Third Bear | Saugatuck Brewing Company

Third BearThird Bear
Liked This Beer
3.67 w/ 23 ratings
Third BearThird Bear

Brewed by:
Saugatuck Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by superspak on 04-24-2016

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 23 |  Reviews: 9
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Brenden
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium brown with red highlights. The tan head billows to almost 3 fingers but tightens to about one, which stays for the duration and leaves good patching behind.
S: Steely upfront, this beer is undoubtedly English in style. Breads and thick biscuit dough along with toastier notes dominate with some leaf underneath.
T: Fruity upfront and sweet; leafy and steely notes pull right in before the breads, firmly complemented by the leaf / flora.
F: Medium bodied, quite smooth and moderately crisp, thinner end but keeping movement on the palate.

 549 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle, a part of the current Saugatuck mixed pack.

This beer pours a clear, medium bronzed amber colour, with one finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly tan head, which leaves a bit of old coral reef atoll lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of gritty and grainy caramel malt, a kind of astringent and phenolic yeastiness, rubber tires, underripe bananas, bubblegum, and some very tame earthy, weedy, and floral green hop bitters. The taste is lightly roasted caramel malt, a bit of crackery white breadiness, still hard to stomach yeasty notes, somehow unpleasant apple and banana fruity esters, and more plain leafy, weedy, and dead floral hoppiness.

The carbonation is adequate for the job at hand, via its supportive frothiness, the body a so-so middleweight, and sort of smooth, I suppose, as those aforementioned astringencies take a thankful breather, of sorts. It finishes off-dry, the blighted caramel malt carrying on like nothing ever happened.

Overall - yeah, I don't know what the hell happened to this brew on its way here from western Michigan, but something ain't right here, as noted. I gagged a little when I first got a whiff of the aroma, and things only improved somewhat from there. Third Bear is not like any sort of 'English' style ale that I've ever come across, that's for sure.

 1,343 characters

Photo of jduprey007
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BeerBird82
4.63/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Stofko1992
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of StoutHunter
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Saugatuck's Third Bear last week at Boyne Country Provisions. I heard this one is rep;acing their ESB and I'm interested to see if this one can fill it's shoes, so lets see how it goes. 2016 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks good, it goes well with the name and it's a little eye catching. It poured a fairly clear ruby amber color which takes on more of an amber color when held to the light with a fingers worth of slightly cream light tan head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left a little of spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, but I wish head the head and retention were just a little better.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with a fruity aroma being the first to show up and it imparts a mixture of stonefruit and apple juice which goes into a little bit of a doughy aroma. Up next comes the malt which impart some sweet malt, caramel malt, toasted, brown sugar and brown bread like aroma with a little bit of a nutty aroma showing up towards the end. This beer has a pretty nice aroma, I wish the fruitiness was toned down just a little, but it's still pretty nice.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and just a little more balance and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness that has just a little bit of a brown sugar like flavor to it and it's followed by that same fruity aspect that I got in the aroma being the first to show up, this time it's more of an apple juice like flavor and it's just a little lighter than it was in the aroma. Up next comes a slight bit of doughy yeast which leads into the malts which imparts all the same aspects that they did in the aroma, this time they are a little more roasted and they show up just a little more. On the finish there's a noticeable nutty flavor with pretty much no bitterness and some sweetness taking it's place and it had a sweet and malty aftertaste. This is a pretty nice tasting beer and it's pretty much just what I would expect from the style.

M- Smooth, crisp, slightly creamy, on the slightly lighter side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is pretty nice and it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and a good example of the style, it had all the aspects that I look for in the style and it had just enough complexity to hold my interest, I enjoy it more than their ESB. This beer had good drinkability, I could drink a couple, but the sweetness might start to wear on me after that. What I like the most about this beer is that it's true to style and all the flavors and aromas work well together. What I like the least about this beer is the appearance, I wish it had a little better head retention and lacing, plus I wish it was just a little thicker. I would buy this beer again when look for a nice English style Brown Ale and I recommend it to anyone looking for the same. All in all I liked this beer and it was a little better than I thought it would be, when it comes down to it I'm happy this is replacing the ESB,it's good for a brewery to know when it's time to make a change and I might have to try the two side by side while the ESB is still around. It's not a favorite Saugatuck beer but it is a nice example of the style and it's above average. Good job guys, this is a nice beer, it's nice to see a change in the lineup, keep it up.

 3,526 characters

Photo of Giggy
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Purified
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of SaltofOH
3.51/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pkgd. 04/09/16. Michigan tulip pint.

A: slightly cloudy dark Amber with 1/2 finger off-white head. Roiling carbonation. Head recedes to thin cap with a thick ring. No lacing. Head fades as I drink it down.

S: let it warm up! getting something like green bananas or acetone. Not unpleasant, just weird. As it warms, some butterscotch and diacetyl, but it is gentle and teasing.

T: sweet caramel, banana, slightly earthy hoppy arrival. Turns more dark bready toast and woodsy medicinal hop toward the mid palate and end. Motor oil? Lanolin? Pretty soft, clean finish. This is odd in that there is a lot of hop flavor in the middle, but not as much bitterness in the end. Bitterness is noticeable, but not overbearing. Maybe a touch under 30 IBUs.

M: lighter side of midweight; well carbonated, but not excessive. Not slick; quite clean.

I: take an English bitter, and turn the volume WAY UP. The flavors I enjoy in a bitter are all here - that part is perfect. But they are potent; this is not as much of an easy drinker as I would expect it to be. Would buy again if I'm in Saugatuck, but I'm not going out looking for this next time I'm in Muchigan.

 1,165 characters

Photo of Beerasaurus
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Tone
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt, caramel malt, slight alcohol, slight hops, hint of tea, slight yeast, and spices. Fits the style of an English Brown Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight caramel malt, yeast, slight spice, hint of tea, slight hops, hint of roasted malt, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, complex, decent aroma, body, and blend, but weak appearance.

 524 characters

Photo of Suds
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From a bottle, this brew has a deep copper-amber color and a slim white head. The aroma is restrained....a little malt and a little nut cents, but very slight. The taste is nice...toasted, bread-crust and malt. Enough hops to balance with a firm bitterness. Not overdone, though, this is very drinkable. Medium in body and enjoyable.

 339 characters

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 4/9/2016. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, floral, pepper, light plum/apple, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and light fruity yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, light roast, herbal, floral, pepper, light plum/apple, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Moderate herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, floral, pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and light fruity yeast flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitterness, lightly increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and moderately creamy/bready/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Zer warming alcohol as expected of 5.5%. Overall this is a very nice English brown/ESB hybrid style. All around nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and light fruity yeast flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,659 characters

Photo of der_meister
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of zeff80
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of stakem
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of StayTrue
4.34/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bacher468
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of CraftAle
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

New year-around ale replaces their ESB. Fine balance of malt sweetness and hop bitterness. Head and body were a bit thin. Aroma was modest. All in all a fine English Brown Ale.

 176 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of BlackBeerPirate
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Taste: Crisp, caramel malt, hint of flowery hop and stone fruit with a dry finish. Same with the nose. Dark Amber, slight cloudiness, big foamy head with some lace. Medium/Full body. 25 IBUs

 190 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JDoHo
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Third Bear from Saugatuck Brewing Company
Beer rating: 34.8% out of 100 with 23 ratings
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