Copper Altbier | The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

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81 Reviews

Brewed by:
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
North Carolina, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Copper Amber Ale

Added by AlexJ on 04-29-2009

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Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 371
Photo of BucBasil
3.51/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the tap into a large weizen-like glass at the Charlotte Airport.

A: The name is fitting, as it is a very pure copper/orange-red color. Head was 1 finger thick, foamy, and a bit offwhite, lasting about half a minute. Great looking beer.

S: Very classically beery with touches of grain and crackery malt. A faint twinge of sweetness in there. Hay. Interesting.

T: Initially very clean, and finishing subtle and smooth. Eminently drinkable. Upon closer inspection, a nutty profile comes into play. A touch of dry grassiness. Slight toasty to crackery malt in there. Very classic beer with nothing standing in the way.

Overall, this was a good beer. I'm not sure if I'd go out of my way to get it again. Super well done for the style and very drinkable. A welcome sight in an airport, but there are other beers that I would look for...

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Photo of jpro
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1L swing-top growler filled a few weeks ago. Into a standard shaker pint -

A: As the name says... copper. There's a nice, light beige head - about a finger's worth - that forms on the pour, but manages some respectable retention and leaves a few spots of lace.

S: Toasted grains and bready malts dominate the nose; there's some light caramel in there, too; maybe a touch nutty, as well.

T: Follows the nose, for the most part... very "organic" malt flavors: grain, bread, etc; a touch sweet, but there's a bit of a bright, earthy hop bite (not much) on the finish that counters the sweetness; a smidge metallic, too.

M: Much fuller that I remembered from last time; carbo is still in the medium range (despite the 3 week old growler fill); super smooth.

O/D: A great beer that's very traditional; it's always nice to pick up a few of these when I visit the QC. Very smooth, drinkable and well balanced. Very good beer from such a young brewery!

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Photo of steveh
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a nice trade with Herr Burgess, I get the opportunity to sample an out-of-towner.

22 ouncer Bottled on 12/30/11.

A -- Clear, orange-copper with a dense, long-lasting, off white head.

S -- Sweet, rich, bready malt with a mild nuttiness back.

T -- This is an interesting beer because it starts with a mellow spicy bitterness then folds into sweet, bready to nutty malts and then comes around again to the bitterness in the finish. In-between the breadiness and the bitter finish is a mild caramel, even vague fruitiness that is very appetizing.

M -- Mouthfeel is smooth to crisp with a medium body.

O -- Overall, this is a terrific drinking beer. The balance between maltiness and bitterness is quite good without a clash of flavors as can often happen in an American Brown Ale, and the cleanliness of lagering a top-fermented beer smooths out the character nicely. A great rendition of the style.

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Mac's Speed Shop (Steele Creek). A favorite style, I had to really work to maintain objectivity here. Beautifully presented dark brown in the glass with amber and orange highlights (helped by the setting sun coming through the window behind it). Subtle carbonation visible. Smell was a hint of caramel malt. First sip was at first a touch sweet, but immediately shifted to a round biscuity malt with a rich hops bitterness that finished a touch dry--perfectly balanced. Easily one of the best of the style I've had. The moderate ABV% would render this a session beer of choice and something I'd seek out wherever I could, though sadly I don't live in NC and haven't yet seen it here in MD.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

What a flavorful beer that will knock you out. You can drink several of this one without getting too intoxicated and it keeps its flavor profile as well. Nice mouthfeel, robust, and just an overall enjoyable beer. The label calls this one an amber lager ale. So its more of an ale with a lager style. I like this. Its an Altbier, I have had only a few of this style from my knowledge, but this is a beer that would seek out in the future.

Nice head retention. Beautiful copper/brown color.

Malty, yet, enough hops to make it interesting. I think this might be my new go to beer. It is a beer that will not kill you on the booze but still maintains enough balance. Perfection. I just wish I could find it more readily available.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this brew from OMB. It is their flagship and I truly believe it is their best offering. It pours a good strong copper color with a yellowish white head. It has a great scent of floral hops and hints of caramel. It has a slight bitterness and a great smooth body. Very drinkable. A really decent beer.

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Photo of jpmclaug
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my first time rating this but I've killed several growlers of this. I typically pick up a growler of this every time I am in Charlotte. Poured from the growler into my a int glass

A - Clear copper color with a shade away from white head on top.

S - Light lager malt aroma mingles with a light noble hop aroma.

T - A crisp malt flavor mingles with a light noble hop bitterness. The malt really shines in this giving a pleasant aftertaste. Slightly sweet but not much. A really nice well balanced lager

M - crisp light to medium bodied with a standard amount of carbonation

D - I could put this back all day. It is so easy to go through a whole growler of this while watching a football game. If you love a good lager then this is for you. I know I will pick this up again and again.

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Photo of CBlack85
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap in the Olde Mecklenburg tap room

Pours an orange/copper color with lots of nearly red highlights. About three fingers worth of off white/tan head that with good retention. Not much lacing.

Aroma is dominated by sweet caramel malts. A slight earthy smell is lingering in the background. As the beer warms you can start to catch hints of a very subdued hoppy aroma.

Very clean and crisp, sweet, malty flavors are most dominant. A slight hint of hops becomes noticable as the beer warms. Nicely carbinated. All in all this is a good beer, and coming in under 5% makes it very sessionable. The only complaint that I have is that, while it is very good, it seems as though there should be a little more to it.

A very enjoyable Alt. Good stuff

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Photo of devilben02
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Being the local option at a nice restaurant in Uptown Charlotte, I was interested to sample what Olde Mecklenburg has to offer.

The first thing I notice is the rich, copper-amber color that is provides a good start, but as the ale nearly fills the entire glass (thanks for the overpour, I guess?), there is room for only a thin, foamy head that receded within a matter of minutes. The aroma is weak at first, so I must have looked like a pretentious beer snob to the rest of the restaurant crowd as I strained to sniff any discernible characteristic out of my pint glass. What I was able to eventually identify was merely a crisp graininess with a touch of sweetness. This one is similarly mild on flavor, with only the subtle sweetness on top of a bed of grains.

Where this one lacks in flavor, it at least somewhat makes up for it in texture and finish. Crisp and nicely carbonated, the Copper serves almost as a palate cleanser with how clean it finishes. Overall, certainly not the most complex or adventurous beer, but this one is inoffensive and easy to drink, making it highly drinkable although also highly forgettable.

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Photo of APBT91
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

1st review on BeerAdvocate.

pours light brown orange color depending on light angle.

a light smell of bread, caramel.

medium body with flavors of bread, caramel, yeast, and a copperish flavor ( i tried to eat a penny when i was a kid, i know, dumb).

This is currently in my top 3 favorite beers and always fresh since i only live 30 minutes from the brewery, lucky me!

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Photo of coasterfreak75
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The pour is a dark copper/red with a good two finger head that slowly dissapated and left an incredible lace on the glass from top to bottom.

The smell was quite malty upfront with slight apricot tones in the rear of the nose.

The drink was a kick of hops up front, with a sweet and heavy malt in the middle and a crisp clean finish with little or no aftertaste.

All and all a great beer that is well worth a try. On a side note I did pick up a growler of this beer while at the brewery that I will be reviewing in the next few days.

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Photo of beerdown77
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the second beer I am reviewing from Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. Due to a stint in Germany during the 1990s, one of the owners has a passion for German style beers, which is what the brewery exclusively focuses on. Copper is an Albier, which basically just means that it is beer made the old fashion way. In fact, the Reinheitsgebot is posted on the tap room wall and mentioned with pride during the tour of the brewing area.

This beer is the only year-round offering at OMB, and definitely my favorite. Top fermentation process idendifies is more closely to ale, which I prefer. It has a great dark brown color, strong malt and yeast smell, and well-rounded, nutty flavor. The obvious strong suit of this beer is the freshness. It is very easy to drink at 4.8%, and is advertised by the staff as a session beer.

If you live in the Charlotte area, you have to try Copper from Olde Mecklenburg Brewery.

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Photo of twage04
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
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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Photo of dgfair
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper color (as the name implies) with a pretty sturdy off-white head. The head dissipates rather quickly leaving a thin layer of bubbles on top.

The smell is a nice mix of biscuity grain with a solid nutty backbone. It's a very clean, fresh smell, and definitely invites you to have a sip.

The taste is pretty thin...a light non-descript malted graininess, with a sweet underpinning. There is a faint hoppiness, but a very mild one at that (true to style). Overall, just not a whole lot here. It's not a bad flavor, but I was looking for a little more punch.

The shining point on this brew is the drinkability. It goes down very smooth with a very pleasant palatability. I could certainly have a number of these in one sitting. It would be nice to have these in bottles, because they would be great to crack open at a summer cookout.

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Photo of Imperialjake
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
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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Photo of AnalogReigns
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is truly a great beer. Charlotte has a lot of German businesses located there--and on any weekend, you will find a few Germans at the Old Meck's that good. Well balanced, malt to hops, with a clean finish. I've had Düsseldorf natives tell me its exactly right for the style, and I believe it.

The American CEO and head brewer is a water purification expert, and spent 4 years living in Germany...and his plant was set up by a German brewer. They also have a high-tech growler-filling machine--which makes their growlers last for weeks and weeks....

Anyway, if you want to know good German beer, try anything by Old Meck!

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Photo of JaredMarvel
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This amazing Altbier or brown ale, caught my attention just for being different, i was(am) new to Mecklenburg and not expecting alot gave it a shot. What i got, was an amazing beer one of the best I have had and also a member of a brewery i look forward to exploring. Its dark red appearance really lets you know your drinking a great beer, while its smell is not strong I will happily overlook this factor. Its mouth feel is amazing, probably the best of any beer i have head to date and it really tastes great. This beer is great, and when I have friends from my home area (CT) come visit, i will make sure they have a OMB Copper of there own to try.

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Photo of ChristianBlack
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The benefits of being local are abundant. But, if truth be told this is not the best beer in Charlotte. It's everywhere to be sure, and it's got some decent characteristics. Most prominently: it's drinkable. But, then again, all 4.8% beers are more or less drinkable. The appearance is copper to be sure. The smell, missed it. The taste was good. The mouthfeel was pretty thin, like most altbiers. Overall, if this weren't a local beer with a great presence in the Queen City, it would an afterthought. Not sure that they can expand outside of Charlotte.

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Photo of Kunsan90
4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pour revealed a clear medium copper colored beer, with a nice off-white long lasting head.

S: Aroma brought forth a nice combination of malt sweetness and light hop aroma, that invites you take a taste, or three.

T: Firm upfront bitterness that's followed by a balanced malt sweetness, then ending with a lingering palette pleasing dry bitterness. It's not the most bitter Alt I've tasted, but most people have a odd view that Düsseldorf Alt's must be brutally bitter. If you've ever been to Düsseldorf, you know this is not the case.

M: Medium light mouth feel that dances on your tongue, which is clean and crisp, displaying the qualities expected from this type of beer.

Overall impression: I perfect example of the style. The combination of hop bitterness and malt sweetness would please even the most demanding resident of Düsseldorf. Great job OMB! I wonder why I'm a weekly visitor?

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Photo of samtallica
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Being a local I have had this beer many times and figured I should review it. Reviewed on draft at Mac's Steele Creek, poured into a pint glass.

A: Brilliantly clear copper color with a nice 2 finger head.

S: Smells of sweet, toasted malts with some light chocolate, perfectly balaced with a kiss of noble hops. Very light sulfer in the background, but not of flaw by any means.

T: Perfect. The words balaced, crisp and clean come to mind immediately. Every time I have this beer I am more and more impressed by just how perfectly balanced it is. Subtle and refined.

M: Medium carbonation with a medium-light body.

O: What else can I say? This is one of my favorite beers. Always fresh, always tasty and always easy drinking. OMB is doing it right.

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Photo of NWFLyer
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at McCormick & Schmick's , South Park, in a Pilsner style glass.
A - Bold copper color, lively with effervescence. Moderate, short lived, cream colored head with minimal lacing.
N - Rich, quality maltiness on the nose. Subtle citrus & hop aromas.
T - Rich maltiness again on the tongue. Very smooth with faint bitterness from the hops. Authentic Bavarian style.
M - Outstanding mouthfeel. Smooth & well balanced with a pleasant after-taste. Very distinctive in a positive way.

Overall, I would summarize the OMB Copper as an excellent representation of the style. It is highly drinkable, on its own, or paired with a variety of foods. Congratulations to the brewers; keep up the good work!

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Photo of S7R4nG3
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler dated 6/27 (7/2 as of this post).

Beer poured a golden amber with a fair amount of a cream colored head.
My nose seems to pick up some light citrus notes, definitely malty with a slight hint of unroasted nuts.
Taste is very refreshing with good carbonation. Again definite hints of malt and citrus with a good contrast to hop bitterness. Great lacing across the glass as I am downing it.
Mouthfeel is very nice, good full coating without seeming heavy or syrupy. Able to envelop your entire mouth and leaves a nice sweet/bitter hop aftertaste.

Definitely a beer I will be having again. A great beer to sit down and enjoy after a hard day out in the blazing sun. Very refreshing and overall a great tasting beer.

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Photo of SouthernBeerGuy
4.71/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Absolutely one the best brews ever recreated. If you live anywhere near Charlotte, you must come try OMB Copper.

Just returned from the brewery with one growler of Mecklenburger, one Copper, and one Dunkel !

The Copper pours a nut brown color with a stiff head that sticks to your glass. Presents caramel biscuits with underlying notes of dates/raisins.

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Photo of MetlGuy
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice copper color with a creamy white head that laces down the glass as it is consumed.

S - Nice malty aroma with a hint of bittering hops.

T - Can I just say awsome. It does vary from week to week when I get my growlers refilled but it is a great symbol of the style. The bitterness is not at the extreme end of the style guideline but is a perfect balance with the malt flavors that come thru.

M - Clean and crisp. Nice lager like qualities.

D - Need I say more? I go back week after week for growler refills. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Jslay77
3.22/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Copper. Not much head lingering around

S. Metallic but not strong. Fairly unoffensive and unimpressive.

T. It tastes like it's labeled. Very very metallic. Even the aftertaste is metal. Not sure if it is the hops used or what but is overly "copper" in taste.

M. Great mouthfeel. Light and crisp.

D. Its easy to drink despite it's pitfalls. The atmosphere of their taproom is good and it is easy to stick around and kill these beers. Nit a bad session beer if you can get over the metallic taste.

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Copper Altbier from The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
4.06 out of 5 based on 371 ratings.
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