1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Atwater Grand Circus IPA - Atwater Brewery

Atwater Grand Circus IPAAtwater Grand Circus IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

204 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 204
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 204 | Reviews: 58 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SunDevilBeer


1.85/5  rDev -38.9%
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.

Serving type: can

11-12-2011 01:39:24 | More by SunDevilBeer
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 glassbrass440


3.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Some light earthy hops and sweet corn in the nose. A touch of caramel. Shaving cream foam sits on top of a crystal clear light amber sea of beer. The head lingers for a long time, lifted by the constant bubbles from beneath.

Taste is light with little hop flavor. I get mostly bready malts and some undefined fruitiness. Bitterness is a bit overpowering with no flavor backbone. Seems to be bitter for the sake of being bitter. Light bodied and goes down smooth.

Overall it’s not that great of an IPA if you are looking for complexity and powerful flavors, but it would be good session beer for watching a ballgame or having a drink with "the guys". This paired well with the spicy burrito I had for dinner. Something to complement the food without getting in the way.

Serving type: can

10-28-2011 01:55:19 | More by glassbrass440
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
Photo of Florida9


2.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Very clear yellow in color. Forms about a 1/4" of fluffy white head. No lacing.

S: Smells of toast, biscuit, and woodsy hops, but there is also butter and diacetyl.

T: Toast and biscuit malts. Mild to moderate bitterness. Dry, almost vinous, but not in a good way.

M: On the lighter side. Dry, chalky, and grainy. Appropriate carbonation.

O: A fairly weak IPA with an odd, not overly pleasant aroma. I've only had two beers from Atwater and both had been fairly unimpressive. I wonder if this brewery has the capacity to make anything worthwhile.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 01:50:04 | More by Florida9
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

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.

Serving type: can

09-29-2011 22:23:53 | More by biboergosum
Photo of DrDoitchbig


2.83/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2011 22:16:15 | More by DrDoitchbig
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Atwater Grand Circus IPA from Atwater Brewery
71 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.