The Substance | Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.

172 Reviews
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The SubstanceThe Substance

Brewed by:
Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
Maine, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our flagship; a brightly dank ale that threads many needles.

vailability: weekly production
ABV: 6.6% OG: 1.060
Hops: Falconer's Flight, Centennial, Apollo, Summit, Chinook
Malts: 2-row, flaked Wheat, Flaked oats, Flaked Barley

Added by Bowdoinbeerboy on 12-11-2013

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Reviews: 172 | Ratings: 1,373
Photo of Tidesox28
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I will take this over Treehouse Julius any day. Super drinkable, verging on balanced. At least as balanced as a hoppy IPA should be. Nice mix between citrus and floral hops. Nice enough body to let you know it's there.

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Photo of hoppygram
4.99/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A Poured into a beer mug, the color is cloudy golden and a little dull, but the smell totally overrides appearance. The carbonation was perfect, with a two finger head.

S Hops with a citrusy clean aroma.

T This has been my "go to" beer for a while. It tastes as good as it smells. I have had it on tap at the brewery (hours away from my home), poured from a can the day after it was canned, and a couple on tap at couple of pubs. I have had a few from the case I bought at BBB. But now, two months later (what is left of the case I have hoarded) has really come into its own. There is a hoppy, citrusy, bitterness that meets my expectations of an excellent beer.

M This beer flows perfect for me.

O I really like Bissell Brothers Substance! I have been trying other IPAs, but the only one that comes close, in my opinion, is Dogfish 90 minute IPA. Heading to VT next weekend to see what I can find there.

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Photo of Thedataman
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was in Wells Maine over the 4th weekend and ran into Tullys beer emporium (lol) and asked the woman working if she had anything that she felt rivaled Heady Topper....she went into the back and laid a 4-pack of these on me...the 4-pack had a post it not on it...she was holding them for her...but said she would sell them to me...I am glad she did, they did not disappoint!

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Photo of W_Des
4.87/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A fantastic IPA. Pours a bright straw color and the nose contains a sweet floral tropical fruitiness with some grapefruit, papaya and mangoes. The body is extremely refreshing and juicy with a restrained bitter finish.

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Photo of Korbynlehr
4.81/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Aroma=Dank with a the hop nose that we hopheads love. Pours with no real head to mention, but a hazy, almost golden honey look. The taste is one of sheer genius, BB hit the mark on the head. I love this beer. If I could get it in Kentucky that would be great!

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Photo of RedDevil36
4.79/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Top 3 beer for me. Will wait in line for it any day of the week. A great experience from the nose, the feel, the euphoria and the taste. Well played Bissell.

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Photo of SinjaminBentek
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Light golden yellow.

Smell - Light citrus.

Taste - Citrus at first then resinous pine in the finish. Delicious.

Mouthfeel - Light. Very drinkable. Perfect carbonation.

Overall - (A-) Highly recommend.

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Photo of BradMacMullin
4.74/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Wow, this was an extremely good beer. Had while watching morning football from London - something about football and beers at 10am just can't go wrong.
Poured from a 16oz can, and it was a strawy hazy looking beer. Just a great hoppy IPA, that is definitely up there with the T-House and Trillium as far as quality. Need to get to Portland and get more of these.
Followed this up with a Sams Octoberfest (ouch), which only made me rate this Substance even higher (what happened to Sam Adams?)

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Photo of dougiegarmonbozia
4.71/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from can into a tulip glass. Smells and tastes of piney, resin dankness. Very much like concentrated buddiness. This gives way to mandarin and other tropical notes and more piney, grassy delight.
Second strongest feature is the exquisite feel, which I am superseded is not generally rated higher. Most super-dankly beers make my tummy eventually rumble in pain, but this one balances massive dankness with an equally strong match of fruit girth. Highly recommended.

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Photo of AdamTebbs
4.71/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Color not sure, I drank from the can but from the top I could see yellowy goodness. Smell, clean pine/fresh cut grass smell. Taste very balanced pine and citrus not over powering at all perfectly mellow and refreshing. Overall: Awesome! I wish I lived in the distribution area.

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Photo of Reds76
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%

Canned yesterday, drinking today! Fresh is definitely makes a big difference. I don't smell or taste as much of the citrus that other people report but I do get a fantastic hop aroma and flavor - more herbal, dank and funky - very unique flavor - can't quite put my finger on it. Smooth and drinkable. Excellent lacing and carbonation. This one has really grown on me since I first tried it. Another great beer from Maine!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Bissell Brothers in Portland, ME.

This one pours a super hazed deep yellow/orange, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like like intense juicy hoppiness, dank marijuana, pine, orange, grapefruit, and mango.

This is really wonderful. It's definitely got an interesting hop character to it, that makes it really dank while also being super, super juicy- orange, grapefruit, and mango, with cut grass, pine, and marijuana. I don't get a whole lot of malt character.

This has a medium body to it, slightly creamy, with a good level of carbonation.

This is an absolutely great IPA and a near perfect example of the controversial NE IPA style.

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Photo of RDDR1979
4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: ghostly golden yellow, I swear I saw smoke inside my glass

S: powerful citrus, light pine

T: fine balance of delicious bitterness with clean finish

M: surprising robustness

O: My new favorite. Look out Pliney & Topper, Maine has answered! Delicious in a 16 oz. can OR on draft around town if you can find it. I recommend getting a 1/4 keg and enjoying at home.

I think the quality of the draft beer has improved since their unveiling in December, seemed to have tweaked the carbonation or something.

I would keep an eye on this brewery, I expect great things to come.


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Photo of Buhz_Bee
4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lighter in color than average, carbonation bordered on fizzy - lacey beyond compare though. Dynamite smell - grapefruit from out of this world. ABV was somewhat deceptive, drinks like a session IPA, but hits like a freight train.

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Photo of CommonSense
4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Canned 10 days ago.

Pours a deep yellow straw. Looks like a fruit juice. Hello New England IPA.

Aroma coming at me from every direction. Smells like a fresh concoction of tropics and hops. Picking up a little wheat. A wondrous mixture of goodness.

Simply delicious. This unique IPA has a light malt profile with plenty of tropical fruit flavor. Citrus on every layer. Ends with a bitter resin. One of the most drinkable IPAs you will ever taste.

Medium carbonation fits the bill well. Dry and to the point.

Overall, this beer is one of a kind. At the bottom of the can you will find yeast and sediment adding to the aroma. It's all part of the magic that Bissell Bros produces. If you're in Maine, you need to seek out Maine Beer Co and BB. Scratch that, If you're an IPA drinker, you need to seek out MBC and BB.

For those that want this beer cleaned up.... get over it. The Substance is perfect in its own way. It has been crafted to what it was supposed to be. A hazy, dirty, glorious mixture of flavorful hops with a hint of wheat and oat backbone.

The "bros" rating this at an 80? Ouch. Proves that beer is as much preference as music is.


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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look - Lemonade/grapefruit juice type color. Completely hazed. Just how I like'em
Smell - Pineapple, dank, some mangos, grapefruit
Taste - Dank/weed, grapefruit, citrus, hints of tropical fruits
Feel - Nice mouthfeel for 6.5%, soft/subtle bitterness that falls off the palate, crushable

Overall - Everything about this beer is awesome. Seek it out whenever/however you can.

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Photo of digboy
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16 oz can - no date on can but picked up at the brewery on 3/12/17

Pours a deeply hazy orange/pineapple juice blend color with over 1 finger head. Retention is lacy in rings.

Aroma is guava with citrus and a little breadiness. Strong but not overwhelming.

Taste is sweet with orange and grapefruit notes, possibly a bit of blueberry (so fitting for Maine). Just the right amount of scaled back bitterness over a low-malt. Just a smooth flavor persists to the end - no odd aftertastes.

Feel is creamy with low-stickiness. Very turbid as it hits the tongue, so a little buzz to it which is great.

Overall - man this is a great NE IPA. Closest thing in Maine to Trillium's standards. I had a few before this one but I don't remember it being this good, so maybe it has improved a bit over time. Right now this is a superior beer worthy of high marks.

Maybe the Bros should try this again because it is way better than the 82 rating they gave it. Or maybe they just don't appreciate the NE style IPA as much as some of us :)

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Photo of mickyge
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours cloudy orange and thin head. Smells piney and resiny and some sort of tropical fruit. Crisp mouthfeel slight bite and drys out at the finish. This is a really nicely balanced ale

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Photo of MA_hops
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is a real treat!
A: Hazy/cloudy golden straw in color with a thick white foamy head.
S: Dank/sticky hops, lemon citrus, oats.
T: Similar to nose, lemon/orange citrus pops out along with a slightly bitter and hoppy/dank finish.
M: Medium carbonation, dry, slightly bitter finish. Very Trillium esque!
O: Another dry/juicy New England IPA!! Bravo!!

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Photo of mjstacker
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a 6 day old can into a tulip glass. Amazed by the presentation. Massive white frothy head over a super light copper-ish colored ale, thick lacing all the way down. Smells of Pine, hints of citrus and melon. Tastes of delicious hoppy, dare I say, "Heady-like" goodness. Not super fruity nor spicy, kind-of a blend of the two. Super smooth, tiny-bubble kind of carbonation. Finishes easy and crisp. This is an amazing beer from a company that i'm so excited about. Hopefully they continue to push out beer as good as this. Cheers.

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Photo of Nachojon
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very very solid beer. Haze, of the deep scale with hues of gold to yellow. Mellow but pleasant aroma. Bigger in the flavor department with smooth orange and melon up front to more of a bitter grapefruit finish.

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Photo of agreenman19
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L - pale cloudy satsuma orange. Watered down OJ. Course frothy head that quickly simmers down. Nice lacing!

S - sticky grapefruit rind tartness. Bready and spicy. Juicy orange and pineapple.

T - hoppy grapefruit and pine. Packs a forceful bitter punch. Zesty is a word that comes to mind. Lemon, lime. Has a pungent acidity. Sourdough. Juicy, but drying at the same time.

F - light and creamy. Has a soft forgiving mouthfeel, considering the hoppy assault that precedes it.

O - great beer! I prefer the juiciness of Swish, but this is a crisp, refreshing, twangy brew that craves attention.

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Photo of kgammell1
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Man, I got 12 cans from the brewery and after each one gets better and better. First few were almost too fresh but a week later they are on point.

Super dank, soft and velvety pine, juicy peach and mango. Herbaceous notes for sure. Taste is not as juicy though but more spivey and herbaceous. Mouthfeel is crazy creamy and soft. Excellent.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a tallboy into a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy, opaque, yellow-orange coloring, with a fluffy, bubbly, clingy, tall, white head. Aromas of bright orange rind, subtle grapefruit, lemon zest, and a subtle caramel backbone. Very juicy, with a balance nose of pine and dried grass. Flavors are very juicy and sweet forward, heavy on lemon zest and dried grass. Wow! Super juicy and insanely balanced. Solid grapefruit and subtle tropical fruit notes in there, too, with subtle pine tassel characteristics, as well. Smooth, light body that supports the overall juiciness perfectly. The aftertaste is more lemon heavy citrus and tropical sweetness, again with a subtle grassy and piney component. The dank and resinous pine notes build as you drink, too. Solid sweet and bitter linger past the dry, slightly acidic finish. Great beer!

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Photo of mmorris15
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a super hazy bright orange with a lingering head. Smell is tropical fruit, citrus, pine dankness, and bread dough. Taste is basically all hop flavor with the malt serving as a backbone for showcasing the dank hops. Super juicy citrus and tropical fruits, with a strong dank presence on the finish. Dry finish, as well. Feel is smooth and carbonation is about just right. Overall, awesome stuff.

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The Substance from Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
4.27 out of 5 based on 1,373 ratings.
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