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Proving Ground IPA - Magnolia Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Proving Ground IPAProving Ground IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

46 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 46
Hads: 132
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 17.6%
Wants: 2
Gots: 21 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 46 | Hads: 132
Photo of bboven
2.65/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark yellow which is too light for the style.

All I smell are hops; Magnum or Chinook most likely, no malt backbone in the aroma.

It tastes like drinking hop tea. There is no malt flavor in this beer, it would even be too hoppy for a double IPA.

Mouthfeel is the only thing stylistically correct about this one.

I would not get this again. It made my mouth pucker to drink it.

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Photo of DrewSnyc667
2.78/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap in a plastic cup at Off the Grid in SF

A - copper to tannish body, very little head or activity
S - Very citrusy, some mild toasted sugar and biscuit
T - Hops are a bit overpowering for me, needs something to balance out the bite
M - Sticky and oily, not really for me
O - Not my beer, but it happens

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Photo of BenHesk12
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

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.

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Photo of rastaman
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

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Photo of kdog630
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

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Photo of freed
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Notes from OBF2006.

Light golden body, nice thin white head, mild carbonation.

Excellent hop aroma - bright citrus and floral, clean smells.

Taste also highlights a wide and clean variety of hops - from citrusy to almost meaty/fleshy. No malt backup or body to buttress the hoppiness though, so the taste kind of trails off with a limp body. Easy to drink, but not too satisfying.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of peacebone116
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on cask in an imperial pint glass at Magnolia on 5/22/11.

A: No head & cloudy gold in appearance, even after beer has settled.

N: Fairly weak scent of peach & light lemon.

T/M: Bitter hop flavor comes in first followed by a light sweetness from the malt. There are lingering citrus notes after the finish. The beer's carbonation is a little on the low end for a cask style, but definitely within appropriate range. Beer finishes fairly dry with, as I stated above, a lingering light lemon-pepper flavor.

Beer is okay, but not the best strong IPA i have ever had on cask. Usually the dry hopping is featured a bit more when on cask, but this seems a bit weak on the nose. I actually prefer this one on draft a bit more.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Toronado in San Francisco. Orange color, good head. Aroma was slightly floral and piney, not bad. Flavor was bitter and hoppy, citrus, not much dank though so I really didn't feel this was a true west coast style IPA. Yes it was hoppy but didn't have that certain something you get from say a Pliny or an Alpine. Still, a decent IPA and one I would probably buy a bomber or sixer of.

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Photo of kdoc8
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of Dowlers
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

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Photo of jellikit
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Magnolia on 7/12/09.

A - Clear golden/amber body with slim white head that retained as a patchy residue and thin, stringy lace.

S - Pleasant hop bouquet with pine and the forefront and some citrus and resin to add more depth to the aroma. Malt is sweet with caramel notes, some grains, and just a hint of buttery diacetyl. Subtle waft of alcohol.

T - Opens with a piney hop bite and a splash of citrus until a grainy malt presence swoops in to cool down the bitterness a bit. Some sweet caramel malt adds balance as well. Subtle alcohol notes also creep into the mix.

M - Medium body with a syrupy, oily texture and mild carbonation. Subtle alcohol warmth with a moderate hop bite in the finish.

D - Not getting 100 IBUs from this. However, this is a pretty solid IPA, and certainly much better than In with the New, which I also sampled on this day. Proving Ground boasts much more of a hop presence.

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Photo of oggg
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a golden yellow color. Modest white head. Aroma is west coast, but not especially strong. There is a moderate hop bitterness up front but it lingers and keeps getting drier and drier and drier. Mouth puckering ensues. As the citrus hops fade, there is a nice grainy malt backbone towards the end. The finish is somewhat oily on the mouth but super dry. Chinook?

Overall: Nice hop flavors and dryness, but I would've liked more aroma from an IPA.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear honey orange with a 1 inch orange white head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and lots of herbal and citrus zest hops. Taste is of sweet malt and herbal and citrus zest hops. An assertive bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good IPA but the bitterness is pretty assertive and distracts from the flavors somewhat.

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Photo of LittleDon
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass at Magnolia.
Amber, slightly redish, clear. No head retention. Muted grapefruit aroma. A bit more carbonation than expected, given that it was cask conditioned. Citrus front that fades quickly. Balanced middle and bitter back end. A very subtley West Coast IPA. Alcohol shows up in the middle, but is well hidden. Board at Magnolia indicated a higher ABV than 7.2

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Photo of tdawgydog
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Magnolia. Served in a pint glass, the beer had already lost its head by the time it made it to the table. The scent was very piney. The beer was bronze in color (although it was very dark in there). A very enjoyable IPA. This seems to have become the summer of the IPAs and Magnolia makes a very good one. They have stiff competition in the SF area but this was really good. Maybe my only complaint was the lack of head and the beer seemed a little flat. This may have been by intention but I would definitely drink some more of these if given the opportunity. I tried the cask version of this IPA and this was definitely better.

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Photo of jdense
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Magnolia 4.1.10 $6 imperial pint.

One finger white head, quick dissipation, minimal lacing. Orangish amber clear body, a bit of rising carbonation. Big hops attack in the nose. Taste is a big grapefruit hit upfront, balanced with caramel malts with a bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium, minimal effervescence and quite drinkable. Solid but not a standout.

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Photo of carln26
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of bbothen
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the tap at the pub.

100 IBU's.

Light amber almost straw color with a nice big bubbly head.

Smells big of citrus hops along with a decent amount of breadt maltiness.

Tastes well balanced. Citrus & piney hops balanced by a nice malt sweetness. Finishes sweet.

Medium bodied with a lingering oily, resiny, hoppiness.

My favorite of the beers I tried at Magnolia.

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Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +2%
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

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Photo of jreitman
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of ccrida
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the toranado, proving ground is light bronze with a small white head, big bubbled and frothy, but with suprisingly good retention, leaving decent lace.

Smell is light dough and earthy hops.

Taste is good and hoppy, more so than I expected from the nose, a nice resinous quality. A little spicy. Fairly dank. Little malty, biscuit.

Mouthfeel is good, soft and oily. Medium light bodied.

Drinkability is good, this is a solid west coast ipa that really does well on cask.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Served a fairly clear copper-amber color with a finger of frothy white head. The head faded fairly quickly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is full of citrus hops and to a lesser extent some pine hops. There is also some sweet caramel malts in the background.

T - Starts off with a nice kick of citrus hops and some bitterness. There is also a bit of sweet caramel malts in the background to balance. Through the middle, the bitterness grows a bit more and some piney/grassy hops come through. The finish is a mix of citrus hops and bitterness and some sweet caramel/bready malts that linger.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a nice dryness from the hops and bitterness.

D - Very drinkable. Nice citrus hops profile. Could have used a bit more complexity, but still a very solid IPA.

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Proving Ground IPA from Magnolia Pub & Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.