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.

Humulus Lager - The Bruery

Humulus Lager
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

689 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 689
Reviews: 130
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.78%


Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
India Pale Lager, but closer to Imperial Pilsner than IPA, according to the brewery.

(Beer added by: vacax on 08-02-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 689 | Reviews: 130 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of afksports
afksports

New York

4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2011 19:35:27 | More by afksports
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pale golden color with a thin cream colored head.

S: Floral and earthy hops, some pine and a bit of funk.

T: Wowzers. Starts with a soft malt flavor that soon gives way to some piney and peppery hops. A bit of grapefruit as well. Really tasty and well balanced.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2011 15:34:28 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of AdamBear
AdamBear

Pennsylvania

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

A-dark yellow wit a sticky white head

S-wow! hops and grapefruit! so strong and beautiful!

T-comes in with a very bitter taste of lager-like grains. ends with a good taste of grapefruit and grains. great, but more subtle than the smell.

M-creamy low carbonation with a semi dry finish

O-one of the best lagers i have ever had, including all pilsners. this is just great. its something i want again...and again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2011 18:00:25 | More by AdamBear
Photo of dubinsky
dubinsky

California

4.93/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2011 03:14:14 | More by dubinsky
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this recently on tap at the Public House in San Francisco.

Pours a pale gold color with a nice large fluffy white head.

Aromas are grassy, floral, a bit pine like, with some biscuit and grainy malts.

Taste is dry, biting, and crisp. Notes of bitter pine, grainy biscuit, and light creamy sweet malts meld well together, and create a nice complex flavor. It is very tasty, but to me, it comes off a bit strong.

Mouthfeel is very good, nice and full, very excellent body, and snappy carbonation.

Overall, this is an excellent Imperial Pilsner. I think it suffers a little bit in the drinkability department, and if they toned this down a notch or two, I'd probably score it an A+. But this is certainly no slouch of a beer...

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2011 21:19:25 | More by flexabull
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

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

On tap at burger. in Santa Cruz. Pours a brassy orange with a thick white froth. Smells like lawn trimmings, but in a good way. Lots of grass, pine needles, and unripe grapefruit. Flavor is based on crackery malts with a big grassy hop explosion. Light bitter grapefruit in the finish. Dry and very herbal but avoids astringency. A tiny bit of malt sweetness comes through at the end. Palate is light, refreshing and dry. A great lager, very satisfying.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2011 00:31:49 | More by illidurit
Photo of avaldivia
avaldivia

California

4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2011 17:59:12 | More by avaldivia
Photo of nataku00
nataku00

California

4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-03-2011 06:13:35 | More by nataku00
Photo of Urbancaver
Urbancaver

Ohio

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

On tap at the bruery
Was not impressed and my notes reflected that until I got back and read the description... I am reviewing this with the consideration that it is more an IPL than an imperial pilsner

Pours a pale hazy yellow golden colour. A nice foamy white head. Looks pretty solid.

Smells hoppy and earthy. Some nice light grassiness on the nose. There is a wheaty yeastiness on the nose that I am not a fan of.

Tastes light and hopy. The earthy, grassy undertones are nice but the hops don't meld well with the beer. There is an awkwardness to this beer that I'm not pleased with. Lagery yeast flavours. Orange, lemon, maybe some other citrus on the tongue. The flavour profile is interesting but unbalanced

Solid mouthfeel. Well carbonated.
Overall the beer has a lot of potential it just feels really rough around the edges to me

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2011 13:12:25 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-09-2011 02:22:55 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of beagle75
beagle75

Iowa

4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2011 15:59:29 | More by beagle75
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4.93/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Perfection.

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2011 04:21:07 | More by ehammond1
Photo of MiScusi
MiScusi

California

4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2011 02:46:32 | More by MiScusi
Photo of dbmernin83
dbmernin83

California

4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
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

Serving type: on-tap

04-24-2011 00:13:56 | More by dbmernin83
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-10-2011 04:35:27 | More by FosterJM
Photo of joecast
joecast

Australia

4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
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?

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2011 05:10:40 | More by joecast
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Arizona

4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2011 05:40:49 | More by francisweizen
Photo of localhost
localhost

California

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2010 22:31:06 | More by localhost
Photo of bump8628
bump8628

Oklahoma

4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2010 19:37:19 | More by bump8628
Photo of gregmoscetti
gregmoscetti

California

4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
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

Serving type: on-tap

07-30-2010 03:28:32 | More by gregmoscetti
Photo of WeisGuy
WeisGuy

New York

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2010 16:22:37 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of scubazook
scubazook

California

4.85/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2010 07:54:31 | More by scubazook
Photo of stoutfiend27
stoutfiend27

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -9.2%
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...

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2010 00:40:04 | More by stoutfiend27
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-13-2010 23:47:04 | More by glid02
Photo of Krevee
Krevee

California

3.85/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-12-2010 02:31:28 | More by Krevee
Humulus Lager from The Bruery
96 out of 100 based on 689 ratings.