CascaZilla | Ithaca Beer Company

very good
585 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The name CascaZilla (Cas-kuh-zil-uh) is a play on both the name of a gorge in Ithaca called Cascadilla and the monster amounts of Cascade Hops we use to make the beer. The predominant flavor and aroma of this beer comes from fresh American hops. CascaZilla gets its distinctive red color from a healthy portion of caramel malt, which also lends to the beer, a hearty body and sweetness. It is a hoppy red ale!

Added by shippos on 07-14-2004

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Reviews: 585 | Ratings: 1,225
Photo of bwyker
4.67/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Colors range from a golden-yellow at the stem of the glass, up to a firery auburn at the surface, topped with a tan ring of foam. Grapefruit citrus with piney hops in aroma. More earthty hops in the taste, followed by a sweet fruity finish. Mouthfeel is a little sticky, but overall very refreshing. I can see this becoming a regular. Plenty of hop character, not too sweet, and a modest amount of alcohol.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle a clear reddish gold with a medium sized head of foam that settled down to about a 1" layer and stayed the course that way.

The smell is a very nice caramel malt, similiar to what I get from a JW Lees Harvest or Thomas Hardy Ale, with similar results... leaves me going ahh.

The taste has that caramel flavour noted in the nose but there's definitely some biscuit and roasty goodness there as well and then the hops, in a pronounced grapefruit form, jump out at me but the finish returns to a fruity sweetness.... so there's a lot going on here in this Red Ale and I find that it's all working *extremely* well.

Bottom line: This is a *superb* Red Ale! I recommend it!!!

Thanks to Nutbrown for including this wonderful nectar in our trade!!

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Photo of Doomcifer
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a surprise this was. I didn't know what to expect from it when I bought it. Poured a bright shiny copper color and extremely clear. Formed a 3/4 inch head which quickly dissipated, leaving behind little to no lacing at all. The aroma is what initially blew me away. Wow! Extreme grapefruit, sweet malts, maltball candies, extremely floral aroma. Then the sipping began and again a bright smile shone across my face. This is my kind of beer. Sweet maltiness with cascade hops all over the place. Grapefruit, piney, and a touch of brown sugar. Comparable to a DFH 90-Minute IPA "light" would be a good description. Extremely tasty brew. Mouthfeel is a medium, velvety body ending a bit dry. The carbonation is somwhere between light and medium...just enough to be subdued but enough to be noticed as well. I am glad I picked this six-pack up on a blind whim and will definitely be coming back to it in the future. I'll have to try out the other Ithaca brews as well. Well done.

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Photo of wedge
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear brassy red with a head of off-white sticky foam. Bold, nearly tropical fruity aroma with loads of citrus hops. Good dose of sweet malts to help balance the load. Juicy citrus hop flavor over a gritty maltiness - fruitiness follows the aroma. Body is a shade lighter than medium...solid bitterness and a little tart.

This is a pretty good hoppy treat. Nothing mind-blowing, basically a shit-ton of cascades packed into a bottle.

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Photo of tastybeer
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coppery red, clear color with a foamy soft, off white head. Features a yummy 1/8" retention with blotches of lace here and there. Aroma is all cascade hop with a present malt sweetness. Smell is sweet with candied citrus, light and refreshing. Taste equals with sweet fruit and malts. The cascade is more present in the taste than the nose for me and is nice and refreshing. Modestly bitter with a good slightly resinous mouthfeel. Good drinkability too.

Cascazilla indeed.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Looks like filtered cider but a bit more golden. Greyish white head made up of medium sized bubbles. Probably will leave a nice calling card ring around the glass after it falls.

S: Grapefruit, strawberry/watermelon malt aromas and a bit of toffee.

T: Obvious strawberry sweetness up front. Pink grapefruit then emerges and is balanced well with some cedar plank bitterness. The bitterness is thorough in its blanket of the tongue and lasts long after the sip on the back roof of the tongue.

M: Medium bodied with a full carbonation. Very good for the style.

D: Well this is a nice beer. I'm finding that I like these bitter ambers more and more. Good for malt lovers and hop heads.

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Photo of cbl2
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. No best by date.


Pours a nice deep copper with a half inch of foamy tan head adrift on top.


Having schooled in Ithaca (go big Red!!!) I love the play on words with the name (Cascadilla being a gorge), but the smell I don't love. Has an odd citrus/foot funk aroma.


Roasted nut flavor characteristic and not a whole lot more. How can you make a beer called Cascazilla, touting the Cascade hops, have a picture of hops on your label, and not bring the hops? Mouthfeel is somewhat week and insipid, and finish has a somewhat soapy taste to it. Not sure what Ithaca Beer intended with this one, but they failed.

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Photo of bjohnson
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled 07/01/06. Review from notes.

A: Pours a dark amber almost red color with an initial half finger white head that dissipates quickly with not much retention. Slight lace.
S: Huge hoppy pine and citrus notes. Floral and grassy notes also.
T/M: Good initial pine and grapefruit hops with a slight caramel malty background. A little sharp after the first blast. Kind of grainy mouthfeel. Good bitter ending with a dryness to it. Not a huge body, gets watered down towards the end. Well balanced hops vs. malt. Slick through the mouth with a sharpness on the bottom of the tongue.
D: Good offering from Ithaca. Kind of reminds me of a very hoppy rye ale. Probably would be good on cask with more of a resiny oily flavor coming through.

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Photo of GlockAmore
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cascazilla has an inviting look that screams "Drink Me!" The amber color belies its light, crisp flavor, but its nose gives away the taste treat that awaits.

The head is long lasting and off-white in color. Lacing is pronounced, and carbonation severe (watch your pour).

Taste is fruity, hoppy, with dry citrus flavors and long finish. It's a very refreshing beer, very drinkable, and can be served cold without giving up too much flavor.

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Photo of Gavage
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a crystal clear amber / orange color with a 2" head that lasts a while. Some nice lacing develops.

Smell: tons of ripe fruity sweetness, floral hops, and a hint of citrus.

Taste: very malty with a nice bitter kick, unlike many others in the style. Some sweet plums, grapefruit, and the floral hops make this a pleasant flavorful brew. Nice mix of sweetness and bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Crisp at the start and finish. The bitterness lingers softly on the tongue after swallowing. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: very quaffable. One of the better beers from Ithaca Beer.

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Photo of shirfan
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark orange red with a two-finger head that lasts.

Aroma is, not surprsingly, a big whiff of cascades. Sweet toasty malt is there too.

Taste is hoppy without high bitterness. Leafy but mild ruby red grapefruit leads out, with a medium biscuity body taking over. Slightly dry finish. Regardless of the name, this is no hop monster. Rather, just a nice red ale with a good deal of leafy and grapefruit hop flavor up front. Balancedzilla might be more like it.

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Photo of rarevos
4.62/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper red with a thin head, less than a finger's worth. Disappeared quickly.

S: Wonderfully grapefruity. Doesn't have the sticky sweetness of the aroma of actual grapefruit juice, as it's cut by a slight woodsiness. Aroma is appealing and appetizing.

T: Holy hops. Just, wow. Not as strong as an IPA, but this is distinctly hoppier than most amber ales I've had. The finish moves from fruity to hoppy to lightly smoky and warming at the very end. Terrific, rustic finish.

M: Drank it without food, so can't speak to how it stands up to a meal. Not too bubbly.

D: Quickly becoming a favorite, regardless of season. A wonderful beer.

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Photo of krantul
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber-red in hue, with as much clarity as you could manage. Nice florally hoppy nose with a little maltiness.

This is a medium-bodied red ale, with the good caramel maltiness of the style and the expected bite of hop bitterness, but it's the hop flavor (independant of the IBU's) that really stands out. It's got a pleasing, fresh, flowery taste that hopheads will enjoy, but it's not an enormously bitter beer. In that sense, it lives up to its promise as a "monstrously hoppy red ale," without being overwhelmingly sharp.

Ultimately, drinkability comes down to hop appreciation, with this one. I could have a couple.

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Photo of Redrover
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had a couple of pints of this while consuming some tasty BBQ at the Dinosaur BBQ in Rochester.

The beer is a nice bronze/copper with a smallish off-white head. There is also a bit of a chill haze.

Nice nose of citrus (grapefruit for sure), pine and a hint of something sweet.

The taste is bracing and a bit puckering in all the best ways. There is lots of grapefruit, a dash of pine with a bit of sweet malts for a touch of balance.

The mouth is sturdy and the beer has good active carbonation. This went well with my BBQ and was able to cut the heat of some of the spicier offerings. Well done!

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Photo of NolateM
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Nonic pint glass. From the cask, this beer poured VERY cloudy medium brown, like a muddy opaque color... which I guess is really different from the bottle, according to other reviews. Not much lacing, very bubbly head.

Aroma: MILLIONS OF GRAPEFRUITS. What a wonderful aroma!

Taste: GRAPEFRUITS. A little bitter, a little sweet, a little spicy, VERY GRAPEFRUITY! Doesn't taste like 6.5%, it tastes milder than that... like grapefruit juice with a little bit of alcohol in it. I cannot even describe how grapefruity this beer is. I swear they must have made hybrid grapefruit and hop plants to make this beer.

For some reason I had a bit of trouble finishing it... which MAY have been because the bar was closing earlier than usual so I had to drink fast, or may have been because it wasn't really cold, and I generally prefer my beer pretty damn cold (no matter what kind of beer it is). But still, awesome beer! Probably the best Ithaca beer I've tried (even though I've only had a couple others). Try it if you're a hophead, or if you really enjoy grapefruit juice.

$5 a glass

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was pretty psyched to find this today, seems like there has been an influx of upstate New York beers in Western Massachusetts recently. Bold adverting scheme, I was a little surprised to find such hops in a Red Ale, but it does a nice job with it.

Obviously red body, with a healthy head, small lacing, nothing great, average. A nice blast of hops on the nose and tongue. I find this beer exceptionally average. A good craft beer that falls into the BA realm of 3.5-4.0 rating of a mediocre craft beer.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a clear amber with a large tan foamy head, a pretty good looking beer. The smell is a real citrus and hoppy aroma that's very strong. The taste is strong with hops for a red ale, this is an IPA to me. The hops are really overblown on this beer,I like the taste,but it's not really a up to the style.. The m/f is light with the flavors mixing pretty well,but the malt and hops are a little off. This is a decent beer,unusual but good. I'd have this again,but how about calling this what it is an IPA?.

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Photo of soultrain
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Stella Artois glass.

A-Crystal clear amber beer. 1" head settles to a scrim in a minute, with some lacing.
S-Smells good. Cascade hops/grapefruit/pine/citrus: Wham! Nice.
T-Hop burps are starting after 2 sips. Groovy, and better than many IPAs I've tried. As far as the "Monstrously Hoppy" on the label,'s the most one dimensional hoppy beer I've ever had, but I really, really like that dimension, or lack thereof, and appreciate it in a red ale, hence the "4" score. I'm obviously biased. Sue me.
M-Good carbonation. Light/medium mouthfeel, suprisingly.
D-Supreme drinkability. This is sessionable stuff imho, and the availability around here is, overnight, like, off the hook: it will probably find a spot in the DBF this summer, why not?
CRUX: GOOD HOPPY RED ALE EVERYDAY DRINKER. Why they don't just call it an IPA is baffling to me, but then, many things are. Oh, well. Wish I could get, say, "Red Seal Ale" by North Coast Brewing around here. Until then, this will do.

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Photo of plaid75
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a nice amber hue, with a one finger head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell was predominantly sweet with traces of hop and mild citrus.

The taste was very malty sweet as well. There was some hop finish, but I was disappointed in the overall lack of hops. Afterall, the bottle reads "monstrously hoppy."

The mouthfeel was full, a bit sweet though. Luckily, it finished relatively dry.

The drinkability was average.

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Photo of mikeys01
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Intrigued by this self proclaimed “monstrously hoppy red ale”, I had to try this Ithaca brew. The ‘Zilla poured into my glass a slightly rosy amber color, with a foamy eggshell white head, and as crystal clear as can be. I wouldn’t really call it a red, but the aroma does hint at a fair level of hoppiness at least. In the nose, I’m getting grassy and floral hops and a fair bit of floury breadiness.

Taste presents plenty of malt up front commingled with pine and grapefruit. Quite well balanced in fact, low bitterness for the amount of hop flavor and a pleasant caramel malt sweetness in through the middle. Body is on the lighter side of medium, and all around this is a pretty easy drinking beer. Finish left me with a bit of honey sweetness and mild lingering hop flavor. Although I wouldn’t call this beer either monstrous or red, it is a good, tasty, almost sessionable brew and worth trying.

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Photo of edchicma
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour an amber copper with an initially large head that dissipates quickly leaving a bit of lacing. Floral hops are the main aroma..not overpowering...just right. A hint of malt starts on the front exploding into a nice hoppy presence that satys throughout. Bitterness is just about right. Very smooth yet with a bitter finish that is just right. Smoothness as menytioned before...yet with a nice hop finsih.

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Photo of TrickKnee
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the hoppiest beers i have had lately, although not to hoppy to take away from the overall flavor, that is what you get with the cascade hops. the taste in your mouth is unbelievable. The caramel malts really come out too. Although it is a red ale it was not overly red and not a flavor that you would associate with one.

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Photo of ChuckD
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Shoreline poured into a Saratoga Brewing Co. pint glass. Slight tawny lacing atop a wonderful ruby red/shiny copper body. A beauty to look at.

To the nose the malts are most prevalent. The floral bouquet is in the back, but it's mostly the sweetness that is there. A little understated for a beer that markets itself as being "monstrously hopped"

In the mouth, this stuff is a winner. The usual red ale malt goodness right upfront. It is the predominant taste throughout. The hop character is present and works well in balancing the brew. As it warms, the tastes are fantastic and subtle sugars and flowery bitters fight for your attention.

The feel is full and substantial. Nice and weighty in the mouth - letting you know it's there. The finish is dry and comforting.

Musings: This is not a "monstrously hopped" beer - at least the flavor spectrum doesn't turn that way. Let it warm slightly and you will be rewarded. Great tastes combos and feel will bring you home.

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Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Came to the table a deep copper with a slight chilled haze a thinner but well retained white head.Nice intermingling of caramel malt and healthy dose of those cascades with the cascades holding a slight edge.Caramel malt hits up front with some doughy notes but the big pine and grapefruit character comes thru to dominate into a long finish.Very easy to drink and packed withat cascade goodness,I went picked up a couple of sixers after having this.

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Photo of kennyo
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very good looking beer, burnt orange, like the Crayola reference, color with a nice white head that stays pretty much throughout the whole beer. A little belgian lace thing working.

Aroma is all about those spicy hops, very nice indeed

Taste is pretty much balanced even tho a little more malt might even it out a little bit better.

This is an enjoyable, hoppy red ale that you don't see to often.

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CascaZilla from Ithaca Beer Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,225 ratings.
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