Humulus Lager - The Bruery

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Humulus Lager
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BA SCORE
95
world-class

940 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 940
Reviews: 153
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 9.32%
Wants: 180
Gots: 33 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 940 | Reviews: 153
Photo of John_M
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of Gobzilla
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a pale golden yellow in color with a finger of fluffy head that left some frothy lacing sticking to the glass.

S: a nice piney hoppy bouquet was noticeable upfront on the nose with citrus, malty sweetness, and earthy notes but had hints of booze.

T it definitely had a nice piney hoppy punch that was well balanced with the malty sweetness alongside citrus, caramel, and earthy accents.

M: the brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a piney, hoppy, citrusy, mild sweet, crisp, and bitter finish.

D: very delicious beer if your a hop head and considering it is not labeled an IPA but was very tasty and drinking really good.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of glid02
4.72/5  rDev +10%
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.

Photo of jrallen34
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
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

Photo of dirtylou
4.59/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of rudzud
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of xnicknj
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.94/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

Photo of clayrock81
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%

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.

Photo of AgentZero
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of maximum12
3.76/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

Photo of tigg924
2.58/5  rDev -39.9%
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.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Photo of illidurit
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of mynie
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
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

Photo of francisweizen
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of cbutova
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Photo of dar482
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Photo of Bung
3.67/5  rDev -14.5%
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.."

Photo of FosterJM
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of Rutager
4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Growler from Chuck's 85th street market, Seattle.

Appearance. Pours a lightly hazy, rich yellow gold with almost a finger of bubbly white head leaving some great bands of lace.

Smell. Big sweet and juicy grapefruit and orange, toasty grainy malts, amnd some fresh cut pine wood.

Taste. Toasted light grains, pine sap and bitter yellow grapefruits. Just a little sweetnes, bitter finsih, very flavourful!

Mouthfeel. Medium+ body, medium carbonation.

Overall. This is one fantastic hoppy beer. Seems like a mix of noble and west coast style citrusy hops in a great combination.

Photo of EgadBananas
4/5  rDev -6.8%
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!

Photo of scottfrie
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at TRB. Tulip.

A: Pours a clear deep golden color with a dense, oily, and greasy off-white head that faded into a lasting collar that left streaks of sticky lace down the glass.
S: Huge dominating notes of citrus and leafy, sticky hop cones. Hints of mint in nose and taste.
T: Tastes like a fantastic ipa. Can barely detect the lager yeast if it is there. Definitely green and leafy, solid bitterness. Slight stone fruits in the finish but not much. There's a touch of lager breadiness in the finish but it's really not present.
M: Greasy and slick medium-full body. Tingly bitter and sticky mouthfeel. Tingly wet splashy carbonation.
O: Crazy hoppy and smooth. Great bitterness, clean and easy. First hoppy lager that I probably wouldn't know is a lager unless I was told it.

Humulus Lager from The Bruery
95 out of 100 based on 940 ratings.