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Humulus Lager - The Bruery

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Humulus Lager
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BA SCORE
95
world-class

842 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 842
Reviews: 140
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.3%
Wants: 169
Gots: 25 | 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:
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
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Ratings: 842 | Reviews: 140 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joecast
4.43/5  rDev +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?

joecast, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of francisweizen
4.3/5  rDev 0%
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.

francisweizen, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of localhost
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

localhost, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Humulus is the hop genus, and humulone is a 21 carbon containing compound that is responsible for hop bitterness.

Can I get some lager love up here right about now? Not only is the BY FAR! the BEST Impy pilsner I've ever had, its probably a top 20 beer overall for me. It is seriously that good. Well done Bruery. All of you guys with Black Tuesday boners are missing out of a beautiful draft lager, thanks womencantsail for this brew.

Split with the other Matt last night, beer poured from a growler into a Corsendork tulip. Beer is yellow, a little dark yellow and pretty hazy, haze clears up slightly as the beer warms, we may have started out a little too cold. Forms a soft white head of small and medium bubbles, good moderate carbonation, steady, and lots of lacing on the glass. Looks good.

Now I know why its called Humulus, its very hoppy. It nearly smells like an IPA its so hoppy. Its strongly CTZ hoppy with a nice floral / fruity back and a mild sulfurness. I bet this is amazing out of the tap.

Beer is medium to light in body, even with this high level of hop aroma and flavor, its not harshly bitter and it finishes completely cleanly. This is seriously a beer that I would have to monitor myself drinking due to the level of alcohol and the complete ease of drinking this beer. There is nearly no room for improvement and this was a GROWLER. The perfect beer.

drabmuh, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

A: Slightly hazy yellow hue with a huge white head that leaves a ton of lacing.

S: Really hoppy. Wow. Smells like an IPA.

T: Insanely delicious. Fresh and tasty hops. This beer has greatly exceeded my expectations. This beer is nothing short of phenomenal. It's remarkably smooth and easy to drink. I could put away endless pints of this until I fell off the bar stool. Seriously, it's that good.

M: Wonderful aftertaste with long lasting hop flavors.

D: Without question the best imperial pilsner I have ever had. Wow - my highest recommendation.

Huhzubendah, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of bump8628
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

bump8628, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Ineedabeerhere, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of jeffthecheff
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

jeffthecheff, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of jpro
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
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!

jpro, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of gregmoscetti
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
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

gregmoscetti, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of WeisGuy
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

WeisGuy, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of scubazook
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

scubazook, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of stoutfiend27
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
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...

stoutfiend27, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of glid02
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

glid02, May 14, 2010
Photo of GbVDave
4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 64oz Bruery growler into a 20oz imperial pint. Extra special thanks to errantnight for the extremely generous hook-up!

A: Pours a rich, perfectly hazed, gold bar color with four fingers of the thickest and creamiest head I've ever seen on a lager. It seemed like it was planning on retaining forever, but it very suddenly receded down to a bubbly ring and thin skim. Sheets of puffy lace were left coating the glass. Carbonation was lazy.

S: I couldn't believe how fresh the hops smelled as soon as I cracked open the growler. Huge and resinous. Loads of pine and tropical fruit. Apricot, mango, pineapple, clementine, orange zest, with a dallop of pine tar. I couldn't keep my nose out of the glass!

T: Damn! My first few sips of this were so loaded with hops, it felt like my tongue blacked out for a second. When it "revived", I was met with a wall of hoppiness so perfect and well thought out, I could scarcely go more than 20 seconds between sips. All of the aforementioned tropical, citrus, and pine flavors, plus some peach, and the addition of a bit of crackery malt that does its' thing during the finish.

M: This beer is so packed full of resinous hop oils, the whole inside of my mouth seemed like it was buzzing. Astringent hoppiness actually made my teeth feel "squeaky", if you know what I mean. Wonderful.

D: Well, this beer humbled me. Seriously. So absolutely delicious. I got the email from the Bruery last week saying that they were growlering Humulus Lager and I thought to myself, "Oh well, another Bruery beer I won't get to try." The very next day I got a bm from Derek saying there's a package on its' way to me that's meant to be consumed "soon". Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and saw a Bruery growler inside with a sticker on the top that said "HL". Thank you very much for your generosity Derek!

GbVDave, Apr 18, 2010
Photo of Krevee
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Krevee, Apr 12, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewery in August 2009.

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

Thorpe429, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of nickd717
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at the '09 Bistro IPA Festival in Hayward, CA. India Pale Lager, eh?

This beer is a hazy straw color (not pale lager like) with a lasting white head.

Aroma is malt/grain and some citrusy hops. Smells very nice.

Flavor is pale malt and grain with grapefruit and pineapple. Nice and pleasant for an imperial pilsner of sorts, or an IPL, but not overwhelmingly awesome.

Light-medium body. Drinkability is very high. Pretty good overall, as I've come to expect from The Bruery.

nickd717, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of bulletrain76
3.7/5  rDev -14%
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.

bulletrain76, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of rhinos00
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

rhinos00, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of HopHead84
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

HopHead84, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy hell I scored a growler of this! I am just tickled to be able to type this review. There are some beers out there that just seem to allude, big thanks to my man for not letting this one become part of that lot. Served gold and shared amongst friends and family on 09/04/2009.

The pour was nice, I was looking for a bit more, but that would come later. Bright golden amber in color with a good bit of haze and cloudiness to it. Small head of white on top that needed to hang out a bit longer but faded back with only a touch of side glass lacing.

Holy hops batman. I did not think it would be so strong. Rich pine hops cut with tons of citrus, Huge notes of medicinal malts cutting it as well. Really big aroma here. Then I took a sip and melted, literally melted. This was what I have always wanted in this style. I have had soo many bad imperial pilseners, this was the shit to be blunt. Crisp, clean, rich hoppy goodness cut with huge bready malts and a light touch of grain. Simply amazing. Each sip better then the one before it. I was just beside myself with joy. Medium and well carbonation body let the silky smooth taste just absorb all the moisture of my mouth and leave a long dry finish akin to apricots and grapefruit. Holy hell this is good. Abv is well placed, letting me get a taste without being overbearing.

Overall everything I thought it would be and a bag of chips. This was sublime. One of the best beers I have had in the last year hands down and worth every effort to try and obtain. Wow..

mikesgroove, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of LittleDon
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

LittleDon, Sep 01, 2009
Photo of John_M
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

John_M, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of Overlord
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

Overlord, Aug 28, 2009
Humulus Lager from The Bruery
95 out of 100 based on 842 ratings.