Caldera – IPA

In Beer Review on September 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Caldera Brewing Company were established in 1996 in Portland, Oregon. For the first eight years draught beer was their focus until 2005 when they decided to can their pale ale. An interesting move which opened up the potential of a quality beer in can form. Can craft beer be as good in a can? I shall find out by tasting their IPA.

Why cans? is a section on the brewery’s website and it states their reasons for using cans. Eliminates light and oxidation, lighter to carry, do not break easily, 100% recyclable, chill quicker and stay colder longer and you can take them rafting, camping or fishing. All of which are viable reasons to can but what really matters is the quality of beer.

Caldera IPA 6.1%. A bright amber/orange colour beer emerges from the strikingly colourful can. The smell is of freshly cut grass and on first taste you get the expected hop zing with a slight bitterness. The slight carbonation helps highlight the citrus of the hops and you could defiantly see yourself drinking this one after a days rafting! Presumably the carbonation is due to the product being canned? I think it compliments the hop flavour, if you have any thoughts on this let me know.

If I were to compare this beer to others in the fridges I would suggest Odell’s IPA, Goose Island’s IPA and Maui’s Big Swell IPA (for obvious can reasons).

From what I have tasted here the only difference I can potentially see between bottles and cans is the carbonation (I stand corrected if this is not just due to the canning process). The beer is of some quality and can line up against its American counterparts. Will people part with their beer money for a can rather than a bottle? I’m not so sure. But I think they look superb in the fridges and the beer speaks for itself.


  1. Caldera is a great IPA, fantastically easy to drink and therefore pretty dangerous at over 6%. I’ve had a couple of their other canned beers and they were reasonably carbonated as well – maybe to ape the keg pour and have the carbonation lift the beer a bit? I have no hesitation in buying canned beer (other than the stuff we’ve had in the UK in recent history) – this and Maui are extremely good indeed…

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