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Humulus Lager - The Bruery

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Humulus Lager
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BA SCORE
95
world-class

151 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 151
Hads: 968
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.78%
Wants: 191
Gots: 35 | 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
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Reviews: 151 | Hads: 968
Photo of Gatch
4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Hostel Tevere in Warren, VT!

A: Clear, golden-orange in color with a fluffy, bright white head. Not much lace and retention.

S: Dank, floral, sticky aromas.

T: Real dry and fruity. Super hoppy and slightly bitter with a seriously dank finish.

M: Sweet but smooth. Hops dominate every aspect of this beer. An easy drinker.

O: Quite a twist on the traditional massively hopped double IPA and the lager qualities stand out. Hard not to compare this to Jack's Abby offerings and it just doesn't match up. While very delicious, it lacks consistency and has some rough edges. (584 characters)

Photo of kevanb
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at the Bruery Tasting Room, review from notes.

Pours a nice copper color, orange, amber also come to mind, golden hues when held to the light. A finger of so of head appears, recedes quickly, minimal lacing. The aroma is all hops, piney, sticky, resinous, some floral and citrus notes come out, but I really like how earthy the aroma is, compliments the sweeter malt bill very well. The flavors are great, bitter earthy hops, notes of pine, dirt almost, sap, resin, bits of citrus fruit, more like lemongrass, very dry flavors. The malt is certainly there, sweet yet light cereal grains, cracked peppercorn and some richer sweeter malts, munich or caramel perhaps, all come out. Very complex flavors, balanced well, certainly the Bruery's best showing with a hoppy beer. The body is big and rich, I don't really like saying that honestly, could use more carbonation, a bit too syrupy at times.

Verdict: Carbonation aside, this is a knockout. Great hop profile, easy to drink, refreshing, spot on. The Bruery isn't known for their hoppy beers, but this leads me to believe they have the potential to make a really fine APA or IPA. (1,138 characters)

Photo of nataku00
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a plastic cup at the Public House in ATT Park. Beer poured a nice golden yellow, clear with a finger and a half of pure white fluffy head. Head retention was decent for a while, leaving sticky lacing around the cup before dissipating fully after 10 minutes or so. Decent carbonation, ample, floating slowly up from the bottom of the cup.

Nose is biscuit malts and grains dominated when it was cold, with floral and herbal hops, with some light fruit aromas, white grapes, white peach, and pear. As it warmed up, the hops were a little bit more prominent, big floral aromas, with some of the sweet and fruity notes of white grapes and pear standing out.

Absolutely delicious, big floral and herbal hop flavors, though not overbearingly bitter. Lots of sage, parsley and tarragon flavors, but also a lovely fruit component, white grape/wine, pear, and white peach along with a perfectly balanced malt flavor in biscuit and fresh grain flavors. Finish is bitter and dry, white wine like with fresh herbs and white fruit.

Light bodied with excellent soft carbonation to keep this refreshing despite the higher abv. Dangerously easy to drink as the bitterness is not overbearing, while still being capable of delivering exceptional flavor. (1,259 characters)

Photo of MisterClean
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
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 (341 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to ehammond1 for sending this beauty of a growler my way!

Classy looking golden body capped with a healthy dose of stubborn white foam. Sticky lace marks every swig.

A well-varied hop profile shines in the nose. Bright citrus, spruce, faint white grape sweetness... juicy. Certainly lives up to the name in this regard. Sharp bitterness and a supportive malt character... could likely pass as an English IPA.

The hop presence is the elephant in the room, no surprise there. But I'm glad to find that some of those buttery pilsner malt flavors manage to hold their own. Citrus, conifer, mellow pineapple, sweet grains... far more balanced and approachable than I had originally anticipated.

Glad to finally try this one - thanks Eric! (751 characters)

Photo of joecast
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
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? (405 characters)

Photo of afksports
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (1,180 characters)

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured in a Bruery tulip glass. An ample white head floats above a clear deep golden body. Moderate head retention with gobs of sticky lacing. Eventually recedes to a ring and some film.

Lovely, fresh aromas of straw-like lager malt, pine, herbal-weed, citrus, and a little spice.

This is a strongly hoppy beer that one might confuse for an IPA except for its unmistakable lager yeast signature. Tastes of grassy, herbal and citrus hops, supported by smooth bready malts. Grapefruit bitterness builds into a long finish. The lager malts and rice adjunct that is used provides a light body but with just enough structure for the hops to really shine in this beer. I have not had a cleaner tasting hoppy beer that showcases hops so well. Hops seem of the noble variety, but there is also a strong element of west coast hops. My Citra detector is blinking, but actually the hops used are Simcoe (piney), Summit (orange and grapefruit), and Centennial (noble bittering).

The body is light and carbonation fizzy, lending to a crisp and refreshing mouthfeel. There is, however, a little astringency on the tongue.

With this beer, The Bruery takes lager into a wonderfully hoppy dimension. It's really a terrific beer, especially consumed fresh. I hope The Bruery will start bottling it sooner than later. (1,306 characters)

Photo of MiScusi
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
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! (427 characters)

Photo of rand
3.93/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From growler to Schneider Weisse pils glass

A: Copper-tan in color, clear, the pour forms a sudsy two-inch head that leaves lacing all over the glass

S: The nose is cracker-y yeast and earthy hop-snap. Malty sweetness bounces nicely off a floral hop aroma. Hops have a floral, tea like edge and are carried by alcohol volatiles.

T/M: The flavors are much more ale-like than the nose. Citrusy, rind-y, pithy hops add plenty of refreshing astringency as the cracker-like texture and honey sweetness round the flavor profile. The finish is short and dry, a little salty.

A super drinkable big lager, bending the boundaries between an ale and a lager. (651 characters)

Photo of LittleDon
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 10 oz tulip glass. Cloudy, with a thick, yet bubbly white head. Golden in color and possessing a medium amount of carbonation. Aroma and initial taste of Cascade hops. My guess is that the only thing lager about this is the yeast. Think IPA or IIPA. Medium mouthfeel and bitter finish with a hint of fruit. A great IPA, not sure about how good a lager. (364 characters)

Photo of vacax
4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An India Pale Lager (IPL) brewed with four pounds of hops per barrel. The closest recognized style in my opinion seems to be that of the American Double/Imperial Pilsner, though the hop/grain bill here is not necessarily similar to a pils. Hybrid style, what can you do?

Humulus Lager is a lustrous cloudy golden lager with a white two-finger head. Retention is high and lacing is graceful and abundant. It must be the abundance of hop oils in this that results in probably the thickest most unbelievable carpet of lace I have ever encountered. Best looking lager I have ever seen, bar none.

The aromatics at play in this India Pale Lager reminds me of a traditional west coast hop bomb. Loads of pine and abundant tropical and citrus fruits. An assault of grapefruit and tangerine then some persimmons and pineapples backing them up.

My taste buds are immediately thrashed with an onslaught of white grapefruits and pine needles. The lager aspect retains a crispness that reminds me of a Belgian IPA, but is much milder and does not detract from the hops. It is hop focused and relatively dry, no syrupy malt character here. Some earthiness, tangerine, spruce, and geranium floral elements on the finish. A true West Coast IPL.

Medium body is surprisingly light for a 7.2 beer, retaining the drinkability of a lighter beer. Prickly full carbonation feels right for such a hopsplosion. The extreme hopping may put off some toward the level of drinkability, but the light crisp flavor and abundant carbonation make drinking easier than it should be!

Calling Humulus Lager an "India Pale Lager" is an accurate descriptor. Perhaps more accurate would to call this a hop focused, unbalanced, in your face hop bomb, but it's a lager! If this were "just" an IPA, a Belgian IPA, or an Imperial Pils I would probably be more critical, but the idea that this is a unique creation gives them the full benefit of the doubt when scoring this one. Another +1 for creativity at The Bruery. (1,981 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Holy moly tickle my holey! This lil sucker is cleaner than my bedroom floor after I bust out the Dyson - Raul means: clean! Like a Catalina sunset, Raul is taking this thing in nice and slow and luvin every second.

My children; give it to your children.

Yep! (261 characters)

Photo of jpro
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
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! (468 characters)

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (858 characters)

Photo of mjl21
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Toronado. Poured into a pint glass. No abv info given.

A-Pours a hazy orangish yellow with a nice almost white head that has some great retention. Leaves a decent amount of lace.

S-Just tons of fresh citrus hops. If I were given this I would think it was an IPA due to how citrusy it smells. There is lots of orange and grapefruit and some dankness.

T-It tastes a lot like it smells. Lots of grapefcruit upfront. The orange hits more in the middle and back of the mouth. It is quite crisp. My mouth was left with a pretty high level of grapefruit bitterness.

M-Lower end of the medium spectrum. Crisp and very refreshing.

D-A really great beer that goes down easily.

This stuff should be bottled immediately. It has the great hop profile of an IPA but has the smooth lager bill that makes it so drinkable. (826 characters)

Photo of breadwinner
3.18/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

One of the first beers to help me identify the infamous "cat piss" note some hops apparently evince. Combined with a noteworthy sulfuric note (not uncommon in lagers, but amped up to an overbearing level here), I just couldn't get into this brew. I admit that the Double IPL has historically been a touchy style for me, but Humulus was one I just couldn't abide. (362 characters)

Photo of rhinos00
4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very happy I got to try this one. Thanks again Mark for this opportunity. Going into this beer I have really high expectations. I have had a few of the distributed beers from the Bruery and have not really been impressed. That being said, I was told their on-tap brews are amazing...so here we go. Poured from a growler into a snifter.

A- Pours a dark golden, maize color. Produced two fingers width of white pillowy head. Some lacing left along the sides of the glass. Clarity was at 100%.

S- Absolutely ridiculous. The aroma just from pouring the beer out of the growler was so noticeable. I found the aroma in this beer to be quite interesting. On one hand there is a cornucopia of rich, citrus hops, revealing notes of oranges, lemons, and pineapples. On the other there is a clear, piney aroma with a bit of malt that attempts to balance it out. The result is an aroma of citrus candy with an after scent of pine and malt.

T- Much like the aroma...plenty of citrus hops countered by a piney attribute and slight bit of cracker/biscuit type malts. What I really liked about this beer was that the bitter piney hops, along with the malts, left a clean, crisp, bitter taste on the palate. Very refreshing and an interesting twist when you are expecting a straight forward citrus hop bomb.

M- Light bodied, with a decent amount of carbonation. Loved the slightly sticky residue this beer left on the palate.

D- Probably the most drinkable beer I have ever had, especially with a beer at this high of an abv. I can't believe how fast this one went down.

Overall, well...I stand corrected. The Bruery has produced something that has blown my mind. After this experience I will most definitely be seeking out some of their more limited offerings. (1,756 characters)

Photo of MNishCT77
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

4 oz. pour on tap at ChurchKey in NW DC into their characteristic snifter glass, drank over 30 minutes

A: 3/3 - golden-orange coloration; although it's dark on here, the clarity looks high; frothy white head on first pour eventually settles into a 1/4 finger glass lacing; tight white bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass throughout; large alcohol legs (especially for 7.4% ABV)

S: 10/12 - big IPL-ish mixture of PNW hops - citrus and piney, pils breadiness, lager yeast and alcohols

T: 16/20 - nice tickle of bitterness on the anterior tongue gives way to PNW hop flavors that match the nose; evolves with the pils toast followed by an alcohol sizzle; finishes dry and quick

M: 5/5 - thick hop oils comprise an imperial style; high carbonation --> bubble and effervescent, alcohol coating

O: 9/10 - solid imperial IPL that I've been eager to try for a while and this didn't disappoint; I'd put the intensity of the hop aroma and flavor up their with Jack's Abby's IPLs; recommended

TOTAL - 43/50 (1,011 characters)

Photo of SirBentham
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Gold, slightly hazey with a thick head.

S: Citrus, hops and yeast.

T: Slightly bitter with a lot of citrus and pine jumping out. Long and smooth aftertaster

M: Moderately carbonated. You notice the lager here a bit more than your standard IPA.

O: I'm now obsessed with IPL's. This gets the slight edge over Ballast Point's Fathom.
Highly recommended.

Edit - it's so important to drink this fresh. I just had one from another restaurant 6 weeks later, from the same batch and the difference was huge.

Edit #2 - The batch that was out in April was better than the current batch available now. (600 characters)

Photo of jeffthecheff
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
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. (891 characters)

Photo of bulletrain76
3.68/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Draught at the Bistro IPA fest. Hazy blond with a lasting head. Resinous grapefruit peel aroma with some sweetness and flowers. Clean and dry with a bitter finish and low fruitiness. Medium bodied and smooth. Good stuff, but not a standout. The lager yeast is nice because it lets the hops come through very cleanly, though I think they could have finessed the bitterness a little more and given the aroma a little push. (420 characters)

Photo of dubinsky
4.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On Tap at the Public House at the SF Giants Stadium, poured into a tulip.

A – Pours a hazy golden yellow, with a two finger frothy head that sticks around for a while eventually leaving a nice layer of lacing behind. This is the antithesis of what I expect from a lager, and boy am I happy to see something done to better a style that I normally glaze over and pass over.

S – Holy Hell! This is a what? A lager? The hell it is. Well folks this is a hop bomb for a lager, imperial or not. Piney, with tropical fruits, mostly pineapple and mango. Some citrus aromas shine through as well. Very clean and crisp smelling.

T – I would swear this is a GREAT ipa if you put a blind fold on me. Very piney with some really great hop bitterness. Some of that pineapple and mango lend themselves to sweeten the beer a tad. Truly unique, and wonderfully balanced.

M - Body is fairly light, with excellent carbonation and a pretty dry finish. Smooth with a nice crisp finish that i tend to really like in a pils.

O – I was blown away by this beer. Easily in the top 5 best beers of 2011 for me. I knew it was a ticker, but I generally dont really care for lager, and this one exceeded my expectations! Very well crafted. I think I will go grab another tomorrow for lunch before its all gone. (1,292 characters)

Photo of snpub540
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (795 characters)

Photo of OlieIPA
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
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! (1,105 characters)

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