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
Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 561
Photo of JayQue
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

An India Pale Lager? I like it. Nice looking beer. Crystal clear, dark gold, good size white head that fades within a minute or two. Light bands of lacing on the glass. Good aroma of piney and floral hops.

Taste is like a hoppy APA or a fairly light IPA. A good hops blast but contained in a light crisp lager. I'm surprised the abv is so high. If this was around 5%, it would be a classic swilling beer. Even so, I would belt back a few of these. Not as filling as a Torpedo or Celebration Ale.

A nice take on hoppy beers. Worth a try. I could see this as a good summertime staple.

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Photo of pkalix
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
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 Brenden
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A slightly clouded medium orange color, the yellow-tinted head that develops on this so-called IPL is compact, maybe about half a finger, and denser than it looks. Retention is good, and moderate deposits of spotting and patching cling to the glass.
Citrus zest is up front, then it's more grassy with a floral and perfume bouquet. A bit of malt give bread and toast for balance, and there's a nice spiciness to the hops to add another layer. While not as strong as it could be, this aroma shows potential.
The flavor follows suit but with a bit more pith. It's just as citrusy and grassy, and the malts contribute the breadiness, but it builds up a bit of briny flavor as it goes. All in all, it works together well, and it's hoppy with good balance, but the almost salty note in there takes it down a little.
The medium body leans a bit light. It's got a nice crispness and is pretty clean, but not as clean as the bottle boasts.

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Photo of Beldark
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Sixer obtained from, of all places, Stop and Shop.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Smith pint glass.

A: Honey-straw color. Paler than most pale ales, but a touch more color than a pils. Moderate, bright head; okay lacing. Perfectly clear.

S: Surprising for the style and appearance. Lightly floral hops; lemongrass, kitchen herbs, light bready malt.

T: Just what one would infer from an "India pale lager." Hop profile very reminiscent of Cascade - fruity & floral, but not like Citra or the Oceanic varieties. A nice, sessionable bitterness. On the tail, more cereal grains and a hint of malty sweetness.

M: Light and thin, as with a pils. At first, an odd contrast with the flavor, until it grows on you. A slight lingering thickness from the hoppy aspect.

O: This was my first IPL (before the purchase, I was not even familiar with the style), and so I did not know what to expect, nor did I have a frame of reference for this tasting. It turned out to be exactly what I would think it would be based on the name of the style - the appearance and mouthfeel of a lighter lager with the pleasant hop profile of an APA. Since I'm getting too old to knock back 4-6 IPAs or even pale ales, this is a wonderfully sessionable beer. I would definitely recommend this to someone who likes hop profile but wants something nice and easy. I'll definitely be going back for more.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Hopside Down is a decent IPA from Widmer. There is nothing that separates itself from other westcoast IPAs....but it is a decent and sessionable offering. The scent is mild with fresh hop that provides hints of pine and citrus. The taste is a decent balance between bitter hops and a sweet malt. The bitterness starts and then the sweetness takes over. The mouthfeel is medium in body....with good carbonation. Overall this is a solid beer and a 6 or 12 would be in order.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On-tap @ Bardenay, Boise. Served in a pint shaker.

A: Clear pale with a frothy white head and some lace.

S: Bready malts/grains and yeast, notes of lemon and citrus and a touch of piney hops, crisp lager nose with a hoppy undertone.

T: More of the same, balanced grain and yeast and bread combined with citrus and orange/lemon peel, maybe some grapefruit and pine as well, slightly flowery, crisp biscuity finish, low bitterness.

MF: Smooth, crisp lighter body.

O: Could have been hopped more in my opinion. Not a bad pale lager/India pale lager, but nothing remarkable.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.16/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz snifter, bottled 10/4/13. Pours a dark yellow, with a one inch white head that leaves behind plenty of lacing. Smell is crisp pine, grapefruit, ginger, lemon, and pear. Taste is really crisp, lot of grapefruit and pine along with other tropical flavors. Body is maybe medium, lots of carbonation, a little dry, and easy drinking,will look for this in the summer. This is very good, I like the style and The Widmer Bros always make solid beers.

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Photo of JHS123
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Smells like an IPA but drinks like a lager. Aroma floral with some yeast/bready qualities maybe a little orange or other citrus lightly present. Appearance is clear golden yellow lacing present throughout with a nice creamy head that stays throughout. Taste is crisp with a slightly salty bitterness that is pine and roasted malts and pepper. Great balance and it finishes peppery but not bitter. Lager like finish with hops everywhere. This is almost a sessionable IPA/IPL from Widmer’s rotator series. Its exceptional medium to light body with good carbonation and a long finish. Its what I expect from the series which has featured amazing others including O’Ryely and Falconers IPA’s. Its a perfect IPA choice for someone who normally doesn’t like IPA’s.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
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 SPThirtyThree
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

The name makes sense if the hopside is the side of the bottle where the hop sediment collects.

Pours bright yellow with a bubbly, lumpy, 2-finger head that quickly starts to melt but grasps and clings to the glass as the big bubbles collapse. Thin strings of bubbles race up from knicks in the glass.

The nose is a grainy sweet malt riding atop a big, lemony, pine-resin hop. Moderate sourdough yeast spiciness and hint of butterscotch. Sweet and juicy, some grapefruit. As much as I avoid comparison to other beers, the nose seems nearly identical to Chainbreaker.

Since it's a lager, I was expecting it to have the typical "lager" characteristics: less malt and a smaller mouthfeel, offset by a sharper carbonation, with a dry crispness. I was wrong, though, Hopside Down is bigger and more flavorful than I'd expected.

The taste is a huge, sharp bite of juniper hops, with a little biscuit and honey and more lemon in the finish. Hop oils coat my tongue, and this beer is big enough that I can feel the warmth in my belly towards the bottom of the glass.

The mouthfeel is spice and the juniper astringency, with a bit of heat lingering through the finish.

Drinkability is low - I would definitely recommend this beer to anyone craving hops, as it's really interesting, but I would never want two of these in a row. Nonetheless, pretty clean and good-tasting start to finish, and overall, an interesting, very hop-forward take on the hoppy lager trend.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Stanford's in Tanasbourne.

A clear yellow with a dense, white head with decent retention and lacing, this is a solid IPL. The nose is full of hops, bright, citrusy, mildly rind-like and moderately pith-like. Clean, snappy and refreshing, this is solid. A touch of sweetness is present. The palate opens with a moderate bitterness, rather resiny with pine and citrus. This is followed with a rather clean hop flavor - grapefruit, pine, some orange - with no real grassy flavors. The mid-palate has a little bit of caramel, but what is striking is the mineral character on the finish that works really nicely with the snappy, resiny hops. Medium-light in body and moderately carbonated, this feels decent on the palate and has a nice, hoppy finish. Alcohol is a lot higher than it needs to be (IMO) but otherwise, this is a winner.

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Photo of CHickman
4.09/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy yellow gold color with a 1 finger foamy white head that was full of bubbles and faded slowly, leaving very good foamy lacing and rings as it went down.

Smells of malt, citrus hops, lemon zest, biscuit, grass, piney hops, grains, light spices or herbs; pretty basic nose that’s pretty much perfectly balanced: it’s half hop and half malt and smells good overall.

Tastes like it smells with malt, citrus hops, lemon, orange peel, light grapefruit, biscuit, grass, piney hops, roasted grains, light spices like pepper, herbs like tea leaf, wheat bread and rye (or what seems like rye to me). This is an interesting beer as it has a lot of hops spices but they just peek through and wash down with the grainy/malty flavors; the balance is nice and there is no sign of ABV so this flows down really easy.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth, with an almost buttery feel in part to the very light body and mild carbonation; the finish is on the sweet side with spicy notes and a mild bitterness that trails off almost clean with a bready sweetness lingering. Finish is basically a jacked up lager on hop steroids.

India Style Pale Lager; quite a handle that sums up how this beer tastes and drinks. A very tasty hybrid that is refreshing and easy to drink and one I would consume on a regular basis. I liked this a lot and recommend trying it.

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Photo of stakem
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a snifter. The brew appears a clear golden copper color with a rich white froth 2 fingers solid that fades down with soapy patches on the glass. The look for this brew is quite nice.

The aroma is rindy and zesty with hops like oranges and pith/pulp. A bit of caramel malt and hints of sulfur and cheese quality as it warms up.

The taste is quite zesty with orange-like citrus mixed with some caramel malt. A little rindy and herbal with hops. Some sulfur aspects are somewhat cheesy into the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is crisp, refreshing and very easy drinking. Worth having a go at for sure.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a finger of head on a clear, light straw colored body.
The aroma is a sharp pine and lemon. Upfront and good.
The taste has moderate pine bitterness with a clean malt finish.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
It's a great mixture of lager and IPA. Nicely hopped with a clear body and a clean finish.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of Brianedonovan
3.33/5  rDev -10%
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 TMoney2591
3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Which side is the hopside? Is it the same as turning something topwise? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear brass topped by a bit more than a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises mixed greens, mild pine resin, and a soft caress of cereal grains (I'm leaning toward clean oatmeal here). The taste brings in more of the same, with the pine a bit sharper and the grains coming across more like a light bit of cornbread. The body straddles the border between hefty light and light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a nice little hoppy lager, nothing worth writing poetry over, but it'll do for a clean hop fix.

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Photo of 11JON11MO
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Beautiful Golden amber
Smell - Nice mild citrus
Taste - nice mellow grapefruit/citrus
Mouth feel - I had thought it would not deaden the taste buds but it did a little very much like an IPA
Overall - I enjoyed this beer very much. Sort of like a light taste IPA, Even my wife said she could drink it unlike most IPA's where she nearly spits it on me.

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Photo of arizcards
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single in mid-August from Total Wine for $1.49. Bottled on 3-27-13.

Beer poured golden with a nice white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is floral with some citrus.

Taste is grapefruit and pine which leave a bitterness lingering.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Not overly refreshing not overly smooth.

Overall this is a decent ipa. The lager yeast does not lend additional crispness than what a normal bitter ale does. Worthy of a try.

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Photo of BB1313
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
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 ONUMello
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle, bottled on 6/20/13, into a pils glass
A: Pours a solid orange color with a one-finger head that lingers
S: A hint of hops & malt but really nothing going on here
T: Clean with crisp but light hops up front followed by a lightly malted body & some herbs on the finish
M: Light-bodied, crisp & refreshing
O: Interesting style, I can't say I've ever seen something advertised as an India-style lager before. This keeps true to the style with its lightness & pure flavors, even so it could use a bit more complexity

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Photo of Aaron_Ramson
4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not sure how different a IPL is from an IPA, but this is a very tasty and hoppy brew. Big citrus and herb nose; slightly piney and resiny, with a malted cereal smell, like cream of wheat. Taste follows the nose with a very caramel, toasted flavor coming in after the initial hop charge. Not as bitter a backbone as other IPAs's (even though this is not an IPA), and slightly drier than one would expect considering the strong caramel flavors. The lager yeast gives this beer a clean and dry finish that is very appealing, leaving only the flavor of citrus hops and malty bread to linger. Not the bitter hop bomb that most drinkers seem to want, but still a drinkable and everyday hop heads beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.84/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It has been two horrific days in a row and at some point in the day, my thoughts turned to all of that nice beer awaiting me at home. Who needs a wife, a girlfriend or a pet or any combination of those when you have beer?

From the bottle: "We're turingin things deliciously upside down with an aggressively hopped cold-fermented brew that brings together the clean crisp finish of a lager with the hoppy aroma and character of an IPA. Prost! to turning convention on its head. [undersigned] Kurt [&] Rob".; "Rotator IPA Series Our Rotating Collection of Uncommonly Great IPAs".

Man, I was anxious! I popped the cap, got an aggro pour going and I was off to the races, baby! Two dense, foamy fingers of French Vanilla-colored head with great retention and I had to wait. It looked like the top of an ice cream cone before it began to fall. Color was a deep, golden-yellow with NE-plus quality clarity, allowing me to see into the future. I will be drinking beer! SRM = 5 to 6 and the triumvirate of Croesus, Mammon and King Midas were all slathering. Not today, boys. Nose smelled like the interior of a pine forest. This is a lager?!? What hath man wrought? Mouthfeel was big, full and creamy, soft as well and the pine hops were like everything of Baby Bear's - just right. Man, I wonder how long they had to tweak this recipe becuase it could have easily been overpowered by the hops. One long draught later and sticky lacing was already beginning to appear. Finish was, indeed, clean and crisp with a lingering taste of hops. Gimme more!

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Photo of tubeyes
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
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 LiquidAmber
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber with a thin white head that persists as a thick ring around the glass. Aroma of estery orange family juice, banana and light tropical fruit, light grassy hops, very refreshing fruit smell. Flavor follows with sweet bready malt, nicely mixed citrus and stone fruit juices and some suprisingly robust citrus hops in the flavor and finish. Good balance. Medium bodied with some creaminess. A nice lager that could pass as a low key American IPA, which probably would be a better style designation for it, although it would be in tougher competition. Much better than I expected and fun to drink. I will definitely buy this again when I want a nice malty IPA style but not looking for a hop bomb.

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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