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Humulus Lager | The Bruery

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157 Reviews
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Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 1,013
Photo of EliottJW
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a really great looking beer right from the pour. My pour was a touch vigorous as it was the first poured from the growler, but it looked awesome. pale yellow with some fine sediment swirling around. it also had a nice, thick and tight head that stuck around forever. the lacing was nice and thick and stayed put with every sip I took.

the nose in this beer is pretty ridiculous. TONS of crisp hops... really, really floral. reminds me of dupont foret minus the belgian yeast. I'm really expecting an extremely bitter beer from the smell of it.

ended up being not nearly as hoppy as I expected in that it's extremely well balanced. some of this beer's bready sweetness really helps to balance out the HUGE hops I was expecting.

This beer is perfectly carbonated, and while it's a bit heavier than I would have expected, it still drinks extremely smooth.

I would have scored it higher on drinkability, but I have to admit that my mouth is a bit confused. flavor and mouthfeel would have you believe that this beer is much higher in alcohol content than it actually is. I think even if it's at a sessionable abv, my mouth would call for a halt after 1 or 2.

really though, this is a great beer. I'd absolutely recommend it if you want something new.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 64 oz. growler into a tulip.

Humulus Lager pours a hazy bronze color with lighter golden edges where light shines through. A full and creamy head fills up the top of my glass with a firm pour. Nice head retention, and there is a bit of lace sticking to the sides of my glass.

The aroma is of sweet grains, orange and grapefruit hops, and a bit of lager yeast in the back. It smells more like a traditional IPA than it tastes, for sure.

With my very first taste of this beer I can sense the difference between this and any ale IPA. The lager yeast adds another character to the flavor, accentuating the hops in such a unique way. There is a little bit of genius in doing it this way. There is a little bit of honey and straw sweetness up front, but the flavor resides in the blast of bitterness that comes next. The hops come through with grapefruit and orange citrus, including a fair amount of pith and zest, with a little bit of pine on the back end. The hop combination is not unusual, but the way it is presented is, which makes this beer that much more interesting.

The dryness of the lager yeast is apparent for sure. The carbonation is bubbly and creamy, just barely on the full side. The body is right about where I expect it to be at 7.2% alcohol.

Overall I was impressed with this beer. Usually I feel that Bruery beers are overhyped and underwhelming, but I enjoyed the thought that was put into this beer's design. This is the type of beer where the total is definitely greater than the sum of the parts; the interaction between the lager yeast and the hops alone makes this beer worth trying.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bruery Provisions in Orange, CA.

Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with an off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, citrus zest, and some tropical fruit aromas. Taste is of grain, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and some subtle tropical fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good lager with some very nice aromas and flavors.

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Photo of richj1970
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured on draft at Public house in Las Vegas.

A: Light honey yellow and crystal clear. Big three finger head leaving heavy lacing that covered the glass.

S: Floral hops with a touch of grain aroma. Lager yeast is barely detectable in the nose.

T: Pine, and light citrus. Lots of hop goodness.

M: Light body. Steady bubbles even 10 minutes after pour.

O: Very nice, and very easy drinking. This drinks almost like an IPA but with a slightly different mouthfeel.

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Photo of nataku00
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a plastic cup at the Public House in ATT Park. Beer poured a nice golden yellow, clear with a finger and a half of pure white fluffy head. Head retention was decent for a while, leaving sticky lacing around the cup before dissipating fully after 10 minutes or so. Decent carbonation, ample, floating slowly up from the bottom of the cup.

Nose is biscuit malts and grains dominated when it was cold, with floral and herbal hops, with some light fruit aromas, white grapes, white peach, and pear. As it warmed up, the hops were a little bit more prominent, big floral aromas, with some of the sweet and fruity notes of white grapes and pear standing out.

Absolutely delicious, big floral and herbal hop flavors, though not overbearingly bitter. Lots of sage, parsley and tarragon flavors, but also a lovely fruit component, white grape/wine, pear, and white peach along with a perfectly balanced malt flavor in biscuit and fresh grain flavors. Finish is bitter and dry, white wine like with fresh herbs and white fruit.

Light bodied with excellent soft carbonation to keep this refreshing despite the higher abv. Dangerously easy to drink as the bitterness is not overbearing, while still being capable of delivering exceptional flavor.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

6oz pour into wide mouth short glass at Fireworks Pizza

A-Pours clear golden with a large creamy beige head that dissipates slowly with nice lacing.

S-Aroma is light pine, citrus, Passionfruit, guava, musk melon.

T-Flavor follows, light sweet and medium bitter, fruity, tropical, a bit dank. Pretty nice finish with lingering tropical bitterness.

M-Medium body, oily mouthfeel. Nice carbonation. Very clean

O-Impressive imperial India pale lager. Would really enjoy in the summer!

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Photo of rudzud
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this at the dive. Poured into a tulip.

A - Poured a nice crystal clear honey hue with a one finger head that left sticky lacing ans a thin blanket.

S - Aromas of grapefruit peel and orange. Nice light malts, gentle lager notes.

T - Taste is nicely grapefruit with light malty sweetness. Nice citus with good flesh and rind. Super drinkable.

M - Mouthfeel is very drinkable with light carbonation.

O - Overall not a bad beer. A great west coast ipa lager nut truthfully I enjoy Jack's Abby lagers a bit more.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Whole Foods Pasadena. Pint glass.

A: Pours a medium golden color with a half inch of very fine, sand colored head. Leads a wall of lacing on the glass. Looks beautiful.

S: Nice hoppy citrus and tropical notes, with caramel and crystal malt backbone. Slight sweetness. Almost a honey like aroma coming from the glass.

T: Lager yeast is offset with a nice hop kick, citrus and some herbal and floral notes, a little caramel and crystal malt underneath gives a hint of sweetness, finishing on the palate with moderate bitterness and not much flavor.

M: Medium-light body and medium-high carbonation with a nice bite.

O: A very good hoppy lager. Glad to see the Bruery with something approaching an IPA, but why don't they just brew this as an ale?

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Photo of vacax
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An India Pale Lager (IPL) brewed with four pounds of hops per barrel. The closest recognized style in my opinion seems to be that of the American Double/Imperial Pilsner, though the hop/grain bill here is not necessarily similar to a pils. Hybrid style, what can you do?

Humulus Lager is a lustrous cloudy golden lager with a white two-finger head. Retention is high and lacing is graceful and abundant. It must be the abundance of hop oils in this that results in probably the thickest most unbelievable carpet of lace I have ever encountered. Best looking lager I have ever seen, bar none.

The aromatics at play in this India Pale Lager reminds me of a traditional west coast hop bomb. Loads of pine and abundant tropical and citrus fruits. An assault of grapefruit and tangerine then some persimmons and pineapples backing them up.

My taste buds are immediately thrashed with an onslaught of white grapefruits and pine needles. The lager aspect retains a crispness that reminds me of a Belgian IPA, but is much milder and does not detract from the hops. It is hop focused and relatively dry, no syrupy malt character here. Some earthiness, tangerine, spruce, and geranium floral elements on the finish. A true West Coast IPL.

Medium body is surprisingly light for a 7.2 beer, retaining the drinkability of a lighter beer. Prickly full carbonation feels right for such a hopsplosion. The extreme hopping may put off some toward the level of drinkability, but the light crisp flavor and abundant carbonation make drinking easier than it should be!

Calling Humulus Lager an "India Pale Lager" is an accurate descriptor. Perhaps more accurate would to call this a hop focused, unbalanced, in your face hop bomb, but it's a lager! If this were "just" an IPA, a Belgian IPA, or an Imperial Pils I would probably be more critical, but the idea that this is a unique creation gives them the full benefit of the doubt when scoring this one. Another +1 for creativity at The Bruery.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at hawthornes - served in Duvel tulip

Slightly hazed golden yellow color with a one-finger crop of foamy head resting on top. Solid retention and rings of patchy lacing all over the glass while drinking.

Pungent tropical hops in the nose with pineapple, apricot and citrus peel. Toasted grain, soft malty scents and a hint of warmth. Smells like a lager/DIPA hybrid - oh, wait.

Wonderfully expressive citrus and tropical hops right up front. Bitter and juicy at the same time, filled with pineapple, apricot, mango and citrus peel. Toasted grains and malt with that familiar lager yeast creeping through. Finishes fruity and bitter with a touch of alcohol warmth.

Medium body, decent carbonation, crisp and refreshing on the tongue. Despite the ABV, I could easily have 2-3 of these in a sitting. Refreshing, flavorful and probably the best Imperial Pilsner I've had the pleasure of quaffing.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16.9 oz baby growler purchased at Trenton Road Take Out in Levittown, PA.
Poured into a tulip pint.

Straw yellow with a short white head. Hazy with light carbonation.

Pine, papaya, grapefruit, pineapple, and candy sugar.

Orange juiciness, grapefruit pith, papaya, dank greens, and pineapple. Bready maltiness and candy sugar sweetness. Pine needle, bright florals, and touches of onion.

Medium bodied, juicy, smooth, clean, and off-dry with a medium-light bitterness.

Juicy, clean, and dank. Fantastic IPL but the price point is ridiculous, Bruery! Glad I got to try it either way.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a shaker pint glass.

A real nice frosty looking appearance, golden amber to lemon hues on the bottom to a bronze rusty pale yellow at the top. Opaque. Very creamy white top presented with lots of lacing and a creamy puck to match.

Nose brings a dense malt and muted hop. Slight hint of wine like heat and fruit, quite interesting.

Palate is a nice controlled thick rush. Playfully carbonated and hoppy. Hints of soft pine and chewy almost wheat like feel with a good malt crispness. Fruit action follows a real nice lime citrus bitterness and popping finish. Chewy and crisp with a perfect balance between the two. Lingering dense bitter hop goes on forever. Vinous wine like warmth with good control. As it warms up the hops pull of a nice tropical action of pineapple and some peach it seems.

Overall a great impressive and controlled pilsner with a real pleasant and impressive hop profie.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 10 oz tulip glass. Cloudy, with a thick, yet bubbly white head. Golden in color and possessing a medium amount of carbonation. Aroma and initial taste of Cascade hops. My guess is that the only thing lager about this is the yeast. Think IPA or IIPA. Medium mouthfeel and bitter finish with a hint of fruit. A great IPA, not sure about how good a lager.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-slightly hazy golden amber color with a nice white head and good lacing

S-citrus, pine, bready malt, slightly herbal notes

T-grapefruit, pine, cracker malt, hints of tropical fruit, nice bitter dry finish, alcohol not very noticeable

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp

O-a delicious pilsener that has many IPA-like qualities, really enjoyed this beer

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Photo of phichifiji00
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: slightly hazy golden. Pours moderate head. Quickly fades. Minimal lacing.

Smell: very hoppy, citrus, pine resin.

Taste: just as it smells. Hoppy, citrus, pine resin, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, good carb, crisp.

Overall: very drinkable. Drinks like an IPA. More of an IPL. Nice beer.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to Sean for supplying this quite unexpectedly.

A - Golden yellow beer with a couple of fingers of puffy head that had very nice retention and left some moderate stick on the sides.

S - Very well integrated hop bitterness breaking up some of the more traditional lager yeast and sweeter malts. Smells quite inviting.

T - Some good grain malts and lager yeast. The hops bring a good bit of bitterness with the lager flavors. It's pretty nice, and the hops break up some of the sweetness and boringness of a traditional lager. Great hop finish.

M - Light, crisp, good carbonation.

O - Not a traditional lager, but this is really what I'd be looking for in one. Great beer, refreshing, can drink this all day.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally get to tick this! Bruery growler poured into Bruery tulip.

A - Pours golden yellow, beautiful white frothy head, thin cap, nice lacing. Nice-looking beer, for sure.

S - Tropical fruit, herbal, floral, hops, nice bitterness. Jeez, lots going on here and the style lets a lot of different notes stick out. Love the tropical fruit and herbal/floral notes together.

T - Tropical fruit, nice hoppy bitterness, herbal Pils notes and some floral character to round things out. A hybrid IPA, IPL, Pils mix...really tasty and a nice idea.

M - Body is light, good carbonation, oily finish.

O - An excellent beer that exceeded my expectations! It's not an IPA, not a Pils, but something in between. Whatever they did, it's done right. Can't wait to try it fresh at the brewery in the near future.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2013-07-04 in Paoli, PA at TJ's.

A - Mostly-clear golden orange with a 1-finger white head and mild lacing.

S - Light malt, yeast, citrus, hop floral. Not strong but quite pleasant.

T - Smooth. Light malt., some stone fruit and citrus. Plenty hoppy but not as brash as something like a Victory Pils (a favorite of mine), citrus, hop floral. Great balance. Finishes with a decent bitterness. Delicious.

M - Medium body and light-medium carbonation. Silky. Just right.

O - A really fine brew. Would enjoy this anytime. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%

On tap 8/2014
Pours a clear medium dark golden, with a thin film of minuscule bubbles, foamed at the edges. Light lacing.

Smell is tropical fruit, specifically passion fruit, but also maybe some honeydew. I also get just a hint of coconut. Wonderful, but it does dissipate with some warmth.

In the taste, I get a bunch more coconut than I do in the smell. I think it's really the combination of the tropical fruit and the piney hops bitterness that come to dominate the end taste. Actually dominate might be a bit strong, but to me this taste is strong in the forefront, but the nice fruits linger in the background.

The feel is really nice, the depth of flavor doesn't kill the crispness, but the drying pine hops do reduce the refreshing nature a tad.

Definitely one of the better IPLs I've had. The style is getting some nice attention , and what I've seen recently (i.e. this and Dissenter) have me wanting the next one.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at TRB. Tulip.

A: Pours a clear deep golden color with a dense, oily, and greasy off-white head that faded into a lasting collar that left streaks of sticky lace down the glass.
S: Huge dominating notes of citrus and leafy, sticky hop cones. Hints of mint in nose and taste.
T: Tastes like a fantastic ipa. Can barely detect the lager yeast if it is there. Definitely green and leafy, solid bitterness. Slight stone fruits in the finish but not much. There's a touch of lager breadiness in the finish but it's really not present.
M: Greasy and slick medium-full body. Tingly bitter and sticky mouthfeel. Tingly wet splashy carbonation.
O: Crazy hoppy and smooth. Great bitterness, clean and easy. First hoppy lager that I probably wouldn't know is a lager unless I was told it.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a pale golden yellow in color with a finger of fluffy head that left some frothy lacing sticking to the glass.

S: a nice piney hoppy bouquet was noticeable upfront on the nose with citrus, malty sweetness, and earthy notes but had hints of booze.

T it definitely had a nice piney hoppy punch that was well balanced with the malty sweetness alongside citrus, caramel, and earthy accents.

M: the brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a piney, hoppy, citrusy, mild sweet, crisp, and bitter finish.

D: very delicious beer if your a hop head and considering it is not labeled an IPA but was very tasty and drinking really good.

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Photo of Treebs
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to luisc123 for this in a BIF I won. 64 oz. growler of this long time want served in a Brewery Vivant snifter.

A: Pours a solid gold color, slightly hazy, with a big pure white head forming on the pour. It recedes slowly down the glass with excellent retention. Sticky sheets of lace are left down the glass.

S: Light hoppy bitterness with a cracker malt profile. The lager yeast is present as well on the backend to remind you it's still a pilsner at heart.

T: Just like the nose. Generously hopped with a slghtl bitterness and fruitiness mixing with a sweet cracker malts. The lagery yeast is there again bring a light corny and popcorn flavor with a slight dank hop characteristic as well.

M: Light bodied with an insane drinkability. Nicely carbonated with a really smooth and slightly drying finish.

O: I really liked this beer a whole lot. Super drinkable with a great balance between the hops and the malt profile. The yeast profile was assertive enough to let you know it's still a pilsner which was great.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Straw, gold, with a white top

S: Freshly picked green hops, biscuity malt, and a bit of orange

T: Hoppy, with fresh resin characteristics, and a great malt backbone

M: Crisp, and dry. Superbly refreshing

O: Can I have another? This is a hoppy lager done right. good job Patrick.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Holy moly tickle my holey! This lil sucker is cleaner than my bedroom floor after I bust out the Dyson - Raul means: clean! Like a Catalina sunset, Raul is taking this thing in nice and slow and luvin every second.

My children; give it to your children.


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Photo of kevanb
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at the Bruery Tasting Room, review from notes.

Pours a nice copper color, orange, amber also come to mind, golden hues when held to the light. A finger of so of head appears, recedes quickly, minimal lacing. The aroma is all hops, piney, sticky, resinous, some floral and citrus notes come out, but I really like how earthy the aroma is, compliments the sweeter malt bill very well. The flavors are great, bitter earthy hops, notes of pine, dirt almost, sap, resin, bits of citrus fruit, more like lemongrass, very dry flavors. The malt is certainly there, sweet yet light cereal grains, cracked peppercorn and some richer sweeter malts, munich or caramel perhaps, all come out. Very complex flavors, balanced well, certainly the Bruery's best showing with a hoppy beer. The body is big and rich, I don't really like saying that honestly, could use more carbonation, a bit too syrupy at times.

Verdict: Carbonation aside, this is a knockout. Great hop profile, easy to drink, refreshing, spot on. The Bruery isn't known for their hoppy beers, but this leads me to believe they have the potential to make a really fine APA or IPA.

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Humulus Lager from The Bruery
4.32 out of 5 based on 1,013 ratings.
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