Head High | Kane Brewing Company

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Head HighHead High

Brewed by:
Kane Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Head High is our interpretation of an American-style India Pale Ale (IPA). This beer is all about the hops; we use a blend of five different varieties all grown in the Pacific Northwest. A small charge of Chinook and Columbus early in the boil adds a smooth bitterness. A majority of the hops are then added late in the kettle or post-fermentation to produce a beer that is heavy on hop flavor and aroma. The combination of Cascade, Centennial, Citra and Columbus give Head High a noticeable grapefruit flavor with aromas of citrus, tropical fruits and pine. Our house American ale yeast ferments to a dry finish that accentuates the use of imported Pilsner and lightly kilned crystal malt resulting in Head High’s straw color and crisp flavor.

Added by bonbini26 on 08-27-2011

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Reviews: 128 | Ratings: 795
Photo of dsa7783
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Cloverleaf Tavern. An excellent, go-to IPA with a powerful hop backbone that unleashes a devastating blow of pine, citrus, and grapefruit zest. Easily drinkable and a solid rendition. Good stuff. Recommended.

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Photo of Buck89
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. A pretty hazy medium golden-amber with a frothy and resilient white head. Prominent citrus on the nose-grapefruit and orange, with a touch of resin and bread. Bitter grapefruit up front on the palate, followed by piney resin, earth tones, bready malt, and then orange on the finish. A slightly sticky feel but not sweet.

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Photo of maximum12
3.91/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SadMachine for this 16 oz. can that’s going to break up my 48 hours of sobriety. Jeff VanVonderen would not be amused.

The pour is a light golden that seems to have its own internal light source: glowing. Big head collapses quickly . Nose is lighter than expected, with nice mango, wet grass, goldfish crackers. OK.

Head High is as passive aggressive as any Minnesotan. The hop bitterness, initially so mild I took another look at the style, builds into a bite that would do a good BDSM scene proud. The advertised fruitiness is subsumed by the raunchy bittering hops: there’s wandering tropical fruits & distant pine. The head high point is the mouthfeel, which is resinous to the point that my hands are sticky. I hope that’s beer. Slips down my throat like a greased finger. A nice one. Is that my throat?

What was I writing? Beer. This one started meh, & just grew on me sip by sip. Excellent beer.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

16 oz. can. Orange body with a small white head. Smells of mango hops and some caramel malt. Tastes less interesting. More grapefruit than tropical fruits. Some caramel and toasty malts and a moderate bitterness. Medium body. Solid IPA, but smells better than it tastes, ultimately.

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Photo of mkh012
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap. Pours yellow-orange with sticky white lacing on the sides of the glass.

Orange and tropical fruits on the nose. Soft, sweet, and inviting. Mild but nice.

Vegetal hops, grapefruit, and a touch of malts. Sweeter tropical fruits reveal themselves on the finish.

Overall, very good. Could be a little fruitier/juicier.

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Photo of joe1510
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16oz Can

Yet another big huge thanks to Sammyjaxxxx with many more to come! Thanks, bud! Head High is another one of those East Coast murky, fruit juice lookin' IPAs. This one is apricot orange with the transparency of fresh squeezed orange juice, none. The white foam is clean as an easy pour delivers a couple fingers in height before receding to a sturdy crown. The head leaves behind a few tendrils of foam along the glass as it passes.

A big in your face citric quality leads the way. Candied grapefruit, orange, and lime peel jump to mind off the bat but there are also substantial tropical notes that are a little tough to pinpoint, besides the obvious pineapple. There is a very complimentary floral characteristic on the backend that plays well with the citrus. The malt profile is soft, allowing the hop showcase to shine. Sugar cookie and a soft crackery base make up the maltiness. Mouthwatering.

The flavor profile takes on a lot more of the tropical fruitiness than the nose had. Again, the tropicals are tough to pinpoint. A little pineapple, a little green mango, some random, ultra juicy hanging fruit of some other sort found around the Equator. South Florida citrus also makes itself known on the backend with a healthy dose of candied orange peel, peel, and pith in that order front to back. The malt base again is simle and allows the hop profile to be the showcase, bringing with it enough sugar to keep the bitterness from running wild. Nicely done.

The body weighs in at a touch below moderate, which I enjoy for a beer of this style and size. The carbonation is zippy and slightly prickly, awakening the tastebuds. The finish dries up rather quickly, allowing the moderate bitterness to stick around straight down the tongue like a buzzsaw. Highly drinkable for the style, give me some mo'!

I've heard a lot of good talk about Head High over the last however many months. It was all well deserved.It's an IPA that's bright and approachable with sky high drinkability. The snappy carbonation and lighter than expecte body make this beer a sheer joy to imbibe. Thanks again for the couple samples, Sammyjaxxxx!

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Photo of agreenman19
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L - vibrant lively ripe orange. Little head that dissipates quickly.

S - lemon and grassy hops up front. Bit of dankness in the backend.

T - strong orange rind and grapefruit pith. A very sharp and focused flavor with slight crackery malt backbone. Flavor goes as fast as it comes. Feels hollow with a lot of talk, then cuts short. Reminds me of a peacock.

F - light and fleeting. Crisp and airy. Kinda reminds me of NEBCO. Certainly sessionable, I'll give them that, but it doesn't seem like it has much of a leg to stand on.

O - a one-two punch, but without the two. Jabs short and brief right off the bat and then nothing. Odd. Good flavor while it lasts though.

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Photo of anteatr23
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden and opaque with a one finger head. Smells of hoppy citrus. Smooth, bitter, bread malts, grapefruit and pine. Actually very nicely balanced. This IPA isn't rocking the boat doing anything crazy, but it's very nice and approachable. A clean, well-made, balanced IPA.

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Photo of John_M
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours an orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. As the beer warms a bit, I pick up considerable tropical fruit and orange citrus (the beer smells like it has considerable mosaic and citra hops, but the description on BA indicates no mosaic hops were used). It really smells like a juicy, fruit forward IPA. On the palate, it was hard not to be a bit disappointed, given the aroma profile. I'm picking up some nice tropical fruit on the palate, and the sweetness is pretty nicely balanced by the hops in this beer. That tends to dry the beer out on the finish, which I think is always a good thing. However, this is clearly another East Coast all the way style of IPA, with virtually no bitterness whatsoever on the finish. In fact, the finish is a bit short, fading off rather quickly into nothingness. To be honest, a beer with this little bitterness probably shouldn't be characterized as an IPA (SNPA has considerably more bitterness in the finish then Head High). Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, and so drinkability is pretty decent.

A nice beer, but it's becoming more and more apparent to me that this style of IPA is just not my cup of tea. However, there seems to be a never ending thirst for the style, so you sure can't blame Kane for catering to the current craze. Regardless, I'm glad I got to sample this beer. Thanks Derek!

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 1 liter growler filled at the brewery.

Pours a hazy, nearly opaque deep orange color with a fluffy 1-finger white head. The head is gone in a hurry but leaves some spotty lacing as it dies.

The aroma is very tropical, with notes of mango and papaya, as well as some melon and a hint of pineapple. Slightly musty. The citrus is very subdued but there's a light touch of grapefruit and orange. Finishes with a bitter, piney note.

The flavor is an excellent blend of tropical and citrus, with loads of mango and pineapple, followed by a healthy amount of grapefruit, orange and tangerine. Like the nose, the finish is piney and very bitter.

The feel is medium bodied with lighter carbonation. Crisp, yet creamy and smooth. Slightly dry finish. Drinks a lot heavier than the ABV indicates.

Overall, a very impressive and well balanced IPA. If ever there were a beer to represent both "east coast" and "west coast" IPA's, this would be it. Nicely bitter and piney, but tropical and citrusy as well. Great beer.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap in a local pub. Poured into pint glass. It pours a hazy golden straw color with a thin, snow white head and minimal lacing. Because it was served cold, the smell was somewhat muted but I noted citrus, dank hops, and lots of pine. The taste was much better: lots of pine, bitter grapefruit, tropical fruit, and a touch of vanilla or caramel at the finish. The tastes blended very well. It was quite dank and finished with a nice dry bitterness. It's very refreshing. With an ABV of 6.5%, it's also exceptionally drinkable. Overall, this is a very fine American IPA from one of Jersey's best brewers. It's well crafted and flavorful; and appropriate for casual drinking or paring with a good meal (asian food would be great)!

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.96/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On draft in a shaker pint

Golden in color, clear. thin head that disappears. Nice well rounded hop aroma and flavor. Not much of a malt component. Thinner bodied and higher carbonation.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

DATE: March 30, 2016... OCCASION: celebrating a gift card at the Tap House in Mansfield--with a second beer... GLASSWARE: 16 oz. pint... APPEARANCE: murky waters to start, with a light golden peach body denying any vision through it... as it is a draft and filed to its rim, the glass sports a singular ring of white foam... arcs form in the draining... AROMA: punchy pineapple, grapefruit and resin impact the nostrils... malts are suggestive of light metal and aromatic bread, but not pronounced... PALATE: smooth, with activity at the teeth as expected.... medium-bodied and formidable enough not to be consumed in large gulps... a rather bitter finish puckers the lips... TASTE: true to its aroma, the powerful collision of citrus (thanks to everything, but big nod to the Citra) and forest pine (thanks to the Chinook)... the resin retreats into a mostly grapefruit/ pineapple profile, which is bold, almost arresting for a beer at 6.5%.. OVERALL: Holy hops! After Carton's Red Rye, this IPA arrived in a big way, clearing out the remainder of nachos and cutting the sharpness of cheese with nonchalance... a delicious, mostly fruity beer that works as a stand-alone or with a properly-paired meal, but not so much as a sessionable brew... a good introduction to Kane, one of the Jersey breweries others have urged me to try...

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Photo of argock
3.92/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a Shaker pint at Proof (Newark, NJ).

A: Pleasing medium Amber with short cap of off-white head which leaves pretty substantial lacing.

S: grapefruit and honeysuckle herbal grassy aromas are strongest with pretty light caramel and pale maltiness

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Photo of gr0g
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at PJ's Maple Shade. Light Amber in color with nice lacing. Floral, fruity aroma. Citra's contribution is evident. Bitter, pithy flavor profile. Surprisingly solid malt body for 6.5%. Great IPA.

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Photo of SmashAdams
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a nice IPA. Bursting with hop Aroma. Grapefruit and orange are most prominent and also some honey sweetness. The taste is full and smooth with bitterness only in the finish. Really easy drinking. yb

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.56/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On draft at a local pub!

Pours hazy orange with a thin head.

Smells like dank hops but isn't overpoweringly strong.

Taste is full of hops, full mouthfeel as well. Not thin or too thick. Finishes with some grapefruit bitter dryness.

Goes down easy, good damn beer. Really wanna visit the brewery and get this at the source!

this is frequently available at a local pub and it's always good. BUT i really want this from a can in the comfort of my home. a nicely hopped beer that somehow remains in contrast to Carton. Kane is going northwest and Carton is going northeast; but i can't complain because NJ beer is a thing now

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Photo of Sandalwood
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Growler, pours a lightly cloudy golden orange color with a huge white foamy head. There is quite a bit of a frothy lacing. The odor for me is powerful, pineapple, grapefruit, orange, mandarin, tropical fruit, mango, apricot, grassy, floral, slightly resin, slight bread like. The taste for me is light, tropical fruits, orange, pineapple, guava, floral, grapefruit, cracker, herbal pine, bread like, bitterness throughout.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap @ The Office in Bridgewater, NJ.

Light amber and slightly hazy with a thick cap of white foam sitting on top. Good retention and some sticky lacing. Incredibly juicy aroma that seems to burst with pineapple, grapefruit, orange, and lemon. Just an amazing combination of tropical and citrus fruits. Juicy hop flavor, but there is balance with the malt which provides a simple yet flavorful base for the hops to work off of. Very clean and bitter without being harsh. Medium-light bodied with a dry finish.

Wow. I'm not the world's biggest "hop head" but this is a fantastic IPA. It packs a ton of flavor while remaining light on its feet. Between Head High and their Imperial IPA, Overhead, Kane is really dialed in with its hoppy beers.

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Photo of njcraftguy
4.66/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another winner from Kane. This is such a drinkable IPA you could almost call it a session beer but yet with tremendous flavor. Wonderfully smooth with amazing drinkability. Congrats to the boys at Kane on another fine brew.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

16 ounce can poured into an oversized tulip.

Pours a light copper color like dried apricot. The head is frothy, riddled with lace as it recedes and in general just looks rich and sticky. Carbonation ceaselessly rises through the body showing an effervescent beverage. 5

I smell melon. Yum. Floral melon. And bubblegum. Pineapple and mango and sticky tropical fruit. Beyond that are piney and resinous notes. It's got a little hop profile for everyone. Lovely. 4.25

Woosa that's a lot of grapefruit peel with that first sip. From there comes bubblegum, melon, mango, annnnnd, hmmm, something buttery and odd. Could it be diacetyl or something else? Dunno but something seems misplaced. Maybe a bit vegetal. Funny thing is there are delicious flavors around this, but clearly something skewing the magic. 3.5

It's got some juiciness, light-drinking, refreshing quality, some zesty bite and a light, lingering bitterness. That part works well. Drinks nice. 4.25

As I noted, the flavor seems off. As I've never had this before, I can't say for sure, but the beer doesn't taste optimal. I'll have to revisit, I guess.

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Photo of RJQ3
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of if not my favorite IPA. Very hop forward with not much malty balance. The floral fruity hop combo is amazing and at 6.5% ABV you can have a few and not worry about being intoxicated! Also not a ton of calories or carbs for those healthly people out there like me! Kane Brewing is 15 mins from my shore houses and the Brewery is amazing!! Can't wait for the 16 oz. cans to be released this fall!!!

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Photo of clake
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Growler filled and poured same day into a Spiegelau IPA glass. Pours a clear, golden orange with about a finger and a half of head that slowly dissipates to a nice significant ring. Nose is full of tropical fruits and pine. Tastes exactly as your nose would lead you to believe with pineapple, grapefruit and pine. Well carbonated with a dry finish. A really solid west coast style representation. It's the beer that I always look for the tap handle when first walking into an establishment. This is the must have NJ IPA.

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Photo of Kwak
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

on tap poured a nice orange almost copper color
sweet pine aroma
nice crisp flavor of hops and citrus
nice hoppy aftertaste very drinkable a solid ipa

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tons of grapefruit notes, grapefruit pith, citrus, citrus rind, tropical notes of pineapples and mangos. Just a wonderful tasting IPA all around. Super drinkable. Proud to call this a local beer. Represents NJ well. This and 077XX have become my go-to beers.

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Head High from Kane Brewing Company
4.25 out of 5 based on 795 ratings.
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