Alt-eration Ale
Hops & Grain Brewing

Alt-eration AleAlt-eration Ale
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Ranked #41
Ranked #27,080
3.81 | pDev: 10.5%
Hops & Grain Brewing
Texas, United States
Very Good
Alt-eration AleAlt-eration Ale
Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 201 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can from Whole Foods - Lamar. Agree with Cosmic Scherzo, spot on for an altbier. Dry and nutty, medium murky brown/amber body, soft tight beige head. Aroma and taste both accurately represent this Dusseldorf style. Somebody did their homework.

Mar 06, 2016
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bwood06 from Wisconsin

3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap into a small pint glass

A - Ultra thin head, which seems to be the going rate for beers on tap at this brewery. Beer is clear and dark brown bordering on mahogany. Light to moderate carbonation is visible. 4/5

S - The aroma leans heavily toward the sweet side of things with notes of toffee, molasses and a sweet toasted malt that is backed up by a complete lack of a hop profile. Somewhat muted. 3.75/5

T - Sweet caramelization and a light breadiness are the initial notes to hit my tongue which is followed by dates, dark chocolate, and finished off with a floral hoppiness. Lingering bitterness makes it hard to forget that you've just taken a drink of this beer. 3.75/5

M - Very light with only a slight carbonation tickle. No real drying astringency allows this beer to remain somewhat creamy despite its light profile. 4/5

O - Muted aroma was disappointing despite the notes that were present (I really had to search for those notes). However, this is somewhat made up for with a nice complex taste profile that balances out on the sweeter side of life. The lightness of this beer allows the drinker to have several without feeling weighed down. 3.75/5

Nov 12, 2015
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tronester from Oklahoma

3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy dark brown with a creamy off-white head. Aromas of brown sugar and flowers. Taste is very malty, toasty, with some stone fruit in the finish. Mouthfeel is good. Overall a pretty good Alt.

Jun 19, 2015
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #80 (Sep 2013):

Not bad at all. With a lot of bells and whistles, it could be a bit cleaner for the style ... a tad too sweet as well. Still quite drinkable, with some complexities that open up after a few sips. It is enough of an Altbier for a novice to give it a go to see what the style is all about.  

STYLE: Altbier
ABV: 5.0%

LOOK: Muddled brown, thin sticky lace

SMELL: Sweet, sugary, malty, toasted piecrust, faintly herbal, cherry skin

TASTE: Very malty, smooth, slightly slick, medium bodied, light brown sugar, hint of coffee, herbal hop, bread crust, modest hop bitterness, faint fruitiness, yeast, dried grass, walnut skin, semidry finish

Mar 26, 2015
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Kaiyotee from Virginia

4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Dark Amber, tan head
Smell: Sour Persimmon (I haven't had a persimmon recently, but for whatever reason, that came to mind).
Taste: Molasses, but not too sweet; dried fruit
Feel: Somewhat smooth
Nice balance of hops and malts

Jan 05, 2015
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The wonderous JenRay sent me some CANs in support of The CANQuest (TM) and I have fallen terribly behind, but I am getting caught up! Many thanks for these inclusions to the ongoing madness and I promise to do better.

From the CAN: "Sustainable quality"; "Malty, Crisp, Dry Hopped"; "glass ALT temp 45 [deg.]"; "At the Hops & Grain Brewery we know that good planets are hard to find. That's why we are working hard to save our own by packaging our beer in the most recyclable {CAN]tainer on the Earth. Aluminum!"; "A few steps in the RIGHT DIRECTION: old wisdom applied TO NEW IDEALS; change is good, especially when it EVENS OUT A DOLLAR".

Once more, the Crack! revealed a brimful craft CAN and I feel as though I have gained something extra in the bargain. The inverted Glug revealed a darker beer than I had been expecting (dummy, me) and this produced a very noticeable pseudo-cascade which settled into three fingers of dense, puffy, light-tan head with excellent retention. Color was Brown – Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) with coppery highlights. Nose had a rich, caramel and syrup-like sweetness underlain by a grassy hoppiness. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was not as sweet as the nose had led me to expect. It was as though the fermentation had really dried the malts, allowing the grassy bitterness of the hops an opportunity to shine through. The sweetness was more towards molasses, which has an inherent bittersweetness. Finish was semi-dry, more bitter than sweet, but not by much. At this juncture, I feel like invoking The Most Interesting Man in the World and saying, “I don’t often drink Altbiers, but when I do, it should be ones like this.”

Aug 26, 2014
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AlCaponeJunior from Texas

3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big head topped a lightly hazy auburn brew.

Aroma and flavor are spot-on altbier, I could smell it as soon as I opened the can. Malt forward, caramel malt, bready, biscuit, grain, maybe a hint of chocolate with a nice but indistinct hop bitterness that balances well.

Body is medium-thick and drinks like it's bigger than it is.

I'm a big altbier fan and now I have another choice, made better in that it's a local brewery (as local as we can get here in Tx). One more plus is that it comes in cans. Very nice job hops and malt!

Mar 21, 2014
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Hoptometrist from Ohio

4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a nonic glass.

A- Poured a dark brown with off-white frothy head that left minimal lace.

S- Pretty faint aroma of bready malt and caramel notes.

T- Big bready malt, juicy fruit notes, toffee, toasted malt, and some light chocolate notes.

M- Very smooth and creamy, soft carbonation, refreshing, and semi-dry finish.

O- Altbiers don't seem to be a very popular or trendy style. Most that I have had have been drinkable but not too exciting. This is absolutely the best I have had in the style.

Feb 02, 2014
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darthvohn from Texas

3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glass Used: Nonic pint

Appearance: A dark cloudy pretzel brown with a tan index finger thick head. Lacing stays right above the surface, making sure to not trail too far behind.

Smell: Toast, brown bread, malt and some sweetness. A bit of spice at the end.

Taste: Malt, toast, brown bread. A faint hop bitterness in the finish. This might be my new session choice.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, very low carbonation with a medium body..

Overall: Never had an Alt before but this was quite tasty. I really liked H&G's Zoe and wanted to give this a shot. So far, I like what they are doing there in Austin. I would be more than happy breaking this out during any get together.

Jan 04, 2014
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BryanCarey from Texas

3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

ALTeration pours to a slightly darker color than other German altbiers, with a deep copper/brown hue. The nose on this beer reveals scents of caramel malts, yeast, and bread. The foam level isn’t anything incredible, but it is acceptable.

This beer has a flavor that follows its nose. Tastes like toasted malts and bread are obvious, but there are also some nutty flavors, caramel, and toffee. The beer has an earthy hop taste and a nice but not overdone level of spicy bitterness to finish things off.

ALTeration utilizes a German Alt base, but it makes a few changes along the way to give this beer a taste all its own. One change you will notice immediately is the color. This beer has a somewhat deeper color than other beers of its style and it is due to the addition of a small amount of black malt. The brewery makes a few other slight changes as well, resulting in a beer with Alt character, but something a little different, hence the beer’s name.

This is a tasty beer overall and it’s the type of beer that most everyone will like who tries it. It already has one major award under its belt and will likely win more in due time. It’s a nice beer in most every way and I recommend a tasting, if you can find it.

Aug 17, 2013
Photo of JMad
JMad from Texas

3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a dark copper brown color with a solid off white head. I detected a nutty aroma with a bit of a caramel sweetness and a hint of tobacco. Some earthy hop flavor up front followed by a malty sweetness, slightly roasty with just a hint of chocolate. It's light/ medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a crisp, slightly dry finish. Solid beer all around, for $6.99 a six-pack I would go back to this one regularly.

Jun 10, 2013
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katan from Colorado

3.57/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can into a pint

A - Pours a brown color with a few amber highlights. Head formation is fairly strong, well retained. Brown in color. A little bit of lacing.

S - A light to near non-existant nose. A bit of nuttiness.

T - Starts off smooth and sweet, lightly malty. Mid-stream gets more nuttiness and a hint of hops, and even a bit of chocolate. Finishes with a hint of retained sweetness. Smooth all the way.

M - Moderate body, moderate to strong carbonation. A bit sticky. Clean finish.

O/D - A good albeit a bit heavy altbier. ABV is manageable, and a bit filling. A good fall beer I would reckon.

Jun 05, 2013
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goochpunch from Texas

2.43/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.75

Appearance is typical brown ale-ish. Smells a lot like a mix of Shiner Bock and a brown. Taste just does not hit altbier on the head enough. I'm not too stuck on "style," but when you say this is an altbier, and I get my tastebuds ready for an altbier, it better be an altbier. This tastes like a Shiner Bock with hints of brown ale, which is cool and all, but I want a real altbier, dammit. Too toasty. Oh, TX brewers, this tastes like the "old ale" from Southern Star. I'm starting to think US brewers just like the NAMES of STYLES and like to tag them to their random half-assed homebrew concoctions. Mouthfeel is so-so. Can't really describe it, just kind of there. Not crazy about this.

May 10, 2013
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twiggamortis420 from Texas

3.57/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can pours a gorgeous brown color with good clarity and a thick froth of tan head. Decent retention and great cheese-esque even.

Malts are nutty and roasty, maybe a kiss of grassy hops. It almost has even a smoky component to it that is nice. Pretty mild aroma overall.

Taste has some nice nut and coffee flavors and the mouthfeel is rich for an alt with barely a touch of sweetness. It is a tad on the astringent side though and just needs a bit more caramel and sugary malt to even things out. Not too shabby, I'll probably pick this up every once and a while, but I dont see it making it into the regular rotation.

May 01, 2013
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champ103 from Texas

4.11/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Banger's in Austin.

A: Pours a clear brown color. A two finger beige head forms with good retention. Spotty lace is left down the glass as well.
S: Lager like yeast. Earthy, spicy, peppery. Toasted grains, baked bread. I like the nose.
T: Follows the nose with toasted malt, grains, baked bread. Very dry, lager like yeast with that peppery spice. This reminds me of a schwarzbier. Which I like.
M/D: A light to medium body. Maybe a bit to thin. Though I do like the crisp dryness. Very easy to drink. Enough character to satisfy, and something I can drink all day.

I don't think I have had a true Altbier before, and this one seems pretty legit. Similar to a dark lager or Schwarzbier, and ultra drinkable. Something I would recommend.

Mar 05, 2013
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HardTarget from Texas

3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark brown amber that shows a bit of light and haze.

Smell: Light sweetness, roasted malt, with a light corn element. Bit of coffee in the roast.

Taste: Mild flavors go a little earthy, malted grain and rain water goodness. Grape jam tannins give a little pucker, and the earthy hops stay far in the background.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation and slightly heavy body give a cask like experience. Does tend toward the flat side of the spectrum.

Overall: A good beer. Not really banging the style but kudos for expanding the vocabulary and range of styles in beer drinkers. Comes off a little more as a Black Lager (Shiner Bock), but a hefty and more nuanced cousin.
Great opening taste from Hops & Grain, look forward to trying more. Cheers to new breweries in Texas!

Jan 24, 2013
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a clear ice tea brown with a three-fingered head that squats on the liquid, leaving a goodly amount of lacing behind

Smell: Slightly burnt toast, nuts and coffee grinds

Taste: Very malty, with a depth of slightly burnt toast laying the foundation; nutty and slightly fruity, in the middle, with a hint of coffee creeping into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not quite like the German alts I have encountered but still a tremendously enjoyable beer

Thanks, Phoenix2443, for the opportunity

Jan 09, 2013
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LXIXME from New Mexico

3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big biscuity light tan head just sits above a clear reddish-copper-amber colored beer that seems to be well carbonated.

Lightly roasted caramel malts give the aroma a nice toasted appeal with some lighter hops presence giving this beer a nice balance in the nose.

The roasted malts give this a caramel toffee to light coffee taste with just a slight bit of the hops lending a very slight bitterness edge to this slight burnt tasting Alt.

A very light aftertaste that isn't really wet or dry on this medium bodied beer.

It seemed that the more I drank the more the light burnt taste came through, not really sure if it was in a good way or not. I wish I had brought more of this back from Austin. I could run some more taste tests, seriously.

Nov 27, 2012
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mactrail from Washington

3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More auburn than amber with a nice head and plenty of lacing to start. Still spritzy at the end of the pint.

Maltiness is the defining character. An edge of bitterness, some dark roasted barley, and just a hint of butter. Dark flavors and some blackened malt up front on the tongue. Aromatic in the nose, perfumey flavor. Grainy with just a touchof sweetness. Turns dry and bitterish in the aftertaste.

A really rich and tasty version of the Altbier style. On tap at the Westside Alehouse, somewhere behind a motel on I-35 in Nowheresville, Texas.

Nov 17, 2012
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Pegasus from Texas

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep amber in color, all but opaque, darker than any other example of the style that I have tried. The head is small and tan, and soon collapses. The lacing is fine and unbroken, entirely coating the glass walls.

Aroma: Lots of toasted malts, a moderate coffee presence, and a bit of wood.

Taste: Opens with an abundance of toasted malts, and a distinct charcoal note. As the taste progresses, the toasted malts roll on. Very late in the taste, there is a moderate, crisp herbal hop note, which carries on past the end of the taste.

Mouth feel: Smooth, fairly soft, low carbonation, feels a bit thin.

Drinkability/notes: Perhaps a bit off style, but certainly not terrible, and is pleasant and drinkable. How about a "sticke" version.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twelve-ounce aluminum can, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice. Purchased at Spec's today.

Oct 20, 2012
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specksnreds from Texas

3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lovely beer. Smooov and mellow, and all with a roasty-toasty-malty finish as per the style I suppose. What hops? But that's OK. The dark brown pour implies a malt-bomb-wallop, but no such bludgeoning exists. Subtle is the word that comes to mind, and after a few sips a bit of caramelized complexity. I taste toast. And a raisin. And maybe some hay. And it's my new fishing beer at 5.1%

Jul 04, 2012
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MrBeerExpert from Texas

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Somewhere between Dark Ruby an Brown with a nice
off-white head which lasted the whole pint.

S: Toffee grains and noble hops. Very nice.

T: Like delicious liquid bread. The malt profile is complex and
clean balanced out with just the right amount of bitterness.

M: Good carbonation and light on the palate. Could easily have
2 in one sitting.

O: An excellent example of the style. I prefer slightly more hop
aroma, but overall a fantastic beer.

Jul 02, 2012
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imasloth from Texas

4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown with thin light head. No lacing. Amber when held to light.

S- Light malt notes, some hop bitterness.

T- Sweet and bitter up front, mineral water-like flavor.

M- Good carbonation, smooth, medium-bodied, slight bitter afterfeel.

O- Good. I think I actually preferred this one out of a can versus the pint glass. Can seemed to better harness the aroma ...

Jun 24, 2012
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Mora2000 from Texas

3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Whip In during the RateBeer Winter Gathering. This is my first beer from this brewery.

The beer pours a brownish color with a beige head. The aroma is very malty with a lot of caramel and toffee notes. The flavor is more of the same. There is a lot of brown sugar, caramel and toffee, as well as a little bit of nuttyness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Straightforward, but enjoyable.

Mar 06, 2012
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elNopalero from California

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a brown amber color with a ruby hue to it. There’s a light caramel aroma to this. Tastes of caramel malts while hinting at some cherries. There’s a piney hop flavor and a piney, almost herbaceous finish. I’m kinda geeked out to see that Hops & Grain is brewing an alt as one of their year-round beers.

Feb 09, 2012
Alt-eration Ale from Hops & Grain Brewing
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 201 ratings