The "alt bier" style is a rare commodity these days, even among the
American craft beer scene. I think because it tends to be a rather
boring style so it’s difficult to make a brew that really stands out
from the pack. But Hangar 24 has apparently figured out the formula with
their Alt-Bier as it has a unique palate and high drinkability.
Appearance: Beautiful reddish/burnt umber hue; very hazy. Forms an
average size, beige, soapy head which mostly dissipates but still laces
the glass pretty well.
Smell: Surprisingly mild nose with a vague malty aroma with a hint of fruit.
Taste: It’s extremely rare that the description on the bottle or the
brewer’s website is 100% accurate to how I perceive the taste, but in
the case of Hangar 24 Alt-Bier it’s exactly dead-on:
"Caramel, Toasty, and Clean. This red ale is our unique version of a
northern German Alt-Bier. Enjoy silky caramel smoothness, followed by
toasty, bready flavors and finished with a hint of chocolate roast.
These flavors all come through in the aroma and combine in a truly
unique, very clean, complex, Alt-Bier.... We decided to add the
chocolate malt to add a little more complexity to the beer and for a
perceived dryness that helps to balance the caramel malty flavor. "
I agree with that both objectively and subjectively. The individual
flavors are familiar, but the combination and arrangement here is
totally unique. The use of the chocolate malt combined with the hops
make for a good balance and overall taste. I even detect some citrus in
the classic West Coast style.
Drinkability: While not a refreshing beer per se, Hangar 24 Alt-Bier is a
quaffable one for sure. The mouthfeel is on the fuller side, with a
smooth texture but retains a crisp, well-carbonated body and smooth
finish. The aftertaste is fairly clean, if not a little sweet. At 6% ABV
it’s right on the money as far as where it should be in terms of weight
and efficiency. I drank mine a little too quickly.