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Humulus Lager - The Bruery

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Humulus Lager
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151 Reviews
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Reviews: 151
Hads: 975
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 23.38%
Wants: 187
Gots: 37 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Pilsner |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: vacax on 08-02-2009

India Pale Lager, but closer to Imperial Pilsner than IPA, according to the brewery.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 151 | Hads: 975
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just had this fresh batch on tap at the tasting room.
A taster didn't do it justice, so I ordeed a full pour.

A - Pours a hazy golden orange-yellow with a near white, foamy head. Some patches of lacing left on the glass with strong retention.

S - Strong citrus, pine, grass, and some wheat.

T - Similar to the smell. Very grassy and light.

D - Medium carbonation and light body.

O - I was excited to try this and I wasn't disappointed. Very hoppy, but not so much that it was overpowering. I could drink this all day.

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Photo of snpub540
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up my growler from The Bruery tasting room on fathers day.

Poured a slightly hazy pale golden hue with a two finger high fluffy white head. The head had some nice hang time and turned out some nice lacing on the glass the entire time.

Smell rivals that of the best Double IPA's I've ever had. Grapefruit and mango stick out at the front with some piney grassy aromas and under all that some grain alcohol.

Taste is very bitter but it has a really nice crisp finish. Sweet malt upfront and a nice bitter finish. Hop flavors are pine and citrus and leave a very nice aftertaste.

A little thin in the body department but not watery. This is a great crisp full flavored lager. It combines the clean taste of a lager, with the bitter full flavor of an IPA. I can get used to drinking this.

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Photo of AndyGz
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Pizza Port Carlsbad Real Ale Fest 2011.

Poured orange with a golden haze, nice thin layer of foam receded slowly, for a cask pour.

Smelled of citrus, grapefruit, mango, and fresh hoppiness.

Amazing taste, a full flavored citrus hop-bomb but with measured bitterness.

A refreshing mouthfeel, crisp and light for a beer of this abv.

So drinkable and delicious. This is the top IPL and rivals some nice IPAs/IIPAs on my wish list.

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Photo of beagle75
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft service into a shaker pint glass at Beachwood BBQ.

A: Clear, medium golden color with over one finger of white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Powerful juicy grapefruit citrus fills the nose. Additional floral and lesser tropical fruit notes round out the intensely hoppy scent.

T: Begins dry, with juicy grapefruit flesh and moderate citric acidity that matches the smell exactly. The middle sees a gradual tapering-off of the hop aromatics, with whiffs of lemon and melon developing then vanishing. Malt is never able to emerge and distinguish itself amongst the swirl of hop qualities. The finish is moderately bitter but very clean, with fairly intense grapefruit peel still representing the hops component.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet and acidic--but not uncomfortably so--on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Unlike most of the amped-up American-brewed pilsners that come and go, The Bruery's Humulus Lager chooses to turn its back on the traditional noble cultivars of hops in favor of our own pungent kinds. The result is nothing short of amazing, with very focused citrusy hops on point from start to finish. It turns out that the pale lager base is a great vehicle for showcasing such qualities, which is what the enthusiasts of traditional, full-flavored pilsners have been telling the rest of the beer world all along.

As an aside, I had the opportunity to try Alpine's new imperial pilsner the last time I traveled to their pub, and while a good beer, it was not able to approach the seamless intensity of this beer. This beer smells and tastes like it was brewed by Alpine, such is the mastery over the hops demonstrated here.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.91/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Bright golden amber and orange with a touch of haze. Thin white head. Just a touch of spotted lacing down the glass. Not the most impressive beer to look at necessarily, but this was one of the most enjoyable beers to drink I have ever had!

If I didn't know any better, and I smelled this beer, I would say it's a DIPA, and a world-class one at that! The aromas are of citrus, melon, pineapple, guava: an overwhelming aroma of fresh and pungent hops! This is like standing in a hop field or bathing in hop juice!

This beer is smooth, easy to drink, clean and disappearing, yet bitingly hoppy, pungent and citrusy. The flavor is of a world-class DIPA! It's fruity, it's balanced, it's bitter, it's biting, it's tropical, oh my is it tropical! WOW!

Smooth, thick, creamy yet airy, heavenly mouthfeel! This beer is extraordinary.

I've never simply enjoyed drinking a beer as much as I enjoyed drinking this one.

A masterpiece.


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Photo of Rampage1
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-- The appearance is a beatiful gold yellow with a nice slight haze to it that appears to glow.

S-The smell is what at first made this beer so special-- lots of tropical fruits -- pineapple,orange mango are the one's i pick up. Some citrus smells come in on the back end as welll. Its so clean and fragrant in the smell of this awesome Lager.

T--The taste is what sets this apart from the other ipa's i've had. It has such a great balanced malt and hop character with a really clean crisp after taste that no ale can touch in this category.

M- A nice amount of carbonation that delivers the tropical flavors to the palate in a bright, smooth manner.

D- This is such a highly drinkable beer simply from the fact that it has such a dry, smooth after taste that is perfectly balanced and very easy to drink. I am drinking this from a growler and could take this growler down pretty quick if i didn't watch it.

Overall i simply cannot say enough about this beer and look forward to hopefully having it again sooner than later. Its such a smooth beer with one of the best fruity smells to come from a beer. I would actually put this up with hopslam as one of the best beers i have ever smelled. Nice job on the great beer Patrick!

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Photo of MiScusi
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear vibrant orange with a fizzy white head. This beer I call Sculpin-light because of how similar it is in flavor to that. However it does have more of a lager "bite" to it, obviously, as it doesn't have that fruity backbone. Still lots of flavor from the hops though, very citrusy, orange is predominant. Mouthfeel is also on the fizzy side, being a lager. Just a weird overall tasting experience.... weird but good!

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Photo of dbmernin83
4.72/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I was told this was a "lager" after I tasted it. I spent 5 minutes arguing that there was no way this was a lager. This is an imperial pilsner that tastes like an IPA.
It pours a hazy but bright golden, great lacing.
Pine hops on the nose followed by juicy sweet fruit.
Nice hop front with a mango-peach finish that balances the hop perfectly.
Amazing drinkability. This is very complex for the style, goes down too easy, and is just incredible. This is a beer that has something for everyone

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Photo of FosterJM
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

392nd review on BA
draft to tall pint

App- This was a very hazy orange/yellow with a one finger head that was pretty quick to recede. A little scattered cling.

Smell- Okay, so I know what the Bruery said they would never do and this is pretty close to being the end all smelling beer of that style. This was hoppy, yeasty, citrusy all at the same time. Amazing smells on this one.

Taste- Taste follows the nose. I was blown away at the freshness levels and how crisp this was. Outrageously good. The hops are juicy and the citrus is bold and restrained all at the same time. I looked at GuruDel who I was there with and said, "This is good"

Mouth- It was medium bodied with a medium carb level but mostly it was wet, lush and just left a great citrus/hop after taste.

Drink- I could pound this all day long. It has great well balanced flavors. Juicy, crisp, strong, soft. I have a crush on a beer. Damn, though those were just myths.

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Photo of joecast
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taster at the Bruery. Nice golden medium carbonation and a fomy white head.

Incredible hop aroma. Seriously fresh and floral. Draws you in tempting you to try a sip.

And that sip is well rewarded. Big hop presence is well checked by the clean malt.

I don't have a lot of experience with impy pils but this is a big, balanced, easily drinkable beer. Well made, big hops and malt. What else do you want?

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Photo of francisweizen
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Straw, gold, with a white top

S: Freshly picked green hops, biscuity malt, and a bit of orange

T: Hoppy, with fresh resin characteristics, and a great malt backbone

M: Crisp, and dry. Superbly refreshing

O: Can I have another? This is a hoppy lager done right. good job Patrick.

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Photo of localhost
4.67/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I'm not usually a lager fan so i was very skeptical when trying this beer, but i was very pleasantly surprised.

Pours pretty yellow/gold with a good amount of head/lacing. Smells pretty much like an IPA, hoppy and delicious. Taste is like a good IPA, bitter, hoppy, and still very refreshing. This is a very good tasting beer, i could drink this all night. Mouthfeel is about what you'd expect of an IPA, a little bitter, but nothing bad. If they're calling this a lager, it's the best lager i've ever had, and i would drink it non-stop.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Humulus is the hop genus, and humulone is a 21 carbon containing compound that is responsible for hop bitterness.

Can I get some lager love up here right about now? Not only is the BY FAR! the BEST Impy pilsner I've ever had, its probably a top 20 beer overall for me. It is seriously that good. Well done Bruery. All of you guys with Black Tuesday boners are missing out of a beautiful draft lager, thanks womencantsail for this brew.

Split with the other Matt last night, beer poured from a growler into a Corsendork tulip. Beer is yellow, a little dark yellow and pretty hazy, haze clears up slightly as the beer warms, we may have started out a little too cold. Forms a soft white head of small and medium bubbles, good moderate carbonation, steady, and lots of lacing on the glass. Looks good.

Now I know why its called Humulus, its very hoppy. It nearly smells like an IPA its so hoppy. Its strongly CTZ hoppy with a nice floral / fruity back and a mild sulfurness. I bet this is amazing out of the tap.

Beer is medium to light in body, even with this high level of hop aroma and flavor, its not harshly bitter and it finishes completely cleanly. This is seriously a beer that I would have to monitor myself drinking due to the level of alcohol and the complete ease of drinking this beer. There is nearly no room for improvement and this was a GROWLER. The perfect beer.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

A: Slightly hazy yellow hue with a huge white head that leaves a ton of lacing.

S: Really hoppy. Wow. Smells like an IPA.

T: Insanely delicious. Fresh and tasty hops. This beer has greatly exceeded my expectations. This beer is nothing short of phenomenal. It's remarkably smooth and easy to drink. I could put away endless pints of this until I fell off the bar stool. Seriously, it's that good.

M: Wonderful aftertaste with long lasting hop flavors.

D: Without question the best imperial pilsner I have ever had. Wow - my highest recommendation.

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Photo of bump8628
4.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another fresh from the tap beer at the Bruery's tasting room, and this is certainly a beer that is sublime fresh.

Pours a hop-hazed gold with a lovely, pure white head of suds that sticks, clings, and clumps.

Mega-hoppy all around, this is essentially a big-ass West Coast IPA brewed with a lager yeast and some rice. I'd argue that the yeast and rice is just a way for The Bruery to claim this isn't an IPA, and I guess it technically isn't, but I compare it to the best that Russian River and the other great West Coasters are throwing out there. And quite frankly they can call it whatever the hell they want when it's this good.

Pine, citrus, the intense perfume of flowers; all the usual American hop suspects are there and I'll spare any further description of their character since we all know what American hops are all about. They're everywhere. Leaping from the glass to my nose, coating my palate, and lingering into a long, smoothly bitter finish. Malt doesn't even dare to rear it's head. It knows its place. Clean, dry, and bitter on the finish. This could just as easily be Chico as a lager strain. I don't give a damn what yeast they use it's still an IPA that's all about the massive hoppiness in my book. Get it anytime you have the opportunity.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks for this growler Mike! Send me more!

Pours a slightly hazed pale golden color. Great white foam forming with incredible lacing for a nearly 2 week old growler. ANd to think I had been concerned about waiting this long to open it.

Tons of grassy, floral notes, just a great hoppy nose overall. Why is this listed as a double pilsner? There is really not much pils malt flavor here in the taste? I mean it's basically an IPA.... I couldn't have told you it was a lager if you asked me. The flavor is much of the same, crisp hoppiness, a little more citrus here complimenting the grassiness of the hops. I got some grapefruit throughout the finish. Firm bitterness throughout, but completely well executed without any astringency. I had no idea this was 7.2 while I was drinking it... an awesome beer. I hope the brewery continues to brew this I.P.L.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale gold color with a high level of haziness. The head is fantastic...it's white and fluffy with very thick lacing.

The aroma is like a highly hopped IPA. That's pretty much what it is, as I didn't find very much lager character in this beer. The grass and citrus notes are very nice and very strong.

The flavor has a standard malt character that allows the citrusy and grassy hops to dominate. The bitterness is high, but not very harsh. The mouthfeel is crisp with a good level of carbonation. If this were a little lower ABV it would be crisper and drier, but for what they were going for, it came out good.

This was a nice, big beer that didn't show it's strength. I was shocked when I looked up the ABV, but by then...it was too late. Like I mentioned, I didn't get as much lager characteristics as other reviewers, but that doesn't take anything away from how good this is.

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Photo of jpro
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up in growler/bomber form via Charleston Beer Exhange's "Rare Bomber Thursday"... Pours a bright, hazy gold / orange with a white head that leaves sheets of lace on the glass. Smell is of tropical fruit hoppiness: pineapple, mango, peach - and some grassiness. Taste is more of the same - tropical / citrus hops with a touch of light grains - so delicious. Mouthfeel is light and crisp... cue the lager! Highly drinkable and awesome... wish I had more!

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Photo of gregmoscetti
4.77/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Bruery has constructed the perfect IPA. How? By making it not an IPA. This beer is an incredible wrench in the IPA hype train. I drink this over pliny and will continue to.

The nose on this beers is a hop-a-palooza of sweet, dank hops. I dont know if its the lager yeast but there is no overly aggressive, bite your face hop smell. The smell is clean. As if the hops just came out of the laundry and the snuggle bear dropped them off, still warm from the dryer.

The mouthfeel of this beer is creamier than most IPAs as well.it coasts your palate like bubbly, hoppy robatussin and wakes up your tastebuds with delicious floral and fruity notes.

The finish is as clean as it starts. It just leaves you wanting another glass to you can forget how weird your mouth feels after such a hop monster mauling.

All and all, top three hoppy beers I've tried and the best of this small small category

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at The Bruery during their 4th of July weekend festivities. Tasted on 7/2, review from notes.

a - pours a bright golden color with a one-inch white head, great retention and lacing, fairly hazy

s - mostly citrus in the aroma, lots of grapefruit and lemon, some biscuity grain and light pine notes as well

t - big grapefruit, orange and lemon blast up front with the midpalate having a bit of the biscuity malt coming in to balance out the hops a bit, some lingering hop and pine resin on the finish along with a light maltiness, very crisp and clean tasting, alcohol is very well hidden

m - medium-bodied with slightly higher carbonation, very crisp in the mouth, dry finish, not much alcohol warming

d - incredibly drinkable stuff for being 7.2%, refreshing and it doesn't wear on the palate, flavors are interesting enough and the malt backbone lends some depth to the hops

Very, very good stuff - probably my favorite beer from The Bruery. I was glad to get to try this fresh at the brewery after it was a standout for me at last year's Bistro IPA Festival. It would be great to see them bottle this stuff in the future.

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Photo of scubazook
4.84/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Toronado San Diego

A: A bit hazy golden with a hint of orange with frothy off-white head. The head retention is pretty good, and it leaves laces when it fades.

S: Very rich citrusy hops aromas, grapefruits, orange, lemon and pineapple with floral note. Very aromatic.

T: Succulent citrus flavors, big juicy grapefruits, oranges, a bit piney as well. High hop bitterness with a hint of sweetness. Definitely citrusy West Coast hoppy beer but the malt balance is also great.

M: Medium high carbonation, medium light body

D: This is one of my favorite hoppy beer. Every time I unconsciously say "Wow." Very tasty. Hope one day it'll be bottled.

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Photo of stoutfiend27
3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at closed for business while in charleston...10oz pour

a-pale golden color...little head...no lacing....lots of bubbles...

s-bitter pine hops and grass...there really is no malt present to balance this out...but at the same time the hops remain tame enough to make this enjoyable and hard to think of as a lager....its dry and finishes bitter and piney

m-was a tad thin...the carbonation was acceptable..the resiny character was missing....and it seemed a bit thin to me for such a hoppy beer

d-could have a couple...but being this is a draft only..be in the right place at the right time on the east coast beer dont think ill revisit it...

overall one of the best lagers ive ever had as i generally try to avoid the style...this one was very lively and showed great potential but needs some cleaning up...

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Photo of glid02
4.72/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego.

Pours a crystal clear straw color with a 1.5-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of bright herbal and tropical fruit hop aromas. Backing things up are lighter amounts of citrus hops and even lighter amounts of light and slightly biscuity malts.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Light malt flavors kick things off and are overtaken almost immediately by all kinds of hops - herbal, tropical fruit, and citrus, in that order. The hop flavors sweeten a bit midway through the sip before drying out just a tad before a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is great. I finished my glass very quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I thought I would like this beer but I had no idea I would be this big of a fan. A phenomenal showcase for hops, well worth a shot.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.92/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 64oz Bruery growler into a 20oz imperial pint. Extra special thanks to errantnight for the extremely generous hook-up!

A: Pours a rich, perfectly hazed, gold bar color with four fingers of the thickest and creamiest head I've ever seen on a lager. It seemed like it was planning on retaining forever, but it very suddenly receded down to a bubbly ring and thin skim. Sheets of puffy lace were left coating the glass. Carbonation was lazy.

S: I couldn't believe how fresh the hops smelled as soon as I cracked open the growler. Huge and resinous. Loads of pine and tropical fruit. Apricot, mango, pineapple, clementine, orange zest, with a dallop of pine tar. I couldn't keep my nose out of the glass!

T: Damn! My first few sips of this were so loaded with hops, it felt like my tongue blacked out for a second. When it "revived", I was met with a wall of hoppiness so perfect and well thought out, I could scarcely go more than 20 seconds between sips. All of the aforementioned tropical, citrus, and pine flavors, plus some peach, and the addition of a bit of crackery malt that does its' thing during the finish.

M: This beer is so packed full of resinous hop oils, the whole inside of my mouth seemed like it was buzzing. Astringent hoppiness actually made my teeth feel "squeaky", if you know what I mean. Wonderful.

D: Well, this beer humbled me. Seriously. So absolutely delicious. I got the email from the Bruery last week saying that they were growlering Humulus Lager and I thought to myself, "Oh well, another Bruery beer I won't get to try." The very next day I got a bm from Derek saying there's a package on its' way to me that's meant to be consumed "soon". Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and saw a Bruery growler inside with a sticker on the top that said "HL". Thank you very much for your generosity Derek!

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Photo of Krevee
3.83/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Bruery this afternoon

A- Pours a nice dark golden yellow, with a fair sized head on it as well as a decent amount of lacing as you drank it.

S - It smelled of citrus and hops and also had a mild malty smell to it. Overall good smell.

T - Taste was similar to the smell. You got lots of hops on the front end but didn't last as long on the back end. Had a great citrus profile to it. Had a nice amount of bitterness that didn't linger for a long time after you drank it.

M - Mouthfeel was nice, very light but left a decent hop/citrus reside in your mouth which was good. Higher amounts of carbonation but it was not overwhelming.

D - I enjoyed this beer very much and hoping they make more of it. Not a beer I would have too many glasses of in one sitting but I did enjoy it quite a bit.

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Humulus Lager from The Bruery
95 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.