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Emerson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
EmersonEmerson

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

47 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 9.49%
Wants: 4
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
German Pilsener |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Inspired by owner/brewer Pat McIllhenneys travels to New Zealand, this beer uses imported New Zealand organic hops.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 06-17-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by HipHop5:
Photo of HipHop5
4.72/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a revelation for me. I sure heard of well crafted pilsner and lager of all types. But this one is a slap in my hophead face.

Amazing color after a heavy poor into a pint glass. Golden tones with some light coppery shadows.
One finger head with no retention. Some great lacing and citrusy ,piney aromas right up front.
I suspect Nelson hops and some specialty wheat grain were used.
I can't be sure, and I love that! Really surprising brew.
Light to medium body. Hop bite join the aromas up front. Slightly sour and tangy in the middle. extra dry finish.
Thirst quencher for the big dudes:)
I wish I could find this easily in LA.

A MUST TRY!!!

HipHop5, May 29, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of Beernerdz
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Beernerdz, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.08/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a bright yellow, white head, thin. Aroma was a little lemony, less hop aroma than expected for an Alpine, of any style.

Taste, eh, what is the deal with the wet cardboard?, was my first thought. The word diacetyl was mentioned by a novice homebrewer, but once the lazy 'buttery' description accompanied it (most frequent association you can read and then project as if your own), I knew there were at least two things wrong going on. Found it strange, I purchased this from the brewery just 3 weeks prior to drinking it.

Just didn't have that hop snap, bite, didn't really have any characteristic of a pilsner either. What the heck Alpine? Most disappointing beer ever (from Alpine).

Beerandraiderfan, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very enjoyable summer hoppy lager. Fairly complex and tasty with funky yeast, big pilsner malt/Saaz aroma. Cloudy grapefruit coloured body with over an inch of retained white head in my Sam Adams glass. Lots of lace down the glass's curves. Above average mouthfeel though the carbonation is assertive. Very good drinkability, seeing I finished the bomber forthwith. Thanks Ryan.

Sammy, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of HalfFull
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Newly bottled, this Emerson pours a hazed goldenrod and with a dense inch or so of white foam. Offers good retention and some speckled lace.

Nose of yeast and some odd hop flavors. Somewhat earthy yet with a citrus twang. An odd cat from New Zealand as the story goes. A bit vinous in nature with a touch of lemon nonetheless.

Flavor is bready and full of malt yet there is no sweetness upon the palate. Touch of lemon and lavender. Floral spices overwhelm the palate, albeit in a good way. Yeast and spice notes are present yet not. An interesting brew to say the least.

Offers notes of a spicy saison mixed with a summer beer yet with a pils backdrop.

HalfFull, May 09, 2011
Photo of bashiba
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very sedimenty dirty dark yellow with a big thick sticky white head.

The smell is very green, grassy, and floral. very fresh hop smelling.

The flavor has a nice combination of light grainy malts and fresh noble like hops. Simple and balanced, there are some sublte underlying difference in the hops with some hints of dark fruit and berries.

The mouthfeel has a nice creamy body with good levels of carbonation.

Very nice sessionable Pils, a bit off the classic style but in favorable ways.

bashiba, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer, like almost all of my reviews, was tasted at room temperature which I personally believe allows the beer to show it's full character, good and bad.

Crystal clear medium amber orange with an initially thick pure white had that fades quickly, but very pretty while it lasts.

Nose is full of appealing fresh fruit, rich green grape, light citrus notes with undertones of fresh grass, green apricots and "carnuba wax" esters. Most pleasant and "fresh."

Mouthfeel is big, rich, creamy and fulfilling. You want more, which is about as good a test as I have for mouthfeel; i.e., it's very inviting. Moreover, this beer is in perfect balance as it is currently drinking.

Taste is full, rich, assertive and bold. This is one of the nicest Alpine brews I've had. It is complex and layered in toast, pine, grapefruit and green stone fruit. The bitterness is bright, appealing, bold and with a "sweet" undertone. Good to drink alone or a really great flavor profile for almost all foods.

Finish is strong in bitter pine, lime skin and undertones of cooked lemon.

This is an excellent Alpine release.

GRG1313, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of jlb502
4/5  rDev +2.6%

jlb502, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of TheRealDBCooper
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

TheRealDBCooper, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler from ArthurPendragon. Cheers.

The body is a hazy amber-gold, topped by two inches of lasting head.

There's quite a bit of musty white wine fruitiness on the nose, along with more earthy/grassy notes typical of the style and a touch of citrus fruit. A bready malt profile resides beneath. Quite hoppy for a pils, but it's not in the same league as Alpine's IPAs. The overall hop profile here is unique, definitely not traditional for the style.

The flavor profile is similar, with a lot of earthy, grassy hops supported by a fairly substantial but dry bready malt backbone. White wine grapes comes to mind again. There's a touch of citrus, a bit orange-like. The finish is dry, exhibiting a firm bitterness. Fairly full-bodied, this is somewhere between a traditional German pils and an American imperial pilsner/IPL.

largadeer, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to dyan for sharing this growler courtesy of ArthurPendragon. The growler came complete with his old avatar pasted to the lid.

The color is copper-hued amber, slightly hazed from the shipping/travel (it arrived just before dyan drove up with it), and the body is topped off by a huge 3-finger sticky and fluffy head that leaves huge thick clumps of foam smattered all over the sides of the tulip from which I drink.

Spicy, earthy, and funky hops from New Zealand remind me of a Czech pils. There are some bready and earthy notes from the yeast and breadyness from the malts round it out. The taste is pretty much an extension of the aroma, with some welcome additions. Grassy hops augment the spicier ones from the aroma, and the mid palate is extremely herbal, bringing on even minty hints. Bready malts again play a large role.

There is a bit too much unpolished yeast character, in my opinion, as the earthy and bready character detracts from the clean feel and aroma that I feel should accompany a great pils. Really glad I got to enjoy this with some great company.

NittanyBeerFan, Mar 29, 2011
Photo of ibbjamin
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from Perry's in Livermore and pour into my Beck's stange to review.

White and very yellow beery looking head of about an inch in height. Transparent and yellow in color.

Grassy hops and pale malts scream hoppy pils to me in good fashion. Some lemony citrus comes into play.

Taste is of hop forward pils, bordering on pale ale to me.

Smooth, easy drinking, light to medium body, good carbonation.

My second offering from Alpine and yet again, the hype has not lived up to the taste for me. But I have not thrown in the towel yet, they have several others I want to try first.

ibbjamin, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of dechaffinated
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden hue with big pillowy white head that dissipated quickly. Very clear with tiny bubbles continuing throughout, as you would expect from a pilsner.

S - Light toast, pine, floral hops, grassy

T - When cold it was crisp, bitter, a bit grassy. As it warmed it opened up into mild grapefruit (mild compared to IPA), pine, toasted maltiness, mild spice in the mid palate, sweet & dry finish

M - Clean and crisp but definitely fuller and rounder than other pilsners I've had

O - I'm not a huge fan of pilsners in general, but it's important to note that Alpine calls this an Imperial Pilsner and I tried it because I like Alpine's other beers. I really enjoyed this beer and thought it was nicely balanced and fairly easy drinkability. I tend to drink a lot of hoppy beers, but this is a very nice & refreshing alternative to my usual as well as a great "summer beer".

dechaffinated, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of rand
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From bottle to Pilsner glass

A: Golden-yellow in color, forms a frothy 2-inch head in the pils glass, leaving patchy lacing everywhere. A surprising amount of suspended yeast swirls about.

S: Floral and effervescent - do I detect of hint of champagne? Yep, it's there...something with the combination of New Zealand hops and biscuity bottom-fermenting yeast is reminding me of the bubbly stuff, although I can't detect anything distinctly grape-like. A touch of sweet malts, unprocessed grains linger.

T: The hops distinguish this Pils and jump out in front, which are more floral than citrusy. Almost tastes wet-hopped. This is quickly met with a cracker-y middle, carrying a sweet multi-grain undertone. The floral hop snap highlights the sweet notes of the brew, in what is otherwise a traditionally dry style, but that sweetness lingers a bit at the finish.

M: Light to medium bodied, but seemingly more viscous than many Pilsners. Carbonation is more foamy than crisp and cleansing.

Damn tasty, and if you feel like a pils with some hop-forward layering, you could do a lot worse. But it's not the most harmoniously rounded flavor profile and needs to be a little more crisp. I'm all for coloring outside-the-lines when it comes to beer styles, but a Pilsner loses a few points if it isn't relatively dry and refreshing.

rand, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to badboyrsl84 for sending this bottle out my way. Served in a Hill Farmstead long-stem tulip.

Pours a clear golden color with a thin white head and only a spot or two of lacing on the way down. Very thin collar throughout. The nose carries floral hops and a bit of a tropical character in the background. There's some light bready malt as well. The flavor is malty with bread, and there's actually a surprising amount of alcohol. Hops are there, with the floral ones dominating. Medium body with moderate carbonation. Dry finish with a bit of bitterness. Not bad, but not something I'd go after again.

Thorpe429, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of Nugganooch
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber to my Alpine pint glass

A: Emerson pours a classic crystal clear goldenrod straw color with tons of bubbily action. Fizzy 2 finger white soap-like foam head forms and has some decent retention with cascading lace.

S: Grapefruit and tangerine. Just a bunch of crazy exotic tropical fruits that really spike at the nose. Kiwi. Passionfruit? Sure and a touch of grainy Pilsner malts. Faint as it is.

T: Super hoppy with lots of citric zing. Tangerines. White wine grapes. Tropical. Light and Fruity like an IPA but just a touch of that German Pils malt character reminding you it's not. Lil bit of sugar tartness in the cheeks. Dry crisp finish. The epitomy of a sessiony Lawnmower beer. Very refreshing on a hot day.

M: Super dry and light mouthfeel with an increased bitterness level.

D: A super hoppy Pilsner. Well I can get on board with that. Drinkability is tops with this super light and refreshingly hoppy Pils.

Alpine has me convinced I love NZ hops! Very exotic in flavor and almost has the feel of a sparkling white wine. But this is a Pilsner dammit and it's pretty tasty.

Nugganooch, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a slightly hazed golden orange color with a finger of white foam.

S: Smells almost like an Alpine IPA. Big citrus and pineapple aromas to it initially. The floral hops start to come through more as the beers sits, and the bready malt and yeast also make their presence known.

T: A solid bread and malt base to the beer gives a touch of sweetness. The hops really carry it, however, and there is a nice mix of floral, earthy, and spicy hops with just a hint of citrus and grass.

M: Medium in body with a moderate carbonation.

O: A very well made and easy to drink beer from Alpine. Nice to see this one being bottled.

womencantsail, May 23, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

542nd Review on BA
Bottle to Pils
22oz
Purchased from Alpine Brew Pub

App- Big fluffy two finger white head with a clearer yellow color. Nice spiderweb of lace down the glass.

Smell- Fresh cut grass with damp citrus. Its a little bit of awkward fruits and malts with a good hop bite.

Taste- It's a good pilsner. Nice balanced flavors with a citrus punch, a little hops and some tasty malts. The spice isnt all that abundant but rounds out the profile with a little yeasty bread.

Mouth- medium bodied and it borders on high carbed. Nice citrusy, piney, bread taste.

Drink- Hmmm... Tasty pilsner. Big flavorful and clean. I'd have this one again. I like a lot of what Alpine does and this does it again.

FosterJM, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of beagle75
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy, pale golden color with less than one finger of diminishing white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass. A few bubbles are observed to rise in the column while tiny floaties are plentiful, hanging motionless.

S: Very herbaceous and lemony, dank--bordering on skunky--at first but then turning minty. Malt presence is debatable, but does seem to serve a supporting role by contributing some light backbone.

T: Begins dry, with very honest grapefruit citrus flesh that begins to yield some of its initial intensity after a few minutes. Grass remains as soft pilsner malt appears, staying understated until late. Acidity is very pleasant, being both mild and uplifting. There is a slight vinous thread that seems to bleed from the middle into the beginning more as other hop aromatics fade. Bitterness is fairly mild, with some aromatic mint and citrus detectable to buoy interest.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, soft and refreshing on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Intriguing but not intense or extreme, this beer generates appeal from its unorthodox combining of pilsner grain with intensely aromatic hops. While the sensory profile is not unique among American-brewed experimental lagers, this beer has a drinkability edge on its contemporaries thanks to the mere 6% abv. Surprisingly, it benefits from the gradual warming that occurs in the glass; it seems simplistic when at its coldest, but nuances emerge as the beer warms and aggressive grapefruit fades.

beagle75, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a light orange with a nice white head that leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

S - Citrusy, and a bit of yeast tones.

T - Wheat, slight citrus, and yeast again.

D - Good carbonation, lighter body.

O - Overall a nice light imperial pilsner that is very welcoming.

HuskyinPDX, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of DefenCorps
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A wonderful surprise, courtesy of ArthurPendragon, that I shared with the guys on the first night of our tasting.

Light orange with a dense, white head with excellent retention and beautiful lacing, this is a gorgeous pilsner. The nose is rather intensely hoppy with a fruity, herbal hop character with mint being most noticeable. A little citrus as well. A moderate undermodified malt character is present, with some bready, doughy character, this is clean with a definite aroma of yeast.

The palate opens intensely hoppy with moderate green, herbal hop character, minty and even a little parsley? Mild sweetness, raw malt, a little caramel, fresh baked bread, this is drying and spicy on the finish. Uniquely hoppy with spices, mint and some fruit. Medium-light in body and moderately carbonated, this is moderately bitter on the finish. Enjoyable stuff.

DefenCorps, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of Trilogy31
4.68/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a bright light golden slightly darker than a typical bmc pilsner with a frothy finger of white foam. Nose has a very impressive array of bready and biscuity malts with a hint of yeast along with the slightest whiff of orange blossoms. The taste is what run bmc and other supposed imperial pilsners wish they could be. It is summed up as a really easy drinkable sessionable beer that is truly expertly made - it is simplistic perfection, bready malts, backed by a light bitterness and a slight hint that emerson and nelson are related with citrus and distant tropical fruits playing in the background. Oddly this beer had some floaties, but as udual i wish i had easy access to Alpine - this beer was perfection for a 6% pilsner.

Trilogy31, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of scottfrie
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into SN shaped pint glass.

A: Pours a light amber tinged golden with a large, dense, bright white head that slowly faded into a very thick and fuzzy film that left streaks of lacing down the glass. Carbonation looks very active.
S: Green hops dominant the light scent but they take some work to find. The smell is very light on this one, and besides hops I get just a touch of sweet citrus and bready malt.
T: I get flavors of melon and other sweet fruits, pale malt, a bit of bread and some citrus. The finish is lightly sweet yet spicy, and the aftertaste is very lightly bitter and full of pale crackery grains.
M: Heavier than I would like. The bubbly carbonation is almost nonexistent on my palate. The body is decently thick, and the mouthfeel is heavy and slick.
O: I still like Prima Pils better, but this was a pretty good beer. It’s a bit too thick on the palate and soft in the carbonation for me to call it refreshing though. I was expecting something lighter and more bubbly.

scottfrie, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of imyourhero21
4/5  rDev +2.6%

imyourhero21, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: After a whole day at the nearby Palomar Power Station in Escondido it seemed too good an opportunity to pass on the chance to share a brew or two with my good friends xlperro and AleOha at the equally friendly O’Briens. I avoided opting for a ‘de rigueur’ IPA and thanks to xlperro’s guidance I managed to try the latest and greatest from Alpine, a brewery I have a lot of respect for.

Appearance: First inspection had me thinking that it had a very mild milky tone to it. Yet as the Pint warmed and the condensation was absorbed by the sweaty palms, the turbidity seemed to magically disappear to reveal a very sharp looking Pilsner-like body with a distilled pale golden torso. Talcum white head wasn’t large, but it lasted for a decent amount of time and did leave a minimal amount of discreet lacing.

Nose: One of the best parts of this brew. I love Pilsners and Lagers on hot days, but often the nose on many Teutonic and Czech offerings can be aggressive and gregarious and even worse have annoying cabbage, metallic and acrid sulfur tones. The Emerson has a much softer aroma, which benefits from a lovely hop and fruity character with some bold floral aspects which all meld into a light toasted malt background. Exceptionally easy on the nasal passages, and very inviting. Nicely done.

Taste: As with the nose, equally the best part of this brew, for want of a better description; it has all the best parts of a tasty Euro Pilsner/Lager without any of its aggressive over the top sharpness and is bettered with a lovely well attenuated hop bitterness. The edges are smooth, the character is aerodynamic and the profile has no sharp edges whatsoever. Very clean and incredibly well put together. Very tasty……I’m sure the fact that I needed a quick first pint I missed more of the subtle complexities of this one, but that is its bonus, it is one of those that beers that drinks well and sits in the back rows when needed, but when put into the limelight, it can manage the stage with equal aplomb. I love the way that this Lager breaks new ground, quite something in the seemingly borderless beery region of SoCal.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation was just enough. Enough to support this brew, but not enough to blow you up or detract from its fine drinkability. Perfectly balanced and wholesome.

Drinkability: Highly Quaffable. I managed the first Pint in no time at all. A simple enough brew, not complex, what it does do - it does well. Clean and simplistic, yet highly effective lines and exceptionally refreshing. The soft edges on this Lager make for a great Session brew. Only my Car and the long drive home prevented me from sinking these all night.

Overall: No beer stained illegible tasting notes on this one, I’ll be honest enough to say that it is all from memory, but this is a very memorable brew, the ones from Alpine usually are. A very clean crisp refreshing Lager with a tasty palate that is softer than most Pilsners. Well worth trying if seen. Props to Alpine again, the one craft Brewery overlooked by its bigger and more famous neighbors. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking this one if you see it.

TheLongBeachBum, Jul 08, 2005
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Emerson from Alpine Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.