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Proving Ground IPA - Magnolia Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Proving Ground IPAProving Ground IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

125 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 125
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 1
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Magnolia Pub & Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mark on 01-03-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 125 | Reviews: 49
Reviews by jaydoc:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Doppelmax
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this last week and found it to be one of the best Cask IPAs I've ever had.
The hops are right there start to finish and it is very drinkable. It was quite balanced though inspite of the hops. I quit after 2 as I had to drive and had never been to SF before.
Just wished I didn't live 2500 miles away because I sure would go back often.

Photo of BenHesk12
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Proving Ground IPA is the workhorse of the Magnolia Pub and Brewery; it's moderately priced ($6/pint for SF is average) and always available. English hops, low carbonation, maybe a nitro mix on tap here to make everything palatable to the restaurant goers. I get the feeling that this place is more about food, vibe, and profit than quality of the beer. Proving ground is by far the best beer they have, and I only rate it slightly above average. Most beers are in the 4-6% alcohol range and just watery representations of english or german styles.

Photo of ironlung
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Golden amber with a thick creamy off-white head that appears to be going nowhere. Smells like a hop bouquet. Much more pronounced than the non-cask version. Casking really mellowed this beer. It's much higher on the drinkability scale due to it's smoothness. Still it has that great lingering hop profile, just not the same "bite" to it.

Overall: I enjoyed this change to the normal proving ground, but I'll probably stick to the original.

Photo of rastaman
3.32/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tap@Magnolia Pub and brewery, San Fransisco. Cascade and pine are the main flavours, typical US pale in many ways, some sweetness at the start finish dry and medium bitter. Not too bad, decent balance, probably one of the better beers at Magnolia, quite tasty.

Photo of watermelonman
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This arrived as a cloudy off-gold color with huge bubbles but not very many of them. The lacing is evident but nothing special.

The smell is subdued for a beer with this much flavor, although I like the way it's not a simple grapefruit punch in the nose. The taste is great. I can't believe how many hops are in here without disrupting the balance of the flavor. It's not particularly heavy, either. I guess it's just an amazing blend of hops or something, because every last drop of bitterness makes its presence known but none of them are the least bit unsettling.

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

ontap, magnolia brewpub on Haight

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a standard pint, big amber body body, murky

smell: hop resin, sweet citrus hops, orange peel

taste: pretty solid ipa, big sweet citrus flavor, floral, caramel. nothing wrong with this one - only beer consumed while at magnolia

mouthfee; medium body, slick

drinkability: good

Photo of kdoc8
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this at Magnolia brew pub in San Francisco, CA. This was the cask version of my review (they had both draught and cask-conditioned). Same general characteristics of the draught - golden/amber color, no head this time, but tasted flatter and a bit more complex hops/fruit flavor came out in the taste. Also a bit more of a dry taste.

Photo of jcruelty
3/5  rDev -22.3%

I love Smokestack as a place to hang out, but I haven't yet found a Magnolia beer I really love...

Photo of jellikit
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: light orange. Crystal clear. Medium head; thick foam.

S: mango. Pine. Mild aroma, but clean.

T: pine followed by malty, bready goodness. Bitter hangs on for a bit.

M: medium carbonation. Medium body.

O: decent IPA. Not stellar. Would be better if the bittering hops were different. A bit too much of a lingering funkiness. But I guess this is Haight/Ashbury.

Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden amber color, slightly cloudy. Decent head that lingers into lacing that sticks around.

S - Citrus, floral scents, maybe a touch of pine. Nice bouquet, strong smelling.

T - Well balanced taste. Hops are very evident yet the malt mellows it out. The cask aging really smooths out the taste as well.

M - Really smooth IPA. I could drink these all day.

D - Very drinkable, smooth character. Had three before I realize it!

Photo of carln26
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark copper to amber with a thin head that settles to a nice lace. The aroma had more orange than grapefruit. There is some toffee malt on the nose as well. Very tangy, orange and grapefruit flavor, backed by mild caramel sweetness. The mouth feel was very slick with a high drinakbility.

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken at the brewpub on 3/3/06. Listed as 7.0% ABV and 100 IBUs.

Pours a clear, light amber with a fluffy white head. Thick lacing on the glass.

Aroma is dominated by a blend of citrusy and piney hops. Very fresh hop aroma!

Taste is citrusy, piney, and slightly spicy with a big hop bitterness. Decently balanced for the level of IBUs.

Plenty of carbonation in a slightly thin body.

Easy to slug this one down while jamming to some Dead and Phish.

Photo of Mark
4.54/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Since this brew checks in at 100 ibu's I guess it should be a double IPA. All I know is that I loved it! First it was on the house thanks to a nice bartender that could tell I was enjoying their pub. Second, it was cask conditioned. Need I say more?
Color was a medium amber, head retention was excellent though once again lacing was not that prevalent. What an outstanding aromatic brew! A hop field right under your nose. Taste profile was riddled with grapefruit notes, even some orange peel was detected. Very long lingering complex finish. Very smooth creamy mouthfeel, drinkability is right on. I love cask and I loved this beer.

Photo of womencantsail
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Magnolia

A: The pour is a light copper sort of color with a nice layer of off-white foam forming on top.

S: A moderate citrus aroma from the hops along with some floral notes coming through. There is a sharp note of alcohol at times, which is never really appealing. A bit of toasted malt hits the nose which is a bit more reminiscent of an English style IPA.

T: Mostly oranges in terms of the citrus but there's a bit of grapefruit peel in there as well. More floral hops are present, too, as are some pine notes. It seems this is just a bit watery, too.

M: The body is just about at medium with a low to moderate level of carbonation.

D: Not overly hoppy or bitter, which I can deal with, but they advertise this beer as having 100 IBUs, which is just so far from the case. A mediocre IPA.

Photo of quinlin
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - deep reddish orange, good off white head that lingers

S - Citrus, lots of sweet floral, sweet malty, pine

T - floral, citrus, pine, bitter hops, malty finish

M - smooth, med/full carbonation, med/full body, round in the mouth

D - great brew from san fran, ill have another

Photo of flexabull
4.56/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favs when it comes to IPA's. I remember smelling this beer when it was sat down in front of me, and that was without putting the glass to my nose. If you like hops, you'll like this. It is overloaded with hops, but very very tasty. This is a must if you are in SF / Haight St.

Photo of tjd25
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fine head, good retention. Nice amber color. The smell is a fresh breeze of cascade hops: strawberries, oranges and some lemon in the back. The taste shows a fresh and broad fruitiness, although it didn't appear immediately. When it did, it became quite enjoyable. Hops, hops, hops. Greatly fruity, and then dry as straw, with a very light hint of liquorice. The mouthfeel is good, maybe slightly floury on the palate. A sense of balance makes this brew quite drinkable. Enjoyable, to say the least.

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

This is my default beer when I go to Magnolia (which happens to be down the street from my house). Cascade hops seems to be the dominant hop in here and potentially some Saaz. The aroma is definitely more the Cascade. The spiciness, especially in the finish, is what makes the beer for me. There's quite a bit of complexity in here with some good malt flavor coming through and yielding to the hops as the beer works its way to the back of the mouth.

Photo of John_M
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Haven't had this beer in some time and was overjoyed to see it at the Oregon Beer Festival. This is a very hoppy IPA, but is also very different from the hop monsters you see here in Oregon. There was less of the citrus and pine smell, and more of a nutmeg, cinnamon and alspice nose. I assume that Magnolia must use a different blend of hops then what I normally see around here; no matter, it was a fabulous hoppy beer none-the-less. I was a bit surprised to see the IBU at 100, for while this beer was quite hoppy, it was nicely balanced with malt and didn't come across as over the top by any means. It didn't taste anywhere near as hoppy as the Pliny or Green Mamouth at the festival. This beer is very drinkable, and I could easily see myself knocking back 2 or 3 pints before I even realized they were gone.

One more reason to stop by for a visit next time I'm down for the Far Side 10K.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Falling Rock, Denver. 10.2.14

Super bitter and dank next to the Pliny.

Photo of Dowlers
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On draft at Magnolia brew pub.
Look: burnt gold, orange. Very appealing colour with good thick off white head. Clear.
Smell: faith pine.
Taste: big and bitter. Hops have a tropical sweetness quality. Not much malt at the end.
Feel: smooth, medium carbonation.
Overall: A really good solid IPA. I was expecting more of an English style IPA after seeing their other beers but this is definitely a big hoppy West coaster. Solid for the style but lacking the smoothness and subtlety of Pliny or Sculpin. I would definitely drink again should I find myself lucky enough to come across it.

Photo of kdog630
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Was not as impressed as others may be with this one. It looked good in the glass with a darker amber color and nice head and lacing. The hops were really there in the aroma so I was really looking forward to drinking this one.

Unfortunately, I felt they were more concerned with kicking the BUs up to 100 while neglecting the malt. I'm a hop-head by nature, but there has to be a certain balance. This beer didn't really have it for me. I was much more impressed with the Prescription Pale.

Photo of GClarkage
4.62/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12/23/04- On tap at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- Served in a random pint glass.

Appearance- Small 1/2 inch head, cloudy apricot pour and decent lacing.

Smell- Lovely hops o'plenty fill the air. A bunch of grapefruit in the face.

Taste- Very comparable to El Toro IPA except just a tad less in your face. But, that could be a good thing also. Much fruity hopped goodness.

Mouthfeel- I thought this was on cask because it was so lightly carbonated. About as perfect as one can get.

Drinkability- Ranks right up there as one of my top IPA's. Damn good brew. Will have several more in my future since the bar that brews it is right down the street from the Toronado. Score one for Magnolia.

Photo of Jayli
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Toronado on 12/5

A: This beer pours a nice murky amber color with a one finger of white head. Head recedes quickly leaving nice sheets of lacing.

S: Nose is of solid malt backbone with a nice mixture of floral and piney hops.

T: Taste starts with some pale malts up front. Hops then begin to trickle in to the body. Hard to decipher the hops flavoring until they sit on your tongue for a bit. Floral hops are detectable first balanced by a nice burst of pine and the finish is of grassiness.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, slick oily feel to this one.

D: Not quite a hop bomb, but a nicely balanced IPA that goes down easily and isn't too filling. I'd like to have a few more pints of this one!

Photo of Beeeeeerman
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Great beer and food at this Haight pub. Love the IPAs

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Proving Ground IPA from Magnolia Pub & Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.