Why hello there. I’m back from a rather fun weekend. I got to take a little trip to Atlantic City, NJ. Do some gambling. Go up 200 dollars, go down 200 dollars. Come home and go to a party Saturday night. Fun filled weekend. But I did end up drinking some crappy beer while at the casinos. Miller Lite anyone? You know the beer that is triple hopped =) I need to open up a casino that serves craft beer or something. Anyhow. When I got home I opened up a bottle of Cascazilla from Ithaca Beer Company. They claim this is a American Red Ale but to me it’s bordering on IPA. I’ve had it a few times in the past while visiting a couple of brewfests and for some reason I really couldn’t get into it. But when I saw a bottle of it at a store up in Pennsylvania I figured what the heck, I’ll give it another try and to my surprise this bottle of Cascazilla hit the spot.
Cascazilla poured a clear light amber color with a frothy crater filled head that laces the glass throughout. The smell is full of sweet caramel and biscuit type malt. piney and citrus hops. The taste is pretty much more of the same. Great mixture of the caramel malt and piney hops. The simcoe hops come through nice. Up front the hops attack your tongue giving a bit of a rough feeling but it has a smooth and bitter ending. It’s really a easy drinking beer and when I was done with the bottle I wanted another. To bad they don’t distribute down here. Like I said above this is bordering on an IPA and if you didn’t tell me this was a red ale I would probably think it’s a IPA.
Found: A store in Penn State main campus
Price: 2 dollars a bottle
What the company says: The name CascaZilla is a play on both the name of our local Cascadilla Gorge and the monster amounts of Cascade hops in this beer. This red ale gets its distinctive color from a healthy portion of caramel malt, which also lends some body and sweetness to the beer. The predominant flavor and aroma of this beer, however, is brought to you by the fresh American hops. If you haven’t done so yet, treat yourself to Ithaca Beer’s new monstrously hoppy Red Ale.
Other beers to try from this brewery: Ithaca Apricot Wheat, Ithaca Flower Power
Other beers to try within the same style: Otto’s Red Mo Ale, Troegs Nugget Nectar
Anderson Valley holds a little piece of my heart when it comes to craft brews. When I first started experimenting with the world of craft brews one of the first beers I picked up was Hop Ottin, their fantastic IPA. That and Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA really got me into the style of beer. What we have here is their 20th Anniversary beer and it just so happens to be a Imperial Double IPA. Of course it’s a one time release so pick it up if you see it at your local store.
This brew poured a bright orange color with a big fluffy head. Lacing throughout. If you’re looking for a huge hop bomb of a beer don’t look here. The aroma is balanced nicely. A good balance of caramel malt, floral hops, grapefruit. The taste is just as good. Nice juicy grapefruit taste followed by the caramel malt background with a hint of more fruit thrown in. The ending is a little dry and bitter. Small compared to other West Coast IPAs. It’s medium bodied and a pleasure to drink. To me this beer is stuck in the middle. It’s not small enough to be called an IPA but I don’t think it’s big enough to be called an Imperial IPA. Doesn’t matter though, it’s just good.
Price: 6-7 dollars a bottle
What the company says: Nothing on the site about this brew
Other beers to try from these breweries: Anderson Valley Hop Ottin, Anderson Valley Winter Solstice
Other beers to try within the same style: Russian River Pliny the Elder, Three Floyds Dreadnaught