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Hop Circle IPA - Phillips Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hop Circle IPAHop Circle IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

64 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 64
Hads: 199
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 17.4%
Wants: 9
Gots: 32 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Phillips Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bobsy on 05-10-2010

Hoptimization capacitors activated. Taste probe functions optimal. Aroma sensors in overdrive. Engage. Let this otherworldly IPA abduct the hell out of your senses. The gravitational pull of Hop Circle will have you searching the galaxy for another close encounter of the thirst kind. Resistance is futile.
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Reviews: 64 | Hads: 199
Photo of Converge
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Pours with a fluffy white head, about 2 fingers high, which dissipates down to a small cap that coats the glass in a sheet of lace. The body here is a clean amber-copper. I've also gotta let my love of Phillips bottle designs influence this rating, love the presentation of their beer.

S - Delightful hop forward aroma. Lots of citrusy C hops here, with strong notes of grapefruit, orange, and peach. Nice pine resin and earthiness too. No real malt in the aroma other than a bit of caramel; but I'm not complaining.

T - Great hop character, with lots of citrusy and piney hops leading the way. Grapefruit, orange, and a touch of peach and mango. Piney hops appear in the finish, with a balance of nutty caramel malt. Firm bitterness lingers. Simple, but really nice stuff.

M - Nice prickly feel from the carbonation, but not too much. Body is light-to-medium. Light bitterness in the finish from the hoppy flavor. Smooth and goes down really easy.

D - A damn good IPA from the West Coast. Great hop flavor with an easy drinking feel to it. I really enjoyed this one and I'm sure I'll be enjoying MANY in the future.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Props to my brotha in beer andrenaline for the hook up
A - clear golden bronze, bubbly with a nice white head that dissipated slowly leaving a solid cover
S - could smell the hops as it was poured, floral, pine, and mixed fruit, with grains and sweet candy
T - a great floral perfume hop bouquet, more subtle pine note, grainy, with a lemon and spice blend to finish
M - great carbonation level, easy drinking lightness, the hop bitter is enjoyable and lasts through the finish with some citrus bitter lingering
D - a hop head sessionable beer, a great flavour feature that goes down super easy and tastes like another

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Photo of hopsolutely
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The closest thing to a "Bell's Two Hearted" I have ever enjoyed from a Canadian brewer - an excellent beer!

Appearance is an average amber gold, with some sediment and not overly carbonated.

Aroma is absolutely stunning - almost a benchmark blend of citrus, pine and everything good I associate with west coast hops! Likewise the flavour is beautfully well balanced with a lingering, bitter finish. Some might find the finish a touch overly bitter, but I think it's a delightfully sustained ending to a truly impressive beer. A new beer for me and one I will make every effort to find again.

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Photo of BashOnABike
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber-pale colour, light, lots of carb, high retent head with messy lacing

S: Citrus upfront, lots, with some hop and a little malt. Mostly a hard-to-describe Philips phenol. Probably the best part of tasting!

T: Burnt malt upfront, with citrus and hop in mid, then more burnt malt. Three-stage makes for an interesting palate.

M: Frothy even as a second growler pour, very light and sessionable, moderate carb.

O: A very nice-looking, tasting and smelling beer. Phillips has saturated the style, but is still remains unique in my mind, possible due to the lack of filtering. Good for a friday night, one can easily pound a few back while still feeling refreshed: amazing!

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap @ Pig BBQ Joint in Victoria.

A - Medium yellow/orange with half a finger of thick cream coloured head.

S - Fresh grapefruit, peach and pine with a touch of caramel sweet

T - Good bitterness. Grapefruit peach, tangerine, pine. A slight malt sweetness in the background.

M - Medium body. Sticky. Light to moderate carbonation. 4

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Photo of ericj551
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Phillips Hop Circle pours a bright orange with a nice head. The aroma is citrusy hops, sweet orange and som grapefruit. More orangey hops in the flavor, with some nice herbal character leading into a mild bitterness. Sweet light malt appears in the finish, with a bit of resiny hops. Overall a really solid IPA, and a great addition to the Phillips Hop Box.

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Photo of Voonder
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341 ml bottle into pint glass.

A - golden pale/yellow, large foamy head. great retention.

S - citrus, a bit pine, some grassy notes, floral and fruity (mango) aromas. quite nice.

T - bitterness upfront - very bright grapefruit, pine, spices. then fruity sweet - mango, pineapple, floral notes, HOPS. finishes bitter an dry, earthy, grapefruit is very strong again. very nice and complex.

M - moderate carbonation, well balanced brew, light to medium body, pretty smooth.

O - good IPA, easy to drink, nice complexity. very good, interesting flavour. well done!

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Photo of Jeffo
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a 6 pack of this at the LCBO.

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, foamy, white head with good retention. Hazy gamboge orange with no carbonation evident. Head fades to a thin film. A splotchy film remains until the end and leaves some lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Pale malts, light caramel notes with some grapefruit, light melon and pineapple perhaps. Definite cascade hop presence for sure. Bold and enticing.

TASTE: Pale malts and melon sweetness up front, some grapefruit and hop bitterness at the swallow. Bold and lingering finish of hoppy cascade grapefruit, grassy bitterness and some melon sweetness as balance. Really nice.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes dry on the palate. Nice and creamy feel.

OVERALL: This is really, really good. Really like the hop bill on this one, and it's really well balanced as well. Other reviewers might be expecting something different, but as far as standard IPA's go, this is a top-class effort. Luckily this one is available at the LCBO all the time. Great stuff, and will definitely be a go-to when back in the Loo. Recommended.

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Photo of Derek
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden-bronze with a white head, good retention & lace.

S: Some nice west-coast hop aroma (citrus and a bit of pine), but not as overpowering as some.

T: Some quality malt flavour (biscuity) with some well-rounded hopping (citrus, grassy, hints of pine). Good bitterness.

M: Very smooth mouthfeel.

D: A great drinker.

It's very good, but after revising their IPA, I thought the hopping might be a little stronger... then again, I suspect this will sell REALLY well.

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Photo of tbeckett
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From notes.

A - Poured a nice light golden colour with mild haze. Two fingers of soapy white head sat on top with mild carbonation. Great lace rings, half finger retention.

S - Marajuana, grass, citrus, pine, nice depth of citrus.

T - Marajuana, pine, grapefruit. Much like the aroma. Nice flavour.

M - Good carbonation, medium body, nice bitterness.

O/D - Easy to drink with a respectable ABV. A good IPA that I could drink a number of. The dank/weedy hop note is a nice twist and the hop flavour was well done.

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Photo of Rutager
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a nice gold with lively bubbles rising and a finger of white bubbly head that leaves some nice lacing.

Smell. Sweet caramel and some nice, citus, piney hops. Yum.

Taste. Light, toasty grains and bitter, well rounded hops. Plenty of pink grapefruit rind pine sap, and a little grass.

Mouthfeel. Light-medium body with smooth, medium-strong carbonation.

Overall. Kick ass ipa. Not sure why it took me so long to try this one, but I`ve been missing out. Great stuff.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured into tulip 24/10/11

A clear golden yellow with just a few bubbles feeding a rolling hill like looking foam that leaves a few random patches of lace

S big citric nose with grapefruit and lots of lemon rind, slightly floral and faint booze in a deep whiff with some even fainter spruce pretty solid stuff

T what I smell but with more rind and it's just not as intense with the citrus as the nose, still quite good but missing something compared to the smell

M a little thin but well carbonated and it leaves just a little behind in your mouth

O decent IPA for sure that went down a little too quick, great nose, good flavor and easy to drink, need more?

Pretty pleased with this one and a most welcome addition to my beer selection in Alberta. 2 down and 2 to go thank you Phillips Hop Box

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Photo of hotmailmsn
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6.5% ABV, unknown ibu, 341ml bottle.
A - amber orange clear with finger n half white head.
S - citrus, mango, peach, passion fruit, tangerine, not really piney. grassy, "medicine". dank, caramel, toast malt.
T - great carbonation, refreshing, light mouthful, fruity like juice! well balanced with malt n hop, not so hoppy tho, but stick in tongue long enough. interesting unique funky aroma n taste of phillips'
O - it's a really good IPA, dry, more on the fruity side, refreshing especially on a hot summer day! sorry I was wrong, it's indeed pretty hoppy and lingering!! which makes it even better, n thing learned is that couldn't write an accurate review with only first zip. Phillips always make good beer! cheers!! WILL buy it next time!!

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Black Frog in Vancouver.

A: 1/8" offwhite head over amber liquid with excellent clarity.

S: Floral and citrus hops.

T: Floral and citrus hops up front with a somewhat malty and nutty aftertaste.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: Easy drinking IPA with a nutty aftertaste.

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Photo of pnkHoody
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off - I think it's inappropriate to have merged the Phillips IPA reviews with the Hop Circle - it is not the same IPA (. Hop Circle is unfiltered whereas the IPA was filtered, and it has a different hop profile, aroma and flavour. Hop Circle is a significant reworking and as such is a new beer, even though it is the replacement. <---EDIT: thanks for giving Hop Circle its own listing!

That said, review:

I had this on tap at the Beagle pub in Cook Street Village, Victoria. Just a keg.

It's a lemony, hazy colour with a thick but insubstantial head. There's an almost greeny glow to it.

The aroma is hop-pungent. Very powerful. It smells like cannabis.

It doesn't taste as bitter as it smells. It is very grapefruity, and fruity in general. More sweetness than the original IPA, and a much smoother mouth-feel (the old IPA was pretty puckering).

Hop Circle is a tropical-tasting, highly refreshing IPA. I couldn't session it -- after three I had problems typing my pin number into the debit card machine. But it is moreish and satisfying.

I don't think it quite out-muscles Red Racer IPA for "best BC IPA", but it's very close. Also, Red Racer has consistency issues in my experience, so Phillips is a safe bet and a beautiful summer pint. Enjoy.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(4.25) A: Very clear light-copper colour with a solid height of semi-creamy foam head. Long lasting retention and attractive lacing.

(4.0) S: Pine, juicy grapefruit, floral notes, buttery toffee, and a bit of subtle spice. Fresh and crisp aroma. Hints of tropical fruits present as well.

(4.0) T: Similar to aroma with lots of resin-like pine and grapefruit upfront with a buttered toffee sweetness and floral notes that present themselves towards the finish. Smooth with a fairly mellow taste that is a bit creamy too.

(4.25) M: Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Oily and resiny with an appropriate level of bitter and dryness.

(4.0) D: This is an all-around easy drinking IPA and one I would happily drink again.

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Photo of TerryW
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bright gold under a big fluffy head that gives up chunky lace. Settles to a substantial 1 cm cap.
A handsome beer.

Resinous pine alongside grapefruit citrus that is quite appetizing. Shows some subtlety instead of just punching you in the face with grapefruit pith.

Grapefruit, pine and malt. Strong bitter finish that lingers but is not overwhelming. Medium bodied some fullness from an almost oily mouth feel.

Interesting for lots of things happening in the glass, but probably a little to heavy too drink a ton of. Good as a one off.

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Photo of chickenm
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light orange-copper color with a foamy white head that leaves a bit of lacing. This is fairly light in color for an IPA. Aroma of citrus, pine, and malt. The taste has nice hops bitterness to it, but it is not overpowering. Medium-light body. Drinkability is very good, this is a great BC IPA.

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Photo of canucklehead
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the first IPAs to really shine in BC ( along with hopehead) this is newly renamed and slightly rejiggered Phillips IPA and with all the new IPAs out from Phillips still the cornerstone beer from them. This is a well rounded IPA that is not as hoppy as Central City but still has a great hoppy grapefruit nose and a well blended mouthfeel that shows off the hops. Doesn't stand out like it did when it was Phillips IPA and only hopehead from Tree was worth mentioning but still a very good IPA that will always be welcome in my fridge

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Photo of BDTyre
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent offering from Phillips, though if this truly is an unfilitered version of their IPA, not sure why they're offering both concurrently.

Cloudy orange with a very foamy and full head that slowly eases off.

Grassy, lemony hop presence with sweet, fresh bread malts. Smooth tasting, good blend of malts and hops - but very, very similar to their standard IPA. Not sure if leaving it unfilitered makes a real difference in the taste.

Nice summer beer, especially on a warm muggy evening.

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Photo of OskarL
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a orange/yellowish color with little haze and a large head that dissipates slowly and leaves nice lacing.

Smells of raisiny hops, lemon with a bready maltiness.

Tastes lemon, grapefruit, grassy hops, sweet malt and finishes more balanced than the nose gives of but still has bitterness to it.

Mouthfeel is smooth with fitting low carbonation and a medium body.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Black Frog, Vancouver.
Crusty white film over tarnished brass. 3.75
Passion fruit and sour citrus nose. 4
Apricot danish, then juicy orange, grapefruit rind, cantaloupe, and pine resin hops. 4
Lime Starburst and tangerine finish and jagged evergreen and powdery Lemsip linger.
Light side of medium, sticky, some oil. 4

A couple of different angles to the hops, which is a nice surprise. Citrus, yes, but also some Simcoe notes. Maybe a bit sweet and fruity, but both juicy and some real IBUs. More than I expected from Phillips. 4

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy golden color with a thin white head. Really nice lacing.

S: Lots of grapefruit with an almost juicy aroma and some citrus hops.

T: Slightly malty upfront with a pretty hoppy grapefruit and citrus finish. Bitterness is a little on the high side but this wasn't quite as hoppy as I would have liked. Still, a pretty solid IPA.

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Photo of biegaman
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I wish I could have said that Hop Circle IPA is a close encounter of the 'blurred' kind, but this beer is clear as day. So clear is it, in fact, that you can observe each tiny bubble with precise definition as though they were under a microscope. The golden beer emits a brassy sheen and has a head as white and fluffy as sheepskin.

What makes a good boxer is not only power but reach - the pungently grassy notes of this aroma reached my nose from across the table. So 'green' and herbal, it feels like I set foot in a hydroponics grow-op (or the trees behind the high school parking lot). Luckily this weedy musk - read into that word however you wish - is undercut by tones of grated lime and spearmint.

If I were desperate for Hop Circle and none was available, I could just as well lap-up the lawn after cutting it. Given, that won't relieve my thirst nearly as well but it would just about simulate the flavour. This has a seriously dank taste profile, one of wet leaves, flower petals and grass clippings, that drinks like a muggy summer afternoon (which, incidentally, may be the perfect occasion for such a quencher).

There's more than enough tangy, lime-like acidity, ginger-type heat and lemongrass notes to keep things lively on the palate. Though I have yet to try any of these myself, I reckon the brewery's suggested pairings of curries, Caribbean patties, and spicy shrimp are innate accompaniments for what is ostensibly the beer equivalent to a Thai green-chili curry paste.

"Hoptimization capacitors activated. Taste probe functions optimal. Aroma sensors in overdrive. Engage." So reads the label for Phillips Hop Circle, an IPA that certainly does 'abduct the hell out of your senses' just as assuredly and brilliantly as its label describes. This is no hoax. If you have never tasted a properly hopped IPA, you could hardly do better than to start here.

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Photo of Offa
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good IPA, fairly well balanced but with a predominantly hoppy character.

On tap, it is deep gold with a thin foamy ring that lasts and leaves a little lace.

Aroma is grapefruit, orange, very juicy with some raisiny grainy character.

Taste is orange ring, spicy-herbal-leafy hop, leafiness lightly taking over in the finish. It has some caramelly grain and light raisiny fruitiness. Overall, its' fairly balanced and good with food.

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Hop Circle IPA from Phillips Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.