Review: Ninkasi Total Crystalation

Author: Jason Harris
January 23, 2016

Ok, so regular readers on Pints and Steins will know that I have a weakness for fresh hop ales. I live in hop country, so it’s local. Fresh hop ales taste more floral, more punchy and are only available for a season. So, in essence, they’re super special.

Today we take a look at Ninkasi’s Total Crystalation, one of two fresh hop ales produced by Ninkasi this last September. I bought it via Roth’s Market in Salem, Oregon at their growler station, as this brew is only available on draft.

How does it taste?

In two words: citrusy and quite hoppy. This beer pours a beautiful orange-y red color that has a heavy head, leaving a heavy lace on the glass. However, you’ll notice that this brew has a clarity that is rare amongst fresh hop ales.

Upon your first sniff, your nose is greeted with a floral hop smell with orange citrus immediately detectable. When you sip, you’re greeted with instant citrus, which greets your tongue but doesn’t overwhelm. There’s a bitterness that is present but it dissipates quickly, leaving a smooth finish.

When you view the beer, you see quite a bit of carbonation, meaning this is a bubbly ale that will appeal to hop heads.

This beer is proud to wear its crystal hops on their shoulder, meaning this beer lives it from the get-go.

Should I buy it?

Yes. Fill your growler and enjoy this with friends. If you like hoppy, citrusy ales Ninkasi Total Crystalation will appeal to you.