Atwater Hell Pale Lager | Atwater Brewery

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Atwater Hell Pale LagerAtwater Hell Pale Lager
36 Ratings
Atwater Hell Pale LagerAtwater Hell Pale Lager

Brewed by:
Atwater Brewery
Michigan, United States

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by proc on 06-21-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 36 |  Reviews: 34
Reviews by marc77:
Photo of marc77
3.66/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear deep auric hue. Fluffy, persistent porcelain white head leaves frothy lace. Aroma comprised mostly of herbal hops with a floral kiss. Trace hay and cracker hints. Dextrin malt and vegetal sweetness arise after a deliberation. Clean and prosaic aromawise. Upfront in flavor is a surprisingly brisk, parching hop bitter bite more akin to a German pils than a Helles. Grassy hop flavors abound. Tremendously dry and well attenuated. Prevalent in malt character are notes of hay and dry white bread, but, underbaked doughy hints augment as the beer warms. Immaculately clean all around and simple. Thinnish in body, but just dextrinous enough to support the lean malt profile. Finishes bone dry, with virtually no lingering tastes, save a trace green hop flavor. A unique, enjoyable brew that seems to be a Helles / German pils hybrid. It grew on me.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poures a lighter dull golden with a thinner quickly dissapating white head,very muted aromas mainly light toastiness maybe a hint of lemon but its faint and reaching to say it.A somewhat flavorful lager toasted grain,mineral finish with a pleasant fruity/lemon note.a notch above a standard American brewed lager and would be good for a day out in the summer and I would think a good conversion beer.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
2.87/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz long neck brown bottle with a crimped on cap brought over by the WVbeergeek before the Penn Fest.

Clear,light amber color with a 2" white head that fizzled quickly to a very thin coating of foam not leaving any real lacing. Just a few bubbles rising almost flat looking.

Fruity aroma,green apple aromas with some light carmell notes and a slight grassy note.

Clean taste,fruity green apple tastes like in the aroma,tart with a syrupy taste,no hop tastes detected. Reminds me of a light wine even has a dry sweet finish.

Light to medium mouthfeel with a slight prickely feel. Didn't have a hard time finishing this beer, just not anything here to make me want another.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.15/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a clear honey tinged golden color large white head disappears at a moderate pace leaves behind uneven layers of lacing. Aroma has a mild sweet biscuit tone touch of honey graham crackers pleasant sweetness with a mild light hop profile a good mix overall. Flavor a rolling sweetness pretty clean and mild with a light hop finish finishes with a bit of a biscuit malt layer that comes off balanced. Mouthfeel has an even mouthfeel lighter bodied with some cloying carbonation that carries to the back of the throat. Drinkability is great a decent session lager I could have a couple of these but after that I would begin to get board and would crave some more flavor pretty drinkable and clean and mellow like the style should be...this is definitely their crossover beer.

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Photo of sullysbeer
2.34/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Aroma: Corn and diacetyl or Butterscotch. Slight grainy and no hop nose, sweet.

Diacetyl - Diacetyl is recognized as a buttery or butterscotch flavor often accompanied by a “slickness” on the palate. Low levels are appreciable & desirable in some styles of beer. It is generated as a fermentation byproduct that may be reabsorbed, depending on process and strain, or as a bacterial infection. Extended warmer temperatures during fermentations tends to reduce diacetyl. Worts with high ratios of adjuncts tend to produce higher diacetyl levels. Additionally, diacetyl removal is affected by the constituents of the wort. Early fermentation cooling may result in higher diacetyl levels by virtue of Time verse removal mechanisms in contact with beer. Agitated ferments reduces diacetyl by increasing surface area over Time (rousting), however care must be taken not to facilitate production of acetaldehyde!

Appearance: Crystal clear and a light golden color. White head that dissipates into the beer.

Flavor: Sweet and tart. Malty and almost no hop flavor or bitterness. Tad hit of diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Thin and slick. Light carbonation.

Overall Impression: This beer seems kind of old like it was sitting on the shelf for a long time. No born on date so not to sure. I wasn't impressed with this beer at all. Kind of tart in the flavor that was a turn off. I dumped the beer but I have been down to the brewery many many times and these guys brew GREAT beer.

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Photo of weeare138
3.92/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub on 11/14/05...
Appears a shimmering gold with a lush white head that fades into a nice collar. Slow streams of carbonation come up to the top.
Smell is of a malty treat with tons of richness going on.
Taste is of ripened fruit with huge amounts of malt backing it up.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp.
Drinkability...a malty winner and a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of granger10
3.51/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours an auburn red color on the bottom but the color transfers to a clear gold midway through. Nice foamy and creamy white head sits atop the liquid and holds up for a long time. Good lacing. Aroma was bready and somewhat spicy with almost a clove flavor. But it was on the weaker side. Taste was also good but a bit on the light side, even for the style. I got a banana/clove flavor along with some extra honeylike sweetness. Bready notes underneath. A slight grassy, herbal hop flavor lies underneath. Finish is a bit oily and buttery and not quite as refreshing as I would have hoped. Overall, a decent offering and something worth trying. Definitely a worthy "transition" beer for the macro drinkers.

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Photo of mtstatebeer
2.78/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Pours a very active, but hazy yellow-golden color with a huge (nearly unmanageable) fluffy white head. Aroma is mainly pale malts, corn, bread, and with a touch of grassy aroma. Flavor has a touch of sweet caramel malts, yeasty, and a bit metallic. Mouthfeel is light and active, leaves a sweet taste on the tongue. Drinkable beer, good alternative to a macro, but not extraordinary.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.42/5  rDev +41.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Labelled: "Atwater Block Brewery"

Clear straw color with a nice white head and subdued carbonation. Husky grainy malt aroma with light sweetness. Tastes much like it smells. Light-medium (leans medium) bodied with a malty grainy dry finish.

Nice grainy Helles lager.

Per BOM club notes: Malts: Pale malt, Munich, caramel. Hops: Cascade. 16 IBU. 5.2% ABV

Per Stoney Creek Br. Co website: ABV 5.0% IBU 16.0

'4???' lasered on bottom
Tasted: 01/09/05

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Photo of hustlesworth
3.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from the very beginning, something wasn't right about this beer. i sent one of my bartenders to the store giving very specific instructions on what to get: chimay blue label and atwater pale ale. he returned with the chimay but got atwater vanilla java porter instead of the ale. BLAH. so i went to the store later and returned the porter and found that what i thought was pale ale was actually atwater hell pale lager but i bought it anyway. this is my story.

A- hazy golden honey in color with a loose white 1 1/2in of foam that slowly settled to a ring of dense bubbles.

S- seemingly normal buttermilk biscuit with slightly herbal hop notes followed by malt, un-aged cheese, and sweaty feet.

T- i said aloud "what the hell?" metallic at first the BANG a strong apricot sour orange juice that immediately switches to grain and popcorn starchy white bread yeast. it goes from sour to flour with a grassy corn husk aftertaste.

MF- juicy and tart with great carbonation. not quite syrupy but not smooth either like my mouth doesn't know what to do.

D- surprisingly drinkable, the shock value of the taste would inhibit me from buying another at a pub, but the fact that there's 5 more in my fridge makes another one of these slightly more enticing.

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Photo of SupaCelt
3.7/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer emerged from the bottle with a golden honey colour. A small head developed with a bone white appearance. It lasted not long whilst bubbles a plenty floated on up from the depths below. The nose was p'raps honey accented as well as a scosh corn syrup-titious. Heehaw. P'raps a pinch or two of a ginger like spicery. The flavours were much akin to the odours. Honey like. Somewhat syrup-titious, heehaw, in flavour and mouthfeel alike. Be not forgetful of the ginger or similar spicery as it plays a role in the flavour as well. This is quite drinkable. Not quite as crisp and refreshing as I would have liked with the somewhat syrupy aspect. Fairly light on flavours. This is somewhat odd, but altogether unoffensive. Easily drunk. Not bad for some serial swilling instead of reaching for a selection from the axis of evil...mwaahahahahahah.

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Photo of moulefrite
3.8/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not alot of complexity here but darned if it aint an easy to drink, refreshing beverage. The pour lacks a bit in the head dept and, there isn't much lace. But, the color is a super clean looking, buttery golden. It plain looks crisp, clean, and drinkable-and it is. Aromas are hearty, homey, grainy-comfort food esc. The mouthfeel is crisp and dry. Flavors offer up fresh bread and butter notes, a solid malty base and just an inkling of hop bitter. This is an easy to drink, well made brew that I'd be more than happy to find as an alternate to the usual Bud crap. I bet this would also please the Bud drinker if you substituted it while not telling him/her that it wasn't a "real" beer.

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Photo of ahking
3.69/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the brewery. Pours nice golden color, clear and crisp. True to style in every way except maybe not as malty. But this makes it nice and crisp. Brewer does a good job on the lagers. Light grassy hop aroma blends nice with the earthy malt flavors. Recommended.

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Photo of WakeandBake
2.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A pale yellow body with a HUGE foamy white head, slight spotty lacing,high carbonation. Aroma of sweet pale malt,grain,bread dough and grass. Flavor is somewhat sulphery , a bit of sweet caramel some fruity notes and then a tart lemony taste,short finish, way too fizzy in the mouth. This was drinlable but nothing I would buy again

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Another American rendition of a German classic, and another half-hearted attempt toward quality. The fizzy pour leads to a hazy (bottle conditioned?) straw complexion with a quickly evaporating foamstand and dulled carbonation. The aromas are rich and varies between pilsner malts and adjunct grains (corn?). Blended in is the moderate scent of European-type hops (Haullertau?). The flavors contribute little in improvement. A heavier than normal sweet, vegital tastes is hardly tempered by the bittering or flavoring hops; nor does the lightened carbonation help at all. Slick on the toung with a buttery flavor late. Though not a total disaster in drinking, the brew falls well short of even fair German Helles. Probably not as true to style as Anheuser Busch Burnin' Helles.

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Photo of lackenhauser
2.7/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hazy, golden color. Low aroma-somewhat sweet and citrusy. Mildly malty flavor but it has a lemon like character to it. Sweet-almost like wine cooler sweet. Perfumey as well. Decent enough mouthfeel. Overall I would give this a wide berth. Has a lot of the same flavors as their Rost Amber. Not impressed at all here.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.8/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice lager from this revived brewery. The look is a nice golden body with a large white and retentive head; some lacing, but not impressive. The nose portrays malt, some yeastiness, and a little bit of hops. The taste is less impressive, being a bit light in the yeasty/bready dimension than one would expect from a Helles. Still it is quite nice and has a crisp finish from its medium body. Easily drinkable.

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Photo of Sixpack595
3.98/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was really pleased with this one. Pours a nice gold with a fair bit of solit white head. Aroma was malty with a hint of Hops, and I sometimes cought a whiff of grain. Very refreshing and well balaced, hopped to perfection. This was the perfect beer to get through the blackout.

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Photo of harpus
2.75/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of sopor
2.71/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale straw yellow crystal clear beer under a thick snow-white head developing to fill a pint. A fair amount of largish bubbles rush to reach the surface. And even film lasts through the beer.

Pale malt is slightly sweet and touched with lemon on the nose, smells like a macro lager.

A hint of sweet, with what I think of as the "macro flavor", slightly sweet/lemony/caramelly, but very watery. Fortunately, some good flavor comes in at this point, starting with a crisp noble hop, and leading into a dry cereal malt. The macro comes back, but fortunately is able to clean up before the finish. Imcould for just a slightly fuller malt. I know it's a Hell, but hell, it's awfully close to being american macro style.

Very light body, right to style, including clean finish.

I'm not being critical of this without keeping style in mind. I know it's a very pale lager, but if you had poured this for me blind, I wouldn't know for sure that this wasn't Budweiser, except for teh ehad retention indicating all-malt.

All in all, an excellent beer to share with my BMC friends.

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Photo of boblog
2.88/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light and clear golden wheat straw color. Small head with no lacing at all.
Smell: Not much scent, but sharp almost wine like hop scent is detectable.
Taste: Fairly typical american lager. Light malts, leaving a slight hop bitterness aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Typical light bodied lager.
Overall: Decent but not exciting. Fairly drinkable, but I would recommend many other beers before this one.

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Photo of Grundle20
1.58/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

The beer pours golden yellow in color with a sizable white head that displays good retention but not so much the lacing.

This beer smells odd. There's a strange underlying sulfuric scent, but not quite like skunking, almost like a particularly funky brett smell. Aside from the potent cheese like scents there's an odd honey note, kind of like freshly fermenting mead. I don't suspect infection, or at least any infection I've ever come across in my drinking and brewing. This is not a pleasant experience thus far.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Again it's a little weird. There seems to be a nice background of caramel malts but again there's a lot of Belgian yeast character coming through. The beer drinks thin but it is crisp. Towards the end of the drink a layer of tasty hop bitterness comes out but finishes clean. I can't figure out if it's the water they use to brew this beer, if it's infected, or just strange. It feels kind of like a tragic mix of all 3 at times.

I don't know what it is, but I did not enjoy this beer and it doesn't feel like a good example of a pale lager really. I'm not trying to be a troll here but I simply wouldn't enjoy drinking more than one of these beers.

Bottom Line:
Kind of a bummer beer, I picked this up in Detroit last weekend and I was hoping for something a bit more. Let's hope this was a bad bottle or a bad batch.

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Photo of proc
4/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a fine pale lager. Back in the mid-90s, the Atwater Block Brewery in Detroit, brewed this beer. Today, the brewery is called "Stoney Creek" and it is good to see this one being brewed again. Pours out to a beautiful gold color in the glass with a generous head. Aroma is that of biscuits and a faint yeast. The taste is very, very good. You can taste and sense the wonderful hop balance in this beer. It is crisp and refreshing and surprisingly lower priced ($5.99/6-Pack) than most micros. This is a fine rendition of a German-style lager.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
1/5  rDev -68.1%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

For some reason my girlfriend bought a bottle of this in MI at a shady little shop in Ann Arbor. It looked old and I asked her why she would get that, but it came home with us anyway.

It sat in the fridge for months and months, just as it must have sat in that shanty little shop, until today. I noticed a spill in the fridge. I traced it back to this bottle which had been on its side with some foam and moisture around the cap. "Infection city" I thought to myself. I gave it a whirl anyway.

The bottle opened with a cracking great whoosh of escaping carbonation. With all that pressure Im not surprised that this was leaking, the surprise is that the cap didnt just shoot off by itself.

I turn to get a glass, the bottle sitting on the counter out of my sight for a second. I turn back and a good inch of foam is standing out of the top of the bottle like one of those crappy 4th of July ash snakes. I prayed that it didnt take over the whole town like in that episode of South Park.

I quickly pour into my New Glarus pilsner to avoid making a mess. It turns out making a mess would be the least of my worries. The glass filled up with foam three or four times over before I had enough beer to actually sample.

At this point many people would call it a loss and move on but today is labor day and Im off work, I needed something to do. Having poured out over half of the bottle's worth of foam I had a sample big enough to tick.

The smell is of dull grains and citrus, well citric-like acid. Frankly, its sour (no surprise).

This left me quite scared to try a sip but Ive fought this thing across the kitchen for hours now and a forfeit would be a loss for the ticker in me. I mustered up all the fourth-grade double-dog-dare-you bravery I could and took a swig. It tasted much like the nose. Dull grains, that hinted at the beer that once was, and sour acidic lemon cleaner. Fearing for my health I poured out the rest.

In hindsight I wish I had been able to reseal this bottle some how and sit on it longer. An explosion would have made for a much better story, but and explosion would not have allowed me to tick off this dubious beer.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.82/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer first distinguished itself by the amount of head present - it seemed to sort of gush all over the place. Body seemed a bit thin and was a clear (but not brilliant) yellow. Aroma was slightly sweet; not quite corny or grainy...almost mediciney, although I read soap in another review and could agree with that too. Flavor is slightly sweet but rather metallic and soapy. Mouthfeel is OK.

I won't be driving any great distance to have this again. I bought this 12oz single at Brew&Brew in North Ridgeville, OH.

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Atwater Hell Pale Lager from Atwater Brewery
Beer rating: 3.13 out of 5 with 36 ratings