Hop Head Ale | Mishawaka Brewing Company

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Hop Head AleHop Head Ale
54 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 51
Photo of Thorpe429
1.12/5  rDev -63.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

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

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

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

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Photo of schoolboy
1.31/5  rDev -57%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This is easily the worst brew I have ever reviewed. Perhaps what I had was part of a bad batch, but every bottle was consistently bad. It reminded me of home brews that didn't work out.

It was nearly flat. There was a foul, infected kind of odor to it (not aroma, odor) that carried into the taste. Vaguely, under the badness was an average pale ale type taste - nothing I would call hoppy, though.

This was a horrible waste of $9.99. On previous Indiana trips I have picked up regional unknown beers. They have disappointed in the past, but this one is really undrinkable.

On a positive note, the Village Bottle Shoppe (in Layfayette, IN) had some Dogfish Head 120 in the back and I picked up 4 bottles. Now I can finish off the stuff that has been aging in my cellar for a couple years.

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Photo of BillyX
1.46/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

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

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Photo of youngblood
1.73/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of raveskdr
2/5  rDev -34.4%

Photo of drxandy
2.37/5  rDev -22.3%
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

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Photo of gordavidson
2.39/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Slightly hazy orange beer with a few streams of carbonation making their way to the top. The head is white and creamy looking and leaves amazing lacing with the good retention.

S- Vegetably hops, caramely malt, and a little bit of... cedar? Very odd, and not really what I look for in an IPA.

T- Wow this is bitter. Just a lot of overwhelming bitterness without much hop flavor. It just tastes like wood. The more I drink, the better it becomes, but it's not that good.

M- Very dry and pretty bitter.

D- For an IPA, this is really bitter. I don't think I have had a beer this bitter at this low of an ABV. There's just a few things working for this beer, but a lot of things working against it.

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Photo of pmatz2
2.61/5  rDev -14.4%
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

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Photo of jrallen34
2.62/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium tulip... Pours an ugly murky dark gold. The is white, rises about two fingers and has great retention and lacing... The aroma is super sweet, malts are way off and off the chart strong. Musky with notes cardboard... The taste is also off malt flavors, musky hops, toffee, chemical finish.

Skip this.

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Photo of yourefragile
2.66/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle

Cleaning out my fridge, came across this guy with a lazy looking hop on the label. Has a nice appearance, hazy copper with a thick, dense uneven head. Half the surface area of the beer retains a thin head and the rest is a thin film. Plenty thick clumpy lacing. Nose is grainy and sweet, lots of malt, not all that much of a hop presence, not so great for an IPA. Flavor is deceptive as it starts off with an earthy, piney hop flavor and you assume it's going to be an acceptable, average IPA, but then the body takes over a strong grainy, caramel malt flavor and sweetness continues to assert itself into the finish as the hops quickly fade and it no longer tastes so much like an IPA. Medium-full thickness with minimal carbonation, as this warms up it gets much sweeter and cloying, and finish is not very clean. Flavors are sort of a mess here, really detracting from the drinkability.

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Photo of biggred1
2.68/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of drseamus
2.71/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

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Photo of tapman
2.72/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a medium sepia-orange with a really small head that goes away very quickly. Moderate amount of carbonation. Filtered and clear as crystal.

Aroma is pine, bubblegum and a little mint. A subdued sugar cookie in there as well. I could have used some brighter aromas as these are a little tough to pick out for me as with exceptional offerings in this style category.

Biscuits with honey in the taste while the hops are not as sweet as in the aroma. Hops are, for lack of a better descriptor, beery tasting, like an Imperial BMC. There is a pleasant spiciness in there at the beginning of the sip, but after that the bitterness is flat and cloying.

Mouth is good. Bubbly and sharp with a little chew to balance things a little.

I guess this is above average, though the taste is right in the middle for me. I taste good malts and good hops, just in wrong amounts to satisfy my palate. Usually for IPAs I get bad or good ones, but this beer, and others from this brewery, are some of the most average beers I have ever had, which doesn't make them bad, but...

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Photo of cpz28
2.76/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.79/5  rDev -8.5%
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?!?!?

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

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

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Photo of bheilman
2.81/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of emerge077
2.84/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Photo of Realale
2.88/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of joe1510
2.92/5  rDev -4.3%
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.


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Photo of SupaCelt
2.94/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

The mouthfeel is medium. It seems substantial.

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

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Photo of Duster72
2.95/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of Viggo
2.98/5  rDev -2.3%
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!

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Photo of Another6Pack
3/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of ridglens
3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hop Head Ale from Mishawaka Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.05 out of 5 with 54 ratings