Lift Bridge Brown Ale - Keweenaw Brewing Company

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Lift Bridge Brown AleLift Bridge Brown Ale

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109 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 109
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 2
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Keweenaw Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mikesgroove on 03-03-2008

Reportedly the widest and heaviest double-decked lift bridge in the world, the Portage Lake Lift Bridge connects the cities of Houghton and Hancock here in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula. So get a lift from this American Brown Ale; a rich, dark brown color, complex malt flavor with hints of chocolate and caramel and a mild hop finish.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 109 | Reviews: 54
Reviews by whatthehull:
Photo of whatthehull
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


A - Copper/red, one finger tan head and a little lacing

S - Very malty, tons of dried fruits, slight hops, nice flowers, earth, ground up branches and slightly sweet

T - Lots of malts, wheat, grain, toastiness, flowers, a bit of hops and silky sweet

M - Medium bodied, low acidity, medium complexity, well balanced and medium finished

D - Goes down like butta, sweet, malty, smooth, balanced and very easy to drink

Final thought - I am a fan. Another canned beer that tastes great. Wish I knew the ABV

More User Reviews:
Photo of bishopdc0
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer is presented as a dark amber brown with a decent head forming to start it dissipates to a wisp cover

The aroma is is buttery full of crystal malt and a slightly roasted malt.

The taste is an average brown, has slightly roasted with crystal maltiness. a slight nuttiness in the finishes but nothing special.

Photo of degerbah
3.59/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown color with lots of head that settles quickly. Huge malt smell, sweet with a tiny bit of roasted malt flavor. The taste is almost creamy with a ton of malt flavor. Slightly over-powering aftertate, but light mouthfeel makes the beer very drinkable. Just a little bit less malt taste would be better for me but still excellent.

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.89/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Excellent white lacing and decent white foam. Carbonation is extra active and bubble. Bright beautiful ruby Red. My only issue is that it is red and not brown...

Smell: Roasted toffee and nuts. Very fresh as well and slightly mineral-like.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Bitter lemon rind with a sweet caramel finish. A bit too bitter and first, but it mellows out nicely in the finish with a honey-like mouthfeel. Overall, the mouthfeel is a tad thin, but much better at the end.

Overall Drinkability: A beer that just gets better.

Photo of tempest
3.21/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a can from Bello Vino in Ann Arbor.

I can't say I'm terribly impressed. If I wasn't looking, I'd have assumed this was just an amber. Sure, it's plenty malty with lightly roasted caramel and a bit of toffee, but the flavors fall flat and don't inspire me to drink more. The only good thing I can really say is that it basically tasted good and was easy to drink.

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a fairly clear deep amber, with 1 1/2 fingers of foamy off-white head. Good retention here, with a thin foamy layer that skims the surface, leaving back some solid spotty lace. The aroma is sweet with toffee and cocoa but also has a nicely balancing smoky roast character going on with it as well. Fresh floral hops, a light smack of citrus, and just a bit of spice round this out. This has a nice robustness to it.

The taste is light chocolate, toffee, and a bit of green citrus up front, followed by some darker roast and a sharp tingle of surprisingly aggressive spicy hops. Finishes tangy with lingering notes of smoky malts and bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a prickly feel to the carbonation that nicely meshes with the sharper feeling hops. Underneath, it gets a little smoother, carrying the sweeter notes. Good easy feel to this.

This was a SOLID American Brown. Nice balance between the roast and sweetness and the hop-forward bitterness really surprised me with its aggressiveness. I'm digging the can portability as well. Nice stuff!

Photo of beveritt
3.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz can into an Imperial pint glass. Picked this up when in Michigan to visit a friend last weekend. Label depicts, what else, a draw bridge, and contain a description of the brewery, the beer, and the bridge. Stamped with 10/06/03 on the bottom. Not sure what that means; hope the beer is not 7 years old.

Appearance: Pours with 2 finger is light tan foam. This settles to a thin, almost complete layer of foam. The beer itself is perfectly clear mahogany with a slight orange hue. No sediment in the can.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt aroma with hints of toffee.

Taste: Significant carbonation bite upfront, followed by a slightly sweet caramel malt more mellow than in the aroma. Hints of baker's cocoa and mild coffee. Vegetal undertones with a mild sweetness lingering in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Average to slightly above average carbonation level. Body is decent.

Drinkability: Nothing over the top, but not too bad. As it is unavailable in Ohio, don't imagine I will be revisiting this one.

Photo of deadbody
2.56/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Drank straight from the can on a camping trip with the family. Picked this up because it is not in MN and was in cans which are good for the camping trips.

Opened a bit of head right off the bat, looking kinda creamy, and then dissapating to a reddish brown ale. Smell was pretty weak bordering on non-existant. Taste was interesting. Super sweet, the chocolate and toffee were really prevelant. Mouthfeel was thin, like kate moss on a 3 week heroin binge thin. Overall, meh. I wouldn't buy it again, but if I was offered it at a party I don't think I would turn it down.

Photo of emerge077
3.51/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single from Woodmans in Oak Creek WI, $1.89

Dark mahogany color, with a puffy cap of foam that has a meringue sheen to the surface. Head retention is good, after a few sips the surface breaks. At first there was an apple juice whiff of yeast, some underlying nutty, musty malt. Malty body, minimal roast, some mild nutty flavors. Fairly dry with a woody flavor in the aftertaste. Light bodied, wet feel. Not hard to have a few without thinking too much about it, other than knowing it's a decent brown ale.

Photo of SickGnar
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: slightly orange/red medium brown with a large and rocky just off-white head. Keeps a nice ring with okay lacing. Has a bit of haze, but is pretty clear for the color.

S: Rather restrained. Thin whiff of caramel malts with a hint of sweetness. Some faint fruity esters. No hops or much of anything else.

T: Steely caramel flavor. Not super malty, it more of a biscuit base with some low level sweetness. Some toasty and nutty notes. A bit of toffee, but really not much in the way of roastyness. Only some light chocolate hints. Actually, it is more toward being hop forward. Not super bitter, but quite flavorful. Earthy, herbal, & woody flavor up front gets grassy in the finish. As hops linger a bit, some more (though still reserved) roasty and chocolate notes emerge.

M: Just under medium body with CO2 over-matched somewhat. Not bad, but could use some more body. Rather dry and just barely enough body to carry hops and carbonation.

D: Approachable and drinkable. Nicely balanced, and with a bit more body and malts (especially in the nose) it would shine even more. No flaws and quite nice.

Photo of BierFan
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a pint glass.

Big fat tan head, clear reddish brown body. Good lacing and head retention. Not much carbonation. Chocolate aroma with some floral hops. The taste is of the chocolate malts, butterscotch, and floral hops. The mouthfeel is hurt by the lackluster carbonation.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz can that I recieved as an extra in a trade. Had me perplexed as I had never heard of the brewery before, but since when did that stop me! Grabbed this one out of the fridge for draft day and poured it into a Middle Ages imperial pint glass

A - Poured a very nice and clear hazelnut colored brown. Some nice ruby tints along the sides and the bottom which added a little bit of depth. A nice two finger high head of off white colored lace then rose up from the bottom and graced the top for a few moments before finally settling down to just a small thin veil of bubbles across the top throughout the remainder of the session. Some decent side glass lace presented itself throughout as well.

S - The aroma was very sweet. Lots of hints of caramel and especially maple syrup coming through on this one. The aroma though was thin in depth as once you got past this maple like aroma there was not much else to be found. Maybe some slight roasted grains and a touch of nut like aroma but that was about it, still, not half bad.

T - the flavor followed along the aroma very closely and honestly reminded me of another brew, the Tommyknocker maple brown in that level of sweetness. Tons of maple sugar here and alot of nutty flavors as well. Some nice roasted malt notes as well in here. A slightly grassy and earthy hop flavor in the finish, but everything was completely dominated by the maple syrup like sweetness. A bit too over the top for me to be honest.

M - The feel was very carbonated with a load of bubbles racing through giving it a very soda like feel, nice to see coming out of the can for sure. Light in testure without much of a follow through it came in ok for me, nothing really special, but nowhere near flat in anyway, nor did it really feel very thin.

D - This could easily be a session beer. There is no ABV listed on it, but I would be shocked if it was much over 5%. Very crisp and drinkable with some more then decent flavors to it. This was really quite sessionable.

Overall not terrible at all and a nice brew to see come from a little local company. I am sure if I lived up there I would drink alot more of it and anything else they offered as well.

Photo of buschbeer
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured into a pint glass to a generous, tan head. This beer is uniformly brown in color. I just get the faintest of sweet malts on the nose. Now the taste is quite surprising. I get some caramel flavor but it is quickly replaced by moderate hops. The hop presence is that of a weak pale ale. It adds something unexpected to this beer. Otherwise, it would be a rather bland, run of the mill, brown ale. I would drink it again based on this uniqueness.


Photo of oline73
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a can into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with two fingers of off white head that disappears completely.

Smell: Very bread like and malty. Some sweetness and a bit nutty.

Taste: A very mild flavor. Some malt with hardly any sweetness. Mildly nutty and there is some hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, tingly carbonation and a very dry finish. Almost too dry.

Overall: A very average brown ale. Not at all unpleasant, but not a whole lot of depth. Probably won't search this out again.

Photo of StoutHunter
2.88/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I picked up a can of Keweenaw's Lift Bridge Brown Ale last week for $1.19 at The Lager Mill. I haven't tried any beer from this Michigan Brewing Company yet so I thought I should stop procrastinating and give this beer a try, so lets see how it goes. No visible freshness date. Poured from a 12oz can into a imperial pint glass.

A- The can looks good and has a nice picture of a lift bridge on it to go with the name. It poured a hazy amber/light brown color that took on a ruby red copper color when held to the light with three fingers worth of fluffy off white head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left some lacing. The beer looks good.

S- The aroma starts out with large amounts of pretty sweet malts that impart a sweet, bready, and grainy aroma along with a slight toasted malt aroma that imparts some light caramel aromas. At the end I pick up a slight nutty aroma. The aroma was pretty on par for a Brown Ale, but it was a little boring.

T- The flavor seems to be where this beer starts to fall apart. It starts out with a lot of lightly toasted malts that have hardly any sweetness to them and impart a mild and bland, bready, and stale grain flavor. It had hardly any bitterness and the only other flavors that I picked up were a mild nuttiness and some faded earthy hops on the finish and aftertaste. This beer tasted watery and it had a pretty bland and boring flavor, I didn't like the flavor that much.

M- Smooth, dry, on the lighter side of being medium bodied with a high amount of bubbly carbonation. I wish it was a little thicker and that the carbonation were a little tamer, average at best.

Overall I didn't really like this beer and I thought it was a below average American Brown Ale, it was just too bland and boring, in the end it just tasted watered down and none of those great American Brown Ale aspects got to stick out. This beer had ok drinkability, it went down smooth but that was it, the flavor was too bland to hold my attention and I wouldn't want another, I kind of have to force myself to finish this one. What I liked most about this beer was the way it looked, it looked like a proper American Brown Ale, to bad that was the only thing proper about this beer. What I liked least about this beer was pretty much everything else but it was the taste that stuck out as the worst, it way to bland and watery tasting. I wouldn't buy this beer again, it was cheap, but pretty tasteless, if that's what I wanted I would grab a case of Bud Light and be done with it. I don't recommend trying this beer, it's not a worthy example of an American Brown Ale. I wasn't impressed with this beer and it didn't make for a good first impression of this brewery, but I already bought their Black Ale, so I will have to wait till I have that to form a more solid opinion about this brewery but for now I am not too interested, better luck next time guys.

Photo of bushbeer75
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a mug

Keweenaw Brewing Lift Bridge Brown Ale poured a dark brown color from a can into my mug. Lift Bridge Brown Ale produced a tan 2-finger head that held well.

The aroma was dominated by a sweet smell of caramel. The flavor was nutty, of light caramel and roasted malts. Mouth feel was a little to the lighter side compared to other Brown Ales I have had. For the price paid, there are better Brown Ales available.

Photo of GbVDave
4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a 20oz imperial pint. Thanks to HeatherAnn and Heidi & Tom Morris for the assist!

A: Pours a dark mahogany brown with lighter copper colored highlights. Capping this is a creamy, one-finger, and light brown head that leaves a tiny amount of lace in the glass.

S: Interesting aromas of roasted malt, chocolate, green hops, and brown sugar.

T: See above with the addition of caramel, molassas, bittersweet chocolate, and the slight hint of lemon-y hops.

M: Starts off full and creamy with a gradually drying middle and finish. Peppery on the tongue during and after the finish.

D: Very tasty and worthy of seeking out. A fantastically sessionable all-year beer.

Photo of woodychandler
4.04/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off, the crack of the top. This bad boy was filled right to the rim! CAN you believe it?!? Many people could not when I included same in my description of Ten Fidy. The technology is supposed to leave a gap for the top to be seamed on, but some of these beers are filled beyond the seam. Either A) I need to get smarter, B) I am misinformed as to the process, C) I am hallucinatory, or D) Any combination of the previous. You tell me.

Well now, danged if we did not have a second winner in a row from the same brewery. The nose was was pungently malty on the pour, just as a Brown Ale should be. Color was a hazy deep-amber-ish brown. I am not sure that they hit color, but the nose was just as phenomenal as my last beer from them. Malty sweet with traces of chocolate and tobacco. As to the mouthfeel, it was slightly effevescent, leaning towards full with a milk chocolate taste and an unusual light, hoppy bitterness. The chocolate flavor returned on the finish but the hoppiness seemed to linger, reducing the experience. This seems to need just some minor tweaks.

In other, unrelated news, from the CAN: "The Keweenaw Brewing Company, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, was founded with the goal of turning beer drinkers into craft-beer lovers. Get a lift from this American Brown Ale: a rich, dark brown color, complex malt flavor with hints of chocolate and caramel and a mild hop finish. Reportedly the widest and heaviest double-decked lift bridge in the world, the Portage Lake Lift Bridge connects the cities of Houghton and Hancock here in Michigan's Keweenaw peninsula."

Okay, so if they wanted a "mild hop finish", then it is hard to dun them for it. Solid!

Photo of nicksta
4.13/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer has a light opague ruby-brown color with nice splotches of lace. Caramel sweetness and hints of nutmeg and citrus in the smell. Not really strong, but balanced flavors of caramel, coffee, toffee and light acidic orange and lemon. The mouthfeel is certainly lighter than what I was expecting, but it is very smooth. The drinkability makes me wonder about the abv. A great all-weather brew and the best the brewery has to offer.

Photo of hopdog
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz can.

Poured a medium to deeper brown color with an averaged sized off whtie head. Aromas of roastiness, nutty, earthy, and light caramel. Tastes of caramel, nutty, and lighter earthiness. Hey, its a Brown Ale...

Notes from and tasted on: 1/19/09

Photo of pweis909
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from can into a pint glass, brown with a thick, white head. Initial impression is that this beer is too carbonated for style. It had a carbonation bite that seems inappropriate for brown. As it warmed in the glass, chocolate aromas became aparent and taste was more rounded, with chocolate notes. Not bad, maybe a bit 1-dimensional. Rounded body, up front, with dry chalky finish.

Photo of shadow1961
3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Keweenah Lift Bridge Brown Ale pours a big loose head
of tan foam over an almost opaque black brew. The nose
has a nice jammy fruitiness, but little apparent carbonation.
The flavor is mildly sweetish, with the barest hints of coffee
and mocha, and a bit of hebal hop tickling the back of the
tongue. The mouthfeel is a bit thin for an ale, but crisp. This
is just a nice pleasant English Brown Ale- if you've had New-
castle, this stuff is similar but a little bolder in flavor. There's
nothing earth-shattering here, it's just a really pleasant session
brew. Another nice beer to wean Macro drinkers with.

Photo of BeerBuckeye
2.82/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a deep mahogany brown with decent off-white head, leaves a bit of lacing.

S - Not a ton of scent, mostly some dark malts, some caramel, some sweet chocolate.

T - Malty, a bit of the sweet chocolate, a touch of caramel.

M - Pretty smooth mouthfeel, carbonated, good drinkability.

Overall - It was decent, very drinkable, if nothing else.

Photo of tayner
3.86/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can received as an extra (i think, sorry, not sure)

Poured almost looking like rootbeer out of the can with a nice bone colored head that laced well and kept a thick ring and nice lacing the whole session.

Smell was very mild but was dominated by a sweet malt aroma and perhaps even some brown sugar.

Taste followed suit as well, dominant malt profile, sweet malts, brown sugary, maybe some light caramel in the finish. very mild hop finish with an earthy hop variety. Perhaps just a slight bit more hops would help cut the rich sweetness of the malt profile.

It was very carbonated which looked cool coming out of the can, and helped to lightness the sweetness of the beer.

As for drinkability, i am a malthead first and foremost, so this one appealed to me. It cant be over 5-6% abv (although the can does not say) and easily sessionable. If it were local it would be a choice for me to load up on for a day of rafting the salt river or fishin on a lake since it is in a can.. cant go wrong with that!

now, to hunt down more from this obscure brewery.

Photo of WakeandBake
2.88/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A light brown pour with a great head.aroma of light hops and some nutty malt.Flavor is lightly roasted caramel and a bit of toffee, I was getting some grassy hops in the mix.I like the can,and thought it was drinkable,but probably wont buy again,not a huge Brown fan

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Lift Bridge Brown Ale from Keweenaw Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.