Hopside Down India Style Pale Lager | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

98 Reviews
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Hopside Down India Style Pale LagerHopside Down India Style Pale Lager

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BradMacMullin on 03-27-2013

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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 556
Photo of Beaver13
2.4/5  rDev -35%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle. Pours clear gold with a small white head that quickly goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet starchy malts with some fruity hops.

The flavor is sweet vegetal malts with some harsh metallic bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, kind of a mess of sweetness and bitterness.

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Photo of turnerr79
2.44/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Being from the PNW, Widmer brews are usually in my regular rotation and I've had the privilege of sampling a wide gamut of their offerings, both store bought and on tap at the source. I was excited when this, the newest of the "rotator" series appeared in the local store.
I am quite disappointed by this, however. Hopside Down Reminds me of a decent home-brew a friend might bring to poker night, but not something I would consider a good craft beer.

Golden pour with a whisp of a white head that says hello then moves on.

Nose of a porcupine hops and sharp malt, not sweet, just kind of like old school BEER or generic lager.

The first sip confused me a bit. What was the maker going for? It was almost as if someone took the Widmer Nelson Imperial IPA and mixed it with a Budweiser. The floral/earthy hops teased my palate, but the finish was rough and a bit bitter, not in a good way, like an old nun smacking you with a yard stick.

I'd make up fun and creative adjectives to describe the largely uninspiring flavor profile of this beer, but I'll save you the BS. It's just a sub-par IPA.

The 6.7% ABV is really the only redeeming quality and why I'll finish the pack, maybe.

I would not recommend this Widmer offering.

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Photo of Juuroumaru
2.78/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a golden yellow with a small white head. You can see the micro bubbles being released.
S- Has a citrusy hop profile and is a little grassy.
T- Citrus and hops. Definately hop forward but not overpowering.
M- Good carbonation with a nice acidic tingle.
O- Not bad but there are definately better Ipas out there.

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Photo of JaredM
2.95/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

A: Clear, copper color with little to no head and not much carbonation either. It's alright, not the most delicious looking IPA that I've seen but it is a good cross between the look of a lager and the look of an IPA.

S: A true citrusy, grapefruit bomb. Smells really nice and the grapefruit is joined by a subtle floral aroma as well. Good stuff.

T: Eww not overly impressed. The alcohol in the beer is not masked at all and considering I've had beers with much higher ABV's who hide it, there's no reason they couldn't have masked it more than it is. Carbonation catches me by surprise considering there was little to none in the appearance. Just not a really good flavor at all. The hops don't really carry through to the taste.

M: Light mouthfeel and a pretty crisp beer. It would be pretty refreshing if it had the taste to back it up.

O: I always have high hopes for an IPA coming from the West Coast because of the long line of amazing IPAs that comes from that part of the country but this does not fall into that category.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3/5  rDev -18.7%
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 jploving
3.12/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Let me start off by saying this...I appreciate the idea of a hoppy lager-and I appreciate many of the beers the Widmer has produced-but this one falls a bit short.
When I opened up the bottle there was a big hit a earthy hop aroma----immediatley reminded me of Red Hook's Longhammer IPA.
As pour it I can see that the alcohol content and the body are not going to mesh to my personal preferance---a little bit thin. That may be due to the lager style, but I did not feel it held up to the hoppiness that was present in the taste.
I did like the fact that it kept the true lager appearance, which is why i gave it a better than average rating for appearance.
The hop flavors were more earthy than fruity-strong pine resin w/ sublte hints of grapefuit and grapefruit rind....seems to me we are missing some complexity.
I feel that this may be a beer developed for novice hopheads-young people that have started to appreciate hoppy beers but are still trying to learn balance-I hope that does not offend anyone-as I feel if i had discovered this beer 15 years ago, I would have loved it.
But now that I am a little older than i was back then...I say this beer is pretty average.
3 out of 5

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Photo of Redneckwine
3.13/5  rDev -15.2%
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 tubeyes
3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A clear bubbly yellow, finger of head but quickly left, pretty nice lace
S very fruity hops upfront, with some sweet caramel dripping behind on the end bit
T very hoppy and astringent, very crisp, but mild cleaner taste which is disappointing and off-putting
M mouth feel is excellent, well carbonated and easily drinkable, leaves a fruity hops aftertaste
O they accomplished what they wanted with gets the hops of an IPA combined with the crispness of a lager, but I wouldnt be jumping at the bit to buy a case any time soon. Had from bottle in sam adams glass.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a sixer of this because it was cheaper than Sam Adams Double Agent IPL and I was hoping for the same effect. Dark orange color, good suds. Aroma was some hops, bit of malt, boring. Alas, this is not as good. It does have a grassy hop flavor and it is definitely a lager but the alcohol was a bit much for me given the style. I'd go back to the Sam Adams offering every time.

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Photo of Hop_hound77
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
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 kojevergas
3.21/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Largely unimpressed with Widmer's offerings so far, but I'm hoping this one changes it all. I'm intrigued by the style - "India Style Pale Lager", but I do have to wonder why their "Rotator IPA Series" - a series purportedly intended for (the titular) IPAs - contains a pale lager. Standard widmer shenanigans, but I digress. Acquried earlier tonight as part of a "Best of the brothers" variety 12 pack box at my local Von's grocery store. I dig the label art - especially compared to Widmer's other offerings. 6.7% ABV confirmed. Bottled April 22 2013; this is what I get for buying beer at a grocery store...

Served cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger head of white colour. Nice soft complexion. Slight creaminess. Nice thickness. Pretty good (~4-5 minute) retention. Light even lacing as the head slowly recedes. Pretty average head for the style overall. Not unique or special, but I don't notice any overt flaws.

Body colour is a clear translucent pale yellow-copper. Healthy carbonation bubble count. Above average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Colour is expected and standard fare for the style

Looks pretty decent overall. Looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Wow. I'm greeted at once by a shockingly fresh and diverse hop profile; it's aggressive indeed, with evocative diverse floral/flowery notes (including dandelion), onion (some might suspect Amarillo was used), oily, citrusy zest with a bit of grapefruit, nectary hop character, and vague tropical fruits on the fringe. Rare to find an india pale lager this seemingly well hopped - especially coming from a slave macrobrewery like Widmer. Surprised at the apparent quality. Nice refreshing pale malts. Clean and shockingly fresh.

Not without its faults though. There's some underlying soapiness - indicative of too much time spent in primary. And the onion will turn off many.

Not getting any yeast character or alcohol from the aroma. Sweet/bitter balance seems like a mess based on the aroma, though I'm not getting any naked hop bitterness which bodes well. Nothing to do now but drink the bastard...

T/Mf: I'm greeted by the brief open with pale malts and floral hops. Once we hit the second act in comes the onion, light soap, and vague disappointing remnants of the diverse hop notes promised by the aroma. I was getting ready to really like this, too. A kiss of grapefruit and soap with light accompanying hop bitterness right on the finish - but luckily it doesn't linger into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel does get coarse and dry on the finish - departing the smoothness and wetness from the body - which some would argue helps encourage the next sip; I would argue it reduces the refreshing feel of the beer - the lager, not IPA aspect - and thereby negatively impacts drinkability.

No yeast or alcohol comes through.

Lightly oily, sure. Not enough for my tastes. Clean but not crisp. Thickness is a bit of a mess, with it feeling awkwardly too thick and simultaneously too thin depending on the point in the structure you're assessing. Typically overdone carbonation. Does the texture suit the flavour profile? Not really that well, no. Coarseness is evident more and more as it warms - again a departure from the core lager vibe the beer is going for.

Methinks they delved a bit too deep into the clear IPA influences on this beer when crafting the flavour profile. As a result, it's a bit of a mess and never comes off quite right in terms of balance - regarding that of both structure and flavor. It's complicated where efficient simplicity should reign, to its detriment. No subtlety at all here. A bit heavy handed perhaps.

But I don't mean to criticize too much. There's ambition here, and obvious craft. I applaud the experimentation. Some of the hop choices weren't ideal, but there's an effort to hide the hop bitterness with a clean pale malt backbone. I like the intentions there, but it's overhopped from the start.

Dr: It does feel like an attempt to cash in on the trend of craft beer towards IPAs. It tries to have its cake and eat it too, attempting (unsuccessfully) to marry the easy drinkability of a crisp lager with the varied flavour of an American IPA. Unfortunately for the consumer, it's a marriage that ends in divorce (please forgive this awful awful analogy). It's not undrinkable, and I can see where it's found a market among other reviewers on the site. The price point is good for what it is; I do not regret my purchase. This may be the most ambitious and inventive beer I've had from Widmer - even if it is not the best one. I'd encourage others to try it for that very reason. By no means a great - or necessarily even a good beer - but damnit they tried.


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Photo of HardTarget
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: Bright yellow glass holds a quarter finger of white foam that leaves ropy lace.

Smell: Hops, but a bit earthy, a bit dusty, with some orange rind coming through.

Taste: A very lager like taste, bready, yeasty, with a slight tonic water back. Tastes a bit like a macro produced beer, with hops added. That's to say the base beer is clean, no flaws, but pretty boring really. The hops give some flavor and keep it interesting, but my socks are firmly on.

Mouthfeel: A bit fizzy, light body, oily finish that lasts a bit.

Overall: An IPL. I don't like them as much as IPAs. I'm sure it's possible to make one I'll like, but I haven't found one yet. This one is middle of the road; nothing wrong, not much to love. The hops are loud and forward, but the blend is a bit bitter and earthy. Some dried orange taste comes close to fruity, but almost cloved orange. Big punch for the abv, worth a shot but I'll pass on a 6er.

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Photo of JAFoley
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

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 ColdWaffles
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
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 Brianedonovan
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Overall, a nice little hoppy lager, nothing worth writing poetry over, but it'll do for a clean hop fix."(<~~~~perfect description)

Agreed! . .

But I must write more...
It has hops. Not very ccomplex taste. Pretty straight forward ipa.
Good to drink if your "thirsty" not looking to "enjoy"

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Photo of RobbDogg
3.34/5  rDev -9.5%
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 The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
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 beertunes
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured an attractive bright yellow-gold color with about 1/4 inch of white head that had moderate retention and decent lacing.

The aroma had a bright citrus and floral hop scent over a nice grainy malt base. The taste was pretty similar, a solid grain foundation, floral and citrus hops all over the tongue, and a lingering citrus finish.

The body was smooth and even, although perhaps just a bit too thick and sticky, and had a nice dry finish. Drinkability was good, I could see a few of these disappearing too easily at a cookout. Overall, a nicely enjoyable brew, not one that'll make the Uber beer nerds wet themselves, but one that;s certainly worth throwing a sixer of in the fridge or cooler.

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Photo of vladdswrath
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
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 pkalix
3.42/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

pours a pale yellow. very thin lace on the sides. very thin-looking....
very thin mouthfeel. very thin aroma of . . . . . ? gawd this is almost a commercial brew....
taste is thin. almost pilsner-y. for an IPA ? ? ? ? idunno. easy going down, for sure. very easy. not very "stylish". or "authentic". I suppose I could drink several of these in a row, and for the abv, that would be a good thing. but it calls itself an IPA.... I don't think so.... date on side is Oct 13... could it be old?

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Photo of BB1313
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a bright golden with a slight haze; fluffy white head that slowly fades and leaves great lacing and retention. The aromas have alot of malts and seem pretty bready. Lots of grass too. The hops seem to take a backseat in the aromas, but they come through in the flavors. Tastes pretty bitter. More grass and it's extremely earthy. Lots of pine needles and it has extremely subtle hints of grapefruit. There's a little bit of caramel malts in the flavors, but the hops seem to take over. Flavors are extremely sharp, crisp, and refreshing. Finishes dry. At times I forget I'm even drinking a lager. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied; feels light with very active prickly carbonation. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

This is a pretty solid beer. Not bad at all.

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Photo of takusan1000
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
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 BucannonXC5
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Lake Placid Pub & Brewery pint glass
From: Vons in Montecito (Santa Barbara), Calif.
Price: $12.88 for a variety 12-pack (w/ Vons card)
Purchased: July 4, 2013
Consumed: July 4, 2013
Misc.: Born on April 22, 2013

Poured a light caramel amber color with 4-5 fingers of frothy off-white head. Lots of foam. Very good thick foamy lacing along the sides. Good retention on the top.

Smelled Cascade hops with lime, pine, lemon and some spices coming through. Also lemon juice, lemon zest, soap and floral notes. Not quite as good as it could be though.

Tasted better than the smell, but still not great. Could taste the alcohol immediately, followed by floral hops, Cascade hops, lime, caramel, honey and soapy pine.

Light body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Average carbonation. Bitter refreshing finish.

A bit disappointed when comparing it to their other seasonal IPA’s. Good beer for the summer I suppose.

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Photo of dmgeng
3.52/5  rDev -4.6%
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 Aleks_P
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured from bottle, light golden color with fizzy thin white head. Transparent, looks like a light beer.

Smell: I can definitely detect the hops but also a type of caramelly syrupy sweetness. Not sure what to expect with the taste.

Taste: No particularly strong flavors. The hops are detectable but not overpowering or particularly bitter, and has some sweet notes that I'm having a hard time articulating. Nothing really stays with me in terms of aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very light and vibrant, and smooth (not dry). The carbonation works well with the overall lightness of the beer.

Overall: Good beer overall, nothing spectacular but pleasant to drink as none of the flavors are particularly overpowering and has a light crisp mouthfeel. This is what I'd imagine an IPA would taste like if it came as a light beer. You'd never know this thing was almost 7% ABV. I enjoyed this, definitely something you could have 2-3 of if the ABV wasn't so heavy. Summer beer in my opinion.

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Hopside Down India Style Pale Lager from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
3.69 out of 5 based on 556 ratings.
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