Humulus Lager - The Bruery

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Humulus Lager
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BA SCORE
95
world-class

939 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 939
Reviews: 153
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 9.32%
Wants: 180
Gots: 33 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 939 | Reviews: 153
Photo of OlieIPA
4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed a monster sized mug of this at Hollingshead on 8/20/09.

A: Initially poured pale yellow, but as all the liquid converged together...this IPL exhibited a filtered dark golden copper hue. A perfectly off white head also sat on top of this puppy for quite some time, and seemed to stay there forever...even though inner parts were about to give by the time I was half way through my glass.

S: Crisp and fresh! Lots of leafy and piney aromas that masked the malt character, but not to a degree that offset the overall balance of the beer.

T: Well balanced and refreshing! This brew surprisingly exhibited a sweet malt character that complimented the hop varieties. Delicious!

M:Lighter body..which made drinking the whole mug that much easier.

D: This was about the third time I've tried this beer...and boy, it really knocked my socks off this time. Very similar to some of the epic IPA's on the Top 100, with a slightly altered malt body. One of the better beers to come out this summer.

Overall: Really impressed! Even if it's considered a lager...a top 10 or 15 hophead beer for me. Cheers!

Photo of beagle75
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of Klym
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a nice foamy head with a beautiful golden body. Tons of tamed but strong hops in the nose. The taste of this is about as good as a 'lager' can get. You get a nice malty lager background and the hops just come up so nicely in the front, showing off their might but never applying any painful force on your tastebuds. This beer is a work of art and an honor to drink.

Photo of kawilliams81
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Map Room served in a tulip.

A- pours gold with a 2" thick white head. Huge rings of lacing that coat the glass.

S-bread, honey, lemon, citrus rind

T- pale malts, light honey, bitter citrus, some sourdough.

M- medium body and carbonation. Very creamy feel.

O- excellent pilsner and I am not a fan of pils but would drink this.

Photo of MasterSki
4.51/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Toronado. Served in a pint glass. Ordered this one after hearing some hype about it. Somewhat scant notes on this one as it was pretty late in the day.

A - Pretty generic looking - small off-white head that dissipated pretty quick and left minimal lacing. Nice hazed golden-orange color.

S - WTF? Is this an India Pale Lager? Super aromatic hoppiness - fresh orange zest, mixed with perfume and floral notes. The malt character is incredibly subdued and I can't even pick up any hint this is a lager.

T - I'm not entirely sure how to evaluate this - there is a lack of strong bitterness in the aftertaste that would be a negative for an IPA or DIPA, but it's still appropriate for a pilsener. However, the lack of any real pilsener malt flavor is a problem in that line of thinking. The bottom line is that it's superbly hoppy, with tons of sweet fruit and floral flavors, well-hidden alcohol, light sweet malts and a very clean finish. Great stuff and quite unique.

M - Pretty generic - moderate carbonation, fairly smooth medium body. I think cask would really suit this brew.

D - Low bitterness, well-hidden ABV, great hoppy flavor - sounds like a winner to me. Glad I tried this one, even though I was initially not very interested.

Photo of snpub540
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of MisterClean
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Bistro IPA Festival

A - Pours copper-gold with a 2 fingered white head. Dissipates slow and leaves beautiful lacing.

S - Honey, grass, light caramel and bittering hops.

T - Honey, grassy hops, and bittering hops.

M - Full-bodied, hop dominated and dry. No presence of alcohol.

D - Great beer overall.

Serving type: on-tap

Photo of Rutager
4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Growler from Chuck's 85th street market, Seattle.

Appearance. Pours a lightly hazy, rich yellow gold with almost a finger of bubbly white head leaving some great bands of lace.

Smell. Big sweet and juicy grapefruit and orange, toasty grainy malts, amnd some fresh cut pine wood.

Taste. Toasted light grains, pine sap and bitter yellow grapefruits. Just a little sweetnes, bitter finsih, very flavourful!

Mouthfeel. Medium+ body, medium carbonation.

Overall. This is one fantastic hoppy beer. Seems like a mix of noble and west coast style citrusy hops in a great combination.

Photo of mrkrispy
4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Toronado San Diego, in a snifter

Arrived a very hazy dark golden to pale. Fizzy head that quickly dissolved, leaving a little lace.

HUGE hoppy nose, grassy (think wet hop), it was shocking since I didn't know what to expect. Wonderful aroma, some citrus and faint pine far in the background. This aroma competes with the best of the IPAs.

Surprisingly full body, I expected it to be lighter. Decent carb. Excellent balance with the malt in the background a bit, slightly bready. Hop oils abound, lingering bitterness that builds on the next few tastes. Very very slight citrus flavor, lemon I guess.

This beer goes down great! It has an odd effect, seems like it nukes the tongue as the glass gets emptier. Not a bitterness, just a...blank. Is it finishing extremely clean? Strange.
No noticeable alcohol until I am 3/4 finished with the glass, it somehow snuck up to my gray matter.

Hopheads will want to seek this beer out, and I hope Bruery can bottle it soon. This is an emerging style (not really Pilsner) and the Humulus Lager could very well be the benchmark.

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on draft at Bruery Pint night at Columbia Ale House. Outstanding beer, looked the part completely. Had the absolutely wonderful smell and the citrus taste that I love in IPAs without the bitter bang that can turn me off. Truly a great beer and one I hope to enjoy at some point in the future.

Photo of WillCarrera
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

32 oz growler from Whole Foods, poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a hazy golden color, topped with an inch of creamy white head, has decent retention and leaves tons of lacing.

S- Wow, lots of fresh tropical fruits, mango, peach, grapefruit, and a floral, grassy hop aroma. This is easily the hoppiest lager I've ever smelled.

T- Similar to the aroma, lots of vibrant tropical fruit, although in the flavor these take slightly more of a backseat to the floral, grassy and dry hop flavors, a bit of earthy hop flavors as well. There's some sweet, cracker-like malt. The finish is dry with just mild bitterness.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth, crisp and dry.

O- An excellent beer, has a really wonderful hop character and is highly-drinkable, one of the better hoppy beers, lager or otherwise, I've had in a while.

Photo of AndyGz
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewery in August 2009.

Poured a dark golden with a nice wheat head and a decent amount of lacing as it went down. The smell and taste were both fantastic. Loads of citrus hops, mostly orange; also, a bit of some tropical fruits. The taste went along very similar lines, with the addition of a nice bitterness that nicely balanced out the citrus and tropical flavors. The mouthfeel was a bit light and exceptionally drinkable. Very delicious--hopefully they bottle this.

Photo of Overlord
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a mostly golden yellow with hints of orange in it. Paler than a normal IPA/DIPA, maybe cause of lager yeast, maybe not. Not sure. Big billowy white foam head.

Very good aroma. Tons of complex floral notes, and a bunch of citrus that ranges from lemon (pilsener influence?) to tangerine and white grapefruit.

The taste, once again, is across the spectrum. I typically found that IPA-style brews tend to come across is either more dry and bitter, or more fruit-y and citrus-y. The best run the gamut, and this does. Very good sweeter tangerine and grapefruit, mixed with an almost lemony, pungently bitter crisp citrus and hop bite. Interesting, and complex. Maybe the lager yeast is adding the crisp, somewhat earthy/lemony component? Not sure.

Finish is somewhat drying and astringent rather than lush, which is, again, different from what I see in the IPA family tree. Engrossingly drinkable, really good.

Photo of afksports
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Good Lord, please make more beer like this. And put it in six packs. And make my bodega stock it. And make it cost ten dollars. Amen.

This beer --- wow. Is it really lagered? Is it really a pilsener? It is super super hopped. Like hops with nitrous or something. Ridiculous. This reminds me of Hill Farmstead Abner and Galaxy, to be perfectly honest. It is perhaps without category. It's just good.

Hazy copper, stringy lace all over, great head that remains... The beer looks good. Humulus might be cloudy, but the taste is pure. so is the hoppy smell. Pine, grapefruit, lemon zest. Caramel malts. Yum. The taste is the same... Now I'm thinking of Hill Farmstead Edward. This beer is all over the place and yet, good everywhere it goes. An excellent and clean finish, not drying despite the generous hopping, not malty despite the huge presence in the center of the palate. No trace of 7.2% alcohol. Just clean. Clean and damned good.

The best Bruery beer I've had yet. The only knock, and I mean the only... The aftertaste is a bit stale. It lingers without sweetness and it's musty in not such a good way. But who's complaining?

Lunch break over. Time to get back to work.

Photo of dirtylou
4.59/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on-tap at Chucks

Served in a mason-pint, bright straw golden body, some nice white lace. Very hop forward - clean and bright citrus, fresh and green with limited bitterness. Definitely at the very far-end of the pilsner spectrum - very americanized. Great beer - tick, tick.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.59/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap the the source itself, on to the beer:

Bright hearthy orange appearance, with a head that holds well initially. If you're a hophead, you'll love the aroma. It is bursting with fresh, oily hops and a crackery dry malt. The taste, indeed, is hoppy delight, but again balanced out by dry crackery malt. It doesn't seem "lager like", but does it really matter? Goes down without a hitch...no overbearing hop bitterness in this one.

The Bruery demonstates with this beer than not only can they make outstanding tasting beers with oddball adjuncts like basil and yams, but they can also jam those hops into a strong lager. Think Sculpin IPA and you're all set.

Photo of mdfb79
4.59/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big, big thanks to digitalHorizon for sending a growler of this out my way. Been wanting to try it for a while and my one or two attempts to get a growler previously had fallen on deaf ears. Poured from a Bruery growler into my Bruery tulip because I can.

a - Pours a hazy dark orange color with a tiny bit of brown to it, with two fingers of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for three to four minutes and leaves a ton of spotting lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of citrus hops, tropical fruits, grapefruits, fruity malts, oranges, floral hops, and light bready malts. Super hoppy anf fruity, really amazing nose. Love it.

t - Tastes of fruity malts, tropical fruits, citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon, light pine hops, floral hops, grains. Not quite as hoppy as the nose, but still really nice. Some medium bitterness in the taste.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and very easy to drink, with some light to medium bitterness. Definitely does not feel like it is over 7% ABV.

o - Overall I thought this was a fantastic beer; I haven't had a ton of Imperial Pilsners but this is definitely the best I've had. The nose reminds me of a fresh IPA as it has a ton of citrus hops and tropical fruits; I loved it. The taste was great too, though it dropped a tiny bit. Very easy to drink; could definitely take down half a growler of this one. The firrst really hoppy beer I've had from the Bruery and I think it's awesome; they should make an IPA or bottle this or something.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Reservoir in Waterbury, VT.

Pours a hazy, almost opaque orange/yellow, looks almost creamy, with a one inch head, and a lot of lacing. Looks delicious.

Smells insanely fruity and hoppy, just could keep my nose in this one for a while. As tropical smelling as any hoppy ale/lager I've ever had.

The taste is similar. Grapefruit, orange, pineapple, mango, and peach abound, just really creamy and juicy at the same time, with a small amount of lingering bitterness, that brings to mind orange or grapefruit peel, rather than pine. I could chug this stuff.

This one has a fairly light body- but it's not thin at all- creamy and hoppy deliciousness awaits. The body is light, though, so it goes down quite easily. There's no lingering bitterness.

An absolutely delicious hoppy concoction, a bit out of the typical wheelhouse of The Bruery it seems. This shows they can make a hoppy beer with the best of them.

Photo of John_M
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Dyan for saving some of this from the growler he got the other day. Considering how absolutely delicious this beer is, I'm not sure I would have been nearly so gracious if I'd been in his shoes. :-)

The beer pours just a lovely hazy golden peach color with excellent head retention and lacing. The nose on this bad boy is incredible, giving off the sort of hoppy perfume I've only encountered previously in Pliny. I get a huge aroma of spicy citrus, coupled with wet tobacco, wet earth and sweet peach. Mama mia, this is one fine smelling beer. On the palate this is an exceptionally delicious and easy to drink beer. It has the mouthfeel of a spicey, but still very smooth and soft lager, but with the hoppy bitter punch of a West Coast IPA (think Sculpin). The beer actually starts off on the palate with some fruity sweetness, but then slowly, like a rising tidal wave, the hoppy bitterness comes on strong. The finish on this beer is nearly endless, with the alcohol very well integrated into the flavor profile.

Damn, but I wish this beer wasn't so rare. I could drink a lot of this beauty and can only wish that I someday get the chance.

Photo of avaldivia
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at City Beer in San Francisco. Poured into an Tulip style glass.

A: Nice golden color with a thick head. Left very nice lacing.

S: Floral hop notes. Intensely citrusy and grapefruit like.

T: Wow. This was fantastic. The hops are intense but nicely balanced. Very floral. Just a hint of alcohol on the end, but rather nice. Perfect.

M: Palate was completely coated. Great carbonation.

O: If I am ever lucky to see this again, I will, without hesitation, order it.

Photo of HopHead84
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler consumed on 9/5/2009 and poured into a snifter. I've had this on tap a few times but I've never had the chance to take proper notes while I drink it. The beer is translucent and vibrant golden. It's crowned with a gigantic frothy white head, exhibiting excellent retention and leaving lots of lacing as it recedes.

The nose is remarkable out of the snifter and warmed to room temperature. Glass after glass, the aroma was the highlight of this beer. The nose is reminiscent of Sculpin, with notes of peach, orange, pineapple, grapefruit, and other tropical fruits. Resiny pine is present, and the malt is light and crackery, without a hint of sweetness.

There's a high level of clean bitterness in the taste. The succulent hops resound with pine resin and citrus. Pineapple, grapefruit, orange pith, lemon, and peach are all present. The cracker malt is faint and serves as a vehicle for the marvelous hops. The finish is dry, crisp, and bitter. The beer is light bodied with a nice upper medium level of carbonation and a crisp yet somewhat sticky mouthfeel. The hops are ripping the enamel off my tooth (I only have one).

Each time I try this beer (and this style, in general) I appreciate it more than the last. I really hope this is brewed again. Highly recommended.

Photo of ngeunit1
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy golden-yellow color with a finger of frothy white head atop. The head fades down slowly leaving behind a good amount of lace.

S - Aroma is full of lots of hops. There is a good amount of pine and earthy hops with just a bit of citrus hops in the background. There is also just a bit of grain and funk mixed in as well.

T - Starts off nice and hoppy with a good amount of bitterness. There is a bit of grain flavor alongside. Through the middle the bitterness really kicks in with some more traditional lager flavors. The finish has a nice hop kick to it with some bitterness and a bit of funky grain that linger.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Super smooth and a nice dry mouthfeel from the hops.

D - Very drinkable. This is without a doubt one of the best Pilsners I have ever had. The hop flavor is super strong and has a really nice profile from start to end.

Photo of vince4953529
4.64/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz poured on tap in Provisions unto pint glass on a lazy Tuesday noon.

Cloudy golden color with a little head. Taste is hoppy and quite bitter akin to a west-coast IPA. Supremely drinkable with a potentially potent 7.2 IBA. Excellent beer, very quaffable, easily to get drunk to.

Humulus Lager from The Bruery
95 out of 100 based on 939 ratings.