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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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 561
Photo of LXIXME
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of Bockrules
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a slightly darker gold than your average lager, although perfect clarity is retained to showcase tons of tiny bubbles streaming to the slightly rocky, two-finger, off-white head. Head stays intact all the way down the glass, leaves behind a nice wall of lacing on the lower half of the glass.

S - As advertised, the nose upon opening the bottle is reminiscent of an all-malt lager treated to a generous on PNW hops.

T - Strong hop presence upfront, similar to an IPA. The body shows lots of pine and grapefruit hop notes with the light malt backbone trying unsuccessfully to keep up. Surprisingly, the hop tones all but shut off as the beer passes over the back of the tongue transitioning to a crisp lager like finish until hops slowly remerge a few seconds later. The aftertaste is definitely PNW IPA.

M - On the stronger side of light bodied with substantial amount of carbonation. This suites the style of beer quite well.

I generally find all of Widmer Brothers rotating IPAs to be solid, though not necessarily memorable brews. Hopside down continues this trend. Certainly a unique brew, combining the aspects of both an IPA and an all malt lager. However this proves to be a double edged sword. While this beer is more refreshing than your standard IPA thanks to the cleaner finish and lighter mouthfeel, it also looses complexity and aroma characters. On the flip side, it is more interesting than your standard lager, but not nearly as refreshing due mostly to the strong hop aftertaste. I commend this beer for trying something new and would gladly drink it again, but don't see myself going too far out of my way to get it.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours dark gold with a respectable head. Body is mostly clear.

S-The aroma is vibrant but lean. I enjoy the hoppiness as it mixes with the Lager yeast. Tropic hops with some grass. Lager yeast and some crackers.

T-The taste is a downgrade. It just doesn't display the same cohesion as the nose. The hops were more pleasing in the aroma. It just doesn't seem to mix as effectively.

M-Drinks easy enough.

O/D-The hot new style. I respect the attempt. I am spoiled because I can get Jack's Abby whenever I feel the need so this brew sadly can't beat that out.

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Photo of chinchill
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hay colored with a pinky of cream colored head. Respectable head retention & lacing

S: Grassyness, pine & a little breadyness

T: Pine, grapefruit, a touch breadyness & pear up front. Much citrus & grapefruit as this warms, plus nice malt backbone as this warms. Finishes with grassy, piney & citrussy hop bite, plus just a bit of pear & breadyness

MF: Medium bodied, subtle carbonation with nice balance

Nice hop snap to this one, very refreshing indeed!

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Photo of turnerr79
2.44/5  rDev -34.1%
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 kojevergas
3.21/5  rDev -13.2%
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 Ysgard
4.7/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer I might like just a little too much.
Dortmunder golden in color, thin yet persistent white skeined head, with very modest lacing.

The smell is hoppy, with just a tiny touch of sulfur. Lemony skunkiness and a bit of sweet pilsener-y aroma.

The taste is hard to pin down, because it is the odd lager that isn't horrible as it approaches 55F. Cold it is crisp and citrusy hoppy, with a honeyed acidity that I find in my favorite IPAs, but I can't quite place. As it warms, lemon and citrus hops with a noble clean herbal character showing before and after the main american hop presence. On the warm end of drinkable it's very hoppy, but the touch of sulfur really invokes a Czech Pils rather than American IPA.

The mouthfeel is balanced in body, perhaps the heavy side of medium bodied, with the honey acidity playing up the lightness and carbonation.

I really love this beer, and it's an incredible bargain in VA, going for $8 a six when most craft sixes have creeped up to $10.

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Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
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 Spikester
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber color with one finger of dense white head. Good amount of lacing.
Smell is pine and citrus.
Taste is bitter fruity hops, some leather, some biscuit malts but hops dominate.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation helps with the crisp nature of this brew.
Finish is a lingering bitterness and dry. A very interesting and well made IPA Lager..

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear dark gold with a small white head, very light lace, fair retention.

S: Lemon and grass, assorted citrus.

T: Sweet bready malt notes with pineapple and bright citrus - tangerine and lemon. Light notes of passion fruit and guava in the finish.

M: Fairly cleand for the style. Light to medium-bodied, frothy carbonation.

O: IPL isn't something you see everyday. This is a solis example. An easy drinking good beer as I've come to expect from Widmer.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Platinum gold with thin white finger of foam that fades fast.
Flinty grain and grapefruit juice nose.
Cream cracker then lots of Lemonhedz and grapefruit hops.
Lemon drop finish and rindy linger.
Crisp, light, some chew, a bit chalky.

Thoroughly decent. Real hop presence, round body, and a bite in the aftertaste. A pleasant surprise.

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Photo of avalon07
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from a bottle to a pilsner glass. Had a golden yellow color and a clear consistency. There was a half inch of foamy head that lasted a fair amount of time. Decent lacing.

S: A nice, sweet aroma of hops, citrus, and a little malt.

T: Tasted of hops - a lot more than I expected - along with some lemon, malt, and a little earthiness as well. A bit overhopped with nothing to counteract it. Still, a light, refreshing flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with an overly bitter finish. Light-bodied.

O: Better than most of the American Pale Lagers you'll find out there, but a bit uneven. Still, a drinkable enough beer.

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Photo of bmwats
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pilsner.

A: Light golden hue. Lots of rising effervescence. Pours about a 3 finger, bubbly, white head. Settles slowly and unevenly leaving spider web, dry, sticky residue behind as it does. Plenty of spider web lacing.

S: Malty and earthy with a resiny hop.

T: Earthy malt, bitter pecan, pungent hop, lemon rind, and tea leaf with a touch of something sweet for balance.

M: Full and hearty. Pungent, rubbery aftertaste lingers throughout.

D: Heavy body. Sip and savor.

Atmosphere is really nice. Lots of effervescence, giant head, and plenty of lacing. Nose is malty, earthy, and hoppy. Malt, hop, citrus with plenty of pungent bitterness. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of ChrisL24481
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, gold with a 1 finger width, off-white head. Bubbles rapidly raise from the bottom of the glass. Smells and tastes of floral hops along with a balance of toasted, bready malts. The mouthfeel starts with some strong carbonation with a light to medium body. A bitter finish as well. A solid India Pale Lager, would be a great sessionable, flavorable brew if it weren't for its 6.7% ABV.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I bought a six-pack of Hopside Down in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a pale gold color, crystal clear, with a creamy modest white head.

Smell is a faint citrus aroma, Sweet lemon blossom and pink grapefruit scents.

The taste is a dry bitter pine and citrus flavor. Very little malt presence.

Mouthfeel is very crisp and clean, with a dry bitter aftertaste.

Overall a good brew for an over-hopped lager. I think there are better IPAs even in the Widmer rotator series.

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Photo of barczar
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant medium golden with a frothy one inch ivory head that slowly dissipates, leaving spotty lacing.

Notes of pine and resin are evident at arm's length. Fresh cut grass, onion, and tropical fruit aromas of mango and lime meet up with fairly sweet, honey-like malt.

Flavor is initially resiny, becoming citrusy and fairly tart mid palate, and finishing fairly bitter. Bready malt supports throughout. Underpinnings of lime and perfumey, floral hops are dominated by resin and a slightly stale bready note.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and a fair amount of alcohol warmth. The finish is crisp and removes the flavor.

More complex in aroma than flavor. Bitterness is on par for the style, albeit but the crisp finish makes it too overwhelming for my palate, and malt supports the hops fairly well. Hop character is a bit too resiny for my liking.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Mar 29 13 on the label.

A: Pours a clear amber gold with a 1.5 finger white head. Ample carbonation is visible. Head leaves a touch lacing on the glass.

S: A nice hoping hits the nose at first with a bit of a skunky background. Spiciness from the hops blend nicely with the lager yeast. Bit of an herbal characteristic.

T: Real hoppy for an IPL this is enjoyable. A well blended mix of earthiness and malt that comes out pretty balanced. Bread and cracker from the lager yeast with a touch of fruitiness. A bit of citrus from the hops too.

M: Light body with a fairly creamy mouthfeel. Has the crisp finish of a lager despite such a resinous touch of hop. Carbonation feels right.

Overall I'm a fan of where this style is headed and glad to see Widmer jumping on it. A good one for not only hopheads but some more adventurous lager drinkers.

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Photo of vkv822
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz : snifter
bottled on March 11

Clear golden with a billowy white head.

Inviting hop profile, grapefruit/citrus lightly floral, with a clean, pale malty backing. Fairly standard, well executed IPA profile.

Medium body, foamy carbonation.

A good addition the their rotating IPA series and keeps me interested in trying more of their new offerings.

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Photo of jploving
3.12/5  rDev -15.7%
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 ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -14.6%
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 JohnGalt1
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up tonight at the COOP for about $1.50... Pours a very clear golden.. nice white head leaves a lot of nice lacing.

Nose is clean hops with a tad bit of malt... little else... hops are spicy/grassy and a bit of orange zest.

Flavor mirrors the nose but lacks the bitterness of an IPA.... a nice clean hop flavor .. no ale fruitiness which is honestly a little bit odd IMO.

Body is light/carbonation good... very very drinkable.

I will tear these up once the Boise heat comes.


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Photo of BradMacMullin
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up from the Widmer's brewery. An Indian Styled Pale Lager...I classified as an IPA since it is part of Widmer's Rotator IPA Series. Poured from the bottle....clear looking amber color and a decent one finger head. This is a weird one from a smell and taste perspective. Has all the crisp clean features you like from a lager, but there is a nice follow through of hops that makes it a much more interesting beer. I think this is a very good beer...Widmer's did well on this one.

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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