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Iron Works Alt | Metropolitan Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
86
very good
55 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
55
Ratings:
145
Avg:
3.81
pDev:
20.73%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
9
For Trade:
0
Iron Works AltIron Works Alt
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Metropolitan Brewing
Illinois, United States | website

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An assertively hoppy top-fermented beer, polished by the wisdom and patience of lagering. Think of it as an octogenarian with a punk rock attitude. Slightly dry, this beer pairs well with hearty cuisine. We also suggest sipping it on its own; the complexity will keep you entertained and happy.

45 IBU

Added by emerge077 on 03-15-2011

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Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 145
Photo of BEERchitect
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Lighter than pale ale and resembling drier and huskier Amber Ale, the stalwart Altbier- German in design but American in execution; it seems that American homebrewers and a smattering of microbreweries are the only ones intent on keeping the style alive.

Iron Works Alt is easily mistaken for Pale and Amber Ale to the eye. Its coppery hues and golden highlights shine semi-bright through mild unfiltered haze. Its reluctant froth rises to a mid-short stature before receding to a thin vail and simmering with steadfast retention thereafter. Broken lace vaguely resembles the collars left behind with each sip taken.

Caramel and grain greet the nose with herbal, minty undertones. Its more balanced demeanor suggests Northern German inspirations. Its clean scent is delicately lager-like even if a tad sulfury. Its grainy-sweet flavors are stronger than expected- to the point where the spicy and floral hops struggle to meet its intensity or to provide the necessary clean crispness- this leaves the beer comparable to Amber Ale. Lightly nutty and almost brittle-like its fresh-kilned barley taste is of honey and bread crust. Floral in early taste, the hops develop into earthy and herbal middle palate before concluding with a mild stemmy bitterness that reminds me of sassafras.

Medium throughout- the body is slow to relinquish its early malt structure or its creamy carbonation. This keeps the beer sweeter and fuller, deeper into the taste and seems to forbid alcohol dryness or hop crispness from ever taking hold. This limits the beer's drinkability a little and keeps it from pairing as well with those classic German dishes as more authentic versions will.

Iron Works Alt is a common occurrence where an American microbrewery makes a foreign land's style but does so on their regular equipment, with regular ale making techniques, and with as many of the already contracted ingredients that they can reasonably get away with. Although it has glimpses of Northern German Alts, its not a classic or authentic flavor or feel. It does make for a fairly good and clean non-descript ale.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.34/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a sixer of this over Memorial Day weekend at the Binny’s behind Goose Island Clybourn. Served in a pint glass. Pours a moderate brown color with a decent off-white head. Nose has some bready malt and a touch of nuttiness. Some herbal hops. Flavor is similar but has a metallic twang through the finish. The same appears in the nose as it warms. Body is light-medium with a dry finish. Not a big fan.

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Photo of emerge077
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into an 0,3l stange glass, Iron Works pours a bright, saturated copper with some rusty orange tones. Sticky cap of foam, a fingers width rises to the rim, leaving some ghostly lacing inside the glass. Nice retention, the head lasts for the duration of the glass.

Yeast driven aroma, very clean with light banana esters at first, followed by some toasted husky grains and light nuttiness peeking through. Swirling it as it warms brings out a grassy floral hint of hops.

Dry toasted malt, sunflower seeds, caramel, multigrain bread. Hazelnut mingles with a mild hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Very clean and somewhat dry, only a touch of sweetness. Definitely a well crafted malt bomb. Easy feel, quaffable, but with a substantial fullness that ironically isn't filling.

Glad to see Metro branching out, can't wait to see what else they have up their sleeves...

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

amber with lots of visisble carbonation and amazing clarity. A big three inch fluffy white pilow head on top faded quickly leaving behind just a hint of lace. The aroma was very malty. Lots of cereal and bread smells, along with a touch of banana. The flavor was light and very good. Lots of grains and bready like flavors, bit very nice balance, with a touch of banana of pear like fruit and a hint of spice as well. A nice strong finish left the mouth ddry and begging for another sip. The carbonation was great and mixed with a smooth subtle feel made this extremmely drinkable. Overall a very nice offering and definitly a quality session beer. I would look forward to trying this one again in the future

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Photo of womencantsail
2.58/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks fatso.

A: The beer pours amber in color with a medium sized off-white head.

S: Starts off with a nice toffee and bready aroma and a slightly toasty character. Unfortunately, there are a few flaws, particularly saw dust and metal. A light white grape aroma is also present.

T: The flavor is less enjoyable than the aroma. The beer is fairly watery with a lot of metallic notes to it. Mild amounts of toffee, bread, toast, and grape, and maybe a little bit of yeast. It's also fairly watery.

M: Light to medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Too many flaws for this beer to be any good.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Finally sitting down to try what comes across as the highest-regarded of the Metropolitan beers (which, for whatever reason, I've sorta neglected over the years). It pours a clear amber-copper topped by over a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises caramel, Belgian candi sugar, lightly spicy greens, mandarin orange syrup, and a touch of red apple skin. The taste brings in more of the same, with the candi sugar really taking on a leadership role now. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a generally smooth feel. Overall, a very nice brew, one of the better altbiers I've had in a long time.

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Photo of russpowell
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from Monsone, cheers Eric!

Pours a bright copper with 2+ fingers of tan head. Minimal head retention & lacing

S: Grainy & pear scents, plus a little metallic hop

T: Pear, bready sweatness & caramel up front, along with some dryness & a little herbal hoppyness. More pear fruittyness, woody dryness, & more herbal hops as this drys. Finishes grainy, dry, herbal, with some butterscotch & bready sweetness

MF: Light/Medium bodied, firm carbonation, good balance

A pretty good example of the style, pretty darn drinkable

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.19/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very compelling and one of the best American altbiers I've had. Pour is on the dark cola end of the spectrum with a rocky head that lingers nicely. Quite fruity - plums, currants - with yeasty spice, caramel malts, and a bit of spicy / herbal hops to balance it all out. Medium body.

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Photo of corby112
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle received as an extra in a recent trade with lurchingbeast. Thanks again Frank!

Pours a dark golden copper color with burnt orange hues when held to a light and a half finger off white head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Sweet malt aroma with subtle spiciness and a good amount of floral/earthy hops. Slightly toasted with hints of caramel, hazelnut and biscuit as well as some subtle pine.

Full boded and slightly roasted with much more of a hop forward flavor than I expected. Dry, earthy hop notes give off some pine needle flavor and faint bitterness that linger throughout over the sweet malt profile into a slightly dry finish. The bitterness compliments the toasted/roasted malt character nicely, giving the beer good balance. Hints of caramel, rye, toffee, biscuit and nut. I'm also picking up some faint fruit, especially apricot. Pretty complex and easy to drink. Decent interpretation of the style.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a footed strange)

A- This beer has a slightly dense but crystal clear auburn hued body with a relaxed carbonation of microbubbles. There is a rocky off-white head that pulls away from the glass but last as a cloud.

S- The flinty dry toasted malt aroma is clean with a some dried leave notes as it warms and a soft dry green snap in the finish.

T- The nice toasted grain note has some toasted biscuit qualities in the background with a soft green Noble hop character in the finish. There is just a touch of sweetness to the finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a crisp finish and no alcohol heat.

O- The nice clean crisp Alt has a very fresh malt flavor with some good depth to the toasted malts and a hint of darker malt comes through as another subtle layer. This is well lagered with a nice hop snap to finish the taste.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Happy bubbling carbonation quickly rising to the top of a bread crust copper colored beer. The head is two fingers after the pour, and leaves an off-white film after each sip, as well as some lacing.

Great malty aroma full of toast, bread crust, caramel, and biscuits from the malt. The hops add a nice earthy spritz to the nose.

True to teh real McCoy from Germany, lots of malty, with a spritz of hops to balance everything out. Toasted white bread, biscuits, illed grain, crumpets, and the earthiness from the hops. Very well rounded and sessionable. Thank you sir may I have another!

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Photo of jrallen34
2.82/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a dark orange with some copper in the center, a light tope head provides some great sponge pattern lace to observe... nose is tough, pungent caramel, wet hops, and a bit skunky, not a fan of this at all... taste is a bit better as the sweet toffee notes are more tolerable but still a wet grain, bitter skunk finish... not my thing

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Photo of Stevedore
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. Served in a snifter glass.

Pours a dark brown body with a big amber hue, one finger white head with short retention time, thin collar and film, no lacing. Smells of crisp pumpernickel bread, a bit of spice, touch of grain, mild pepper and grassy hops. Flavour is similar; grain, mild pepper, bitter grassiness, pumpernickel bread sweetness. A balanced lager for sure, with a decent hop bite. That's solid. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, substantial, good carbonation, crisp and nice bitterness rounds out the mild sweetness. Overall a decent take on the Dusseldorfian take on a lager.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark orange color with next to nothing in the way of head on the pour, although I think that was more due to the inexperienced bartender than anything else. Sides of glass left clean.

S - A lot of yeast, I actually do get the bit of raisin in there as well. Very sweet, with grain and noble hops.

T - It's pretty sweet, with a sort of syrupy sweet grain taste and caramel. Lager yeast adds a bit of body to the flavor and there is a hint of raisins. Noble hops lead to a crisp and clean finish.

M - Medium bodied, lower carbonation than expected.

O - Actually not a bad beer, after looking over some of the reviews I get the feeling this might be considerably better on tap than in the bottle. Easy to drink.

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Photo of Satchboogie
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (Thanks Mike!) poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a slightly burnt caramel color, just a little hazy, with nearly 2 fingers of very light brown head. Very creamy looking with lots of bubbling action. Leaves a bit of lacing.

S: Lots of Munich malt, toasted grains, nuts, floral and spicy hops, caramel covered raisons. Like raison brown bread in liquid form.

T: A fairly big flavor of nuts, a myriad of toasted grains and bread, caramel/toffee, raisins, slightly spicy hop character that zings right up front and comes back nicely (and more earthy) in the finish. It's a specific flavor profile, but there really is a lot going on in here. Reminds me a lot of Hazelnut brown Nectar, but with a little more depth and cleaner.

M: Medium to slightly light bodied, clean and crisp dry finish. Theres a touch of bitterness on the finish.

O: I admit I was expecting a bit more of a hop kick as the label claimed "assertively hoppy", but what's here is certainly not a disappointment. A really solid brown ale that's as clean as it gets. The only downside is it does seem a little thin and watery (taste wise) at times. Still good stuff.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
2.66/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, no bottled on date present. My first beer from Metropolitan Brewing.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Pours a hazed dark coppery amber colored body with a giant fluffy three finger cream colored head with very good retention. Steady column of bubbles rushing to the top. Tons of huge fluffy webbed lacing.

S - Smells of pale malts and dusty adjuncts. A little bit of raisins creeps out also. Some yeast.

T - Pale dusty malts again with a bit of hop bitterness clinging on for dear life in the end swallow. Dusty & nutty, with subtle notes of chocolate, hazelnut, and dark dried fruits. Maybe some sort of a caramelized raisin taste, but it isn't dark or pleasant, just adds the tiniest bit of sweetness. Maybe some kind of a grape aftertaste lingering. Lots of carbonation.

M - Mouthfeel is semi-dry, sticky, fruity. Feels a little too carbonated, but not terrible. Nutty at first, but it then becomes a bit medicinal perhaps on the finish.

Overall, not impressed, and probably not a beer I would try again. Modest 5.8% abv, better than mass produced Bud Light / Miller Lite swill, but still not my favorite. Would be interested to try more from this brewery.

Metropolitan Iron Works Alt ---3/5

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Photo of Redrover
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle poured into a standard pint. The beer is a chill hazed brown with a thick beige head. It has nice lacing that leaves multiple rings down the side of the glass.

I like the aroma of lightly roasted malts, a bit of dark fruit and tea.

It is fresh and slightly earthy. Raisins, malts, herbal hops and toffee. It is well integrated and is blessed with a slick mouth with excellent carbonation levels.

This is seriously easy to drink. It has enough facets to keep you engaged. Well done guys!

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Photo of matjack85
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle with no freshness date. The label says to think of this beer as an octogenarian with a punk rock attitude. We'll see.

The beer pours a brilliantly clear and beautiful burnt amber color, but unfortunately I couldn't get any head out of the pour at all. All I got was a thin white rim on top that left just a few spotty patches of lace on the glass.

Not much of an aroma, but what there was was nice. Light sugary sweetness with some fruit and mild herbal hops in the background.

This is a very well made and mild beer. It has both a caramel and hard candy sweetness to it but it is delicate and not overpowering at all. Hop bitterness is low but you can still taste the mild herbal flavor they give off. A bready yeast flavor helps to make it more dry than sweet, and then at the end a touch of citrus and raisin flavor come through. Nothing is really dominant, but all blended together it makes for a pleasant taste.

Very smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel with only moderate carbonation. This goes down easy without any trace of alcohol at all.

I get the octogenarian part as this is a smooth and mellow beer, but I'm not so sure it has a punk rock attitude. I found it totally pleasant without any harshness at all.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: reddish-brown body, 1 finger head, delightful lacing for a lighter ABV brew

S: malt, rye, mild whiff of raisin or dates

T: mild rye and malt up front, firm earthy semi bitter finish, hint of spices.

M: med/light body, semi-dry finish, mild tongue prick upfront. Very refreshing.

O: Scrumptious lighter style brew! My first ALT, that I can remember, and I'm glad I gave it a go.

Nice to see good beers don't always have to have 10-15% ABV. Well done, Metropolitan. Very nice session beer, glad I grabbed a 6 pack of this liquid yummy goodness.

PICK THIS ONE UP!

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Photo of socon67
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Hopleaf in Chicago.

A - Copper pour, high tan foam. Cloudy look to it. Some lacing.

S - Sweet malt smell, with a bit of hops and spice. Scent is muted though; doesn't linger at all.

T - Decent drinking altbier that gets marks for the balance, but seems to take the safe approach; it is not rich in malt nor is the bitterness of fresh hops anything that seems strong.

M - Well balanced and easily sessionable. Soem carbonation is there. Finishes with a slight raspy bite.

O - Wasn't impressed, but didn't feel like it was a bad beer. Felt like Metropolitan rounded out their portfolio. Nice to try, but if you are a diehard altbier fan I'd pass.

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Photo of joe1510
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle
$8.99 6-Pack
Binnys - Willowbrook

Ironworks is the copperest of coppers. When backlit picture of one of those fresh pennies you always end up dropping in the 'Leave on, take one" jar, it looks like that. The dirty white head is frothy and steadies at a thick cap leaving behind fading lace with each successive drink.

The malt is assertive but the hop profile outweighs even that. Light caramel and brown bread are the core of the malt profile along with a decent dose of toast. The hop profile is mostly floral but shows good depth. There is a slight green apple note I'm not all that crazy about but it takes some work to pick out.

Rich caramel maltiness hits immediately. It's not overly sweet but it is deep. There's a note of soft toast mid-palate before floral, and a good helping, of spicy hops take over. Brown bread maltiness is back in the middle and when combined with the spicy hop profile is reminiscent of rye. The apple note in the nose is no where to be found, I appreciate that.

The body rides sturdily in the middle of the weight spectrum. There's a welcomed velvety smoothness. Carbonation is fairly active with a moderate bitterness that dries up the finish and lingers. The finish dries out slowly to eventually become Death Valley. The dryness keeps the glass raised much more than usual.

Metro brews some great German styles. While I've never been a huge Alt guy I do love me some Ironworks. It's malty sweet but with an assertive bitterness and dryness that keep things flowing. The pints per sitting ratio is high with this beer.An easy drinker to put away one after the other.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.33/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Hannen Alt glass on 11/4/12

Quite the heady beer with three fingers of fast-rising foam sitting atop a deep, hazy honey-brown colored beer. The head deflates leaving speckled lace. Better lace catches over time.

Aromas of toasted bread, herbal hops, soap, apple butter, raisins and hints of nuts. The flavor doesn't fall far from the aromatic tree, as it were, though there is much more of a hop kick upfront (herbal and pine) before leading into notes of bread and fruits. The finish is odd; kinda papery. The body is a seemingly appropriate medium. However, carbonation is sharp.

Overall, it isn't terrible but I grew tired of it quickly and did not finish the bottle.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'll be up front: Alt beers are not my specialty. In fact, this may only be my 4th or 5th of the style.
If you're reading up about this beer, skip this review.

I will do my best to describe what I'm tasting and compare it tote style guidelines.

Served in tulip pint glass.

Amber body has some hints of orange with a tan head of two finger. Really nice retention and lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malt, some standard sweet malt that I always associate with darker German lagers. A spicy noble hop bite has a light floral quality and an enjoyable bitterness. Pretty dry finish-- crisp and clean lager yeast helps out here no doubt.

Body is nice-- medium and well carbed.

One odd thing is coming up as this beer warms slightly: a strange tart cherry note starting to make an appearance. It isn't bad, but I can't imagine it is intentional. Bad bottle? Infection? I don't think so. I may just be mistaking the flavor, but I don't think it hurts the beer's score too much.

Overall- this is nice. Not a beer I'd drink very often, but not a beer I'll pass up if it's offered. I love Metropolitan, especially Krankshaft. This is another of their well-made beers.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Copper color with a thin off white head and a few tiny specs of lacing.

S - Bready malts with caramel notes, raisin and herbal hops.

T - Bready, biscuit, little bit of sweet caramel, toffee, a touch of fruitiness and a dry herbal hops finish.

M - Light to medium with just the right amount of carbonation and a lingering dry finish.

D - Very tasty and easy drinking alt. Has all the great sweet malt characteristics while still being dry enough to have several in one sitting.

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Photo of Ri0
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured 12oz bottle into Pils glass. Brown amber with a big 2.5 finger eggshell colored head and webbed lacing. Aroma of burnt toast, grassy hops, and a touch of caramel. Flavor is very prominent with toasted malt, burnt caramel, and some grassy hops. There is a sweetness to it, a bit of toffee. Seems a tad hoppy, but that is how it is marketed. Feel is medium, with prickly carbonation, and no stickiness. Decent brew and a style I am not familiar with.

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Iron Works Alt from Metropolitan Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.