In the beer community, "lager" has become sort of a dirty word. The lager style has been around for a long, long time, but the word lager seems to always show up alongside another dirty word: "adjunct." An adjunct lager (for example: Bud Light, Miller Light, Coors Light, etc.) is a lager that is brewed using ingredients like corn and rice in place of barley. The result is a beer that often smells and tastes like horse piss. So you can imagine my surprise when I was looking through the Top 100 List and saw a beer with the word "lager" in the name. I finally got the chance to try it last weekend at Stone's 15th Anniversary Celebration. At #70 on the Top 100 List: Humulus Lager.
Humulus Lager pours a clear golden color with a thin, cream colored head. The aroma is amazing and completely unexpected for a lager with big, fresh floral and earthy hops alongside some pine and lemon.
The taste is everything I wish other lagers could be. Some soft malts give way to some nice pine and peppery hops and the beer finishes with a juicy grapefruit flavor. The balance is impeccable. Other breweries have experimented with different styles of lagers before (including one of my favorite Ballast Point beers- Fathom India Pale Lager), but I don't think any of them can touch this one. A worthy addition to the Top 100.
Final Grade: A
Top 100 Beers Tasted: 28