Caldera Pale Ale

Caldera Pale AleCaldera Brewing‘s canned Pale Ale is the first microbrew in a can that I’ve had. Nothing against canned beers; quite the contrary. I just hadn’t had a chance to try any yet. (Although the only two canned micros I can think of off the top of my head are Caldera’s and Dale’s Pale Ale.)

Caldera is the Ashland (Oregon) microbrewery that doesn’t have a pub; they only distribute and offer dock sales. And unless you’re buying by the keg (for their full selection), I believe you can only get the Pale Ale and IPA in consumer packaging (i.e., the cans).

Appearance: Light gold and hazy… very slight off-white frothy head. Lighter in color than expected. (Considering many Northwest pale ales these days.)

Smell: Hoppy—twiggy and herbal and floral—full of Cascade citrusy-sweet notes. Hops are the dominant aroma here.

Taste: Very hoppy in the mouth—it’s the dominant flavor here, as well, full of resin and flowers. Nice malt backbone but it’s definitely a hop showcase.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, but a nice bite and feel from the hops. Bitter coating in the mouth.

Overall: Hoppier than I expected—still fighting "can prejudice" I guess—and a nice flavorful beer. Slip a few of these amongst the PBR and see what happens.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores 85 out of 100 with 100% approval (18 reviews). On RateBeer, it scores 3.26 out of 5 and is in their 65th percentile.


  1. There are a couple other beers in cans that I know of. The 21st Amendment in San Fran has an IPA and a Watermelon Wheat. There is a brewery called Pug Ryan’s in Colorado that has at least one beer in a can, Morning Wood Wheat and Oskar Blues has two offerings, Dale Pale Ale and a Scotch Ale, forgot the name.

    They are really starting to show up in a lot of places and it is a great idea to me. Much better for the beer too.

  2. I did a blind tasting with this beer in the lineup. It was my fave, though not the unanimous pick. But NO ONE could ID which beer came from a can. It’s not possible to tell.

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