Name: Caldera Brewing Company
Location: Ashland, Oregon
Type: Production brewery (although they do have a Tap House that serves their beers as well)
Available in DC Market?: Yes
What you need to know: Caldera Brewing Company is Oregon’s first brewery to brew and can its own beers. Like Victory Brewing Company, they use only whole flower hops, which they claim has a “cleaner” taste than pelletized hops. They brew on a 10 barrel system, which is surprising considering their pretty wide distribution, although admittedly a lot of that distribution is in the Beaver State. They also have a wide number of beers across a number of varieties. My favorite among these, since you asked, is their Vas Deferens Ale, which has the following description: “Caldera’s Vas Deferens Ale is a Belgian-style ale with a unique twist incorporating a little snip of this and a little snip of that. This is an extremely rare release, as this ale is not meant to reproduce.” Awesome. While Caldera is distributed to our area, I’ve only ever seen them at Comet Ping Pong on Connecticut Avenue. If you’ve seen them in other places you should let us know where in the comments!
Beer #1: Caldera Mogli
Notes: This is a doozy of a beer. Apparently, this is an imperial porter that was brewed for the Oregon Brewers Fest. There aren’t a ton of ratings on this beer (only four in BA, 5 in Ratebeer), but boy are they effusive in their praise. A dark black, big, boozy, bourbon-y porter with notes of chocolate, coffee, roast, and vanilla. This isn’t barrel-aged, but bourbon soaked oaked was involved in the brewing. If you’re into thick, chewy stouts and porters, this probably will be a must-have for you.
BeerAdvocate Grade: A+, 4 reviews
Ratebeer Grade: N/A; not enough ratings
Beer #2: Caldera IPA
Notes: I have to say I was frankly a little surprised by how well-reviewed this beer is. I remember it being a pretty good IPA with a huge citrusy nose but finishing really sweet, almost under-attenuated. I’m just one guy though, so don’t take my word for it. I think if this was an east coast IPA, I wouldn’t have batted an eye, because I’ve come to expect a maltier backbone to IPAs on the right coast, but out west I expect a pretty dry finish to go with my facesmashing hop profile. For all the hopheads out there, this will be a must-try I’m thinking, and the main reason why is the 94 score for style in Ratebeer. There are a ton of IPAs floating out there, so the IPA style score is one of the more competitive ones out there. A 94 is a feat.
BeerAdvocate Grade: A-, 303 reviews
Ratebeer Grade: 96 overall, 94 style
Summary: Caldera is a little-known brewery in DC, but I think SAVOR should be pretty busy for them. They’ll have the Mogli for the malt lovers and the IPA for the hopheads. And you’ll know about both because you read this profile! Hopefully Caldera will pick up a bunch of fans with their brews and we’ll be able to find them more and more in our area.
This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2011 SAVOR participants.
Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.