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Arch Amber Ale | The Hartford Better Beer Co.

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Arch Amber AleArch Amber Ale
34 Ratings
Arch Amber AleArch Amber Ale

Brewed by:
The Hartford Better Beer Co.
Connecticut, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Hard water. Appropriate for a pale ale style, this gives something for the hop oils to stick to, and the right water chemistry and pH levels for a proper British style bitter or pale ale. Our water chemistry provides mineral flavor and body to complement the complex malt and hop ingredients that are drawn from the best of English, German and Pacific Northwestern U.S. traditions and sources. The mineral factor enhances the processing steps in mashing, sparging, boiling, fermenting and conditioning. The malt bill includes English 2-row Pale Ale Barley Malt and Malted Whole Wheat. Hops include Chinook, Hallertau, Cascade, Willamette and Tettnang. Shipyard's lively Ringwood culture (a top-fermenting "ale" yeast) is used to ferment the beer, as was the case when we brewed in Hartford.

Added by Billolick on 07-25-2006

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Ratings: 34 |  Reviews: 19
Reviews by Gambrinus1184:
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.57/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Dogfish Head pint glass.

A: Poured a clear, light amber color with orange and ruby highlights. High level of carbonation, but produced a weak, thin head of whispy foam which left a little soapy lace.

S: Smells slightly sweet, of toasted grains, caramel malts and a touch of honey.

T: Taste is slightly weak, but is a crisp combo of toasted caramel malts and some light bitter hopping. Slight fruity notes hinted at in the flavor. There's a bit of a watery, sour taste around mid-palate, but the finish is dry, clean and a little bitter.

M: Mouthfeel is crisp, clean and well-carbonated.

D: Not a bad amber, but not all that great. It's a standard drinking ale with more of a look and smell than a taste. Would be a better session if it were a tad maltier.

I was pumped to see another "local" brew, only to find out that it's contract brewed by Shipyard. There's nothing particularly wrong with that, but it altered my perception of the brew. Not really an "awesome ale" as stated on the bottle, but it's worth a try.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of woodchipper
2.5/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of Billolick
3.65/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer, with a twist top. This comes from "the Hartford Better Beer Co." by way of Shipyards kettle, fermenter etc. Pours clear medium almond amber, with a tan head showing pretty good staying powers that leaves some worthy lacing. Nose is of nutty malts and a hint of sulfer. Malty, nutty amber, with moderate resiny hops late. Perhaps a bit watery in the middle, smooth malty finish. Not my favorite style, nor the most interesting/exciting IMHO. But this one would do in a pinch, decent micro to expose newbies to. Looking foward to more brews/differant styles from these guys.

 583 characters

Photo of far333
3.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Crystal clear honey colored with an off-white head that runs away quickly. Nose of sweet malt, a little grainy, some cinnamon and ripe fruit. Flavor is light malt, some flowers and some buttered corn. A faint hop tingle in the finish, followed by a citrus peel bitter in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is creamy and full, with a bit of a carbonation tingle. Could use more malt and less corn.

 387 characters

Photo of ThreeDimesDown
2.92/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice copper color with an off white head that dissipates quickly, leaving nothing behind and giving no lacing.

The smell is mainly caramel hops with honey sweetness and very minimal hops.

The taste is just as advertised by the aroma.

Very light mouthfeel, watery and thin with light carbonation.

Not an exciting brew, the lack of carbonation and head really doesn't help the average taste and aroma. Wouldn't go back to this brew.

 442 characters

Photo of Dewey0603
3.51/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear burnt orange with a large tan foamy head that leaves good lacing. The smell is sweet roasted malt and maybe some carmel. The taste is sweet malt with some carmel and vanilla,not bad,but nothing to outstanding. The m/f is light with all the flavors mixing pretty well. Not a bad beer,although I wasn't too crazy to find out that this is made by Shipyard. Still, not a bad malty beer to try.

 403 characters

Photo of KTCamm
3.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle in a pint glass.

Pours copper amber with minimal foam. Little lacing.

Smell is biscuity malty, light and sweet.

Caramel taste, some sweetness. Honey notes. A tad watery.

Lightly carbonated.

Very straightforward beer. I wouldn't say it was bad, just unremarkable. But I could drink another.

 315 characters

Photo of nebula1999
3.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good drinkable beer. Not offensive and goes down easy. Even keel brew. More malt presence than hops. I hope to see it on tap in the Connecticut area. It's good to have the defunct Hartford Brewery folks back in action getting some of their famous beers on the shelves.

 268 characters

Photo of danwho
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of erosier
3.3/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a light amber orange color with a medium sized and light bodied white colored head that fades pretty fast and has a little lacing down the glass.
S: Smells of sweet malts and some caramel aromas as well with a very slight hop finish.
T: Tastes of sweet malts, caramel, some honey, and a slight hop taste at the end.
M: Pretty crisp, clean, and refreshing with a good amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable. Not really an outstanding beer, but a well balanced one all around.

 487 characters

Photo of BeerMeister8
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of geexploitation
3.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium amber with a light, beady head that fades to a collar and some dust. Aromas are pretty bland -- mostly just a light diacetyl note backed by a touch of grainy malts. On the palate, it's more of the same. Nutty malts, buttery diacetyl, and brash carbonation lead to a sticky finish. Mouthfeel is typical to style -- light/medium body, fairly big carbonation, and some metallic notes thrown in. Overall, this beer is pretty inoffensive on most levels, although any time that most of the flavor is derived from diacetyl you've got to ask some hard questions. There's no reason to drink this, but no reason to refuse one if offered, either.

 650 characters

Photo of Jersh67
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of sulldaddy
3.81/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I am sampling this beer poured into a pint glass at room temp. The beer pours a clear amber color with a fizzy and fluffy khaki colored head foaming up 3 cm easily. the head slowly recedes to a sturdy surface layer.
The aroma is some grainy malt and toffee with a bit of tea leaf and herbal hop notes. First sip reveals an average to lite body with fine fizzy carbonation. The flavor is sweet toffee malt up front with just a bit of chocolate. The malt profile rolls to herbal and slightly bitey hops. the hops linger for a bit on the sides of my palate. This is an easy drinker with no hint of ABV. Not overly complex but could be a decent session beer.

 655 characters

Photo of cwachtel
3.06/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light amber in color and very clear. Pours with a strong head with staying power. No aroma to speak of...slight hint of a malty, metallic smell. Tastes okay. I prefer a maltier amber...this doesn't much have malt or hops to it. Slight fruity and metallic finish. Crisp and refreshing beer though that's not what I was looking for. Wouldn't be my first choice in an amber, but would drink over a lot of other beers.

 414 characters

Photo of sgregory
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of rorjets
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of NEhophead
3.06/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle.
Best before 04.07 (?).

Very light brown, thin copper in color. Thik, slightly off-white head with impressive retention, leaving thin and spotted lacing that clings to the tumbler's sides.

Sweet toffee and caramel over a mustiness of adjunctory grains: rice and wheat. An underlying dried hazlenut aroma.

Sweet coffee bean flavors; hazlenut and vanilla. Burnt caramel, toffee presence that is rather bold; annoys the tastebuds. A powdery mustiness following the primary sweetness met with a wave of heavy carbonation. Finish is dry with an aftertaste of dried nuts and heavily sweetened toffee.

Medium in body; overly carbonated, dry, and powdery.

A little too sweet in flavor; that unfortunately lingers well into the aftertaste. The mouthfeel though is probably the poorest aspect of this ale. Flawed in more than one area. My only question is "better beer" compared to what?

 912 characters

Photo of Matthoc116
2.08/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Like most of the reviewers, I was enticed by the Hartford Arch on the label expecting a local brewery. But I'll review this as a beer, not as a brewery.

Poured a very thin, nice amber color. No head or lacing present. Immediately smells of dicetyl, with a whiff of malt on the backend; not pleasant. Little hop aroma, and any that would be present is overpowered by a strong vegetable odor.

Tastes much like it smells. Think Bass Ale with strong cauliflower notes. Maybe I got a bad batch, but looking at the other reviews I'm not willing to give the benefit of the doubt. Sad that the city and the Arch had to be associated with this bottle.

 644 characters

Photo of UnionMade
3.06/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was kinda surprised to see this beer on the shelves. Never heard of it, and a little wary of the Shipyard contract brewing, but hey, it's supposedly "from" my home state.
Labelled as "Arch Amber" in a 12oz bottle. Pours a medium amber, topped with a frothy off white head. Great clarity. Decent head retention with no lacing. Smells clean for a Shipyard product, comparatively minimal diacetyl butteriness. Fruity ale-ishness, with cereal, grainy malt. A mild tinny quality. The flavor opens with grainy, caramel malt, topped with a pat of butter. Slight pear fruitiness, moving quickly into a moderately hopped finish. Floral, I'd venture a guess at an english hop variety, probably goldings or some american variation. Slightly metallic. The butter character grows with warmth, so I'd recommend drinking this one cold. OK beer from Hartford Better Beer Co, "better" being the operative word against the likes of macro beer. Not great or especially good by any craft beer standards. I'm not sure if this brand can survive in today's specialty beer market. Not very exciting.

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Photo of griffey123
2.75/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of JAHMUR
2.75/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of shigg85
4.25/5  rDev +31.6%

Photo of CharlesRiver
3.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. brown bottle, capped. I bought this beer when my bro was visiting. Sorry I missed the brewed by Shipyard on the side. Enough. Why put "Hartford" on the label? Maybe so I won't automatically think butter? I will try and review this without emotion.

Pours out with no head and very few bubbles. The smell is slightly malty but mostly something "creamy". Slightly watery with some malt coming through. Reminds me of an average British beer, think Bass. Nothing really remarkable other than a solid drinkability. I don't really know what else to say about this beer. I would call it average in every way.

In a pinch, I might buy this beer again. Other than that, probably not.

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Arch Amber Ale from The Hartford Better Beer Co.
Beer rating: 3.23 out of 5 with 34 ratings
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