Curmudgeon IPA | Grand River Brewing

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Curmudgeon IPACurmudgeon IPA

Brewed by:
Grand River Brewing
Ontario, Canada

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Cur·mud·geon (kər-ˈmə-jən)

1. A bad-tempered or surly person

2. An ill-tempered (and frequently old) person full of stubborn ideas or opinions.

The curmudgeon IPA is our ever changing seasonal hop muse. We change the recipe every year to whichever direction we feel we want to take our audience. The curmudgeon has been an American IPA, hybrid English/American IPA ranging from bitter to really bitter with light to dark toasty malts.

Added by Sammy on 02-22-2009

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Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 85
Photo of D-HopSupreme
3.42/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber, slightly hazy body with a decent amount of fine-bubbled off-white head. The scent is fairly malty, with a pine and grass clipping aroma, but not much overall. The taste brings up a crisp bitterness, and pine. Not sure they remembered to dry hop here. The feel is a bit harsh, as the bitterness lingers for an unpleasant time with a very dominant carbonation. Overall it's passable, but not something I'd readily spring for.

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

It started out really well but then again, I was thirsty. After a quarter way through, I have noticed the slightly foul smell and lack of body.
Not harmful, but nothing special.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.32/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Purchased at the LCBO for around $4.00 or so for a 500ml bottle. Served at 5deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a good white head that is gone in 30sec. VERY dark gold color and almost clear

S- Honey. Smoke

T- Smoke. Don't know but it tastes artificial. Don't like it. Has a lot of hops but seems more like a European IPA than anything.

M- Creamy and thickish. Pretty good

O- It grows on you but is not that good. Will not buy again.

Food Pairing

This pretty decent IPA went well with..... Fish and chips! Yet once again. Gotta stop eating it LOL


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Photo of kevinlater
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into nonic pint. bottled on feb 26 2015, consumed on mar 4 2015, so just under a week old. nice

a: a caramel/toffee/light amber/burnt orange colour with a soft haze, topped with two fingers of dense, off-white head that's leaving behind some great lacing

s: caramel malt, floral hops, and a slight orange-grapefruit citrus presence

t: dominant malt flavours -- lots of biscuit, toffee, and bread/toast. mild grapefruit rind, pine, and floral hop notes emerge mid palate. finishes with earthy-herbal-floral hop notes and a medium astringency akin to that of a grapefruit

m: killer creamy medium mouthfeel with bubbly but soft carbonation

o: hops may be the craze these days, but don't pass on this delicious malt-forward IPA

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Re-Review after picking up another bottle from LCBO the other day. Poured into a pint glass just out of the fridge.

Appearance - Nice dark orange / brown color with 1.5 fingers of head that subsides a bit then sticks around for half the pint. Some lacing left on the glass as well. Very clear beer as well, can still see details on my hand as it is wrapped around the glass and I look through the glass to the other side.

Smell - Mild hops and a faint sweetness was all I was picking up. Was about to write off the smell as pretty mediocre when took one more whiff and identified the sweetness as caramel and some bready malts in there as well that for whatever reason reminded me of bready Belgian beers. As such it was an interesting nose.

Taste - Fairly bitter, grapefruit and pine resin are most detectable here. Pretty standard of many of the IPA's and I was just a bit disappointed that I didn't taste anything in terms of breadiness that I faintly picked up on the nose. Nonetheless tasty.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, rich feel, tingly sensation in the mouth. Is a filling beer (to my stomach) but remains light enough and thin enough that you wouldn't have to twist my arm to quaff a couple more.

Overall - Really glad I retried this, since It was better than i had remembered and fairly complex for what it is as well as a good beer at its price point.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.11/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; bottled on May 30 2012. Never had this one before, but my expectations are fairly high. One of my favourite styles meets one of my favourite Ontario craft brewers.

Pours a beautiful reddish-copper colour, quite deep in hue and with perfect clarity. Topped with a little more than one finger of creamy, light-tan coloured head with unremarkable retention. The sides of the glass are coated in lacing by the time it dies down, though, so overall this is one great looking brew. Nice aroma, but nothing spectacular - biscuity malts and caramel are fairly prominent, with some earthy hop undertones. A few notes of orchard fruit that remind me of a regular English pale ale.

Excellent flavour that changes throughout the sip. Malty flavours take over the palate at first - lightly toasted buttered biscuits, caramel sweetness, with a hint of strawberry or passionfruit. These are countered later in the sip by floral, earthy, grapefruit-citrus rind notes from the hops. Bittersweet finish, with lingering dryness. Medium-bodied, with subdued carbonation. Heavenly mouthfeel, and extremely drinkable for a bitter brew at 6.5%, but probably not something I'd want to drink more than one or two of in a night.

Final Grade: 4.11, a satisfying A-. All in all, Curmudgeon IPA is a remarkably well-balanced brew, and at least to me, a new gold standard for the English IPA style. There is some solid hop bitterness to this brew, but the strong malt profile means that this can potentially satisfy both hopheads and haters alike. I myself am more of an American IPA guy, but this is every bit as enjoyable for different reasons. What's not to like?

I would happily recommend this to someone looking for a good English IPA, and will certainly get it again some time. Well worth the price - once again proving to me that you just can't go wrong with Grand River. Cheers, and great work!

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Photo of caporegimo
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not a lot on the nose. Some sweet caramel, molasses,and a bit herbal. Beautiful clear copper color with a white frothy head which dissipates rather quickly but leaves spiderweb-like lacing. Sweet malty body is balanced perfectly by a rather generous amount of bitter hops. This one builds as the beer goes on. Beautiful English style IPA from one of Ontario’s best brewery’s

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Photo of ZorPrime
4.19/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received from a trade with Liam. Cheers BAmate!

Bottled on march 2, 2012. Drank on April 10, 2012.

Color is copper, very dark copper. No head, maybe due to my inability of pouring beer adequately! :) The aroma is very strong on the malts, lots of caramel malts, I get some small touch of burnt sugar too. Some hazelnuts. Nice. Very strong malty aroma.

The taste is again very caramel malts with a finish that has some bites. Maybe a little bit spicy. This is true English Style IPA if you ask me. Very nice and so easy to drink and refreshing. As it warms up, I notice that there is some woody notes in there. Nice again.

I really like this one. A very good IPA in the English Style... you don't find this quite often in those days of American IPA domination!

Seek this one.

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Photo of Groulxsome
4.38/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled March 17, 2012. Drank April 6, 2012.

A: A deep copper with reddish tones. Clear, with a thick, firm off-white head which doesn't show any signs of dissipating. Almost like the kind of head you get on a Guinness or Killkeny type of beer. It might be faulted for being a little too dark (almost like an ESB) for the style, but not by me.

S: Some toasty malts. A little dry earthy-ness from the hops. A little light floral, somewhat creamy smelling, like a strawberry ice-cream.

Flavour: Assertive hop bitterness. Very assertive! One of the finest bitters I've had in a while, actually. It's sharp, acidic (like a grapefruit in bitterness and acidy) and wraps around your tongue. The opening, however, is mild and pleasant. There are toffee, caramel, and bread notes. With the floral from the hops the malt sweetness is almost like strawberry. It finishes dry. The bitterness lingers in a really perfect way.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. The creamy head appearance does not betray the mouthfeel. It's creamy like it's from a nitro can but it was just a normal bottle. A medium body with a fairly light carbonation. A little alcohol warming which works with the lingering bitter.

Overall: An extremely well executed beer. It's earthy with a rich malt body, a killer bitter, and a creamy mouthfeel and head. One of the best English IPA's I've ever had. This would be absolutely awesome on cask somewhere. It would pair well with good pub food like (a good) fish and chips or meat pies. The bitter and the alcohol warming are strong enough to cut through heavy, greasy, rich foods. It's also perfect for on its own.

I understand that I have rated this beer high above the average. To my understanding of this style they have nailed it pretty hard. As much love as I have for the American style IPAs, this makes me want more English ones - especially more of this one.

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Photo of korguy123
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled March 17th, 2012

A- Burnt copper with red highlights. Two finger soapy off white head with excellent lacing.

S- Sweet malts, nice biscuit and earthy floral hops. Slight grass and citrus rind.

T- Sweet malt, bittering hops (pine and floral) touch of strawberry and a long lingering bitter finish.

M- Medium bodied, good carbonation.

O- This one really grows on me. I was never a English IPA fan (always a West Coast American IPA) but this is my favorite out off all I've tried.

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Photo of Yeoman9459
3.27/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Comes in a 500mL bottle, 6.5% abv, pounred into Grand River Brewings pint glass. Bottled March 2nd.

Appearance - deep red almost brown colour. Off white, khaki head thats pretty bubbly and probly wont stick around for a while.

Smell - pine, grapefruit, little bit of caramel maltness.

Taste - Overwelming pine taste with an earthy characteristic to it, some fruity notes, but pine hops seem to be the dominating taste.

Mouthfeel - pretty smooth feel, not much carbonation and a lingering bitterness. Closer to medium bodied.

Overall - good beer, closer to the english style ipa.

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Photo of SebD
3.86/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice copper/amber color to it. It has a nice thick tan head that dies down slowly and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of citrusy, piney and earthy notes with some bready and caramelly notes.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice citrusy, earthy and piney hop character with a nice caramelly malt backbone, some toffee notes and a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My favourite regular Grand River beer thus far.

Taste varies significantly from year-to-year, but the 2011 batch may well be the best yet. Less malt-forward than earlier years, with both citrus and pine notes as well as a delightful bitterness in the finish. A shame that the hard Cambridge water seems to consistently prevent aroma, but very pleasant to drink nonetheless. Beautiful clear, dark amber in colour with excellent head retention and pleasantly slick mouthfeel. Hides its 6.5% ABV frightenly well.

Although still miss the old bottle label shown on this site, a real pleasure to drink. Can only hope that one day Grand River will choose to brew a full fledged American Pale Ale as well...

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Photo of cyrenaica
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle
6.5% ABV
Bottled On: March 17, 2011
The label says this should be about as fresh a bottle of beer as I've ever had. I tried this beer on April 5, 2011 after purchasing from one of my local LCBO outlets. The beer pours a translucent copour colour with a thin tan ring of a head. The aroma is citrusy hops, pine, and caramel malt. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. The flavour is weak grapefruity hops, sweet malt....and a lime-like taste in the finish.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from LCBO. From notes.

A - Poured a dark copper colour with a one finger fluffy eggshell head. Strong carbonation. Bright. Good soapy lacing and a film of retention.

S - Intense aroma from the pour. Really good juicy hop. Pineapple and grapefruit are there.

T - Harsh hop dose is kinda medicinal. Strong caramel. Pine, mango, passionfruit. Quite balanced.

M - Good carbonation and a medium body.

O/D - Needs work on the medicinal note, otherwise a solid EIPA with good balance.

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Photo of SgtStout
3.51/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a nice cherry-ruby colour. Really nice two fingers of head with great retention and lacing. Great carbonation.

Aromas of grass, shrubs, earthy notes, floral notes, some breadiness. The aroma was a little underwhelming and somewhat dissapointing.

Taste starts with some almost rye-like flavours and some balanced malt. Also some sharp pine flavour. No citrus/spice. The finish is very bitter and lingers for quite a while. I wouldn't be putting back too many of these in a row.

Overall a good IPA, but not a spectacular one. To my palate this beer is almost identical to their Plowman's ale, with only a hint more bitterness.

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Photo of dgilks
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle courtesy of JohnnyBarman. Many thanks Matt!

Moderately clear deep copper colour with a small, off-white head. Fair head retention.

Rich, dark caramel and toffee notes with a deep, resinous hop aroma. Good.

Balanced malts and hops with some earthy hop character. Plenty of bitterness. Deep toffee. Very nice.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Fair.

A good example on an English IPA. Lots of flavour, plenty of bitterness and quite tasty.

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Photo of Roke87
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle slightly chilled and poured into a Duvel tulip.
Bottled on March.17/2011

Appearance- Pours a dark ruby amber colour with a generous two fingers of thick creamy off white head, that sticks around for a while , turning into a nice thing ring leaving lots of lacing till finish.

Smell- Floral hop aromas coming off this one right away, mixed in with a malty bread smell with a sweet toffee smell thrown in there as well.

Taste- Very malty and bready for an IPA, you do get the hops in there throughout which supply a mild bitterness, and it finishes with an almost sweet toffee like flavour.

Mouthfeel- Definitely a medium bodied IPA with a hoppy bitterness to it but does go down smooth finishing off clean and crisp.

Overall- A very decent IPA and a good offering from this brewery, you get the nice hop smells and tastes that are present in all great IPA’s but not overwhelming and balanced with a nice bready malt taste that finishes sweet in the end.

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Photo of Stocean1
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured a beautiful amber ruby colour with a nice two finger head that lingered for some time as did the thick lacing

S - caramel malt and earthy hops with some citrus fruit.

T - up front caramel malt with some honey, lemon and faint grapefruit. Really well balanced with a nice "english" malt backbone.

M - medium bodied with some carbonation, this is a well balanced IPA that is nicely bitter throughout but very refreshing and drinkable.

O - An excellent English IPA IMO that seems even better in 2012 causing me to update my review. My favourite from Grand River so far.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml Bottle

Appearance - Clear amber/copper colour with a large size frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, toffee, grains, biscuits, some barnyard funk

Taste & Mouth - There is a low amount of carbonation and the most noticeable flavours are malts, toffee, and a cookie sweetness. There are also some notes of barnyard straw and a some light hops. The beer finishes with a malty sweet aftertaste with a touch of hops.

Overall - I was hoping for a little more hop taste this one. I could only really taste them at the very end. An okay beer that I'm glad I tried, but I wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of bryehn
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper, amber and ruby colour with a moderate white head that leaves some light lacing and a collar that seems to last forever.

Smells like freshwater, grassy hops and roasted malt. Develops a creamed honey aroma after warming.

Tastes like toasted malts, with a strong hoppy bitterness that carries a lemon or grapefruit citrus tone. Solid.

Creamy and bready on the tongue. Very crisp finish, with the citrus coming back in the aftertaste.

Really good, balanced and flavourful beer. I'll be buying this regularly, especially if I can get it two-weeks fresh like this bottle.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to Duvel tulip. Bottled on March 17, 2011 so very fresh!

A - Medium amber colour with half a finger of creamy off-white head.

S - Bitter floral hops with some pine notes and a good toffee/caramel malt backbone. True to the English IPA style.

T - A good bitterness up front with a floral flavours and a hefty malt sweetness. Some caramel and toffee flavours come through from the malts. The bitterness returns in the finish and lingers slightly.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer bottled March 17, 2011.

Pours a dark amber colour, with a very thin white head, even with a vigorous pour.

Beer smells of sweet malt, some caramel. A light but nice smell.

Taste is bitterer than expected from the nose, but well balanced against the sweet malt. Very slight tastes of fruit exist in the malt.

Mouthfeel is very good. Nicely medium bodied with a great consistency. Medium carbonation.

Overall, a nice but not spectacular beer. Certainly enjoyable but not particularly interesting.

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Photo of john68
5/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

clean finish, very bitter, even better than tankhouse! What more needs to be said? Give me a break. It's either loaded with hops, and good, or it's Coors Lite. Why do I need 250 characters to describe good. It reminds me of Durham brewery Hop Addict. Finally a decent Ontario Beer. I'm tired of having to import from BC and California to get flavour.

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Photo of WeedKing4
2.83/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear, quite dark red with not a lot of head. Tastes very bland and quite flat to me. Just had this weird rust like taste to it. The after taste was a struggle with this one as well. I know its a english ipa and not supposed to be overly hoppy, but it wasn't a very good english ipa either. Quite happy I only bought one bottle of this.

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Curmudgeon IPA from Grand River Brewing
3.63 out of 5 based on 85 ratings.
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