Atwater Grand Circus IPA - Atwater Brewery

Not Rated.
Atwater Grand Circus IPAAtwater Grand Circus IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

307 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 307
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.03
pDev: 20.46%
Wants: 3
Gots: 43 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Atwater Brewery visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: DrDoitchbig on 08-22-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 307 | Reviews: 78
Reviews by Lauthaha:
Photo of Lauthaha
4.12/5  rDev +36%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a beer mug. Beer was bottled in May of 2012, and it is now July of 2012.

Appearance: Kept the beer in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before pouring. Upon the first pour, beer cascades out of the bottle's mouth with a bright copper color. Head is super-thick, sticky, and creamily meringue-like. Highly active carbonation visible through the glass. Looks great!

Smell: A good balance of heavy hoppiness (mostly floral) and understated malt sweetness. Nothing overpowering, but not diluted in the least.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Light and crisp at first, the beer has a nice gentle hop bite to it. After a moment on the tongue (as the beer begins to warm slightly), it foams up and spreads across the palate. Aftertaste is very bitter, almost on the edge of decency, but I think I'll let that slide a little.

Overall: A good beer! Billed as their "Session" India Pale Ale, it's another positive offering from Atwater Brewery.

More User Reviews:
Photo of warnerry
2.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle notched August 2011

A - Pours a slightly hazy straw with one finger of white head. Head doesn't have great retention, but does eave some nice lacing.

S - Faint tea-like aroma with some sweet malt.

T - Kind of an odd taste of corn, a bit of sweet malt, faint hops and tea. Not very flavorful, but not offensive.

M - Very light, watery mouthfeel. Finish has some bitterness. Pretty underwhelming.

O - Considering the available options for sessionable IPAs, this is pretty underwhelming.

Photo of SunDevilBeer
1.88/5  rDev -38%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Saw this on special at my local in 6-pack cans, thought I'd give it a whirl...couldn't be THAT bad, could it??? Billed as a session IPA - sounds good to me.

A - Pours not too well, small amount of head.

S - Aroma is off-putting. Very soapy, musty. This is presumably an IPA - where's the hop smell?

T - Very dirty and muddled tasting. Where the hell are the hops???? Oh there they are, a slight taste behind the diacetyl and muck. Gets worse as the beer warms up to room temperature.

M - Eh. medium body i suppose. Too distracted by the off tastes.

O - Take a guess based on my prior comments. I drank the 6-pack, but this was a pretty bad beer.

Photo of Billolick
3.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce can, purchased as part of a 12 pack, at American Bev. in Brooklyn, NY ($12.99)

Pours lightly clouded almond amber, delicate off white head, leaves a thicker film, collar and fine mostly low lacing.

Nose is of some grassy hops and a hint of malt.

This is an easy drinking, lighter and refreshing IPA. Moderate hop presence, balanced by a nearly equal malty base. Lighter mouthfeel, with a watery note.

Nothing special, but enjoyable enough. Worthy summer sesioner

Photo of pat61
3.5/5  rDev +15.5%

Drank this one about six weeks old. Citrus and hops on the nose with a touch of grass.
Brilliant amber, the rocky foam off-white cap takes up 40% of the glass leaving lacy designs as it slowly descends.
Palate: Citrus with some bitter citrus rind over light malty sweetness that dries out in the finish with a slight astringency from the hops.
Medium to a little above on the carbonation, medium body

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep copper at Smokin' Joe's the label says it's brewed in Latrobe. Actually pale copper crystal clear with a bright white head flowing thick. Head has trickled thin lacing layers with notes of grassy pale copper. The body although slightly stick with hop oils doesn't hold up to most big or light IPAs, medium body with a moderate level of carbonation flavor isn't bad at all actually quite hoppy and held together quite nicely for a bigger beer from up north in Michigan.

Photo of Brenden
3.83/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a hazed dark orange-brown, beyond amber but not quite copper, with a bronzed sort of darkness in the depth. A nearly pure white head grows to 2 fingers in height and shows stick, retaining one finger the entire time after it recedes and leaving lacing in broken sheeting down the glass.
A nice raw, leafy, green sort of hops bitterness with a citrus element is what greets the nose. Another sniff gives off more of the rich, raw, pure hops cone aromas.
The flavor is pretty good, but it seems more effort was put into hopping for the aromatics.
Crispness and smoothness are on par with a light carbonation in a medium body that sustains itself well.

Photo of biboergosum
3.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz can. Procured in Detroit, and with downtown Motown maps on the label, but the can indicates that this is brewed in Latrobe, PA.

This beer pours a clear medium copper amber hue, with a teeming amount of thin foamy cobwebbed head, which leaves some chunky bands of rainforest lace around the glass as it sinks away. It smells of strong biscuity malts, some tart breadiness, and earthy, leafy hops. The taste is crackery, biscuity malt, quite dry, like something you'd want to dip in soup. There's some leafy, herbal hops adding to the bitter side of things. The carbonation is moderate, and unobtrusive, the body near medium weight, and a little too clingy and clammy to proclaim as smooth. It finishes malty, but not sweet, the dryness abetted by some lingering herbal hops.

No way, no how should this be labeled as an IPA, of any sort. Now tell me ESB, and we can talk, mostly about how to make this bitter a whole lot better.

Photo of rossracing
2.1/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Really not good first drain pour in a while

Photo of secondtooth
3.28/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden amber from the can, with a huge head of off-white foaminess. Lace is thin but attractive.

Nose is as malty as it is hopped-up. Unusual for an IPA.

Taste is mild -- actually more in line with a basic pale ale. The finish here has a bit of a citrus hop character with some acidity. As an IPA, this seems fairly weak. As a pale ale, passable if unmemorable.

Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev +32%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Atwater puts out some decent beers...this is no exception. The Grand Circus is a nive IPA. Pours an orange clear copper color with 1/4 finger head that is lacing. The smell has mostly bitter hops with slight citrus. The taste follows suite....very bitter towards the end that eventually zings hints of Grapefruit. The mouthfeel is mdeium to light body with good carbonation. Overall its good.

Photo of tone77
3.7/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the legend woodychandler for yet another canned beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a orange/brownish color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops and citrus. Taste is a good balance of hops and malts, not overpowering, slightly bitter with some mild citrus notes. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

Photo of puboflyons
3.11/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the 12 fl. oz. can stamped 1062-1523. Sampled on September 23, 2012.

It pours a slightly hazy golden copper-yellow with a tremendous amount of fluffy white head that fizzles after a minute.

Loads of grains on the nose but fewer hops. Pretty average in the aroma department.

The body falls into the light to medium range and it is smooth on my tongue.

The taste is much like the aroma with a big up front grainy character while the earthy hops are noticeable but somewhat played down. One of the milder IPA"s I have had in awhile.

Photo of SickGnar
3.23/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark golden / light copper, slight touch of haze, quite a few bubbles rising to a large off-white head composed of large bubbles. It falls fast, but keeps a ring and leaves some alright lacing.

S: Sweet bread base malt with hints of cracker and caramel. Faint hint of slightly fruity citrus hops. Light scent, especially for an IPA with regard to the hops.

T: Way more crackery malts than nose – total soda crackers. Hints of sweetness, caramel, and a doughy / bready somewhat yeasty note. Sweetness grows just a touch as consumed. Hops are more pronounced as well. Bitterness isn’t huge, but quite firm relative to the tame (thin) malts. Not much hop character up front – just some herbal / leafy hints. Hop impression is mostly on the backend – resin / herbal with a bit of rind & a hint of pine. Finish is resin with some rind.

M: Medium-light body at most, more light really. CO2 is reasonably balanced. Touch of texture from hop tannins and it is firmly hop drying (partly from being so thin).

D: A session IPA? Wouldn’t that be a Pale? It is balanced to hops, but mostly from there being not much malts. Without any real malt richness (caramelly in particular), I have a hard time viewing this as an IPA. That said, it is a reasonably tasty and drinkable beer.

Photo of yamar68
3.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a honey gold with a finger and a half of fizzy white dissipating head. Soft citrus on the nose with subtle sweet bread to back it. Taste is surprisingly unique. Bitter grapefruit without much hop presence from the earthy end. Nice wet refreshing slick feel to finish and a lingering bitter citrus. Carbonation is moderate to low but a decent body. Overall a decent IPA for its price point. This is sort of one of those beers that can get dusty on the shelves in MN and there’s no canning date so I’d like to try a guaranteed-fresh can. Regardless, perfectly drinkable.

Photo of buschbeer
3.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz can
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It is a lovely amber with golden highlights. Three fingers of off white head cling to the sides of the glass.

S - I get some soapy floral hops.

T - I get a lot of floral hops. There is no bitterness, citrus, or pine. Just blah.

M - Moderate to thin. It is slightly chalky.

O - I got it on sale. I would drink it over BMC but that's about it.

Photo of DrDoitchbig
2.77/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It was rather difficult to find any information on Grand Circus but from what I gather it's supposed to be Atwater's entry into the trending "Session IPA" field.

Appearance: Grand Circus poured a somewhat pale golden color topped by about a finger's worth of bright white head. The head shrank to a cap quickly but stuck through to the end and left a few curtains of lacing here and there but nothing extraordinary.

Smell: Even though I put this one in a tulip glass the aroma is still weak. The main scent is a cracker like malt base with a dusting of herbaceous hops. This is supposed to be an IPA?

Taste: The malts control the beer and they continue to remind me of crackers. The taste is nearly identical to that of an unsalted soda cracker. The hops are thankfully stronger than in the smell but only just. The floral hops are joined by a nice grapefruit bite on the finish.

Mouthfeel: This is probably the highlight of the beer and that's usually not a good thing. Carbonation is lively but not to the point of pricking the tongue. Body is right down the line medium with a pleasant creaminess.

Overall: This is not an IPA, at least not by my definition. It's also not a bad beer. If Atwater would have simply billed it as a pale ale I probably would have rated it higher in smell and taste. The label doesn't even mention that it's a "Session IPA." For the average consumer coming into this blind looking for something comparable to Two Hearted or Crooked Tree this is going to be a huge disappointment.

Photo of mountdew1
2.76/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a medium golden with a 3 finger frothy head that lasted about 5 minutes. A few small streams of carbonation rose from the bottom. Aroma was primarily a citrus hoppy. Initially struck me as reminding me of a cheap beer bar aroma. Taste started off sour, then switched to nothing much, before finishing with a hint of hops. Felt ok in the mouth. Coated well, just a bit of carbonation, nothing wrong. Overall kind of a meh beer. The flavor was really strange and offputting for the style and seriously detracted from anything else it had going for it.

Photo of StoutHunter
2.28/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I picked up The Atwater Holiday Party Pack last week at Meijers for $12.99. Grand Circus IPA is one of Atwater's newest beers, they claim that this beer is a session IPA, so lets see how it goes. It was marked October 2011, it's fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- The label doesn't look too great, its just the plain standard Atwater label that is dark green. It poured a hazy amber golden color with a fingers worth of white head that died down to a ring with a bubbly lump in the middle.

S- First come the malts which have a medium amount of sweetness to them and impart a lightly toasted grain aroma along with a slight bit of caramel. Next come the hops which are a little light and mainly citrus with some earthyness in the background.

T- The taste is pretty light and lackluster. It starts off with those lightly toasted malts that have a really noticeable grainy and bready flavor and a light amount of sweetness. Next comes the hops which are pretty light and plain, there's a slight bit of citrus hops but it is mainly the earthy hops that show up and give this beer a cardboard like flavor. The finish has a surprising medium amount of bitterness with a grainy bread aftertaste that stayed in my mouth.

M- Crisp, light bodied, and it had a lighter amount of carbonation but it still felt fizzy.

Overall I didn't like this beer. When I saw that the brewers billed this as a session IPA, I figured it would be something along the lines of The Wanderer from North Peak, but instead this beer was real light on the hops and was no where near what I think a good session IPA should be like. This beer doesn't have good drinkability, it doesn't have enough flavor to make me want to drink more, it needs much more hop flavors to go with that medium amount of bitterness, the malt profile on the beer wasn't bad, it just needed some more hops to go with it. What I liked most about this beer the look, it looked pretty good in the glass, no complaints there. What I liked least about this beer was the flavor, just not enough hop flavor with too much bitterness, and the wet cardboard flavor wasn't too enjoyable. I would never buy this beer on it's own, but I will have to put up with it for the rest of the season since I think the rest of the holiday pack is pretty good, this beer is the biggest flaw in the Holiday pack. I don't recommend this beer to anyone, it is not what a session IPA should be like. Atwater makes some solid beers but it seems like both the newly released beer, shaman porter and grand circus have both been a disappointment and have fell flat. This was not a good session IPA, I'll be sticking to the wanderer when in the mood for this style. I think Awater needs to go back to the drawing board on this beer especially when it says India Pale Ale right on the bottle.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a bottle of this for a dollar bottled in August 2012

A - Quite dark for a session IPA. Sort of hazy amber brown with quite a nice 1/2 inch of fluffy white head.

S - More herbal than I wanted but a nice bittering pine with equal balance.

T - Eh not bad it's simple enough with a mild acidic sort of hop profile that seems watered down. Kind of boring really.

M - Light to medium I question session ability

Overall a very forgettable session IPA not even worth a dollar.

Photo of bushbeer75
3.14/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz brown bottle

Atwater Grand Circus IPA poured into my mug a deep gold hue producing a foamy 1-finger head that faded slowly leaving behind very spotty lacing. The aroma is one of citrus and smells fresh. The taste is hop dominate with [very] light caramel and bready notes. Mouth feel is light to light-medium bodied [at the best], has medium carbonation, that is crisp but almost watery - a little disappointing.

Overall, if it wasn't for the hops Grand Circus IPA would not have much flavor. However, this thin flavor does make the IPA not filling and easy to drink. The flavor is a little thin for me. There are better American IPA's.

Photo of CHickman
2.32/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours hazy gold in color with a huge foamy / cloudy 2 finger white head that faded slowly and barely moved, leaving a foamy layer on top and great foamy lacing with rings as it went down.

Smells of malt, grains, caramel, husk, grass or hay, light citrus hops, crackers and herbs or earthy tones; the aroma was pretty lame overall and it took an effort to get smells out of this nose.

Tastes like malt, roasted grains, light caramel, light citrus hops, cardboard, grass, biscuit and some funk which I'll assume is from yeast. Not even close to an IPA flavor, so this misses the mark on either the ingredients or the classification. This flavor would be weak even for a pale ale and too grainy as well.

Mouthfeel is zesty and crisp with high fizzy carbonation, a very light body and a slightly bitter finish that is clean and dry.

A light overall feel, this beer is easy to pound, just not very tasty. A decent beer that's a failure as an IPA, but OK is you are looking for a beer that's just above a macro brew. It looked good out of the bottle, then the smell disappointed, then the flavor disappointed, so I think they need to try a new formula if the goal was to make this an IPA.

NOTE: The Atwater website lists this as a Pale Ale unlike the bottles and cardboard 6 pack holder which lists this as an India Pale Ale, so maybe the brewery realizes that this should be a Pale Ale and not an IPA. The ABV listed is 5.5%.

Photo of gonzo000
2.76/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

IPA??? Seems more like a brown to me. This beer was not enjoyable. Smelled like something may have died in this batch. Not a big fan.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.92/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 12oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains citrus, a good amount of hops and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with some very mildly sweet flavors of citrus and caramel. Then a weak hops bitterness for the style comes in. The malt character is also thin and while there isn’t any harshness to it, there isn’t much balance either. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp but watery, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty but not very flavorful, goes down easily but only because there isn’t much to the beer, not filling at all, very mild kick, not a good representation of style, this beer simply tastes like a very watered down version of an IPA that was mediocre to begin with.

Photo of SometimesIfart
3.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a medium gold with a massive, constantly foaming white head that leaves a decent amount of lacing.

S - Rotten banana, lots of caramel malt and a slight amount of lemon zest.

T - Some rotten banana with a bit of creaminess, along with a small amount of malt and lemon zest.

M - Medium bodied with heavy carbonation. Tastes rotten as it sits.

O - Ehhhh, Sessionable? Nah. Worth trying? Nah. It's very average.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Atwater Grand Circus IPA from Atwater Brewery
71 out of 100 based on 307 ratings.