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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: 131
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 17.6%
Wants: 1
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: 131
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 StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

From the cask this is frothing white excited and flashy. Despite its cloudy muted color, the look is aggressive and has a great rush of micro bubbles. Nose and tast of classic hop strains with that classic cask conditioned mellowness and an assertive but palatable bitterness. Juicy fresh for a cask beer, colder than others, still refreshing. A bigger brew too, tons of body and a long finish. Cut grassy finish, bitter, half English. Overall this may be the best cask IPA I have had, hitting the best if both worlds perfectly. Magnolia is really impressing me!

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Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy honey colored body with no head or lacing

Smell: All cascade hops on the nose

Taste: Hops, hops and more hops, with a little bit of sweet malt balance on the finish - what would you expect with 100 IBUs

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a nice bit of carbonation

Drinkability: Despite the overwhelming bitterness, a quite refreshing brew

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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 GClarkage
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

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Photo of John_M
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Magnolia. Poured 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. Great IPA

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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 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 AgentMunky
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serve in a 20 ounce glass at the brewpub.

A: Light off-white head. The beer is gorgeous, clear and brilliant orange.

S: Strong hops...Cascade? Balancing bready/caramellish malts (Marris Otter?). Very nice!

T: I suspect English hops have infiltrated my IPA, but I don't mind so much. This a darn good beer, full of earthy, spicy hops. Bitter end taste highlights the excellent dry malt balance in the main taste.

M: Full, thick, carbonated, excellent-strong.

O: Recommended; solid beer. I would have it again. Great with food.

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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 francisweizen
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-Tap. Light golden/orange slightly hazy with a nice egg shell white head of dense foam. Aromas of citrusy hops, some bready malts, and some piney/herbal notes. Taste is good as well. Fresh hops, citrus fruits, pine, some malty bread, and more. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and grainy. Drinkability is good. A good brew, but not totally stellar.

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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 flexabull
4.56/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

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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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Photo of elNopalero
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this on tap at Magnolia. Unfortunately they didn’t have it on cask on my visit otherwise I’d include some side-by-side comparison notes.

This pours a light caramel tan-sunny gold color with tight bubbling.

There’s a sharp grassy piney aroma on it, followed by some toasted straw notes.

Fantastic flavor—it just knocks it out of the park with a great blend of toasted straw, piney notes, and grassy green, finishing with some slight chew and a easygoing, laid-back bittering. Worth the effort to try it out. I know cask is delicious too!

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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 Jayli
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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!

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Photo of NEhophead
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a glowing copper in color. Creamy white head that leaves ringed lacing down the glass' sides.

Piney, oily, citric and floral hop aromas. Clean hop oils that aren't the least bit astringent in aroma.

Temperature of the hand pulled pint was slightly cooler than room temperature. Bright flavored floral hops with tones of pine, resin, and lemon. The bitterness is intense, but light and clean tasting. Pear, apricot, and pine fill the aftertaste.

Medium bodied; the hop intensity makes for an oily, juicy feel on the palate.

A great tasting IPA. The smoothness and textural aspect of this cask conditioned offering, makes my mouth water for another pint.

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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 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 GPHarris
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this at the gastropub as part of a flight along with their highwayman ale, stout of circumstance, wit rabbit, half step hefe and a stone levitation pale ale.

decent beer but i thought it was the weakest effort of all the beers i had on the flight.

don't get me wrong, it's a good beer but it didn't do it for me.

i paired this flight with a fried chicken sandwich.

not counting the stone, i rank the beers in this flight...

1) wit rabbit
2) highwayman ale
3) half step hefe
4) stout of circumstance
5) proving ground ipa

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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 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 watermelonman
4.35/5  rDev +11%
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.

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