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The Substance - Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
The SubstanceThe Substance

Educational use only; do not reuse.

92 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 92
Hads: 955
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 8.2%
Wants: 253
Gots: 239 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Bissell Brothers Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bowdoinbeerboy on 12-11-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of The Substance Alström Bros
Reviews: 92 | Hads: 955
Photo of 2ellas
3.65/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looks a bit hazy, yellow like juice with a thin white head.
Smell is hoppy, citra I think
Flavor follows the smell nearly exactly
Mouthfeel is slick but not overly so
Overall a good beer, wish it was local!

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Photo of jhavs
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fresh cans from the brewery poured into one of their snifter tasting glasses.

A=Hazy and a yellow/amber color, thick white head that is foamy, not bubbly, settles to a thin layer.

S=Tropical, citrus, grapefruit first then a dank resinous background.

T=Hops up front, especially mango, papaya, grapefruit. There is definitely a background hoppy dankness that smooth everything out. Malts balance the strong hops flavors.

M=Moderate carbonation with medium body.

O=Tastes great, lots of hoppy goodness with enough balance to make it surprisingly palatable.

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Photo of Sintech
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Light golden yellow.

Smell - Light citrus.

Taste - Citrus at first then resinous pine in the finish. Delicious.

Mouthfeel - Light. Very drinkable. Perfect carbonation.

Overall - (A-) Highly recommend.

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Photo of -Rick
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap, pours a bright yellow color. Smells of citrus and hops. The beer has a nice citrus taste, very refreshing. The feel is crisp and clean, this a great summer drinking IPA. Its the real deal!

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Photo of 4thFloyd
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A light gold to yellow color with minimal haziness and nice white head. Moderate citrus and earthy hop bitterness in the aroma. Aroma picks up a little dankness as it warms. Flavor follows closely with bright citrus flavor and good middle bitterness. Very smooth with a clean finish.

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Photo of rudzud
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up half a case while at the brewery. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a nice hazy golden hue with a big fluffy two finger white head that fades slowly to leave a creamy blanket and great side lacing.

S - Aromas of very light almost generic tropical hops, cereal grains, little bit of dankness.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Decent amount of cereal grains, little crackery, grain. Light citrus, pineapple, faint mango, guava, papaya. As it warms the tropical notes pop a bit more, same with the citrus too. Warming up definitely makes a big difference.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, a bit fluffy.

O - Overall, this beer was tasty. Really shined as it warmed up. Nice appearance and really solid citrus/tropical taste.

Serving Type: Can

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Photo of W_Des
4.87/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A fantastic IPA. Pours a bright straw color and the nose contains a sweet floral tropical fruitiness with some grapefruit, papaya and mangoes. The body is extremely refreshing and juicy with a restrained bitter finish.

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Photo of stephens101
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A billowy white froth weighs heavy atop this golden brew, setting itself apart from the get go. Aroma is bright with orange and grapefruit. The flavor is ocean deep with more waves of citrusy goodness, a palpable layer of peppercorn, a coating of orange peel and a squirt of sweet fruit juice. Light to medium bodied with little weight and enough alcohol bite to keep plenty of hair growing on the chest.

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Photo of jlindros
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tap at the brewery.

Pours a huge fluffy foamy head that fades semi slowly, tons of lacing, hazy little murky pale golden color.

Nose juicy hops, little dank musty, raw hop juice and tropical, hint pineapple and papaya, tropical generic, hint cereal grain.

Taste brings more sweet like malts, grainy smooth malts, into big hops, little earthy spicy notes, mild dank, then into big tropical notes, papaya, pineapple, little dank citrus, fruity notes, guava, etc. Creamy smooth malt, fair bitterness. Finish is dry, fair bitterness mild spicy hop, bit more tropical notes, dank, etc, hint of banana.

Mouth is med bod, creamy, nice carb.

Overall nice, not as crazy as I expected but got better, then tropical came through nicely, maybe not quite as much as the hype, but def deserving of a great IPA.

 805 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

can to glass..golden yellow. nose is sick...soapy inviting hops. crisp and refreshing. burst of citric, little resinous while still being nice and easy...little sticky. very refreshing.

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Photo of Buhz_Bee
4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lighter in color than average, carbonation bordered on fizzy - lacey beyond compare though. Dynamite smell - grapefruit from out of this world. ABV was somewhat deceptive, drinks like a session IPA, but hits like a freight train.

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Photo of JNbeerded
3.18/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of the three offerings I've had from BBB, I think this one was the best. Still, like both of the other beers I've had from them, there is a strange off-putting, dirty vegetal-like aroma and flavor that I cannot get passed. Not sure what the hype is all about.

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Photo of ColdOneKev
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Clear, straw body. Large fluffy head leaves heavy lacing.
S - Grassy hops, lemon, flowery. Light hops basically.
T - Tropical fruits, lemongrass, light pepper. Some very light bitterness. Must hide th emalt well, because that is not present.
M - Light body, medium/high carb.
O- An excellent American IPA. Worth seeking out, but difficult unless you go straight to the brewery, which I recommend as well.

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Photo of JamesStreet
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- poured a slightly murky yellow with a huge, pillowy white foam.
S- floral and tropical hops
T- sweet citrus/tropical fruit. Mango.
M- light-medium feel, moderate carb. Not dry.
O- another fine beer from Bissell Bros.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.81/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16oz can. Served in a snifter.

Appears darker straw yellow body, hazy and cloudy, three finger white head with a lot of retention time and film. Nice expansive lacing. Smells fairly tame, grainy pale malt sweetness, mild caramel, a bit of citrus. Not much else. Flavour is a bit more interesting; grainy, sticky caramel malt, minerals, a bit of citrus aromatics and earthy bitterness. Mouthfeel is solid, medium body, good carbonation, nice soft feel. Moderately bitter, but not overwhelmingly so. Overall, decent IPA with a fair bit of bitterness, but not a ton of interesting flavours. Still very good.

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into an antique German Pilsner glass

Pours a pale yellow with one finger of fizzy white foam. Little lacing.

Aroma of dank, pine , spice and lemon citrus and pine.

Taste leads with gentle pine and then citrus in the middle of the tongue. Gentle lingering bitterness. Low sudsing . Crisp clean finish

Sessionable. I can see cutting the lawn and cracking open a frosty one of these. Nice beer

IPAGeorge, May 03, 2015 Report Like

 454 characters

Photo of tregan_20
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this beer as an extra in a trade. The appearance is quite hazy with an amber appearance. The flavor profile was somewhat citrusy with grapefruit being noticeable. In my opinion, this was a well crafted IPA from Bissell Brothers. Cheers!

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Photo of IPAGeorge
4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a tulip

A. Pours a hazy golden yellow with 1" of sudsy head. 1 minute of head retention. Very little lacing.

S. A nice blend of bread malts, lemon citrus and pine. Some spice. Almost Belgian without funk.

T. Very nice. More pine in the flavor. Grapefruit. Some decent bitterness. Slight malt sweetness and citrus rind. Aftertaste is bitter with sone hop resins.

M. Crisp and refreshing. Carbonation chases the swallow. Finishes mostly clean. A nice summer ipa. Pretty sessionable.

O. A clean ipa with nice flavor. Great for summer or after mowing the lawn, working in the garage, or just chillin. Will definitely drink again.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the can dated 4/30/15. Sampled on May 3, 2015. Only four days old.

The pour is a slightly hazy yellow color with lively carbonation building up to a tremendous white foamy head. The head sticks around.

Such a vast array of malt and hop aromas to choose from. The hops present themselves the most forward with their citrus, orange, grapefruit, and grassy sensations. The malts are toasted with a hint of barley and wheat.

Medium body. Smooth.

Toasted malts and sweetness start things off in the flavor but those many different grassy, citrus, lemon zest, floral, and orange hop flavors combine into a definite bitter finale. High quality beer.

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Photo of illpass78
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pint on draft in a standard pint glass at Hunt & Alpine in Portland, Maine.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, heavily carbonated orange/yellow with a big, pillowy, hefty white head. Much lacing.

Aroma: Big citrus presence in the nose. Hops are right there. Some mild funk.

Taste: Big, juicy, flavorful IPA. Citrus, lemon, grapefruit and pine hit the palate first, followed by a resinous finish. Bitter and appealing. Alcohol is well concealed even given the moderate ABV.

Mouthfeel: Depth is pretty spot-on. Has substance (duh), but isn't burdensome.

Overall: Pretty great IPA. Packs a ton of flavor for a mid-range ABV IPA; I tend to associate these kind of flavors and aromas more with double IPAs. Would recommend to anybody - worth the hype.

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Photo of Damian
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank on tap at Bissell Brothers Brewing Co., Portland, ME
Served in a Bissel Brothers stemless wine glass

Hazy, light brassy-amber appearance. The beer was topped by creamy, fluffy, one-finger tall, bright white head. Spotty, drippy lacing coated the glass.

The aroma was super musty and seemed almost a bit skunky initially. Really dank. As the beer warmed, the nose opened up and the dankness transitioned from skunky beer to skunky weed. Lemon notes were also apparent. Some white grapefruit as well. Crisp, bright and dry. Citrusy.

The flavor profile was definitely more interesting and complex than the nose. It was super hoppy, with catty hop notes dominating. Loads of white grapefruit and lemon. Some lemongrass was also noticeable. Touch of orange peel. Subtle grassy hop presence. Pithy, dry, grapefruit rind-like notes appeared in the finish. All in all, really citrusy and bright.

The mouthfeel was spritzy and highly effervescent. Lighter bodied for the style. The liquid turned soft and creamy once it settled on the palate.

This is an interesting and well crafted IPA from the folks at Bissell Brothers. Although similar in many ways, this beer is definitely much better than Swish (their double IPA) which I found to be astringently dry, pithy and bitter.

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Photo of ScaryEd
3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Wanted to review this one after having my third batch. Poured from a 16 oz can dated 09/23.

The pour is a hazy, golden blonde color with a fluffy white head. Leaves some pretty good lacing, but the head is gone in a hurry.

The aroma is pretty grassy and dank, with some citrus notes as well. I get mango and pineapple, as well as some grainy bread.

The taste is juicy and piney, with some peppery spice notes on the back end. It's pretty well balanced, but honestly nothing really stands out to me.

The mouth is medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden.

Overall, this is a very solid IPA. However, in my own personal taste it has always seemed like more of a pale ale to me. Perhaps I've been disillusioned because I'm so used to these big, hype-driven New England IPA's being absolute juicy hop bombs. Don't get me wrong, this is still a very juicy, hoppy beer. It's just not what I expected when I first tried it and every time I drink it I find myself feeling it could be so much more. It could be my own tastes and biases are skewed, but ultimately this beer has just never met my expectations or the ridiculous hype that surrounds it. It's a good IPA, but not worth the wait in line for.


Flavors seem to pop more about 5-6 days after canning date. Interesting.

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Photo of Etan
4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A couple cans from valdieu2.

Bright hazy orange. Crisp blood orange and apricot in the nose. Taste is bone dry with a nice mix of restrained green bitterness and a bit of mango. Similar to but better than Heady.

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Photo of costanzo_mike
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up some fresh cans from the brewery, canned that day 2 hours earlier.

A: Light yellow color, hazy, foamy head

S: Crisp citrus smell, some tropical on the nose as well

T: Bursts with citrus flavor, resiny, earthy towards the end

M: Somewhere in the middle, some carbonation present, nice and light

O: Very drinkable IPA, delicious taste. Every time I stop by the brewery I am sure to pick some of this up

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Photo of HeadyTheElder
4.56/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great IPA from the northeast. Nice lemony citrus flavors with some tropical and floral notes. Don't really get any pine. Very crisp and refreshing with minimal malt presence. Juicy. My kind of IPA.

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The Substance from Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.