Hop Head Ale | Mishawaka Brewing Company

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Hop Head AleHop Head Ale

Brewed by:
Mishawaka Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Sephiroth on 09-03-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 51
Photo of Generik420
4.57/5  rDev +52.8%
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.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.3/5  rDev +43.8%
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

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Photo of Sephiroth
4.3/5  rDev +43.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with an inch of head, body is a clear, light amber color. Patchy lacing. Smells kinda piney, very slight grapefruit, some malt is there as well.

Tastes very resiny, reminiscent of some fresh hop beers I've had. A little bit of pine, plenty of hops to be had here, and more malt than I usually prefer in an IPA, but this one pulls it off quite nicely. Long, bitter finish. Full mouthfeel, and as with any good IPA, highly drinkable.

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Photo of JamesS
4.1/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark copper color, with just a bit of initial head and almost no lacing. Nice deep, strong, hoppy aroma, fills the nose with bitter pine scents. Strong bitter taste, very American pine hop, with a big hop finish that stays on the tongue; a bit unbalanced, a slightly more malty tinge would have helped just a bit. Goes down fine, fairly smooth for such a hoppy beer.

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Photo of therica
3.79/5  rDev +26.8%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.72/5  rDev +24.4%
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.

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Photo of tprokop7
3.62/5  rDev +21.1%
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.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.57/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

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Photo of zonker17
3.5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of alleykatking
3.5/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

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Photo of tmitch75
3.48/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.46/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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Photo of claminat420
3.45/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

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Photo of youngleo
3.45/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light brown or slightly copperish color. Very little head. Just foam around the edges. It did have some fine lacing. But not a lot. Smelled slightly sweet with some citrus and a hint of alcohol. Tasted bitter, probably the hops. Maybe that was the alcohol. The type of a bitter like a ice beers gives you. Aftertaste was bitter and tasted like pine. Pine aftertaste hung around awile. Felt good in the mouth. Carbonation was right for me. I could enjoy these on occasion. i just think you would have to be carefull with the extra alcohol content.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.45/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
3.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden-yellow color with a small, fizzy, white head. It left little to no lace.

S - It smelled very earthy with a touch of citrus. Not much going on here.

T - It had a spicy hop bite with a grassy flavor. It had a strong, rich malty flavor, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied ale.

D - This IPA is malt heavy without any real hop kick.

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Photo of karengarys
3.4/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.38/5  rDev +13%
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.

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Photo of a10t2
3.32/5  rDev +11%
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.

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Photo of jeremyd365
3.26/5  rDev +9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a lighy muddy brown with a tinge of amber. Hardly any head and doesn't appear carbonated at all. Lots of "stuff" in suspension. It smells hoppy and a bit spicy, perhaps of some nutmeg. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied, but can't get a good feel for this one. The taste definitely has a load of dry hops, pretty decent but not great. The dry, bitterness remains awhile. It's moderately drinkable, kind of heavy, and not great enough to even want to slam down more than a couple. The dryness and slight spiciness is kind of nice now that it's getting colder out. My firest experience with Mishawaka Brewing Co, will have to check out some of their other brews.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
3.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very dark almost orange copper color with a huge cloudy white head.
Smell is light- a little citrusy with some hops on the back end.
Taste is smooth for a "Hop Head" though the flowery earth of hops is present.
Finish is quick and bitey with a bitter after-taste.
Drinks almost poorly- sort of bitey with an ok ABV- not something I'd want more than one of.

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Photo of kalkavekkian
3.16/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.15/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.14/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm going to start this off real honest and say that this is not a beer for hop-heads. This looks great, orange decent lacing on the head but the smell? Something funny like butter..the taste was not really hoppy at all, buttery malts and I'm sure I sound like a jerk but this just wasn't hoppy by any stretch of the imagination.

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Hop Head Ale from Mishawaka Brewing Company
2.99 out of 5 based on 54 ratings.
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