Iron Works Alt | Metropolitan Brewing

BA SCORE
86
very good
157 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Iron Works AltIron Works Alt
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Metropolitan Brewing
Illinois, United States
metrobrewing.com

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
Ratings:
157
Reviews:
58
Avg:
3.82
pDev:
12.3%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
10
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 157 |  Reviews: 58
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of spycow
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of t0rin0
2.5/5  rDev -34.6%

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.

 2,098 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into an 0,3l stange glass, Iron Works pours a bright, saturated copper with some rusty orange tones. Sticky cap of foam, a fingers width rises to the rim, leaving some ghostly lacing inside the glass. Nice retention, the head lasts for the duration of the glass.

Yeast driven aroma, very clean with light banana esters at first, followed by some toasted husky grains and light nuttiness peeking through. Swirling it as it warms brings out a grassy floral hint of hops.

Dry toasted malt, sunflower seeds, caramel, multigrain bread. Hazelnut mingles with a mild hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Very clean and somewhat dry, only a touch of sweetness. Definitely a well crafted malt bomb. Easy feel, quaffable, but with a substantial fullness that ironically isn't filling.

Glad to see Metro branching out, can't wait to see what else they have up their sleeves...

 866 characters

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a clear, light copper color with a small, head of foam. It smelled floral and malty. An overall sweet aroma. It tasted of sweet caramel with a malty backbone. It was crisp, sharp and smooth.

 201 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.69/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

 411 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very compelling and one of the best American altbiers I've had. Pour is on the dark cola end of the spectrum with a rocky head that lingers nicely. Quite fruity - plums, currants - with yeasty spice, caramel malts, and a bit of spicy / herbal hops to balance it all out. Medium body.

 283 characters

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

 536 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

amber with lots of visisble carbonation and amazing clarity. A big three inch fluffy white pilow head on top faded quickly leaving behind just a hint of lace. The aroma was very malty. Lots of cereal and bread smells, along with a touch of banana. The flavor was light and very good. Lots of grains and bready like flavors, bit very nice balance, with a touch of banana of pear like fruit and a hint of spice as well. A nice strong finish left the mouth ddry and begging for another sip. The carbonation was great and mixed with a smooth subtle feel made this extremmely drinkable. Overall a very nice offering and definitly a quality session beer. I would look forward to trying this one again in the future

 708 characters

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.

 612 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Finally sitting down to try what comes across as the highest-regarded of the Metropolitan beers (which, for whatever reason, I've sorta neglected over the years). It pours a clear amber-copper topped by over a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises caramel, Belgian candi sugar, lightly spicy greens, mandarin orange syrup, and a touch of red apple skin. The taste brings in more of the same, with the candi sugar really taking on a leadership role now. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a generally smooth feel. Overall, a very nice brew, one of the better altbiers I've had in a long time.

 675 characters

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Tone
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, copper color. 3/2 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of pale malt, dough, sweet malt, caramel malt, slight citrus hops, hint of yeast, hint of pepper, and slight rye. Fits the style of an Altbier. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of caramel malt, pale malt, slight sweet malt, hint of rye, slight hops, hint of dough, and slight alcohol. Overall, good appearance, decent aroma, body, and blend. A slightly sweet and boozy altbier.

 533 characters

Photo of BeerOps
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of enelson
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

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.

 600 characters

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.

 973 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a footed strange)

A- This beer has a slightly dense but crystal clear auburn hued body with a relaxed carbonation of microbubbles. There is a rocky off-white head that pulls away from the glass but last as a cloud.

S- The flinty dry toasted malt aroma is clean with a some dried leave notes as it warms and a soft dry green snap in the finish.

T- The nice toasted grain note has some toasted biscuit qualities in the background with a soft green Noble hop character in the finish. There is just a touch of sweetness to the finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a crisp finish and no alcohol heat.

O- The nice clean crisp Alt has a very fresh malt flavor with some good depth to the toasted malts and a hint of darker malt comes through as another subtle layer. This is well lagered with a nice hop snap to finish the taste.

 851 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Happy bubbling carbonation quickly rising to the top of a bread crust copper colored beer. The head is two fingers after the pour, and leaves an off-white film after each sip, as well as some lacing.

Great malty aroma full of toast, bread crust, caramel, and biscuits from the malt. The hops add a nice earthy spritz to the nose.

True to teh real McCoy from Germany, lots of malty, with a spritz of hops to balance everything out. Toasted white bread, biscuits, illed grain, crumpets, and the earthiness from the hops. Very well rounded and sessionable. Thank you sir may I have another!

 591 characters

Photo of Gotti311
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Iron Works Alt from Metropolitan Brewing
3.82 out of 5 based on 157 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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