Hop Head Ale - Mishawaka Brewing Company

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Hop Head AleHop Head Ale

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BA SCORE
73
okay

51 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 51
Hads: 54
rAvg: 3.06
pDev: 21.24%
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:
Beer added by: Sephiroth on 09-03-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 54
Photo of drxandy
2.37/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz to tulip, pours an almost flat really nice peachy golden red shade, a slight head forms but fades quick

smells off - last beer from them i had has similar characteristics, garbage juice/vomit gross-ness, not appealing

taste is extremely extremely hot ethyl alcohol for not such a hot beer, bitterness is astringent and haywire, everything is out of balance, super piney, heavy biscuit malt.. they must have bottling issues - i really hope all their beers don't taste so off

mouthfeel is good weight, but with everything haywire and no head retention just kinda sad (572 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Man. That is one high lookin' hop on the label here.

Pours a clouded brown with a creme head that falls fast. Nose is pretty unusual with caramel and plastic tones. Flavor is just as odd too. I get more leafy and wood (twigs, branches) than anything else. Not really a hop character to speak of. Very earthy, but not undrinkable. Low carbonation. Slick liquid feel. This is by far the earthiest IPA I've ever had to date. Maybe a bit too much so as it seems like it needs a different style classification. Thanks to brewandbbq for a beer from a new brewery for me. (566 characters)

Photo of therica
3.79/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Okay, a very different and confusing beer. The first whiff and first slurp were amazingly bold, but.. read on. Hint-- take a slurp but don't swallow for a while. Let it roll around in your mouth and you'll taste this beer's good points. Then the horrid bitter kicks in when you swallow.

A= light orange-amber tea color, fair head that dissipated very quickly upon slurping and then none, with little lacing.

S= citrusy pine, hops very present.

T= once this gets past the end of your tongue, it suddenly turns into a demon of bitter-tartness that is extremely distracting. However-- the first slurp was amazing. After that, there were bold hops and citrus-florals, I can't find the chocolate described but if they used raw unsweetened chocolate then that's the source of the bitterness. Or it could simply be pure pine-tar for all I know! Nice aftertaste once your tongue recovers. I'd love to rate this higher than 3.5 because of its creativity but I just can't, because the bitter-bite simply outweighs everything.

OKAY-- adding this note-- I had this beer sitting there while I did this review and then some other things, and came back to it about 10 minutes later. The bitterness has diminished to a tolerable level. The hops are much more evident, now. Note to brewer-- cut the crap with all this bitterness and you'll have a rather great beer!

M= biitter bitter biting

D= very interesting beer, worth one to try but I doubt most stomachs could handle much more at one sitting. (1,487 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.15/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (427 characters)

Photo of emerge077
2.84/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (914 characters)

Photo of brewandbbq
3.38/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark copper with a half-inch head of rocky foam. A persistant skim coat displays some decent retention with some smeared lacework.

Aromatics are a balance of malt and hops. A smidge of chocolate is present as well, and the hops are subdued. Traces of citrus and pine, but certainly nothing floral or pungent.

Medium bodied and slightly chewy. Somewhat crisp and tacky.

Malt-forward on the pallet, with more cocoa and some piney hops follow through. Bitterness is firm and fairly substantial.
Here again, the hops are present, but are overcome by the malt character.
Finishes with some lingering minerally bitterness, roasted malt, bakers chocolate, and a tinge of pine sap.

To my tastes, the name "Hophead" is certainly a misnomer. No freshness dating on the bottle, but I was told by the gentleman I bought them from that they had just come in. (856 characters)

Photo of lightindarkness
3.01/5  rDev -1.6%
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. (1,398 characters)

Photo of tprokop7
3.62/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy copper color with two fingers of off-white head. Poured carefully into a standard pint.

S - Smell is mostly of hops, with a little bitter orange and malt mixed in.

T - I like the flavor of this beer... It's a nice IPA, pretty smooth with a decent bitterness to it.

M - A little higher in carbonation than typical beers of this style, but not so much that it takes away from the beer.

D - This beer wins on drinkability. It's nice and bitter, but not so much so that you don't want another one when you finish the first. It goes down smooth, and your glass always seems a bit emptier than you'd expect. Almost a great session if it weren't for the ABV. (664 characters)

Photo of joeskirkie
3.12/5  rDev +2%
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. (473 characters)

Photo of cpz28
2.76/5  rDev -9.8%
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. (441 characters)

Photo of tgbljb
4.3/5  rDev +40.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Cobblestones in York,Pa.
Poured a hazy medium apricot colored beer with moderate white puffy head.
Smell is sominated by piney and citrusy hop, but a nice malt character can be found in the background.
Taste blends the malt and hops superbly. The hops are in the lead, but enough malt is present to balance it nicely.
More dry than sweet at the finish and extremely enjoyable.
An above average IPA (408 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.72/5  rDev +21.6%
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. (986 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper body with a large, off-white head.

Smell: Faint bready malts with a leafy, earthy hop aroma.

Taste: Sweet, lightly musty malt flavor of caramel with citrus notes and a bitter, grassy finish that lingers.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderately carbonated.

Drinkability: An alright IPA, but as with the rest of the Mishawaka lineup, they need to ease up on the carbonation. (413 characters)

Photo of GreenWBush
3.46/5  rDev +13.1%
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. (968 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.07/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Received from BlackAngus as part of BC2. Thanks!
A gentle pour produced a gigantic, billowing head that nearly overflowed from the glass after only a couple ounces. Yikes! Looks pretty overcarbonated. After the off-white foam settled, and left some clumpy lacing behind, the hazy dark gold beer looked pretty decent. The aroma was surpringly malty, with lots of caramel and toffee. Hops were relegated to a supporting role, but had a nice grassy/floral/pine mix. The flavour was strong on malt too, lots of toffee that carried through into the finish. Moderate bitterness with a little fruitiness and grassy, piney hops. A little metallic in the finish. Medium bodied with fairly low carbonation after all the initial de-gassing, feels a little dead. A bit of a mess overall, but still fairly drinkable. Fixing the carbonation issue (which others have also brought up) would help a lot. (887 characters)

Photo of Viggo
2.98/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to BlackAngus for sending this my way for BC2!

Pours a slightly hazed amber, giant white head forms, really pillowy, careful pour, nice chunky lace, decent retention. Smell is kind of neat, grainy, some roast, citrus and floral hops, bit of pine, sweet and malty. Taste is very malty, lots of grain, citrus, bread, iron, spicy finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation, much too high, metallic bitterness. Not bad, but kind of messy. Thanks Josh! (471 characters)

Photo of karengarys
3.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours semi-cloudy amber with a light pillow of white fluffy foam on top.

smells crisp - lemony and hoppy

Taste is clean, dry - hoppy. There seems to be little other flavor to go along with that hop, though. These remaining gaps are somewhat watery.

Mouthfeel is not bad, coarse bubbles do give your tongue something to dig into.

Finish is clean, but there is an odd aftertaste - very slight, though,

This is a decent very drinkable beer, but it doesn't have all the oomph I would expect from a micro. It is worth trying if it is handy and not too expensive. (572 characters)

Photo of Duster72
2.95/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (368 characters)

Photo of drseamus
2.71/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

First a disclaimer, right before I opened this bottle I dropped it 15 inches to the ground. That said, when I opened it it EXPLODED all over. Not just a little bit, but as soon as the cap was cracked slightly, it sprayed out the edge of the cap. When I finally got it into a pint glass, it had a hazy straw colored body with a puffy white head.

The smell is more subdued than I would like for an IPA. It has a fairly malty almost burnt or smoked aroma with just a hit of citrus hop notes. Overall, the aroma is not that appealing.

The burnt and smoked malt is present in the flavor as well. The hop bitterness is not to the level I would like it to be. There are also no hop flavors that I am looking for.

The body of the beer is good, and perhaps the only redeemable quality. It is medium bodied.

The drinkability is not that good. I think that this beer might be past its prime or totally the wrong beer based what it should be. Either that or it's a terrible IPA. (979 characters)

Photo of pmatz2
2.61/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle no freshness date

Appearance - Pours a hazy light orange apricot with an off white head that slowly disappeared. Moderate lacing

Smell - Very malty followed by a off sour smell.

Taste - Malty followed by a sharp (not very pleasant) bitterness. Hop taste comes through in the finish, but just barely.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, medium carbonation

Drinkability - Glad I only bought a single. Worth a try but I won't be back (449 characters)

Photo of joe1510
2.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz. Bottle
$1.49 single
Big Red Bloomington

Hop Head poured a very lightly hazed copper. Turns golden when held to the light. There are a lot of tiny carbonation bubbles rising to the 1 finger creamy white head. A thick cap rests on top throughout the drink. Looks pretty good.

The smell is truly disappointing. I can pick up a little fruity hoppiness right away but it is quickly taken over by an off-putting aroma of dirt and metal. It's strange but this beer smells like there was a hanful of dirt thrown in it. The more I smell it the worse it gets. I find myself hesitating with every drink.

The taste is better than the smell. There is a caramel malt quality that is found in most IPAs. Followed by a balancing citrus hop with mild bitterness. It tastes creamy. There is a little of the metallic flavor but not much. Pretty average.

Medium bodied with a nice creamy mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation. They did a good job on the feel of Hop Head.

Drinkability is average. If it wasn't for the smell I believe it would taste better as well. Without the smell it would be much easier to drink.

This is a slightly above average IPA but taking into consideration the dirty smell it brings the enjoyment out of it. I'd would try another though.

Slainte! (1,277 characters)

Photo of Realale
2.88/5  rDev -5.9%
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. (728 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
2.79/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Total stagnant suspension of stuff and things yeast sediment. It just hangs there, doesn't move. Only a few bubbles break the dull, clear amber hue. Good head though with good retention to a foam., the aroma is quiet similiar to the other two Mishahwaka brews I've had before this one. Like a very cheap malt syrup. The taste backs this up 100%. This beer has the same backbone as the Four Horsemen and Seven Mules kick ass ale. Three different styles of beer. Same backbone. I don't know i I wanna buy any more beers fro this brewery?!?!? (539 characters)

Photo of a10t2
3.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pale yellow-gold with about two fingers of rocky white head that lingers and leaves a solid ring of lacing.

S: Resinous and citrusy Cascade hops overpower any other odors.

T: A fair amount of maltiness that's still almost completely overwhelmed by the hops. Lots of Cascade flavor but not much bitterness for an IPA.

M: A little too much carbonation for my tastes, but otherwise unremarkable.

D: For a hophead, this could be a good session beer, but it's a one-trick pony and the novelty wears off eventually.

This reminds me of nothing as much as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on steroids, er, hops. The hops aren't particularly well balanced though, with everything coming through in the flavor and aroma rather than the bittering. I'd call it more of an APA than an IPA. (792 characters)

Photo of Generik420
4.57/5  rDev +49.3%
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. (1,922 characters)

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Hop Head Ale from Mishawaka Brewing Company
73 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.