Hopside Down India Style Pale Lager | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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Hopside Down India Style Pale LagerHopside Down India Style Pale Lager
Hopside Down India Style Pale LagerHopside Down India Style Pale Lager

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 561
Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours transparent slightly golden mostly yellow and leaves the same colored body, leaves a one finger white foamy head that quickly dies within a half a minute, barely any lacing shows any presence, but what there is clings slightly in rings; the aroma has citrusy hops, just a little bit of malt, and a bit of spiciness coming through, the flavor is slightly sweet, citrusy, spicy; long lasting spicy aftertaste, quick dry finish; its pretty easy on the palate; overall, good American Pale Lager that I would have again.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle - c'mon, add IPL to the database here, already! Also, nice to see Widmer's regular stuff finally make it up here to Alberta.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium golden yellow colour, with two chubby fingers of puffy, rocky, and mildly bubbly off-white head, which leaves a bit of sudsy continental drift lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of bready and doughy caramel malt, muddled domestic citrus, a twinge of earthy yeast, and testy leafy, weedy, and piney green hop bitters. The taste is grainy and lightly toasted caramel malt, orange and lemon zest, more down-low yeastiness, a minor sense of metallic alcohol unchecked, and some further leafy, grassy, and wet piney hoppiness.

The carbonation is pretty low-key in its at times barely palpable frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and mostly smooth, with a small airy creaminess batting away the doubting Thomas hoppy interlopers. It finishes well off-dry, as the sweetness of the inherent malt, coupled with the varied lingering fruitiness, wins the day.

Overall, a pleasant enough tipple, one that seems very much like an IPA, except for that particular lager yeast character that stands out like a sore thumb. Easy to drink, with the elevated booze quotient really of no concern - I could see killing a (much cheaper than it is around here) sixer of these while camping outside of Portland, fo sho.

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Photo of Suds
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a clear golden colored brew...the head is thin, white, but leaves a nice lace. The aroma is faint, but grainy, and backed with earthy hops. Full of flavor...balanced, if not slightly dry, clean, and with a woody and spicy hop bitterness. Medium in body. Nice.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. "Hopside Down IPL"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, marked "DEC 02 15"... I'm assuming that was a bottled-on date

Stream of conscience: Nice looking beer. Mostly clear. Golden. Long lasting head of white. Very nice lacing at the outset. Aroma is quite hoppy: pine/herbal, grassy, tropical/citrusy, floral. Some pilsner malt comes through clearly. The flavor follows. --- It's an interesting India Pale Lager in that it comes off as a pilsner that's been hopped with Pacific northwest hops rather than just an IPA that's been made with lager yeast. It's balanced, teetering between malt and bitterness, but with bitterness at its center and acting as its anchor. I wasn't really expecting much from this because I've had so many other IPLs that don't really deliver the goods completely, or perhaps simply rely too much on the hops which makes it another beast altogether (who cares if it's a lager at that point?), but this is quite nice. On the other hand, it reminds me of Victory's Prima Pils, so it's not completely original. Still, I'd go for this. It's not the kind of beer that you slug back, or one that simply disappears from your glass because you're nipping at it without notice, no, this one demands your attention - you simply have to take notice of both the malt and the hops.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden color with white head. Light pine and citrus with some malty notes on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with light bread and light fruit notes. Average.

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Photo of J_Chavez15
4.14/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Taste like any other IPA. I pick up the Citrus, Malt, and the Hops. Light to medium body. It is crisp and refreshing. Really good beer. Would drink again.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Clear golden yellow with larger flecks sinking to the bottom, smaller flecks floating throughout, and a fine cloudiness clinging to underside of the delicate, dissipating, whitish cap of bubbles. Depending on how you pour, some of the dregs may end up resting atop the head. Hops smell both piney and citrusy, accompanied by just noticeable pasta/cracker like pale malt aroma. It's a little maltier on the tongue, especially toward the back where crackers meld with the pepper and spice of the hops. It's still piney, herbal, rindy, dank even, but really only citrusy on the nose. Medium bodied, slightly watery. Smooth for the level of carbonation, and plenty crisp. A great choice for the Summer.

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Photo of sabinelr
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I decided to try this today. I supposed I would find some hoppy version of standard beer, but I am very happy to report that this is an excellent brew with pleasant hoppiness and a soft happy buzz. I could drink this all day until they take me away.

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Photo of vladdswrath
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light gold with nicely lacing head and a faint floral aroma. Taste is mostly cereal and bitterness, which I suppose is to be expected from a lager, even if it has been India-paled, whatever that means. I don't love it, but I'm an ale guy and I think this does taste better than most lagers I've run into, at least since I started paying attention to what I'm drinking...

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Photo of dmgeng
3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was just raiding my local liquor stores pick'em singles and grabbed this one without a lot of expectations.

A - Clear pale orange color with course white head. Minimal lacing.

S - Slight hops in the nose. Some citrus, light pine, and some malt.

T - Has the same flavor as it smells with some NW hops and the malt. Very balanced definitely a run of the mill pale ale type beer. Not too much hop flavor but a crisp lighter body would make this good for a hot day.

M - Lighter mouth-feel. Has some light bitterness but cleaner than most IPAs. Low-medium carbonation.

Overall, a fine IPL but I wish there were more hops and more flavor overall but it was good. Not bad but I wouldn't go seeking it out again. I do like the crispness and more balanced flavor of the lager but again not as hoppy as it should be.

Glass- shaker pint

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Photo of Hop_hound77
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Similar to what Sierra Nevada tried with their Beer Camp Hoppy Lager and what Pyramid did with their IPL, I guess I crave the malt backing that a normal IPA provides to counter the bitter hops. Lots of grapefruit and citrus but no real malt presence. I think I'll just steer clear of this style- it's not for me.

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Photo of takusan1000
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I know we are supposed to rate beers according to style, but I still don't understand the point of IPLs when you have IPAs. They are all the rage, folks!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 3/13/2015 at Doherty’s Ale House, in Warwick, RI served in a tapered pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, fruity citrus, caramelized malts and lager yeast.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel and citrus. Then a strong breadiness comes in from lager yeast and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is there but subdued and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it’s a decent beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of CTHomer
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: crystal clear; gold colored; 1 finger ivory head that receded to a wispy cap; nice lacing;

S: hop forward; a nice mixture of floral, tropical fruit and pine;

T: earthy and a little metallic; the metallic profile lasts through the finish;

M: light to medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: the flavor is a little disappointing;

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.37/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It looks : very fluffy and quiet 2 finger head, leaving sticky webs of lacing on the glass. Color is mango-hazy-orange, 50% opacity.

It smells : pine, orange rind, pear, white grapefruit. maybe a faint whisp of banana.

It tastes : hop comes out front immediately with a sucker punch to the face, the hops are of citrus rinds and tree bark. The flavor basically trails to the end where it's slightly dry and abrasive. A little yeasty bread is mixed in there, but barely so. Very linear.

It feels : light bodied, alive with carbonation, ending dry.

Overall : if you're a fan of India lagers or ales, this is right up your alley. This is for sure a bitter and potent India style pale. On its own merit its a decent offering. Good for a taste but unfortunately overwhelming for me so I'm gonna drain the rest and save my workout calories for an old stand-by or two.

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden pour with minimal head—no lacing. Aroma of grass and biscuit. Flavor is semisweet, malty with a herbal bitterness. Very enjoyable up front, but a lingering dryness to the finish.

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Photo of Redneckwine
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle into tulip

Appearance - Golden orange and just a bit hazy. One finger head dissipates into wispy cap, some sticky lacing apparent.

Smell - Interesting nose of ripe pear and apple, fruity but very subtle. Slightly citrusy. Oddly sweet honey malt presence. Hint of chlorine/chemicals??? Weird, I'm sure my glass was very clean. This is vaguely reminiscent of perfumy laundry soap in the nose, but is not completely unpleasant.

Taste - Not a great deal going on in the taste department. Vaguely fruity hops up front, a little apple/pear, a little pine needle and citrus. Grainy, honeyed malts provide some syrupy sweetness.The faint chemical taste returns in the semi-dry finish with some moderately low bitterness.

Feel - Medium body, fairly slick, chewy - not very crisp for a lager. Carbonation, thankfully, is just barely lively and present enough to keep up.

Overall - Simply not a great beer: weak nose, fairly bland for an "India" style hoppy beer, dense body feel, and a very strange (but faint) chlorine-like off-note. Consumed within best by date, so freshness is not an issue. There's just not a lot good to say about this - one of the things you look for in a lager is a crisp, clean, and refreshing beer, and this one just doesn't really deliver. It's not the worst beer, but it sure ain't a great one. Very mediocre.

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Photo of JAFoley
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

A - Crystal clear light amber body with off-white head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Light apples and pears with some floral hops.

T - Starts sweet with cherries and caramel, followed by a dry finish of floral hops.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Sticky and a bit syrupy.

O - This was ok. The sweet flavors are a bit cloying and the mouthfeel is too sticky making it not very refreshing.

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Photo of Foyle
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a 1" fluffy white head which recedes quickly leaving moderate lacing. Color is clear light gold. Abundant streaming carbonation.
Aroma: hop oil dominates the aroma but there is some yeasty aroma and bread dough along with some fruity aroma.
Mouthfeel: mostly light and watery with an oily stickiness and a dry finish.
Flavor: bitter citrus hops combine with sweet barley malt and some raisin/plum flavor.
Overall: an interesting hybrid beer that truly tastes like you combined a lager with an IPA.

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Photo of theIPAman
3.34/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

As decent beer. Pale, straw color in the glass. Crisp, dry, and with noticeable carbonation. Some fruit notes, noticeably lemon, and pine. A hint of wheat, and a long, dry finish. Nothing too bold, or overly original here, but a drinkable IPL. Worth a try at $9 for the six.

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Photo of 8stringfan
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured straight down into a large tulip. One finger head that settles down in under two minutes into white froth on the surface of the beer with noticeable lacing. Appearance is clear deep gold. Nose is somewhat subdued and features sweet, light malt with hints of sweet toasted grains, light orange and apricot, subtle grassy notes, and florally hops. Taste is sweet up front with the bitterness of the hops hitting on the midpalate. The flavors are nicely arranged with bittersweet grapefruit dominating, though not completely overpowering, a very pleasant floral, light honey sweetness showing sweet orange peel. Mouthfeel is slightly slick and very light with moderate, pleasant carbonation. The finish, which is surprisingly thin and short, is dominated by the bitter grapefruit as well as a slightly fruity sweetness with hints of ripe honeydew, orange, and apricot. This is the first time I’ve had an India Pale Lager (IPL), and if they’re all like this, then I’m sold. As others have pointed out, you get a light, crisp beer that also features both the floral complexity of a hoppy IPA as well as a nice dose of bitter citrus. This is almost the definition of perfect, sessionable, warm weather beer, though the well-hidden abv of 6.7 could pack an unexpected wallop.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-golden color with a nice white head and good lacing

S-light bready malt, citrus, pine, little grassy

T-bready malt, grapefruit, pine, grass, mild to moderate bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp

O-nice hoppy lager, pretty solid flavor and easy drinking

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Photo of canucklehead
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Drank this in Maui and I must say that this is spot on for the style. Hoppy and yet clean as the style demands. Great nose and great finish on this beer. Would buy it quite a bit if it was available in BC. I can see this style becoming a common one just like DIPAs and IDAs.

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Photo of ColdWaffles
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a standard pint from a 12 oz.

Appearance: Looks good. Hue is that of apple juice. Head is off white, pretty strong hand leaves a nice, nice lining.

Smell: Not particularly strong from a bottle. Hints of grassy hops.

Taste: The initial taste is almost adjunct. It does have a nice grassy hop background. It reminds me of a halfway point between two of my favorite cheap locals, Philadelphia Brewing Company's Kenzinger and Troegs' Perpetual IPA. That said, the initial profile was worse than Straub's recent attempt at an IPL. Why hasn't Beer Advocate just made "American India Pale Lager" an option anyway?

Mouthfeel: Not quite a lager, not quite an ale (or IPA, I suppose).

I'd buy this on tap happily but it doesn't do anything I haven't seen before and it more reminds me of a session IPA than an IPL. The content makes it a tough session though. Not sure what this beer is aiming for, but I suppose that's why it is rotational. Not bad, but not impressive.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured chilled in shaker pint glasses chez buzzlitebeer

A: very clear medium copper color; head dissipates quickly; light lacing; ok carbonation
S: citrus, pine (just); clear hop aroma (not much malt)
T: very delicious, well-balanced IPL; clear finish that leaves some biscuit on the tongue; not super bready; salty, darker bittering hops are featured; the lager yeast comes through

This was a suprisingly lovely IPL--we didn't realize it was an IPA until inspecting the label closer

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Hopside Down India Style Pale Lager from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 561 ratings