Caldera Pale Ale | Caldera Brewing Company

very good
214 Reviews
Caldera Pale AleCaldera Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Caldera Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Reidrover on 08-22-2005

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Reviews: 214 | Ratings: 440
Photo of cjever19
4.88/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great pale ale. Really sticks out among this blahh category.

Very well balanced and refreshing. Nice hop aroma and taste but finish is well balanced. Hops and malt are just the right combo. Just what a pale ale is supposed to be. Very surprised by this brewery I'd never heard of.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yum! I really love these canned craft brews. It's really a great way to package beer. It's fresher, doesnt get oxidized or uv-damaged, cools faster, and is so much easier for camping, events, etc.

Golden color and slightly chill hazed. Decent head, but it falls away kinda quick.

Aroma is a bit disapointing. It's really kind of mild. Some floral and herbal sweet hops, then some dry caramel malt.

Really makes up for it in the taste! Rich grapefruit and sour lemon. The bitter citrus flavors of orange and some tropical fruits in there too. A tad of toasty honey sweetness to counteract it. So drinkable, and so tasty.

I was down in Ashland the other month, but these guys only do dock sales. Ill be stopping by next time for a case.

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Photo of Falcone
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a lovely looking pour in the glass. Perfect hazy light orange body topped by a 2 finger creamy head with great retention. Moderate lacing, thick and chunky though. My mouth is already watering.

Getting nothing but tropical fruits in the nose. Also a bit of vanilla cream I swear. Between the appearance and the aroma I get the impression of an orange cream soda. Which I love by the way.

Taste is just so sublime. Lots of tropical fruit with just enough hop bitterness to balance. Definitely tastes like a Pale Ale, not a light IPA as many American Pale Ale's tend to taste. Mouthfeel is so perfect; very creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. Scary drinkability.

So yea I am loving this. Best beer yet from these guys; I actually enjoyed it far more than their IPA. It could just be this particular hop profile really pleases my palette but either way this is a standout American Pale.

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Photo of mtrentm
4.48/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a can into a pint glass.

A: Pours clear, golden color with a one-finger off-white head that quickly leaves.

S: Aroma is light & simple, floral citrus hops with some caramel malts lingering on the tale end.

T: More than expected from the aroma. Lots of citrus flavors, grapefruit, lemon, orange & a bit of toasted malt. Very clean & tasty! Can't wait for another sip!

M: Medium-full, kind of oily, moving to a crisp off-dry some what spicy finish.

D: Fantastic drinkability! A huge fan of what Caldera is doing with cans. Awesome for camping/hiking, skiing, fishing, or anything where you don't want the weight of a bottle, but the quality of a micro brew. Easy to pack-in & pack-out.

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Photo of Andrewseher
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Pints Urban Taproom at 412 NW 5th Ave in Portland, OR.

A: Yellow. A golden ray of sunshine in a glass with a frothy white head and beautiful lacing.

S: Subtle and citrusy. Mostly lemon, orange, and grapefruit.

T: Delightfully citrusy and well-balanced. A great summer beer.

M: Light-bodied and dry finishing, it goes down easy.

O: One of my favorites, the Caldera Pale Ale is the perfect beer for a sunny day.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At one point, I wondered if I could ever find 100 CANs, then 150, but now that the CANQuest has breached the 200 mark, I realize that the sky is the limit. People are sending me unsolicited BeerMails for trades for new CANs. Keep 'em coming, folks!

After a seemingly steady diet there for a while of AmeriCAN macro lagers, it is nice to see and smell something decent glug-glug-glugging its way out of the CAN and into my glass.

I caught two fingers' worth of rocky, bone-white head with decent retention that was already beginning to leave a nice lace in its wake, following my pour. Color was a slightly-hazy honey-yellow. Remember, kids, clarity is overrated! Nose was grapefruit-citrusy. Pale Ale, bah! In many of our Central-Southern states, this would have been their IPA. I began to weep at the thought of previous recent CANs like Lone Star and Stack - rubbish in a CAN! Recovering, I took a sip and got a mouthful of full-on Cascade hops! Zounds! Yoi and double yoi! If this was simply their Pale Ale, it struck me as to why I loved their IPA in a CAN so much. I may have found a new favorite brewery for CANs... I allowed myself to luxuriate a little more fully in the second sip. It was very citrusy on the palate and even a little grainy, as though the liquid were saturated by hops. No matter, because on the swallow, it was so dry that I could not help but reach for another sip. More, please, sir.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy golden orange with a huge off-white head. Three finger head slowly fades to a thin cap and leaves scattered lacing all over the glass.

S - Big citrus fruit aroma, primarily grapefruit with hints of lemon zest. Light sweet backing, a bit of biscuitiness coming through.

T - Very bitter hoppiness up front with lots of grapefruit coming through. Hints of pine as well. Just the faintest sweetness backing up the hoppiness but this is a very hop forward pale ale.

M/D - Medium bodied with a touch of chewiness. Spritzy carbonation. Easy drinking pale ale.

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Photo of youradhere
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a can, pours straw gold with thick white head; aroma is pine and sugar, some citrus but mostly pine. Taste is fruity, citrus, tea, slight pine, toast grain. Mouthfeel is spot on, carbonation is medium, this brew is quite refreshing! Definitely something I wanna buy in quantity to go camping with this summer!

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Photo of womencantsail
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: An amazingly clear, golden pour from can into glass with a fluffy white head that sits on top.

S: Just as a pale ale should be: a refreshing citrus aroma with a mild pine to let you know that it still means business.

T: Again, a perfect example of a pale ale. A nice clean, refreshing citrus flavor followed by a nice bitter bite on the finish.

M: The beer is light and moderately carbonated, but still has a fairly substantial feel on the tongue.

D: This must be what Bud is talking about. These guys sure know how to make a great session pale and IPA. I'm glad to see these beers become more easy to come by in CA.

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Photo of loubar
4.36/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Barry Slatt

12 oz. can from Best Damn Beer Shop. Medium sized creamy white head on a golden body. Nose of yeast with subtle fruity hops. Initial taste of bready malt followed by a moderate piney bitterness with light citrus tones. Aftertaste is dry and somewhat bitter in the style of a good IPA. Tasty, well balanced, clean and refreshing!

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Photo of PDXHops
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. can, poured into a tulip.

See-thru deep gold body with a finger's worth of creamy off-white head. Pretty good retention and lacing.

Fairly strong citrusy hop bouquet with a pleasant mild sweetness and biscuity malt. Smells like it will be a crisp, dry brew.

And so it proves to be. There's a bit of honeyish sweetness up front, but it's immediately bullied around by a tag team of citrus (orange zest and grapefruit) and sharp pine needle flavors. There's a bit of earthiness in there, too. Through the swallow, a pleasant graininess aserts itself.

The sweetness dries up torward the finish as the citrus is joined by some pine needles for a sharp sting of bitterness and a rather 'scratchy' mouthfeel. After a couple of seconds, the bitterness is chased away by a crisp snap of biscuity malt. Carbonation is lively, and the beer starts off as seemingly light-bodied, but 'fluffs up' in to something pretty substantial.

Overall impression: Excellent APA. Bold and flavorful, yet incredibly drinkable.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full bubbly sheet of surface foam. Resilient cobwebs of lacing adhere to the glass.

S- Sweet cereal grain malt aroma with some grassy hops in the background. Very simple but very lovely. Kinda reminds me of homebrew.

T- The sweetness from the aroma is mirrored in the flavor with just as much husky malt. The hops come in as an afterthought and linger slightly but the sweet caramel notes reign supreme. Once again, reminds me of the wort that's created before fermentation in homebrew.

M- Not very substantial but I guess it doesn't need to be for a pale ale. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- If you're a big fan of sweet, like I am, you'll love this pale ale. Also has a decent amount of hop bitterness to back it up so it's not cloying.

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Photo of droomyster
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can pours a clear gold with a sticky white head that laces the glass. Vibrant, leafy hop aromas are not overpowering but fresh and inviting, and are exceptionally well balanced on the palate by equally bold, complex malts. This is a very nice beer, one that I intend to buy again.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm really enjoying the variety of quality brews in a CAN i'm finding here in Northern California! this was reviewed while camping at Castle lake campgrounds in shasta city...i think.

Ooooh yeah, cracking open a can sounds good!! a thick, solid and rocky -white head stands proud like Mt. shasta itself over a bright plae golden liquid, much like the N.Cali sunsets. Retention is amazing, it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

The nose is just bursting with hoppy cascade aroma's!! Sweet fruits, musty herbs, wheat and corn and light but sweet malt. This all cascade beauty has a great aroma.

The hoppy flavor's here are deep and very complex, cascade hoppiness all in my face. Light and very, very crispy feel is exciting and spot-on for the style. crisp with a creamy smooth finish from the beastie foam still clumping it's way down slow. The cascade hops provide a gentle fruitiness and perfect dry-herbal and earthy complexity. I havn't been this excited for a Pale ale since my very first Sierra Nevada!!(circa 1996)

This pale ale in a can has made my day, and I'm camping in one of the most pristine locations I've ever been too. This is simply one of, if not THE best Pale ale i've ever had. Bring on the cans!!!

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Photo of wcudwight
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright, clear golden color with a massive head that filled half the glass thanks to my overly-agressive pour. Head settles at a moderate pace and leaves lot's of sticky lacing. Already a sign of hop oils. I'm getting excited.
Citric hops in the aroma. Pink grapefruit.
Same citric hops that are in the aroma, are in the flavor, but the flavor is much more balanced than the nose forshadows. Sweet pale malts with a nice hop kick. Not overly complex but I don't expect APAs to be too complex. This is exactly what I look for in a Pale Ale.
Very crisp and refreshing and easy to drink. I could drink a few of these on a hot summer day. And the fact that it comes in a can just make it that much more portable for hikes and such.

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Photo of Rmassimiano
4.26/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance :
The beer pours an extremely clear yellow leaning on the golden/orange side. The head that appeared looked like clouds forming, the color of the foam was pure white it looked like a nice layer of clouds hovering on top of the liquid.

There is not a whole lot of aroma but can smell a slight hint of citrusy hops.

It has that dry astringent taste that some wines or teas leave behind.

This is something I really enjoy with pale ales or IPAs. Really bitter for a regular Pale Ale which is surprisingly a good thing. As I keep drinking it tastes more and more malty but definitely has the hops bitterness right up front above all else.

Overall Impression:
I nice hoppy bitter Pale Ale. I usually say why drink a regular pale if you can go for the India, but this I would drink again if given the option between other pale ales.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz CAN into a regular kitchen glass during a snowstorm.

A- Bright white golden in color with much clarity. A whirlpool of bubbles erupt a nice bright off white head that just seemed to keep building. This beer is alive. No lacing though, ah well.

S- A west coast forward PA with the hops winning the race. I'm smelling at least one of the 3-c's backed by a bready mix of yeast and malts. Biskits in the morn. There is some grassy notes towards the end though, but this is a pale after all so it's in line.

T- Caldera Pale Ale is a winner, A great balance between hops and malt with a little edge on the former. Just a little touch of a tropical fruit mix leading to a bready finish that's clean as a whistle. Not bitter at all but you can kind of feel the hops for about 1/2 a second.

M- Easy on the mouth, this one is easy in all aspects of the word. A great balance that results in a feel that's not hoppy and not malt forward but somehow manages to meld greatly. Two notches above light with a small bite from the carb.

D- As long as I can find this fairly fresh(no canning date), I will be drinking it. A easy going pale ale that has great flavor and a easy body for multiple rounds.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark honey with the slightest suggestion of orange. The attractive, cream colored head looks to be high in hop oils; at least I hope so. The glass residue is so fine and spider web-like that it resembles actual lace. Drinking this beer out of the can and missing an appearance like this should be a criminal offense.

The nose is outstanding (see 'drinking... can... criminal offense' above) and puts a huge number of IPAs to shame. The pithy pungency of the Cascade hops fairly leaps out of the glass, with the overall aroma made deeper and more interesting by a much lesser quantity of spicy Perle hops. Great job Caldera. Even if the flavor is on the pedestrian side, the nose is a world-class sprinter.

The flavor doesn't measure up to those stratospheric heights, but that's not to say this isn't a deliciously hoppy pale ale. Emphasis on hoppy. The brewers made sure their beer would last a good, long while by packaging it in light-rejecting aluminum and by adding an impressive amount of hops. Sweet, spicy and juicy white grapefruit is front, center and back. I love the slight variation on the usual Pacific NW flavor profile that the German hops provide.

APAs don't need to be complex to suit me (this one isn't), they just need to be bursting with pale malt-supported bitter hoppiness (this one is). There's enough sweetness on hand to keep things kinda, sorta balanced from a hophead's perspective, although the pucker factor is still decidedly high. The mouthfeel is light-medium and perfectly carbonated; the better to down a few cans on a hot summer day without a second thought.

Caldera Brewing Company is anything but a household name (unless one lives in Ashland, Oregon or its environs), but this little brewery has just provided me with the best beer that I've ever had out of a can. I was tempted to say 'that I'll ever', but ever is a long time. I do know this, it's unlikely to be topped for a very long time.

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Photo of maximum12
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to thirstyhophead, who introduced me to the pleasures of the Caldera IPA, & threw this can into a subsequent trade. I don't dare hope it'll be as good.

Lovely brew poured into my Lost Abbey chalice, with a nice shade of yellow, not piss-yellow like Bud, but more amber & deeper. Smells like a pale ale.

This is a nice brew. The flavor is present & accounted for without being overwhelming. I think this would be a superb gateway beer for a BMC drinker - there's not so much flavor to cause anyone to drop their Coors Light & run screaming, but it has enough for us dedicated beer freaks to have a sip & go...mmm. That's nice. The lighter flavor, I've noticed, encourages bigger sips, & I'm trying not to gulp this one down too fast. It's a long night. Pace yourself.

Did I hear session beer? This would be a great beer to find on tap at the local pub, tasty, easy-drinking, but with a low enough ABV that you're not playing bumper cars in the lot after three of them. That's two very good beers from this mystery brewery. I will stop by if I'm ever in the neighborhood.

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Photo of BeerZack
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear golden-orange color with small white head that laces well.

Slightly sweet and spicy toasty grain with some floral and slightly woodsy and fruity hops.

Lightly toasted and sweet fruity pale malts perfectly balanced by orangey citrus and floral hop bitterness that's a bit persistent.

Nice light-moderate body that feels even easier due to the high, but no too stingy carbonation. Extremely drinkable Pale that I would definitely buy again.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the can into a nonic pint glass.

Deep murky orange and unfiltered looking appearance, with a bit of rust brown color to it. Head is creamy tall and soapy with a good four fingers tall height and a somewhat creamy retention. Good staying power, and some nice clumpy character. Body color is not the greatest but much of the apperance is really nailed.

Good solid aroma on this as well. Hints of mild biscuit and a hint of tropical and citrus like hop angles. Slightly flesh orange and grapefruit angles as well come with a bit of exploration. Nice and subtle and very solid.

Palate comes simply and nicely. Slightly chewy malt with a good mix of biscuit notes. Light sweetness and a good hop bitterness of mixed pine and citrus it seems in the mid palate. Almost juicy, with a mild hop bent and a real simple malt sweetness. Hits to fruit and light wood pine with a real mellow and airy aftertaste.

Really solid pale ale, always passed this up but quite good.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thoughtfully provided by flexabull--thanks! Re-review: Now on my second shipment thanks to unclejedi. Thank you men, and thank the heavens for trading!!!!

Served at about 35F from a 12 oz can into "Boston Lager" pint.

Aroma after cracking open the can is all floral hops.

Pours light, color is golden and crystal clear, with a fluffy white head that leaves good lacing.

Aroma is sweetly malty with strong herbal/floral hop tone.

Flavor is a bit resiny, lots of hops for a pale ale. Strong, filling bitterness.

Great mouthfeel, goes down easy, but the sharp bitterness lingers. A bit unbalanced--just how I like it--the XPA style. Upon re-review I like it even more than the first time I reviewed it.

This is a fantastic pale ale, my #1 can beer. Looking forward to trying Caldera IPA as soon as I can hook up a trade.

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Photo of kshankar
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden with a medium sized white foam. Retention is okay, but lacing sticks well.

Aroma is bready, somewhat malty, and hoppy. Piney and citrusy.

Bready, biscuity, malty with a hop character in the finish. The breadyness makes this almost "buttery" in texture.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium and creamy. Carbonation is okay.

Drinkability is rather high...lower ABV, great mouthfeel, good taste.

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Photo of Vancer
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a classic pale ale, sent courtesy of unclejedi via the CEO BIF!

And in a can, too! Poured a clear amber, mixed together with a golden hue. Sheets of white lace clung to the sides, excellent.

Lite floral and citrus in the aroma, progressing into the taste – which added pine and a squeeze of grapefruit. Sharp, crisp and dry – this would be an excellent on the go brew for any outdoor activity. Hats off for this one!

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a 7oz. snifter.

Appearance: Poured out quite nicely: produced one finger's worth of fluffy, off-white head, which came to rest atop a crystal clear, golden body. Faint streams of carbonation did their best to keep that head up, but it eventually faded to a sticky crown. Bubblebath-like lacing trailed the beer all the way to the bottom of the glass. Nice.

Smell: Pineapple + cat pee = Simcoe. Those are the two aromas I got right off the bat. Pine bark, wholegrain toast, and lime also pulled through. If I could guess, I'd say the hop bill includes late additions of Simcoe and Amarillo hops. Not bad, but not what I typically prefer in a pale either.

Taste: Whole grains, butter and dough form a lovely malt backbone. Lemon zest accents that backbone, while woody hops create a bold, bitter aftertaste. Not sure how old this can is, but I love the malt-hop balance, which is tilted just a bit toward the malty end of the spectrum.

Mouthfeel: Caldera Pale Ale's active yet soft, rolling carbonation massaged my palate for the entire session. The body is light, crisp, and very refreshing. To top things off, the beer finishes bitter but not too dry, and leaves a flavorful, long-lasting aftertaste. It don't get any better than this. Perfect!

Drinkability: The more I drink this, the more it reminds me of New Belgium's Ranger IPA (in a pale ale form, of course). I didn't expect a whole lot out of this one going in, but I finished it in a flash! Will definitely buy more if I come across it again.

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Caldera Pale Ale from Caldera Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 440 ratings.
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