Hopside Down India Style Pale Lager - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
84
good

467 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 467
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 5
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BradMacMullin on 03-27-2013)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 467 | Reviews: 82 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chinchill
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of shand
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of sjanowiak
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of russpowell
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
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!

Photo of gregu2
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of jrfehon33
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of turnerr79
2.43/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Being from the PNW, Widmer brews are usually in my regular rotation and I've had the privilege of sampling a wide gamut of their offerings, both store bought and on tap at the source. I was excited when this, the newest of the "rotator" series appeared in the local store.
I am quite disappointed by this, however. Hopside Down Reminds me of a decent home-brew a friend might bring to poker night, but not something I would consider a good craft beer.

Golden pour with a whisp of a white head that says hello then moves on.

Nose of a porcupine hops and sharp malt, not sweet, just kind of like old school BEER or generic lager.

The first sip confused me a bit. What was the maker going for? It was almost as if someone took the Widmer Nelson Imperial IPA and mixed it with a Budweiser. The floral/earthy hops teased my palate, but the finish was rough and a bit bitter, not in a good way, like an old nun smacking you with a yard stick.

I'd make up fun and creative adjectives to describe the largely uninspiring flavor profile of this beer, but I'll save you the BS. It's just a sub-par IPA.

The 6.7% ABV is really the only redeeming quality and why I'll finish the pack, maybe.

I would not recommend this Widmer offering.

Photo of kojevergas
3.19/5  rDev -14%
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+

Photo of gpaulson
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of sgttibbs
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Ysgard
4.7/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer I might like just a little too much.
Dortmunder golden in color, thin yet persistent white skeined head, with very modest lacing.

The smell is hoppy, with just a tiny touch of sulfur. Lemony skunkiness and a bit of sweet pilsener-y aroma.

The taste is hard to pin down, because it is the odd lager that isn't horrible as it approaches 55F. Cold it is crisp and citrusy hoppy, with a honeyed acidity that I find in my favorite IPAs, but I can't quite place. As it warms, lemon and citrus hops with a noble clean herbal character showing before and after the main american hop presence. On the warm end of drinkable it's very hoppy, but the touch of sulfur really invokes a Czech Pils rather than American IPA.

The mouthfeel is balanced in body, perhaps the heavy side of medium bodied, with the honey acidity playing up the lightness and carbonation.

I really love this beer, and it's an incredible bargain in VA, going for $8 a six when most craft sixes have creeped up to $10.

Photo of throwerbri
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

Photo of Sarmartay
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of OldhouseRecs
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of davek72
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of Drknight
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of gregariouslive
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of PsychicBubblegum
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of oberon
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Photo of Spikester
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber color with one finger of dense white head. Good amount of lacing.
Smell is pine and citrus.
Taste is bitter fruity hops, some leather, some biscuit malts but hops dominate.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation helps with the crisp nature of this brew.
Finish is a lingering bitterness and dry. A very interesting and well made IPA Lager..

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Eric908
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Rekrule
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of NCbeerpirate
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Hopside Down India Style Pale Lager from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 467 ratings.