Humulus XPA (2009) | The Bruery

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39 Ratings

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This was brewed once in 2009 to propagate the Brettanomyces for Saison de Lente.

Added by vacax on 12-12-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 39 |  Reviews: 26
Reviews by Schmaltzy:
Photo of Schmaltzy
3.52/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Bruery Reserve Society Initiation, poured into wine tasting glass.

A- Clear gold color with a nice 1-2 finger head that left slight lacing on my glass.

S- Smell is great nice citrus/grapefruit, floral hoppy notes, finished with a nice bready yeast smell, nice hoppy IPA smell.

T- Fresh hops galore, no sweetness except a slight bready yeast. Seems to be missing something in the mid/back palate, tastes light/watery.

M- Very light with good amounts of carbonation, almost watery finish.

D- I could see drinking loads of this but it just doesn't have the balance of a good XPA. The smell is amazing but the taste just comes up short for me.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the Bruery for hooking this up, went over to the brewery at the direction of the Provisions shop on a day they were closed. 2 growlers hooked up nonetheless.

Yellow pour, thin head out of the growler. But then, smack, the most luscious hop aromas ever, complete with pine, light citrus and vegetative hops, this is the chronic and smells like it quite a bit too. Taste, so light, so hoppy, bitterness is in check here, no excruciating hop boil for hours, straight up massive dry hopping in this bad boy. Went great with a day of frisbee golf, got my game back on track.

This one ain't complex, its light bodied, highly hopped, relatively low bitterness. I wish I could get this all the time. Perfect for hopheads who like to get off the couch and do stuff.

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Photo of frayos
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bruery brings something in bearing their noteworthy Humulus name. This beer though is not as good as their previous Humulus IPA and actually falls short of even one upping their Mischief #3.

Looks wonderful, clear amber-gold with a thin head.

smells are hops with a great floral hint. Grapefruit and Pine also come in.

Taste is obviously hops and then a variety of fruits, mostly grapefruit. Malts are not very "Belgiumy" for being a Belgian Pale Ale, taste very West Coast to me.

Their Mischief #3 is supposed to be coming back around after the new year which I recommend IPA / Pale Ale fans to look out for.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First sampled from a growler. Review based on a pint had on-tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse, served in a nonic.

Gorgeous glowing golden poppy body - very cloudy. Delicate ivory head quickly recedes to a light dusting of foam. Sandy lacing, some legs.

Inhaling deeply draws up clean mountain air, fresh pure river water, sweet wildflowers, and mild grassy hops with a hint of citrus and malt.

Green apple, pale malt, and confectioner's sugar on the palate. Lightly sweet. Hay, alfalfa, and citrus lead into a dry finish. Really lovely.

Light bodied with a bit of creaminess. Superbly balanced and immensely drinkable. One of the best APAs I've had.

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Photo of nickd717
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Bruery Reserve Society Initiation.

Clear golden in color with a little white foam on top.

Aroma is fresh hops - citrus and floral - with some earthy notes, grain, and bready malt.

Flavor is pale and caramel malt, maybe some Munich, not very sweet, with fresh citrusy and earthy hops and a little yeastiness, but not really much brett detectable.

Dry, crisp, and somewhat light on the palate.

Drinkability is high. This is a solid session beer overall.

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Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Dave for sharing this one!
Review from written notes.

Pours a pale light yellow gold. Soapy foam, an irregular head forms and rises above the rim of the pint glass. Arcs of lace form as the glass is sipped.

Fresh floral hop aroma, lightly sweet grapefruit and citrus zest. Green herbals, light grassiness.

Pale malt, medium bitterness and some lightly sweet citrus flavors. Absolutely no Brett at all (2011 batch). Very light bodied, light carbonation, delicate. Easily sessionable at around 4ish% abv.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to Andrew for hooking me up with this growler. I had been dying to try this one and just glad I am able to get it. Growler cracked this afternoon with lunch, consumed in a pint glass on 01/09/2010.

The pour was brilliant. Crystal clear amber color coming forward right away and is followed by a huge, towering head of white foam that just will not quit. Loads of sticky, spiderweb like lacing is dripping down the sides of the glass. The aroma is pungent and bitter. Loads of grapefruit notes dominate with a light and airy bitterness. Bright and sharp, it tore at the senses, then I took a taste and the hops nearly ripped my tongue apart. Just a huge and very fresh grapefruit taste. No balance here though as the hops just dont quit. It was crisp and clean, with a nearly perfect feel to it. A bit sharper and pungent then I would have thought but it did not terribly affect the drinkability as it went down with ease.

Overall a very hoppy and crisp pale ale. Need a little more balance in it to make it excellent but this was still a very solid and steady pale.

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of vacax
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Humulus XPA pours from the growler a dark gold with elements of orange. Nearly two fingers of thick and creamy off-white head. Like other proverbial hop bombs from The Bruery, there is outstanding lacing evident from the get go. Retention is good, though perhaps the weakest point of an unusually appealing beer.

The aroma sports a great hop profile, the same combination as in Humulus Lager, which turned out to be immensely popular. The hops in this extra pale ale are not quite as abundant, allowing a fairly sophisticated malt profile to emerge, which is unusual for a hoppy pale. Grapefruit, pine, and lots of flora swim around on top of a lightly cookielike malt character. The Bruery's house yeast strain as well as brettanomyces add a rustic twang.

The taste starts with dry horse saddle then a tangy, prickly bitterness creeps up with citrusy hops, specifically grapefruit and lemon. A pine character dominates starting at the midpalate, dampened by a doughy malt character. Finish is quite dry. The dryness is probably the hardest thing about drinking this session ale, the hops, however, balance deliciously with the rest of the beer. Quite good. Medium in body with a moderately creamy carbonation.

Yet another win in the Humulus series.

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted at The Bruery late December.

Excellent lacing and some retention. White, dense head of about an inch after serving. Classic orangish IPA color.

Aroma is west coast IPA of citrus/grapefruit with light piney notes. I did not detect Belgian notes yet this is advertised/described as such.

Taste is hop forward and quite nice. Citrus and some pine.

Medium body and nice carbonation. No oil from the hops, this one stuck me as being more dry for a pale ale.

Was a pleasant surprise. Was not expecting to find this kind of flavor for such a light ABV beer. Hats off once again to The Bruery.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a Bruery growler into multiple pint glasses. Special thanks to errantnight for this from our latest trade! Thanks to Joe, Wil, and Matt for the assist!

A: This growler traveled very well. Probably a week old by the time we opened it and the stopper exploded off the top of the growler! Good thing those stoppers are held onto the growler otherwise someone could've lost an eye ;) Hazy straw-gold with a towering and airy bright white head on top. Foam is very sticky and leaves some messy lace in the glass.

S: Nice mix of mild citrus and grassy hops. Some freshly shaved grapefruit zest, as well.

T: A light and toasty malt backbone sets the stage for the aforementioned hoppiness.

M: Light on the tongue, but I didn't feel that it was thin or watery.

D: Pretty crushable. An all day sessionable APA!

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Photo of pperez38
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clearing out some old reviews on a Easter morning.

Looks yellow, thin white head 1/3". Good clarity. Aroma dropped a complex medley of pine, citrus, grapefruit, green dank vegetal hop aroma. So good. Medicinal in a provider kind of way. Taste was a very light pale malt body over waves of green hops. Lots of late stage hops.

They really should have this on all summer long. Excellent, 1st tier session ipa level stuff.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A growler picked up from the brewery and shared at a mini-tasting.

A: The pour is a dark gold color with some highlights of orange. Atop sits a fluffy white head which leaves some very nice lacing.

S: The aroma is all American hop varieties. This beer was supposedly brewed with Brett, but I really don't pick it up. This one is dominated by the citrus.

T: The flavor is much the same as the nose. This, like Humulus Lager, displays very little "Belgian" character. The citrus component is very up front and is present throughout the sip. The finish is a bit dry and has a decent amount of bitterness to it.

M: The beer is very well carbonated and the body is medium.

D: This is a great session pale ale. A nice hoppiness and a low ABV make this beer something that you could easily drink a lot of on a lazy weekend.

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Photo of Jstark5150
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of portia99
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler received in trade with Jodan. Thanks Jordan! Poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a perfectly clear orangey color with a thick 2 fingers of dense off-white head. Foam has very good staying power, lasting for a couple of minutes and slowly dying down, leaving lots of sticky lace on the sides of the glass.

S - Tons of fresh hoppy aromas, especially that of cut grass. This is followed up with some nice grapefruity smells, some orange, and a bit of pine. Malt presence is minimal, just barely perceptable, but taking form of fresh, bready aromas.

T - Hoppy up front with a good underpinning of malty flavors. Bready, toasted malt sits underneath and forms a nice backbone for this pale ale. Hop flavors sit on top and really dominate the flavors of this beer, but in a good way. Nice, citrusy grapefruit and orange flavors, grassiness too. Bitterness is very crisp and complements the variety of hop flavors found here. Nice pale ale.

M - On the light side. Carbonation is medium and provides plenty of tingle all around the mouth. Resiny hop bitterness coats the entire mouth and leaves a pleasant bitterness behind in the aftertasted.

D - Loaded with hop flavors and pretty light in body...combined with a low 4.3% alcohol level makes this quite a drinkable beer. This has session beer written all over it. This is a great one to camp out with for an evening - not too strong, but loaded with citrusy hops - a hop lovers dream. Would love to see this become a regular offering from the Bruery.

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Photo of FosterJM
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

251st review on BA
Tap to stock glass from Bruery

App- A nice golden butter colored, Super see through with a nice white one finger head off the tap.

Smell- A citrusy wheat smell. There wasn't a lot going on in the glass but it smell nice for being a basic pale ale.

Taste- It's a little bit bitter with that funky brettness to it. Its a pale ale just kicked up a notch with a grass earthyness. Has a couple of layers of flavors with some citrus and and the hops and malt to it.

Mouth- It was a crisp beer with a medium body and a medium carb level to it. Has a nice funky aftertaste to it.

Drink- It was pretty good but a bit funky for me. I probably wouldn't order this one again.

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Photo of beagle75
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the growler into a tulip pint glass.
According to the menu sign at the tasting room, no Brettanomyces was added this year. Advertised as 4.7% abv.

A: Slightly hazy, medium orangish-gold color with over one finger of lofty, cottony white foam that diminishes to a persistent iceberg covering over half of the surface. Heavy lacing, showing obvious relief in places, remains on the glass.
A few bubbles rise lazily in the column.

S: Pungent with tropical fruit (guava and passion fruit) and herbaceous qualities. Bright acidity accentuates the hop influences, while malt is barely present with just trace amounts of toastiness.

T: Begins dry, with bright acidity and hop aromatics that feature prominent grapefruit peel as well as some pine foliage. Pilsner and pale malt, yeasty but thin, are occasionally detected in the middle, which is characterized more by herbaceous green plant stems and some butter. Bitterness is present, but restrained, in the finish with a mineral edge that seems to become even more dry and clean.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D: This beer is the fraternal twin of The Bruery's Humulus Session. Surprisingly, this is the less balanced of the two, seeming over-attenuated from start to finish. The previous version of this beer did feature Brettanomyces in the fermentation, but that has changed with the 2011 batch. A defiantly American pale ale seemed like an odd choice in which to introduce Brett, and this current incarnation reflects a less experimental recipe. This liquid product now serves only as a medium for hop aromatics, which it delivers ably.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured fresh from a growler procured 40 minutes back.

The pour is gorgeous, light amber/orange with a dense white head with great retention and some lacing. The nose is dominated by bright citrus fruity and floral hop character. A mild caramel sweetness is present,and a mild yeast character is noticeable. Bitterness is low.

The palate opens with a mild bitterness, citrus rind in character with some grapefruit. Hop flavor is prominent, with some citrus and grapefruit juice like flavor. The bitterness is more prominent on the palate than the nose would lead you to believe. Malt character is low, though there is a mild cracker-like sweetness present. Drying on the finish with a lasting bitterness, this light-bodied beer has a medium-high level of carbonation. Despite this, the palate still feels creamy. The low ABV makes this very drinkable, but the bitterness is either a little higher than it needs to be, or it's been too long since I've had a hoppy beer.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Consumed on tap at The Bruery in a snifter. As the beer is brought to me it looks like one out of an advertisement. It's a bright, clear, and vibrant golden with a huge creamy white head cresting the glass and foaming over. The retention is excellent and lacing is left all over the glass. Great looking beer.

The nose is earthy hops with prominent grapefruit, orange, peach, and a little apricot. The Brett is unmistakable, though subtle, imparting a wet leather character. Belgian yeast is noticeable. Bretty citrus.

The flavor is subtle wet leather with notes of grapefruit, peach, and Belgian yeast. Hops impart an earthy quality. A dash of sweetness materializes midpalate, but it quickly dries out to finish rather dry with moderate citrus and earthy bitterness, and light Brett notes. The beer is moderately carbonated and the mouthfeel is dry. No alcohol is evident. I didn't actually realize until now that this beer is only 4.3% ABV. I suppose I have a newfound respect for it. It packs a lot of flavor and I could put down many glasses of this, but ultimately, I'm not a big fan of the marriage of Brett and hoppy beers. Still, well done! I could drink my life down the drain armed with such weaponry.

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Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of OlieIPA
3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a 12 oz. pour on tap at the Bruery last night and reviewed from notes.

A: The body of the beer exhibited an appealing hazy copper hue with thick lacing and a half-inch white frothy head. Really couldn't ask for more out of brew like this...simply beautiful.

S: A subtle, but noticeable sweet malt backbone with tons of floral and grassy -like aromas. The only off-note(really shouldn't say off-note, because I quite enjoyed it) I could pick up in the smell (and brought up by my friend as well) was this vegetative quality. In a lot ways it reminded me of the "Estate" beer from Sierra Nevada, which was wet-hopped. I'm not sure if that is the case here, but any way you look at it...this beer boast a flavorful and powerful hop punch.

T: The malt came out subtle and sweet once again, but with a little more of a musky quality to it. The hop bitterness lingered for quite some time and almost became metallic towards middle palate. The hop flavor takes some time to develop too, once you get used to the bitterness, but comes out nicely and complements the soily and musky malt flavor.

M: Has some body to it as well as a dry finish. Nice!

D: It took me no more than 10-15 minutes to plow through the glass...and I could have done it quicker if wasn't for writing this review.

Overall: Another winner from the Bruery! I still think I prefer the Humulus IPL over this, but both are great. Patrick and Tyler...please keep this in the regular rotation. LOL. Cheers!

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2 liter growler filled at The Bruery. Wow, this must be the first time that I've used my Bruery growler in six months! On to the beer:

Poured into a mug, the beer has a light copper/orange colored body. Slow rising carbonation can be seen in the glass, and the head on top retains very well on top. Lots of good lacing on the glass. The nose is a pleasant surprise. It's full of aromic pine, grapefruit, and orange. They're not subtle aromas, it's full of nose power.

Crackery malt flavor upfront as the hops begin their domination. A one sided beer, leaning towards the hops, with just enough malt to keep the hops from being too much. It is full of hop flavor, and with plenty of bitterness to fool you into thinking it's an IPA. All around, you can taste the bitter grapefruit. Resiny! Pine! Wow, this is really hopped up that two glassfulls are enough for my satisfaction, despite the low ABV. Very clean. Tea leaf notes linger in the aftertaste.

It's business as usual with the Humulus series, and this shortstop can play with the big boys in terms of hops. Only 4.3% ABV? That's pretty amazing considering the flavor you get in this beer.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a bright golden orange in color with yellow highlights and had a thin frothy head but left some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: had a nice aroma of various hops alongside piney, grassy, citrusy notes but had plenty of sweetness I'm assuming are from the malts. Seemed like it had a tad of candi sugar as well.

T: the hop profile was actually quite nice with a good hoppy bite alongside citrusy, grassy, piney, earthy accents and some malty sweetness but doesn't really help on the balance.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a really hoppy, grassy, piney, citrusy, sweet, and nice bitter finish that lingered on the palate.

D: really easy drinking tasty hoppy brew beer that was glad to take a stab at since it came out of retirement.

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Photo of Retsinis
4/5  rDev -2.4%

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Humulus XPA (2009) from The Bruery
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 39 ratings