Hopside Down India Style Pale Lager | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

BA SCORE
83
good
560 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good
Read the review
Hopside Down India Style Pale LagerHopside Down India Style Pale Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States
widmer.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
560
Reviews:
99
Avg:
3.69
pDev:
10.3%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
61
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 560 |  Reviews: 99
Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 5/9/13.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and some perfume-like aromas. Taste is much the same with grapefruit and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with an interesting mix of citrus and perfume-like hop aromas that makes the smell slightly better than the taste in my opinion.

 610 characters

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Knapp85
3.64/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of biboergosum
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
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 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.

C+

 4,782 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of LXIXME
3.86/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Medium sized white head just kind of sits above a clear super rich and bright golden colored beer.

Big citrus/piney hops aroma with maybe a bit of grassiness sneaking in there.

Pine, grassy, and light citrus hops styles in the taste but quite pale in comparison to the aroma.

Drying aftertaste with a bit of the piney hops remaining behind with this medium bodied beer.

Decent but a little to light in taste, if the taste had been anything like the aroma, all I could say would be, I'll have another and another and another.

 528 characters

Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of mothman
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of chinchill
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with a bottling date of May 2013: nice and fresh.

A: Pours very clear, dark gold-amber color, with what looks like rather aggressive carbonation. The white head is moderate in size with good retention and fine lacing. .

S: Hoppy. Grassy and herbal with, I think, some Saaz hops and a good bit of citrus.

T: Sweet bready malt up front, with more complexity and fruitiness than expected. Hints of pineapple, orange, tangerine and lime. Mildly bitter finish and aftertaste.

M: Light+ body; acceptably high carbonation; very crisp and clean finish.

O: Certainly one of the best IPLs I've tried, but then there haven't been many. Nonetheless, this easy drinking and refreshing beer is recommended for those seeking something like an APA. Also may serve as a major upgrade from a macro-brewed lager.

 814 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.17/5  rDev +13%
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.

 1,314 characters

Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Brewed on April 7th 2013.Poured into a pokal clear light to medium golden with a great looking two finger bone white head that clung to the glass like glue,it settled into a moon surface-looking mass after quite awhile.A mix of toasted bread,wet graininess,and grassy/spicy hops,a nice mix with all coming together really well.Flavors of bread dough and mild honey upfront with a nice toasted crispness midway that melds into a "green" spicy/herbal hoppy finish.I gotta say I really liked this beer,Widmer did themselves proud on this hybrid beer wich to me is alot like a uber hopped spring bock.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.81/5  rDev +3.3%
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 dbrauneis
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a relatively clear medium golden apricot in color with moderate to heavy amounts of gentle visible carbonation raising in streams from the bottom of the glass and some orange highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to couple of small patches of thick film with a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass.

S: Light to moderate aromas of bready malts and toasted malts with moderate aromas of grassy, spicy, and herbal hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of bready and toasted grain malts that have a light amount of sweetness to them (honey/brown sugar). There is a moderate amount of hop flavors - grassy, spicy, and herbal in descending order of strength. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness which fades kind of quickly but a light hint of the bitterness lingers on.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Found this one to be pretty enjoyable with really well hidden alcohol - this India Pale Lager hybrid style is becoming more popular recently and this is probably one of the better versions that I have come across. Easy to drink and one I could easily have a couple during a session - enough complexity /interest to keep me from getting bored with it but not a palate wrecker.

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Hopside Down India Style Pale Lager from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
3.69 out of 5 based on 560 ratings.
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