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Cornballer - The Bruery

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very good

59 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 59
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 14.66%

Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Malt Liquor |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: t0rin0 on 02-24-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 59 | Reviews: 35 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of errantnight


1.88/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A sticky head (tons o' hops) and a rich golden hue. Purdy.

But the problems begin in the nose. Initially there's a big waft of pleasant citrus notes, backed by a sticky resin that disintegrates into a harsh, vegetal, muck.

Unfortunately this is backed up on the palate. Compensating to hide a "malt" backbone that is thin, flabby and sweet, the hops have been delivered by the truckload and while the blend seems nice, they've sat too long. Their is a rough, ragged bitterness that doesn't so much cap a pleasant swallow as it does attempt to scrape away any residual flavor. Which is probably the right idea, I don't know that I'd like this sitting on my tongue, but it adds to the overall unpleasantness.

The body is overly thin, lacking the structure of long chain sugars and proteins you might want in a beer of this size.

Overall, a gimmick and a disappointment. Clearly overcompensating and trying to get some value out of their crazy 21 year whiskey beer, they produced something that if a pilot batch would never have seen the light of day (I'd hope).

I do love The Bruery, but I wish they'd quit dancing around the IPA if they want to play with American hops, or at least just make their XPA (now that they've got it down) and their Humulus Lager regular draft brews. Or if not, at least come up with a more novel way to rescue a poor base than smothering it in hops. Belgian yeast and blending in some wheat heavy wort and perhaps an interesting, and drinkable, Saison could have come of things. This... this was more unpleasant than your average malt liquor from the corner store.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2011 21:10:29 | More by errantnight
Photo of ptykozoon


2.08/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Disclaimer: Poured into a small tasting glass.
Pours deep pale yellow. Nice lacing, thin head.

Pungent. Sweet and sour lemon. Nice at first but then there are these nasty undertones of you trusty corny, astringent malt liquor.

Weird. Hops and...malt...liquor? Thick earthy corn taste. This is wrong!

Well carb'd, alcohol is there.

Oh my god no I don't want another glass. This was fun to try but is not a tasty, sessionable, complex or graceful beer by any means. Worth a shot though - interesting idea.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 00:58:59 | More by ptykozoon
Photo of vacax


3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour is clouded nearly greenish yellow, little head, decent retention with some sticky lace, appears to have high carbonation. The aromatics are completely dominated by the clusterbomb of Columbus hops, piney and leafy. The flavor repeats the one-note hop bomb present in the aroma. Leafy, piney, green, bitter hops summarize the experience, followed by a slightly grain, cottonmouth dry finish. Light bodied, very bubbly but not fizzy feel, and bone dry. I applaud The Bruery for not fearing corn, and this experiment is moderately successful. The end result here is an ultra dry imperial pilsner that has a one-note hop flavor at the core. Decently drinking, but lacks depth and is overly dry.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2011 20:57:28 | More by vacax
Photo of vince4953529


3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this filled in a growler for around $17 without the glass.

The poured color was cloudy yellowish, looked like a hefeweizen.

Smelled very hoppy, just like how a west coast IPA would smell. If not for the color or the described style I would say this is an IPA just by smelling.

It's hoppy, but there were something underlying there that separated this from an IPA. It's sweeter, a very faint taste of corn, a bit cloying without the super-dryness that I look for in a hoppy IPA.

It's fairly drinkable, the 9.5 abv is hidden extremely well. I didn't dig the corn part a lot, this drinks fine but the corny taste gets a bit yucky after awhile. I bet the Bruery can brew an exceptional and mind-blowing DIPA if they wanted to.

Serving type: growler

02-27-2011 09:10:17 | More by vince4953529
Photo of beagle75


3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a growler into a tulip pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy, pale golden color with one finger of white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Very hoppy, with bright citrus and flowers that are followed by more neutral or even alkaline talc/paste smell. No alcohol detected.

T: Begins sweet, with clean piney and lemon citrus hop aromatics amidst mild acidity. Astringency develops in the middle, staying restrained, while a bland sweetness persists. The finish is clean with slightly medicinal bitterness that becomes fairly intense. No alcohol detected.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, soft and creamy on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: While not a bad vehicle for hops delivery, this leaves some essential part of the ale experience on the cutting room floor. Just when the drinker might expect malt flavors to surge in support of bold hops, instead a character-less sweetness limps along. Still, for such a strong beer it is probably one of the brightest-tasting in existence. Lemony qualities are a lovely reoccurring theme, but it can't shake the overall feeling of being compromised.

Serving type: growler

05-27-2011 03:16:27 | More by beagle75
Photo of Urbancaver


3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Bruery. Was super excited to try this and it did NOT live up to my hopes.

Pours a pale yellow with a nice clean white head. Smells corn heavy and yeasty. There isn't much going on on the nose. Pretty boring but what do you expect for a malt liquor. Tastes very bitter. Hop presence is big, a light sweet malty backbone that is really simple. Way hoppier than I was expected. Huge hops for a malt liquor. Its interesting and I commend the Bruery for trying this but I don't think it worked...

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2011 13:17:46 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

dull golden amber, almost a straw or hay like color. Initially a big fizzy white head formed on top, but quickly evaporated leaving behind nothing but a pale yellow fizzy liquid.

Grainey and musty would be the best way to describe it. Like wet old grass cuttings, or moldy bread. There a slight note of a hoppy touch in there, but the smell was rather unremarkable. It was crisp, with a clean finish, and had a touch of some kinda different back to it, but that was about it.

Serving type: growler

11-21-2011 03:05:51 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail


3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Bruery

A: The pour is quite hazy and turbid, just like many of the Bruery's other beers. The head is about a finger tall and white in color without great retention.

S: Smells like hops more than anything. Lots of fresh grapefruit and some definite grass and straw qualities. There's a touch of cooked corn in there and a mild sweetness. A big vegetal at points.

T: A mild sweetness: nowhere near what I'm accustomed to with beers of the malt liquor variety. Decently citrusy with some of that grapefruit character. Grass and hints of light fruits. A mild bitterness from the hops.

M: The body is medium with a moderate carbonation to it.

D: This was actually not bad. Sort of like a sweeter and less awesome batch of Humulus lager (of one of the other humulus beers, perhaps).

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2011 19:15:16 | More by womencantsail
Photo of FosterJM


3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

339th review on BA

App- A nice darker yellow with a 1 1/2 finger puffy head. No real lacing but pretty nice looking.

Smell- A summer day in a field with a fresh weeds smell(not WEED)and at the same time a bit dank.

Taste- The corn is pronounced but still palatable. Wasn't over dominant. Most beers from the Bruery are this way. Clean and subtle, except when they want them to be bold. A bit malty with notes of hop and pine.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a medium/high carb level. A bit lighter. Wasn't expecting this route but it was good.

Drink- A solid brew again from the gang at the Bruery. I probably wont have this one again because I am not a fan of the style but good for what it was.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2011 03:20:02 | More by FosterJM
Photo of DarthKostrizer


3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Bruery

Look: Straw yellow in color with 1/4 head and ok retention

Smell: Floral and citrus hops

Taste: Same as the smell but just a bit more balanced from the malt

Mouthfeel: Medium body and high carbonation and a hair dry

Overall: As it says it's a malt liquor that is hop infused. Is that a good thing??? The hops do overpower the beer for the most part but in this beer I think that is a good thing. I would recommend this beer to anyone that loves hoppy beers but for me this was a one time purchase... Worth trying though

Serving type: on-tap

07-27-2011 05:56:33 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of Halcyondays


3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at The Bruery,

A: Pours an opaque goldenrod with a medium white head. Pretty good retention, some lace.

S: Very hoppy on the nose with some corn, English peas, and pot.

T: Really hop dominated. The malt flavour is pretty much non-existent, and there is a minor corn play. The grassiness is intense, some secondary pine notes as well.

M: Medium-bodied, crisp, fairly soft carbonation, easy going.

D: This is all hops, so you better like them going in. Good flavour, not a lot of nuance to it, but in the end an enjoyable effort.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2011 01:51:22 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of Retsinis


3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got a chance to try this yesterday at the Bruery tasting room, on tap of course, poured into a full serving glass.

The beer pours a very light straw yellow color, hazy, cloudy, with a thin, light, and murky head of carbonation that rested on top. Some lacing.

The beer smelled like Ganja to me to be perfectly honest, very strange. Huge hop aroma up front, fresh cut crab grass, hay (though not in that funky barnyard sour way), and green corn on the stalk.

Taste was also very hoppy, with some corn in the background, much less then I was expecting. Some pine, citrus, bitter bite, with a dry finish.

The mouth feel was light, crisp, and a bit
gritty. Like so many Bruery beers, it does not taste as strong as it is, 9.5%, more like 6%, dangerous in that regard.

Overall, this tasted more like a higher ABV, hopped up pale ale, nothing like any malt liquor I've ever had that's for sure, and though it is not my style, it is certainly an interesting beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2011 19:42:58 | More by Retsinis
Photo of AgentZero


3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler shipped by ArthurPendragon.

A - Cloudy light yellow color with nice bubbles flowwing to the top. Huge frothy head that left spots on the sides. Pretty impressive looking beer.

S - Smells like a super citrusy APA or maybe IPA with a healthy dose of alcohol. Corn is pretty evident, but it's not a bad thing.

T - Taste follows suit with the citrusy hops and corn. It's like a very boozy and citrusy APA. It tastes decent enough but you really have to like alcohol to like this one.

M - Crisp, light bodied, good carbonation bite.

O - It's great, for a malt liquor, which makes it a decent, but not awesome, beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 01:59:05 | More by AgentZero
Photo of Sideswipe


3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At The Bruery. Into a tasting glass.

One finger head which fades quickly. Hazy gold color. The nose is hops and something a bit off-putting, the corn maybe? Taste is bitter hops and hemp. This is very close to IPA territory, the corn adds a different dimension to it though. The hops are super bitter, but citrus flavors are absent. Feel is medium with a high level of carbonation. Can't detect much of the ABV due to the bitterness. Not bad, but not my favorite either.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2011 20:57:58 | More by Sideswipe
Photo of dgilks


3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy pale gold colour with a smooth white head. Fair head retention.

Big, grassy, citrussy hop nose with some grapefruit and dank herb notes.

Big alcoholic flavour with a hefty hop bitterness. Mild citrus. Seriously hoppy for a 'malt liquor'.

Medium light body with moderately-high carbonation. Good.

An interesting beer for which I have no real point of reference. It's definitely weird but oddly decent.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2011 10:52:40 | More by dgilks
Photo of ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a weird beer.

64oz thanks to Caleb! Poured into my .5l swiss boot (I only break this out a few times a year for special beers).

A- pale pale dirty yellow beer with a huge snowdrift of a head. Head is brilliantly shimmering and laces rather nicely.

S- Piny, citrus, not much else. Very hoppy.

T- A huge hop assault greets me at first sip. Scathing bitterness, mostly pine resin but also floral/fruity. Bitterness isn't overkill, but there's something about it I just can't fully embrace it. Mild oorn sweetness is fleeting, it's too hoppy to get much out of it.

M- A bit gritty/grainy, body is thinner than I expected. A good attempt at a malt liquor in this category.

D- Moderate but goes down pretty easy. A head-scratcher.. I wasn't in love with it but I enjoyed it enough to polish off 3/4 of a growler in a sitting. I think with some tweaks on the hops- I found them too bitter and lacking depth- this one could be a real winner.

Thanks again, Caleb!

Serving type: growler

03-07-2011 19:07:40 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of Overlord


3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy straw gold with a big, one to two inch white foam head. Sudsy!

Smells like fresh grass with some straw and a bit of grapefruit, along with a yeasty twang to it. Interesting aroma, not what I expected. I detect nothing about this that makes me think "malt liquor." Pretty straight-forward hop profile.

Taste is more yeasty/zesty than expected, with an almost mineral edge to it. Almost no citrus in the flavor, it's basically grass with that yeast zest. Extremely straight-forward.

Liked it. Nice fluffy mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2011 11:32:19 | More by Overlord
Photo of jethrodium


3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Beer Revolution. Pours a very cloudy light yellow. Almost looks like a hefeweizen. Small, puffy white head that has pretty good retention and leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass. Aroma is strong citrus (grapefruit and orange) and pine hops. A little bit of corn sweetness on the nose as well as some light grass and weed. The initial taste is a sweet grapefruit and light pine. This goes into a bit of a corn sweetness and some light fresh cut grass. The finish is clean with a decent bitterness. Medium body. A little bit on the sweet side, but certainly not syrupy. Relatively low carbonation. Mild astringency. Overall a pretty good beer. With the amount of hop flavors it drinks more like a DIPA than anything else.

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2011 05:14:28 | More by jethrodium
Photo of xnicknj


3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

growler thanks to gcphilli

Pours a hazed straw yellow color with plenty of lacing and retention which rests on top.

An unexpected bite of floral hops in the nose, some grain and bread malt. Slight fruit sweetness too.

Some hoppy bitterness up front with floral notes and citrus pith. Grain and corn malt character with some light body. Biting juiciness and slight citrus. Finishes with alcohol bite.

Medium body, high carbonation, slightly creamy for some reason. A decent drinker for what it is, and it definitely defies what I might usually consider a malt liquor.

Serving type: growler

05-30-2011 06:40:17 | More by xnicknj
Photo of marqoid


3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from growler into Bruery Tulip ~ 3weeks after being filled at the brewery.

A: Pale yellow with a slight green tinge. Minimal white head.
S: Right up front is hops, fairly piney/earthy. Pretty simple, but pleasant and while straight forward it is not overpowering.
T: Again, primarily hops, with some sweet corn base. A bit boozy, but with a neutral flavor and no burn.
M: Very thin, but moderate+ carbonation. Refreshing despite being somewhat boozy.
O: This is a great unusual take on a well know style. I really hope they keep this one around.

Serving type: growler

07-06-2011 04:53:51 | More by marqoid
Photo of HuskyinPDX


3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this one at the tasting room.

A - Pours a light clear yellow with a white head that stuck around for a little bit.

S - Hoppier than expected, some sweet corn/sugar scents.

T - hoppy pine, slight sweetness.

D - Lower carbonation. Very light body.

O - didn't know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Serving type: on-tap

07-09-2011 02:26:41 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of Gobzilla


3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a golden straw yellow in color with pale yellow highlights and had a finger of frothy head leaving plenty of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the aroma had more hoppy character then expected with citrusy, malty sweetness, grassy and hints of the corn but no booze was detected.

T: the taste was also hop forward like the nose would suggest alongside citrusy, grassy, sweet malty accents and a touch of corn to it as well that was well hidden along with the booze.

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

D: drank really good and was definitely better than your average malt liquors, definitely glad I got to try it.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2011 03:44:29 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of DoubleJ


4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Bruery Provisions, on to the beer:

Looks like a Belgian ale with its bright yellow color and haze in the body. It's certainly a lot more attractive than your typical malt liquor. It wasn't the only characteristic that was better than the typical malt liquor; the nose took me be surprise. I was expecting a ton of corn, and got a more hop dominant aroma with modest corn in the back. More specifically, milled corn at the base while tropical fruits and pine pull through.

Now it gets fun. The beer starts off with light tropical flavors. Pineapple too. And the corn? Usually corn in beer tastes rancid, but here it tastes a lot like sweet white corn eaten from the cob. In this context, it is excecuted well. Alcohol is difficult to find, on the smooth side of things, relatively easy to consume.

Business as usual from The Bruery, another oddball beer that works.

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2011 06:25:00 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of snpub540


4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale cloudy yellow with a thin white ring of bubbles. Slight amount of lacing left on the glass. Looks are very deceiving.

Smell is a burst of resiny hops with grass, pine and grapefruit popping straight out.

Taste is a nice nice mix of grapefruit with a hint of pineapple and a dry pine finish. Sweet alcohol flavor mixed in at the end but its not aggressive.

Thin body but it just delivers in terms of taste and aroma. This is a hop heads dream.

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2011 19:45:22 | More by snpub540
Photo of mrkrispy


4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was fortunate enough to have a friend share his growler with me. I had heard about the cornballer and being someone that isn't shy about giving a malt liquor an occasional fight, I had to try it.

Pours a hazy yellow with a tint of green (from the dry hops?).
Slightly fluorescent?

MASSIVE grassy and dank hop aroma, not getting any floral or fruity hop aromas.

Somewhat light body, has a familiar taste of corn/rice adjunct beers with a faint faint sweetness that isn't a malt-sweetness...and is also dry? Interesting. Finishes with a hoppy and moderately bitter finish that quickly clears up. A few more tastes....not a lot of complexity but quite drinkable.
Hops in the flavor similar to the aroma, slight citrusy notes that make it a refreshing drink. My inclination is that of a hoppy XPA that is unbalanced and corny. Not getting any fusels or jet-fuel flavors. By the bottom of the glass I feel the alcohol.

I love the huge explosion of hops , it is refreshing but kind of a one-note beer. A great SoCal take on the old and tired malt liquor style, but done without the harsh off flavors. I see it as taking an Xtreme interpretation of a San Diego IPA with a even-more diminished malt bill and clean yeast and giving you a Hop punch to the face. With the exception of the huge hop smack this beer fits the style but is cleaner than macro versions. Job well done.

Serving type: growler

03-17-2011 17:43:06 | More by mrkrispy
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Cornballer from The Bruery
86 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.