Beer Profile: Hop Hash by Caldera

Profiled by Ken Carman for

Caldera Brewing
Ashland, Oregon

Beer-Profile1-258x300Nose: Cascade/grapefruit-like sense as open and sniff top of bottle.Pale malt way in the background. Not much else.

Appearance: a little hazy but I think that’s cold chill. Light gold in color: In the teens SRM-wise. White head is little rocks with a touch of pillow that lingers. About an inch and slowly fades but never quite goes away.

Hops on taste far less than nose. Great aroma but doesn’t translate into taste. Mouthfeel is caramelized malt: slight, that gets stronger as warms. Bitter is firm but more “slight” than it should be. There’s a fruity bitter:as bit orange-ish, that hangs mid-tongue. Carbonation full and firm.

Flavor: light pale malt with a soft, almost orange, bitter. That’s all. Could use more. I’m guessing they did a lot of early hoping on a basic pale. Not much else. Really not all that impressive: could use more hops in the taste, more complexity in that hopping.

Here is what their web site says…

Hop Hash: 6.5% ABV Hop Hash is a twist on the American-Style Strong Pale Ale/IPA using only pure lupulin for bitterness, flavor and aroma. This ale gets its name from pure hop lupulin extracted and scraped from the Hopunion pelletizing line.

Nice idea, I suppose, but misses a lot in the execution. You would think with a name like Hop Hash the hops would stand out more. There needs to be something to make me choose this from all the the other hop focused beers out the in what has become a very popular style.

Rate Beer: 85. 83 on Beer Advocate: both at the time this profile was written. Noticed the reviews were mixed from fairly high to far lower than mine.

Frankly I can’t rate it high, or real low, so three seems just right…

Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “prefecto.”

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