East Village Amber | Alameda Brewhouse

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East Village AmberEast Village Amber

Brewed by:
Alameda Brewhouse
Oregon, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
This amber ale was brewed in the style of a German altbier. 'Altbier' literally means 'old beer,' referring to the era when Germans brewed ales instead of the lagers of today. The style is a bit of a hybrid of ale and lager in that it is brewed with an ale yeast, but is fermented at cooler than normal temperatures for an ale, and aged (lagered) before serving. The resulting beer has a pleasing malt character character, but is drier and not as heavy as most of our beers. The maltiness is balanced by a crisp hop character that is spicier than it is bitter. The fact that the hops are all of German origin accounts for this spicy hoppiness. The Amber is a deep copper color, which makes it an attractive as well as tasty brew."
5.2% ABV 33 IBU

Added by RedDiamond on 09-14-2005

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Reviews: 3 | Ratings: 4
Photo of msubulldog25
3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Alameda in Portland.$2.60 Happy Hour pint. 2006 Summer Release. None of the problems found with the 2005 were apparent here...

A: Rich coppery brown & clear. A tiny white head that fades to an almost non-existant film.

S: A sharp bitterness with maltiness, like toasted nuts. Also a clean spiciness, though I also sniffed a bit of something metallic. Not quite as mellow or thick as a typical amber; I guess that's why the literature states this is in "the style of German altbier". An "ale-lager hybrid". Hmmm.

T: Characteristic hop bitterness upfront, mellow nuttier transformation then back to the lingering bitterness. Generally a slight sweetness but mostly bitter.

M: A very nice creaminess in texture gives a rather full mouthfeel. There's a definitely clean bite in the finish and a twangy bitterness.

D: A good beer, nicely balance - though leaning more on the hop side of the fence. Low abv, pleasant taste, different from the typical amber. Sure, I'd have this one again sometime.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.03/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer on draft last year at the Horse Brass and it was problematic. However, this year's batch seems thankfully bereft of the off-flavors that plagued earlier editions. In fact, it's downright good! It's touted as a German-style altbier, which is one of the harder beer-styles for this American to evaluate, since I've really only had a couple authentic German alts (Frankenheim -- the "Bud" of German alts; Diebels -- of which I have little memory; and Uerige -- which was tragically spoiled rotten). All the rest have been New World recreations. I'll treat this the same: an American amber ale. For that, it's very good, slotting nicely in the crack between hoppy and malty, with a velvety mouthfeel and clean, appetizing "more-ish" finish. There's an intimation of complexity, which seems in keeping with the alts I have tried. However, it's truly a session beer: the grace notes of restraint and subtlety easily allow a casual imbiber to ignore any thought-provoking flavors that might materialize. Despite this, it is not ordinary in any way. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of RedDiamond
1.79/5  rDev -48%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I first saw this beer in a 22 oz. bottle at John’s Market and was pleased to see Alameda deliver another bottled beer. That night I drank the bomber and was absolutely stunned at how spoiled the beer was. How could a beer have gone so bad, so quickly? Even old beers of modest potency that originate from Europe and sit on a shelf for a year don’t end up as toxic as this amber ale brewed just across town.

Not wanting to rely on an isolated bad bottle for my review, I went to Alameda later in the week to try a pint of East Village on draught. From this vantage it was not hard to figure out how things went awry, for even on draught this beer was seriously problematic. Phenolic off-notes dominated every dimension of what might otherwise have been a mellow, English-style bitter, and this beer was simply a challenge to drink. I’m surprised they opted to serve such a spoiled beer to the public.

A regrettable blemish on Alameda’s roster of otherwise enjoyable beers.

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East Village Amber from Alameda Brewhouse
3.44 out of 5 based on 4 ratings.
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