Humulus Lager | The Bruery

BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,015 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States
thebruery.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
India Pale Lager, but closer to Imperial Pilsner than IPA, according to the brewery.

Added by vacax on 08-02-2009

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,015
Reviews:
158
Avg:
4.32
pDev:
9.26%
 
 
Wants:
185
Gots:
50
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,015 |  Reviews: 158
Photo of eulerthegrape
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of imperialking
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of DefenCorps
4.94/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Immense thanks to womencantsail for trading this to me. Andrew was kind enough to ship it Express without my even asking for it, just so I'd get to drink this sooner.

A: In my Duvel tulip, this is a very hazy orange with a large, frothy off-white head that seems to stick around a while, leaving a little lace in its wake. For a beer this hoppy, the lace is a little less than I'd expect

S: Holy hops on the nose, batman! This is a true explosion of hops bright, citrus with orange, tangerine and a little bit of pine bitterness in the back. I'm not going to review this as an Imperial Pils, because it isn't one. It's a hoppy lager. Mild sweetness reminiscent of candied grapefruit. Pretty much a flawless expression of what hops are about. As it warms up, the pine character grows and is just immense

T: Holy fuck, this beer makes me laugh. Opening up with a firm bitterness with grapefruit and orange peel before being overwhelmed (in a good way) by a ton of hop flavor just beautifully express with a lot of pine needles and citrus - orange, sweet tangerines, a little grapefruit. There's just a little bit of malt character, and this just makes the citrus character taste candied. The finish is incredible as well, long lasting, with a smooth bitterness.

M: The resiny hop character makes this beer feel heavier than it is, and the soft carbonation just enhances it. Nothing is missed, though, as this beer showcases everything hops need to be - bitter, resiny, and flavorful. The finish is excellent, long lasting with a very smooth bitterness (I guess that'd be reserved bitterness). Just incredible.

D: Off the charts. I am looking forward to polishing off this growler tonight, and have a rollicking good time doing so. It is only into my 3rd pint that I feel like slowing down, and a little devil on my shoulder is telling me to save some for a friend tomorrow.

Notes: This is easily the best hoppy beer I've had since Younger. While Younger deserved a 6 for the way it felt on my palate, this beer earns it's 5, but otherwise, I can't think of a beer that better showcases what hops are about.
This beer also exemplifies the difference between East Coast and West Coast hoppy beers. The hop character of this beer is just epic, without whelming my palate, making this an absolute pleasure to drink.

 2,317 characters

Photo of Fuchswitme
4.94/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Photo of GbVDave
4.92/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 64oz Bruery growler into a 20oz imperial pint. Extra special thanks to errantnight for the extremely generous hook-up!

A: Pours a rich, perfectly hazed, gold bar color with four fingers of the thickest and creamiest head I've ever seen on a lager. It seemed like it was planning on retaining forever, but it very suddenly receded down to a bubbly ring and thin skim. Sheets of puffy lace were left coating the glass. Carbonation was lazy.

S: I couldn't believe how fresh the hops smelled as soon as I cracked open the growler. Huge and resinous. Loads of pine and tropical fruit. Apricot, mango, pineapple, clementine, orange zest, with a dallop of pine tar. I couldn't keep my nose out of the glass!

T: Damn! My first few sips of this were so loaded with hops, it felt like my tongue blacked out for a second. When it "revived", I was met with a wall of hoppiness so perfect and well thought out, I could scarcely go more than 20 seconds between sips. All of the aforementioned tropical, citrus, and pine flavors, plus some peach, and the addition of a bit of crackery malt that does its' thing during the finish.

M: This beer is so packed full of resinous hop oils, the whole inside of my mouth seemed like it was buzzing. Astringent hoppiness actually made my teeth feel "squeaky", if you know what I mean. Wonderful.

D: Well, this beer humbled me. Seriously. So absolutely delicious. I got the email from the Bruery last week saying that they were growlering Humulus Lager and I thought to myself, "Oh well, another Bruery beer I won't get to try." The very next day I got a bm from Derek saying there's a package on its' way to me that's meant to be consumed "soon". Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and saw a Bruery growler inside with a sticker on the top that said "HL". Thank you very much for your generosity Derek!

 1,853 characters

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.92/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured in a Bruery tulip glass. An ample white head floats above a clear deep golden body. Moderate head retention with gobs of sticky lacing. Eventually recedes to a ring and some film.

Lovely, fresh aromas of straw-like lager malt, pine, herbal-weed, citrus, and a little spice.

This is a strongly hoppy beer that one might confuse for an IPA except for its unmistakable lager yeast signature. Tastes of grassy, herbal and citrus hops, supported by smooth bready malts. Grapefruit bitterness builds into a long finish. The lager malts and rice adjunct that is used provides a light body but with just enough structure for the hops to really shine in this beer. I have not had a cleaner tasting hoppy beer that showcases hops so well. Hops seem of the noble variety, but there is also a strong element of west coast hops. My Citra detector is blinking, but actually the hops used are Simcoe (piney), Summit (orange and grapefruit), and Centennial (noble bittering).

The body is light and carbonation fizzy, lending to a crisp and refreshing mouthfeel. There is, however, a little astringency on the tongue.

With this beer, The Bruery takes lager into a wonderfully hoppy dimension. It's really a terrific beer, especially consumed fresh. I hope The Bruery will start bottling it sooner than later.

 1,306 characters

Photo of dubinsky
4.92/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On Tap at the Public House at the SF Giants Stadium, poured into a tulip.

A – Pours a hazy golden yellow, with a two finger frothy head that sticks around for a while eventually leaving a nice layer of lacing behind. This is the antithesis of what I expect from a lager, and boy am I happy to see something done to better a style that I normally glaze over and pass over.

S – Holy Hell! This is a what? A lager? The hell it is. Well folks this is a hop bomb for a lager, imperial or not. Piney, with tropical fruits, mostly pineapple and mango. Some citrus aromas shine through as well. Very clean and crisp smelling.

T – I would swear this is a GREAT ipa if you put a blind fold on me. Very piney with some really great hop bitterness. Some of that pineapple and mango lend themselves to sweeten the beer a tad. Truly unique, and wonderfully balanced.

M - Body is fairly light, with excellent carbonation and a pretty dry finish. Smooth with a nice crisp finish that i tend to really like in a pils.

O – I was blown away by this beer. Easily in the top 5 best beers of 2011 for me. I knew it was a ticker, but I generally dont really care for lager, and this one exceeded my expectations! Very well crafted. I think I will go grab another tomorrow for lunch before its all gone.

 1,292 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.91/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Bright golden amber and orange with a touch of haze. Thin white head. Just a touch of spotted lacing down the glass. Not the most impressive beer to look at necessarily, but this was one of the most enjoyable beers to drink I have ever had!

If I didn't know any better, and I smelled this beer, I would say it's a DIPA, and a world-class one at that! The aromas are of citrus, melon, pineapple, guava: an overwhelming aroma of fresh and pungent hops! This is like standing in a hop field or bathing in hop juice!

This beer is smooth, easy to drink, clean and disappearing, yet bitingly hoppy, pungent and citrusy. The flavor is of a world-class DIPA! It's fruity, it's balanced, it's bitter, it's biting, it's tropical, oh my is it tropical! WOW!

Smooth, thick, creamy yet airy, heavenly mouthfeel! This beer is extraordinary.

I've never simply enjoyed drinking a beer as much as I enjoyed drinking this one.

A masterpiece.

Perfection.

 994 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.89/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Cloudy golden color with a nice fluffy white head, good carbonation.

S: A great combination of pine and grapefruit, a bit floral as well (seems to be the case with all Bruery beers, however).

T: An excellent crisp bitterness, like the nose, lots of pine and citrus are immediately present. Not much malt character, which is very well suited for this beer (I think, anyway).

M: Medium body, very plentiful carbonation as well.

D: For as hoppy and apparently high in ABV as this is, you could certainly drink a lot of this (which is why I got my growler filled with it).

 575 characters

Photo of bcheng
4.88/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is the best imperial pils I have ever tasted. The amount of hops is just right, and brings out the freshness, citrus, and crispness of this brew, it strikes an excellent balance that just works for me. Not as strong as DIPA, which can easily be too hoppy or boozy. I suspect it must be tasted on tap.

I can drink this all summer long, if I can get my hands on it.

 369 characters

Photo of teamchevymxer
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Photo of drabmuh
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Humulus is the hop genus, and humulone is a 21 carbon containing compound that is responsible for hop bitterness.

Can I get some lager love up here right about now? Not only is the BY FAR! the BEST Impy pilsner I've ever had, its probably a top 20 beer overall for me. It is seriously that good. Well done Bruery. All of you guys with Black Tuesday boners are missing out of a beautiful draft lager, thanks womencantsail for this brew.

Split with the other Matt last night, beer poured from a growler into a Corsendork tulip. Beer is yellow, a little dark yellow and pretty hazy, haze clears up slightly as the beer warms, we may have started out a little too cold. Forms a soft white head of small and medium bubbles, good moderate carbonation, steady, and lots of lacing on the glass. Looks good.

Now I know why its called Humulus, its very hoppy. It nearly smells like an IPA its so hoppy. Its strongly CTZ hoppy with a nice floral / fruity back and a mild sulfurness. I bet this is amazing out of the tap.

Beer is medium to light in body, even with this high level of hop aroma and flavor, its not harshly bitter and it finishes completely cleanly. This is seriously a beer that I would have to monitor myself drinking due to the level of alcohol and the complete ease of drinking this beer. There is nearly no room for improvement and this was a GROWLER. The perfect beer.

 1,381 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.84/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Toronado. Cloudy blond appearance, tons of hop haze on this one. Served with a finger of foam that retains well for a draft pour. The aroma is explosive and mind-blowing, loaded with pine, wildflowers, freshly cut grass, a touch of citrus and a bit of weed for good measure. Incredible. The taste, surprisingly, lives up to the aroma, with the slightest hint of malt supporting an enormous amount of dry hopping. Resiny, floral, fresh and crisp with a light body and the perfect amount of bitterness in the finish. Lager yeast is faintly noticeable but really, this is all about the hops. I really couldn't fault this beer in any area except for appearance, it's one of the most well-crafted lagers I've ever had and has a more complex hop character than 99% of the IPAs I've tried.

 791 characters

Photo of scubazook
4.84/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Toronado San Diego

A: A bit hazy golden with a hint of orange with frothy off-white head. The head retention is pretty good, and it leaves laces when it fades.

S: Very rich citrusy hops aromas, grapefruits, orange, lemon and pineapple with floral note. Very aromatic.

T: Succulent citrus flavors, big juicy grapefruits, oranges, a bit piney as well. High hop bitterness with a hint of sweetness. Definitely citrusy West Coast hoppy beer but the malt balance is also great.

M: Medium high carbonation, medium light body

D: This is one of my favorite hoppy beer. Every time I unconsciously say "Wow." Very tasty. Hope one day it'll be bottled.

 656 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.82/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy hell I scored a growler of this! I am just tickled to be able to type this review. There are some beers out there that just seem to allude, big thanks to my man for not letting this one become part of that lot. Served gold and shared amongst friends and family on 09/04/2009.

The pour was nice, I was looking for a bit more, but that would come later. Bright golden amber in color with a good bit of haze and cloudiness to it. Small head of white on top that needed to hang out a bit longer but faded back with only a touch of side glass lacing.

Holy hops batman. I did not think it would be so strong. Rich pine hops cut with tons of citrus, Huge notes of medicinal malts cutting it as well. Really big aroma here. Then I took a sip and melted, literally melted. This was what I have always wanted in this style. I have had soo many bad imperial pilseners, this was the shit to be blunt. Crisp, clean, rich hoppy goodness cut with huge bready malts and a light touch of grain. Simply amazing. Each sip better then the one before it. I was just beside myself with joy. Medium and well carbonation body let the silky smooth taste just absorb all the moisture of my mouth and leave a long dry finish akin to apricots and grapefruit. Holy hell this is good. Abv is well placed, letting me get a taste without being overbearing.

Overall everything I thought it would be and a bag of chips. This was sublime. One of the best beers I have had in the last year hands down and worth every effort to try and obtain. Wow..

 1,520 characters

Photo of brandoneast
4.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of johnbills
4.8/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of bump8628
4.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another fresh from the tap beer at the Bruery's tasting room, and this is certainly a beer that is sublime fresh.

Pours a hop-hazed gold with a lovely, pure white head of suds that sticks, clings, and clumps.

Mega-hoppy all around, this is essentially a big-ass West Coast IPA brewed with a lager yeast and some rice. I'd argue that the yeast and rice is just a way for The Bruery to claim this isn't an IPA, and I guess it technically isn't, but I compare it to the best that Russian River and the other great West Coasters are throwing out there. And quite frankly they can call it whatever the hell they want when it's this good.

Pine, citrus, the intense perfume of flowers; all the usual American hop suspects are there and I'll spare any further description of their character since we all know what American hops are all about. They're everywhere. Leaping from the glass to my nose, coating my palate, and lingering into a long, smoothly bitter finish. Malt doesn't even dare to rear it's head. It knows its place. Clean, dry, and bitter on the finish. This could just as easily be Chico as a lager strain. I don't give a damn what yeast they use it's still an IPA that's all about the massive hoppiness in my book. Get it anytime you have the opportunity.

 1,266 characters

Photo of gregmoscetti
4.77/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Bruery has constructed the perfect IPA. How? By making it not an IPA. This beer is an incredible wrench in the IPA hype train. I drink this over pliny and will continue to.

The nose on this beers is a hop-a-palooza of sweet, dank hops. I dont know if its the lager yeast but there is no overly aggressive, bite your face hop smell. The smell is clean. As if the hops just came out of the laundry and the snuggle bear dropped them off, still warm from the dryer.

The mouthfeel of this beer is creamier than most IPAs as well.it coasts your palate like bubbly, hoppy robatussin and wakes up your tastebuds with delicious floral and fruity notes.

The finish is as clean as it starts. It just leaves you wanting another glass to you can forget how weird your mouth feels after such a hop monster mauling.

All and all, top three hoppy beers I've tried and the best of this small small category

 900 characters

Photo of dar482
4.77/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The beer comes in a golden orange color with a white head.

The aroma is a bit muted with some lemon and citrus fruitness. Its really hoppy however with some light pale malt.

The flavor is just perfect though. A good amount of zesty citrus in the front and then it hits you with grapefruit with pine on the finish. There's a cracker sweet bready malt in there, but it still stays away from being sweet and has that clean lager feel, although it tastes more like a really well made ale. A really clean clean beer.

The beer has a medium mouthfeel with tons of drinkability.

The highlights of this beer are its huge drinkability, but rarely do you get a beer that really is so much "hop juice." Your tongue just constantly keeps licking your teeth because of how hoppy this is. For 30 minutes after this beer, I didn't stop with noticing how hoppy it was on my teeth.

This beer is so darn crisp, clean, and hoppy. I would argue it stands up there with some of the best hoppy beers like Zombie Dust and Pliny.

 1,009 characters

Photo of mynie
4.77/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Three separate times, from three separate people, I’ve been told a sad story regarding Humulus: they ordered it (twice after being told that Younger was no longer on tap), and then some frat boy drunkards gave them shit. “Dude, why you drinking that? You some kind of gay or something, bro?” Because, you know, it’s a lager. And everybody who knows anything about beer knows that lagers are for sissies.

This seems a peculiarly Californian breed of beer idiocy. Which isn’t to say California is especially beer-stupid: in the Midwest, you’ll still get some people who use the word “hops” interchangeably with “flavor,” and who will complain that a hefe is infected if it taste too much like pepper. But it’s only on the west coast that I’ve seen people get really pissy and defensive about whether or not lagers are necessarily inferior to ales. And that’s just completely stupid, since if you’ve ever tried to brew you know that lagers tend to be a lot more difficult.

And oh, god, are these hard to brew. I had Destihl’s double pilsener last November, and it was so bad that I shit on the brewer for months afterward. Only recently have I found that they’re actually a very neat and competent brewery, that their double Pils was something of an anaomly because it’s just so damn hard to make a double pils not taste like you’re smoking grass clippings or gargling dishwater.

Anyhow, I think the combination of brewing difficulty and shit idiot prejudice has stunted the growth of double pilseners as a style. Not only are they harder to make than double IPAs, but the payoff is a lot smaller: the majority of beer people, like the majority of all people, are very nearly retarded, and so if they see “pils” listed as a beer’s description they assume it’s like Bud and therefore below their highly sophisticated pallet.

Leave to the Bruery to prove them wrong. These guys pointedly do not care—aside from Three Floyds, they’re the only brewer I know that openly disdains their fan base. This shit is Deon Sanders-level of not giving a fuck. Meaning it’s Prime motherfucking Time.

Giant hops dominate throughout, but fruit esters sneak their way in like it’s some kind of goddamn Magic Eye puzzle—the malts a wee bit medicinal (a death knell in lesser x2 Pilses), but they combine with the citrus nodes of the hops to make for little firework bursts of red and orange fruit, with notes of pear and apricot. It’s ultra high-alpha but also smooth and fruity, which is exactly what an ideal version of this style should be.

Full review, with pic: http://mynie.com/?p=610

 2,629 characters

Photo of mverity
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of jbogner
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of VictoriaAnne
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Humulus Lager from The Bruery
4.32 out of 5 based on 1,015 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe