Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Schwelmer Alt - Privatbrauerei Schwelm

Not Rated.
Schwelmer AltSchwelmer Alt

Educational use only; do not reuse.

111 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 111
Hads: 116
Avg: 3.69
pDev: 12.74%
Wants: 3
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Privatbrauerei Schwelm visit their website

Style | ABV
Altbier |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 07-13-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (8) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Schwelmer Alt Alström Bros
Reviews: 111 | Hads: 116
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.44/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Schwelmer Alt

Appearance- Dark ruby red/ brown with a huge thcik creamy head. Heavy lacing down the glass. A very good looking beer.
Smell- A little tough to get a good bouquet going. A touch of caramel malt and lemon. Slight earthy hops.
Taste- Caramel malt up front followed with a dose of sweet lemons and sunflower seeds.
Mouthfeel- Dry throughout with a sweet finish. Low carbonation.

Overall- A tasty beer! $3 for a 1/2 liter bottle, definitely worth it!

 462 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.47/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger off-white white head that vanishes quickly to a ring leaving traces of lace. Cloudy amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Sweet toffee nose. Flavor is sweet toffee that is balanced by the hops. Clean finish. $1.90 for a 330ml swing-top bottle from Tully's Beer and Wine Wells, ME.

 314 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.97/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Plucier: Poured a clear deep brown color alt with a small foamy head with limited retention. Aroma of light roasted malt with some light toffee. Taste is also dominated by some light roasted toffee notes. Body is really average with some medium carbonation. I’m not sure I am totally getting the style since I don’t encounter it often enough but I thought this example was generally boring.

 411 characters

Photo of jwc215
2.96/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Swing-top bottle with a cryptic freshness date, poured into a stange glass:

Pours light-to-medium brown with a thick, creamy tan head that descends to a lasting thin cover. Some broken rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is earthy/woody, musty, slightly nutty. Vague sweet grain and fruitiness barely peek through.

The taste is earthy and woody - a hoppy alt as it indicates on the label - but in a rather bland way. A musty character gives me the impression of moss-covered wood. After the effervescent carbonation and mustiness settle, a malt/fruity sweetness balances it out (especially in second half of bottle), but the flat woody/earthy notes stay ahead. Dry, bland finish.

Light in body, a blandness lingers on the palate.

Despite the disappointment, it does have a certain smoothness, especially as it warms that gives it a certain drinkability (for the one bottle, but wouldn't rush for more). Well, I wasn't crazy about the Bernstein - which this has a certain similarity too.. and this was even blander...I would stick with the weizen of the three offerings I've had from this brewery. Overall- a disappointing alt from Germany - expected better...

 1,184 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.64/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Darkest bronze with a considerable burnt orange influence when backlit. The sandstone colored crown is nicely rumpled bumpy and has a great deal of stickiness that results in an impressive array of delicate lace. As far as I can tell, this is what an altbier should look like.

The nose is less than good. It's earthy and musty and spicy, a combination that doesn't add up to anything that I care to smell more than is necessary for this review. Let's throw 'woody' in there as well. The flavor profile had better do a '180' or I won't like Schwelmer Alt any more than I liked Bernstein or Pils.

The taste buds are definitely well-occupied, but it isn't with a great altbier. The word 'clash' comes to mind as I continue to drink. Each mouthful delivers a sweet and phenolically sour brown maltiness coupled with stale tobacco and a firm smack of bitter peanut skins and grassy hops. I'm having a hard time wrapping my palate around this one.

The woodiness that was noted in the aroma is still present. I don't know if this beer spend time barrel aging, but it sure tastes like it. Too bad it didn't add anything of interest (just the opposite, in fact) to the flavor profile. I have nothing else of value to add. The weird combination of flavors and flavor sensations just isn't to my liking.

Even though I'd like more bubbles to add a little excitement to the proceedings, the mouthfeel is otherwise acceptable for the style. It's on the light side, but then that's where a low-ABV alt should weigh in.

If I hadn't had the less than stellar Schwelmer Bernstein and Schwelmer Pils, I might have suspected a bad (or an old) bottle. Try as I might, I can't decipher 'best before end 88 10 83'. It looks like only Schwelmer Weizen is worthy of a repeat purchase.

 1,774 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep chestnut color with a great tan head on top. Great looking beer, really. Moderate malt aroma. Slight caramel smell to it. Malty flavor with a decent nutty flavor. There is a whisper of smokiness in it for me. Good mouthfeel. Very good beer. I could see drinking bucketloads of this on a nice sunny day.

 307 characters

Photo of jeffjfindley
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As beautiful a color as I've seen in a beer. Head doesn't quite live up to it, but my god what a color. Deep, dark mahogany visible through the small amount of light that permeates. Smell of toasy malt and light hops. Hallertau is at work here, and doing a real nice job. Taste is just a little smoky in addition to the aformentioned characteristics from the nose, this with a nice hop finish. Mouthfeel, though velvety is a touch sticky. Still, the verdict here is two thumbs way up. 10 bucks a sixer is a little crazy, but you're paying for that fine packaging and the cool bottles. Would love it if more American micros would enter the ring with this style.

 660 characters

Photo of sleazo
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Flip top bottle like Grolsch. Purchased at bodega in Billy burg.

A-Pours a rich clear chestnut brown with a substantial cream coloured head. The head dissipates within a few minutes but leaves plenty of nice lacing.

S-Strong, i can smell it from a few feet away. A little sour but mostly caramilised malt. Not much from the hops here but it does smell very good. The barley aroma is really strong here. I am liking this.

T-The rich bready malts are present but not as strong as the smell. I am a little dissapointed after such a great aroma. There is a faint aftertaste of honeydew melon.. Subtle caramel overtones come outwith a little warming. I could use a little more hops as they are barely there.

M-Light bodied and well carbonated.

D-This could be a good session ale but i think i would have to switch after about 2 or 3.

 843 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.07/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a .5L Swing top to a tall glass mug, the liquid is dark dark copper brown with ok carbonation. The head in 2 fingers tan is leaves very little lace.

The smell is very good, dark rosted maly and a bit of alcohol.

The taste is good some what sweet and carmely. Nice soft bitter hops are good.

The mouth feel is thin and lacks good carbonation.

The drinkability is good and easy, just don't expect a lot of body. Prosit MK

 443 characters

Photo of Absumaster
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A red, amber beer with a big frothy and big-bubbled head. The beer is clear.

Smell is roasted and strong malty with an molasses and strong husky smell, without the grainy part usually accompanied by a husky smell.

Taste is milder than the smell would suspect. Definate roasted malt giving the beer a somewhat 'oily', husky taste. A strong malt backbone of what I suspect is Munich malt. The hops give the beer a nice bitter, without a strong hop aroma. Body is medium and drinkability is great.

Not the most complex of beers, but the nice roast and hops, together with the high drinkability make this a nice beer.

 623 characters

Photo of Redwood21
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle into glass,

a roasted broawn appearance with a foam that had relatively good retention.
the smell is of roasted malts with maybe a little yeast
the taste is as the aroma is, with roasted malts some yeats, very little hop and a sharpness that seems to come from moderate carbonation
the mouthfeel was medium in body and very smooth nice on the palate
this is a very drinkable and enjoyable alt beer and one that is worth a try.

 448 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle coded 88 10 69, what ever that means opens with a pop

Pours caramel/brown with 3 fingers of sand-colred head. Very good lacing & above averag head retention

S: Sweet malt & iron

T: Dryness & caramel up front. Iron & a hint of nuttyness. Caramel & a slight herbal hop bite shows up as this warms. Finishes with a little toasted malt, oaky dryness & a little more iron

MF: Light/medium body with above average carbonation. Good, not great balance

Drinks fairly easy, but like my alts a little more beefier on the malt & hops side. Give me a Diebels any day. So far this brewery ain't really floating my boat

 628 characters

Photo of IceAce
4.55/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful swing-top bottle releases a brew with a copper body and two fingers of tightly knit light tan foam. Clarity is outstanding while lacing is minimal.

The nose arrives with a clean toffee note backed by a hint of floral hoppiness. Entry is sturdy while the midtaste highlights the best of the German Maltster's trade. the finish is beautifully threaded malty goodness...almost nutty in a way.

This beer simply blows me away and I'll be sure to revisit it next time pulled pork is on my entertainment menu...

 520 characters

Photo of arguemaniac
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep mahogany with a creamy light tan head. Easygoing toffee aroma with toasted notes. The palate offers a superb toffee/caramel grain with some sweet bready malt. Mostly rounded grain and mild roasted coffee notes in the finish.

One of my favorites, probably my favorite session beer behind Anchor Steam Beer. All of the flavors are mellow and supremely well balanced, and the overall palate is exceedingly drinkable. This one is a classic…

 453 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The alt poured a cola like brown color with a tan head. The head was decent, nothing special, but left very nice lacing. It has a malt sweetness to it, caramel & toasted. The taste is of caramel malts, a bit nutty, a bit dark fruit. A nice fizzy mouthfeel, crisp. A very drinkable brew. I am not very familar with the style but I like it.

 338 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep mahogony brew that is deep crimson and purple in the light. A two finger head quickly recedes to a thin cap of tan cream, and some nice sticky lace coats the glass.

S - Rich caramel and toffee aromas mix with some nice roasty notes. I smell toast, caramel, burning leaves, and some grapes.

T - Starts off with a big acidic twang of rye-like snappyness. Then vinous grape tones sweep over the tongue before toffee and caramel come into play with a tiny bit of bitter dark chocolate. This is a very salty and strange tasting beer, but I really like it!

M - Light bodied, smooth, and quite acidic with a very low level of carbonation.

D - Great! Very similar to a brown or nut-brown ale but with some very odd qualities. Smooth and easy-drinking.

 765 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
3.16/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Half-liter swingtop, with a best-by date of 88.10.69, which doesn't make any sense no matter how you look at it. It opens with a loud "POP!" and pours a chestnut hue with medium carbonation and a fluffy, two finger, light tan head that leaves nice lacing. The aroma is grainy, with toasted and caramel malts, fruits?, paper?, and some sweetness that is a bit too prevalent. It tastes essentially the same, with spicy, leafy?, and freshly-cut-hay hops that leave a mild bitterness on top of a light body that leaves light finish. Overall not a bad brew, just not that great. Balanced, yes, but they need to beef up the both the malts and hops.

 642 characters

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Packaged in 16 oz swing top amber bottle with cryptic date code Best before 88 10 69.

Opened with a disappointingly meager pop, aroma at the neck is about normal for a dark German, roasted, slightly yeasty.

Pours nicely into 22 oz pilsner glass, creating a tan head leaving good lacing. Color is a very attractive dark mahogany and ruby.
Aroma is roasted malts and sweetness, caramel.
Taste is sweetness from rich German malt with fair hop bitterness, roasty, and toasty.
Mouthfeel is typically thin, with a nice dry finish.
Drinkability is nice, it's a representative example of the the style. Enjoyed it.

 617 characters

Photo of goschool
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I grabbed a six-pack of this stuff at Beverage Warehouse for $3.99. Swing top bottle opens with a big pop.

Appearance: The pour is deep, dark ruby with a creamy tan head that leaves a nice thin layer on top of the body.

Smell: The nose has sweet and roasty malts and fruity esters.

Taste: The flavor profile is rather short, if that makes sense. Everything happens practically at once. Sweet, toasted malts come in first, followed by a brown ale-like nuttiness and fruity yeast and a dry noble hop finish.

Mouthfeel: The texture is light and slightly astringent.

Drinkability: I've yet to be impressed by an altbier, but this one is okay and fairly drinkable. I might have been a little disappointed if it weren't so cheap.

 738 characters

Photo of Byeast
3.57/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: very dark brown cola with some reddish hues , a small head of tan froth sits atop.

Smell: malt aroma is toasty with a bit of a slight root beer sweetness , and just a bit of dark fruit hint.

Taste: a nice medium bodied, toasty maltiness , also some slightly sweet caramel flavor , some light fruityness , hop flavors only balance , just a touch of diacetly near the finish.

Mouthfeel : creamy malt , finishes fairly dry.

Drinkability: A very drinkable brew for sure. The flavors are very mellow, but interesting and tasty.

 546 characters

Photo of bierme
4.02/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am a big fan of the style so I was happy to try it out. Overall, I found it to be a nice beer. Slightly smoky in smell. Balanced as the style is supposed to be. Crisp in my mouth and it leaves a pleasent lingering flavor. Easy to drink, I would buy it again.

 260 characters

Photo of SudNut
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark, almost like a coke, with a light tan head that leaves a ring of lacing on the glass. I looked at the label "unique hoppy altbier" and thought the hops were gonna rip my tongue off or something, not so. To find the truth turn the bottle around simply "water, malt, hops" simple things are good though. It has a sweet caramel malt nose with a bit of hmmm is it fruit or chocolate. It is kinda hard to tell after inhaling concrete dust today. Now for the taste, nice and malty in the front with a hint of hops taking over. This is a very smooth and drinkable beer. Pardon me while I have another. Skoal!

 612 characters

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a very clear dark garnet color with a ¼” head of tan bubbles on top. The head was active with quite a few bubbles rising, and fell pretty slowly. It was still a pretty assertive ring around the top of the beer a minute after the pour. There is some light lacing left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: My initial impression was of dark caramel malts, but as the head falls, I get a noticeable floral hop presence. The dark caramel is pretty much the dominant aroma with a very subtle fruitiness that I think is more from the dark malts as anything from fermentation.

Taste: This beer is really light on the palate, but full of flavor. It comes across as a tad thin as you first sip it, but then this very bold sweet caramel thing starts up and carries through to the finish. There is some noticeable hoppyness in the aroma and a bit in the finish, but there is no dry bitterness. The malt is in charge all the way up to the end. The label says that it is a “hoppy” beer, but I beg to differ. The malt runs the show here. There are some hops, but there sure are a lot more hoppy Alts out there. There is no alcohol noticeable anywhere.

Opinion: I really like this beer, and am rather glad that it doesn’t have the hoppy bite that I thought it may from the label. This beer comes across a bit like a Dunkel, and I am hard pressed to pick up the Alt character. I am really enjoying this beer, and would certainly drink it any time that I get the chance. I would just not expect an Alt, but a well crafted dark beer.

 1,545 characters

Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.55/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hey it's always a decent weekend when you score big on news brews. This Alt is new to me and yet it already seems like a longtime friend already after a couple of bottles. Talk about nice, dar reddish brown, nice sticky head, sweet malty backbone that is almost nutty , but certainly bready. It finishes nice with a pperfect mix of hops. The more I drink altbiers the more I like them, but this is definitely a great Alt that should be enjoyed by everyone.

 456 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
2.68/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Has a nice deep ruby/ medium clear brown. But no bublles and no head. Only a 16th of an inch after the pour. The first snikks are very acidty and battery head liek. But they bring some darker malts to the nose. A little. The taste jas some stale malts, but a good , yet light bitterness.

 287 characters

Schwelmer Alt from Privatbrauerei Schwelm
83 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.