Iron Works Alt | Metropolitan Brewing

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86
very good
56 Reviews
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Iron Works AltIron Works Alt
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Metropolitan Brewing
Illinois, United States | website

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An assertively hoppy top-fermented beer, polished by the wisdom and patience of lagering. Think of it as an octogenarian with a punk rock attitude. Slightly dry, this beer pairs well with hearty cuisine. We also suggest sipping it on its own; the complexity will keep you entertained and happy.

45 IBU

Added by emerge077 on 03-15-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
56
Ratings:
152
Avg:
3.82
pDev:
20.68%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
10
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 152
Photo of Ryan011235
2.33/5  rDev -39%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Hannen Alt glass on 11/4/12

Quite the heady beer with three fingers of fast-rising foam sitting atop a deep, hazy honey-brown colored beer. The head deflates leaving speckled lace. Better lace catches over time.

Aromas of toasted bread, herbal hops, soap, apple butter, raisins and hints of nuts. The flavor doesn't fall far from the aromatic tree, as it were, though there is much more of a hop kick upfront (herbal and pine) before leading into notes of bread and fruits. The finish is odd; kinda papery. The body is a seemingly appropriate medium. However, carbonation is sharp.

Overall, it isn't terrible but I grew tired of it quickly and did not finish the bottle.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.34/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a sixer of this over Memorial Day weekend at the Binny’s behind Goose Island Clybourn. Served in a pint glass. Pours a moderate brown color with a decent off-white head. Nose has some bready malt and a touch of nuttiness. Some herbal hops. Flavor is similar but has a metallic twang through the finish. The same appears in the nose as it warms. Body is light-medium with a dry finish. Not a big fan.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.58/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks fatso.

A: The beer pours amber in color with a medium sized off-white head.

S: Starts off with a nice toffee and bready aroma and a slightly toasty character. Unfortunately, there are a few flaws, particularly saw dust and metal. A light white grape aroma is also present.

T: The flavor is less enjoyable than the aroma. The beer is fairly watery with a lot of metallic notes to it. Mild amounts of toffee, bread, toast, and grape, and maybe a little bit of yeast. It's also fairly watery.

M: Light to medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Too many flaws for this beer to be any good.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
2.66/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, no bottled on date present. My first beer from Metropolitan Brewing.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Pours a hazed dark coppery amber colored body with a giant fluffy three finger cream colored head with very good retention. Steady column of bubbles rushing to the top. Tons of huge fluffy webbed lacing.

S - Smells of pale malts and dusty adjuncts. A little bit of raisins creeps out also. Some yeast.

T - Pale dusty malts again with a bit of hop bitterness clinging on for dear life in the end swallow. Dusty & nutty, with subtle notes of chocolate, hazelnut, and dark dried fruits. Maybe some sort of a caramelized raisin taste, but it isn't dark or pleasant, just adds the tiniest bit of sweetness. Maybe some kind of a grape aftertaste lingering. Lots of carbonation.

M - Mouthfeel is semi-dry, sticky, fruity. Feels a little too carbonated, but not terrible. Nutty at first, but it then becomes a bit medicinal perhaps on the finish.

Overall, not impressed, and probably not a beer I would try again. Modest 5.8% abv, better than mass produced Bud Light / Miller Lite swill, but still not my favorite. Would be interested to try more from this brewery.

Metropolitan Iron Works Alt ---3/5

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Photo of jrallen34
2.82/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a dark orange with some copper in the center, a light tope head provides some great sponge pattern lace to observe... nose is tough, pungent caramel, wet hops, and a bit skunky, not a fan of this at all... taste is a bit better as the sweet toffee notes are more tolerable but still a wet grain, bitter skunk finish... not my thing

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Photo of tewaris
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz poured into a pint glass. Thanks AgentZero. Pours deep and clear copper with only a small-medium head in spite of a regular pour. The head retention is alright in that the bubbles manage to stay on the surface and lace the glass as it gets emptier.

A very strong malt aroma without the sweetness: quite rare in most beers that I have had. Smells like the inside of a homebrew shop. Very biscuity, and dry. A wee bit of fruitiness at the end. Crisp and biting with a slightly sweet taste profile balanced by light bitterness. The finish is way too sweet for a beer that tastes otherwise clean.

More lager-y feel than an "old-style" beer but it seems to be the norm for Alts. The body is light and the carbonation very high. Overall nothing too impressive going on here... tastes like lagered Fat Tire.

Disclaimer: This is my second Alt ever and the first one was aged in barrels, so I don't know anything about Alts from direct experience.

3, 3, 3, 4, 3

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.19/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks fantastic, very large dense head that is over an inch in vertical magnitude. Color is a rich copper that remains clear. Again, the head is super dense and sticky.
The aroma instantly hit me as unique, it seems that the yeast gives a bit of a farmhouse note to it, but buried within caramel and other malts sweetness.
Flavors indeed make me think malty saison, this seems odd since i dont see other reviews thinking this, but some coriander like spices and the yeast type here, albeit they are buried in malt sweetness, caramel, burnt toast, and grains.

Is my palate broken tonight? grab a bottle and find out.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.29/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a murky, dirty, bronze color with a massive head of coarse, frothy, khaki foam. Aroma smells of caramel, raisins, prunes, earthy hops, and cherries. Broad tracts of lacing adorn the glass as the beer recedes.

Intense carbonation nearly hides the taste. I’m getting earthy hops middle to back, but barely anything on the front end aside from a seltzery mouthfeel... Fast forward 20 minutes and some warmth and flattening allow the malt to come through more appreciably. Caramel and prunes are present, but not potent, while faint hints of cherry emerge in the finish. There’s also a rye-like aspect I was not anticipating. Medium body is appropriate, but the carbonation is just over the top.

Overall, this beer’s sweet aroma belies its spicy, tangy taste. It’s an unusual lager, but not really something I’d seek out again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Lighter than pale ale and resembling drier and huskier Amber Ale, the stalwart Altbier- German in design but American in execution; it seems that American homebrewers and a smattering of microbreweries are the only ones intent on keeping the style alive.

Iron Works Alt is easily mistaken for Pale and Amber Ale to the eye. Its coppery hues and golden highlights shine semi-bright through mild unfiltered haze. Its reluctant froth rises to a mid-short stature before receding to a thin vail and simmering with steadfast retention thereafter. Broken lace vaguely resembles the collars left behind with each sip taken.

Caramel and grain greet the nose with herbal, minty undertones. Its more balanced demeanor suggests Northern German inspirations. Its clean scent is delicately lager-like even if a tad sulfury. Its grainy-sweet flavors are stronger than expected- to the point where the spicy and floral hops struggle to meet its intensity or to provide the necessary clean crispness- this leaves the beer comparable to Amber Ale. Lightly nutty and almost brittle-like its fresh-kilned barley taste is of honey and bread crust. Floral in early taste, the hops develop into earthy and herbal middle palate before concluding with a mild stemmy bitterness that reminds me of sassafras.

Medium throughout- the body is slow to relinquish its early malt structure or its creamy carbonation. This keeps the beer sweeter and fuller, deeper into the taste and seems to forbid alcohol dryness or hop crispness from ever taking hold. This limits the beer's drinkability a little and keeps it from pairing as well with those classic German dishes as more authentic versions will.

Iron Works Alt is a common occurrence where an American microbrewery makes a foreign land's style but does so on their regular equipment, with regular ale making techniques, and with as many of the already contracted ingredients that they can reasonably get away with. Although it has glimpses of Northern German Alts, its not a classic or authentic flavor or feel. It does make for a fairly good and clean non-descript ale.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pilsner glass

A: Light copper-orange, a lasting condensed white head, not as dark as I expected from the description of being brown although it does fit the fringes of an altbier style

S: Sweet and grainy up front, although not corn sweet like some cheap lagers, smells full yet crisp, hops comes through too as you begin to get used to the aroma, distinctly spicy

T: Not quite as good as the aroma, a little flat in terms of flavor, it's missing that malty goodness of an alt, light and crisp, slight metallic note of some cheap lagers, hops start dominating your palate

M: Light with crisp carbonation, clears your palate well but isn't too dry

O: To me it seems like Metropolitan went for an easy drinking "different" lager, rather than make a true altbier

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Photo of socon67
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Hopleaf in Chicago.

A - Copper pour, high tan foam. Cloudy look to it. Some lacing.

S - Sweet malt smell, with a bit of hops and spice. Scent is muted though; doesn't linger at all.

T - Decent drinking altbier that gets marks for the balance, but seems to take the safe approach; it is not rich in malt nor is the bitterness of fresh hops anything that seems strong.

M - Well balanced and easily sessionable. Soem carbonation is there. Finishes with a slight raspy bite.

O - Wasn't impressed, but didn't feel like it was a bad beer. Felt like Metropolitan rounded out their portfolio. Nice to try, but if you are a diehard altbier fan I'd pass.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Metropolitan's Alt is a pleasantly caramelized malt-driven beer, with a definite, though perhaps still understated, Contintental hop presence. Fairly straightforward in presentation, this should appeal towards those that enjoy bocks and other malt-forward beers. With a more assertive aroma and perhaps another malt added for complexity, this would be a very substantial altbier.

Pours a 1cm tall head of slightly off-white bubbles, which are small in size, creating a fairly dense-looking froth atop the body. Retention is at about two minutes, the foam settling to a thin cap atop the body of the beer. Lacing is modest, a few small complex patterns linger on the sides of the glass, amidst a few thin lines and dots of residual foam. The body is a dark copper color, with light bringing out bright orange-red hues in the beer. Carbonation is visible through the hazy (40-50% opaque) body, moderate in activity and number.

Aroma is of pleasantly sweet and somewhat rich caramel malt, slightly bready malt, and a faint note of woodsy Continental hops. Appealing, but not particularly complex or assertive.

Flavor is, overall, of caramel malt with a mild Continental hop bitterness and a grainy, slightly biscuity close. Front of palate picks up caramelized malt and sweet bread. Mid-palate continues the clean malt flavors with caramelized malt and rich, sweet bread flavors, and faint hints of woodsy, spicy Continental hops. Back of palate finds increased influence of caramelized malts, resulting in a rich, caramel sweetness that's tempered by more notable Continental hop bitterness and a slight cherry-like ester. Aftertaste is malty, rich, caramel-like sweetness with a grainy and slightly biscuit-like backdrop.

Beer is medium-light to medium in body, with carbonation of medium-high to high in intensity, resulting in a fairly fizzy mouthfeel that's a bit too pronounced for the body's weight. The result is a prickly feel that takes more than a few seconds to dissipate, eventually settling to a gentle foam on the palate. Closes fairly dry, with subtantial stickiness lingering on the palate.

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Photo of Ri0
3.54/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured 12oz bottle into Pils glass. Brown amber with a big 2.5 finger eggshell colored head and webbed lacing. Aroma of burnt toast, grassy hops, and a touch of caramel. Flavor is very prominent with toasted malt, burnt caramel, and some grassy hops. There is a sweetness to it, a bit of toffee. Seems a tad hoppy, but that is how it is marketed. Feel is medium, with prickly carbonation, and no stickiness. Decent brew and a style I am not familiar with.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.59/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark orange color with next to nothing in the way of head on the pour, although I think that was more due to the inexperienced bartender than anything else. Sides of glass left clean.

S - A lot of yeast, I actually do get the bit of raisin in there as well. Very sweet, with grain and noble hops.

T - It's pretty sweet, with a sort of syrupy sweet grain taste and caramel. Lager yeast adds a bit of body to the flavor and there is a hint of raisins. Noble hops lead to a crisp and clean finish.

M - Medium bodied, lower carbonation than expected.

O - Actually not a bad beer, after looking over some of the reviews I get the feeling this might be considerably better on tap than in the bottle. Easy to drink.

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Photo of corby112
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle received as an extra in a recent trade with lurchingbeast. Thanks again Frank!

Pours a dark golden copper color with burnt orange hues when held to a light and a half finger off white head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Sweet malt aroma with subtle spiciness and a good amount of floral/earthy hops. Slightly toasted with hints of caramel, hazelnut and biscuit as well as some subtle pine.

Full boded and slightly roasted with much more of a hop forward flavor than I expected. Dry, earthy hop notes give off some pine needle flavor and faint bitterness that linger throughout over the sweet malt profile into a slightly dry finish. The bitterness compliments the toasted/roasted malt character nicely, giving the beer good balance. Hints of caramel, rye, toffee, biscuit and nut. I'm also picking up some faint fruit, especially apricot. Pretty complex and easy to drink. Decent interpretation of the style.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- a hearty pour yields a golden orange colored body with copper/amber highlights. a small light beige colored head sits on top. the head has moderate retention and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- the nose is an odd one. biscuit and toasted bread malts with a little bit of sweet caramel. spicy and earthy hops at the end.

T- the taste starts out with a variety of malts. toasted bread, sweet caramel, and some biscuit. some spiciness that reminds me of malted rye. lots of floral and spicy hops at the end.

M- the body is on the lighter side. the carbonation is about average. crisp and clean. refreshing.

O- this isnt a style i usually choose, or one that im overly familiar with. it was an enjoyable offering from a local brewery. ill check this one out again.

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Photo of KBomb
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark, copper-amber color to the body. Two fingers of fluffy head foam up and leave just a trace of lacing.
Smells of toffee, citrusy-sweetness, and distinct lager yeast. Just a touch of floral, tea-like hops.
Taste is pretty sweet with some in your face caramel malts. Just a little bit of orange rind sweetness and a very subtle note of piney and grapefruit bitterness to contrast (not what I'd call "assertively hoppy" as the label says). The only defect is that a little cloying sweetness is left behind as an aftertaste (not my favorite sensation).
Fairly crisp and light bodied. Enjoyable mouthfeel.
Not my among my top 3 Altbiers, but still a good quality brew perfect for tossing back a few on a summer afternoon.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It’s in a stange! Just sitting there staring at me like I’m some crazy beer knurd…and its got a beautiful semi-dark copper color that just gets darker towards its center, its mildly hazy and filled with some good carbonation. The head is thick and fluffy and just will not go away, did I mention that its in an off white color, maybe even tan. Medium lacing; nothing else to say here. Weak fruit aromas like apple, banana, raisins and mild malts. Crisp and sharp when it first hits your tongue, it mellows out into a slightly tangy beer over all. The malts are well represented here, herbs and mild citrus fruits also come through, very interesting taste. It warms up in the aftertaste and the tanginess wanes just a bit as well, and the alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'll be up front: Alt beers are not my specialty. In fact, this may only be my 4th or 5th of the style.
If you're reading up about this beer, skip this review.

I will do my best to describe what I'm tasting and compare it tote style guidelines.

Served in tulip pint glass.

Amber body has some hints of orange with a tan head of two finger. Really nice retention and lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malt, some standard sweet malt that I always associate with darker German lagers. A spicy noble hop bite has a light floral quality and an enjoyable bitterness. Pretty dry finish-- crisp and clean lager yeast helps out here no doubt.

Body is nice-- medium and well carbed.

One odd thing is coming up as this beer warms slightly: a strange tart cherry note starting to make an appearance. It isn't bad, but I can't imagine it is intentional. Bad bottle? Infection? I don't think so. I may just be mistaking the flavor, but I don't think it hurts the beer's score too much.

Overall- this is nice. Not a beer I'd drink very often, but not a beer I'll pass up if it's offered. I love Metropolitan, especially Krankshaft. This is another of their well-made beers.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. Served in a snifter glass.

Pours a dark brown body with a big amber hue, one finger white head with short retention time, thin collar and film, no lacing. Smells of crisp pumpernickel bread, a bit of spice, touch of grain, mild pepper and grassy hops. Flavour is similar; grain, mild pepper, bitter grassiness, pumpernickel bread sweetness. A balanced lager for sure, with a decent hop bite. That's solid. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, substantial, good carbonation, crisp and nice bitterness rounds out the mild sweetness. Overall a decent take on the Dusseldorfian take on a lager.

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Photo of KDawg
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper color with some head.

Complex nose of malts, cinnamon, navel oranges, hops, and cardamon

medium bodied and really smooth feel. Pretty good complexity as with a real nice christmas spice finish along with a lot of malty tones as well

this is really good. The feel is very good though the taste is lacking a slight bit. This is a real enjoyable beer on the whole

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Photo of Star80
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- A dark reddish-copper color with some hops clinging to my glass but with a quickly dissipated head. The color is rich and attractive.

S - Smell is nice and fruity, but also toasty with some sweet ripe fruit undertones.

T - Beer has an odd oxidized flavor. In fact, does have a bit of an iron flavor. Is that why they call it Iron Works? Once I get past that I get a nice toasty malt with dry bittering hops. The hops are more spicey, herbal in the German Noble hop style. Some alcohol warming and a touch of sweetness on the aftertaste. Malty.

M - Lightly carbonated and fairly smooth.

O - A complex lager for sure if you're in the mood for one. But I am having trouble with the metallic taste.

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Photo of russpowell
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from Monsone, cheers Eric!

Pours a bright copper with 2+ fingers of tan head. Minimal head retention & lacing

S: Grainy & pear scents, plus a little metallic hop

T: Pear, bready sweatness & caramel up front, along with some dryness & a little herbal hoppyness. More pear fruittyness, woody dryness, & more herbal hops as this drys. Finishes grainy, dry, herbal, with some butterscotch & bready sweetness

MF: Light/Medium bodied, firm carbonation, good balance

A pretty good example of the style, pretty darn drinkable

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Photo of matjack85
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle with no freshness date. The label says to think of this beer as an octogenarian with a punk rock attitude. We'll see.

The beer pours a brilliantly clear and beautiful burnt amber color, but unfortunately I couldn't get any head out of the pour at all. All I got was a thin white rim on top that left just a few spotty patches of lace on the glass.

Not much of an aroma, but what there was was nice. Light sugary sweetness with some fruit and mild herbal hops in the background.

This is a very well made and mild beer. It has both a caramel and hard candy sweetness to it but it is delicate and not overpowering at all. Hop bitterness is low but you can still taste the mild herbal flavor they give off. A bready yeast flavor helps to make it more dry than sweet, and then at the end a touch of citrus and raisin flavor come through. Nothing is really dominant, but all blended together it makes for a pleasant taste.

Very smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel with only moderate carbonation. This goes down easy without any trace of alcohol at all.

I get the octogenarian part as this is a smooth and mellow beer, but I'm not so sure it has a punk rock attitude. I found it totally pleasant without any harshness at all.

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Photo of samie85
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a deep copper color with two fingers of off-white/tan head.

S-Dark stone-fruits with some bready and caramel notes and some herbal hops.

T-Bitter herbal hops upfront with some dark stone-fruit and malt backing.

M-Light side of medium-bodied with low carbonation and a certain crispness from the bitterness.

D-This one is quite a bit hoppier than I'm used to for an Alt, but it's still a very solid beer.

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Iron Works Alt from Metropolitan Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.
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