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 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 zeff80
3.4/5  rDev +11.5%
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 TheManiacalOne
3.72/5  rDev +22%
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 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 ChainGangGuy
3.45/5  rDev +13.1%
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 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 RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev +14.8%
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 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 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 DrJay
3.07/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.14/5  rDev +3%
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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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 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 zonker17
3.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.15/5  rDev +3.3%
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 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 tgbljb
4.3/5  rDev +41%
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 brewandbbq
3.38/5  rDev +10.8%
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 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 JamesS
4.1/5  rDev +34.4%
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 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 alleykatking
3.5/5  rDev +14.8%
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 BMoney575
3.57/5  rDev +17%
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 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 therica
3.79/5  rDev +24.3%
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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Hop Head Ale from Mishawaka Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.05 out of 5 with 54 ratings