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.

Review: Ninkasi Total Domination IPA

Author: Jason Harris
September 17, 2010

The series on Ninkasi beers is coming to an end today with this review of this hop happy India Pale Ale from the Eugene, Oregon brewery.  After reviewing Radiant Ale and an excellent Red Ale, I was ready to move on to a bitter hoppy IPA to round out this Ninkasi series.

So, how to describe Total Domination IPA?  This is a very light colored ale that is heavy in flavor.  There are multiple blends of hops that make this a very flavorful brew.  Total Domination has only has an IBU rating of 65 and an alcohol percentage of 6.7%.

Even though the IBU rating is only 65, I almost think this is an error, based on how hoppy and bitter this beer is.  It’s very flavorful and will make serious IPA lovers happy.

Total Domination won’t leave you puckered up with absolute bitterness, but it’s a strong brew that will leave you wanting more.  I would put Total Domination in my top 5 of IPAs (right up there with Broken Halo from Widmer).

Check it out – I hope you enjoy it!

Review: Ninkasi Radiant Ale

Author: Jason Harris
September 6, 2010

The series on Ninkasi beers continues today with a refreshing summer beer for you all to check out.  Oregon summer days can be hot and sunny, and nothing goes better with summer sunshine than a light refreshing ale.  Well, you can add a good burger to the mix to make the combination complete.

Ninkasi’s Radiant Ale is a clearer ale that goes tastes exactly as it is described.  Radiant Ale  has a very low bitterness rating at 40 IBUs.  This light ale is said to have a unique hop character that is balanced by a light malty finish.

As I said, this beer tastes exactly as described.  It’s a light tasting beer, even lighter than a pale ale, such as Deschutes Brewing’s Mirror Pond Pale Ale, but not as lhtig as a blonde ale.  Radiant Ale has a slight hoppy initial taste that is followed immediately by a smooth malt-influenced finish.

Honestly speaking, Radiant Ale is a good summer beer, but it’s a bit forgettable.  If I were in a pub, I would definintely order this brew, but it’s not a summer favorite that I would go back to time after time.