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Humulus Lager - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Humulus Lager
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151 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 151
Hads: 980
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 9.26%
Wants: 183
Gots: 38 | 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: 980
Photo of HopHead84
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

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Photo of John_M
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Scored a growler a little early before heading over to Beachwood BBQ's sour fest, seriously, big thanks to the Bruery for hooking me up, they really cater to beer nerds like myself.

Anyways, yellow lager color, a little more dark gold than BMC stuff. Big hoppy aroma, just like you want it with something named humulus. Big dry hopping.

Taste, almost perfect, I think I like humulus session or xpa a little more, the yeast seems to just not be the same fit as an ale, but it could just be such a foreign concept to have a lager this well hopped. Have to have more to determine with greater certainty, either way, its still very good. Hides alcohol very well, a Bruery tradition. If you like the fruity yeast presence from lagers and are a hophead, this might be right up your alley.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%

Poured a golden body with large foamy head and lace patches everywhere.
Aroma is grainy with good citric hop presence and touch of sweetness.
Smooth body that is light-drinking, this beer has mostly a bitter citric hop taste as well as some sweetness from pils malt and light fruit sweetness (straddles between tropical and grape).
Well balanced and enjoyable beer that keeps the ABV well-hidden.

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Photo of glid02
4.72/5  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.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.17/5  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

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Reservoir in Waterbury, VT.

Pours a hazy, almost opaque orange/yellow, looks almost creamy, with a one inch head, and a lot of lacing. Looks delicious.

Smells insanely fruity and hoppy, just could keep my nose in this one for a while. As tropical smelling as any hoppy ale/lager I've ever had.

The taste is similar. Grapefruit, orange, pineapple, mango, and peach abound, just really creamy and juicy at the same time, with a small amount of lingering bitterness, that brings to mind orange or grapefruit peel, rather than pine. I could chug this stuff.

This one has a fairly light body- but it's not thin at all- creamy and hoppy deliciousness awaits. The body is light, though, so it goes down quite easily. There's no lingering bitterness.

An absolutely delicious hoppy concoction, a bit out of the typical wheelhouse of The Bruery it seems. This shows they can make a hoppy beer with the best of them.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.59/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.94/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Immense thanks to womencantsail for trading this to me. Andrew was kind enough to ship it Express without my even asking for it, just so I'd get to drink this sooner.

A: In my Duvel tulip, this is a very hazy orange with a large, frothy off-white head that seems to stick around a while, leaving a little lace in its wake. For a beer this hoppy, the lace is a little less than I'd expect

S: Holy hops on the nose, batman! This is a true explosion of hops bright, citrus with orange, tangerine and a little bit of pine bitterness in the back. I'm not going to review this as an Imperial Pils, because it isn't one. It's a hoppy lager. Mild sweetness reminiscent of candied grapefruit. Pretty much a flawless expression of what hops are about. As it warms up, the pine character grows and is just immense

T: Holy fuck, this beer makes me laugh. Opening up with a firm bitterness with grapefruit and orange peel before being overwhelmed (in a good way) by a ton of hop flavor just beautifully express with a lot of pine needles and citrus - orange, sweet tangerines, a little grapefruit. There's just a little bit of malt character, and this just makes the citrus character taste candied. The finish is incredible as well, long lasting, with a smooth bitterness.

M: The resiny hop character makes this beer feel heavier than it is, and the soft carbonation just enhances it. Nothing is missed, though, as this beer showcases everything hops need to be - bitter, resiny, and flavorful. The finish is excellent, long lasting with a very smooth bitterness (I guess that'd be reserved bitterness). Just incredible.

D: Off the charts. I am looking forward to polishing off this growler tonight, and have a rollicking good time doing so. It is only into my 3rd pint that I feel like slowing down, and a little devil on my shoulder is telling me to save some for a friend tomorrow.

Notes: This is easily the best hoppy beer I've had since Younger. While Younger deserved a 6 for the way it felt on my palate, this beer earns it's 5, but otherwise, I can't think of a beer that better showcases what hops are about.
This beer also exemplifies the difference between East Coast and West Coast hoppy beers. The hop character of this beer is just epic, without whelming my palate, making this an absolute pleasure to drink.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of dar482
4.77/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of Bung
3.67/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Duckworths Ballantyne. Pretty clear gold pour, thin white layer. Sticks to the glass a bit.

Aroma, some pine and citrus zest. A little bready pilsener like malt.

Taste, light biscuit, heavier pine and citrus zest again. Bitters linger quite a while. A little more caramel and grain comes though as it warms, but very little.

On the light side body wise, nice smooth carbonation. Drinks very easily.

More of an ipa than a pilsener, probably why it is rated so high. Needs more malt and grain balance. Very straight forward.

"Come on ride that train, and ride it...it's a choo choo train.."

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is no lager, it taste like a premier West Coast IPA. Shows was SoCal can do right, an IPA full of flavor without holding back. Would be an easy go to beer if available.

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Photo of tigg924
2.58/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, moderate carbonation, bright yellow in color, clear

Smell: pithy citrus rind

Taste: grain, light butter, and tropical fruit hops

Mouthfeel: light body, slightly bitter, medium carbonation

Overall: Not what I was expecting. This had a buttery grainy taste to it that was not appealing. I usually like Bruery beers, but this did not come together for me. I will be passing on this.

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Photo of maximum12
3.76/5  rDev -13%
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.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to Sean for supplying this quite unexpectedly.

A - Golden yellow beer with a couple of fingers of puffy head that had very nice retention and left some moderate stick on the sides.

S - Very well integrated hop bitterness breaking up some of the more traditional lager yeast and sweeter malts. Smells quite inviting.

T - Some good grain malts and lager yeast. The hops bring a good bit of bitterness with the lager flavors. It's pretty nice, and the hops break up some of the sweetness and boringness of a traditional lager. Great hop finish.

M - Light, crisp, good carbonation.

O - Not a traditional lager, but this is really what I'd be looking for in one. Great beer, refreshing, can drink this all day.

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Photo of cbutova
4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of mynie
4.77/5  rDev +10.4%
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

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Photo of Rutager
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of illidurit
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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