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Hop Circle IPA - Phillips Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hop Circle IPAHop Circle IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

170 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 170
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 7
Gots: 18 | 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:
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.

(Beer added by: bobsy on 05-10-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 170 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spree92
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is what an IPA should look like. A golden, light amber with an eggshell color head. Lots of carbonation constantly rising from the bottom. Head shrank fast but left some good lacing. There is an earthy note to the senses. Bitter hops, a blend of citrus peel and again, an earthiness that just smell right. For 6.5%, not overly bitter. A great mellow feel and easy to consume.

spree92, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of bbb099
2.42/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Split with mjyoung.

A - Cloudy, orange-ish golden color with a white, foamy head.

S - Smells incredibly yeasty with some citrusy hops present.

T - Top of the bottle has grassy and piny hops flavors with a citrusy backend. However, there was a LOT of yeast on the bottom of mine. Tasted like chunks of yeast sprinkled with a little bit of hops. Something I expected out of a homebrew, bleh.

M - Low to medium carbonation. Light to medium bodied.

D - Overall an average drinkability. Towards the bottom, however, it was almost undrinkable. I like yeast as much as the next guy, but the bready aroma and taste was a little overwhelming at some point and it really threw me off. This problem made it taste un-IPA and I have to mark it down for that.

bbb099, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of mjyoung
2.85/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Split w/ bbb099

A: Thick head that quickly dissipates that doesn't leave much in the way of lacing. It's a hazy honey color that doesn't quite jive with the style.

S: Strong citrus hop notes with a definite yeasty presence. It doesn't smell too bad, but definitely different. The bottom of the bottle is EXTREMELY yeasty... Definitely a negative, but not enough to counter the decent smells that come first.

T: Pretty grassy (I picture a freshly mown lawn that's been covered with bakers yeast), with a only mild notes of those citrus hops. It's pretty hard to pick up any hint of malt or depth. Not bad, but not great.

M: A little lighter bodied than I was expecting, and slightly on the flat side.

D: It wasn't too shabby, but that being said it sure wasn't anything special. It will probably be memorable simply because it was so different, but it sure didn't hit what I was thinking for the style.

mjyoung, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of IllNate
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly cloudy golden yellow. Good amount of white head with decent retention

S - Smells heavily of citrus hops. A bit of pine as well.

T - Taste follow with the pine being a bit more pronounced. Good body.

M - Good carbo, smooth with a bit of puckering biterness.

D - Good drinker. Smooth and not too bitter.

IllNate, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of scottfrie
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Thanks to my buddy mjyoung for thinking of me on his trip to Canada.

A: Pours a clear orange tinged golden with a couple fingers of dense bubbly head that slowly faded into a thin film that left great streaks of lacing down the glass.
S: Big orange citrus hop nose. Smells a lot like orange sherbet. Not bad.
T: Flavor isn't as good as the nose. Notes of bitter vegetables mix with the citrus to give a weird mixture of a solid leafy hop flavor and nasty alfalfa sprouts. Pretty strange but not awful. Finish has notes of orange zest, and the aftertaste is lightly bitter. Never did pick up much malt, but there is an undertone of sweet bread crust all the way through.
M: Medium body, good mouth with a bit of chewiness.
D: Pretty standard IPA. Its best quality is its smell. I would drink this if it was around now and again.

scottfrie, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of Derek
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Derek, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of joemcgrath27
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
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

joemcgrath27, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of andrenaline
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My brother picked up a 6-er of this when we got together over the holiday weekend.

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden caramel colour, finger of head with mild retention, leaving small islands and some fine sporatic lacing.

S - Soapy hops dominate the scent followed by pine and cedar spriggs, and a sweet lemon iced tea on the finish.

T - The scent was much sweeter than the flavour with the cedar and pine hops coming through a bit more bitter and earthy. The caramel malts come through on the finish for a nicely balanced hoppy offering.

M - This one was light and bubbly, nice carbonation on the body, but the finish was a tad too dry for my liking. American IPA's are typically dry, but I found this one a tad too dry.

D - A delicious hoppy offering. It would've been nice if the sweet scents on the nose came through more in the flavour, but this is still a tasty IPA recommended to any hop lover!

andrenaline, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of ritzkiss
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle split with Bobsy, thanks man. Re-branding and unfiltered version of the original IPA which I didn't really find all that impressive... perhaps this one will be better.

Pours a lightly cloudy golden color with a finger of head which leaves some sticky lacing down the glass.

The hops still aren't as bold as I would expect and, while there is some nice variation in the hops, on the West coast I expect a little more of a West coast hop character. As it is, sweet caramel malt with a hint of mineral/earth, light pine, grassy, hint of lemon rind, a peppery hop character that makes me think Saaz, a slight bitter finish that borders on astringent.

Not terrible but not really up to the level of other stand out IPAs from BC. I really want to love Phillips but their regular offerings often fail to move beyond average.

ritzkiss, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of bobsy
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New(ish) beer from Phillips.

Pours a brilliant orange with a finger of creamy foam that laced well. Spicy, almost peppery aroma with light citrus notes and an earthy backing. Certainly not as hop-forward as I would expect from this brewery.

Flavour is so-so... very drinkable, but not worth going out of the way for. The citrus character seems somewhat muted and replaced by something close to saaz, bringing a grassy peppery bite to the beer. Prominent malt drops away to earthy, steely notes that makes this seem stringer than it is. The body is the only thing that seems par for the course.

Its certainly not a bad beer, but its not one I'll be hunting down again.

bobsy, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of Offa
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Offa, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of pootz
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from trade:

Pours a light copper hazed ale in the glass. Great sticky cap lasts and laces the glass.

Aromas of musty grapefruit and raisin bread. Not overly complex but a boilerplate APA, Rich malting and decent cascade hopping give fair balance and a long bitter finish.

Not outstanding but very good as west coast IPAs go.

pootz, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of liamt07
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 341ml bottle into a tulip, courtesy of IllNate, cheers dude.

Pours a bright orange, with a tinge of yellow along the edges, finger and a half of thick and brilliant white head. Aroma is quite hoppy with orange, clementine, tangerine and a bit of pineapple or passionfruit dominant there too. Light sweet malt underneath this too. Taste follows, with a bit of pine, sweet malt and a lingering bitterness and a fairly dry finish, not unlike most IPA's I've had within the last week or so. Slightly grassy in the flavour as well. Medium carbonation, could've been rounded out with a bit more hop bite and a bit of a richer malt. A bit thin on the whole. Drinkable on a nice summer afternoon, with temperatures reaching mid-90's, ABV is unnoticable. Good effort, OK beer.

liamt07, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of biboergosum
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle. The best looking option on the shelves of the guv't store in lovely Merritt, B.C., jewel of the Nicola Valley. I can take or leave the cheesy UFO puns on the label, but I do very much like the "Remove Cap Before Drinking" note on the bottle cap.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium golden amber hue, with one finger of puffy, soapy, and weakly foamy dirty white head, which settles quickly, leaving some jagged drooping curtains of lace around the glass.

It smells of musty, yet peppy citrus hops and grainy, biscuity, and bready caramel malt. The taste is decently bitter citrus rind and pine resin hops, a touch of underripe melon, a bit of lemon zest, ethereal hints of dank weed, and bready caramel malt.

The carbonation is active, and sometimes a bit too prickly, the body on the lighter side of medium weight, and weirdly airy in its smoothness. It finishes somewhat crisp, dry, and still well hoppy.

A goodly bitter, if not overly complex IPA. Again, another Canadian-made hybrid US/UK beast - the effervescence and the not-so-sweet malt, combined with the PACNW hops make for a mildly odd duck, that is, if ducks were beer. Or liked beer. Or something.

biboergosum, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of OskarL
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

OskarL, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of kwjd
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale yellow-orange colour with white head that dissipated pretty quickly without lacing. Smells of citrus hops and bready malt. Taste has some sweetness, to match the bitterness of the grapefruit hop flavour. Not as hoppy as many IPA's, but it is respectably so.

kwjd, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of chickenm
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

chickenm, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of Tmappin
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

341 ml Bottle poured into a pint glass. Excited to try the new ipa recipe that Philips brewing is now offering.

A- light orange/Yellow copper, slight haze. Several fingers of snow white head that dissipates quickly into almost nothing. Light lacing remains.

S- Lots of citrus up front, northwest hops clearly in this one. Nice malty back note. Big improvement over the old IPA.

T- Grapefruit/citrus with a nice amount of bitterness backing it up, sweet malt notes. Nice!

M- Nice carbonation, medium to low carbonation. Very nice.

D- Probably the most sessionable BC IPA, very drinkable. Quite refreshing. Yum!

All in all a huge improvement over the old Phillips IPA, I very rarely bought that beer as it was not really to my tastes. This new recipe will be in my fridge often this summer.

Tmappin, May 29, 2010
Photo of BDTyre
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

BDTyre, May 18, 2010
Photo of pnkHoody
4.05/5  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.

pnkHoody, May 12, 2010
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Hop Circle IPA from Phillips Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 170 ratings.