USAlive! (Alive) | Mikkeller ApS

very good
73 Reviews
no score
Send samples
USAlive! (Alive)USAlive! (Alive)

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium.

Ingredients: Water, malt (pale and cara), light candy, hops (tomahawk, cascade and amarillo), yeast and brettanomyces.

Added by Nickls on 03-02-2009

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 202
Photo of Humulus85
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Have had a couple of the single hop ales from Mikkeller, but this my first belgian of his. Some confusion as too which "Alive" this was, due to the label and self description as a Belgian Wild, not as strong ale. No worries. From a 750 ml bottle into my Darkness tulip.

Pours a hazy copper with a righteous, 3-finger, belgian head. Some of the most clumpy, clingy, lacing I have ever seen. Superb retention. Well done sir!

Fruity, funky, ester-y, pear, a touch of booze, and some note I just can't put an adjective on; I'll go with leather. The complexity is beyond my expertise, but I like it.

Not as tart as I thought, but plenty of funk. In-fact the funk is quite dominating. Leathery, some tobacco, but a nice hit of earthy hops and toffee malt come through with enough strength to balance.

Exceedingly drinkable for both the style, and the ABV. Bone dry, in typical Wild Ale fashion, and well carbonated.

Overall this was not quite what I expected, but I did like it. I'm still learning my Brett brews, and I think this might actually be a bit green in that regard. Thinking of getting another to throw in the cellar for a year or two. Either way Mikkeller really does know what they're doing. Cheers!

 1,213 characters

Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy dark orange/amber in color and poured with a thin off white head that left some lacing on the surface but eventually completely faded away.
S: There are light aromas of grapefruit in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has some citrusy flavors of grapefruit, but these are well balanced by the underlying malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer goes down very smoothly and is easy to drink. Ordering this at a bar can make some interesting discussion if it should be pronounced “USA live!” or “US Alive!”

 593 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Beer Street Brooklyn in New York, NY

A: Pours a hazy dark orange to copper/amber in color. The beer has a quarter finger tall off-white head that reduces to a very thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Very light amounts of funk with a moderate amount of grapefruit aromas.

T: The beer starts out with some light amounts of caramel malt sweetness that turns a little sour/funky as you continue to taste it - there are some light notes of fruit like apple and grapefruit.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: This beer is pretty easy to drink and is enjoyable - certainly not sessionable but a decent sipping beer. A little tough to drink on a really hot afternoon in a shop with minimal AC.

 773 characters

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

USAlive! pours a redish color, with not much head, but lacy. The smell was a bit on the sweet side, lots of candy aromas, and sugary. The taste however only had hints of the sweet candy flavors, and had a nice strong bitter undertone. Good strong flavors, and the sweetness wasnt overpowering. Overall a really good tasting beer.

 329 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this is a classic mikkeller brew, all thing things ive come to expect from this guy. its different, strong, expensive, and worth it. pours a very hazy amber brown color with a massive head in my tulip glass. head does not subside at all. smells like intense funky wild yeast and sweet earthy red malts. its belgian yeasty in that super carbonated, mildly spicy, still alive aspect, but its more of a farmhouse in the funk department. this is somewhere between a saison and a sour, right down the middle. the flavor is definitely yeast driven, maybe a touch of brett tartness, but more fieldy meadowy polleny glory. it leaves a real dry tongue sticking to the roof of my mouth, ready for another gulp. its a fast drinker for its strength, and a beer that has a really memorable flavor profile. im somewhere between white pepper and lavender, its very unique, complex, and rewarding to the patient drinker. id gladly pay 14 bucks for another bottle of this, its exquisite. just short of magic.

edit: less compelling under this moniker on tap, not nearly as funky as the bottles were, maybe less mature, too new, i much preferred the bottled experience for this beer.

 1,165 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

Pours a murky yellow brown with a white head. The aroma is apple and banana with some spices and some tartness/wildness. The flavor is alcohol with the same mix of fruit that was in the aroma. There is a little brett funk in the flavor as well. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

 327 characters

Photo of GuzzLah
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - medium orange with a one finger head and nice lacing.

S - tutti-frutti bubblegum, soft caramel malt and slightly vegetal

T - ambiguously fruity flavor with some tropical/citrus. Low/medium bitterness with a short sustain. Hint of acidic tartness. Aged about 1.5 years.

M - medium body, decent carbonation, pleasant and easy bitter finish

O - Not a funky wild ale. Zero barnyard and a hint of lacto, perhaps from Acid Malt. Fruity from hops and Brett. An enjoyable Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Fair price at $13 per 750ml. Would drink again! Mikeller and De Proef usually impress me. This is no exception.

 609 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Local Option in Chicago. Hazy orange, nice frothy head. Great retention and lace.

Earthy, slightly funky. Some zest and orange peel. Stone fruit as well in the nose.

Orange zest and stone fruit flavors up front. A drying, funky, earthy feel. Dries out at the finish.

Medium body, good carbonation. Alcohol is non-factor. Nice, funky, slightly leathery feel. Nice beer.

 384 characters

Photo of Sammy
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy yellow with off-white three inch head, looks great. Hop aromas are terrific, medium mouthfeel, very lacey. Citra hop taste, orange. A full bitterness, lots of hops. A tad of sourness-astringency. Ken's bottle from the private order.More of an American strong.

 266 characters

Photo of markaberrant
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - pretty dark orange, mostly clear, offwhite creamy head, great retention and lacing

S - Fairly clean at this point, but there is a hint of earthy dankness. Hops are not pungent, but have a sweet grapefruit presence.

T - fair bit of maltiness, plays nicely with hops and light funk, some carmel, firm bitterness lingers and brings out more funk in the dry biscuity finish

M - somewhat boozy, but does not take away from enjoyment, about a medium carbonation at this point, lively, but not agressive, nice and dry in the finish, probably the best part

D - there is a lot going on in this beer, nothing over the top at this point, plays nice, the future looks bright

This beer is extremely well balanced at this point - there are hops, a complex malt character, and a bit of earthy funk. I was surprised at how much this beer looks like a darker pale ale, or an amber ale, but it works. Reminds me a little of a fresh Boulevard Saison with the mix of earthy dryness and american hops. Good stuff, I've got another bottle put away, and I dumped the dregs into a carboy of Flanders Red.

 1,089 characters

Photo of DovaliHops
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber color with a large off-white head that hangs around for quite some time. Scent initially hoppy, then some funkiness takes over from the Brett. A bit grassy as well. Some citrus. Taste initially some Brett flavor, followed by citrus hops and some grapefruit. Then I get some pleasant yeast flavors, followed by more tasty hops. Finishes fairly dry and bitter. Mouthfeel is pretty full-bodied and crisp finish. Drinkability is high, as the ABV is dangerously well-hidden. Overall, this is a great beer that I would definitely purchase again.

 560 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, with a simple Stars and, well, stars label, reminiscent of something out of Patton, the movie.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium copper amber colour, with two chubby fingers of foamy, rocky, and vaguely creamy beige head, which maintains pretty decent retention, eventually leaving some sudsy curtains of lace around the glass. Not too shabby.

It smells of moderately bitter grapefruit and orange flesh, bready caramel malt, brown sugar, white wine must, soft, almost indistinct clove spice, and some mildly funky yeast. The taste is gritty caramel malt, candy sugar, earthy, weakly funky yeast, steady blended citrus rind, a hint of wet pine needles, acidic white wine, some muted Belgian spice, and a further leafy, quite understatedly perfumed hoppiness, as that 16-proof booze is well masked.

The carbonation is moderate, just a dwindling tight frothiness, the body a more or less medium weight, and sort of smooth, the yeast and hop astringency cutting - none too deeply, but cutting nonetheless. It finishes mostly dry, the citrusy hops and dusty funk presiding.

Just what it purports to be - a funky strong Belgian ale, with prominent American west coast hop stylings. Overall, while a tad distracting in its various goings-on, it does work, the numerous influences generally playing nicely together. This would have been awesome to have had during Olympic hockey a few months ago, when the USA was indeed alive, at least until the Canadians finished them off in the final, in OT.

 1,511 characters

4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap. ½ Pint glass. Enjoyed on jun´12. Reddish copper color. Clear appearance. Creamy, rocky, white in color, froth. Caramel malt, herbs & wild yeast aromas with bready notes. Mildy toasted sweet malt, fruity touch & spiced flavors. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Oily texture. Resins, wood & citric bitterness in the middle lingers into long finish. ABV well hidden by a solid malty backbone. Flavorful.

 412 characters

Photo of mrfrancis
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy, ruddy amber with a thick, pillowy beige head.

S: Aromas of brettanomyces funk, pineapple, lemon, lime, and bitter orange are present on the nose.

T: Notes of lactic, oaky tartness from the brettanomyces dominate the entry and are followed by notes of lemon, lime zest, kumquat, bitter orange, tangerine, unripened pineapple, minerals, and caramel. The finish is tart and funky with a pleasant, if rather offbeat, combination of brettanomyces, pineapple, bitter orange, and lemon.

M: Medium-to-full in body, dryish, and satisfying. Carbonation is rather crisp. Alcohol presence is very restrained. This one could easily creep up on you.

O: After being disappointed by It's Alright!, I was a little hesitant to give USAlive! or It's Alive! a shot. Obviously I've finally gotten around to trying at least one, and can say that I'm quite impressed. The citrusy hop flavors really merge well with the brettanomyces. Recommended.

 944 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Kraftworks.

US Alive pours into the glass a amberish/orange color with a small tint of red although that could of been the setting. A small off white cap that eventually bounces leaving little squiggles. smell is a mix of floral hops and some brett scent, going into some pepper and some citrus scents including tropics orange, grapefruit. Taste is pretty decent. Not as hoppy as the nose would lead one to believe. I do get some grapefruit and orange mixing in with some floral taste. The brett is understated but there. I do get more spice, black pepper, yet it does not intrude. A nice pale ale from Belgium with a kick of brett. I dug this but wonder if a fresh bottle might be a different experience, as I was expecting more brett.

 747 characters

Photo of hagbergl
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received a bottle of Mikkeller Alive! as a Christmas gift. It was purchased at Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont, MA. I think this should prove to be quite the interesting beer...750 mL bottle, poured into my Rodenbach Grand Cru glass.

Appearance (4/5): Alive! has a cool burnt orange-reddish hue and is topped by a gorgeous, towering off-white head of foam of 2.5 fingers. The beer is translucent and brilliant when held up to the light.

Smell (4/5): Hoppy, spicy, a little funkiness (due to the Brettanomyces), herbal, grassy hops, earthy, a little bit metallic (perhaps this bottle is a bit on the older side and has begun to spoil?).

Taste (4/5): Not what I was expecting from its style identification, printed on the bottle, as an "American Wild Ale." This beer tastes quite hoppy, and has an interesting fruity-spicy yeast quality that comes on late, making this beer reminiscent of a Belgian IPA, but with Brett. Fruity-bitter aftertaste is like ruby red grapefruit, semisweet and balanced at the end, perhaps from the caramel malt. Brettanomyces adds a layer of earthy, grassy funkiness. This beer has a very complex flavor profile: every sip brings a slightly different taste to the fore. Its complexity makes classifying Alive! pretty difficult. Maybe by calling this an "American" Wild Ale Mikkeller was trying to indicate this beer would be an unusually hoppy affair.

Moutfeel (4/5): Medium body, medium carbonation. Not super active or effervescent like some wild and sour ales. A little hop prickliness can be noted, along with a light dryness (perhaps contributed by the Brett?). Goes down easy (this is helped by the fact that there is little alcohol flavor to be remarked upon.

Overall (4/5): Mikkeller Alive! is a strange beer...what is it? It's grapefruit hoppy, a little dry, a little Brett-y, some Belgian yeast sweetness, not sour...Is it a Belgian Strong Pale? An American Wild Ale? A Belgian IPA? Whatever it is, it's a fairly tasty beer, so I say embrace the weird and try it. It won't disappoint if you like a beer curveball every once in a while.

 2,079 characters

Photo of BigBry
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been looking at this Big Bottle at the store even since we tried this one at Beerfest. Poured an orangey color, with a large foamy head. Good retention and some thin strings of lacing. Aroma has the distinctive sour bacteria, tart and hoppy. Taste is definately complex with lots of flavor not normally in a beer. Yeast notes with some tartness, floral and grapefruit hops, and the unmistakable smell of wet, wool blankets that have been left in the barn (my daughter works on a ranch). Body is fuller then average, good level of carbonation. Some lingering yeast flavor, dry finish.
A good one to share, to experience some unique flavors.

 646 characters

Photo of scott451
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy orangey brown with a two finger rocky head. Good head retention. Lots of lacing.

Smells of piney citrusy hops in the smell. Very smooth flavour. Big citrus burst up front. The alcohol is quite apparent. There is some twang from the brett, but it is pretty subdued. A nice long hop finish.

Medium body. Good carbonation. Very drinkable. An unusual but well crafted and interesting beer. It seems to span several styles so calling it a Belgian Strong Pale Ale is probably not correct.

 498 characters

Photo of BiochemicalBrewMachine
4/5  rDev +0.8%

This is a great beer.

Could use some more hops; but on the whole - I love it.

I swear it had a stronger flavour a couple years ago when I first tried it (on tap and in the bottle) ?

 184 characters

Photo of Viciousknishs
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a coppery amber color with a finger and a half of creamy off white head. Superb head retention with gobby lacing.

S- floral citrus peel hops with musty Brett funk laying underneath. Light candy sugar notes with a cookie like malt on the finish.

T- Belgian candy and cookie like malt up front. Musty wet hay and earthy Brett with a substantial floral hop characteristic. Citrus orange peel notes blend in as well. Eatery fruit notes of green apple and underripe peach on the finish.

MF- slick expressive mouthfeel with a medium body. Frenetic carbonation.

D- very drinkable

Belgian IPA with Brett! Love it.

 620 characters

Photo of JackieKu
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Best before 2020-05-11.

A: Clear cropper. Poured 4 fingers high of head and retained medium long.
S: Plum. Tangerine. Slightly toasty.
T: Plum. Raisin. Toasted malty. Slightly sourness. Hints of balsamic. Moderate bitterness. Dry.
M: Medium low body. High carbonation.
O: Nice malty and fruity beer, very pricey though.

 334 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives without much of a head atop the hazy amber liquid; just a few strands of lace are left behind

Smell: Caramel melt with some pith and funk

Taste: A hint of caramel at the outset and then the beer moves in a tart lemony direction, with tropical fruit and barnyard funk developing by mid-palate; a grassy, herbal hop character adds a bitter edge but the funk builds after, the swallow and lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation; a bit flabby

Overall: A very complex brew, with the caramel, pith and funk all playing a role; I would prefer a livelier mouthfeel

 611 characters

Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Mikkeller Usalive,

A: The beer had a strange deep amber look to it that almost faded into a dark apple juice color, very light carbonation and almost no lacing to speak of.

S: There was a mild funk to this, a kind of wet hay but no real wild aspects of vinegar or pedio/lacto dryness. There’s some grapefruit hidden in there as well but not a particularly forthright beer on the nose.

T: This beer has a chameleon character to it I think due to the brett that takes it from a sweet melted caramel to a mild tartness at the end. As a side note, there is some weird funk like wet crayon, crisp apples with a wet dog dryness. Several things going on here but ultimately very interesting.

M: The coating is similar to a pale ale or a single IPA. Nothing too watery or overwhelming. The Belgian aspect to this beer gives it a bit of an expansive nature but not too filling.

D: My dad loved this beer and he had never had anything with Brett in it before. I don’t know how else to sell this than that. It is pretty accessible to anyone and, again, if cost was not so ridiculously prohibitive, it would be a great casual beer.

Narrative: Welp. DAY IN DAY OUT, these vacuums wont sell themselves. No sirree, it takes pressing the flesh and getting out and pounding the old pavement or I am not Jimmy Warrington, number one Dyson salesman in the tristate area. It just takes a few things, I tell you what, a firm jaw line, bulletproof self-esteem, and the complete lack of inhibition to barge directly into a person’s home and begin officious cleaning. That is how I do it and Jimmy Warrington doesn’t lie. That is the US way, pressing products on people, hoping they are made locally, and providing a long term high interest payment plan. Yes sir, I don’t want to see any dirty shag carpets or collateral income laying around, those are the enemies of Dyson at large! So what is it gonna take to get this next woman into a Dyson? Well, BEHIND a Dyson vacuum, a wild flair and generally likeable set of veneers, sorry time to sell this old sucking machine!

 2,064 characters

Photo of Dawkfan
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- This pours a hazy apricot orange with a noticeable amount of carbonation. 2 fingers of head that leaves loads of sticky lace clinging to the glass, a nice thin film remains. What a beautiful looking beer!

S- Wow this smells different from anything else I've ever had. Lots of citrus/pine hop & caramel malt. Some floral notes in here as well, a touch of apples and some funkiness from the brett which really makes for a unique aroma.

T- Hops are the main focus from start to finish. A touch of fruitiness and malt in the middle give way to a big hoppy bitterness that lingers for awhile. I'm not really picking up much funkiness that the smell carried, which is a little dissapointing.

M- Medium bodied, a good amount of carbonation. A little bit oily & resiny, a dry finish.

D- I enjoyed this one, but I was hoping for a little more. If somehow that smell was emulated in the taste with more of that wonderful funkiness I've come to love... that would of made for an exceptional beer.

 992 characters

Photo of birchstick
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a darker reddish brown color with a really nice one finger head that retains extremely well. Nose is onion and earthy hops with some fruitiness and a nice Brett must and funk. Taste is pretty similar - starts off with some sweet malts that are pushed aside by some really earthy, onion, and citrus. These are replaced with some fruity Belgian yeast flavors. Ends with a bit of earthy funk and earthy hops, good combo that complement each other nicely. Overall, this is a nice beer. It combines some stuff that I didn't think would work (hops and Brett), but it did so I. A really nice way. Recommended.

 608 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
USAlive! (Alive) from Mikkeller ApS
3.97 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.