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Humulus Lager - The Bruery

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Humulus Lager
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BA SCORE
95
world-class

861 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 861
Reviews: 140
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.3%
Wants: 170
Gots: 28 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Humulus Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 861 | Reviews: 140 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of notchucknorris
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

notchucknorris, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of AdamBear
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

AdamBear, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of dubinsky
4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

dubinsky, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of flexabull
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
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...

flexabull, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of illidurit
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

illidurit, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of avaldivia
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

avaldivia, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of nataku00
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

nataku00, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of Sean9689
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally get to tick this! Bruery growler poured into Bruery tulip.

A - Pours golden yellow, beautiful white frothy head, thin cap, nice lacing. Nice-looking beer, for sure.

S - Tropical fruit, herbal, floral, hops, nice bitterness. Jeez, lots going on here and the style lets a lot of different notes stick out. Love the tropical fruit and herbal/floral notes together.

T - Tropical fruit, nice hoppy bitterness, herbal Pils notes and some floral character to round things out. A hybrid IPA, IPL, Pils mix...really tasty and a nice idea.

M - Body is light, good carbonation, oily finish.

O - An excellent beer that exceeded my expectations! It's not an IPA, not a Pils, but something in between. Whatever they did, it's done right. Can't wait to try it fresh at the brewery in the near future.

Sean9689, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of Urbancaver
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
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

Urbancaver, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of jrallen34
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Sean for this impossible to get DONG... bright murky gold, light tan head, looks good for a growler... smells great, tons of tropical fruits, grapefruit and pineapple, the finish is a touch of alcohol pines... the taste is mostly hops, loses most of the sweetness, more herbal than anything, with some lemon and pine, really easy to drink

jrallen34, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

HuskyinPDX, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of snpub540
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up my growler from The Bruery tasting room on fathers day.

Poured a slightly hazy pale golden hue with a two finger high fluffy white head. The head had some nice hang time and turned out some nice lacing on the glass the entire time.

Smell rivals that of the best Double IPA's I've ever had. Grapefruit and mango stick out at the front with some piney grassy aromas and under all that some grain alcohol.

Taste is very bitter but it has a really nice crisp finish. Sweet malt upfront and a nice bitter finish. Hop flavors are pine and citrus and leave a very nice aftertaste.

A little thin in the body department but not watery. This is a great crisp full flavored lager. It combines the clean taste of a lager, with the bitter full flavor of an IPA. I can get used to drinking this.

snpub540, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of AndyGz
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Pizza Port Carlsbad Real Ale Fest 2011.

Poured orange with a golden haze, nice thin layer of foam receded slowly, for a cask pour.

Smelled of citrus, grapefruit, mango, and fresh hoppiness.

Amazing taste, a full flavored citrus hop-bomb but with measured bitterness.

A refreshing mouthfeel, crisp and light for a beer of this abv.

So drinkable and delicious. This is the top IPL and rivals some nice IPAs/IIPAs on my wish list.

AndyGz, May 28, 2011
Photo of beagle75
4.47/5  rDev +4%
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.

beagle75, May 19, 2011
Photo of ehammond1
4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

ehammond1, May 19, 2011
Photo of Rampage1
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-- The appearance is a beatiful gold yellow with a nice slight haze to it that appears to glow.

S-The smell is what at first made this beer so special-- lots of tropical fruits -- pineapple,orange mango are the one's i pick up. Some citrus smells come in on the back end as welll. Its so clean and fragrant in the smell of this awesome Lager.

T--The taste is what sets this apart from the other ipa's i've had. It has such a great balanced malt and hop character with a really clean crisp after taste that no ale can touch in this category.

M- A nice amount of carbonation that delivers the tropical flavors to the palate in a bright, smooth manner.

D- This is such a highly drinkable beer simply from the fact that it has such a dry, smooth after taste that is perfectly balanced and very easy to drink. I am drinking this from a growler and could take this growler down pretty quick if i didn't watch it.

Overall i simply cannot say enough about this beer and look forward to hopefully having it again sooner than later. Its such a smooth beer with one of the best fruity smells to come from a beer. I would actually put this up with hopslam as one of the best beers i have ever smelled. Nice job on the great beer Patrick!

Rampage1, May 17, 2011
Photo of MiScusi
4.13/5  rDev -4%
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!

MiScusi, May 11, 2011
Photo of dbmernin83
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
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

dbmernin83, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
4.47/5  rDev +4%
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.

FosterJM, Apr 10, 2011
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
Humulus Lager from The Bruery
95 out of 100 based on 861 ratings.