Alt Nouveau
North Coast Brewing Co.

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Ranked #96
Ranked #35,526
3.7 | pDev: 8.38%
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
Notes: Alt Nouveau is a decidedly hoppy take on the Alt style, reviving a brand the brewery first released in the mid-nineties. The Art Nouveau style illustration on the label is inspired by the artichoke plantings at North Coast’s partner, Fortunate Farm, in Caspar.
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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 66 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of lastmango
lastmango from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper with a one finger off-white head that dissipates quickly. Moderate lacing. Nose of caramel and herbal hops. Caramel forward with mild hops on the finish, which is short. Moderate body and carbonation. Seems a bit watery. An ok beer among many ok beers.

Feb 19, 2019
Photo of DrMullet
DrMullet from Florida

3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber/copper color with medium head and persistent lacing.
Smell is sweet caramel and fruit. Slightly hoppy.
Taste is sweet caramel malt up front. Finish is a bit of bitter hops, pine mostly.
Hoppy for an altbier but not bad.

Sep 02, 2018
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a very small head of foam. It smelled of caramel, grains and faint floral notes. Sweet caramel taste, mild bitterness and not much else.

Mar 09, 2018
Photo of FLima
FLima from Brazil

3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber copper color with a thick two finger head with medium retention.
Aroma with notes of citrusy hops, nuts, caramels, bread crust, grains and vanilla.
Flavor with notes of earthy and citrusy hops, mild cocoa, style yeast, minerals, nuts, mild vanilla, toasted malts and lemon drops. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness.
Bordering medium body with good carbonation. A bit overdone on the effervescence.
Well-done Altbier with high drinkability and perfectly balanced. It adds a citrusy twist from American hops to expected traditional style notes. Bitterness was not high as described, but still under the style that goes from Uerige levels to more layback ones. Don’t expect an Uerige bomb here.

Jan 05, 2018
Photo of Suds
Suds from Missouri

4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I didn't know what to expect from this beer, and had somewhat low expectations. I love Alt biers, and thought this wouldn't stand up to my hopes. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised. It is a light amber colored, bottled brew. Thin white head with an amazing malt smell....pale and amber malt dominate the aroma, backed with very faint herbal hops. The taste is very well balanced, with plenty of malt flavor, along with a little bitterness. Nice. Full in body. Wonderful.

Dec 29, 2017
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Tone from Missouri

3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear copper color. 3/2 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus hops, yeast, spicy hops, hint of caramel malt, slight pine, sweet malt, and a hint of roasted malt. Fits the style of an Altbier. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with a high carbonation level. Tastes of caramel malt, slight sweet malt, citrus hops, slight piney hops, spicy hops, and a hint of yeast. Overall, good aroma and appearance, but overly hopped and too carbonated.

Nov 27, 2017
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Zorro from California

3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear ale the color of tarnished bronze. Fairly tall tan colored head.

Smells both hoppy and malty. Scent of caramel and oak with lesser scent of vanilla. Distinctly smells of NW style hops, but really something like Altbier are best with German hops.

Starts out malty and sweet but not too sweet. Lots of caramel and vanilla with an oak after taste. Bitterness is quite mild despite the description, mostly detectable from the hop burp is gives you. This oak flavor reminds me very much of a Firestone Walker beer and their Burton Union brewing system. Not complex but it is tasty.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side, not a fault in my opinion.

Overall a tasty beer. Tastes like it has had a significant touch of oak in its brewing process. If I wasn't looking at the bottle I could swear this tastes like a Firestone Walker made beer.

Nov 22, 2017
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Beaconheath from South Dakota

3.37/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.25

With its coppery body and off-white foam this looks like an Alt, but it doesn't taste like one. Both smell and flavor are dominated by American hops with that unmistakable whiff of something piney. Admittedly "Nouveau" in the name should tip one off that this steps outside of the German Alt style, nevertheless the label claims it's an "Altbier," so I have to rate it on that basis. Altbiers are malt-forward, this goes elsewhere. Imagine a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale; darken it a bit; back off on the sweet malt and push the sharp hops forward; you've got this. As always with North Coast it's a superbly crafted product, and it will appeal to people who like hoppy American Ambers. I don't get why they want to call it an Altbier.

Nov 15, 2017
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arizcards from Arizona

3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead 10-9-17 for $1.79. Packaged on 04132017 and received at TW 9-12-17.

Beer poured amber with a nice off white head with the initial pour.

Nose is fruity with a nice dose of caramel malts.

Taste is caramelized malts woven in with a dark fruits. Finish is a touch bitter which i would not expect for this style.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and a lacking depth.

Overall a decent beer but not well executed per the traditional style.

Nov 10, 2017
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4/04/17, a little old but not too bad

Pours a huge overcarbonated fizzy bubbly head that fades semi quickly, no real lacing, semi clear sediment chunked reddish tan caramel copper color

Nose sweet caramel candy malts, toasty reddish malt, syrupy sugar sweetness, herbal earthy hop, biscuity toffee

Taste sweet malt flavors but pretty dry, toffee, a little biscuity, toasted grains, caramel, etc, but dry thanks to continuing to ferment int eh bottle with overcarbonation, not yeasty though, grassy earthy hop note with some bitterness, watery malt flavor too, little spicy hop late with mild to fair bitterness, tingly carbonation.

Mouth is med to lighter bod, seems like it will be syrupy but it's not instead a bit watery, tingly carbonation

Overall eh, even with the continuing to carbonation fiasco, it was too much sweet candy malt and not enough hop bitterness, little watery despite all that, I'll try to find it again and re try it fresher.

Oct 20, 2017
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

3.54/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Smooth body with decent hops, sweetness and some grain but my complaint is the carbonation I mean this beer exploded in the glass filling it up pretty much to the brim with a foamy off white head from just a light pour. Too bubbly to drink it might as well be a carbonated soda or champagne.

Oct 04, 2017
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TheSixthRing from California

3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 04/13/17

Appearance - Pours crystal clear and deep amber in color with a thin, sandstone colored head that peaks at no more than a quarter finger's width before rolling back quickly to a near barren surface and a thin ring of suds around the edge of the glass.

Smell - Nose hits on powdered chocolate

Taste - Hits on some caramel and light chocolately malt notes upfront before a bit of earth and floral character follow up mid-taste. A touch of apple-ish esters. Becomes more floral as it rounds out to the finish, then a bit of spice that lingers with faint chocolate in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Light-to-medium bodied with fair, bitey carbonation. Slick drinker that goes down easy enough, but doesn't add much to the experience.

Overall - Had I known beforehand that they intentionally hopped up this brew, I would have looked for a fresher sample, but I find it a drinkable experience as is. One I'll try to remember to revisit when it's released next year.

Aug 16, 2017
Photo of Phil-Fresh
Phil-Fresh from California

4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A: Rich complex malts of bread crusts, lightly floral hops with some fruity esters.

A: Copper color, with a thick, slightly off-white head that has solid retention, moderate lacing in the glass.

T: Rich and complex malts that are balanced by a hop bitterness, and slightly floral hop flavor, with very low bitterness.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation, fairly smooth mouth-feel.

O: Tasty; the beer has a great aroma and balance of flavors. The beer could perhaps have slightly more assertive floral hops, but overall very enjoyable to drink.

Jul 08, 2017
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BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

3.19/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Taste: Crisp, herbal, lite on hops, smooth airy mouth-feel. Crisp floral nose. Copper color, clear, big foamy head with some lattice. Medium/lite body. 38 IBUs

Jul 05, 2017
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oberon from North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 4/16/17.Pours into a becker a deep copper/bronze with a fluffy one finger off white head atop that is gone pretty quickly.Caramel cookie dough and spicy hops in the nose,a well hopped alt style here.The biggest problem with the beer for me showed up right away,to me it's to thin in the back end and it takes away from the flavor profile.Caramel and dough are the main flavor components then it dries out nicely with some herbal/spicy hops in the finish.The beer could be top notch but that watery feel kinda knocks it down a big notch for me.

Jul 01, 2017
Photo of Red5StandingBy
Red5StandingBy from Maryland

3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz short bottle into Stange glass. Bottled on April 13th 2017.

L: Perfectly clear honey amber. Nicely fluffy two finger off-white head with world-class retention and excellent lacing.

S: Medium roasted malts, with a leafy hop character and a hint of citrus. Some spice, and an herbal note.

T: Again, medium roasted malts, some tea-like hop notes and a touch of lemon. Always an interesting flavor in an Altbier.

F: Light, medium carbonation and a clean finish.

O: Impressed. An oft overlooked style that is underrated.

Jun 21, 2017
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Hopheadjeffery from Illinois

3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tasted in a Spiegelau lager glass from a 12 fl oz bottle on June 18, 2017. Packaged 04/04/2017. Look is dark copper with a thick creamy head and some lingering lacing. A nice interpretation of the style. Recommended.

Jun 19, 2017
Photo of SABERG
SABERG from Massachusetts

3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle packaged on 4/4/17 into the test glass
A - Deep copper color, very nice clarity, displays steady carbonation. The off white cap is tight knit and last for a long time.
Lacing is in the form of long strands running diagonally down the glass
S - Lightly toasted malt, some brown sugar, a bit of brown spices, nutmeg, cashew and mint leaf.
T - Semi sweet malt base blend seamlessly with, an underlying spiciness, some pepper (rye maybe). With a rise in temperature more toffee, and light brown sugar are in the foreground.
M - Medium in body, a bit slick with a linger that is semi sweet.
O - A very nice offering from North Coast, the offering is well constructed, beautifully balanced. Well done

Jun 18, 2017
Photo of vishneda
vishneda from Illinois

4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Most American versions of the altbier are thin and weak tasting. This is a nice full bodied beer with a phenomenal aroma and excellent taste. Balances the maltiness of a good german lager with a bit more hop flavor and middle-quaff bitterness. Does not rival an APA in bitter profile at all; altbier is about having more balance than your typical pale ale but less polish than a great lager.

Jun 18, 2017
Photo of Czequershuus
Czequershuus from Minnesota

4.51/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a deep amber with a medium sized head. The aroma is layered with toasted malts, prunes, raisins, nutmeg, golden raisins, madeira, dried figs, cinnamon, and root beer. The flavor also has many layers, starting with dry but powerful dried fruits - golden raisins, fig, prunes - followed by drying spices, toasty malt, malt bitterness, and a bitter-sweet chocolate finish - it almost reminds me of a tootsie roll without the sugar. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with fluffy carbonation and a dry finish. Overall this is a really tasty beer - incredibly layered and complex, and yet very drinkable.

Jun 17, 2017
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andrewh995 from Arizona

3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nutty amber color with a white head. Smells vaguely of malt, nuttiness, and caramel, but I can barely smell any of these. Tastes nutty, malty, some caramel, and maybe some toast. Medium bodied with medium-light carbonation.

Jun 15, 2017
Photo of Brolo75
Brolo75 from California

3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a clear chestnut, amber red color with an off-white creamy head, lots of carbonation streaming off the bottom.

A: Picking up slight piney notes along with herbal and spicy aromas, touch of citrus, and warm, toasted, bready malts, aromas are subtle.

T: Lots of spice and herbal notes, slight citrus zest, lots of bready malts in the finish, caramel and toffee, very smooth and easy to drink.

M: Light bodied with a semi-dry finish and lots of carbonation, leaves a tingly feeling on the palate.

O: A solid beer, as I'm reviewing this beer it's nice and cool, fitting weather for this beer, definitely going to enjoy finishing off the six-pack.

Jun 11, 2017
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Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.21/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a crystal clear vibrant amber/ copper orange with a mid sized bubble foamy off white head that laces well and keeps a blanket on the surface.

Has very herbal and spicy like aroma as if rye were freshly crushed and blended with some Noble hops (perhaps hallertauer, tettnang?) along with a mild fruity estery presence.

Lightly caramel drizzled biscuits, a spicy and floral sharpness follows, and a somewhat metallic or maybe even sulfur like finish. Some fruitiness, but can't quite decipher the exact culprit.

Feel is light and refreshing, crisp with moderate carbonation, and wonderfully dry begging for sip after sip.

I'm not seeing any indication of whether this is a Northern German or Dusseldorf styled Altbier, but based on my experience with this, I'd say Northern German, and it hits the marks quite well. A delicious beer that is light and refreshing enough to tackle over summer, or bold and rich enough for the not so scorching months. Pleasantly surprised, but then again I have rarely been let down by North Coast. Prost!

Jun 09, 2017
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter glass. This nice alt pours a orange tinged
clear brown hue with a nice head of off white foam that settles to a thick ring,
thin layer, and showcases some nice light lacing. Nose of toasted breaded malts
with a touch of citrus and subtle floral hops. Flavors follow the nose with toasted and
breaded malts touched with a mild sweetness and balanced hop note that is reminiscent of
an English bitter with a light orange zest hint on the rear with floral and herbal hops. Excellent mouth
feel; medium light body, medium high carbonation, and a lightly bitter finish.

An excellent example of the style that is rarely seen on the American beer landscape.


Jun 08, 2017
Photo of cjgiant
cjgiant from District of Columbia

3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap:
Copper more than amber, lovely sustaining head with Braille-like lacing.

Nose is earthy, with a slight bit of, forgive the oxymoron, unsweet molasses in the dry whole grain toast malt.

That dry toast comes in the taste, light caramelization up front. The flavor lingers for a second, debating on a dive towards the bitter. It decides to wade in slowly, but eventually has a somewhat English bitter note to it. A very lightly spiced, lightly raisins bread is the culmination.

Enjoyable, drinkable, moderate in a good way option in the style, for my tastes.

Jun 08, 2017
Alt Nouveau from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 66 ratings