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Atwater Grand Circus IPA - Atwater Brewery

Atwater Grand Circus IPAAtwater Grand Circus IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

206 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 206
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.03
pDev: 20.46%

Brewed by:
Atwater Brewery visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: DrDoitchbig on 08-22-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 206 | Reviews: 58 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.55/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a very hazy orange amber color with a thick billowy head of an orange tinted color. The head has a good level of retention, fading slowly over time to leave a nice level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is heaviest of a grainy smell along with some other hoppy aromas of a pine and a bit of grapefruit. Some grass and a little bit of a flowery smell are there as well creating a rather clean smelling aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a grainy bread taste with a moderate level of a grassy hop flavor. The greasy flavors grow more intense as the taste advances and are joined by some earthy and more floral hop tastes more toward the end. Overall the brew is on the drier side with just some hints of caramel sweetness upfront, which soon fade from the taste, leaving only the the bready flavors that are present upfront to accompany the hop to the end. With the bready and all the hop that are left on the tongue at the end of the taste, one is left with a dry and somewhat crisp, decently hopped taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thinner side with a carbonation level that is on the higher side. Both are great for the refreshing and crisp flavors of the brew making it very drinkable, but yet not subduing the hop flavors too much so that they can’t be appreciated.

Overall – A rather easy drinking session IPA that isn’t dominated by just citrus hop tastes. At 4.2 % abv this is a nice session IPA and one that should be given much more cred.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2014 01:05:02 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of CodyNeely


2.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into pint glass. No issue until the actual tasting came. Tasted almost like it had been watered down. I wasn't even a huge fan of the aftertaste which was almost skunky. I was disappointed because I've had other Atwater brews that I've enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 19:07:55 | More by CodyNeely
Photo of TMoney2591


2.71/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

That's a pretty dull label for such an allegedly badass tent-enclosed spectacle... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear auburn-bronze topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises flowers, light grass, white bread, and a twinge of orange peel. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a healthy dose of dust and must, making everything just come out tasting dirty and funky. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly watery feel. Overall, this was a pretty sad IPA, one that just tasted off despite its freshness. Boo this.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 02:25:54 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of hackmann


3.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: deep cloudy amber body with almost a two finger bone white head that leaves some lacing behind with each sip

Aroma: faint floral grassy hops and white bread

Flavors: sort of non-descript hops and malts; I’ll do my best, citrus peel and pine bitterness, bready malts

Mouthfeel: a fine fizzy carbonation feel, soft wool like texture, musty dusty dirty aftertaste

To the Point: they do call it a ‘session’ IPA; that is true … if you don’t care about flavor but want to drink a few beers with a low abv this is it; not for me even as a session beer

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2013 21:52:28 | More by hackmann
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Atwater Brewery : Grand Circus IPA

LOOK: Orange/bronze colored brew with a slight haze. White head forms, forms the ring, minimal lace.

SMELL: Aroma of floral and citrusy hops. Orange, green tea.

TASTE: Citrus, green tea, grass, mint. Hop flavors are good and have a distinct tea like element. Where's the body? Where's the malt? Besides a watery caramel flavor, this beer is just about flat and one dimensional.

FEEL: Light bodied, watery, under carbonated. Pretty lame feel, which is sad. With any body this could have a lot of potential. Thin.

OVERALL: Unless you must have it, pass on this.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2013 00:30:15 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

I am really grateful that I have not had this beer before. At least I'll get a tick out of the deal. (I didn't check to see, but thought it was new to me.)

Thin and watery with a hop influence that shows and disappears rather quickly. Thin is the word that keeps coming to mind. And there is a dirty aftertaste with some odd orange on there. Dirty and thin. That sums it up for this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2013 22:30:54 | More by RblWthACoz
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 21:47:47 | More by SometimesIfart
Photo of SerialHiker


2.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Nice golden color, tons of bubbles along the glass and dancing inside…not too much head to speak of, but there is a little canvassing the top layer…(3/5)

Smell: Orange citrus and floral hops, very light and refreshing…grainy and grassy…sweet malts…mild smelling...(2.75/5)

Taste: Nice citrus hops flavor with a malt backbone…grainy throughout, floral tones offset and balance...it’s not extravagant in any direction…some bitter after tones, but not too bad…(2.5/5)

Mouthfeel: Light but very bitter…bitter without the hoppy feel…it finishes bitter…(2/5)

Overall: It’s got okay flavor, but the bitterness isn’t balanced well enough to make it something special…this beer is looking for flavor with low alcohol and it definitely accomplished one of these…I’d work on the pale malts and maybe give it a bit more “hmmmff”…(2.5/5)

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 01:32:03 | More by SerialHiker
Photo of DrDemento456


3.13/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2012 02:30:23 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of Bitter_Echo


3.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This IPA looks like them all. Pours no differently, either. Smells malt, and grain, and some low floral hoppyness, but nothing very distinctive. Taste is malt sweet first, then surging bitterness, mostly on the pine side, but a little one dimensional, and not as well balanced between all the elements. This bottle was at most 7 weeks old, but might already be fading. Really nothing spectacular, but no hugely disappointing either. Oh, and mouthfeel is standard IPA, moderately fizzy, but with a lighter and not so heavy edge. Good, not great.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2012 23:10:16 | More by Bitter_Echo
Photo of dfillius


3.7/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Aggressive pour yields 1 finger of fine snow-white head with good retention. Translucent/hazy straw gold liquid.
S: Citra hops, I bet. Orange and lemon, pleasant esters - tropical fruit mango and papaya.
T: Mildly malty with pronounced bitter bite up front all fades away to slightly astringent with maybe band-aid flavor. Nice grapefruit bite. Settles down in the 2nd half, otherwise would have been a 2.5.
M: Thinness is noticeable at first, then astringency. Nicely bitter after a bit. No heat. Again, it settles down in the 2nd half, otherwise it would have been 2.5
O: Enjoyable, but not exceptional. Okay, I'd maybe order a second, but I wouldn't make it my go to or choose it over huma-lupa-licious or two hearted. Probably wouldn't buy a sixer.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2012 02:07:13 | More by dfillius
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

3.1/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to genuinedisciple for tossing this my way. We do get Atwater locally, though I've never seen this brew anywhere. Bottle is notched June 2012 so I better drink this puppy now.

a - brew poured a pretty murky and opaque orange with a massive foamy white head that had an almost bubble bath look to it as it fizzled away. big chunks of lacing.

s - soft hopping. crisp and clean smelling. sweet malts.

t - pretty malty and has a bite. some subtle hopping. lacks a lot of what i look for in an ipa...no fruitiness, no hop citric flavors. all in all fairly bland.

m - fairly watery. finish is odd, kind of bitter without any hop kick.

o - overall, when i saw the reviews i was a bit nervous...that combined with the notch on the bottle, but this isn't all that bad. this is definitely not a beer that i would seek out to try again, and it feels slightly a step ahead of BMC, but not a big stretch.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2012 23:40:57 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of Lauthaha


4.05/5  rDev +33.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2012 01:22:58 | More by Lauthaha
Photo of crossovert


3.68/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 bottle, just under 3 months old, hopefully it holds up.

It is rather low in abv for an ipa. It pours a hazy amber with a foamy white head.

The smell is mostly citrus. Orange is a prominent scent. Maybe some peach in there too. Light fruits, subtle malt sweetness.

The flavor is decent. It isn't too sweet which is nice. It also isn't too massively hopped. With .5% less abv it does have a better flavor than Founders All Day IPA. It is not too sweet, but still nectary. Plenty of fruits and citru, medium to low bitterness in the finish.

It looks like the cans are brewed at Latrobe. The bottled version is fine, it looks like the canned version has some issues.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2012 02:18:49 | More by crossovert
Photo of Brenden


3.8/5  rDev +25.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2012 07:10:22 | More by Brenden
Photo of schoolboy


3.9/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a decent enough AIPA. Very sessionable.

It looks good in the glass with nice color, clarity and lacing. The head cold is weak as is the aroma. The taste is very pleasant - not over the top hoppy but not wimpy either. I only have one of these but I could see drinking a bunch if I had them.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 23:05:08 | More by schoolboy
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2012 00:19:09 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of hosehead83


3.7/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear, light gold in color, with a moderate head of bone-white foam.
Aroma-Herbal, grassy hops.
Taste-Toasted malt, herbal hop leaf bitterness up front that hangs on and lingers to the finish.
Decent flavor for what could be described as a "sessionable" IPA at 4.2ABV. A bit unbalanced towards the bitter side of things, this beer cries out for a food pairing. Maybe a blue-cheese burger or just a good hunk of aged cheddar.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2012 18:27:11 | More by hosehead83
Photo of david131


2.48/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a hazy straw yellow liquid with a few streams of carbonation making their way to the surface. The white head is thin and rather generic looking. As a whole, this looks like a macro lager with some haze to it.

S- Pears, apple juice, steamed vegetables, and a bit of citrus rind. Not very good.

T- Apples and pears along with some orange rind. There is a vegetable aspect to it that definitely detracts from the overall experience.

M- The carbonation has a bit of a bite to it, but there is some lingering astringency and not much bitterness. Odd.

O- For an IPA, this is not all that great.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2012 03:21:00 | More by david131
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 00:00:50 | More by warnerry
Photo of ElGrecoVerde


3/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Muted golden color, mostly clear.

Smells like an average IPA, though a bit grainy. Floral hops and breadlike aromas are present with hints of citrus and spices.

Good balance in the flavor. Solid amounts of floral hops. Grainy bread and sweet caramel. There is a pine flavor present that I'm not too fond of. Small amounts citrus peel leaving a pleasant aftertaste.

Crisp carbonation leaves a light feel. Easy to drink.

Not bad, but they could have definitely taken this one further.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 04:03:10 | More by ElGrecoVerde
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

2.88/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle and served in a tumbler pint, the beer is a hazy, pale, somewhat lackluster copper coloring with a foamy, low profile, sparse, white filmy head. The head starts promising, at around an inch and a half, but quickly settles out. Well balanced nose of light citrus sweetness and light, green, fresh hops aromas. Flavors are strong initially, but a bit watery overall, with a strong roasted and dry hopped flavor profile that has some char character. The hops go fairly unbalanced, with only a slight hint of the citrus that was present in the nose. Decent cling along the glass while you drink, which is one of the few redeeming qualities. The aftertaste is resiny and strongly roasted, with a drying feel that makes the finish quick and clean. A slight tang left behind on the tongue, but not much else at the end.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2011 02:11:06 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of StoutHunter


2.25/5  rDev -25.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2011 04:19:45 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of CHickman

New York

2.3/5  rDev -24.1%
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%.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 04:03:13 | More by CHickman
Photo of GRPunk


3.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle, notched S 11, poured into a nonic pint.

A- 1/2-finger, white head drops to a thin film and leaves some really good sticky spots on the glass. Cloudy, golden body.

S- Good balance for an IPA. At first, I got a big dose of spicy and citrus hops with a solid malt backbone. Mostly sugary and a little bready. This could be going somewhere. Aroma actually seems to meellow later on.

T- More balance. Hops come off as mostly herbal/medicinal with a touch of citrus and a little aspirin. Malt side is a touch grainy. Later on the the citrus component really steps up and starts to overwhelm just a bit. In the end, it's almost too balanced for an IPA.

M- Lightly carbonated with a full body. A little grainy with a light hop tingle.

O- Great aroma at first had me thinking this would be a big winner. So-so flavor really brings it down. It's a little rough around the edges. Awash in great MI-IPAs, this doesn't stand out, but is perfectly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2011 01:14:12 | More by GRPunk
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Atwater Grand Circus IPA from Atwater Brewery
71 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.