USAlive! (Alive) | Mikkeller ApS

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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

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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 202
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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Photo of thagr81us
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Mikkeller oversized wine glass. Poured a hazy yellow-orange with a two finger off-white head that subsided to a half finger extremely slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, spices, earth, funk, and pear. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruit, earth, funk, spices, bread, pear, and earthy funk. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. There was just something about the flavor on this one that was a little off-putting for me. There just seemed to be too much earthiness and funk going on without anything to really balance it out. The aroma on the other hand was quite nice. Glad I got to try this one based on the style on the bottle. I suggest you do the same if you like earthy funkiness.

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Photo of stakem
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wishuwerebeer for sharing. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears copper in color with a finger of off-white head. It retains fairly decent leaving patchy lace on the glass as it slowly recedes.

The smell of the brew includes a hint of caramel malt sweetnesd with some earthy notes. Also present is citrusy fruits like grapefruit. A bit of cardboard quality rounds out the nose. Overall a bit perplexing, yet mild and not all that appealing.

The taste includes some fruity quality of grapefruit that also includes a rindy bitterness of pulp and zest. Some earth and peppery spice mixes with cardboard-like oxidation and earthy funk. The flavor of this brew is what you would expect from the aroma, it is disjointed and doesn't really come together.

It is medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. An interesting mix of flavor that wasn't bad, just unique without much appeal. It is quite oily and bitter as it warms up with just a bit more focus on some natural fruity/alcohol esters. This brew is not something I would go out of my way for.

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Photo of mattsander
3.16/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Murky deep copper - this is not an attractive beer. Brisk carbonation creates a fluffy head that quickly vanishes.

S: Heaps of Brett character - wet dog and rain covered leaves. Little else, I get no indication of the dry hops used.

T: Mimics the Brett-bomb of the nose. Complex, heavy, deep, bitter. Finishes long and dry with a pear like fruitiness.

M: The dryness is my favorite part of the beer, lovely carbonation and a crisp finish.

O: It seems odd to dryhop a beer intended for long aging (w/ Brett). By the time the Brett has evolved into something interesting, the dry hop character has been totally lost. An interesting beer and a very 'pure' Brett character for those who search it out.

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Photo of korguy123
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Slightly hazy burnt orange pour. Four finger cream colored head soapy head. Deflates to finger width cap. Lacing left behind is like wallpaper glue.

S- Definitely get the candy sugar and dry hopping (citrus and pine). The brett is there but quite subtle (wet hay and musty blankets) Typical Mikkeller medicinal alcohol aroma peeking through.

T- The brett kinda smacks you in the tongue. There is a wine quality to it before the hops kick in. Quite juicy with a lingering dry finish. Not as sweet or medicinal as the nose would lead you to believe.

M- Medium bodied, dry finish and sticky on the lips.

O- I wasn't sire what i was going to expect with his one. The brett is spot on, the hops are fading (never any freshness date) but overall a very enjoyable beer

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Photo of timtim
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark amber with an off-white head that holds and leaves lace. nose is caramelly malt with hints of grapefruit and funk. very inviting to me. kind of smells orval-inspired with us hops and more caramel. taste follows the nose to reveal layers of caramel, funk and hops with a mild dose of bitter in the end. proves my theory about the orval thing... taste is very orval-like in it's brett character, but the sweetness is more caramel and the hops are more citrusy and fruity. medium-full body with just a touch of stickiness. overall, a very nice example of what happens when the US goes wild.

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Photo of DoktorZee
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a large (750ml?) bottle into a schooner. The foil at the top of the bottle notes a date: 03/02/15 - perhaps a best before? Could get some more of these and lay them down.

A - pours a slightly cloudy light brown, with a one finger tan head that resolves after a couple minutes leaving some thin lacing.

S - fruit notes on the nose, sweet plum along with some floral elements. Light bready sweetness and perhaps even a hint of pineapple.

T - tart and bitter, with lots of lemon in the finish; very unusual in that it has only light to moderate hops bitterness up front, nearly no malt to balance it off and then a very bitter finish. The the bitterness builds and builds through the finish almost like a lemon rind stuck in the back of the throat. Intensely bitter in the end. Tastes nothing like it smells. (Where did the sweetness go?)

M - medium bodied with lots of carbonation; effervescent with just a hint of alcohol warming

D - initially seems quite drinkable, though the bitterness in the finish is quite powerful (would be curious to know the IBUs on this one). May be too powerful for some.

The bottle used to list this as a Wild Ale (in 2011) rather than a Strong Pale Ale; hard to say which one it really is in the end. It's no longer listed as a Wild Ale in 2012. From the bottle there's no appreciable funk, which was a bit surprising. Overall a very interesting beer and one definitely worth trying. Just watch out for the bitter, bitter finish.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed and lightly rusted orange amber with nice cap of frothy white bubbles. Scent is a nice mix of citrusy hops and earthy, light funk along with a lightly bready malt backbone. Taste brings the components of scent to a whole new level, all the best notes of an IPA (bitter and citrusy) combine with a Belgian Pale (bready yeast, light sweetness) and completed wonderfully with the Brett (earthy, light barnyard funk)... complex. Medium bodied, grainy and dry. A nice beer from Mikkeller who continues to make interesting and tasty brews.

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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

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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.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a gorgeous half-pint glass in the BrewDog bar in Edinburgh. From notes. Reviewed 7 June 2011.

A: Clearish; pretty. Light, white, creamy head fades fast leaving really great lace. Nicely orange.

S: Smells like an IPA. Fresh, semi-vegetal hops provide exciting topnotes. Some grapefruit...and some sweetness, from both malt and, seemingly, yeast.

T: Whoah. QUITE bitter. Quite. Raw grapefruit juice. Hops are slightly soapy, but with a nice tinge. A bit of lambic sourness. The finish is lemon peels and more hops. Drying and pleasant.

M: Carbonation, dryness, and sourness (almost too much).

O: Too bitter and sour for me. It's strength shows after half a glass. Not precisely *recommended*, but worth trying.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.92/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle: Poured a medium orangey color ale with large foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma consists of Brett with light tartness and dry hoppy notes which are very well balanced. Taste is a complex mix between some Brett notes with some medium barnyard and light tart undertones with a great mix of floral and dry hops which are mix with a semi-sweet Belgian-style malt base. Body is slightly fuller then average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol notes. Very well brewed and while being different kind of remind me of the quality of Russian River beers.

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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.

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Photo of shleepy
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought in 750ml bottle at K&L in Redwood City, served in Chimay glasses.

A: Amber, pretty hazy. Slightly off-white head with decent head retention.

S: Mostly light, hoppy notes - citrus and some pineapple, with a bit of sweetness.

T: Candy sugar sweetness right on the tongue; medium maltiness, hoppy spiciness and some barely distinguishable fruitiness, balanced by brett bitterness; smooth and clean finish, surprisingly enough. Perhaps we got a fresh bottle, since I'm not getting a lot of the funkiness that should be apparent in a wild ale.

M: Medium body and carb; smooth and silky; very pleasant and drinkable.

O: Not sure that I'd buy it again, since there are better options at this price point, but it was enjoyable.

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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.

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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!

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Clear amber-copper pour with a huge three finger off-white head with great retention and incredible lacing. I could instantly smell the citrus when I cracked it open. It's a very unique, wild, funky, sour citrus aroma thanks to the Brett. Tangerine, orange peel, grapefruit with a solid bready, caramel malt backbone highlight this incredible nose. The Mikkeller description of the taste being a mix between Orval and an American IPA is absolutely spot on! The bitter piney hops and citrus overload work perfectly with the sourness of the brett and that peppery Orval character. A solid caramel malt backbone really kicks in as it warms and offsets the bitter and sour nicely. The alcohol is well hidden and the mouthfeel is both refreshing and bold with a nice snappy tang on the finish. Hugely drinkable for a big beer. Totally unique and totally delicious. Another world class offering from one of my favorite breweries!

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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!”

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Photo of Blanco
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes

Slightly reddish brown color and semi muddy. Small white head that disappears immediately. Citrus in the smell as well as some hoppiness and funk from wild yeasts. Flavor is also hoppy, but almost no bitterness. Wild tastes lean more toward vinegar and reminiscent of flanders sours than funk, with some slight tartness. Overall very good and interesting. This is one I very much enjoyed for its unique flavor.

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Photo of Yojimbo1941
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Brasserie V

A - dark tangerine with tan head, lots of lacing

S - slight vinegar, brett, earthy, bitter hops, some bittersweet orange

T - citrus, dry cereal giving way to heavy grapefruit, some sweet tangerine, slight apricot

M - medium to heavy, acidic at the end

D - not something I would drink all night

Overall I'm not that impressed. It's decent and the description of Orval/IPA is apt but it's just not a beer that I'm interested in drinking. Those of you who love Belgian IPAs will probably fap over this one. Again, nice beer just not the style I like.

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Photo of sholland119
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Monk's, 4/2/11.

A-Pours a murky amber brown with a pool of tan head and no lacing whatsoever.

S-Nicely bretty with a strong pine hop presence.

T-Peppery brett in the front, nice grapefruit hoppiness. Delicious. The beer menu describes this beer as Orval + West Coast hops and I have to say that nails it.

M-Medium bodied and very dry.

O-Excellent. Better than this was in the bottle, better than it was on tap at TND four days later. So if you get a good keg, like I did here, you should drink all of it.


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Photo of WeedKing4
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy, dark reddish orange with a decent amount of foam in the Chimay chalice glass. Smells floral with some citrus piney hops lingering in there too. Tastes almost fruity like with a slight hoppy, floral finish. Decent drinkability overall. Would be interesting to have this beer when it was first bottled, before the hops started to fade. Still pretty good overall though.

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USAlive! (Alive) from Mikkeller ApS
3.97 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
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