Mission Amber | Mission Brewery

37 Reviews
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Mission AmberMission Amber

Brewed by:
Mission Brewery
California, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by scottoale on 04-29-2009

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Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 138
Photo of stevoj
4.02/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my fist tastes of San Diego beer culture. A good rendition of the Dusseldorf altbier style. Nice hoppy bitterness, thick fluffy head, orange/copper color. Pleasant sipper...

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Photo of scottoale
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber. Although label name is Amber Ale - they call it a "Dusseldorf-Style Altbier" and it weighs in at 5.0% ABV and 43 IBU's. It pours a red-copper with brilliant clarity and a two-finger white-cream head. The foam disipates down to a surface cover and leaves only flecks of lace hear and there. The carbonation looks pretty mild.

The nose is fairly sweet with notes of caramel, some toastiness and a metallic twang of sorts. Sweet yet earthy is how I'd describe it simply. Nice and lager like.

The taste starts sweet and malty and briskly fluffs in the mouth rendering some earthiness. The earthy turns toasty and winds to a pilsner crisp finish while coating the tongue with sweet caramel. An unusually nice balance with the carbonation being bigger than it looks. A very lively brew.

Medium full body with high drinkability due to the relatively low ABV. The alcohol is hidden in every aspect. Overall a solid brew in a unique style that I definetly recommend.

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Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


On tap at Mission brewery.

A: The color is, well, amber. The head is half an inch of white foam. Lacing is scattered.

S: Bread, caramel, and grainy malt with notes of apricot, orange, and grapefruit. This is quite hoppy for an Amber, but I can't complain.

T: Caramel malt is lightly sweet with balancing earth and citrus hop notes. I detect orange and grapefruit. The finish is smooth and balanced. Delicious.

M: Lower medium in body with medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and sticky.

Overall: A good hoppy amber. I'm told the beer isn't always this hoppy, but it's damn enjoyable.

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Photo of Hoptron_3000
3.92/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours murky copper with a very small fluffy head.
S: Sweet bread, lots of toasty and nutty malt.
T: Similar to smell, lots of nutty malt, caramel and bread. Tiny bit of chocolate. Nice firm bitterness.
M: Good carbonation.
O: Nothing to crazy here. Very easy drinking, could easily drink a few of these.

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Photo of DrJay
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear coppery amber with a beige cap that was a combination of fine and soapy bubbles. Good head retention with clumpy and streaky lacing. Malty aroma, not overly sweet though, with some toast and biscuit, grain, and faint herbal hops. Clean flavour with moderate bitterness (started out soft, but was sharper in the finish). More toast and biscuit with light caramel sweetness, slightly grassy with a hint of lemony citrus. Medium bodied with carbonation a bit higher than average, a bit dry with slight astringency. Very fresh tasting and quite drinkable. It's nice to see a someone take a (successful) stab at a less popular style.

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Photo of jlindros
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice fluffy 1 finger head that fades at a med pace but is reinforced by many bubbles rising from the bottom, light lacing, mostly clear amber orange color with bits of sediment floating.

Nose is a basic amber, light toasty reddish malts, copper, crystal malts but very little caramel, aromatic malt with a light toasty straw pilsner like malt. Hints of grassy hops.

Taste brings more hops, which aren't the dominant flavor but notable enough to mention first. Grassy and earthy hops bring a bigger bitter bite, (love alliteration) with a light orange rind taste as well. The malts still take the show initially, plenty of toasty reddish malts, light copper malts, and plenty of caramel this time with even a hint of toffee. Smooth with a light floral aromatic feel that adds nicely to it and hint of acidic bite. Finish is fairly bitter as the hops really ramp with the drier finish, with a bitter orange rind hop finish and a bit of caramel malts.

Mouth is med to slightly lighter bodied, good carb.

Overall pretty good, much better than the blonde IMO, this brings a nice malt profile with a nice hop kick balanced well, a dry not sticky finish with a big bitter ramp up and light acidic bite that surprisingly makes my mouth water when the sip is gone.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber-brown colour from the pour with a slight haze, and off-white head is generous and retains nicely. Nose has some toasty/biscuity aromas. On the palate there's a pleasant one-two punch of caramelly malt sweetness followed by bitterness from the hops. More of the toasty/biscuity comes through on the palate as well. Medium bodied and rather sessionable.

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Photo of Offa
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a very good altbier.

Reddish orange/copper, it has a smallish tan head steadily shrinking to a foamy ring.

Aroma is caramelly toasty bread crust, earthiness.

Taste is very toasty, lightly caramelly, with nice earthy-leafy hop bitterness, a bit peppery, balanced with light sweetness but just dominating.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.82/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a very small off-white head.
Rich malty aroma, lots of toasty and nutty malt. Tempting.
Similar flavours, loads of nutty malt and caramel making for a very moreish drop.
Low carbonation. Could be a little higher.
Very easy-drinking stuff.

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Photo of dfillius
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed while visiting family in San Diego. Poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: Moderate pour yields 2 fingers of ecru head with great retention. Hazy amber colored liquid. Good looking.

S: Clean breadiness. Bright, pleasantly perfumey herbal hops. Sweet caramel notes as well.

T: Very bitter, even soapy. Surprising, I expected and actually desired more malt - shocking for a hop head like me. Slightly disappointing but still okay. A departure from the style.

M: Fizzy, bitter, slightly metallic.

D: Okay, but not great. I would not order another or buy this again.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle. Kind of weird to see a straight-up Yankee amber ale classified in such an old-world style. Time will tell, specifically in the next 30 minutes or so.

This beer pours a mostly clear, bright red brickish hue, with two fingers of loosely foamy, lazily puffy pale beige head, which leaves a nice array of Futurama alien language script lace around the glass as it lazily sinks away.

It smells of sweet bready, fairly pastry-like caramel malt, a subtle roasted biscuity addendum, a bit of apple and pear skin fruitiness, and earthy, leafy hops. The taste is more rather sweet caramel malt, tempered somewhat by further biscuit and dry cracker notes, ethereal savoury spice, very mild citrusy, leafy hops, a slight oily nuttiness, and a bland under-steeped black tea character.

The carbonation is present, but not to any real degree, the body an adequate medium weight, and equananimous in its smoothness. It finishes just on the sweet side, the biscuity malt wilting somewhat, while the inherent fruit, softly metallic stoniness, and leafy, earthy hops hold steady enough for a pretty snapshot of the basic requirements for the style.

An agreeable enough amber ale, of the decidedly American bent. The issue here, I propose, is the lack of actual German heritage, or at least a strict adherence to such. Altbiers have a sort of crisp, unassuming nature to them - this approaches that, but doesn't really follow through. Good, but not the 'goodest' - to mangle a now stale Colbert Nation trope.

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Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a imperial pint glass a clear deep amber/bronze with a thinner but well defined white head.Aromas os sweet dough with some light toastiness,a faint earthy hoppiness compliments the sweet element pretty well.The palate is pretty straight forward with lightly sweet doughiness standing out,not mush hop presence but there is a decent drying in the finish.A no frills malt tilted alt,pretty true to style just not anything spectacular.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very clear amber colored beer with a fluffy head, good retention and lacing.

Aroma is mostly toasty malty, hops have a very European taste and aroma, very much in the German Ocktoberfest mold. They’re kind of way in the background beneath the big bready malt character of this beer.

Lightly bitter, not overly hoppy and certainly not an American style amber; fits the altbier category well. Mild sweetness.

Short, dry finish. Clean drinking. Slightly creamy, very smooth, low-medium carbonation. Nice but a little bland.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright burnt orange with bumblebee yellow trim. A thick chunk of sandstone colored suds rests atop the beer. When the head evenutally melts, scattered sheets of sea foam lace can be seen on the sides of the glass. It isn't a great look, but it gets the job done.

The nose is classic for the style. It's big on toasted-earthy-nutty character, thanks to what Mission calls 'the generous use' of Munich, Vienna and Pilsner malts. For those who have never had an altbier, they smell like Oktoberfests. Hops aren't appreciated.

Beer that counts on pale and mid-range malts (see above) for the lion's share of the flavor(bocks, marzens, altbiers) will never be among my favorites. Having said that, I have given a few altbiers some pretty high scores. Therefore, Mission Amber is being given every chance to impress me with its magnificence.

Malt sweetness is easily matched by hop bitterness. While 43 IBUs seems a tad high for the style, more hops than expected is rarely a problem. Specifics include toasted whole grain bread, steely caramel, roasted peanuts and bitter black tea leaves. Next to no fruitiness gives the beer a cleanliness that lager lovers should enjoy.

Since the flavor score was rounded down, the drinkability score will be rounded up. Ideal sweet-bitter balance helps drinkability quite a bit. The mouthfeel is light-medium and has fairly bright carbonation. Softer and smoother would have been better... and things are edging that way now that the bottom half of the bomber has arrived.

In the end, Mission Amber is a respectable altbier that I probably won't think about again once this review is in the books. Kudos to the brewery for trying something different rather than rounding out their lineup with yet another American amber ale.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Glowing amber when held toward the light, a bit darker than the average amber, labeled as a Dusseldorf style altbier. Forms a light beige head, thicket with fine speckled lacing across the sides of my glass. Aroma has a pleasant fruitiness/grapes/roasted malts with spicy earthy/herbal hops going on as well. Toasted Vienna malts stand out and really bring to mind a good Vienna style lager. Tastes leaves a bit to be desired, a bit of harsh grain husks, dry finish, not enough malts shine through, with a bit of nutty earthiness making things pretty bitter and almost off putting. So far, I can deal with it but it's way to hopped up, earthy dirty hop profile muddles the whole malt experience in this beer. Mouthfeel is a bit harsh with hop oils/bitterness on the palate lingering, not as crisp as I would like. Carbonation is solid medium bodied alt style bier from SoCal. Good stuff, enjoyable brew I'm liking more as it warms up take your time with this one.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich red colour, not as vibrant as an American red maybe. Head is beiege, OK when poured but dissipated to a thin ring of lace. Looks alright.

Smells sweet, malty. Touch of roast but lots of caramel, toffee, touch of pumpkin even. Notes of citric hop floating over the top gives it an American edge. Quite nice, not sure if it's true to the mission statement though (no pun intended).

Taste is more what I expect from an altbier. Roasty, but lightly. Malt-driven with some grain soup characters, a touch of earthiness, sour clove spice and some noble hop bitterness at the back. Earthy, kind of woody notes finish up. Nicely balance, pretty to-style and well-made alt.

Nice body, but there's a fair bit of fizz to it that shouldn't really be there.

Nice altbier. Drinks like a hearty mid-season brew.

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Photo of MrOH
3.64/5  rDev +4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy amber with no head.

Toffeeish malt, some herbal hops

Deep, rich malt flavor for the color, with a nice bitter hop bite at the end. Well balanced.

Medium bodied, slightly sticky, low carbonation.

A pretty good everyday beer. Probably wouldn't buy it again, though.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.59/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into new belgium chalice, color is amber, translucent, nice lacing from head that is off white in color.

Smell is subdued, hints of toast and light caramel, but not emphatic, nothing out of place, clean hop notes of grass, some breadiness comes through as it warms.

Taste is pretty clean, again not emphatic but mild flavors, caramel, toast, bread, toffee, hints of hop grassiness and slight earthy profile.

Mouthfeel is somewhat strong on the tongue from carbonation i assume, the hoppiness is not there; sweetness lingers leaving some caramel and bready notes on the palate.

Overall, a mild, subdued amber ale, easy to drink, no off flavors.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear coppery amber, with a finger of frothy white colored head that has a bit of an off-look to it. Pretty good retention here, staying rich and leaving a latticework of creamy lace behind that hangs in some thick swathes. The aroma is mostly floral and citric, with a touch of herbal quality about it up front. Underneath is some light notes of smoky roast, bread, and caramel sweetness.

The taste is overall fairly roasty in the mouth. Caramel malts come out to play, as does some fresh citrus character, giving this a tangy pop at times. Good bit of hops here as well, making sure that this finishes very dry, with just a little touch of leftover sweetness hanging on the palate. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied, with a smooth and creamy touch to it. Maybe a bit too smooth, as this does feel a tad light in spots.

This was decent. A bit more beef would have been welcome in the body but for the most part this was a flavorful and easy drinking Alt.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Standard bomber poured into a narrow pils glass. This offering shows a copper amber with good clarity. A half inch of just off white foam offers decent though a bit substandard retention initially, yet keeping a thin film and showing fair lacing.

Aroma is clean and a bit light with some grain and an understated nuttiness. Subtle earthy hops and a touch of caramel present themselves. Nothing overwhelms nor detracts in classic alt style.

Flavor is again clean and smooth, albeit with a notable hop spice character which delivers some unexpected body. Some nutty caramel notes up front segue to a subtle orange citrus character on the finish and a touch of smoke. Offers a touch of spice and a moderately lingering finish as the pour warms. Nicely done and with a well placed level of carbonation.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle.

Pours clear amber with a quarter inch of bone foam. Dotted lacing and a few whisps on the surface remain for the rest of the glass.

Aromatics are a blend of sweet malt, proofing dough, and a hint of raisin. Zero hops but perhaps a hint of gypsum.

Medium bodied with a crispish mouthfeel. A bit tacky.

Plump malt with drizzeled caramel starts the palate. A hint of fig and toffee follow through. Bitterness to balance.

Finishes with a touch of lingering sweet malt and a minerally crispness.

A pretty tasty, albiet kind of boring, Altbier.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

technically an altbier, I already like this because we need more of these in the usa. however, this one is less than stellar. brick red with a decent off white head and decent carbonation. im picking up aromas of dry red malt, german caramel grains, and the aroma of a well toasted everything bagel. the flavor is pleasantly not sweet at all. the grains come through a little stale, and there needs to be some more hops so balance things out, but the dryness and relative lack of residual sugar for the style is a welcomed respite from the droves of sugary reds out there today. a nice almost oaty smoothness to this, but the carbonation dies a little and the beer gets a tad heavy for that reason. the finish is the best part, clean and dry, but still full of flavor, exactly as the style dictates. its not a flawless alt by any stretch, but this is a step in the right direction for American brewers. now that ive covered the basic mission lineup, I think they are a little all over the place, but might be on to something with their slight twists on mass appeal styles. I will keep checking out their beers as they come in.

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Photo of mactrail
3.52/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The classic amber color. Quite hoppy at first sip, like a Pale Ale. More malty in the body, though, and plenty of carbonation. Lots of the browned biscuit taste. Bitter lemon flavor. Nose of roast malt is the best feature. Otherwise it's very plain. There is just a hint of cardboard taste. Kind of savory and salty in the aftertaste, along with the bitterness.

On tap at the brewery's Skid Row location in San Diego.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - I give it a 3.5 since I drank it from the bottle. Carbonation seems good enough.

S - Fairly good alt bier it smells of caramel malts an a mild twang of hops.

T - Not bad has sort of a lingering bitterness but good caramel and biscuit background.

M - Light to medium body.

Overall sessionable but forgettable this beer was decent.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber at Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa.

a - pours a deep copper color with a two-finger ivory head, low-to-moderate retention and lacing, fairly hazy

s - lots of malt with a very toasty aroma, moderate orange/tangerine citrus component, light caramel malt

t - toasted malt and bread up front, light caramel flavor, decent amount of hop bitterness on the mid-palate and finish, some orange and lemon notes mixed in with the toast, pretty dry and slightly bitter finish

m - light-bodied, medium-to-higher carbonation, fairly dry but not overly bitter finish, no alcohol warming

d - pretty drinkable stuff in that it's easy on the palate and balanced, unfortunately, the flavor, while solid, just isn't very interesting

Not bad stuff overall, but nothing memorable. I'd like to try some of the brewery's other offerings.

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Mission Amber from Mission Brewery
3.5 out of 5 based on 138 ratings.
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