The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

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German Altbier
Ranked #4
Ranked #3,711
4.1 | pDev: 13.17%
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
North Carolina, United States
Notes: OMB’s flagship, Copper, is an authentic Düsseldorf style “Altbier” or Amber Ale. There are no crazy flavors or gimmicks with Copper – its full-flavored start transitions to a smooth, balanced, easy-drinking finish. It’s the beer that tastes like beer.
Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 440 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of makanihula
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very very good. They've out-German'd the Germans. This is the most balanced and delicious Alt I've ever had I believe. The malt is smooth and medium, the hops are very Tettnang or Spalt, but not as heavy as Red Oak's 'authentic' German beer. Tettnang, to me, taste like the bottom of a damp log in the forest (or at least that's what I think of) and I mean that as a compliment. Woody, earthy, not spice. But too much and it seems to lose any crispness. I really love this beer. If you are a German beer conissour (or however its spelt) you can appreciate this truly is a 10 for that style.

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makanihula from North Carolina, Jan 23, 2020
Photo of BrewAskew
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On draft at CLT airport. Clear copper, minimal head retention and lacing (could be bar's fault)

Clean, crisp and slightly honey/fruity sweet malts with low soft floral herb/spice noble hops.

Moderate rich caramelized malt perfectly countered by a soft, easy alpha acid layer on the tongue. Finishes crisp and lager-clean. Hop aromas carry over to taste.

Medium to light, nominal CO2 and no harshness. Feels good going down and not too gassy.

Has the bright, round and slightly fruity tang of an ale with the crisp and curt finish of a lager. Almost a session beer because it drinks too easy.

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BrewAskew from Oklahoma, Sep 03, 2019
Photo of hottenot
4.66/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The thing I like about OMB is the fact they adhere to the Reinheitsgebot.

They also use German ingredients Bavarian Hops for instance.

Which means for all intents and purposes, this is a German beer.

As such the Bud Lite crowd will never appreciate the flavor of the Olde Country.

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hottenot from North Carolina, Jun 09, 2019
Photo of Rposlusny
1.32/5  rDev -67.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

The beer taste like you just drank a copper penny, maybe that's why they named it that! I can't really recommend this beer not unless you like the taste of old metal.

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Rposlusny from North Carolina, Nov 30, 2018
Photo of Griffin2
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle dated 7/10/10 into a Pilsner glass.
L - Pours a clear reddish Amber color with a white head that dissipates slowly.
S - Smells of a sweet maltiness.
T - Nice crisp beer with a prefect amount of maltiness.
F - Medium body and carbonation.
O - Really easy drinking alt bier. I really enjoyed this beer.

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Griffin2 from Virginia, Aug 06, 2018
Photo of Squire
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful burnt umber burnished amber gold color with egg shell tone cap and lasting lacing.

Marvelous aroma of rich caramel malt raised to the highest bar. Other qualities emerge in the form of floral tones that are more like citrus blooms than garden flowers yet carry a round richness that is not at all sharp. Honeysuckle perhaps though not as sweet. If I walked into a bakery shop and was met with this aroma I would immediately buy whatever they were cooking.

Taste on entry is memorable and to call it great is merely descriptive like saying a Heisman Trophy athlete is better than good. The malt richness surges forth then shimmers and dances like the colors of a Flemish painting from the Rembrandt era yet recede back heightening rather than obscuring the overall composition. I get some hop presence in the back of the palate and lingering hop touches in the aftertaste but just enough to notice in their supporting role.

Medium-full texture with balancing carbonation.

This is a sit down for a moment of quiet to enjoy beer yet I could match it with almost any of the foods I enjoy, it's that versatile. I've rarely come across a brew so captivating. Altbier personified, whoever developed this please don't change a thing for it in itself is a whole.

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Squire from Mississippi, Jun 14, 2018
Photo of mothmanscott
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours clear, copper deep amber/pale brown, producing 2.5 fingers of frothy, pale tan, shortlived, head that leaves minor lace. Aroma is malty roast, bready, yeast, corn flakes (?), honey, nuts & a faint hint of smoke. Taste is bready like corn bread, yeast, roasted malt, honey, earthy hops, hints of burnt caramel, roasted nuts & faint smoke finish. Afrertaste is dry: burnt bread, roasted malts & nuts. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation, slilky with a light peppery prickle in the finish. I'm not sure where the corn flake aroma and cornbread flavor originate from, perhaps is the yeast. I'm pretty certain there's no corn in this brew.

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Photo of ordybill
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a light copper color with a medium-sized off-white head. The aroma is toasted bread and roasted malt. The taste is similar to the nose.

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ordybill from Georgia, Apr 15, 2018
Photo of Danieljm
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At CLT airport nice light brown color. Small head but lots of lacing in particular for a lower alcohol beer. Aroma is a “bready” yeasty just a hint of sweet. First time with this style so no notion of what I would be drinking , but wow - good. Much lighter and less malty than the dunkle flavor I was expecting. Clean taste with just a bit of peppery bread back taste. Need to try with food. Even if this is not your style of beer - try this.

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Danieljm from Missouri, Apr 13, 2018
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Carolina Beer Company in Charlotte International Airport.

This one pours a somewhat dark amber with (I suppose that color is copper, after all), with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like a true altbier should, really, with a big spicy and bready flavor, some light hop aromas and fruity yeast aromas.

This is one of the absolute best versions of this style I've had in the states- it's all you want from it. There's spicy hops, and a nice bready malt character, with just the slightest hint of fruitiness. It's very smooth.

This is slightly creamy, and very crisp, with a good level of carbonation. The glass disappeared very quickly.

This is my first beer from OMB, and it gives me much excitement to try more from them.

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GreesyFizeek from New York, Mar 21, 2018
Photo of KTCamm
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dec 2017....Pours medium dark copper with heavy white foam. Caramel toffee nose, sweet. Sweet open, fast up and down bitter, pleasant malty finish. Peppery bite to close, nice finish. Smooth, even blended German alt.

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KTCamm from New Jersey, Jan 28, 2018
Photo of Handsome_Steve
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a chilled 12 oz mug. Lovely copper color as the name suggests. The smell was not so attractive with a bit of a yeast scent. Not particularly bitter or bitey but smooth and easy to drink. A bit of foam initially but it dissipated quickly. A pleasant surprise.

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Handsome_Steve from North Carolina, Jan 03, 2018
Photo of DVMin98
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When someone asks me what beer best describes Charlotte, I always point to Copper. For many years, this has stood out as the most consistent, tasty beer that Charlotte has to offer. Its nothing fancy. They aren't trying to mess with it by adding adjuncts. They found their niche and stuck with it year after year after year. It is, in my opinion, the best Altbier on the market today and can go up against any one brewed in Germany, hence the high ratings, based on the style alone.

When you are looking for a great beer to have with dinner, this is it. Malty, sweet, crisp, delicious.

I originally rated this a 4.5 about 5 or 6 years ago, but after drinking thousands of different beers, I've altered my score, reflecting just how amazing and consistent this beer truly is.

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DVMin98 from North Carolina, Jan 01, 2018
Photo of 88caprice
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on the porch with a friend.
Poured from a bottle into a glass.

Overall: excellent!

A honey, copper colored brew. Minimal head and faint lacing. A unique smell of yeasty yet sweet bread, like a Hawaiian sweet roll. Taste is balanced with a sweet and yeasty breadiness and a nice hop profile. So malty and yeasty rich.

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88caprice from Virginia, Jun 09, 2017
Photo of Blackop555
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours copper. Thick, short, off white head that lasts a little and fades to a lasting ring.

Smells roast and bready malt, light floral and earthy.

Tastes bready and light Caramel malt, light earthiness and bitterness. Finish is dry with a light bitterness and hints of fruit. Medium body and smooth medium carbonation.

This beer tastes great, but i don't enjoy the smell

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Blackop555 from Michigan, Apr 17, 2017
Photo of bigbellysailor
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I always go with the local beer when traveling. Yesterday I had two of these at a restaurant in Cramerton NC called Mayworths. They were served in tall cold glasses. The appearance was a pretty copper color with a medium sized white head. The aroma is nice with fruit, malt and hops. The taste is malt, fruit and some hops. This is a very smooth tasting beer with a very subtle kick. I was very disappointed that it is not available in my area. It will be my go to beer when I am in NC.

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4.84/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Olde Mecklenburg Copper Altbier

A: This alt pours a crystal-clear, light bronze/copper (true to its name), with flecks of orange in the thinner regions of the glass. It is topped by a thick, off-white head of about a finger-and-a-half, which sticks around for an impressively long time. Carbonation is very good. Lacing is equally awesome, covering the glass in swaths. This is perfect per style. 5/5

A: Melanoidin-rich toasted bread and toasted nuts are the primary aromatics. Sweet breadiness like pretzels lays just beyond the toasted notes, adding further richness. Finally, spicy, floral, perfumey hops and an underlying hint of biscuit round out a complex and subtle aroma. This reads like the BJCP guidelines for Altbier, meaning it needs high marks, but perhaps it is just a hair too subtle. 4.75/5

T: While it follows up on the aroma very thoroughly, the sheer depth of flavor here is incredible to behold. It still remains restrained, but not as much so as the nose suggested. Rich bready malts, toast, almond paste, walnut, and pretzel all work perfectly in concert with earthy, spicy hops and just a hint of floral qualities. Bitterness is medium-light and is accompanied by similarly soft minerality and a last suggestion of dry, toasted bread. The aftertaste has that biscuity, sugar cookie richness that only comes from lager brewers that really knows their stuff. Amazing. The only drawback is a lack of any noticeable esters (this is a lagered ale after all), but that can be forgiven as it is certainly not a requirement. 4.75/5

M: The feel of each sip is a thing of beauty. It is medium-full, creamy, and somehow crisp and light on the finish. It is dry enough to keep you drinking yet refreshing enough to make each sip something to savor. A study in opposites combining to create perfection. 5/5

O: Olde Mecklenburg is unquestionably one of the best lager producers in the country. Doing an Altbier and making it a mainstay in the lineup should be suicide in the current ale-heavy craft beer scene, but when you do it this well, it does not really matter what the masses are clamoring for. This is beautiful, subtle, complex, crushable, savorable, and everything else a truly great beer should be. The things I would do to have OMB distribute anywhere near me are unthinkable. North Carolina is lucky to have such an amazing brewery, and they should really be hyping this stuff up a lot more. Pair with The Hotelier's amazing and comparatively subtle "Goodness." 5/5

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THANAT0PSIS from Wisconsin, Oct 30, 2016
Photo of twage04
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served at OMB. Medium to low carbonation, nice malty aroma. Flavor is very balanced and rich, lots of german malt flavor with a subtle fruitiness. Beer is very drinkable but far from boring. Looks great, a deep ruby red, very clear served in one of their nice glasses.

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twage04 from North Carolina, Jul 18, 2016
Photo of chinchill
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle from the Bulldog bottle shop near the brewery, served in a pint glass.

Copper (what else) colored with a good head and foamy lacing. Excellent clarity.

Aroma: sweet and medium roasted grains; faint hops.

Flavor: follows the aroma but with more obvious hops adding some spicy notes and a balancing bitterness.

Feel: smooth and slick; medium body and near medium carbonation.

Overall: outstanding version of the style; certainly among the best I've ever had.

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chinchill from South Carolina, May 09, 2016
Photo of Treyliff
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap

A- pours a clear copper color with a one-finger foamy white head that has good retention

S- smells of toasted malt with notes of brown bread & some spicy herbal hop notes

T- tastes of toasted bready malt with some sweet caramel notes, along with toasted crackers. Grassy and floral hop notes compliment throughout as it finishes with more toasted malt on the linger

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a crisp finish

O- had a few pints at the hotel bar with ease, high drinkability and very well balanced

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Treyliff from West Virginia, Apr 12, 2016
Photo of WesMantooth
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A clear, brown tinted copper color. A moderate, but thick soapy, almost foamy light tan head.

Aroma is excellent. Toasted bready grains, sweet caramel, some spunky Noble like floral hops, and a touch of nuttiness.

This thing tastes sooooo good initially and it only gets better. Rich, but not overly sweet, caramel/toffee up front with some yeast and barley followed by a kiss of spicey hops. A lot of floral flavor, but very low bitterness. A little bit of fruit. White grapes and/or apple. Then it comes back around to that toasted biscuit malt base that has a fresh lip smacking grainy flavor that lingers for minutes. Just imagine grabbing a handful of malted barley and chewing on it.

The body is almost unreal for the ABV. Prickly carbonation. Fluffy texture. Crisp finish.

They say it is "an amazingly fresh, easy-drinking beer that tastes like beer". I could not agree more. This is one of the most enjoyable beers overal I have had in awhile

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a fun one. Great nutty, toasty aroma to start with. It's a big malt character up front and then mild, spicy hops finish. Reminds me, oddly enough, of Sierra Nevada's Nooner for the malts. There are doughy notes that veer towards a little diacetyl, but taste great. I can easily say this is the best amber anything I've had in a long while.

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tempest from New York, Nov 13, 2015
Photo of russpowell
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Classic looking altbier, nice head retention & lacing

S: Breadyness & herbal hops

T: Rich breadyness & caramel flavor up front. Woody hops & dryness as this warms. Finishes a little dry & sweet

MF: Medium body, perfect carbonation, nice balance

Easy drinker that matches up to any I had in Germany

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russpowell from Arkansas, Aug 07, 2015
Photo of Tucquan
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this on 2015-07-27 in Pineville, NC from a 12 oz bottle. Had this again in Pineville, NC from a 12oz bottle on 2016-04-15. Enjoyed it but noted the butter (diacetyl) flavor more than last year. I've become more sensitized to this flavor. I dropped my ratings a bit to reflect the diacetyl flavor, which many very much enjoy. I'm having the same issue with Pilsner Urquell. My tastes are changing.

A - Clear copper-Amber with a 1-finger white head and moderate lace

S - Lightly toasted bread, floral and spice, yeast.

T - Bread, caramel, grass, light chocolate, nutty. Complex and malty but there is the right amount of bitter balance. Delicious.

M - Light-medium body and medium-high carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

O - This is a top shelf altbier. I'm impressed.

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Tucquan from Pennsylvania, Jul 27, 2015
Photo of Imperialjake
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tried this beer twice. The first one might've been an old batch because it was kinda sour but the last one I had taste great. It was malty with a nice semi sweet finish. I'll definitely be drinking more of these in the future.

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Imperialjake from North Carolina, Apr 05, 2015
Copper from The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 440 ratings