1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

USAlive! (Alive) - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
USAlive! (Alive)USAlive! (Alive)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

166 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 166
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 12
Gots: 13 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium.

Ingredients: Water, malt (pale and cara), light candy, hops (tomahawk, cascade and amarillo), yeast and brettanomyces.

(Beer added by: Nickls on 03-02-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 166 | Reviews: 68 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of patm1986
4/5  rDev +2.3%

patm1986, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of DoktorZee
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a large (750ml?) bottle into a schooner. The foil at the top of the bottle notes a date: 03/02/15 - perhaps a best before? Could get some more of these and lay them down.

A - pours a slightly cloudy light brown, with a one finger tan head that resolves after a couple minutes leaving some thin lacing.

S - fruit notes on the nose, sweet plum along with some floral elements. Light bready sweetness and perhaps even a hint of pineapple.

T - tart and bitter, with lots of lemon in the finish; very unusual in that it has only light to moderate hops bitterness up front, nearly no malt to balance it off and then a very bitter finish. The the bitterness builds and builds through the finish almost like a lemon rind stuck in the back of the throat. Intensely bitter in the end. Tastes nothing like it smells. (Where did the sweetness go?)

M - medium bodied with lots of carbonation; effervescent with just a hint of alcohol warming

D - initially seems quite drinkable, though the bitterness in the finish is quite powerful (would be curious to know the IBUs on this one). May be too powerful for some.

The bottle used to list this as a Wild Ale (in 2011) rather than a Strong Pale Ale; hard to say which one it really is in the end. It's no longer listed as a Wild Ale in 2012. From the bottle there's no appreciable funk, which was a bit surprising. Overall a very interesting beer and one definitely worth trying. Just watch out for the bitter, bitter finish.

DoktorZee, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of rfgetz
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed and lightly rusted orange amber with nice cap of frothy white bubbles. Scent is a nice mix of citrusy hops and earthy, light funk along with a lightly bready malt backbone. Taste brings the components of scent to a whole new level, all the best notes of an IPA (bitter and citrusy) combine with a Belgian Pale (bready yeast, light sweetness) and completed wonderfully with the Brett (earthy, light barnyard funk)... complex. Medium bodied, grainy and dry. A nice beer from Mikkeller who continues to make interesting and tasty brews.

rfgetz, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives without much of a head atop the hazy amber liquid; just a few strands of lace are left behind

Smell: Caramel melt with some pith and funk

Taste: A hint of caramel at the outset and then the beer moves in a tart lemony direction, with tropical fruit and barnyard funk developing by mid-palate; a grassy, herbal hop character adds a bitter edge but the funk builds after, the swallow and lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation; a bit flabby

Overall: A very complex brew, with the caramel, pith and funk all playing a role; I would prefer a livelier mouthfeel

brentk56, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of BARFLYB
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Kraftworks.

US Alive pours into the glass a amberish/orange color with a small tint of red although that could of been the setting. A small off white cap that eventually bounces leaving little squiggles. smell is a mix of floral hops and some brett scent, going into some pepper and some citrus scents including tropics orange, grapefruit. Taste is pretty decent. Not as hoppy as the nose would lead one to believe. I do get some grapefruit and orange mixing in with some floral taste. The brett is understated but there. I do get more spice, black pepper, yet it does not intrude. A nice pale ale from Belgium with a kick of brett. I dug this but wonder if a fresh bottle might be a different experience, as I was expecting more brett.

BARFLYB, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of AgentMunky
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a gorgeous half-pint glass in the BrewDog bar in Edinburgh. From notes. Reviewed 7 June 2011.

A: Clearish; pretty. Light, white, creamy head fades fast leaving really great lace. Nicely orange.

S: Smells like an IPA. Fresh, semi-vegetal hops provide exciting topnotes. Some grapefruit...and some sweetness, from both malt and, seemingly, yeast.

T: Whoah. QUITE bitter. Quite. Raw grapefruit juice. Hops are slightly soapy, but with a nice tinge. A bit of lambic sourness. The finish is lemon peels and more hops. Drying and pleasant.

M: Carbonation, dryness, and sourness (almost too much).

O: Too bitter and sour for me. It's strength shows after half a glass. Not precisely *recommended*, but worth trying.

AgentMunky, Jul 31, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.93/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle: Poured a medium orangey color ale with large foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma consists of Brett with light tartness and dry hoppy notes which are very well balanced. Taste is a complex mix between some Brett notes with some medium barnyard and light tart undertones with a great mix of floral and dry hops which are mix with a semi-sweet Belgian-style malt base. Body is slightly fuller then average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol notes. Very well brewed and while being different kind of remind me of the quality of Russian River beers.

Phyl21ca, Jul 29, 2011
Photo of Bierguy5
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Local Option in Chicago. Hazy orange, nice frothy head. Great retention and lace.

Earthy, slightly funky. Some zest and orange peel. Stone fruit as well in the nose.

Orange zest and stone fruit flavors up front. A drying, funky, earthy feel. Dries out at the finish.

Medium body, good carbonation. Alcohol is non-factor. Nice, funky, slightly leathery feel. Nice beer.

Bierguy5, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of shleepy
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought in 750ml bottle at K&L in Redwood City, served in Chimay glasses.

A: Amber, pretty hazy. Slightly off-white head with decent head retention.

S: Mostly light, hoppy notes - citrus and some pineapple, with a bit of sweetness.

T: Candy sugar sweetness right on the tongue; medium maltiness, hoppy spiciness and some barely distinguishable fruitiness, balanced by brett bitterness; smooth and clean finish, surprisingly enough. Perhaps we got a fresh bottle, since I'm not getting a lot of the funkiness that should be apparent in a wild ale.

M: Medium body and carb; smooth and silky; very pleasant and drinkable.

O: Not sure that I'd buy it again, since there are better options at this price point, but it was enjoyable.

shleepy, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of DovaliHops
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber color with a large off-white head that hangs around for quite some time. Scent initially hoppy, then some funkiness takes over from the Brett. A bit grassy as well. Some citrus. Taste initially some Brett flavor, followed by citrus hops and some grapefruit. Then I get some pleasant yeast flavors, followed by more tasty hops. Finishes fairly dry and bitter. Mouthfeel is pretty full-bodied and crisp finish. Drinkability is high, as the ABV is dangerously well-hidden. Overall, this is a great beer that I would definitely purchase again.

DovaliHops, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Mikkeller Usalive,

A: The beer had a strange deep amber look to it that almost faded into a dark apple juice color, very light carbonation and almost no lacing to speak of.

S: There was a mild funk to this, a kind of wet hay but no real wild aspects of vinegar or pedio/lacto dryness. There’s some grapefruit hidden in there as well but not a particularly forthright beer on the nose.

T: This beer has a chameleon character to it I think due to the brett that takes it from a sweet melted caramel to a mild tartness at the end. As a side note, there is some weird funk like wet crayon, crisp apples with a wet dog dryness. Several things going on here but ultimately very interesting.

M: The coating is similar to a pale ale or a single IPA. Nothing too watery or overwhelming. The Belgian aspect to this beer gives it a bit of an expansive nature but not too filling.

D: My dad loved this beer and he had never had anything with Brett in it before. I don’t know how else to sell this than that. It is pretty accessible to anyone and, again, if cost was not so ridiculously prohibitive, it would be a great casual beer.

Narrative: Welp. DAY IN DAY OUT, these vacuums wont sell themselves. No sirree, it takes pressing the flesh and getting out and pounding the old pavement or I am not Jimmy Warrington, number one Dyson salesman in the tristate area. It just takes a few things, I tell you what, a firm jaw line, bulletproof self-esteem, and the complete lack of inhibition to barge directly into a person’s home and begin officious cleaning. That is how I do it and Jimmy Warrington doesn’t lie. That is the US way, pressing products on people, hoping they are made locally, and providing a long term high interest payment plan. Yes sir, I don’t want to see any dirty shag carpets or collateral income laying around, those are the enemies of Dyson at large! So what is it gonna take to get this next woman into a Dyson? Well, BEHIND a Dyson vacuum, a wild flair and generally likeable set of veneers, sorry time to sell this old sucking machine!

SubpoenaDeuces, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of beerdrifter
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Clear amber-copper pour with a huge three finger off-white head with great retention and incredible lacing. I could instantly smell the citrus when I cracked it open. It's a very unique, wild, funky, sour citrus aroma thanks to the Brett. Tangerine, orange peel, grapefruit with a solid bready, caramel malt backbone highlight this incredible nose. The Mikkeller description of the taste being a mix between Orval and an American IPA is absolutely spot on! The bitter piney hops and citrus overload work perfectly with the sourness of the brett and that peppery Orval character. A solid caramel malt backbone really kicks in as it warms and offsets the bitter and sour nicely. The alcohol is well hidden and the mouthfeel is both refreshing and bold with a nice snappy tang on the finish. Hugely drinkable for a big beer. Totally unique and totally delicious. Another world class offering from one of my favorite breweries!

beerdrifter, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy dark orange/amber in color and poured with a thin off white head that left some lacing on the surface but eventually completely faded away.
S: There are light aromas of grapefruit in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has some citrusy flavors of grapefruit, but these are well balanced by the underlying malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer goes down very smoothly and is easy to drink. Ordering this at a bar can make some interesting discussion if it should be pronounced “USA live!” or “US Alive!”

metter98, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of Blanco
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes

Slightly reddish brown color and semi muddy. Small white head that disappears immediately. Citrus in the smell as well as some hoppiness and funk from wild yeasts. Flavor is also hoppy, but almost no bitterness. Wild tastes lean more toward vinegar and reminiscent of flanders sours than funk, with some slight tartness. Overall very good and interesting. This is one I very much enjoyed for its unique flavor.

Blanco, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of Yojimbo1941
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Brasserie V

A - dark tangerine with tan head, lots of lacing

S - slight vinegar, brett, earthy, bitter hops, some bittersweet orange

T - citrus, dry cereal giving way to heavy grapefruit, some sweet tangerine, slight apricot

M - medium to heavy, acidic at the end

D - not something I would drink all night

Overall I'm not that impressed. It's decent and the description of Orval/IPA is apt but it's just not a beer that I'm interested in drinking. Those of you who love Belgian IPAs will probably fap over this one. Again, nice beer just not the style I like.

Yojimbo1941, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of sholland119
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Monk's, 4/2/11.

A-Pours a murky amber brown with a pool of tan head and no lacing whatsoever.

S-Nicely bretty with a strong pine hop presence.

T-Peppery brett in the front, nice grapefruit hoppiness. Delicious. The beer menu describes this beer as Orval + West Coast hops and I have to say that nails it.

M-Medium bodied and very dry.

O-Excellent. Better than this was in the bottle, better than it was on tap at TND four days later. So if you get a good keg, like I did here, you should drink all of it.


sholland119, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of WeedKing4
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy, dark reddish orange with a decent amount of foam in the Chimay chalice glass. Smells floral with some citrus piney hops lingering in there too. Tastes almost fruity like with a slight hoppy, floral finish. Decent drinkability overall. Would be interesting to have this beer when it was first bottled, before the hops started to fade. Still pretty good overall though.

WeedKing4, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of kwjd
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this as part of a private order to Ontario. Pours a cloudy orange colour with thick white head and tons of lacing down the glass. Smells of cirtus hops, candy suger and something a bit funky (I assume brett?). Nice bitterness mixed in with the Belgian sweetness. Big carbonation level. A very nice beer, which I had more!

kwjd, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of SleepyMonk
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled corked 750ml bottle poured into a standard sized Tulip glass.

Removed the silver foil wrap and cage and then popped the synthetic cork expecting an explosive pop, but instead got nothing - understandably I'm a little concerned at this point. Still it is able to generate a generous amount of off white egg shell colored head, approx. 2-3 finger that starts out full and gives way to a very aerated and light whispy head with plenty of lacing. Body is a striking tea like color with almost impeccable clarity.

Sweet hoppy aroma with carefully cut citrus and pine notes with mild hints of phenyl and soft alcohol.

Taste is slightly aggressive as it hits out hard with a sour grapefruit blended with more citrus and pine flavors. I do detect some amount of caramel and/or candy sweetness that others have reported but neither flavor is strong in the mix and they certainly do nothing to help define this palate .

Weighting is possibly a notch or two below moderate and the carbonation is most certainly thin (see opening appearance description). Aromatic notes are well clarified. Taste opens up with a hard hit of sourness but mellows out as your palate grabs onto some of the more subtle notes. The finish is a very interesting dusty barnyard gueuze-like funkiness.

Great beer but I must say I have tasted a lot of Belgian Strong Ales and I don't recall tasting anything quite like this, so I'm not too sure about the style. I find it very comparable to Unibroue's Terrible if anything.

SleepyMonk, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy yellow with off-white three inch head, looks great. Hop aromas are terrific, medium mouthfeel, very lacey. Citra hop taste, orange. A full bitterness, lots of hops. A tad of sourness-astringency. Ken's bottle from the private order.More of an American strong.

Sammy, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of bludtek
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this hazy, light amber-orange Belgian strong ale from a corked 750 mL bottle. The head was a beige white that stuck around and clung to the sides of my tulip glass.

I smelled citrusy hops, followed by fruity candy.

A honey maltiness was followed by grapefruit, floral, and grassy hops. Slight earthy acidity was also present.

There was a thin carbonation, medium body, and bit of a dry aftertaste.

Smooth taste and dry finish makes this drinkable for me. The alcohol was hidden with all the flavour. I would buy this one again. Interesting character for one of my favourite styles.

bludtek, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of scott451
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy orangey brown with a two finger rocky head. Good head retention. Lots of lacing.

Smells of piney citrusy hops in the smell. Very smooth flavour. Big citrus burst up front. The alcohol is quite apparent. There is some twang from the brett, but it is pretty subdued. A nice long hop finish.

Medium body. Good carbonation. Very drinkable. An unusual but well crafted and interesting beer. It seems to span several styles so calling it a Belgian Strong Pale Ale is probably not correct.

scott451, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, with a simple Stars and, well, stars label, reminiscent of something out of Patton, the movie.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium copper amber colour, with two chubby fingers of foamy, rocky, and vaguely creamy beige head, which maintains pretty decent retention, eventually leaving some sudsy curtains of lace around the glass. Not too shabby.

It smells of moderately bitter grapefruit and orange flesh, bready caramel malt, brown sugar, white wine must, soft, almost indistinct clove spice, and some mildly funky yeast. The taste is gritty caramel malt, candy sugar, earthy, weakly funky yeast, steady blended citrus rind, a hint of wet pine needles, acidic white wine, some muted Belgian spice, and a further leafy, quite understatedly perfumed hoppiness, as that 16-proof booze is well masked.

The carbonation is moderate, just a dwindling tight frothiness, the body a more or less medium weight, and sort of smooth, the yeast and hop astringency cutting - none too deeply, but cutting nonetheless. It finishes mostly dry, the citrusy hops and dusty funk presiding.

Just what it purports to be - a funky strong Belgian ale, with prominent American west coast hop stylings. Overall, while a tad distracting in its various goings-on, it does work, the numerous influences generally playing nicely together. This would have been awesome to have had during Olympic hockey a few months ago, when the USA was indeed alive, at least until the Canadians finished them off in the final, in OT.

biboergosum, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of glid02
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Five Points Bottle in Athens, GA.

Pours a hazy gold-copper color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of a combination of pale and somewhat grainy caramel malts with good amounts of citrus and smaller amounts of tropical fruit hops. Mild amounts of brett funk waft out as well and intensify as the beer warms.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Malt flavors that skew more toward pale than caramel but with good amounts of both kick things off. Coming in shortly thereafter are candied hop flavors - more earthy than in the aroma but still with strong hints of citrus. Midway through the sip mild hints of funk come in before fading into a mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinakbility is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I thought this was a tasty beer, although more of a wild IPA than a wild Belgian. I'm willing to bet the high amount of hops used is a result of the US part of the name. Worth a shot.

glid02, May 26, 2010
USAlive! (Alive) from Mikkeller ApS
88 out of 100 based on 166 ratings.