War Bird
Pipeworks Brewing Company

War BirdWar Bird
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Belgian Blonde Ale
Ranked #14
Ranked #17,688
3.87 | pDev: 9.82%
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States
Very Good
War BirdWar Bird
Notes: The War Bird, the trusty side-kick of the ninjas, has been deployed! This delicious session ale, is reliable and remarkably complex. Always there when ya call, the bird is the word.
Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 239 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 vintage; drank 10/19/15 @ the Yarchives.

Opaque pale yellow appearance.

A rough pour yielded a small bright white head; decent lace.

Peach, pear & lime notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Lime, lemon & pear flavors up front; peach & soda water bite on the finish. A pleasant brew, fine for a session ale.

I'd have another.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It pour a slightly hazy bright yellow with a nice Belgian head (great retention) with small bubbles. The aroma is of Belgian yeast, but faint, with some slight hints of lemon and some clove. The taste is fairly mild, which is expected given the ABV, but with a surprising amount of complexity. Very smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Like a hazy lemon gummy bear, this beer pours that shade with a creamy 2 finger cap.

Actually I get lemon on the nose too, with some Belgian yeasty esters. Clove and piney hop intertwine.

Flavor is very refreshing - lots of Belgian yeast and clove, with lemony hop, slight pine, slight banana, rice cracker, passion fruit, and grapefruit pith. Slight herbal and earth suggestions trailing on the end.

Crisp, clean feel with a semi dry parch. So refreshing.

Overall, a very nice, easy, light Belgian style IPA with a rice paper feel to it and lemony hops. I'll enjoy the rest of the 4 pack and look forward to picking up more soon.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. canned 8/22/17

Pours cloudy hazy golden yellow with a creamy white foam head. Smells like apricot, grapes, gooseberry, passionfruit, orange citrus, grapefruit, apple, pear, banana, bubblegum, peppery clove spice, bready crackery malt, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes a bit lighter with some bready crackery cereal grain malt, some apricot, grapes, gooseberry, passionfruit, orange citrus, grapefruit, apple, pear, banana, bubblegum, peppery clove spice, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy and smooth with moderate carbonation. Overall a really nice hoppy Belgian style session ale.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16oz, canned 07/03/17
Pale straw yellow body with a persistent white colored head. Grassy and tropical hops; passion fruit and lemon lime, along with some Belgian yeast. Hop forward and refreshing with notes of lemon-lime and passion-fruit, fruity Belgian yeast, and a bit of pineapple; faint cracked wheat for a malt base, but it's weak. Very light body with higher carbonation, modestly bitter showcasing the hop flavors rather than the bitterness. Overall, super easy to drink and quite flavorful.

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Photo of thebeers
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Very pale, cloudy yellow with a massive, three-plus fingers of airy, bright white suds that are quick to dissipate. Modest lacing.

Belgian yeast, lemongrass and some slight crackery malt in the nose.

The taste exhibits bigger Belgian yeast, more lemongrass and a fairly dry, water cracker finish.

The lighter side of medium-bodied with a peppery zing to the carbonation in the feel.

This can is undated. I have reason to believe its old, but the beer is good enough I feel okay rating it anyhow.

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Photo of chicagobeerguy
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Big bubbly head, a classic saison look with the cloudy golden honey in appearnence,

S: Lemongrass, funky belgian yeast, a sudsy lemony smell like wheat could be in the mix

T: A lemongrass big note with a dryness. Slight Ester taste but defintly funky from the belgian yeast. Overall light in taste though.

F: A smooth beer with a slight funk bite

O: Would have liked something with a little more flavor and body but considering it's a session ale, can't complain too much. Beer would be good with a springy chicken dish. To me this beer is very refined and takes your typical session ale but elevates it. I think Pipeworks did a good job with this one and although it's not bursting with hops or barrel aged etc. I can definitely appreciate the time and effort that went into making this fine brew.

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Photo of strohme2
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Canned dated 5/8/2017 poured into my Lexan tulip for outdoor fun times. Bright golden yellow pour with smallish white head that leaves a small ring on the perimeter. Slightly hazed body. Nose is light Belgian funk, dough and soft hops. Was not expecting this to have Belgian characteristics. Bubble gum, lemon, pepper, grassiness, some citrus pith. Good mouthfeel, soft and drinkable.

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Photo of dar482
4.11/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a light gold color with a medium to medium plus haze.

The aroma hits lemongrass, citrus, fruity esters of orange and pear, pepper, lemon, floral soapy, oily grapefruit peel.

The flavor follows more of that grapefruit flavor, a bit of Belgian spice, a light doughy and white bready malt with a chewy feel, onto a dry and lightly hoppy finish with some citrus pith.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

500ml aluminum can with colourful label art purchased as part of a 4-pack for $11.99 at a beer store in Brooklyn, NY. Brewed 08/15/16.

4.50% ABV. "Session ale." Given its modest ABV and branding as a session ale, I'm inclined to think it's an American pale ale. Pipeworks' website offers little in terms of clarification.

HEAD: Off-white colour. Foamy, frothy, and soft. Retention is good - ~8 minutes (though the modest ABV diminishes that accomplishment). Leaves inconsistent globs of lacing on the sides of my nonic as it recedes.

BODY: Murky dull yellow. I see no yeast or particulate within.

AROMA: Fresh, floral, and fragrant, with subtle notes of bubblegum and lemongrass in there too. Has a hint of new world hop tropical fruit character - mango and guava, I suppose. Pale malts keep it balanced, but luckily I find no overly sweet caramalt. Herbaceous and slightly oily, suggesting a pale ale packed with hop flavour but nevertheless well-balanced.

I hope the taste lives up to the aroma. Aromatic intensity is moderately high for the style.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Drags a bit on the palate in the second act, unleashing dry rindy bitterness onto the palate. Guava, papaya, and mango tropical fruit notes dominate, giving this a new world hop bend (possibly those fancy New Zealand hops all the kids are keen on these days). Pale malts even out the balance, but I do wish it wasn't as coarse or dry on the palate as it is; a softer more refreshing feel would be ideal. Still, the dryness plays into the spicy saison yeast vibe in interesting ways.

There's some lemon-lime flavour on the finish, which combined with the subtly oily mouthfeel is kind of nice. I think I even pick up on some wheat in the mix.

Medium-bodied, overcarbonated, somewhat refreshing.

It boasts plenty of hop flavour, which will please hop heads, but it does drink like a restrained IPA, not a committed pale ale. Depth of flavour is decent but wanting. Flavour duration and intensity are average (though if we're considering it a pale ale, the flavour intensity is high relative to the style).

Slightly oily on the palate, which lets the bubblegum seep in a bit more. I'm not keen on bubblegum flavour usually, but it doesn't detract too much in this flavour profile if only because it's so well integrated.

OVERALL: Drinkable in spite of its high hop content. War Bird lacks the intricacy and depth of flavour of the best expressions of the style, but it's more than competent fare that will please casual drinkers. I wouldn't go back for a second 4 pack, but I don't regret picking it up to try once.

B- (3.36) / WORTHY

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Photo of pinyin
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served 38F from the 16 ounce can into a 14 ounce goblet. Canning date 8-15-16

This is definitely a hybrid (saison/pale) ale yeast and grain blend. The hops lean more towards a citra pale ale.

Color is really nice here. Light translucent yellow. The same color associated with heavier saison's.

The aroma is lightly floral and an equal amount of citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. Vegetal and some very slight malt and yeasty scents behind that.

Citra hopped, session saison, would be the most accurate description here. This is probably the most hoppy siason I've ever tried, but it's also much lighter and fruitier like an american pale ale.

A very light but somewhat chewy citrus saison ale. Medium body, as if some small % of wheat is added. Very nice carbonation. No off flavors-clean fermentation and sanitization.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16oz can into a speiglau IPA glass.

Look is a hazy straw colored yellow with a big frothy white head.

Lots of tropical notes mango, guava, and slight citrus.

Honestly much more balanced then I thought. You expect session IPAs to be brash and hoppy, but going for lighter tropical hop notes.

Very good session IPA, could almost be called a tropical pale ale.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tasted in a Spiegelau IPA glass from a 16 oz can on September 17, 2016. This is a Belgian inspired session IPA brewed with Hellertau Blanc and Amarillo hops. It is not a saison.

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Photo of cfalls
4.11/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great summer beer.

It's marketing is confusing. The can had me expecting a session pale ale, while beeradvocate calls it an IPA. I would say it's a saison. Sure, it's a little light and hoppy, but that's what you'd expect from a Pipeworks saison.

Similar to Other Half's Rockstar Farmer, the saison element adds flavor, which can be lacking in sessions, without adding any kind of heaviness that you wouldn't want in a session.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pipeworks simply cant miss right now. this session ipa is among the best i have had this summer so far. its got all the elements, and its very very flavorful without the watery feel so many of these have. citrus hops are brimming in the nose of this hazy almost yellow colored brew. a tall inch of white head is the only barrier between my lips and one of the juiciest and most refreshing examples of the style going right now. citra for sure, likely some amarillo or something from new zealand, it has that tropical matrix going on too, lemons and mangos and passion fruits, with just a little tartness there in the center. some yeast character to this too, i think it makes it really unique. crackery and dry, but a needed layer i think. the base tastes wheaty to me, but super light and well carbonated dry too. lime notes in the finish, highly refreshing but also just filling enough, its not without any body. i like all the pipeworks stuff, i like it a lot, but it seems like they really excel in the hoppy styles, and this is another great example of that. on tap at barrels and bottles in golden.

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Photo of thepenguin
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Very hazy with a light straw color and a decent sized head.

S: Dry, with lots of light fruit and herbaceous Mosaic-like hop notes. Passionfruit, lemon, guava, lemongrass. Some peppery farmhouse yeast notes.

T: Light and dry, with a lot similarities to PW’s other session hoppy beers like Lizard King and Glaucus. Nice tartish lemon character, with some peppery and spicy yeast notes.

F: Medium-light body with slightly under medium carbonation. Sort of a fizzy, prickly mouthfeel with a little creaminess.

Thoughts: Reminds me of a toned down version of Glaucus, with some of the same hop notes as Lizard King. Not bad, though I highly prefer the two aforementioned beers — they’re just more complex. For the abv, a cleaner American yeast strain might have worked a bit better, but it’s still a pretty decent beer.

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Photo of dgmirelli
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

best session out there to date, has the length and finish beer drinkers look for, grapefruity IPA to me, more than enough hops to counter the Saison claim.

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Photo of Karnivool1
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

So this brew isn't a true saison but is nonetheless the predominate style. I'd say 3/4 saison and 1/4 belgian ipa. Regardless this is tasty and easy drinking, will be picking up again.

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Photo of FBarber
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy opaque yellow color with a white head. Head dissipates somewhat leaving a thin white foamy layer on top of the beer.

Smell is wonderful burst of lemon, lemon zest, orange zest, bright citrusy yeast and fresh cut flowers. Undertones of some hoppy bitterness comes through as well on the nose.

Taste follows the nose with a nice array of lemon, lemon zest, orange rind, and yeast giving way to a slightly peppery bitter finish with a strong hop presence. Bit of sweetness, but not quite sure where from - almost honey like?

Feel had medium carbonation, pretty drinkable. Dry finish.

As some people have noted, this is a hard to classify beer. It certainly has some characteristics of a saison but its not really a saison. As it is, its a very good beer, just not my personally preferred style.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

War Bird is good.....wouldn't classify it as a saison/farmhouse ale though. Its seems more a session ipa similar to all day from founders. The beer poured a hazy yellow with white head that is leaving some lace. The scent is bitter a leans toward a citrus spice/peel. The taste is pretty well balanced, bitter enough o let you know it has an ipa flare. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. overall this is another solid offering from Pipeworks.

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Photo of pkalix
4.71/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

wow! what an aroma! floral, lemony, slight hop smell. ultra hazy. smell again is like that lemony soda.... cant remember the name of it.... smells like a soda, looks like a witbeir, Untappd calls it a belgian pale, Beer Advocate calls it a saison/farmhouse, and yet the can says it's a SESSION ALE. smells awesome. slight tickley carbonation, super refreshing, almost guzzle-able..... okay, i usually only guzzle when i'm super thirsty, wanna get a buzz started and with a lighter beer.... but this one is like a cross gatorade limeade/juice soda. i suppose that's the definition of a SESSION ALE, huh? slight, sweet mintiness at the end. this one is phenomenal. spending too much time writing, and not enough enjoying..... very highly recommended!

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Photo of Wasatch
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Revisit: 17 Apr 18
16 oz. Can
Canned On: 8/22/17

8 months on this can.

Poured into a Trillium glass a pretty nice hazy pale yellow color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy two-finger plus white head, which also leaves some really nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, yeasty, with a pretty nice citrus complex (orange, tangerine), spicy/peppery. The taste is pretty nice, hoppy, malty, yeasty, with a pretty nice citrus complex (orange, tangerine), some nice spicy/pepper thing going on. Medium body, ABV is hidden very nicely, with a nice little dry/bitter finish. Overall, still a pretty tasty brew, even with all the months on it.

16 oz. Can
Canned On: 11/03/15

Poured into a Squatters True Pint glass a very nice cloudy pale yellow color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger plus white head, which leaves some very nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, citrusy, spicy/peppery. The taste is pretty nice malty, yeasty, nice citrus note, nice spice touch. Medium body. Overall, a pretty tasty brew, quite a different take on the style.

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Photo of RMelyon
4.56/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Chose one of these at Kuma's Too last night because nothing on tap tickled my fancy. Pretty sure this is just a less hoppy version of Lizard King with some yeast. But, the yeast adds complexity that replaces the hop-forward quality of Lizard King, so this one actually tastes better. At 4.5%, War Bird is supremely crushable, has great tropical hop flavor, and just a touch of yeast. The perfect summer beer, and good any time.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is strong lemon, tropical fruit, mild spices and a hint of hops. The flavor is tropical fruit, complex hops, malts, spices and a tart/slightly bitter finish.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can. Pours hazy light neon yellow with a medium creamy white head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is floral soapy Belgian yeast with some fruity piney hops.

The flavor is sweet citrus fruit with some piney hops and lighter Belgian funk in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with spritzy carbonation.

Overall, like a Belgian session IPA. The fruit and hops balance the Belgian notes.

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War Bird from Pipeworks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 239 ratings