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Humulus Lager | The Bruery

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
157 Reviews
THE BROS
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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
Reviews:
157
Ratings:
1,013
Avg:
4.32
pDev:
23.38%
 
 
Wants:
183
Gots:
50
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 1,013
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.71/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap at the bruery, what a treat this beer is. It really drinks like a fresh hop IPA or pale ale but has a nice dry feel and clean finish that remind me of its fermentation.

Pours a nice gold hue with some orange highlights. Amazing ring of foamy head and lacing, nice look. The smell and taste have an amazing balance of resinous and piney hops along with a dryer fresh bread malt and a hint of subtle kitchen spice. It's well composed and very well balanced in its palate of flavors in both nose and taste. Definitely some citrus rind too.

The feel is dry at the end but very juicy up front. Altogether an extremely good beer.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Port - Bressi Ranch
Aug. 5th, 2013 – standard pint glass

A: Golden light-straw colored body with some minimal haze. Very thin brim of pure white foam bubbly remains for a few moments before subsiding to a crown and marking the glass with lace upon each swig.

S: Smells of grapefruit, orange, and some light evergreens with a mild tropical twist. The aromas take on a very floral nature. Real botanical. Malt is rather subdued and a nonfactor in the nose. Very pure, clean Lager yeast profile. A lovely fresh hop medley. Somewhat tame by IPA standards although forward by Lager comparisons

T: Flavors are grapefruit, citrus, peach, and tropical mango-like hops. I get a very distinct floral quality that is almost perfume like as well. It really seems to dominate. Haven’t quite experienced that with this brew before. Hoppy with no abrasive qualities. Rather a very smooth, well-rounded overall hop bitterness to the beer and the alcohol is incredible well masked. Malt is secondary. Very light dry cracker base and a super clean Lager yeast as well. Tasty and refreshingly hoppy. As to be expected.

M: Very light body with a nice spritzy carbonation and killer drying crisp lager finish. Very clean and slightly resinous with sticky hoppy oils.

D: Light, dry, crisp, and refreshingly hoppy this is a very drinkable lager and one I order whenever available. I will say this has been more on par with Sculpin or Pliny in my previous experiences. Found it to be a little less vibrant and a lot more floral here. I really want to score this higher. Perhaps next time will convince me.

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Photo of Gatch
4.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Hostel Tevere in Warren, VT!

A: Clear, golden-orange in color with a fluffy, bright white head. Not much lace and retention.

S: Dank, floral, sticky aromas.

T: Real dry and fruity. Super hoppy and slightly bitter with a seriously dank finish.

M: Sweet but smooth. Hops dominate every aspect of this beer. An easy drinker.

O: Quite a twist on the traditional massively hopped double IPA and the lager qualities stand out. Hard not to compare this to Jack's Abby offerings and it just doesn't match up. While very delicious, it lacks consistency and has some rough edges.

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Photo of artoolemomo
4.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head that has really good retention. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a hazy yellowish orange (grapefruit) that looks a lighter orange (weak orange juice) when held up to the light. Substantial lacing which is basically sheeting.

Nose- Mostly citrus notes at first- orange and lemon. Not very strong but still quite nice. Some grapefruit and a slight mustiness/armpit. Very nice but subdued. Warm and inviting.

Taste- Very strong (initial) mix of grapefruit, orange, and matchstick. Some hints of tropical fruits. Very hop forward. At this moment, I would regard this as a DIPA if I didn't know otherwise. Pine and woody resin. No real malt bill except the spicy, slight grain of a pilsner malt. Properties which distinguish this from a DIPA: not as hoppy, slight spice that does not seem to come from the hop profile, and a nice dry finish. The finish tends to clean up the hops on the finish even despite the fact there is still some wood and resin on the finish. No indication of heat. Now that I read that the Bruery describes this as an IPL, I understand. Definitely a solid beer.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with a lot of zip. Usually, I would consider the amount of carbonation to be a negative but it really works with this beer.

Drinkability- Delightful. Very easygoing. No heat. Six buck for a 12 oz. pour of the Bruery is pretty good. Crisp, refreshing with a nice dry finish.

Overall- Very solid beer. It's a very good representation of the style the brewery is trying to make but not the one BA classifies it as. Even though I went to Beermongers with the intention of having this one beer (and only one), I almost had another.

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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 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 avaldivia
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at City Beer in San Francisco. Poured into an Tulip style glass.

A: Nice golden color with a thick head. Left very nice lacing.

S: Floral hop notes. Intensely citrusy and grapefruit like.

T: Wow. This was fantastic. The hops are intense but nicely balanced. Very floral. Just a hint of alcohol on the end, but rather nice. Perfect.

M: Palate was completely coated. Great carbonation.

O: If I am ever lucky to see this again, I will, without hesitation, order it.

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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 breadwinner
3.18/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

One of the first beers to help me identify the infamous "cat piss" note some hops apparently evince. Combined with a noteworthy sulfuric note (not uncommon in lagers, but amped up to an overbearing level here), I just couldn't get into this brew. I admit that the Double IPL has historically been a touchy style for me, but Humulus was one I just couldn't abide.

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Photo of rand
3.93/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From growler to Schneider Weisse pils glass

A: Copper-tan in color, clear, the pour forms a sudsy two-inch head that leaves lacing all over the glass

S: The nose is cracker-y yeast and earthy hop-snap. Malty sweetness bounces nicely off a floral hop aroma. Hops have a floral, tea like edge and are carried by alcohol volatiles.

T/M: The flavors are much more ale-like than the nose. Citrusy, rind-y, pithy hops add plenty of refreshing astringency as the cracker-like texture and honey sweetness round the flavor profile. The finish is short and dry, a little salty.

A super drinkable big lager, bending the boundaries between an ale and a lager.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Bistro IPA Festival

A - Pours copper-gold with a 2 fingered white head. Dissipates slow and leaves beautiful lacing.

S - Honey, grass, light caramel and bittering hops.

T - Honey, grassy hops, and bittering hops.

M - Full-bodied, hop dominated and dry. No presence of alcohol.

D - Great beer overall.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of yamar68
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to ehammond1 for sending this beauty of a growler my way!

Classy looking golden body capped with a healthy dose of stubborn white foam. Sticky lace marks every swig.

A well-varied hop profile shines in the nose. Bright citrus, spruce, faint white grape sweetness... juicy. Certainly lives up to the name in this regard. Sharp bitterness and a supportive malt character... could likely pass as an English IPA.

The hop presence is the elephant in the room, no surprise there. But I'm glad to find that some of those buttery pilsner malt flavors manage to hold their own. Citrus, conifer, mellow pineapple, sweet grains... far more balanced and approachable than I had originally anticipated.

Glad to finally try this one - thanks Eric!

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Photo of joecast
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taster at the Bruery. Nice golden medium carbonation and a fomy white head.

Incredible hop aroma. Seriously fresh and floral. Draws you in tempting you to try a sip.

And that sip is well rewarded. Big hop presence is well checked by the clean malt.

I don't have a lot of experience with impy pils but this is a big, balanced, easily drinkable beer. Well made, big hops and malt. What else do you want?

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Photo of afksports
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Good Lord, please make more beer like this. And put it in six packs. And make my bodega stock it. And make it cost ten dollars. Amen.

This beer --- wow. Is it really lagered? Is it really a pilsener? It is super super hopped. Like hops with nitrous or something. Ridiculous. This reminds me of Hill Farmstead Abner and Galaxy, to be perfectly honest. It is perhaps without category. It's just good.

Hazy copper, stringy lace all over, great head that remains... The beer looks good. Humulus might be cloudy, but the taste is pure. so is the hoppy smell. Pine, grapefruit, lemon zest. Caramel malts. Yum. The taste is the same... Now I'm thinking of Hill Farmstead Edward. This beer is all over the place and yet, good everywhere it goes. An excellent and clean finish, not drying despite the generous hopping, not malty despite the huge presence in the center of the palate. No trace of 7.2% alcohol. Just clean. Clean and damned good.

The best Bruery beer I've had yet. The only knock, and I mean the only... The aftertaste is a bit stale. It lingers without sweetness and it's musty in not such a good way. But who's complaining?

Lunch break over. Time to get back to work.

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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.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear vibrant orange with a fizzy white head. This beer I call Sculpin-light because of how similar it is in flavor to that. However it does have more of a lager "bite" to it, obviously, as it doesn't have that fruity backbone. Still lots of flavor from the hops though, very citrusy, orange is predominant. Mouthfeel is also on the fizzy side, being a lager. Just a weird overall tasting experience.... weird but good!

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

Picked this one up in growler/bomber form via Charleston Beer Exhange's "Rare Bomber Thursday"... Pours a bright, hazy gold / orange with a white head that leaves sheets of lace on the glass. Smell is of tropical fruit hoppiness: pineapple, mango, peach - and some grassiness. Taste is more of the same - tropical / citrus hops with a touch of light grains - so delicious. Mouthfeel is light and crisp... cue the lager! Highly drinkable and awesome... wish I had more!

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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 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.

Yep!

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks for this growler Mike! Send me more!

Pours a slightly hazed pale golden color. Great white foam forming with incredible lacing for a nearly 2 week old growler. ANd to think I had been concerned about waiting this long to open it.

Tons of grassy, floral notes, just a great hoppy nose overall. Why is this listed as a double pilsner? There is really not much pils malt flavor here in the taste? I mean it's basically an IPA.... I couldn't have told you it was a lager if you asked me. The flavor is much of the same, crisp hoppiness, a little more citrus here complimenting the grassiness of the hops. I got some grapefruit throughout the finish. Firm bitterness throughout, but completely well executed without any astringency. I had no idea this was 7.2 while I was drinking it... an awesome beer. I hope the brewery continues to brew this I.P.L.

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Photo of mjl21
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Toronado. Poured into a pint glass. No abv info given.

A-Pours a hazy orangish yellow with a nice almost white head that has some great retention. Leaves a decent amount of lace.

S-Just tons of fresh citrus hops. If I were given this I would think it was an IPA due to how citrusy it smells. There is lots of orange and grapefruit and some dankness.

T-It tastes a lot like it smells. Lots of grapefcruit upfront. The orange hits more in the middle and back of the mouth. It is quite crisp. My mouth was left with a pretty high level of grapefruit bitterness.

M-Lower end of the medium spectrum. Crisp and very refreshing.

D-A really great beer that goes down easily.

This stuff should be bottled immediately. It has the great hop profile of an IPA but has the smooth lager bill that makes it so drinkable.

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Photo of SirBentham
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Gold, slightly hazey with a thick head.

S: Citrus, hops and yeast.

T: Slightly bitter with a lot of citrus and pine jumping out. Long and smooth aftertaster

M: Moderately carbonated. You notice the lager here a bit more than your standard IPA.

O: I'm now obsessed with IPL's. This gets the slight edge over Ballast Point's Fathom.
Highly recommended.

Edit - it's so important to drink this fresh. I just had one from another restaurant 6 weeks later, from the same batch and the difference was huge.

Edit #2 - The batch that was out in April was better than the current batch available now.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.72/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very happy I got to try this one. Thanks again Mark for this opportunity. Going into this beer I have really high expectations. I have had a few of the distributed beers from the Bruery and have not really been impressed. That being said, I was told their on-tap brews are amazing...so here we go. Poured from a growler into a snifter.

A- Pours a dark golden, maize color. Produced two fingers width of white pillowy head. Some lacing left along the sides of the glass. Clarity was at 100%.

S- Absolutely ridiculous. The aroma just from pouring the beer out of the growler was so noticeable. I found the aroma in this beer to be quite interesting. On one hand there is a cornucopia of rich, citrus hops, revealing notes of oranges, lemons, and pineapples. On the other there is a clear, piney aroma with a bit of malt that attempts to balance it out. The result is an aroma of citrus candy with an after scent of pine and malt.

T- Much like the aroma...plenty of citrus hops countered by a piney attribute and slight bit of cracker/biscuit type malts. What I really liked about this beer was that the bitter piney hops, along with the malts, left a clean, crisp, bitter taste on the palate. Very refreshing and an interesting twist when you are expecting a straight forward citrus hop bomb.

M- Light bodied, with a decent amount of carbonation. Loved the slightly sticky residue this beer left on the palate.

D- Probably the most drinkable beer I have ever had, especially with a beer at this high of an abv. I can't believe how fast this one went down.

Overall, well...I stand corrected. The Bruery has produced something that has blown my mind. After this experience I will most definitely be seeking out some of their more limited offerings.

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

4 oz. pour on tap at ChurchKey in NW DC into their characteristic snifter glass, drank over 30 minutes

A: 3/3 - golden-orange coloration; although it's dark on here, the clarity looks high; frothy white head on first pour eventually settles into a 1/4 finger glass lacing; tight white bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass throughout; large alcohol legs (especially for 7.4% ABV)

S: 10/12 - big IPL-ish mixture of PNW hops - citrus and piney, pils breadiness, lager yeast and alcohols

T: 16/20 - nice tickle of bitterness on the anterior tongue gives way to PNW hop flavors that match the nose; evolves with the pils toast followed by an alcohol sizzle; finishes dry and quick

M: 5/5 - thick hop oils comprise an imperial style; high carbonation --> bubble and effervescent, alcohol coating

O: 9/10 - solid imperial IPL that I've been eager to try for a while and this didn't disappoint; I'd put the intensity of the hop aroma and flavor up their with Jack's Abby's IPLs; recommended

TOTAL - 43/50

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