The Substance - Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
The SubstanceThe Substance

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

66 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 796
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 8.67%
Wants: 227
Gots: 176 | FT: 7
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
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Reviews: 66 | Hads: 796
Photo of JebBeerFish
3/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received this as a gift. IPAs are not one of my favorite styles. Not a bad ipa, but I don't see myself ordering this in the future, but wouldn't turn one down on a hot summer day. (179 characters)

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a sightly cloudy golden yellow with a creamy white head that laces. The nose is mainly mild citrus fruits, nothing particularly distinct, followed by some grain sweetness. The taste is a delicious mix of flavorful citrus hops that have a creeping bitterness, biscuit-y malts, and yeast - all pulled together it's pretty balanced and drinkable. The beer potently hopped, but maintains balance with a creamy sweet malt backbone and a semi-dry and bitter finish. The alcohol is minimal, but there is something funky that lingers (wet cardboard-like?). Overall this is a tasty beer, nothing to stand in line for, but definitely something I'd try again in the future. (668 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fresh can from Joe arrived today at my doorsteo. Thanks man! Pours cloudy bright yellow with a big fluffy white head on top in my Rapp tulip glass. Amazing aroma of pineapple, grapefruit, lemon rind, some pine, mmmmmm. Flavor is sweet pineapple balanced with bitter grapefruit, some light sweet malts and honey notes, interesting floral potpourri flavors linger (in a good way). Light bodied with medium carbonation, very crushable, yum. (437 characters)

Photo of cbutova
4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Well Brady, way to shit your pants there. Hopefully he shotguns one of these and gets his composure back. Third can of a six pack picked up two weeks ago.

A- Tall boy falls into a wide tulip with a hazy golden orange body and a several finger, thick puffy white head of epic retention. Lasts for ages and leaves a comforter around. Lacing is ample and tons of blankets remain.

S- Big citrus flesh, juice and pith like tangerine, grapefruit and oranges leads to a medium dose of stone fruits and a hint of stone fruits. Hints of mango, lemon, dank resin and bready grains.

T- Dank skunky substances open up here a bit more with some pine and herbal tea notes but the citrus is still the focus by far. Oranges, clementine, lemon peel, grapefruit and mangoes come to mind. Stone fruits and tropical feel is secondary to the aforementioned. Light cracked grain sweetness and bread.

MF- Frothy and creamy substantial body when you swirl it around on the palate with a medium overall thickness. Carbonation is on the high side appropriately with the flavors and clean hoppy brew.

New England in the Super Bowl, might as well do my only review of the night on another great NE IPA. Citrus driven but other complexities and fruits from the hops beyond that. (1,254 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My last of the tall boy 4-pack bought at the source while up in Portland a couple weeks ago, definitely a purchase I'm happy with. Canned on 1-16-15, one day before we were there, nice.

A - Pour to a pint is a hazy golden yellow color. White head starts huge, a sticky full cap is left at the end along with pretty substantial lace.

S - Oranges, grapefruit, lots of pine resin, danky peach, the slightest sugar cookie malt. Nice, but so-so strength-wise.

T - Big bold and bitter hops, forest pine sap, dirty weed, grapefruit, tangerine, peach, some spicy hops. Very slight malt with a nice sugar biscuit finish.

M - Average heft, somewhat low-feeling but fine carbonation, intense bitterness is nice but gets a bit tiring during a pint.

O - Nice, really packs a punch and the flavors are there, but I find myself wishing it were smoother. The intense bitterness ends up a bit of a detractor for me here. (910 characters)

Photo of NateF90
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16 oz canned on 1/16/2015 purchased from the source on 1/17/2015 poured into a very elegantly shaped Bissell Brothers glass marked with what appears to be glow in the dark or UV-reactive graphics. Normally would have enjoyed from the can, but had to check the color. Lightly hazed straw. Eggshell white two finger head, velvet-textured bubbles. The nose is predominately pine and all things dank, suggestions of the West coast abound. The flavor brings it back home, perfectly balanced hop bite and what I want to call fruit punch, although no fruit notes themselves are identifiable, except in fleeting whisps on the exhale. Excellent buttery feel, nice and rich but always refreshing and several cans the beer definitely can be knocked back successively. Bb is a 'must try' if in the Portland, ME area. (804 characters)

Photo of HopDeezy
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - light golden color, clear to slightly hazy, white frothy head with minimal lacing. Lighter than expected for an IPA so clear.

S - citrus grapefruit and slightly lemony. Light and pleasant.

T - follow along the nose like most beers do for me. Grapefruit citrus, a little lemon, a little skunky/cat pissy, smooth and very drinkable.

M - highly carbonated, very hoppy start to finish with a light but lingering finish.

O - Very nice IPA, very crushable IPA. This could easily be my go to for a round of 18 or a day at the beach it's so easy to drink. Difficulty to attain has led to a little bit of overrating here but nonetheless it's still a great IPA. Not quite on par with the IPAs of Maine Beer 30 minutes north or Stoneface 1 hour south but it's definitely one I always look forward to drinking when I can get it. Prefer it straight from the pint can and yes....easy to crush multiple. (907 characters)

Photo of RedDevil36
4.79/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Top 3 beer for me. Will wait in line for it any day of the week. A great experience from the nose, the feel, the euphoria and the taste. Well played Bissell. (160 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

My undying gratitude goes out to my current "Character", Justin Chlan, who knows to look for CANned beer for me in his travels. He brought this back from a recent foray up to Maine in support of The CANQuest (TM). Cheers!

From the CAN: "The Substance Ale, a creation two years in the making, represents the past, present, and future of beer - Drawing from the wealth of knowledge of those that came before us while creating something entirely our own, waves of hop flavor permeate the senses as you [CAN]sume The Substance. We started Bissell Brothers for one reason - To use the short time that we have to live to make something awesome and share it with the world. Thank you for enjoying the fruits of our labors."; "keep maine beautiful. recycle."

No problem with that last as the spent CAN will be given to Jeff Lebo for his House of CANs. The Crack! gave me a little spritzy squirt across my fingers! This is usually the indication of good things ahead. I began with an inverted Glug, but I had to back off due to the pint-sized CAN. I was rewarded with three fingers of dense, French Vanilla-colored head with reasonable retention. Color was a cloudy Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 -5). Nose was very piney and now my hophead mouth was beginning to water. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was a combination of grapefruit rind and pine needles and now my tongue was dancing in unbridled joy! Amazingly, though, after the initial wash of hops, it became very mellow and easy-drinking. I ran through that CAN like a hot knife through soft butter. The tastes commingled beautifully and I really enjoyed its finish. The finish was very citrusy and tickled the back of my throat going down. It was dry, but just enough to lead to the next sip. I definitely recommend this one for my fellow hopheads. Others should just leave it for the rest of us. (1,838 characters)

Photo of tempest
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%

Ah, a fresh delicious IPA in a can. We can never have enough. I'd call it West Coast-style for the lighter body, making all too drinkable. The big, juicy hops are rich enough — with pine resin, light pepper, floral spice, and tangerine — that it's satisfying in any weather, but still drinkable in the summer. More please. (326 characters)

Photo of Reds76
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%

Canned yesterday, drinking today! Fresh is definitely makes a big difference. I don't smell or taste as much of the citrus that other people report but I do get a fantastic hop aroma and flavor - more herbal, dank and funky - very unique flavor - can't quite put my finger on it. Smooth and drinkable. Excellent lacing and carbonation. This one has really grown on me since I first tried it. Another great beer from Maine! (428 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. can poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy orange body. Nice white head. Great lacing.

Smell - Herbal hops. Grapefruit. Light rye.

Taste - Very herbal and kinda dank. Very intense on the rye here. Makes it kinda toasty. Grassy hops in the back end. Very nice.

Mouthfeel - Very bitter. Medium body. Well carbonated.

Overall - Intense. Works very well. Love the rye component. (400 characters)

Photo of handcrafty
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

A wonderful treat received as an extra via @skinny_mcginley ..
Pours a hazy off gold with an initial two finger, and sustaining 1/4 inch head.
Smells dank grass, pinecones and sharp citrus.
The taste follows with a wonderful accompanying malt backbone and a nice spicy note courtesy of the rye.
This beer, like many other beers crafted in the great state of Maine is done supremely.
The taste is almost 'clean' given the water quality, which really allows the F.F hop blend to shine through.
A beautiful, well crafted example of the style. (540 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%

The beer comes in slightly transparent golden orange.

The aroma offers sweet oranges and grapefruit, almost syrupy. In the back, a bit of bright green grass, and hints of the dank garlic of Summit.

On the flavor, a touch of Maine Beer character. Sweet citrus of orange, tangerine up front, along with a touch of bready sweetness. A good amount of fruity character in the front, but then the beer aggressively transitions to this big bittering and drying. Slightly green, pine, pure bitterness of grapefruit and pushing towards astringent.

The mouthfeel is medium to medium minus.

The lighter mouthfeel and strong bitterness reasonably detract from this stand up there with the big boys. (690 characters)

Photo of Tucquan
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2014-10-12 in Columbia, PA from a 16 oz can.

A - Somewhat-cloudy golden-orange with a 2-finger white head that sticks around, then leaves moderate lace.

S - Peach, mango and some pineapple blend with pale malt and some dank and floral hops. Moderately aromatic.

T - Fruit, hops and malt are very balanced on the front of the tongue. Then a bit of pine and hop dankness come in but still with some balancing sweetness. There's a uniqueness to this flavor that I'm enjoying; perhaps as a result from the use of the Falconer Flight hop pellets? Finally though, the hop bud flavor and corresponding bitterness win in the end; in a good way.

M - Soft, soft, soft. Reminds me of a Tired Hands or Hill Farmstead mouthfeel, which I really like. It has a light-medium body and carbonation and a bit of prickle after the liquid goes down the gullet.

O - I'm quite impressed with this brew. Great feel and balance and a flavor profile that suits me well. (968 characters)

Photo of Ready4aHeady
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap in Portland...
Not sure what all the hype is about. A good IPA but not all that complex, not much hop funkiness or citrus notes, etc... And a little too malty for my taste. I thought the baby genius was better, although fairly light.
Update: Just opened a can, more refreshing and interesting than I remember. Nice hops, bitter--which I like, and less malt than I remember....I'm liking this more than the first time and would up my score to a 4.17789!! (463 characters)

Photo of SomethingClever
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

canned 8/27

A: Poured light hazy in the glass very light copper color but murky

S: it has to be the falconer hops I'm getting a spicy nose like this beer is going to bite and pine not resin but actual pine just almost sour I'm trying to describe it but it's hard. I have to say it has a smell all it's own I haven't encountered enough to describe

T: the taste embodies that smell it's like a spicy then wait it's balanced out by the malts very earthy a lot of ppl claim fruitiness I get none from this beer just earthy raw spiciness without the heat finishes smooth not like the upfront taste would make you think. it's almost bitter then it's gone.

M: Nice crisp mouthfeel with good carbonation

O: this beer confuses me I want to say oh it tastes like this of it tastes like that but really it has a unique taste maybe I'm unfamiliar with the flavor profile of falconer hops but I think this beer is unique (915 characters)

Photo of Roguer
4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful pale orange brew, very thick and hazy. Pours with a big, strong white head, with good retention and soapy lacing.

Classic IPA aroma of grapefruit and pine resin. Some pale and caramel malt in the background. Not complex or new-school, but it does what it does very well.

Flavor is about what you would expect. It's a very crisp IPA, with quite a bit of grapefruit peel, a little pine resin, and some orange and lemongrass. Extremely bitter. Pale biscuity malt provides the backbone.

Extremely easy to drink, with minimal sting. Slightly cloying, silky, and syrupy. Very bitter, with a bit of puckering.

This is an excellent single IPA, at a very reasonable ABV, that provides the bitterness of a DIPA (but not the malt profile). It's very enjoyable, and reminds me of a mix between old-school single IPAs and Sixpoint's Resin. (841 characters)

Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.4/5  rDev +3%

Courtesy of SomethingClever thank you beer brother!

I've had this before but first time "ticking" it. Well the beer is what matters so this is what I got. Pours a nice shade of medium amber with white soapy head, looks quite refreshing! Now the nose on this! First wave of just earthy spicy hops. Onion grass with a background of citric peel. The citric notes are that of orange peel and grapefruit zest. Very nice aroma. The flavor on this first hints of malt sweetness and Onions, citric zest in there with a resinous spruce sap note before the finish. The malts are bready and sweet not syrupy. The finish is semi-dry and very clean, with all the flavors just lingering in the aftertaste. The feel on the brew is medium-light soft carbonation.

Overall: This for being a 6.6 IPA is punching out some Hop Goodness! It's balanced smells amazing and the taste isn't a let down either. It's clean yet it wants to be rustic as well. So there's a bit going on in the brew. She's a lady on the streets, yet a freak in the sheets. This brew is Recommended! (1,055 characters)

Photo of Robjvoorhees
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

I really like this beer. Big fan of Baby Genius as well. I really enjoyed the citrus aroma that this big IPA
Provided. Was able to find it on that at Novare Res Bier Café and the thirsty pig. (195 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Can from MrBarleywine, thanks for the opportunity Mike!
Slightly hazy deep straw color with a huge bubbly white head that persists forever. Aromas of earthy citrus tropical pine resin and dankness. Oh yeah that smells good. Light bready malt, maybe. The flavor is much the same as the aroma but adds a bit of alcohol. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation. Very nice ipa I enjoyed the hell out of it. (411 characters)

Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
4.51/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

From a can purchased yesterday and canned 3 days ago. Very fresh beer from these guys and I'm very glad to have it!
A: goldish hay in color, clear, thin white lacing sticking to glass
S: citrusy, resiny, full, some sweetness, balanced
T: very similar to the nose, lots of hoppy goodness, pungent citrus and resiny, very smooth and crisp, very balanced flavors
M: good carb, very smooth light and refreshing
O: perfectly balanced beer from the Bissell brothers. This super smooth, very hoppy yet incredibly drinkable beer is perfectly balanced! Get some and drink fresh! (571 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.94/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a sunny gold with a loose, off-white head that dissipates into a slick. Nose expresses citrus rind, a hint of noble hops and a slight yeasty character. Taste consistent with nose; however the flavor are a bit duller - there's more bitterness and less citrus than suggested by the nose as well as a suggestion of onions (Summit?). Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a lively carbonation and some acidity. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good IPA, but don't understand the hype - I was told it may have been an older can, so perhaps I'll revisit with a fresh one if the opportunity presents. (602 characters)

Photo of Scrapss
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Thirsty Pig, Portland ME

A: A hazy, semi-transparent light gold. Fantastic 4mm disk that hung around forever leading to soapy lacing. Great carbonation.

S: Mango, lemongrass with tropical milds. Lighter style roasted malts, neutral yeast do not impede on the hops. This is a hop-driven beer.

T: Bitter citrus and grapefruit lead into sparkling tropical fruit and crescendo into, well, more of this.

M: Lightly acidic, indescribable strange sharp flowery note with a dry finish. Lingers forever.

O: This is a fine beer and is up there with the best of the Neo-Hopped IPA's I have tried. I wish you guys well and the best of success...keep local, elite and small! (680 characters)

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

A-The Substance pours a milky, cloudy yellow hue with a tight, skinny, white head that doesn't do all too much for lacing. It almost has an oily consistency to it when I look at it. I often find that hoppy beers that come out looking like this usually offer a specific hoppiness that I really enjoy, so I am quite excited.

S-Immediatley delivers with a puréed tropical fruit juice medley of aromatic hoppiness. Citrus, pineapple and guava. More hoppy aromas of pine and herb. A pale malty character that isn't overly detectable and a sweetness that probably comes from both hop and malt.

T-The initial flavor is exceptional. Juicy hops that stress tangerine, pineapple and maybe even some unripe pear; like a purée of exotic fruits. Grassy as well. Sweet, cracker or light biscuity malt. My only criticism is that the flavor sort of dies off quicker than it should; I want this flavor to linger longer!

M-Not excruciatingly bitter. Medium to soft carbonation. Medium bodied. I had about six pints so it was very drinkable.

O-Recently went to Maine, trying several beers and this one was the champion of the trip. The Substance gives off flavors that are set specifically to my taste buds. Delicious. Happy to scratch a notch into the bedpost after this one. (1,263 characters)

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The Substance from Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.