We decided to take a step away from breweries that are distributed in the three Northwest states and instead focus locally. Starting with Ashland's Caldera Brewing Co. We hope this will be the beginning of a return to normalcy in the area of brewery beer reviews.
In the room of India Pale Ales we are already exercising a fire hazard. Time used to be that a brewery was measured more by the variety of their ales and lagers and less their willingness to produce a Pale Ale or IPA. Today it seems that no matter where you go there is a brewery with at least one of these. While this is a welcome sight for hop heads around the country, this isn't always a guarantee of a wholesome experience.
Recently we picked up an India Pale Ale from the brewery located in the hallowed Shakespearean refuge of Ashland. Known more for their recreations of classic tomes from England's William Shakespeare, the city of Ashland is home to one of the more appreciated breweries in Oregon. But much like those aforementioned hop-heads, this writer elected to go straight to jugular and try their India Pale Ale.
Brewery Association Suggested Guidelines
American strong pale ales range from deep golden to copper in color. The style is characterized by floral and citrus-like American-variety hops used to produce high hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma. Note that ―floral and citrus-like American-variety hop character‖ is the perceived end, but may be a result of the skillful use of hops of other national origins. American strong pale ales have medium body and low to medium maltiness. Low caramel character is allowable. Fruity-ester flavor and aroma should be moderate to strong. Diacetyl should be absent or present at very low levels. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures
Out of the can, Caldera India Pale Ale appears burnt orange but with strong clarity. As the beer rests in the glass an strong off-white frothy head forms. Minutes later this crown of white slowly recedes leaving only a stubborn blanket of lace inside.
Our first sip is rewarded with minor hop bitterness upfront. Halfway through, bits of caramel malt sweetness appear before a wash of orange citrus rounds out the experience. Overall mouth feel is feels unbelievably mild to medium as it rests on the tongue. Bonus points are awarded, as the expected stickiness is absent.
An American-style India Pale Ale brewed with plenty of body and an assertive hop profile. Malts: Premium Two Row, Munich, Crystal; Hops: Simcoe, Centennial, Amarillo; Alcohol by volume: 6.1% 94 IBU; 10.1 SRM.
You Should Buy This. There aren’t too many India Pale Ales out there that make us sit up. But this is one of them. For us we can honestly say that more than likely we will be packing a few of these, on the next trip camping. If you feel up to it grab yourself something nice and savory with a bit of salt.