Emerald Grouper
Pipeworks Brewing Company

Emerald GrouperEmerald Grouper
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American Imperial IPA
Ranked #15
Ranked #206
4.49 | pDev: 8.46%
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States
Emerald GrouperEmerald Grouper
Notes: Originally a collaboration with 4 Hands called Square Grouper, now brewed by Pipeworks and called Emerald Grouper.

Our buddies at Four Hands in St. Louis rang us up a couple of months ago with a proposition. They wanted to brew an Imperial IPA and they just happened to have a bunch of Simcoe, Citra, Galaxy and Mosaic hops. We though that sounded like a pretty good idea so they came on up here to Chicago and we did the damn thing. We also added 60 lbs of honey at the end of the boil. The beer that then flowed out of the tanks and into your bottles is a dank symphony of tropical fruit, citrus, mango, pine, fresh cut grass and stone fruit. This was only a single batch and may not make another appearance for a long time. Drink early Drink often.
Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 890 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of bret27
4.19/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from JohnnyHops. ~2 wks old.
L: clear amber with white dense head with nice retention and lacing.
S: Honey, floral.
T: more honey/caramel malt than hops. Bready. Slightest alcohol presence when it warms up.
F: malty and slick. Smooth honey. Slight hop crispness.
O: lol. I looked at the can toward the end of my review and see there’s actual honey in it. I have a habit of not reading the label fully until I’ve drank most of it. Also not typical citra hop flavors. More of a sweet floral/herbal than you would expect. I can only imagine they used the hops traditionally, instead of dry-hopping the sh*t out of it.
It’s hard to think of this as an ipa. It’s good and hides the high abv well though.
This sweeter maltier ipa seems to be a Midwest pattern. Not a criticism, but just more traditional style. Would be cool to see a heavier hopped version.
Would recommend.

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bret27 from California, Tuesday at 11:19 PM
Photo of stevoj
3.99/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can from Tavour. Cloudy amber pour, small silky head. Caramel malts first in the aroma , followed closely by bitter citrus notes. Faint honey. Sweet taste, honey, caramel coupled with a sharp bite. Velvety smooth.

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stevoj from Idaho, Nov 02, 2019
Photo of superspak
4.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce can into tulip glass, canned on 9/24/2019. Pours fairly hazy deep golden amber/light orange color with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a large cap that lasts. Thick foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big red grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, lime, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, honeydew melon, guava, blueberry, gooseberry, citrus peel/rind, wood, mint, peppercorn, pine, honey, cracker, toasted biscuit, light caramel/nuttiness, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops, honey, and bready malt notes; with big strength. Taste of huge red grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, lime, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, honeydew melon, guava, blueberry, gooseberry, citrus peel/rind, wood, mint, peppercorn, pine, honey, cracker, toasted biscuit, light caramel/nuttiness, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness. Light-moderate pine, citrus peel/rind, herbal, floral, woody, grassy, peppery bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, lime, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, honeydew melon, guava, blueberry, gooseberry, citrus peel/rind, wood, mint, peppercorn, pine, honey, cracker, toasted biscuit, light caramel/nuttiness, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops, honey, and bready malt flavors; with an awesome malt/bitterness balance, and no lingering hop astringency after the finish. Fairly crisp finishing. Moderate increasing dryness from lingering bitterness. Medium-plus carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy/bready/grainy, and sticky/resinous/rindy balanced mouthfeel that is great. Mild increasing warmth of 9.5% After the finish. Overall this is a fantastic DIPA. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops, honey, and bready malt flavors; dangerously smooth and easy to drink for the big ABV, with the moderately bitter/resinous/drying finish; not overly aggressive. Amazing Simcoe, Citra, Galaxy and Mosaic profile. Extremely vibrant, juicy, dank, and earthy hops; with a nice sized honey and bready malt backbone. Minimal residual sweetness with crisp resin dryness. A highly enjoyable offering, and outstanding style example. Loved the hop profile as expected.

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superspak from Michigan, Oct 30, 2019
Photo of barnzy78
4.46/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

16oz can, date stamped 09/24/19. Hazy copper colored ale with a a foamy beige head that slowly fades into a thick foam. Rich hoppy aroma with plenty of caramel malt, tropical fruit, and citrus. Nice sweet start on the palate with caramel, grain, and honey, followed by some more bitter flavors of pine, orange & grapefruit zest along with tropical fruit notes of mango and guava - great complexity! Full body, resinous, ample carbonation, alcohol is well concealed, bittersweet finish. Exceptional beer! I might have to get another can if I come across it again.

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barnzy78 from Illinois, Oct 25, 2019
Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
4.27/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky golden color. 3 finger slightly off white frothy head. The head retention is damn good. Some lacing on the glass.
The nose is hoppy, as expected. It also, to me, has a floral aroma. More of a pine hop to my nose.
Taste - Pine hop flavor, along with a slight sweetness to it.
The pine lingers in my throat. Thick, and full body.
A good, and solid IPA from Pipeworks.

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Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.56/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Orange hazy hue with a short ivory head setting quickly to a thin cap and ring with moderate lacing.

S: Truly a west-coaster. This one features the PINE!

T: Rating in style it is near perfection! A very piney bitter but tolerable, sweet but un-cloying wonder! Just a touch of booze on the finish so you know what you’re drinking.

F: Medium weight with moderate carbonation, sweet to off-dry, a good side of syrupy.

O: A west coast IPA done better honestly than most made in the region! Must try short list along with Pliny!

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Oh_Dark_Star from Washington, Oct 17, 2019
Photo of bigwinner
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bought at their Dojo warehouse bottle shop. 9/24/19 date stamp on 16oz can. Poured into 12oz snifter.

Medium pour resulted in 1inch head that faded quickly. Clear, light copper color. Smell is not overpowering with some sweet passion fruit and pineapple notes. Mouthfeel is light for an iipa, but not thin. Taste is extremely well balanced malt and hop profile with honey (and lemon?) very present on the back end followed by some mild heat from the 9.5% alcohol content.
Finishes with lingering dank, resinous pine notes, especially as the beer warms.

Overall, as delicious and well balanced as any of the style, right there with Plineys but with a kick...Dangerously sessionable for a nearly 10% beer. Going back to grab another 4-pk (or 2) tomorrow.

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bigwinner from Illinois, Oct 12, 2019
Photo of Barettes
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orange with a cream-colored, large head with lots of little bubbles wanting to waterfall over the edge of the glass. Opacity is somewhere between clear and cloudy. Head settles down quickly, light to moderate lacing.

Nose is pine, melon, peach, citrus, grassy notes. Big flavors...there's grapefruit, mango, pine, mandarin orange, peach, lemon, and a sticky honey sweetness.

Body is medium, the carbonation lending an aggressive and tingly feel which matches and complements the intensity of the flavors.

This is exceptionally well done. Would buy this regularly if I could. 96

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Barettes from Washington, Oct 11, 2019
Photo of Ego
4.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

massive carbonation erupts from this even on a careful pour, I mean seriously this is bubbling like a muddy hot spring, this has lead to three fingers (easy) of white head with no signs of slowing down, color wise this goes down the yellow brick road (sans the lollipop guild or flying monkeys), not the usual color but that's ok, impressive hat on this one, and clingy like those annoying nettles that you get all over your socks when hiking in the Catskills (NY)

lemon spritzer, tropical leaning toward mango, definitely sense the honey (honey has a sort of 'dark' sweetness, ya know?), solid but nothing bowling me over

taste etc...
carbonation remains ample (sometimes on fizz bombs like this the fizz fades away quicker than the Baltimore Orioles since the 80s), drinks very light to medium, good mouth feeling, kind of rolls around the mouth well, very little alcohol detected but warms ya' down below, some astringent bitters that remind me of DFH 60, the mango quotient is thankfully low (I am not a fan of the trend of over the top juicy fruit hops tones, that's just me), real easy drinking, lacking a littl punch? OK, that's fair

I have to say actual grouper is one of my faves to catch and eat when I am fishing in the Florida Keys (Islamorada)... but I digress, very nice offering here, well balanced, not as heavy as some DIPAs but it does have a little kick, mild compared to some... but that's ok, good beer

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Ego from New Jersey, May 08, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled late spring 2016; drank 6/23/16 @ the Yarchives.

Semi-opaque bright orange appearance; champagne bubbles throughout.

A rough pour yielded a nice, noisy white head; a thick curtain of tree-rung lace.

Melon, fresh ganja & grapefruit notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Melon, orange peel & fresh ganja flavors up front; mild grapefruit bite on the finish. No booze heat.

Fruity; dry but not drying. A flavorful, drinkable DIPA. Well done!

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GuyFawkes from Illinois, Mar 11, 2019
Photo of strohme2
4.34/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle, no date seen. Not sure where Pipeworks dates their bottles if at all. Poured into tulip. Pours a dark orange, rosy gold, half finger of head. Some fingers of head lace it’s way down the glass. The color of the body is not that appealing but I love a lacey beer.
Aromas of sweet ruby red grapefruit, sweet citrus, candy sweetness.
Flavors are all citrus, grapefruit, guava, peach gummies at the finish. No heat, burn or harshness. Good balance of sweet and bitter without going overboard on either end.
Finely bubbled,big but smooth bodied. Again, no heat. Overall, a very tasty beer that deserves a spot as a new classic.

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strohme2 from Michigan, Feb 16, 2019
Photo of Angerhaus
2.71/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Beer looks okay, but it tastes kind of like old garbage hops that someone forgot about and tried to use. I was excited to try this, but it was a huge let down.

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Angerhaus from Rhode Island, Aug 11, 2018
Photo of jcflorian
4.29/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden orange with thin head, nice lacing .

Aroma is earthy dank, get little of honey as well.

Taste follows aroma closely with sweetness coming in late

Mouthfeel solid for imperial ipa.

Overall this is a very good but not great beer. I am not sure it belongs in the top 200 beers but at the same time I did enjoy this quite a bit. I live in New England and get spoiled by treehouse and trillium

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jcflorian from Connecticut, Jul 29, 2018
Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer poured a golden yellow color with a white head.

Smell - The nose was not big, but had notes of citrus and honey.

Taste - The initial was bright and spicy orange. The honey sweetness was mild and stayed in the background with light minty notes. The orange stays strong in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - The beer was very full bodied with little about it being mild.

Overall - This is an excellent example of the style.

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Photo of DavidR_9
4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Fairly fresh, aquired in a trade. No bottling date.

Super tight white bubbly head on a beautiful yellow/gold slight hazy body (I like keeping in the sediment). Aroma is pretty standard, grapefruity, citrus, piney, but really clean and clear. Flavor is awesome, everything you’d expect plus a smoother honeyed and lactose experience that delivers the hops in a soft and creamier manner. Sooo smooth for a big DIPA. Unique given the familiar hop and malt profile

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DavidR_9 from California, Jun 06, 2018
Photo of gcamparone
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber poured into a tulip glass. thanks Ray for sharing this

Pours a orange lightly hazy body with a small white head that leaves a ring of retention.

Smells citrusy, sweet, piney. Taste is lightly bitter with citrus zest and piney hops, a tad bit of honey with a sweet malt backbone. Medium body, easy going down for 9.5%.

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gcamparone from Rhode Island, Jun 05, 2018
Photo of metter98
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is relatively clear yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of mangos and papayas are present in the nose along with notes of oranges.
T: The taste follows the smell and has additional hints of pineapples near the finish. Little if any bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation with a faint amount of crispness.
O: This beer doesn't seem as strong as it tastes as the honey really boosted the strength without leaving much in the way of traces of alcohol. It is very drinkable considering its strength.

Serving type: bottle

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metter98 from New York, Jun 02, 2018
Photo of Damian
4.12/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 1 pint, 6 fl. oz bottle purchased at Cambridge Wine & Spirits, Cambridge, MA
Served in a tulip

Spectacular appearance. The nearly crystal clear, medium amber body was topped by an immensely tight and fluffy, three-finger tall, bright white crown. Large swaths of thick, drippy lacing stuck along the glass and lasted until the drink’s end.

The aroma was really enticing and contained a medley of pungent, fruity hop notes. An intense, generic tropical fruit quality came through big from the get go. Really fragrant and sweet. As the beer sat, I was able to pick out ripe passionfruit notes. Some peach and apricot appeared as well. Citrus was also detectable. Orange was most noticeable. There was a dry, powdery yeasty quality too. Later, the yeasty notes intensified, as did the orange. Bit of candied orange peel as well.

The flavor was definitely more citrus forward than the nose. Juicy orange notes dominated. Loads of pithy citrus rind too. Grapefruit appeared mid palate and intensified as the beer moved along the palate. More rind-like pith and bitterness on the back end and in the finish. Big piney, resiny hop notes lingered after the swallow. Somewhat sticky.

Terrific fluffy, lighter bodied mouthfeel. The liquid contained a fairly aggressive, larger bubbled effervescence that turned creamy and smooth on the palate.

Emerald Grouper is a solid West Coast-style IPA with a tropical fruit-forward aroma and a citrusy, resiny flavor profile. Does it belong in the BeerAdvocate Top 250 however? Definitely not. These sticky, honey-infused IPAs were all the rage ten years ago but, frankly, they seem a bit dated now.

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Damian from Massachusetts, May 31, 2018
Photo of maximum12
4.03/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Pipeworks for sending not just their delicious regular beers (Ninja v. Unicorn!), but also plenty of great seasonals. Keep sending & I’ll keep buying. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife.

The pour is a yeasty-looking, slightly clouded orange. The nose is, as stereotypical as it is, juicy tropical fruits & sweetness, though both are subdued.

Emerald Grouper is better than the soggy catfish I had for dinner…leaving fried fish to marinate in the curry wasn’t the best of decisions. The honey is stronger than most honeyed IPAs, lovely & right up front. It mingles with strong florals, white pepper spiciness, citrus, pine, mango, with a long chord of bitterness running all the way through. Heavier & stickie than your run-o-the-mill IIPA, which limits how much I’d want to consume in one sitting.

So few IPAs with honey manage to hit the sweet spot, but this one is the bee’s knees, living up to its lofty reputation. Excellent beer.

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maximum12 from Minnesota, May 27, 2018
Photo of AdmiralOzone
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark apricot orange with a thick white cap that dissipates quickly but leave great lacing. The aroma is lots of fresh fruit both tropical and citrus, pineapple and mango are most present. The flavor is sweet ripe fruits, honey and a touch of pine bitterness. Feel is very good, smooth and thick, but could use more carbonation. Overall a fantastic beer. Would buy often if in 12 ounce format and priced as such.

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AdmiralOzone from Minnesota, May 16, 2018
Photo of JLK7299
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip with a very thick head. Probably 2 inches, at least. Complex smell and taste. A lot going on. The finish and feel is very smooth and features honey. Great IIPA!

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JLK7299 from North Carolina, May 13, 2018
Photo of ksimons
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-a somewhat hazy gold with a fingers worth of

S-lots of tropical fruit, citrus, and honey

T-similar to the smell with lots of tropical fruit, honey sweetness, and a citrus bitter finish

M-medium body and crisp carbonation

Overall a delicious and juicy IPA, very easy to drink

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ksimons from Illinois, May 10, 2018
Photo of gatornation
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a glowing golden color with a fresh white head. Smell had dank earthy hops and white fruit smells. Taste was earthy and dank with tropical citrus and passion fruit . A soft mouthfeel made even softer with the honey ABV is well hidden with a little dry pine in the finish. Delicious 2IPA here.

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gatornation from Minnesota, May 08, 2018
Photo of jakecattleco
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Draught pour at Ironside in a snifter.

L: Golden with 1 finger of high density white head with moderate retention and left mixed lacing.

S: Very dank, definitely Mosaic shining through, with floral and tropical undertones.

T: Follows the nose very well, perhaps a bit more tropical aspects poke through. Finishes dry with plenty of bitterness, lingering on the palate awhile.

F: Lighter bodied with higher carbonation, dances on the tongue, slight burn from ABV on lips and tongue, slick on the swallow.

O: Great IIPA, would happily have again!

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jakecattleco from California, May 08, 2018
Photo of Vidblain
4.71/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I had to search my memory for another beer that utilizes honey so well... and then it hit me. Duh! HopSlam!

I've been chasing down a bottle of Emerald Grouper for a couple of years now - and lo and behold, no sooner does Pipeworks begin distro to MN, and it's sitting in my local cooler just a couple months later. Shazam! The only thing that might thrill me more is if Sure Bet dropped here. Fingers crossed!

Emerald Grouper is a very unique beer - the nose presents plenty of pine and bitterness, but the taste is a very nice, mellow, warm honey flavor. With some hop bitterness of course. And that contrast? I'm loving it. Emerald Grouper, if anything, I think is probably even easier drinking than Hopslam. Though I believe it may be higher ABV? I'm too lazy to look - take that with a grain of salt. But, per my recollection - it's definitely a softer, lighter, easier-drinking beer.

I'm a fine. That was well-worth the wait. Well done, Pipeworks!

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Vidblain from Minnesota, Apr 28, 2018
Emerald Grouper from Pipeworks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 890 ratings