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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: 971
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 151 | Hads: 971
Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.14/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to Leschkie for this one...

A: pours a perfect translucent yellow gold. There is about two full fingers of pure white head. The foam fades fairly quickly, leaving a rocky sheet along the top of the beer. There is a good amount of lacking as it drinks.

S: The nose is big grapefruit citrus, a good helping of floral notes, and a some astringent alcohol burn. The hops are crazy in this pilsner/lager/whatever.

T: It starts out light and mildly sweet with a huge helping of super bitter citrus hops. As it moves to the middle it's like licking a hop pellet. I get a good helping of boozy heat in the back, but it's not too overwhelming. Good balance of sweet, bitter, and booze as it leaves the palate.

M: Medium bodied beer. It's light to start, but has enough heft to coat the palate and linger for a bit. It's sticky as it drinks.

O: Really good beer. The hops dominate this beer, and it's really intense at times. Maybe a little too intense for my personal preference. However, if i were in the mood, I'd buy this beer fairly regularly if i could. (1,066 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 Kegatron
4.69/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

32oz growler. Pours a clear copper with 2 fingers of rich and frothy bright-white head. This soaps the sides of the glass with thick sticky lacing. The aroma smells fresh, floral piney and dank, with bright and zesty citrus flavors straight up the nose. Tropical character mixes with sweeter bready notes to give this a ripe flavorful twang in the nostrils. The taste matches the aroma, which a fresh, zesty and resinous bitterness that lights up the mouth with a bright feel. Herbal and tropical flavors spread out, mingling with the honeyed and bready sweetness from the malts. Man, this is just juicy feeling across the back before things finish dry and piney with a pithy bitterness that sticks. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a crisp and tight feel that is undercut by a creamy slickness that has this just moving effortlessly across the palate. Overall drinkability is impeccable for 7% ABV. With this tasting like a fantastic West Coast DIPA and drinking like a super smooth Pilsener, I can say with a certain degree of certainty that this might be one of the best beers I've ever had. It's that good. I have wanted to try this one for a while now and it more than delivered. This gets my highest recommendation. (1,224 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at hawthornes - served in Duvel tulip

Slightly hazed golden yellow color with a one-finger crop of foamy head resting on top. Solid retention and rings of patchy lacing all over the glass while drinking.

Pungent tropical hops in the nose with pineapple, apricot and citrus peel. Toasted grain, soft malty scents and a hint of warmth. Smells like a lager/DIPA hybrid - oh, wait.

Wonderfully expressive citrus and tropical hops right up front. Bitter and juicy at the same time, filled with pineapple, apricot, mango and citrus peel. Toasted grains and malt with that familiar lager yeast creeping through. Finishes fruity and bitter with a touch of alcohol warmth.

Medium body, decent carbonation, crisp and refreshing on the tongue. Despite the ABV, I could easily have 2-3 of these in a sitting. Refreshing, flavorful and probably the best Imperial Pilsner I've had the pleasure of quaffing. (906 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-slightly hazy golden amber color with a nice white head and good lacing

S-citrus, pine, bready malt, slightly herbal notes

T-grapefruit, pine, cracker malt, hints of tropical fruit, nice bitter dry finish, alcohol not very noticeable

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp

O-a delicious pilsener that has many IPA-like qualities, really enjoyed this beer (368 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.76/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to kyle2k10 for sending me a growler of this good-looking-lager off my wants list. 750ML of light goodness split with my wife.

Pops open with a satisfying sppoot & the pour has plenty of whitish head, always a good sign when a growler arrives. Clear, One Ring gold, real purty when held up to the light. Nose is full of straw, floral hops, touch of spice.

Humulus Lager is like having a half-orc in your party, odd & slightly uncomfortable. The light, clean lager yeast comes through like a soft pils kiss. But then there's the scratchy mustache of the herbal, floral hops &, well, this just feels weird. Citrus is strong. Minty, thatch roof, grains, with a finish of moderate bitterness. Light & spritzy, goes down nice & easy.

Lovely take on the quiet pils. A bit of a schizo of a beer, but very good nonetheless. Glad I got to try it. (855 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.09/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Poured a clear golden-yellow color with a good-sized white head that retained well and laced the glass. For a lager, this had a very nice nose, crisp, resinous hops, balanced with biscuity pils malts. The taste fell quite short of the aroma, dry and bland, cork-like malts, grainy, and though some of that nice resinous/citrusy hop profile found its way through, it quickly faded to a stale, metallic bitterness. Light-bodied, moderately carbonated, and fairly decent overall, but not something I'd ever want to have again.

I admit I haven't had many "IPLs," but this was no champ among them. (639 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (340 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Draft serving in a tulip glass.

Bright saturated orange, bright clarity, lasting presence of creamy white foam on the surface. Fluffy couple fingers of foam that last for awhile. Lots of lace, looks more like an IPA.

Resiny pungent hop aroma, citrus sweetness, fresh and dank.

Very smooth and easy drinking, a fistful of citrus hits first, lots of grapefruit and resiny hop oils. Moderate bitterness that sticks in the teeth, lingering long into the aftertaste. Grapefruit flesh and pith dominate, this is a deceptive lager base, as it masquerades as a dank west coast IPA. Pretty nice stuff, hope we see more of it in Chicago.

"This lil motherfucker is tasty!" - Mr. Show (676 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

not only the best lager ive ever had (not even a close second), but possible the best beer ive ever put to my lips. this stuff is incredible. on tap at the monk on Colfax. the pour is glowing golden with an orange hue, mostly clear, and an inch of white thick whipped cream looking head that lasts, and is easily roused with a swirl of the globe. the nose is really hoppy, this was obviously dry hopped generously. the lager yeast gives it a crispness, and I smell some tropical fruit in there with all the bitterness. the flavor is just astounding, it has a very similar hop complexion to the pliny the younger, no kidding. its that decadent. the grains are light on the toast but give a lot of body, which I think works well with the lager yeast, a fuller bodied crisp clean beer with a ton of hops, its really a nice and new combo. so much fruit and hop oil here, ive really never had anything like it. the mouthfeel is also fantastic, lots of tiny bubbles and a full body make it feel like almost a nitro dispense, and the texture is so big and coats the whole mouth with this fresh hopped goodness. this is a beer that is worth every bit of its hype, it reopens the lager category as exciting for me, and it is another reason why the bruery is near the top of the brewing world right now. this is absolutely divine, and I cannot wait for my next one. A+ (1,358 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 64 oz. growler into a tulip.

Humulus Lager pours a hazy bronze color with lighter golden edges where light shines through. A full and creamy head fills up the top of my glass with a firm pour. Nice head retention, and there is a bit of lace sticking to the sides of my glass.

The aroma is of sweet grains, orange and grapefruit hops, and a bit of lager yeast in the back. It smells more like a traditional IPA than it tastes, for sure.

With my very first taste of this beer I can sense the difference between this and any ale IPA. The lager yeast adds another character to the flavor, accentuating the hops in such a unique way. There is a little bit of genius in doing it this way. There is a little bit of honey and straw sweetness up front, but the flavor resides in the blast of bitterness that comes next. The hops come through with grapefruit and orange citrus, including a fair amount of pith and zest, with a little bit of pine on the back end. The hop combination is not unusual, but the way it is presented is, which makes this beer that much more interesting.

The dryness of the lager yeast is apparent for sure. The carbonation is bubbly and creamy, just barely on the full side. The body is right about where I expect it to be at 7.2% alcohol.

Overall I was impressed with this beer. Usually I feel that Bruery beers are overhyped and underwhelming, but I enjoyed the thought that was put into this beer's design. This is the type of beer where the total is definitely greater than the sum of the parts; the interaction between the lager yeast and the hops alone makes this beer worth trying. (1,625 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.14/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I had this on-tap at Max's, served in a goblet.

Pours a clear amber with gold hue and a layer of off white head. Smells of fresh green hops, citrus peel, and some sweet bready malt undertones. The taste is made up of citrus peel bitterness, green hops, and a sweetmalt and bitter hop finish. The body is medium with tingly carbonation and a finish that is not very dry. (370 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Pony Bar UES. Served in a 8oz. pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

.5 finger foamy white head with moderate retention. Beer is a slightly cloudy goldenrod. Lacing is web-like with good stick. Real solid.

Nose is citrus, tree sap, grapefruit and other tropical fruit hop bitterness. Aromatic. Real appetizing.

Opens citrus, cane sugar, grapefruit, papaya, passion fruit. Very fruit forward with a big malt presence. More tree sap hop bitterness balanced with cane sugar in the middle. End is citrus with a sweet papaya and tropical fruit aftertaste. Probably the most complex and enjoyably hoppy pilsner I've ever come across.

Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Crisp and light in the mouth and goes down quenching. Real drinkable and the 7.2% is barely there. Finishes sticky with a dry aftertaste. Very nice.

Hands down the best pilsner I've ever had. The ABVs are hidden very well and the beer drinks like a balanced, tropical ipa. Definitely worth the praise. (983 characters)

Photo of MeneerBeerSnob
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Growler poured into a pint glass.

a-hazy deep golden color with slightly less than a finger of white head

s-sweet, malty and citrus with notes of pine

t-lots of hops with malt, pine and tropical fruits, distinct bitter grapefruit finish

m-refreshing lively light mouthfeel, not as crisp as regular pilsener reminds me of an IPA

o-really great beer, refreshing citrus hops, blends the line between pilsener and ale (419 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (812 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
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. (580 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.59/5  rDev +6%
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. (275 characters)

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap at the bruery, what a treat this beer is. It really drinks like a fresh hop IPA or pale ale but has a nice dry feel and clean finish that remind me of its fermentation.

Pours a nice gold hue with some orange highlights. Amazing ring of foamy head and lacing, nice look. The smell and taste have an amazing balance of resinous and piney hops along with a dryer fresh bread malt and a hint of subtle kitchen spice. It's well composed and very well balanced in its palate of flavors in both nose and taste. Definitely some citrus rind too.

The feel is dry at the end but very juicy up front. Altogether an extremely good beer. (637 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Publick House. 16oz serving in a pint glass. This was a nice treat to see and something I've been wanting to try for awhile.

A- Golden orange, translucent with some haze, decent carbonation that is fairly consistent, about 2 fingers of pure white foamy head that has great retention but slowly recedes and leaves nice layered lacing.

S- Lots of tropical hops with pineapple, oranges, light greeny/slightly earthy hops, and a bit of pine coming out. Fairly aromatic and very pleasant smelling.

T- Again lots of tropical fruits with pineapple and oranges being the most dominant followed by a slight hint of sappy pine and a light malt presence hiding under the hops that adds a hint of sweetness. Finishes with a light bitterness that is by no means overpowering and a nice lingering fruity aftertaste. Overall has a nice flavorful fruity presence while still maintaining a decent balance.

M- Very easy drinking, refreshing although not quite as crisp as some lagers I've had, decent carbonation.

O- This was a great hoppy lager/pilsener with a very nice tropical fruit presence however I'm not sure if it's necessarily better then some of the other hoppy lagers I've had such as Kiwi Rising and HF's Mary. Overall though I thought this was great, I'm glad I had the chance to try it, and I hope The Bruery does more hoppy beers and sends this to Boston again in the future. (1,390 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 tarheels86
3.18/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Tap at PP Old Town. Pours a chill haze light orange. Sheety white lacing. Nose is hoppy, citrusy, pithy melon, sweat. Taste is dry, very nutty, meaty, lots of paper on the finish. Moving to extremely soapy. Hard to finish. My rating: 3.2 Fiancé rating: 3.6 (257 characters)

Photo of mhaugo
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft. 4 ounce pour in mini-snifter.
Appearance: Golden and clear with a thin cap of foam.
Smell: Citrus and mint. Very inviting.
Taste: So clean and dry. A very pleasant bitter aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Clean and crisp. Very refreshing.
Overall: Amazing beer. I could drink a pile of it. Perfect for the hot day that it was. (327 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 Beer_HOPper
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at 38 Degrees.

Appearance: Light golden brown with about an inch of fine white head which dissipated slowly. Carbonation slowly rising to top like a TV commercial.

Smell: strong sweet piney hops, smells sticky, wow.

Taste: like it smells, sticky, hoppy, piney, slightly citrus.

Feel: light, airy, dry, bitter finish.

Overall: very good, light, initial attack almost too hoppy. but, I wanted more. (416 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.59/5  rDev +6%
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. (1,518 characters)

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