Humming Ale
Anchor Brewing Company

Humming AleHumming Ale
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Pale Ale - American
3.75 | pDev: 12.27%
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Humming AleHumming Ale
Notes: This bold, frothy, effervescent craft ale, with hints of citrus, finds its name throughout English literature that might just as well describe its taste, its history, or just how it makes you feel.
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Reviews: 334 | Ratings: 664 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ThirstyLion
ThirstyLion from New Jersey

4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Humming Ale unfortunately is not available in the Northeast. I've only seen it available in Connecticut liquor stores and I was always sure to pick up a couple six packs anytime I was passing through.

Humming Ale has a Blood Orange, Pomegranate look with a Citrus laced nose that upon the first sip turns into Coriander, Flour Petal, Hazelnuts & Grapefruit.

This is a drinkable beer. The more you drink, I suppose, the more you hum to yourself because you'll be very happy.

Humming Ale has a froth factor of a 5.0 and based on how unique and craft like it is, I would rate it in the upper 10% of all American beers ever made. a wonderful beer for the winter time also and if served in a frosty mug, you will drink your fill happily.

Anchor is an absolutely legit brewery & if they ever got serious about selling beer, they would probably be one of the top five beers in the country. Perhaps that is not their goal however. They may be happy just being a great West coast cornerstone craft brewery. There's no shame in that.

Anchor's beers are priced right. Humming Ale sadly seems to have long disappeared from New England but if I ever do happen upon it again I'm certainly going to grab a shopping cart and grab a couple cases at least.

Feb 01, 2021
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.34/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Clear light orange.

Nice white head; decent lacing.

Plain malt nose; not a good start.

Medium thin mouthfeel.

Slight bread-y malts, slight hop bite; not much flavor.

A boring but not undrinkable beer.

Apr 09, 2019
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a pint glass. The appearance has a fairly clear burnt golden orange color body with a white one finger head. There was some light lacing that slid right on into the body. The smell had some light floral with just a touch spicy with underlying tropical notes. The taste was mild with a light bittersweet floral to spicy to grasp a light pine hovering over a some light toasty biscuit. There was a fairly decent lingering biscuit aftertaste that lead into a dry finish. On the palate, this one sat fairly light but also showed a decent aspect to make me think it could have sat at medium on the body. I’d say this was fairly sessionable and did have a decent carbonation to it. Overall, in my opinion, this is a good APA worthy of having again.

Jun 12, 2017
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Comes out looking amber and auburn, 1/4" off white head. The aroma was a delight, poppin' dem Nelson hops all up in your grill.

Taste was the hoppiest thing from Anchor I've ever had, including Old Foghorn! Very dry malt body here, dem honey pale malts. So cool, Anchor, one of the more old school traditional brewery, dropping new school down under New Zealand or whatnot hops into a new recipe. It works. It works quite well, this is my fave Anchor beer now. Wish I could see it more, but Nelsons seem to be in short supply.

May 25, 2016
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trevreef from California

3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Great tour at Anchor Brewing Co. and this was one of my favorite tastings, I have to say hoppy type of beer very very smooth to savor. I was also spoiled enough to have a freshly made pour, so that is definitely how all beer should be consumed in beer heaven. It was almost fruity tasting. I need some of this on tap or draft so please advice when I can get it aside from the Headquarters. fyi, from a bottle it's alright but definitely reminiscent of the goodness.

Jul 27, 2014
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MarkoNm from Slovenia

3.49/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark golden, slightly orangey color, and a small white head which quickly disappears.
The aroma is my favourite, although slightly weaker than I'm used to - citrusy hops dominate the smell.
The taste starts neutral with a slight bitterness, slightly fruity, and finishes with a strong spicy taste, which also stays in the aftertaste.
Very nice ale, although I have a feeling, nothing really extra rememberful.

Mar 28, 2014
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schavuytje from Netherlands

2.55/5  rDev -32%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

blurred light golden body with a compact foam in the nose strong citrus and a faint tone of white grape and crispy malt in the mouth a soft blend of raisin and grapefruit and weaker sweet biscuit and crunchy cereal, a wonderful apa

Mar 25, 2014
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Fcip78 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +6.7%

Very tasty, very unique beer. The nelson sauvin hops were a good choice, really good that they used it for glittering as well as aroma.

Anchor are truly artisans with this offering, pours hazy golden with a nice foamy head, nice spicy notes, good use of balance in the ingredients. I wish they brewed this year-round.

Jan 16, 2014
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bmwats from Louisiana

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a hand glass.

A: Slightly hazy golden hue. Pours a 2 finger, frothy, white head. Craters slowly and unevenly, leaving a cratered surface and dry residue behind. Pervasive lacing.

S: Soft hop notes, sourdough bread.

T: Crisp hops, strong bitterness, yeast, grapefruit pith, and a little fruit sweetness.

M: Very crisp, a little thick, pungent finish remains on the palate.

D: Sip and savor, especially due to bitter character.

Atmosphere is really nice. Thick, frothy head, and lots of persistent lacing. Nose is piney and doughy. Piney hops with characteristic citrus pith and a bit of a yeasty character balanced with a slight fruity sweet note. Overall, this is a good quaff.

Nov 21, 2013
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EmperorBevis from England

3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled and part of a big order from beers of Europe to celebrate my 40th birthday
orangeish colour with a decent frothy off-white head. Nose is grapefruit, pine, biscuit and toffee. Nice malty taste balancing the american hops. Medium body, lively carbonation and dry, hoppy finish. Nice american pale ale.

Nov 01, 2013
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FLima from Brazil

3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice greeting card. Golden color with a thick three fingers head with great retention and leaving lots of laces.
Citrusy aroma with notes of oranges and pine.
Fruity and hoppy flavor but far from aggressive starts bold but finishes smooth. Different taste from most APAs. Notes of orange peel and white wine, tea leaves, a bit of pepper, pine and sweet caramel malt. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Light body with appropriate carbonation with tiny bubbles.
This is a very elegant ale, well balanced, highly drinkable and original (likely due to its vinous touch). A recommended pleasant APA.

Oct 12, 2013
Photo of Pegasus
Pegasus from Texas

4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear golden orange crowned with a massive, dense white head. Thick, glass-coating lacing adorns the glass walls. Numerous fine bubbles drift lazily to the surface.

Aroma: Abundant floral, citric, and pine hops, laid atop a base of pale malt. The hop aroma seems rather assertive.

Taste: Opens sharply hoppy, with abundant pine tar flavors. These dominate the taste throughout. Beneath the hops, there is a strong pale malt background, with toasted and caramel flavors. Nonetheless, the malt seems almost an afterthought in the presence of the massive hop load. Finishes with a lingering herbal bitterness, and a subdued caramel malt flavor.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, velvety, quite full.

Drinkability/notes: An outstanding example of the style, quite over-the-top.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom twelve-ounce bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Aug 18, 2013
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tmzl from Slovenia

3.51/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

appearance: strong, dark orange, medium carbonation; forms a stable 2 fingers high crown which faded slowly and left nice rings after drinking.

smell: soft, kinda underwhelming light smell; can detect sweet malts and fruity, citrus hops

taste: starts bitter then comes to a smooth and pleasant finish; soft citrus, grapefruit notes are found in the bitterness and stay with you

moutfeel: pleasantly spicy but light carbonation feel, medium body, very easy to drink; refreshing, leaves smooth citrus bitterness

overall: light, fruity, smooth bitterness, good brew, a nice drinkable APA

Aug 15, 2013
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Kevin60 from Illinois

4.39/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a deep golden color. Slow poured with no head. Slight lacing around the sides of the glass. Bubbles constantly racing to the top and forming slight rings of lacing around the edge.

Smell - Fruity and hoppy smell. Almost feels inviting. Hits of citrus and and orange also appear. Smooth smell.

Taste - Bitter tasting at first and then finishes smooth. Very very hoppy tasting at first that turns into a smooth tasting and very pleasing finish. Citrus and orange flavoring aftertaste. A complex tasting brew. Zesty at first that fades to a relaxing and satisfying finish.

Mouthfeel - On the light slide. Surprisingly carbonated.

Overall - Absolutely the love the way this beer pours, perfect color and lacing. It looks inviting. The smell is fruity and hoppy at the same time. It has a good bite to it at first which quickly fades to a smooth finish and a orange flavoring aftertaste. A light beer that will be perfectly refreshing during the summer. One of my absolute favorite tasting beers.

Jul 14, 2013
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flagmantho from Washington

4.01/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: light orange hue with just a hint of haze and a moderate effervescence. Head is a thick finger of pillowy ivory foam with decent retention. I like it.

Smell: sweet malt with a nice hop aroma of citrus and tropical fruits. It's nicely tangeriney -- a character I happen to love in the style. Good stuff!

Taste: the flavor delivers just what the aroma promised. A sweetish base with a big punch of citrusy, grapefruity, tangeriney hops with maybe a little bit of pine in there just to mix it up. Bitterness is strong but smooth; it packs a punch, yet doesn't linger on the palate. I quite like it.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a nice carbonation and a rocky effervescence; not really creamy, but appropriate for this beer.

Overall: this beer rubs me the right way. Its flavor combo, refreshing qualities and overall drinkability keep me coming back for more. Mmm.

May 28, 2013
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CHickman from New York

4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours very cloudy orange gold color with a nice thick 2 finger foamy beige head that faded very slowly with tons of bubbles in the head, leaving decent foamy lacing and rings as it went down. Bubbles raced up the brew like a champagne, and the head turned into a foamy layer on top.

Smells fruity and hoppy up front, with leafy herbal notes like piney hops, tea leaf, orange peel and citrus hops, followed by a bready/biscuity presence; the nose is pretty well balanced and the malt backbone seems to have a light funk at the end.

Tastes more malty than hoppy up front, followed by fruit and hops which have a mix of lemon zest, apple, herbs, piney hops, tea leaf, light caramel, orange peel, coriander, citrus hops, bready/biscuit presence, a malty sweetness and a trailing bitterness like grapefruit or very fresh hops. The combination of strong malts and strong hops work well together here, as this is simple and complex tasting at the same time; the balance and bitterness remain quenching and refreshing, while providing enough zest to keep your interest and stay sessionable. This is like bitter version of the Liberty Ale and perfect as the weather is warming up.

Mouthfeel is on the light side but leaning towards medium, with crisp carbonation, a light feel and an overall effervescence that reminds me of a cocktail made with seltzer; this is very easy to drink as the bitterness fades quickly and leaves your mouth dry. This would be a great daytime summer beer that I will try to enjoy this summer some weekend. I liked this and suggest giving it a try.

May 23, 2013
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sabinelr from Washington

4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1. Read the label for expectation
2. Take a whiff from the bottle. Promising hoppy fragrance.
3. Take a swig, notice pronounced mix of hop bitterness, malt bitterness, and slight sweetness. All of these offset the alcohol taste, to make this a competent casual brew. Very pleasant and persistent bitter aftertaste, lasting quite a while and never turning bad.
4. I like this more than their flagship Anchor Steam Beer. It is not a challenging beer to drink. I can see myself getting a six pack for when (?) summer (?) happens (W. Wash.) and lounging out in the yard. I think you will enjoy this brew.

May 22, 2013
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patpbr from Ohio

3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - orange in color and a nice two finger head. It looks refreshing
S - citrus hops and faint malt
T - balanced well with hops of citrus and fruit. Nice malty backbone
M - mouth is near medium, crisp with a mild bitter finish
O - I would be content drinking a few of these from time to time

May 18, 2013
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RickS95 from Indiana

3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear copper orange color. The body itself is fairly non-descript, but the head is really nice for the style. A thick topping of large and small bubbles. Strong retention, but a nice thick lace as the bubbles eventually give in.

It's got a strange smell. There's not much of it, even after it warms a bit, but it seems to be a fight between pilsner malts and citrus hops. So far, I'm on the fence as to whether I like it or it works.

The taste is more indicative of the style and a welcome change from the unusual smell. Standard bisuity malt base with a spread of citrus (lemon, grapefruit) on top.

It's pretty tame in the mouth. Normally I'd expect an explosion of hoppy citrus bite from a West Coast Pale Ale, but this is very subdued. Mostly tart and slightly bitter from the beginning, it's somewhat loose and watered down. As it works its way back, the acidic citrus gives the tongue something to think about. Wet finish, with an Earthy bitterness lasting well into the finish.

It's a Godsend if you're used to American macros. If you're used to top notch APAs, it's merely pretty good. Somewhat easy to drink, just does little in the way of excitement.

Mar 30, 2013
Photo of stride28

2.85/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Consumed this beer out of the bottle, which was a bit shorter and wider than usual. The bottle design meshed well with the company's anchor logo and font choices, creating a rugged yet refined feel reminiscent of seafaring and sailing. Unfortunately, the beer's great visual aesthetics did not line up with its taste and olfactory experience. The beer had a strong 'boozy' aroma. Taste-wise, the Humming Ale was hoppy, with distinctive earthy tones that were fine, but I was let down by the bitter and tart middle. The taste concluded with a convincing bitterness that carried along the alcohol that was suggested by the beer's aroma. However, the summary on the bottle mentions a "bold, hoppy ale" (agreed), that celebrates the brewery's "first brew". Perhaps the surprising bitterness and unrefined aroma is meant to evoke memories of a fledgling, optimistic, brewery that would later find its signature taste.

Feb 05, 2013
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BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

2.8/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured into 9oz Pilsener glass. Poured a very clear and clean yellow-gold color, very much Pilsenerish, with over 1/2 inch of white head that had lightly moderate retention and good lacing.

The mildly grainy aroma was very sweet and had just some gentle hops around the edges. The taste was also sweet, in fact it was an odd, funky sweetness. There was just a bit of floral and pine hops floating around too, but the weird sweetness dominated.

The body would have been OK, except that the beer was very sticky all across the tongue. The beer really stuck to the back of the tongue on the finish. Drinkability suffered from the gooey aspects. Overall, a below average brew. I actually liked this beer much less than the numerical score indicates. You can feel safe in skipping over this one.

Jan 23, 2013
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nusch from Canada (AB)

3.76/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Distinctly verdant and hay-filled notes on the flavour end of the review. The nose of this beer is distinct, to the point of being slightly off-putting. A few caramel and citrus notes on the finish and linger in the mouth. The beer comes on as slightly bitter or astringent (which? I don't know), but smooths out into a pleasant finish. This is a nice little twist on the typical pale ale.

Jan 23, 2013
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SerialHiker from Illinois

3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours an golden orange color…transparent with some bubble action in the middle…minimal off white head that doesn’t last…(3.25/5)

Smell: Sweet, candy, pale malt jumps right out of the glass…lemon citrus hops up in there...some piney and floral hops playing background roles…very light and zesty…(3.75/5)

Taste: Two things happening here…the lemon is zesty and abundant with the floral hops adding a bit of wispiness…the malt is also very abundant, sweet, pale and flavorful adding straightness to the overall that balances out the citrus/floral hops…very harmonious in it’s design…it’s very light, crisp, balanced and refreshing…(3.75/5)

Mouthfeel: Light body, crisp and refreshing to the palette…medium carbonation does form presenting floral and citrus tones…ends light, with mild floral bitterness…(3.75/5)

Overall: This is a good brew…the balance of flavors can be tight rope difficult for some, but this beer accomplishes that with flying colors…it’s light, crisp, sweet, citrusy, floral and malty without leaving anything behind…if I had a knock, it would be limited head on my initial pour, but in the smell and taste, the two more important characteristics, this beer excels…I could easily spend a night drinking on this one flavor and be very content…I’d recommend picking up a sixer of this and dragging it out to a fun time, roof deck, social engagement…Yum! (3.75/5)

Jan 15, 2013
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one poured a bright clear yellow orange with a 1/2 inch of sticky white head. Smell and taste was pretty exceptional I found it very similar to the Liberty ale I had before, sticky hops that don't quite stick to the palate, pale malts, and some gram cracker balanced goodness. Mouth feel was on par for the style with a light to medium bubbly yet session able. Overall I don't think I would pick this one over the Liberty but both tasted pretty similar to me which left me puzzled.

Dec 21, 2012
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LiquidAmber from Washington

3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light golden amber with good carbonation. Half finger white head with good retention and lacing. Light aroma of biscuite malt, light fruit and citrus. Flavor follows with biscuity malt, citrus, especially grapefruit, light apple, finishes crisp with hop bitterness. Light bodied as appropriate for the style. A nice well balanced pale ale.

Dec 15, 2012
Humming Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 664 ratings