Atwater Hell Pale Lager - Atwater Brewery
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
2.3/5 rDev -26.3%
Medium amber with Champagne-like carbonation. That isn't a positive. It takes several minutes before there's more beer than dirty ivory foam in the pint glass. The cap is smooth and nearly featureless (it does looks like sculpted styrofoam after subsequent pours), while the glass is virtually untouched.
The nose is a minor improvement. It smells like Hell will be sweet and pale malty with a modest amount of spicy German hoppiness. The brewery says that caramel malt is used, but it sure doesn't look or smell like it. Maybe the buds will do a better job of detection.
Nah, it ain't happenin'. The beer tastes like sweetened grain soaking in lemon juice, with a side order of Hallertau. The clashing that's going on between sweet, sour and bitter is what keeps this Atwater Block offering from being enjoyable. Pale Lager may be the worst Munich helles that I've ever had, although it's far from the worst pale lager. Well, maybe not that far.
The mouthfeel is an offputting combination of light on the front end, lightly sticky on the back end, and too fizzy throughout. These guys either need to go to brew school or find some way to tighten their quality control. My guess is that the latter is what's needed.
I can't recall another case in which I've had five such mediocre offerings from a single craft brewery. Trust me, I'm pretty free and easy with the average scores (as evidenced by *my* average being about 3.6). I have one more Atwater Block beer in my cellar. One more chance is probably one more chance than they deserve. If Hell is the official beer of hell, then I plan to be a very good boy from now on.
12-03-2007 21:38:26 | More by BuckeyeNation
2.93/5 rDev -6.1%
Another American rendition of a German classic, and another half-hearted attempt toward quality. The fizzy pour leads to a hazy (bottle conditioned?) straw complexion with a quickly evaporating foamstand and dulled carbonation. The aromas are rich and varies between pilsner malts and adjunct grains (corn?). Blended in is the moderate scent of European-type hops (Haullertau?). The flavors contribute little in improvement. A heavier than normal sweet, vegital tastes is hardly tempered by the bittering or flavoring hops; nor does the lightened carbonation help at all. Slick on the toung with a buttery flavor late. Though not a total disaster in drinking, the brew falls well short of even fair German Helles. Probably not as true to style as Anheuser Busch Burnin' Helles.
03-07-2007 14:00:05 | More by BEERchitect
2.08/5 rDev -33.3%
Appearance: Pours a clear yellow body that is so, so fizzy.
Smell: Over this past Labor Day Weekend, my friend and I boiled brautwurst in a mixture of Warsteiner beer, white onions, and sauerkraut prior to grilling them. This beer is exactly how the remaining concoction in the stock pot smelled.
Taste: Flavorwise, it tastes like a lager crushed under the weight of all the sulpher contained within. Finishes tart, faintly bitter, and mercifully quick.
Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Moderate carbonation.
Drinkability: Sometimes these beers are so aptly named! All of the various Atwater beers I've tried recently have been nothing but a mess.
09-15-2007 06:58:43 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.33/5 rDev +6.7%
Poures a lighter dull golden with a thinner quickly dissapating white head,very muted aromas mainly light toastiness maybe a hint of lemon but its faint and reaching to say it.A somewhat flavorful lager toasted grain,mineral finish with a pleasant fruity/lemon note.a notch above a standard American brewed lager and would be good for a day out in the summer and I would think a good conversion beer.
05-03-2006 23:53:49 | More by oberon
3.13/5 rDev +0.3%
Appears a clear honey tinged golden color large white head disappears at a moderate pace leaves behind uneven layers of lacing. Aroma has a mild sweet biscuit tone touch of honey graham crackers pleasant sweetness with a mild light hop profile a good mix overall. Flavor a rolling sweetness pretty clean and mild with a light hop finish finishes with a bit of a biscuit malt layer that comes off balanced. Mouthfeel has an even mouthfeel lighter bodied with some cloying carbonation that carries to the back of the throat. Drinkability is great a decent session lager I could have a couple of these but after that I would begin to get board and would crave some more flavor pretty drinkable and clean and mellow like the style should be...this is definitely their crossover beer.
05-24-2007 00:12:54 | More by WVbeergeek
3.93/5 rDev +26%
On tap at the brewpub on 11/14/05...
Appears a shimmering gold with a lush white head that fades into a nice collar. Slow streams of carbonation come up to the top.
Smell is of a malty treat with tons of richness going on.
Taste is of ripened fruit with huge amounts of malt backing it up.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp.
Drinkability...a malty winner and a pleasant surprise.
12-07-2005 21:29:55 | More by weeare138
3.43/5 rDev +9.9%
Taken as a Lager this beer is pretty good. As a Helles it is just average. Pours a clear golden color with lots of small bubbles. Thin white head with minimal lacing. The aroma is fruity with some malt. Light-bodied with a clean palate. Flavors of fruit, malt and a touch of hops and yeast. The finish is kind of thin and lightly bitter. Overall this beer is blown away by the likes of GLBC but its ok.
06-28-2004 16:51:54 | More by Dogbrick
4.43/5 rDev +42%
Labelled: "Atwater Block Brewery"
Clear straw color with a nice white head and subdued carbonation. Husky grainy malt aroma with light sweetness. Tastes much like it smells. Light-medium (leans medium) bodied with a malty grainy dry finish.
Nice grainy Helles lager.
Per BOM club notes: Malts: Pale malt, Munich, caramel. Hops: Cascade. 16 IBU. 5.2% ABV
Per Stoney Creek Br. Co website: ABV 5.0% IBU 16.0
'4???' lasered on bottom
01-10-2005 20:30:44 | More by RBorsato
2.68/5 rDev -14.1%
Hazy, golden color. Low aroma-somewhat sweet and citrusy. Mildly malty flavor but it has a lemon like character to it. Sweet-almost like wine cooler sweet. Perfumey as well. Decent enough mouthfeel. Overall I would give this a wide berth. Has a lot of the same flavors as their Rost Amber. Not impressed at all here.
04-09-2006 01:33:59 | More by lackenhauser
3.7/5 rDev +18.6%
Clear deep auric hue. Fluffy, persistent porcelain white head leaves frothy lace. Aroma comprised mostly of herbal hops with a floral kiss. Trace hay and cracker hints. Dextrin malt and vegetal sweetness arise after a deliberation. Clean and prosaic aromawise. Upfront in flavor is a surprisingly brisk, parching hop bitter bite more akin to a German pils than a Helles. Grassy hop flavors abound. Tremendously dry and well attenuated. Prevalent in malt character are notes of hay and dry white bread, but, underbaked doughy hints augment as the beer warms. Immaculately clean all around and simple. Thinnish in body, but just dextrinous enough to support the lean malt profile. Finishes bone dry, with virtually no lingering tastes, save a trace green hop flavor. A unique, enjoyable brew that seems to be a Helles / German pils hybrid. It grew on me.
09-02-2004 09:42:56 | More by marc77
3.5/5 rDev +12.2%
This beer pours an auburn red color on the bottom but the color transfers to a clear gold midway through. Nice foamy and creamy white head sits atop the liquid and holds up for a long time. Good lacing. Aroma was bready and somewhat spicy with almost a clove flavor. But it was on the weaker side. Taste was also good but a bit on the light side, even for the style. I got a banana/clove flavor along with some extra honeylike sweetness. Bready notes underneath. A slight grassy, herbal hop flavor lies underneath. Finish is a bit oily and buttery and not quite as refreshing as I would have hoped. Overall, a decent offering and something worth trying. Definitely a worthy "transition" beer for the macro drinkers.
12-20-2005 13:46:41 | More by granger10
1/5 rDev -67.9%
For some reason my girlfriend bought a bottle of this in MI at a shady little shop in Ann Arbor. It looked old and I asked her why she would get that, but it came home with us anyway.
It sat in the fridge for months and months, just as it must have sat in that shanty little shop, until today. I noticed a spill in the fridge. I traced it back to this bottle which had been on its side with some foam and moisture around the cap. "Infection city" I thought to myself. I gave it a whirl anyway.
The bottle opened with a cracking great whoosh of escaping carbonation. With all that pressure Im not surprised that this was leaking, the surprise is that the cap didnt just shoot off by itself.
I turn to get a glass, the bottle sitting on the counter out of my sight for a second. I turn back and a good inch of foam is standing out of the top of the bottle like one of those crappy 4th of July ash snakes. I prayed that it didnt take over the whole town like in that episode of South Park.
I quickly pour into my New Glarus pilsner to avoid making a mess. It turns out making a mess would be the least of my worries. The glass filled up with foam three or four times over before I had enough beer to actually sample.
At this point many people would call it a loss and move on but today is labor day and Im off work, I needed something to do. Having poured out over half of the bottle's worth of foam I had a sample big enough to tick.
The smell is of dull grains and citrus, well citric-like acid. Frankly, its sour (no surprise).
This left me quite scared to try a sip but Ive fought this thing across the kitchen for hours now and a forfeit would be a loss for the ticker in me. I mustered up all the fourth-grade double-dog-dare-you bravery I could and took a swig. It tasted much like the nose. Dull grains, that hinted at the beer that once was, and sour acidic lemon cleaner. Fearing for my health I poured out the rest.
In hindsight I wish I had been able to reseal this bottle some how and sit on it longer. An explosion would have made for a much better story, but and explosion would not have allowed me to tick off this dubious beer.
09-07-2010 00:50:13 | More by MbpBugeye
2.85/5 rDev -8.7%
This beer first distinguished itself by the amount of head present - it seemed to sort of gush all over the place. Body seemed a bit thin and was a clear (but not brilliant) yellow. Aroma was slightly sweet; not quite corny or grainy...almost mediciney, although I read soap in another review and could agree with that too. Flavor is slightly sweet but rather metallic and soapy. Mouthfeel is OK.
I won't be driving any great distance to have this again. I bought this 12oz single at Brew&Brew in North Ridgeville, OH.
12-28-2007 23:11:47 | More by BeerBelcher
3.78/5 rDev +21.2%
A very nice lager from this revived brewery. The look is a nice golden body with a large white and retentive head; some lacing, but not impressive. The nose portrays malt, some yeastiness, and a little bit of hops. The taste is less impressive, being a bit light in the yeasty/bready dimension than one would expect from a Helles. Still it is quite nice and has a crisp finish from its medium body. Easily drinkable.
09-18-2003 17:15:02 | More by AtLagerHeads
3.73/5 rDev +19.6%
Clear golden color with a small white head that doesn't last very long, no lacing. Bready, grainy and flowery aromas, starts sweet and bready with nice balanced hop bitterness, light bodied, somewhat of a thin and watery mouthfeel, finishes clean and crisp, another good one from this brewery.
10-15-2003 14:09:04 | More by maxpower
3.13/5 rDev +0.3%
from the very beginning, something wasn't right about this beer. i sent one of my bartenders to the store giving very specific instructions on what to get: chimay blue label and atwater pale ale. he returned with the chimay but got atwater vanilla java porter instead of the ale. BLAH. so i went to the store later and returned the porter and found that what i thought was pale ale was actually atwater hell pale lager but i bought it anyway. this is my story.
A- hazy golden honey in color with a loose white 1 1/2in of foam that slowly settled to a ring of dense bubbles.
S- seemingly normal buttermilk biscuit with slightly herbal hop notes followed by malt, un-aged cheese, and sweaty feet.
T- i said aloud "what the hell?" metallic at first the BANG a strong apricot sour orange juice that immediately switches to grain and popcorn starchy white bread yeast. it goes from sour to flour with a grassy corn husk aftertaste.
MF- juicy and tart with great carbonation. not quite syrupy but not smooth either like my mouth doesn't know what to do.
D- surprisingly drinkable, the shock value of the taste would inhibit me from buying another at a pub, but the fact that there's 5 more in my fridge makes another one of these slightly more enticing.
08-24-2007 05:09:14 | More by hustlesworth
4/5 rDev +28.2%
from the bottle. poured a hazey dark wheat with no head just a small white ring. aroma some malts, honey and light orange and some other sweet fruits. flavor tangeraine with a splash of orange on it than some orange zest qwith a little lemon zing at the finish. I think this is the best pale lager I have had. good lawn mowing beer since I just finished mowing the lawn.
06-14-2006 23:48:48 | More by walleye
4/5 rDev +28.2%
This is a fine pale lager. Back in the mid-90s, the Atwater Block Brewery in Detroit, brewed this beer. Today, the brewery is called "Stoney Creek" and it is good to see this one being brewed again. Pours out to a beautiful gold color in the glass with a generous head. Aroma is that of biscuits and a faint yeast. The taste is very, very good. You can taste and sense the wonderful hop balance in this beer. It is crisp and refreshing and surprisingly lower priced ($5.99/6-Pack) than most micros. This is a fine rendition of a German-style lager.
06-21-2003 10:48:28 | More by proc
2.7/5 rDev -13.5%
A pale yellow body with a HUGE foamy white head, slight spotty lacing,high carbonation. Aroma of sweet pale malt,grain,bread dough and grass. Flavor is somewhat sulphery , a bit of sweet caramel some fruity notes and then a tart lemony taste,short finish, way too fizzy in the mouth. This was drinlable but nothing I would buy again
07-12-2009 14:39:03 | More by WakeandBake
2.88/5 rDev -7.7%
poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz long neck brown bottle with a crimped on cap brought over by the WVbeergeek before the Penn Fest.
Clear,light amber color with a 2" white head that fizzled quickly to a very thin coating of foam not leaving any real lacing. Just a few bubbles rising almost flat looking.
Fruity aroma,green apple aromas with some light carmell notes and a slight grassy note.
Clean taste,fruity green apple tastes like in the aroma,tart with a syrupy taste,no hop tastes detected. Reminds me of a light wine even has a dry sweet finish.
Light to medium mouthfeel with a slight prickely feel. Didn't have a hard time finishing this beer, just not anything here to make me want another.
06-06-2007 02:50:16 | More by jcdiflorio
3.7/5 rDev +18.6%
This beer emerged from the bottle with a golden honey colour. A small head developed with a bone white appearance. It lasted not long whilst bubbles a plenty floated on up from the depths below. The nose was p'raps honey accented as well as a scosh corn syrup-titious. Heehaw. P'raps a pinch or two of a ginger like spicery. The flavours were much akin to the odours. Honey like. Somewhat syrup-titious, heehaw, in flavour and mouthfeel alike. Be not forgetful of the ginger or similar spicery as it plays a role in the flavour as well. This is quite drinkable. Not quite as crisp and refreshing as I would have liked with the somewhat syrupy aspect. Fairly light on flavours. This is somewhat odd, but altogether unoffensive. Easily drunk. Not bad for some serial swilling instead of reaching for a selection from the axis of evil...mwaahahahahahah.
01-27-2006 14:22:20 | More by SupaCelt
2.95/5 rDev -5.4%
Poured ultra cloudy into my pint glass. It was a sickly color that reminded me of Crazy Ed's Chili Beer ... or apple juice with no head
I couldn't smell a thing! Nothing ... well maybe an apple juice like sweetness but that's it.
Taste is sour then sweet, followed by a fruity tartness and then grain. The fruit also kind of reminds me of apple juice. Very odd. The grain is quite pleasing though, perhaps the most pleasing aspect of this beer. Mouthfeel is quite nice and full. Not in a hurry to drink this again, not unpleasant but not remarkable.
03-18-2006 06:44:27 | More by TheBungyo
2.83/5 rDev -9.3%
Pours golden yellow in color with a fizzy, pop-like appearance.
The smell is a bit citrusy, not much else to note.
The flavor contains a bit of honey up front, and finishes quite malty. It has something that reminds me a bit of malt-o-meal hot cereal.
The mouthfeel lies somewhere in the broad field between thin and medium bodied and is presented with tingly carbonation.
The drinkability is decent. I sure wouldnt turn one of these down if it was offered to me, but I probably wont be going out of my way to pay for it.
03-08-2006 04:16:27 | More by jasonpeckins32
3.05/5 rDev -2.2%
Pours a straw yellow color with almost 3 inches of white head. (Almost overflowed by imperial pint glass)
Smells got some bread/grain notes and light malt quality.
Taste again has the grainy flavor with pour quality malt backup.
Finish is clean but there isn't really anything left for me after-taste wise.
Drinks pretty well, but find my a helles lager that doesn't...
I'm not typically a hater but Atwater Hell kind of lives up to the name...
07-11-2009 19:15:36 | More by ThaBobfather
Atwater Hell Pale Lager from Atwater Brewery
75 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.