Craftsman IPA
Craftsman Brewing Co.

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American IPA
Ranked #4,587
Ranked #28,122
3.78 | pDev: 14.29%
Craftsman Brewing Co.
California, United States
Very Good
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 23 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SallyBirkhart
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap, Lucky Baldwin’s. This will be an uncharacteristically short review for me. To be honest, it is befitting of this brew. This IPA pours a standard gold orange, with a clear body and small white head. The aroma and flavor were both hoppy, though not particularly assertive or inviting to me. The malt character was subdued, and contributed little. Finish was bitter and clean. OK, but nothing exciting.

 409 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a hazy orange with a 1 inch offwhite head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. A nice latticework of lace forms on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of floral and citrus zest hops and some slight honey aromas. Taste is of herbal and citrus zest hops up front with a malt finish. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good IPA but nothing too exciting.

 549 characters

Photo of JTahoe
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear brassy gold. Frothy ivory white head, thin at 1/2 finger (due to pour technique no doubt), decent lacing.

S - Flowery hops with a hint of pine and a distinctly dough-like aroma in the background.

T - Green hops hit up front showing pine, flowers and a hint of citrus. Then the big toasted grain and malt flavor kicks in, typical of several Craftsman brews, with a bit of sweet lemon pound cake. Lingering bitter finish.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Crisp and clean with some oiliness.

D - A solid IPA with its own distinctive character (bready and not too hoppy), though I can't say that this is among my favorite examples of the style, nor is it my favorite offering from Craftsman. It tastes much like a hopped up 1903, which I prefer to this. The combination of big hops and big grain in this manner just doesn't quite gel for me to go to the next level. Certainly worth a try.

 900 characters

Photo of glid02
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, CA.

Pours a light copper color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head dissipates into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of citrus hops with a mildly biscuity malt backbone.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Slightly bready malts are joined shortly by citrus hop flavors that carry through until a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. This beer has a solid thickness with slightly above average carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing this one and could have another.

Overall this is a solid IPA but nothing special. Still, it's worth a shot.

 651 characters

Photo of magictrokini
2.36/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tap @ O'Brien's. I was warned before I tried it that people either love this beer or hate it. Unfortunately, I fell into the latter. Pours clear gold with a big bubbly white head. Flat aroma of grain and flowery hops. Toasty malt, biscuits, and metal dominate the taste, with grassy and faintly citrus hops bringing up the rear. There's just not enough hops in it for me. Its almost like a Czech pilsner.

 404 characters

Photo of callmescraps
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had one with a very fine meal at Lucques. Unfortunately, the beer couldn't hold a candle to the meal.

Appearance - Awfully cloudy for an IPA. For a moment I thought I got the wrong beer. A little strawish, with a soapy inch of head.

Smell - Lots of malt for an IPA, with a little hop bitterness. Also some citrus.

Taste - A lot like the smell. Probably the breadiest, maltiest IPA I've ever had. Definite citrus, with just a hint of hops. The lady friend said it tasted "like a Blue Moon" which is all fine and good, except that this was supposed to be an IPA.

Mouthfeel - Nice and crisp, more so than a typical IPA.

Drinkability - Pretty solid, despite the citrus. I mean, it was very easy to drink, but not sure how many I'd want.

A total miss on the style. Craftsman seems to serve bread in a bottle. Both this and the 1903 had a ton of bread in it. Which makes them very easy to drink, but not terribly demanding or interesting. I could mellow out on the porch and drink a couple of these, but I could say the same about a Corona. Certainly nothing to avoid, but there are plenty of better options.

 1,109 characters

Photo of dill
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

served on tap in a pint glass.

A: light copper color with a light white head that leaves a bit of lacing.

S: a bit of a hoppy aroma but not too strong.

T: strong hoppy bitterness with some citrus notes.

M: crispt but smooth.

D: really easy to drink. I really like Craftsman beers and an happy to have this IPA from them. I won't go back to it regularly, but it's a nice beer.

 380 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours a light orange, too cloudy though for the style, the original head is small and white, though it leaves a lot of really nice lacing.

S: Light, but with some hop bite and malt, really not that much to speak of, granted the beer was a tad on the cold side during the serving.

T: Bready at first, with a firm hop presence, though there is too much bitter lemon zest and white grapefruit pith to be totally enjoyable, has some unappetizing bitter qualities for sure, it's similar to Alesmith IPA in that way, they both have very similar flavours. As the beer warms up a bit the sweetness of the malt comes out a lot more, much more sugar characteristics that save the flavour for me and allow me to give it a 3.

M: Smooth and crisp, light, above average for this style, good job.

D: Not one of the better IPA's that I've had, but it's not that bad in the end, I finished pretty easily, Craftsman makes consistently good beers, so I'll certainly overlook this slight mis-step when trying their stuff in the future.

 1,071 characters

Photo of jackorain
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Golden clear with a half inch head that fell quick to a thin coat and colar, but the lace left behind from the fall and subsequently from the collar was quite nice.

S-Citrus hops pine hops, biscuit and carmel malt. not complex but nice and strong aroma

T-Green and citrus hops abound big bitterness comes through in the middle. Follwed by and bit of carmel and biscuit malt that doesn't come close to balanceing this baby out. Long lingering bitter finish.

M-medium body, creamy mouthfeel. nice carbonation, a little pricly to break up the creaminess and compliment the extreme bitterness.

D-I could have a few but the I don't know how many taps at Lucky Bladwins I had to move on after one.

 705 characters

Photo of jpwalz
2.95/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Knowing I prefer the bigger hopped/bitter IPAs I stayed away from this for a while now.

Fairly light golden hue, with a decent head. The nose didn't have the big hop bang I was hoping for. They were there, but not the way the San Diego IPAs are.

Easily drinkable - on par with Sierra's Pale.

I know my tongue is a little worn out with all of the double IPAs over the holiday, but this was just an OK brew. Better than most, but for those with discerning tastes, no big deal.

 485 characters

Photo of sloejams
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Craftsman is far and away the best brewery in the LA area. I'm happy to see their beers popping up more and more these days. I can't wait for the day I get their offerings in growlers or even better, bottles so that I can share them with my buddies on the other coast.

I first tried Craftsman's beers at Lucky Baldwins in Pasadena some years ago. Last time I was there, the IPA was out - thankfully when I was there last night, it wasn't.

It came in a perfectly poured pint glass - a deep amber hue with a well retained 2 finger head. It's aroma was of glorious hops: mostly floral, but some pine too. Taste is blessed withl hops too, with a sweet maltiness hidden inside. Plenty of hoppiness but very well balanced.

This is one of those West Coast IPAs you could drink a bunch of.

 792 characters

Photo of soulgrowl
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Golden, brassy, clear; whitish head with fair retention.

Smell: Pine resin and floral hops with sweet doughy malts.

Taste: A big hop flavor, almost on par with a DIPA. Mild gasoline taste. Finish is clean but long-lasting and dry as hell.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and mouthwatering, as any good IPA should be.

Drinkabiliy: Not my favorite IPA, but a good one. I'm glad my neighborhood bar has it on tap.

 419 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer sits a clear, orangish copper color in my pint glass. It is topped by a frothy, almost creamy, white head that really has some staying power. The head seems to be clearly accentuated by the hopping levels in this beer, I find that a good amount of hops creates a rocky, lace-prone, longer lasting head (which is the case with this IPA). The aroma is light, but has clear notes of citrus and pine to it. Underneath this is a noticeable malt character that could best be described as toasty.

The beer feels quite smooth up front, but quickly picks up an incredibly minty note that is mixed with lots of pine-like overtones. This has a great, bracing bitterness that just grabs a hold of the tongue and lingers on through to a long finish. This is a really nice IPA, and I like how there is a nice, almost sweetish, citrus note that helps to balance the harsher pine like notes. The citrus note even carries through to the finish, which is not usually typical of an IPA.

 980 characters

Photo of paulyrimz
4.72/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Great SoCal IPA in company among many, AleSmith, Ballast Point, Pizza Port etc. Very drinkable IPA to satisfy the Hophead as well as the casual IPA sampler. Had on draft at Lucky Baldwin's. Nice darker gold color that retained it's head for the whole pint. Very citrusy aroma along with hints of floral hops, but complimented nicely by some apparent malts. One of the most balanced IPA's I've ever had, hops do not overpower as crisp bready malts compensate nicely. Full-bodied mouthfeel, but beer goes down easily. I could drink this IPA all day. Always a good idea for an alternate beer in between Belgians and Barleywines on draft at Lucky's.

 645 characters

Photo of BrewMaster
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this brew on tap at Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena tonight. Living in Pasadena it was a must that I finally begin to drink my local brews.

The aroma is rich and full of a nice hoppiness. The head on the beer is about 3 cm thick and it thins out a bit in the glass to a few mm. Overall the frothy head remains through the whole drink giving it a very nice covering both in look and taste. Flavors are fruity and oily mixed with nice bitter hops. The tart taste comes with flavors of strawberry seed, raisin, and orange. The mouth feel is a bit thin with some astringency to balance the complex flavors. Drinkabaility has to be a 5 for me since I can (and will) drink this beer over and over again. Outstanding IPA true to style with great creative flavors.

 761 characters

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.6/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served on tap at Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena, CA at the SoCal BA gathering on 11 October. Craftsman's IPA had a dark golden color and a big fluffy, not-goin'-anywhere-soon white head. Head stayed to the end, leaving a trail of webbed lace.
Smell was dominated by floral hops and some citrus but it also has some malt notes in there to keep things in check.
Taste was exactly what I look for in an IPA. It's got a definite hops bite to it but the malts are there maintaining the balance. The finish is moderately bitter with a faint sweetness.
Good medium-bodied, crisp and clean feel.
This is probably the most well-balanced IPA I've had. Definitely not in the same realm as some other brewer's über-IPA's, Craftsman IPA is a stellar session beer and would pair up great with a wide variety of meals. Lucky Baldwin's is the only place I've seen it but now I know what to look for. I'd rank this IPA up there with Victory's HopDevil Ale

 940 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: Served on draft, I sampled two pints of this great session IPA during the BA Social held at Lucky Baldwin’s in Pasadena on Saturday 12th October, 2003.

Appearance: Nice dark golden color, that had a large but tightly packed white head that lingered for half of the drink, it then disappeared completely, but not before leaving plenty of side wall lacing. Excellent conditioning.

Nose: Flowery hops, lemon zest odors with some more hops for good measure. Smells great, good enough to dive in.

Taste: Superb hoppy bitterness, slightly sweet malt middle, but always crisp and very refreshing. Well-balanced, the hops are pertinent but never Over The Top.

Mouthfeel: I like the way the malt gives body to the hoppy aspect of the beer. Sweet middle. Bitter finish. Lots of body.

Drinkability: One of the few West Coast IPA’s, of which I can truly say that it would make a damn good session beer. Extremely drinkable. I had a Pint to start the day. But my second was to accompany the Chicken Curry & Rice (thickly laced with extra spicy HP Brown Sauce) at Lucky Baldwin’s - the perfect match, both are recommended.

Overall: I cannot speak highly enough of this fine IPA. I have only ever tasted this on draft, and only at Lucky Baldwin’s. It is nowhere near as hoppy as others. But it is finely crafted, & perfectly balanced in my books, which leads to an exceptionally quaffable IPA – Highly Recommended. Just another reason to go to Lucky Baldwin’s in Pasadena where it is a regular draft beer.

 1,529 characters

Photo of mickeymac
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a pleasant surprise. It's a glowing golden-orange with a fat and fluffy white head the leaves lace all the way down the glass. Flowery hops dominate the nose, with plenty of malt backing them. It's sweet-tasting but not excessively so. A little dough-like flavor balances the heavy dose of hops. The mouthfeel fairly chunky and it goes down very well, making an ideal companion for a spicy meal. I'll look for this again at local alehouses.

 449 characters

Craftsman IPA from Craftsman Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 23 ratings