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Head High - Kane Brewing Company

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Head High
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79 Reviews
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Reviews: 79
Hads: 551
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 24.71%
Wants: 109
Gots: 94 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Kane Brewing Company visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bonbini26 on 08-27-2011

Head High is our interpretation of an American-style India Pale Ale (IPA). This beer is all about the hops; we use a blend of five different varieties all grown in the Pacific Northwest. A small charge of Chinook and Columbus early in the boil adds a smooth bitterness. A majority of the hops are then added late in the kettle or post-fermentation to produce a beer that is heavy on hop flavor and aroma. The combination of Cascade, Centennial, Citra and Columbus give Head High a noticeable grapefruit flavor with aromas of citrus, tropical fruits and pine. Our house American ale yeast ferments to a dry finish that accentuates the use of imported Pilsner and lightly kilned crystal malt resulting in Head High’s straw color and crisp flavor.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 79 | Hads: 551
Photo of evanforbeer
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Witherspoon Grill in Princeton.

Tropical fruits and citrus on the nose with some bread

Mouthfeel is great- full, crisp, slightly creamy, but not heavy

On taste, first hits pungent grapefruit. Bitter and sweet. With other citrus, orange an tangerine. Then turns tropical fruits, mango and papaya, rich fruitiness, so much flavor. A nice, subtle smooth raspberry note comes in. Malt comes through with some sweet bread and grain, finishing with a pleasantly bitter piney lacing, again with a little more citrus.

Something you would expect out of San Diego county, reminds me of Port Mongo (if not a little cleaner..). Very very good

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Photo of mdfb79
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From 10/13/12 notes. Big thanks to whoever brought this one to the Top Hops tasting in NYC. Been a big Want of mine for a few months; a highly rated Jersey IPA close to my hometown.

a - Pours a deep orange-amber color with once inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dank, pine hops, grapefruit, citrus hops, earthy notes, biscuit and bready malts, tropical fruits, and fruity malts. Tons of pine up front and smells very hoppy; really nice nose.

t - Tastes of pine hops, grapefruit, citrus, floral hops, earthy notes, fruity malts, some bready malts. Again, a lot of pine and more grapefruit here; a decent bitter bite to it. I think the nose was a little hoppier, but the taste is still great.

m - Medium body and low to mdoerate carbonation, with a medium bite to it thanks to the hops. Pretty easy to drink and would definitely want a few glasses of it.

o - Overall a really nice east coast IPA done in the style of a lot of west coast IPAs. A ton of pine to it, as well as grapefruit. Some bitterness from the hops, but not difficult to drink; well worth checking out. Glad I can get this pretty easy in NJ.

EDIT: 07/29/13: Have had this a bunch of times now, most recently on 7/27/13 at the brewery and 2 hours later from a growler. Nose is amazing and no bitterness whatsoever, a really great, easy drinking IPA. Better nose than Overhead, though I like Overhead's taste a little better.

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Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives with a perky cap sitting above the cloudy amber liquid; the head fades quickly, leaving only a few strand behind

Smell: Really fresh hop aromatics, with grapefruit and pine galore; a bit of biscuit and toffee underneath

Taste: Biscuity, up front, with a hint of toffee; the hops arrive quickly to dominate, however, bringing grapefruit, pine and a touch of tropical fruit; sweet tropical hop elements are balanced by the bitterness and continue through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: While I might have preferred just a touch lighter mouthfeel, this is a first rate West Coast style IPA - from Jersey, no less

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: orange/shiny body, finger head, solid lacing

S: grapefruit, mango, pine, malt nose

T: grapefruit/citrus, pine, malt, grain, long oily
bitty finish

M: med/heavy body, oily/sticky mouth

O: WOW! Great to see a mighty fine NJ beer.
I will get this again and highly recommend this
to any hop head.


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Photo of toweringpoo
4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers I've had in quite a while.

A- big fluffy white head. Lots of lacing all the way down. Pale orange slightly cloudy color.
S- big aromas in this one! Usually I prefer the citrus heavy IPAs rather than the super piney ones, however this beer perfectly balances citrus and pine with a bit of tropical fruit and grassy hops mixed in. Fantastic aromas.
T- hops glorious hooops! IPAs live or die based on freshness and being this close to the brewery pretty much guarantees unbeatable freshness. That said, without a proper malt backbone the beer will be one note and not enjoyable...and that is NOT the case with this beer. In my opinion, it is perfectly balanced, not to mention delicious.
M- Light, not overly carbonated, soft but supremely refreshing.
This growler isn't gonna last the night. Don't miss this one.

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Photo of FickleBeast
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Ale House in sayreville

Arrives in a pint glass with a half finger of foam. Clear pale amber in color. Foam leaves nice lacing. Smells great... full of citrus hop aroma .

First sip doesn't disappoint. Great hop flavor explodes on your palate. Malt backbone is subtle but present. Bitterness is mellow and blends well with the tropical fruity hop flavors.

Hands down the best new Jersey made IPA that I've tasted. Artfully balanced yet bursting with flavor .

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear copper color with a thin white lacing ring, carbonation is light.

S - Nice citrus orange, grapefruit, pine, and light biscuit caramels malt.

T - Lots of floral character w/rose hips, piney hops, grapefruit bitterness, and very light biscuity malt in the background but the hops definitely shine in this hop forward single IPA.

M - Full medium body with semi-dry finish.

O - Never heard of this brewery before and Millerbuffoon was generous enough to share a growler with us tonight, it's a solid IPA that's well worth trying.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt.

The beer appears light orange with a mild haze and a white head that leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma brings malt, dank hops - a seemingly balanced example of the style. Notes of pine and earth along with some resin and malt tones. Lingering bitterness with a slight astringency. Overall, this was pretty drinkable and sessionable. I would have it again.

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Photo of NiceTaps
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the growler staion at my local shop into a room-temp pint glass.

A- a great looking golden-orange color, bright with a bit of haze together. A one-plus finger head, fluffy, good lacing. Well carbonated.

S- strong citrus, grapefruit aroma. Some pine as well. No alcohol nose.

T- citrus and pine from the dominant hops. The malts are hiding in there.

M- tangy hop and carbonation, a bit of oil residue, good body. Qiute sharp.

O- a very pleasant surprise. I've had this more than once and will get more. Drinks easy @ 6.5 as well.

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Photo of kennylopez
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler at Cloverleaf and poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: a golden color with thick white head that lasts and leaves rings on lacing.

Smells: a big citrus hop note like zesty oranges and grapefruit.

Tastes: this is a super flavorful IPA. Like the nose insists, there is a huge citrus flavor from the generous hop note that blends with the bitterness beautifully.

Mouthfeel: this is a well carbonated brew with a sweet bitter aftertaste that allows no presence of 6.5% to come through.

Overall: I never tried anything from Kane Brewing Co. but boy am I happy I got to taste this one. I am going to search this one out again and look forward to trying their other offering as well.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler from Free Bridge liquors.

Slightly hazy golden amber body, topped by three fingers of snow white froth. Excellent lacing.

Beautiful inviting citrus aroma of oranges, apricots, grapefruit.

A solid caramel base coats the tongue even as the first wave of juicy fruits ride on top of it. Bitterness doesn't so much bite as it crashes like a wave and rides throughout the afterglow.

Firm medium mouthfeel.

A delightful IPA from this new New Jersey brewery, and a beer I will visit frequently. How good is this? The plan was half the growler tonight, half tomorrow, but I just poured out the last of it. I'll sleep well tonight.

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Photo of claspada
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright, light orange color with a solid white fluffy head and a bit of spotty lacing as the head recedes.

Aromas begin with solid dose of citrus rind and pine. Nice potent hop character, though nothing quite over the top. Light biscuity malt emerges as it warms a little.

The tastes begin with a nice bite of hops up front, citrus fruits with grapefruit and blood orange pulp, followed by some floral, herbal and lesser pine notes. Lighter bready malt base with some soft sweetness in the background.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is dry, sticky and pretty bitter, but not overly so.

Overall this is a great locally made IPA that I would gladly stock in my fridge if it was readily available (or bottled for that matter). Glad NJ brewers can produce an above average IPA and I look forward to trying more from this newly launched local brewery.

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Photo of stimulus
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sample at the brewery, have had it from a growler before.

A: Pours a clear orange with a one finger white head.
S: Very strong citrus notes (mango is most noticeable) with some hoppiness on the tail end.
T: The citrus notes are more pervasive in the taste, specifically orange, mango, and peach. The centennial hops play a role here as well, with very little bitterness and residual sweetness on the finish.
M: This beer is well carbonated, medium bodied, and refreshing.
O: A great take on the style. It isn't over the top with the bitterness, but the aroma and flavor are out of this world. It reminds me a lot of CC Jai Alai, my favorite IPA.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler received through a trade, I forgot my tasters so this was poured into a cervoise. Beer is amber, reddish, with a nice off white head, almost tan, some retention, some lacing, some carbonation, looks fine, slight haze.

Aroma is biscuity but not too much, mostly piny hops, earthiness too. Smells like a good IPA.

Beer is medium in body, earthy / piny hoppiness, a fair amount of bitterness on the backend, a strong tasting beer. It is good overall and a very enjoyable beer. A little heavy on the malt but not distracting or overly so. I would have this again for sure.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to drabmuh for bringing this growler to our most-recent tasting. I certainly never complain about a growler of a hoppy brew at a tasting. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a nice orange color with a good white head and a bit of lacing on the way down. Some spots around. The nose brings forward a good dose of citrus rind and pine. Nice hop character, though nothing quite over the top.

The flavor follows the same theme with citrus and pine competing for the top spot. Nice mix and quite interesting. Good body and a nice finish. Good bitterness level. Solid brew, for sure. Thanks again, Matt.

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Photo of bogus564
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 fl. oz., from a growler purchased at Kane Brewing, into a pint glass.

Two weekends ago, two friends and I went on a beer tour of Central New Jersey. One of the breweries we visited was Kane Brewing Company, makers of Head High IPA. I tried a small sample there, and purchased a growler, the better from which to judge and review this beer. And away we go…

A: I like how the growler pops as I open it. The pour is reasonably aggressive; with that, I get a 2 cm orange rind-colored head, that holds for roughly a minute. The beer itself is exactly what you’d expect from an IPA – beautiful golden amber, slightly bubbly. It really looks nice.

S: There’s a strong hop smell to this beer; which there should be, given that it’s an IPA. I’m getting a citrus hop aroma, AND a pine hop aroma. Not only that, but the balance is good. I’m picking up grapefruit, pine, but can’t discern anything from the malt. I’m sure it’ll be there in the tasting.

T: Me likey! There’s a very enjoyable hop taste, for you hop heads out there; I’m getting grapefruit, pine, and some roasted malt. There’s also some nice oomph to this beer, thanks to the 6.5% ABV. This is a very tasty beer.

M: You have to be a hop head to really like the mouthfeel of this beer; fortunately for me, I am. It’s medium-bodied, well-carbonated, washes over the palate well, and leaves a dry, hoppy finish. Good one.

O: New Jersey is capable of producing really good beer – who knew? For a brewery that’s been in existence for a year and a half, they’ve come right out of the gate with a winner. This is a darn good beer, excellent with salty snacks. Cheers.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap and served in a pint glass at the Cloverleaf Tavern.

Kane's Head High IPA pours a hazy orange, lightening some along the edges when held up to light. The foam sitting on top of the beer isn't even enough to solidly cover the liquid underneath, let alone draw itself up to any height or leave behind any lacing. The nose lets pine take the lead, though there's also a supporting note of juicy grapefruit. The flavor lets just a touch of caramel open up each sip, before a pronounced, yet smooth bitterness rolls through mid palate The hoppy follow through is potent, an follows the pine, then grapefruit outline from the nose. Everything is just about perfectly proportioned though, the sweetness up front provides a modest baseline, and the bitterness briefly grabs attention before the hop flavors come in as the unquestioned star of the show. The body tends toward the drier side of the spectrum, while maintaining a little more heft than some of the west coast versions of the style. The carbonation has subtle bubbly quality to it. One of the absolute best IPAs brewed on the east coast, I look forward to hopefully seeing Head High around the state more often

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer as part of the PHD program at Cloverleaf bar in Caldwell, NJ. It is a fun program. I recommend it if you are in the area... however, if you are an avid beer drinker in Northern New Jersey; then you have heard of Cloverleaf.

I sampled this beer about a month ago, and it blew me away. This is one of the best beers to come out of New Jersey, and it is easily the best New Jersey IPA.

The smell is really good. You get a lot of pine and citrus. The flavor has a lot of grapefruit in it. It is so good. Even the mouthfeel is very good.

It smells and tastes like a DIPA with this much power to it. I had to double check the ABV on this beer.

I recommend this beer thoroughly. Kane made a hell of a beer.

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Photo of CoinStarChange
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Nice wheat color, very light

Smell - Piney nose with a touch of grapefruit. Beautiful aroma

Taste - Strong hop flavor, nice grapefruit taste

Mouthfeel - Hoppy bitterness, crisp taste

Overall - One of the best East Coast IPA's I've ever had, if not the best.

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Photo of cbeer88
3.91/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from a growler courtesy of NJBeerNerd. Poured into 20oz imperial nonic glass.

Appearance: Darkish golden orange body with a thin half-finger head. Decent dotted lacing in the glass. Body is nice and clear. Solid appearance.

Smell: Nose is a little on the weak side. Some decent earthy and piney hops smell, but a good bit of caramel malt almost overpowers the hops.

Taste: Very nice. Piney hops perfectly balanced with caramel malt on the base of the body. A nice dash of fruity/grapefruit flavor on the initial bite, and some lingering hop resins on the aftertaste. Alcohol is nicely hidden.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and adequately carbed, this is a very dry beer. Gonna need a glass of water after this...

Drinkability: Average. I'll have a second glass of this, but I wouldn't drink it all night.

Overall: This is a nice IPA, and one of the better East Coast IPA's out there. I think I've been a bit spoiled by Hill Farmstead as this guy doesn't quite meet that level, but it's still an excellent beer. Town Hall Masala Mama comes to mind as I drink it down.

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Photo of 9InchNails
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kane Wet Hop Ale

On tap at the Cloverleaf.

Excellent looking white head with a hazy murky light copper body. The head slowly fades leaving great lacing on the glass.

Caramel, citrus and pine with the aroma.

Caramel, pine, citrus some metallic tasting hops from the wet hops. Slight dry taste.

Light to almost approaching medium body, light body, dry feeling, easy to drink.

My first beer by Kane Brewery. Tasty, easy drinking and quite a excellent looking beer. The lacing clinging to the glass says a lot about this beer. You know you're enjoying a fresh, tasty brew. I hope to try more by my home state brewery, Kane. Such a great thing that NJ is making such great beer.

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Photo of Naugros
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Cloverleaf Tavern as part of their PhD program. Poured into my PhD tall glass, it shows as a typical IPA, amber orange with a bit of chill haze. It has a really nice head and leaves lacing all the way down. I like it when a beer does that and I strive to always drink from the same side of the glass to only make one streak in the lacing. This was easy to do as the glass had a handle.

The aroma is all Pacific Northwest hops at first. Pine and grapefruit come through very fresh and lively. The malts are there, offering a modicum of balance in the form of slightly sweet caramel.

Massive pine resin and grapefruit citrus are nicely balanced with one another and they allow the malts to show up as a little bready sweetness (not so much caramel here). The resins last a while in your mouth and you would have sworn that you just finished a West Coast IPA.

If you're a hop head or a West Coast transplant who misses the IBU forward beers from your home, then Kane Brewing has dialed up a beer that a San Diegoan?...San Diegoite?...San Diegan? Ah fuck it, someone who hails from San Diego would be proud of.

A New Jersey brewery has FINALLY produced an IPA worth drinking! Rejoice New Jerseyans! Rejoice! If Kane keeps up this impressive displaying of brewing know-how then we might finally be blessed with New Jersey-born brews that people from other states will want to get their hands on.

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Photo of fuquan
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Fish in downtown Asbury Park.

Appearance: picture perfect, slightly hazy amber body with a 2 finger, slightly off-white head. Left a lots of lacing in the matching Kane Brewing pint glass.

Nose: Fresh hops; floral and piney. It's very much in the vein of West Coast IPAs I've tried.

Taste: follows the nose. Very well balanced and refreshing, with nice amount of citrus in there as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, with a nice dry finish.

Overall: Best IPA I've had from the local NJ brewers, and I think it compares favorably to the ones we can get from the West coast. If you're in the area, definitely order this one!

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Photo of devinoconnor
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First ever Kane beer, and what an amazing first impression.

Pours a bright and crisp, citrusy yellow with a nice head on it. Immediately notice the hops and citrus from the beer.

Taste is incredibly smooth, yet very hoppy. Flora aromas come through in the taste. As a self-declared hop head, this satisfies my craving for hops. I was surprised (and delighted) to find its ABV is 6.5%. Tastes like it would be more in line with 8-10.

Very smooth, classic IPA. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Chas58
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was at the growler station at Joe Canal's in Iselin/ Woodbridge. Go get it. The initial floral smell upon popping the growler top let's you know you are in for a treat. The beer pours a hazy yellow with a very strong pleasant bouquet of citrus and hop. This is a strong hopped beer but with a very clean mouth feel that makes you go back for another sip. The finish is definetly IPA, but with a very clean crispness. This is one of the finest, well crafted IPAs I have encountered. Support this new brewery and seek out their other beers, Single Fin is also very nice.

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Head High from Kane Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.