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Hopside Down India Style Pale Lager - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hopside Down India Style Pale LagerHopside Down India Style Pale Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

94 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 94
Hads: 527
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 10
Gots: 51 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BradMacMullin on 03-27-2013

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 94 | Hads: 527
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 5/9/13.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and some perfume-like aromas. Taste is much the same with grapefruit and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with an interesting mix of citrus and perfume-like hop aromas that makes the smell slightly better than the taste in my opinion. (610 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Brewed on April 7th 2013.Poured into a pokal clear light to medium golden with a great looking two finger bone white head that clung to the glass like glue,it settled into a moon surface-looking mass after quite awhile.A mix of toasted bread,wet graininess,and grassy/spicy hops,a nice mix with all coming together really well.Flavors of bread dough and mild honey upfront with a nice toasted crispness midway that melds into a "green" spicy/herbal hoppy finish.I gotta say I really liked this beer,Widmer did themselves proud on this hybrid beer wich to me is alot like a uber hopped spring bock. (597 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.66/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Which side is the hopside? Is it the same as turning something topwise? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear brass topped by a bit more than a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises mixed greens, mild pine resin, and a soft caress of cereal grains (I'm leaning toward clean oatmeal here). The taste brings in more of the same, with the pine a bit sharper and the grains coming across more like a light bit of cornbread. The body straddles the border between hefty light and light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a nice little hoppy lager, nothing worth writing poetry over, but it'll do for a clean hop fix. (682 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Giant Beer Garden & eatery in Linglestown PA
enjoyed chilled from a glass.

The color is deep amber with good clarity as you might expect from a lager with thick white creamy head that settles to a collapsed ring of fine beads with wavy lace on the glass. The aroma is both citrus and tropical fruit with some floral hop esters adding to a slightly sweet malt aroma.
The feel is very dry and has a substantial amount of bitterness with a subtle hint of diacetyl but pretty clean and moderately high carbonation gives the impression of a little more bitter than it is maybe.

The taste is crisp which is expected from lagering, but has a nice amount of tangy hop flavor up front too, it is somewhat peach from first taste until mid palate and becomes a little more citrus and grapefruity into the finish with light astringency in the taste and slight malt toastiness backing up the hops with a gently sweet finish. Overall I am pleased to try this it has a fresh hop vibrancy and is very drinkable -Well done Widmer! (1,037 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
3.86/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Medium sized white head just kind of sits above a clear super rich and bright golden colored beer.

Big citrus/piney hops aroma with maybe a bit of grassiness sneaking in there.

Pine, grassy, and light citrus hops styles in the taste but quite pale in comparison to the aroma.

Drying aftertaste with a bit of the piney hops remaining behind with this medium bodied beer.

Decent but a little to light in taste, if the taste had been anything like the aroma, all I could say would be, I'll have another and another and another. (528 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

Clear and bright golden hue, good showing of lace on the glass. Clean, dried grass, floral, orange rind, pithy all make for an aromatic nose. Semi-smooth, hint of crispness, orange peel, moderate sized body, faint mint, hemp seeds, herbal, clean alcohol, drying hoppy grainy finish.

A good stab at the India Pale Lager, pretty drinkable even for its size. (398 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hay colored with a pinky of cream colored head. Respectable head retention & lacing

S: Grassyness, pine & a little breadyness

T: Pine, grapefruit, a touch breadyness & pear up front. Much citrus & grapefruit as this warms, plus nice malt backbone as this warms. Finishes with grassy, piney & citrussy hop bite, plus just a bit of pear & breadyness

MF: Medium bodied, subtle carbonation with nice balance

Nice hop snap to this one, very refreshing indeed! (465 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.21/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Largely unimpressed with Widmer's offerings so far, but I'm hoping this one changes it all. I'm intrigued by the style - "India Style Pale Lager", but I do have to wonder why their "Rotator IPA Series" - a series purportedly intended for (the titular) IPAs - contains a pale lager. Standard widmer shenanigans, but I digress. Acquried earlier tonight as part of a "Best of the brothers" variety 12 pack box at my local Von's grocery store. I dig the label art - especially compared to Widmer's other offerings. 6.7% ABV confirmed. Bottled April 22 2013; this is what I get for buying beer at a grocery store...

Served cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger head of white colour. Nice soft complexion. Slight creaminess. Nice thickness. Pretty good (~4-5 minute) retention. Light even lacing as the head slowly recedes. Pretty average head for the style overall. Not unique or special, but I don't notice any overt flaws.

Body colour is a clear translucent pale yellow-copper. Healthy carbonation bubble count. Above average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Colour is expected and standard fare for the style

Looks pretty decent overall. Looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Wow. I'm greeted at once by a shockingly fresh and diverse hop profile; it's aggressive indeed, with evocative diverse floral/flowery notes (including dandelion), onion (some might suspect Amarillo was used), oily, citrusy zest with a bit of grapefruit, nectary hop character, and vague tropical fruits on the fringe. Rare to find an india pale lager this seemingly well hopped - especially coming from a slave macrobrewery like Widmer. Surprised at the apparent quality. Nice refreshing pale malts. Clean and shockingly fresh.

Not without its faults though. There's some underlying soapiness - indicative of too much time spent in primary. And the onion will turn off many.

Not getting any yeast character or alcohol from the aroma. Sweet/bitter balance seems like a mess based on the aroma, though I'm not getting any naked hop bitterness which bodes well. Nothing to do now but drink the bastard...

T/Mf: I'm greeted by the brief open with pale malts and floral hops. Once we hit the second act in comes the onion, light soap, and vague disappointing remnants of the diverse hop notes promised by the aroma. I was getting ready to really like this, too. A kiss of grapefruit and soap with light accompanying hop bitterness right on the finish - but luckily it doesn't linger into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel does get coarse and dry on the finish - departing the smoothness and wetness from the body - which some would argue helps encourage the next sip; I would argue it reduces the refreshing feel of the beer - the lager, not IPA aspect - and thereby negatively impacts drinkability.

No yeast or alcohol comes through.

Lightly oily, sure. Not enough for my tastes. Clean but not crisp. Thickness is a bit of a mess, with it feeling awkwardly too thick and simultaneously too thin depending on the point in the structure you're assessing. Typically overdone carbonation. Does the texture suit the flavour profile? Not really that well, no. Coarseness is evident more and more as it warms - again a departure from the core lager vibe the beer is going for.

Methinks they delved a bit too deep into the clear IPA influences on this beer when crafting the flavour profile. As a result, it's a bit of a mess and never comes off quite right in terms of balance - regarding that of both structure and flavor. It's complicated where efficient simplicity should reign, to its detriment. No subtlety at all here. A bit heavy handed perhaps.

But I don't mean to criticize too much. There's ambition here, and obvious craft. I applaud the experimentation. Some of the hop choices weren't ideal, but there's an effort to hide the hop bitterness with a clean pale malt backbone. I like the intentions there, but it's overhopped from the start.

Dr: It does feel like an attempt to cash in on the trend of craft beer towards IPAs. It tries to have its cake and eat it too, attempting (unsuccessfully) to marry the easy drinkability of a crisp lager with the varied flavour of an American IPA. Unfortunately for the consumer, it's a marriage that ends in divorce (please forgive this awful awful analogy). It's not undrinkable, and I can see where it's found a market among other reviewers on the site. The price point is good for what it is; I do not regret my purchase. This may be the most ambitious and inventive beer I've had from Widmer - even if it is not the best one. I'd encourage others to try it for that very reason. By no means a great - or necessarily even a good beer - but damnit they tried.

C+ (4,782 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Widmer Bros Hopside Down IPL
Appears pale copper bright white head with fine lace. Aroma has citrus and floral hops with clean cereal grains. Flavor brings out a clean rolling bitterness mainly citrus pith from the hop additions. Mouthfeel, light carbonation light to medium bodied pulls off a crisp finish much like a lager except for more oily alpha acids here. Overall enjoyable but lacks some complexity crisp and hoppy. (424 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with a bottling date of May 2013: nice and fresh.

A: Pours very clear, dark gold-amber color, with what looks like rather aggressive carbonation. The white head is moderate in size with good retention and fine lacing. .

S: Hoppy. Grassy and herbal with, I think, some Saaz hops and a good bit of citrus.

T: Sweet bready malt up front, with more complexity and fruitiness than expected. Hints of pineapple, orange, tangerine and lime. Mildly bitter finish and aftertaste.

M: Light+ body; acceptably high carbonation; very crisp and clean finish.

O: Certainly one of the best IPLs I've tried, but then there haven't been many. Nonetheless, this easy drinking and refreshing beer is recommended for those seeking something like an APA. Also may serve as a major upgrade from a macro-brewed lager. (814 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a relatively clear medium golden apricot in color with moderate to heavy amounts of gentle visible carbonation raising in streams from the bottom of the glass and some orange highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to couple of small patches of thick film with a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass.

S: Light to moderate aromas of bready malts and toasted malts with moderate aromas of grassy, spicy, and herbal hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of bready and toasted grain malts that have a light amount of sweetness to them (honey/brown sugar). There is a moderate amount of hop flavors - grassy, spicy, and herbal in descending order of strength. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness which fades kind of quickly but a light hint of the bitterness lingers on.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Found this one to be pretty enjoyable with really well hidden alcohol - this India Pale Lager hybrid style is becoming more popular recently and this is probably one of the better versions that I have come across. Easy to drink and one I could easily have a couple during a session - enough complexity /interest to keep me from getting bored with it but not a palate wrecker. (1,337 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a snifter. The brew appears a clear golden copper color with a rich white froth 2 fingers solid that fades down with soapy patches on the glass. The look for this brew is quite nice.

The aroma is rindy and zesty with hops like oranges and pith/pulp. A bit of caramel malt and hints of sulfur and cheese quality as it warms up.

The taste is quite zesty with orange-like citrus mixed with some caramel malt. A little rindy and herbal with hops. Some sulfur aspects are somewhat cheesy into the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is crisp, refreshing and very easy drinking. Worth having a go at for sure. (664 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - bright, murky orange with a quarter of an inch of soft, thick, white head that has decent retention

S - grapefruit, big, citrus, mild pine

T - huge grapefruit, mild rind, some piney bitterness, nice malt character, some sugary sweetness, very mild cake batter notes, very nice balance between and very aggressively hopped

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This is really a solid offering. I think IPL are quickly becoming one of my favorite emerging styles. This can hang with any IPA that Widmer has put out in the rotator series. The hops are aggressive, assertive, bitter, and balanced, and the malt character is sweet which I like in IPAs and offers a solid backbone. Well done. (691 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.84/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It has been two horrific days in a row and at some point in the day, my thoughts turned to all of that nice beer awaiting me at home. Who needs a wife, a girlfriend or a pet or any combination of those when you have beer?

From the bottle: "We're turingin things deliciously upside down with an aggressively hopped cold-fermented brew that brings together the clean crisp finish of a lager with the hoppy aroma and character of an IPA. Prost! to turning convention on its head. [undersigned] Kurt [&] Rob".; "Rotator IPA Series Our Rotating Collection of Uncommonly Great IPAs".

Man, I was anxious! I popped the cap, got an aggro pour going and I was off to the races, baby! Two dense, foamy fingers of French Vanilla-colored head with great retention and I had to wait. It looked like the top of an ice cream cone before it began to fall. Color was a deep, golden-yellow with NE-plus quality clarity, allowing me to see into the future. I will be drinking beer! SRM = 5 to 6 and the triumvirate of Croesus, Mammon and King Midas were all slathering. Not today, boys. Nose smelled like the interior of a pine forest. This is a lager?!? What hath man wrought? Mouthfeel was big, full and creamy, soft as well and the pine hops were like everything of Baby Bear's - just right. Man, I wonder how long they had to tweak this recipe becuase it could have easily been overpowered by the hops. One long draught later and sticky lacing was already beginning to appear. Finish was, indeed, clean and crisp with a lingering taste of hops. Gimme more! (1,543 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear dark gold with a small white head, very light lace, fair retention.

S: Lemon and grass, assorted citrus.

T: Sweet bready malt notes with pineapple and bright citrus - tangerine and lemon. Light notes of passion fruit and guava in the finish.

M: Fairly cleand for the style. Light to medium-bodied, frothy carbonation.

O: IPL isn't something you see everyday. This is a solis example. An easy drinking good beer as I've come to expect from Widmer. (483 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, vibrant, crisp, clear, yellow-gold coloring with a thin, filmy, bright white head that quickly settles into a sparse surface coating. Aromas of biscuit, cedar pitch, pepper, canibus, and a lemon and grapefruit tart sweetness. Very balanced nose. Flavors are very bitter forward, with a dry, resinous cedar and grass character, blended with floral highlights and a toasted grain backbone. Resin and citrus sweet plows straight through to the aftertaste, with a bitter, dry, slightly resinous finish. This is a tasty beer, and much more hop-centric than other IPLs have been able to accomplish. (655 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear golden colored beer with a tall white colored head.

Smells strongly of American Northwestern style hop. Strong citrus aroma, mostly grapefruit. Scent of cedar wood instead of pine. Caramel and a faint hint of Cinnamon.

Starts out as malty and assertively hopped. Quite richly flavored for a lager. Slightly sweet with a strong hop presence. Tastes almost savory bitterness is a little on the high side of medium. Mild caramel and an earthy slightly cedar flavored.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is one of the best beers I have tasted this year. (556 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear brass hue with a two finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured balmy piney hops and a doughy malt.

The taste consisted of resinous peppery and pony hops atop a full round malt.

The mouthfeel was full for the style.

Overall a tasty and brawny hop bomb. (314 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up tonight at the COOP for about $1.50... Pours a very clear golden.. nice white head leaves a lot of nice lacing.

Nose is clean hops with a tad bit of malt... little else... hops are spicy/grassy and a bit of orange zest.

Flavor mirrors the nose but lacks the bitterness of an IPA.... a nice clean hop flavor .. no ale fruitiness which is honestly a little bit odd IMO.

Body is light/carbonation good... very very drinkable.

I will tear these up once the Boise heat comes.

4/3.5/3.5/3.75/3.75 (505 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Hopside Down is a decent IPA from Widmer. There is nothing that separates itself from other westcoast IPAs....but it is a decent and sessionable offering. The scent is mild with fresh hop that provides hints of pine and citrus. The taste is a decent balance between bitter hops and a sweet malt. The bitterness starts and then the sweetness takes over. The mouthfeel is medium in body....with good carbonation. Overall this is a solid beer and a 6 or 12 would be in order. (476 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber with a thin white head that persists as a thick ring around the glass. Aroma of estery orange family juice, banana and light tropical fruit, light grassy hops, very refreshing fruit smell. Flavor follows with sweet bready malt, nicely mixed citrus and stone fruit juices and some suprisingly robust citrus hops in the flavor and finish. Good balance. Medium bodied with some creaminess. A nice lager that could pass as a low key American IPA, which probably would be a better style designation for it, although it would be in tougher competition. Much better than I expected and fun to drink. I will definitely buy this again when I want a nice malty IPA style but not looking for a hop bomb. (773 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured an attractive bright yellow-gold color with about 1/4 inch of white head that had moderate retention and decent lacing.

The aroma had a bright citrus and floral hop scent over a nice grainy malt base. The taste was pretty similar, a solid grain foundation, floral and citrus hops all over the tongue, and a lingering citrus finish.

The body was smooth and even, although perhaps just a bit too thick and sticky, and had a nice dry finish. Drinkability was good, I could see a few of these disappearing too easily at a cookout. Overall, a nicely enjoyable brew, not one that'll make the Uber beer nerds wet themselves, but one that;s certainly worth throwing a sixer of in the fridge or cooler. (735 characters)

Photo of avalon07
3.79/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from a bottle to a pilsner glass. Had a golden yellow color and a clear consistency. There was a half inch of foamy head that lasted a fair amount of time. Decent lacing.

S: A nice, sweet aroma of hops, citrus, and a little malt.

T: Tasted of hops - a lot more than I expected - along with some lemon, malt, and a little earthiness as well. A bit overhopped with nothing to counteract it. Still, a light, refreshing flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with an overly bitter finish. Light-bodied.

O: Better than most of the American Pale Lagers you'll find out there, but a bit uneven. Still, a drinkable enough beer. (628 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Stanford's in Tanasbourne.

A clear yellow with a dense, white head with decent retention and lacing, this is a solid IPL. The nose is full of hops, bright, citrusy, mildly rind-like and moderately pith-like. Clean, snappy and refreshing, this is solid. A touch of sweetness is present. The palate opens with a moderate bitterness, rather resiny with pine and citrus. This is followed with a rather clean hop flavor - grapefruit, pine, some orange - with no real grassy flavors. The mid-palate has a little bit of caramel, but what is striking is the mineral character on the finish that works really nicely with the snappy, resiny hops. Medium-light in body and moderately carbonated, this feels decent on the palate and has a nice, hoppy finish. Alcohol is a lot higher than it needs to be (IMO) but otherwise, this is a winner. (840 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours dark gold with a respectable head. Body is mostly clear.

S-The aroma is vibrant but lean. I enjoy the hoppiness as it mixes with the Lager yeast. Tropic hops with some grass. Lager yeast and some crackers.

T-The taste is a downgrade. It just doesn't display the same cohesion as the nose. The hops were more pleasing in the aroma. It just doesn't seem to mix as effectively.

M-Drinks easy enough.

O/D-The hot new style. I respect the attempt. I am spoiled because I can get Jack's Abby whenever I feel the need so this brew sadly can't beat that out. (562 characters)

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Hopside Down India Style Pale Lager from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.