Groundhog Altbier - Straub Brewery

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Groundhog Altbier
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42 Ratings

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Ratings: 42
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.1
pDev: 24.19%
Wants: 1
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Straub Brewery visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-06-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (14) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 26
Reviews by Lupe:
Photo of Lupe
1.89/5  rDev -39%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Quite possibly the lightest colored beer I've ever seen. About the same shade as green tea. Small fizzy head quickly disappears.

Not much of an aroma at all, and the same for flavor. It doesn't taste bad, it just doesn't have a taste. Maybe a little corn sweetness can be pulled out, but I'm not getting much.

Super light and fizzy. Since it's practically seltzer it goes down easy, but seltzer comes in flavors. At least the graphic is cool.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.18/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Clear brownish brassy hue, minimal lacing but it stay around. Mildly dank nose mixed with a deep bready maltiness. Dried grassy palate, earthy with a thick herbal tone from the hops. Smooth and grainy, sort of odd all around with a dank noble hopiness.

Was hoping for a bit more balance though not all that bad.

Photo of WVbeergeek
1.25/5  rDev -59.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Wow, fizzy yellow pale straw color with an overcarbonated thin fleeting white head leaves some lacing but minimal. Aroma: Watered down Straub astringent grainy profile wow this beer sucks touch of grassy hops and sweetness. Taste: I am a big fan of Straub however they took Straub a classic good all around American light lager and turned into a lite beer with astringencies among the watery grain and pseudo hop character it would be nice to at least see an amber Yeungling knockoff instead of watered down Straub. Disappointment for they make a good regular beer. Mouthfeel: Seltzer water don't even go near this overcarbonated fizzy yellow beer. Drinkability: Blah, give me something worth my time gave this one a shot due to my liking for Straub but I regret that yes you could probably drink quite a few of these it's like water. In short they might as well start bottling Punxsutawney Phil's piss.

Photo of NeroFiddled
2.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

96 calories, 7.6 grams of carbohydrates, 1.1 grams of protein, and 0 fat. This is obviously just Straub beer with a fair percentage of water added to thin it a bit, and reduce calories. The label is cute. I'd suggest that at least it's in brown glass now, but I'm fairly sure they use pre-isomerized hop extract from a can so it doesn't even matter (and the Light is bottled in brown American "Heritage" bottles anyway). But it's not bad. I've had worse light beers... it's just that the Straub beer is so much better. This loses the malt character and mouthfeel that made the original so nice. The aroma is reduced to a generic "beer" smell; the flavor loses that "on the brink of sweetness" character and becomes almost just carbonated "malty" water; and the finish leaves nothing but a touch of dryness. An OK beer for hunting or fishing, but not quite up to the backyard BBQ level! Punxsutawney Pete would be disappointed... at least they could have added something for color!

Photo of tone77
3.63/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Since this has not been reviewed in several years I am wondering if this batch is using the same recipe or a new one. Anyway it tastes nothing like some of the older reviews IMO. Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is very grainy, some malts. Taste is crisp, grains, light hops, a touch of nutiness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

Photo of smakawhat
3.86/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a stange glass.

This is a really nice looking brew from the pour. Real nice even chestnut brown out of the bottle slick and thick, but then hits and fills with a gorgeous shimmering blood red body, and with lots of clarity. THe head is creamy tan, slightly soapy, but with a nice three finger head and simple retention. Super fine carbonation rising up as well. Looks great in a stange, and great looking beer.

Some nice sticky yeast, and a hint of good clove spice. Some nice malt caramel a little and good balance. So far pretty surprising.

Real interesting palate. Good mix of mineral carbonation and caramel sweetness. Crackling toasty brown grains on the finish with a fun crispness to match. Finishes very clean, almost a faint hint of licorice with a minor warmth. The mouthfeel sort of gives to pilsner light crispness strangely which doesn't give much to the caramel malt sensing depth and flavor.

Real easy drinking altbier, quite a surprise consider much of the negative reviews, drinks very easily as well.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.55/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not sure how "Gateway Grill" Got this in 3 months later than Groundhog day but I picked it up since I like amber lagers.

A - Much darker than the domestic version with a 1/4 inch of head that quickly turns to a lace ring.

S - Moderate grassy hops, mild caramel like malt and a touch of grainy goodness. Lets see the taste.

T - A touch hoppier than again domestic offerings. Wish I knew the ABV. Overall it starts with a grainy taste then quickly to caramel and a hoppy finish. Overall an impressive offering from Straub.

M - Medium bodied but not hard to drink.

Overall I kind of wish I had or even seen this sooner since I would easily pick this up over a case of Yuengling lager

Photo of Foam
2.58/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A thin watered down take on this German style .
It seems to be more about cashing in on the Groundhog Day festivities than an attempt at a proper altbier .
I grabbed a couple singles to try and glad I didn't buy any more than that .
Thin , watery ...
Don't waste your time .
Straub's Maibock is their best venture into German styles ... this one falls flat on its face ...

Photo of Beerparrot
3.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Easy drinking brew on draft.

Photo of Morey
3.61/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is straub's 1st all malt beer.

It pours amber in color with plenty of effervescence.

Smell's grainy with a touch of caramel malt and mild hops.

Reminds me of Yuengling Oktoberfest in a big way.

Thin to medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

It's pretty good, and I like the direction that Straub seems to be heading in.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a light copper brown color with a creamy looking head with decent retention. There is a bit of spotty lace left behind on the glass,

Aroma is full of grainy malt sweetness and other floral notes, about what you would expect from a macro dark lager.

In the taste, richly malty with toast and caramel notes upfront. There is definitely an earthy, flowery hop presence with a bit of an herbal edge to it. The hops do taste a bit processed but overall a nice quaffable dark lager broadly in the Altbier category.

Light to medium bodied brew, but has a crisp, refreshing nature that makes it easy to drink. I quite prefer this to the usual straub, it has a bit more character and has a good balance on it.

I would gladly roll a keg of this to the groundhog's day festivities at Gobblers Knob.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.31/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Revamped and jumping out of the gate in true Northern German style, Straub captures the taste of red and brown ale, but also delivering the taste of authentic Euro malt elegance, spicy hops and mineral rich liquor.

Starting with a creamy yet lively attitude, the hybrid-type beer settles with a light brown, copper body that separates from a creamy, off-white head to float above. As the head seems to quickly dissolve, a quick swirl brings it back if only momentarily. With lacing at a minimal, only a stronger foam stance could improve.

Deeply caramelized aromas stem from toasted barley, lightly cooked toffee, crusted bread, light coffee and toasted pecan. Its partial grain, partial malt provides a both a rustic and refined scent that weaves in wood spices and grassy tones from hops.

Its taste is malt-forward as its stewed barley, toffee and toasty medley link up to form impressions of "Cracker Jacks"- its hearty nut, earth and dry bread flavors are perfect for the introduction of hops upon the middle palate. Slim floral character seems of honey before the beer transitions into a stemmy, grassy and spicy bitterness to finish.

Medium-light in its body, the Altbier is both grainy and creamy to start. As the carbonation carries away the bulk of sweetness, its grain character pronounces along side of hop spice to finish- exposing the raw nature of both, resulting in mild astringency and iron.

Straub achieves the actual taste of Altbier to near-perfection. Where theirs is more hearty and sweeter, the elegance of melanoidin-rich German malts may be preferred in the grist. But the rustic nature of "old world" recipes such as this allows for a lot of leeway.

Photo of Uniobrew31
4.07/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I was surprised to find this beer rated so poorly. My take on it was that it was a well crafted malt bomb with a nice bitter finish. The balance of this beer is what I liked the best. It was a malt overkill up front with a decent blast of hops on the back end. One of straub's best yet. I never thought I would have such praise for their product. They have come a long way

Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
1.71/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

02-02-08 I've had this before ('03 and '05) but I only really buy it for the collectors bottles. This is my third year up to Punxsy for Groundhogs Day. This years bottle was not as cool but it goes in the collection.

The beer inside is just Straub Light. Seems like a rip off for $2 a bottle but again its the collectable aspect. It pours a clear yellow, typical light beer. The smell, taste and mouthfeel are all equal to college swill in a red party cup. The drinkability is the only higher than 2 because Straub is a little better than most Macro light beer.

Photo of SWPA_Brew
4.43/5  rDev +42.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nice representation of the style. Worth a try if you've ever had an Alt in Germany.

Photo of psugrad98
1.85/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The weaker younger brother of Straub. Light yellow and clear in color with moderate carbonation and a short head. Smells grainy with a sweet corn fragrance.
Tastes light and somewhat fizzy. Dry with noticible grainyness. Finishes smooth but over fizzy. Very bland.

Photo of ToddT
2.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

L- Clear amber color topped with an ample off white head. Head is long lasted and leaves some wispy lace on the glass.

S- A note of grassy hops and some heavy malts notes. Not roasted malt, just grainy notes.

T- Malty a bit of caramel, and a hint of floral hops to balance things out. Finish is crisp and refreshing with a mild hit of caramel malt once again.

M- Medium in body and carbonation, A pretty refreshing easy drinking beer.

O- Something different, nothing to seek out but a nice one for spring if you run across it.

Photo of shovelit
3.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was pleasantly surprised with this beer. It pours a nice dark amber color with a 1/4" head. Not much retention or lacing but the flavor is pretty good. Straub must have changed the brew for this since the old reviews as they don't seem to reflect this beer anymore. I'm glad I didn't try it back then because I wouldn't have given it a second chance. Moderately malty with a nice hop finish. Keep in mind, I'm not fond of hop. I can't drink IPA's. This hop is nice. Definitely worth a try IMO.

Photo of jdwpgh
3.84/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good for what it is-a mild brown ale

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.28/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – Pours a copper color with a small cream colored head. The head has a moderate level of retention fading to a thin persistent film and leaving only a nice level of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The smell is of some caramel sweetness mixed with aromas of toasted grain. Along with these aromas are some smells of a musty nature, giving a slightly stale aroma to the brew.

Taste – The taste begins with a blend of roasted malt and some caramel sweetness. As the flavor advances the sweetness intensifies more toward the middle with a toffee flavor joining the caramel that was present up front. While the taste sweetens in the middle it begins to dwindle again more toward the end as some hop flavors of an earthy nature come to the tongue. With the earthy hops comes some flavors of a roasted malt and a light corny taste which leave a somewhat off lightly bittered toast flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average to above average side in terms of its thickness and creaminess for a brew of its strength with a carbonation level that middle ground. The thicker body is nice for the roasted flavors of the brew as well as the lighter hop, which it accentuates, while the carbonation level is good for keeping an easy drinking brew.

Overall -This is a pretty easy drinking brew. Its aftertaste is not the greatest, but other than the smell it has a decent profile. It’s likely worth a try, but not worth buying a + 6 pack of.

Photo of nukem5
3.53/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a medium amber color with a nice big foamy cap , rich and creamy clinging nicely to walls of glass, very nice pour and very appetizing.

S: Heavy grain bill loads this one up, there is a few notes of hoppiness to this beer but just hints scattered here and there. Lots of toasted malts some caramel.

T: Taste is immediately grainy with a light floral hop taste in the back end, mild and refreshing.

M: Mouthfeel on this one is light and refreshing for a "dark beer" this is very crisp like a lighter lager would be not to heavy great for a session beer.

O: Overall a very good experience drinking this one and cant wait to drink a few pints more. According to a distributor in my area they claim it is the same as Straub Dark and side by side would also point to this . good beer.

Photo of Lovinthebrew
2.49/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Just had this at a neighbors house, My choices of beers were either keystone light, or this. Naturally i picked the Micro, The smell was not a whole lot to write home about, just an average light malt beer with very little hoppiness. Cannot comment on color being that i had this out of the bottle, Taste, not a whole lot going on, it tasted almost like toast bread...and that was it. No real flavor in this beer. Unless i wanted to collect this bottle for whatever reason or it was a tradition i have grown up with to drink this around groundhog day, i would for no reason buy this beer. But hey still better than some alternatives.

Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
2.2/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

02-02-02-A buddy gave me one of these ( his mom bought it ), what can I say, it's a light beer. Very refreshing after a one hour jog around the park(jk). Pours a pale golden color. Fizzy mouthfeel, Flavors consisted a slight grainess, but fairly bland. I must say though, a very cool looking bottle, but that's were the coolness ends.

Photo of punxsybob
4.08/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tastes like real Groundhogs! Seriously, this beer surprised me. It was more flavorful than I had expected. Good job Straub.

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.08/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

2014 vintage at 42 degrees into standard pint tumbler
Barely noticeable malty aroma
Head small (2 cm), very light brown, creamy, rapidly diminishing to 2 mm.
Lacing fair
Body medium brown, clear, no chill haze
Initial flavor slightly bitter with malty overtones, no distinct hoppiness, no diacetyl, no dimethyl sulfide, no alcohol
Ends with a medium hang-time bitterness
Palate is medium, watery, and has soft carbonation

Allegedly made with all-malted grain, a departure from the common adjunct corn Straub usually uses. This is quite a departure from their usual beer types. Overall, a decent altbier – thanks Straubies, and buy local!

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Groundhog Altbier from Straub Brewery
74 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.