch75, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of ridglens
2.93/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into Portsmouth snifter, wanted to give this local a try. probably drank it a hair to cold, but i was kind of in a hurry.

A: pretty beer, great smokey yellow-orange color, with a really thick , nice head. I poured so the head stopped at the top of the glass, and in several minutes it had dissapated to a thick little island in the middle. great looking beer

S: after the smell i was pretty excited for it. super hoppy, the resiny/pine smells are everywhere, maybe a little sweetness? great smelling beer, too

T: a little disappointing after the above. very bitter, but not the fresh cleansing kind. again, it might have been a little cold, but it was very bitter at the beginning and end of each drink, with a little sweetness in the middle. it had both sweet and bitter, but not what i would call balanced.

M: not terrible, good carb. feels good but doesn't coat the mouth

D: ok, but the unbalanced bitterness would leave me fine after 1

ridglens, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of Monkeyknife
3.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle a hazy orange copper color with a light off-white head.

Aroma of roasted malts, oatmeal, and chocolate.

The taste is roasted malts, chocolate, and bitter mineral taste. The bitterness lingers into the finish.

Light to medium bodied with carbonation on the light side.

The bitter mineral taste is a huge distraction for this beer. Totally overwhelms any enjoyment from the roasted malts and chocolate.

Monkeyknife, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of joeskirkie
3.1/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy, thick looking orange, head, not bad, I guess.

A strong citrus nose, very inviting, with a husky grassy character to it.

It's a sweet orange character at first, then almost nothing but bitterness once you swallow, not enamel-peeling, just dominant above all else, followed by a husky grassy feeling.

It's a little bit heavier feeling than your average pale ale. I'd probably opt for something else in the future, just something with little more depth to it.

joeskirkie, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of BillyX
1.4/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Was given this ale and while I'd not heard of it before had no expectations, good or bad. First detected musty basement in the nose. Initial taste was neither that of hoppiness nor maltiness. I recall nothing quite like it and it was not pleasant. Frankly, it tasted more like a chemical concoction than a brewed product; a combination of spoiled food and a metallic taste. Could this have been a spoiled bottle? If not, God help us, a Bud would be preferable...

BillyX, Feb 06, 2009
Photo of Realale
2.88/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Full gold, with an odd orangish-brown highlight to it. Extra-fine off-white head settles to an incomplete cap leaving some moderate lacing.

Nose is earthy, vegetal hop, with a hearty whack of Simcoe-ish sweetness. Dusty malt pokes through to provide some balance. Not bad, but not my favorite areas of the hop and malt spectra.

Decent balance in the mouth, though a bit watery in the mid-palate. As with the nose, the flavors here are simply not my thing.

Carbonation level is relatively high, which gives a scrubbing effect to the mouthfeel. Not bad in this instance, as I'm not crazy about the flavors, but again not ideal in my book. Low drinkability for me, as it simply doesn't hit my aroma or flavor sweet spots.

Realale, Nov 28, 2006
Photo of SupaCelt
2.93/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice dusty orange colour with heavy carbonation and a fluffy dense head.

Smells like caramel malt and dirt and pine. Smells like fall in the woods.

Taste is bitter and again has an earthy, leafy brown feeling. The hops make for a mild dryness.

The mouthfeel is medium. It seems substantial.

The flavor is not inspiring enough to cause me to want more of this beer, but it is not bad. There is nothing offensive here. This reminds me very much of a beer I once brewed in my kitchen.

SupaCelt, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of kalkavekkian
3.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Poured out a nice tannish orange color with a small head.

S- Had a dampish musty smell with an earthy tone.

T- Taste was sharp and hoppy with a certain flat quality to it and seems to be lacking something. I was a little disappointed after having just put away a hopslam.

M- Felt pretty good in the mouth. Not too thick but lacking in carbonation as far as i was concerned.

D- Drinkability was ok for me but nothing to write home about. This is a decent ipa but pretty much average in all aspects.

kalkavekkian, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
2.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Yet another war trophy from the post-DLD death march. A semi-aggressive pour results in a clear orange straw topped by a decently tall and thick frothy head that eventually dies down to a minimal presence. The nose comprises pine and grapefruit against a meek toffee backdrop. A very straightforward and plain IPA smell. The taste holds notes of pine, orange peel, some very light caramel, and a harsh, biting aftertaste of chalky bitterness. Ugh, that is quite the haymaker! The body is a heavy light, with moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, what could have been a decent IPA is marred by a strident aftertaste.

TMoney2591, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of BMoney575
3.55/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled on 10-8-08

Pours a slightly cloudy orange/amber, with a thin head but outstanding lacing.

Smell is tons of citrus hops, with a good earthy malt in there too.

Taste is very, very hoppy and bitter. Not super complex, but an absolute hop bomb. The finish is very earthy, and the hop flavors last forever.

Mouthfeel is very thick and resiny, goes very well with the intense hops.

Drinkability is not as good, unless you are in a super hoppy mood.

Overall, an interesting beer and a good effort.

BMoney575, Oct 09, 2008
Photo of claminat420
3.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- poured a dark golden almost copper color. nice thick lacing. solid off white two finger head.

S- a light caramel malt scent backed up with a nice citrus hop scent. i bet cascade???

T- from the smell i was hoping for alot more hop action going on but still not to bad. the first sip tasted like nothing but malt but now i keep drinking you can pick up the hops hidden or blended in with the malt.

M- light to medium bodied. nice carbonation.

D- could prolly drink 4 or 5 out of a 6 pack then i'm good.

Overall- to me this wasn't to shabby of a brew. i love the haggard label on the bottle like it was made in someone's basement. i picked up a single to give it a try and down the road it's worthy of a six.

claminat420, Nov 04, 2009
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Hop Head Ale from Mishawaka Brewing Company
72 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.