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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
-
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 Alieniloquium
3.4/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Reservoir. Served in a snifter.

Appearance - Clear golden amber. Small white head. Wispy surface with nice lacing.

Smell - Herbal and grassy. Some grapefruit. Pungent and sweet. A little grainy. Smells like wheat.

Taste - Grapefruit hops. Sweet. Some caramel. Grainy wheat. Sweetness builds along with bitterness. Grassy in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium carbonation. A little sweet for me.

Overall - The more I drink it, the less I like it. I guess it's good for a Pilsner, but that doesn't say a whole lot. (545 characters)

Photo of wedge
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

@ Ridgewood

Clean gold covered with a sticky pure-white head. Stinky, leafy citrus and fresh hop pellets in the nose. Grass and pineapple becoming more pungent and spicy towards the bottom of the glass. Fresh peppery citrus, spicy bitter pine, peach, and grapefruit hop flavors. A bit of trailing cracker-like malts, but the focus is squarely on the hop resins. Drying, fairly crisp, and extremely drinkable for a style that can sometimes be a little tedious. (460 characters)

Photo of PHBoiler
4.09/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bold and crisp golden body with a perfect head. Smell is piney and bright. Really sharp and biting bitterness with a really clean and crisp lager body. Reminds me off a bigger and more bitter Jack's Abby hoppy lager. Booze is hidden well behind grapefruit rind, light pine, and some mango. (289 characters)

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

Finally got a chance to drink a glass of this at the Bruery Tasting Room. Notes taken last week.

A- Poured from the taps into a chalice with a golden-orange body. Puffy, creamy white head builds to a few fingers. Cap retention is decent and a bubbly ring leaves spotty lace patches.

S- Fresh, bright hops with nice tropical fruit, dank and citrus feel overall. Slight sweet cracked malts and yeast bread in the backdrop.

T- Hoppy forward but not a huge bitterness like the IPAs of today. Smooth and drinkable hop profile of mango, orange citrus, flowers, tropical fruit and some dankness. Mostly hops but some cracker malts and yeast character comes through once in a while.

MF- Creamy light end body foams up nicely on the palate. Slightly bitter finish and smooth overall moderately high carbonation.

Hoponius of the West I suppose. Glad to be able to finally try this one. A brew I would gladly drink again. (915 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.78/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Local Habit. Handsome golden amber with a long-lasting head in the tulip. Plenty of carbonation and a tangy mouthfeel. The great thing about this beer is the fulsome aromatic hoppiness. Bitterness is restrained, but adds a nice note to the malty base.

Rather sharp after some sipping. Really spicy hop flavors linger invitingly, wafted up by the hottish alcohol. Some deep fruity flavors that remind me of mango and apricots. A tasty brew that seems stronger than it really is. And a good example of another homegrown style that seems to have a reason to exist. My favorite Bruery product so far. (607 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a clear golden yellow in color with a small fluffy head that left some spotty lacing on the glass

S: Not what I was expecting...big citrus nose, a light pine and loads of fruit

T: Is this a lager? I would say an amped up IPL perhaps but not a Pils. Loads of fresh fruits(citrus), light pine, subtle bitterness. Clean, hop forward finish

M: Light-medium body with a good amount of carbonation and a lightly bittered yet pseudo dry feel

O: Great tasting beer but not sure I would rate this as a PIls by any sordove BJCP standard. (541 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The beer comes in a golden orange color with a white head.

The aroma is a bit muted with some lemon and citrus fruitness. Its really hoppy however with some light pale malt.

The flavor is just perfect though. A good amount of zesty citrus in the front and then it hits you with grapefruit with pine on the finish. There's a cracker sweet bready malt in there, but it still stays away from being sweet and has that clean lager feel, although it tastes more like a really well made ale. A really clean clean beer.

The beer has a medium mouthfeel with tons of drinkability.

The highlights of this beer are its huge drinkability, but rarely do you get a beer that really is so much "hop juice." Your tongue just constantly keeps licking your teeth because of how hoppy this is. For 30 minutes after this beer, I didn't stop with noticing how hoppy it was on my teeth.

This beer is so darn crisp, clean, and hoppy. I would argue it stands up there with some of the best hoppy beers like Zombie Dust and Pliny. (1,009 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Port - Bressi Ranch
Aug. 5th, 2013 – standard pint glass

A: Golden light-straw colored body with some minimal haze. Very thin brim of pure white foam bubbly remains for a few moments before subsiding to a crown and marking the glass with lace upon each swig.

S: Smells of grapefruit, orange, and some light evergreens with a mild tropical twist. The aromas take on a very floral nature. Real botanical. Malt is rather subdued and a nonfactor in the nose. Very pure, clean Lager yeast profile. A lovely fresh hop medley. Somewhat tame by IPA standards although forward by Lager comparisons

T: Flavors are grapefruit, citrus, peach, and tropical mango-like hops. I get a very distinct floral quality that is almost perfume like as well. It really seems to dominate. Haven’t quite experienced that with this brew before. Hoppy with no abrasive qualities. Rather a very smooth, well-rounded overall hop bitterness to the beer and the alcohol is incredible well masked. Malt is secondary. Very light dry cracker base and a super clean Lager yeast as well. Tasty and refreshingly hoppy. As to be expected.

M: Very light body with a nice spritzy carbonation and killer drying crisp lager finish. Very clean and slightly resinous with sticky hoppy oils.

D: Light, dry, crisp, and refreshingly hoppy this is a very drinkable lager and one I order whenever available. I will say this has been more on par with Sculpin or Pliny in my previous experiences. Found it to be a little less vibrant and a lot more floral here. I really want to score this higher. Perhaps next time will convince me. (1,608 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at The Sixgill

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange color with a 1/2 finger white head on top. While small, the foamy head had great retention and left nice rings of lace.

S: Not has hop forward as I expected, but very nice. Some light citrus with a bit of graham cracker malt underneath.

T: Nice and hoppy, with more citrus fruit, a bit of orange and grapefruit with faint bitterness. Some light sweet graham cracker malt with a bit of the lager yeast coming through as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Finally! Been wanting to try this beer for a long time and it was great. (610 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 artoolemomo
4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head that has really good retention. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a hazy yellowish orange (grapefruit) that looks a lighter orange (weak orange juice) when held up to the light. Substantial lacing which is basically sheeting.

Nose- Mostly citrus notes at first- orange and lemon. Not very strong but still quite nice. Some grapefruit and a slight mustiness/armpit. Very nice but subdued. Warm and inviting.

Taste- Very strong (initial) mix of grapefruit, orange, and matchstick. Some hints of tropical fruits. Very hop forward. At this moment, I would regard this as a DIPA if I didn't know otherwise. Pine and woody resin. No real malt bill except the spicy, slight grain of a pilsner malt. Properties which distinguish this from a DIPA: not as hoppy, slight spice that does not seem to come from the hop profile, and a nice dry finish. The finish tends to clean up the hops on the finish even despite the fact there is still some wood and resin on the finish. No indication of heat. Now that I read that the Bruery describes this as an IPL, I understand. Definitely a solid beer.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with a lot of zip. Usually, I would consider the amount of carbonation to be a negative but it really works with this beer.

Drinkability- Delightful. Very easygoing. No heat. Six buck for a 12 oz. pour of the Bruery is pretty good. Crisp, refreshing with a nice dry finish.

Overall- Very solid beer. It's a very good representation of the style the brewery is trying to make but not the one BA classifies it as. Even though I went to Beermongers with the intention of having this one beer (and only one), I almost had another. (1,697 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to beachstrength49 for the growler.

Appearance: Perfectly clear dark gold. Head is bright-white, pillowy, and massive. Drops to a wispy cap with a thick collar with a tight bubble structure. Moderate carbonation on the pour. Some streaks of lacing.

Smell: Pine, crisp light malt. Some underlying bready and earthy notes. A hint of sweetness. Citrus pushes through adding some grapefruit. Loaded with resinous pine. Oily and bitter. A touch of yeast. Deeply floral with a small hint of spiciness in the back. A bit juicy. Iffy retention.

Taste: Crisp clean pale malt. Nice lager yeast finish on the back. Hoppy and bitter. Oily pine lingers. Bitter pine needle. Big push of floral hops with a backing spicy earthiness. A solid depth to the hops. Malts are lightly sweet with some caramelized malts on the back. Some tropical elements in the back, mostly pineaplle. Slight bready malt through the middle. Mint builds a bit with each sip and as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body. Moderate carbonation. Clean and easy drinking.

Overall: A solid ode to the hop.

A bit of a restrained beer from The Bruery. It's in that hoppy lager vein and they did it well. Relatively easy to knock back a few glasses, but the ABV creeps up quick. Definitely a solid summer beer. (1,287 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 Tucquan
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2013-07-04 in Paoli, PA at TJ's.

A - Mostly-clear golden orange with a 1-finger white head and mild lacing.

S - Light malt, yeast, citrus, hop floral. Not strong but quite pleasant.

T - Smooth. Light malt., some stone fruit and citrus. Plenty hoppy but not as brash as something like a Victory Pils (a favorite of mine), citrus, hop floral. Great balance. Finishes with a decent bitterness. Delicious.

M - Medium body and light-medium carbonation. Silky. Just right.

O - A really fine brew. Would enjoy this anytime. Worth seeking out. (555 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Surprise find at McLadden's in Northampton.

Served in a pint glass, the pour is a darkish copper/brown with an off-white head. It retains pretty well throughout, just about dissipated by the end, with good lacing.

Smell is nice, big potent hops - definitely lots of citrus, grapefruit, earthiness. Some sweet and bready lager scent to it.

The taste is more well-rounded with more of a pilsner presence for sure. Good mix of sweet, almost buttery malts with some crackery malts, grain and bready tones. Hops are nice, not overpowering, and have decent complexity. A bit of a grassy tropical feel with citrus, grapefruit, lemon, earthy and some piny hops.

Mouthfeel feels a bit slick, could use more carbonation. Not much alcohol presence here, good balance of bitter hops and lager-y finish.

A nice beer that is an OG hoppy lager if I remember correctly. Enjoyable to drink, and one of the more balanced+interesting 'IPL's I've had. Hops are very flavorful but not overpowering. (982 characters)

Photo of bcheng
4.88/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is the best imperial pils I have ever tasted. The amount of hops is just right, and brings out the freshness, citrus, and crispness of this brew, it strikes an excellent balance that just works for me. Not as strong as DIPA, which can easily be too hoppy or boozy. I suspect it must be tasted on tap.

I can drink this all summer long, if I can get my hands on it. (369 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Three separate times, from three separate people, I’ve been told a sad story regarding Humulus: they ordered it (twice after being told that Younger was no longer on tap), and then some frat boy drunkards gave them shit. “Dude, why you drinking that? You some kind of gay or something, bro?” Because, you know, it’s a lager. And everybody who knows anything about beer knows that lagers are for sissies.

This seems a peculiarly Californian breed of beer idiocy. Which isn’t to say California is especially beer-stupid: in the Midwest, you’ll still get some people who use the word “hops” interchangeably with “flavor,” and who will complain that a hefe is infected if it taste too much like pepper. But it’s only on the west coast that I’ve seen people get really pissy and defensive about whether or not lagers are necessarily inferior to ales. And that’s just completely stupid, since if you’ve ever tried to brew you know that lagers tend to be a lot more difficult.

And oh, god, are these hard to brew. I had Destihl’s double pilsener last November, and it was so bad that I shit on the brewer for months afterward. Only recently have I found that they’re actually a very neat and competent brewery, that their double Pils was something of an anaomly because it’s just so damn hard to make a double pils not taste like you’re smoking grass clippings or gargling dishwater.

Anyhow, I think the combination of brewing difficulty and shit idiot prejudice has stunted the growth of double pilseners as a style. Not only are they harder to make than double IPAs, but the payoff is a lot smaller: the majority of beer people, like the majority of all people, are very nearly retarded, and so if they see “pils” listed as a beer’s description they assume it’s like Bud and therefore below their highly sophisticated pallet.

Leave to the Bruery to prove them wrong. These guys pointedly do not care—aside from Three Floyds, they’re the only brewer I know that openly disdains their fan base. This shit is Deon Sanders-level of not giving a fuck. Meaning it’s Prime motherfucking Time.

Giant hops dominate throughout, but fruit esters sneak their way in like it’s some kind of goddamn Magic Eye puzzle—the malts a wee bit medicinal (a death knell in lesser x2 Pilses), but they combine with the citrus nodes of the hops to make for little firework bursts of red and orange fruit, with notes of pear and apricot. It’s ultra high-alpha but also smooth and fruity, which is exactly what an ideal version of this style should be.

Full review, with pic: http://mynie.com/?p=610 (2,629 characters)

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

Poured on tap into a shaker pint glass.

A real nice frosty looking appearance, golden amber to lemon hues on the bottom to a bronze rusty pale yellow at the top. Opaque. Very creamy white top presented with lots of lacing and a creamy puck to match.

Nose brings a dense malt and muted hop. Slight hint of wine like heat and fruit, quite interesting.

Palate is a nice controlled thick rush. Playfully carbonated and hoppy. Hints of soft pine and chewy almost wheat like feel with a good malt crispness. Fruit action follows a real nice lime citrus bitterness and popping finish. Chewy and crisp with a perfect balance between the two. Lingering dense bitter hop goes on forever. Vinous wine like warmth with good control. As it warms up the hops pull of a nice tropical action of pineapple and some peach it seems.

Overall a great impressive and controlled pilsner with a real pleasant and impressive hop profie. (915 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.41/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Served on-draught into New Belgium stemware last week at The Daily Pint in Santa Monica. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were high given this beer's reputation.

A: Pours a two finger white colour head. Decent cream. Decent thickness. Pretty good (~4-5 minute) retention. Body colour is a cloudy nontransparent translucent orange-copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. No lacing. Pretty nice vibrance.

Sm: Surprisingly hoppy for a lager. Floral hops, nectary hops. Lovely oily hop character. Pale malts. Vague orange fruit. Some restrained grapefruit. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Very fresh and evocative. Quite inviting.

T: Very full bodied. Heavy hop character throughout, with floral and oily hops dominating. Some nectary character. Soapy - it spent a bit too long in primary methinks. A bit overwhelming hop-wise, eclipsing the otherwise refreshing pale malt foundation. No yeast character comes through. Some noticeable alcohol. Most of the flavour is up front, leaving little for later. Grapefruit here is unwelcome and heavy-handed .

I like the malty side of it. Balance is troublesome, but it's interesting for the style. Good complexity. Lacks any subtlety whatsoever. Lacks a clear direction or focus. Scattershot. Tangerine. Somewhat fruity. Luckily, in spite of its blatant overhopping, no hop bitterness comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Far too thick. Too full-bodied. Overbearing. Lightly oily. A biteen buttery. Overcarbonated. Unrefreshing. Suits the flavour profile decently, overall, but it needs work.

Dr: Hoppy for hop's sake. This approach doesn't serve the style or the beer as a whole. I like the experimentation, but to an extent it misses the mark. I'd like to revisit it with a full growler to really go more in-depth (not reviewing standing up at a crowded bar), but I'm not impressed. How did this make the top 250? Another overrated, overpriced beer from The Bruery. Doesn't hide its ABV well. Unrefreshing.

B- (1,991 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 Treebs
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to luisc123 for this in a BIF I won. 64 oz. growler of this long time want served in a Brewery Vivant snifter.

A: Pours a solid gold color, slightly hazy, with a big pure white head forming on the pour. It recedes slowly down the glass with excellent retention. Sticky sheets of lace are left down the glass.

S: Light hoppy bitterness with a cracker malt profile. The lager yeast is present as well on the backend to remind you it's still a pilsner at heart.

T: Just like the nose. Generously hopped with a slghtl bitterness and fruitiness mixing with a sweet cracker malts. The lagery yeast is there again bring a light corny and popcorn flavor with a slight dank hop characteristic as well.

M: Light bodied with an insane drinkability. Nicely carbonated with a really smooth and slightly drying finish.

O: I really liked this beer a whole lot. Super drinkable with a great balance between the hops and the malt profile. The yeast profile was assertive enough to let you know it's still a pilsner which was great. (1,032 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this at the dive. Poured into a tulip.

A - Poured a nice crystal clear honey hue with a one finger head that left sticky lacing ans a thin blanket.

S - Aromas of grapefruit peel and orange. Nice light malts, gentle lager notes.

T - Taste is nicely grapefruit with light malty sweetness. Nice citus with good flesh and rind. Super drinkable.

M - Mouthfeel is very drinkable with light carbonation.

O - Overall not a bad beer. A great west coast ipa lager nut truthfully I enjoy Jack's Abby lagers a bit more. (520 characters)

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

The Beers of California

#86

On-tap at Father's Office in Culver City

A: Yellow golden with a moderate white head of foam

S: Floral, pine, big citrus zest, and tropical fruit. There is also some cracker maltiness and honey sweetness.

T: Nice hop complexity which follows the nose: spring flowers, pine needles, grapefruit peel, and tropical fruit. The malt is light, crackers, bread and honey which adds a layer of sweetness. Refreshing but flavorful with building bitterness and faint warming alcohol in the finish.

M: On the lighter side with strong oily linger and supporting carbonation. Some chewiness is also there

O: A wonderful lager with diverse hop notes which is both refreshing and flavorful making for an easy drinking and enjoyable brew. Would reach for this ahead of some of the solid West Coast IPA's out there. (833 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale orange color, light white had of a few fingers. Grapefruit and citrus aroma, slight sweet pale maltiness, orange and a touch of pine. Good bitterness. More of a tropical fruit taste with plenty citrus, bready malt backing. Light , crisp body, good mouthfeel. Held up great considering its journey.

Thanks Alex! (316 characters)

Photo of bennetj17
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright gold color, thin white foam head. Floral, citrus bouquet with west coast flair. Clean without much coming from the malts. Just a very hop forward smell.

The taste has an intense citrus bite with a grapefruit twang and melon sweetness. Quite bitter in the finish as the citrus kind of hangs for awhile. A nice presentation of hops but something is very one dimensional here. Good carbonation, the mouthfeel has a slight syrupy feel but is otherwise lighter and smooth.

Not sure if its because its not an ale, but this beer lacks complexity and the flavor begins to weigh heavily after while. Still a hoppy monster though and was glad to try it, but its perhaps a bit overrated. (686 characters)

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