Hummin' Bird | Red Oak Brewery

Hummin' BirdHummin' Bird
100 Ratings
Hummin' BirdHummin' Bird

Brewed by:
Red Oak Brewery
North Carolina, United States

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
From the brewery: Hummin' Bird is a Light Lager or Hell (Helles) similar to those found throughout Bavaria. We use carefully selected Pilsner Malt...then it is delicately hopped with imported Tettnang Noble Hops. Then we add a proprietary lager yeast strain which is not filtered out providing ones daily supply of vitamin B. Hummin' Bird is slow-cold aged for over one month resulting in a lush mouth feel.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-04-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 100 |  Reviews: 33
Reviews by VaterRoss:
Photo of VaterRoss
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the brewery

Appearance is a hazy (unfiltered) straw yellow with a white head that recedes to a ring. Smell is malty with a light funk (approaching skunk) and some lemony citrus tones. Taste sadly features the funk first, followed by some nice Munich light malt and some lager yeast cleanness. Some sourness as well which is unusual for the style. Mouthfeel is medium-light, fairly high carb featuring a high drinkability.

In the past this has been my favorite beer by Red Oak, not sure what was going on this time but there was some definite funk in the taste and smell that I do not recall from previous samplings (I plan to re-review this one). The funk is especially odd as this tasting was in the brewery itself, this is troublesome to say the least. This is a good American Helles that doesn't quite match up to its German counterparts. If only the funk wasn't there.

from notes 1/20/12

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance was a hazy orange color with nice fluffy head that disapeared rather quickly.Smell was a little buttery and fruity.Taste was buttery but was a little sour not overpoweringly so but kind of an annoyance.Nice body for a 96 calorie beer but there were a few things I didnt like about this one.

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Photo of avitallo
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Glowingz
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Mantooth
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of whitekiboko
2/5  rDev -46.4%

Photo of Psberrier
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of tdm168
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Village Draft House in Raleigh

Arrived a clear gold with no head. Nose picks up faint grains and nothing else. Taste is grainy with a mild hop bitterness. There's moderate carbonation, light bodied.

Overall this beer is a very mild and smooth lager. The flavor is balanced well and is quite refreshing. Not my favorite style, but I would definitely have this beer again on a hot summer day.

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Photo of ordybill
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Grain and yeast aroma, light and refreshing
Appearance- Pours a slightly cloudy yellow. Has a small white head.
Taste- Has a very delicate grain and bread flavor that is very nice, if you are looking for a hop bomb this ain't it.
Palate- A light bodied beer with moderate carbonation.
Overall- A very nice example of a Munich Helles Lager. Red Oak has done a nice job.

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Photo of woodchip
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of jimmyw52reese
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I was hesitant to try a beer called Hummin Bird. I was also not familiar with the Helles style beer. This was a pleasant surprise. I already liked their Red Oak Amber. Hummin Bird has an inviting aroma and it is crisp, holds the foamy head and finishes smoothly. I found that as with most beers that subscribe to the 1512 Beer Law I don't fill up as quickly as with mass produced beer and the morning after I can't even tell I had a beer. So far I have had a good experience with everything Red Oak produces!

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Photo of Bjm94
4.69/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer just confirms my prior opinion: Red Oak brews the best lagers in NC. This beer is simply amazing, I'd have this over a Weihenstephaner any day of the week. I come from a family of beer haters, and I'm proud to say that this beer has started to sway them away from their aversion to beer. Pick up a 12 pack of these, you won't regret it.

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Photo of etownhooligan
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is by far one of my favorite breweries here in North Carolina next to the Alewerks in Williamsburg. I enjoyed many of these fine beverages while waiting for my Sociology class to begin as well and many others at Guilford College. There is nothing like a Hummingbird on a nice summer afternoon in the Carolinas.

A: Pours neatly, slightly cloudy amber with orange accents with a quickly diminishing slight off white head.

S: Strong bready earthiness yet it is clean. Strong malt accents overpower the mellow hops of this brew.

T: Mellow and malty, hints of corn and cereal. The sweet aftertaste is one of my favorite things about this drink, it truly sends my taste buds in transport.

M: Medium bodied, yet not too heavy. Low carbonation and velvety mouth feel overall.

O: I enjoy this beer a lot and I have to be careful as I can drink quite a few of these. A good drink for the warmer days of summer, I highly recommend it.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Revolution Pizza (Charlotte, NC) on 9/4/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear pale gold, with a finger of foamy brite-white head. A thin & soft looking layer of retention leaves back a lightly foamy cascade of lacing, which quickly retreats down the sides of the glass. The aroma is lightly sweet grains and fruity citrus. A bit of grassy hops gives this a more airy feel in the nostrils, but I'm not getting a whole lot past the initial sweetness.

The taste is lightly toasted bread, with some citrus character adding in additional sweetness. Light bittering hops give this a bit of extra presence. Finishes with a slight smack of sweetness and that's about it. Pretty clean. The mouthfeel is light bodied, with a bit more of a sharpness to the carbonation than I would have expected. Probably gives this a bit more oompth in the mouth than what is actually there. Pretty easy drinking overall.

Pretty decent little Light Lager here. The flavors aren't very memorable but aren't exactly offensive or anything either. Crisp, yet smooth, this wasn't so bad paired with the pizza that we had with it.

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Photo of SFNC
3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ghowehattrick
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of jsausley
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Let me start off by saying that this is definitely my least favorite beer from Red Oak. Probably because it's the lightest, least flavorful beer from Red Oak. But that's not a bad thing - overall I would say that I am a massive fan of Red Oak's lagers, and having been a visitor to their lovely brewery more than a handful of times. Every other beer on their list ranges from "Mmm" to "Holy @#*&" on my completely scientific rating scale.

Red Oak has always been a staple for me locally. In fact I'm very glad that I have Red Oak beers available on tap at almost all of my local haunts. My review of the Big Oak beer sings its praises and Red Oak Amber Lager is still one of my absolute favorite go-to beers to pair with a good meal. Many pitchers of it were had during my college days.

I digress. Red Oak Humminbird. They claim it is a Munich Style Helles Lager. Which it must be, who am I to decide?

This beer was poured from a bottle into a beautiful KC Pils glass from Boulevard Brewery, Kansas City, MO.

A: Best part of this beer is its lovely appearance. It pours a nice smooth and consistent clear-gold. Plentiful bubbles eagerly rise from its depths. The head is a nice froth, forming 1-2 inches when poured properly, but dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing. One of my favorite things about a nice lager is that you can look at it from above and see the bubbles popping up from underneath the surface, and I have to say that Humminbird is probably the most active beer among Red Oak's offerings for this nice little feature.

S: Extremely light and crisp. No alcohol traces. Some hops and some light malt, but overall an airy and light aroma. Some citrus fruitiness as expected.

T: A sweet and buttery mix of hops, malt and lemon notes. Not a bad beer by any stretch but void of any strong or characteristic flavors.

M: A predictably smooth unfiltered loveliness with a crisp bite and significant carbonation. Wonderfully easy to drink, as an offset to its fairly average flavor.

O: I'll be frank. I don't order this at dinner. I've had it a few times, didn't really care for it enough to pick it again, and mostly decided to buy another bottle for the review. Honestly, I can't see why they bother when Red Oak Amber, Big Oak, Battlefield and Old Oak are so wonderfully amazing lagers. I suppose they need a light and frisky beer for the wives to drink on the tour.

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Photo of lzepplin01
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Bung
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Draft at Revolution Pizza. A solid gold pour. Minimal white head, but good carbonation throughout. Grassy, light malt, hints of fruit like pear. Taste is very inoffensive, suble malt and citrus, very small amount of biscuit. More hops than the aroma would lead to. Could drink a ton of these, a good alternative to a big macro.

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Photo of jayro65
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Immortale25
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a traditional oversized Dogfish snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch white head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and some faint wisps of sheer surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Bready malt characteristic that's slightly sweet.

T- Doughy, bready malt flavor with a bit of grainy sweetness mid-palate and a watery finish.

M- Crisp and bright with medium carbonation and a light body.

O- Brewed pretty close to style. Would be tasty on a summer day but not something I'd drink regularly.

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Photo of GWC
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear deep yellow in color and has ever so faint hints of visible carbonation. It poured with some delicate lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of sweet, bready malts are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of bready malts, but there isn't nearly as much sweetness as the smell and there are notes of noble hops and faint amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has the classic aromas and flavors of a Munich Helles Lager, but seems to be lighter in body and less aromatic and flavorful compared to other beers in the style bin this respect, it would be very drinkable on a hot summer day.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of jdrankin
2.96/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of JSS102
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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Hummin' Bird from Red Oak Brewery
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 100 ratings
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