Off Color Brewing

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Ranked #121
Ranked #41,535
3.67 | pDev: 11.44%
Off Color Brewing
Illinois, United States
Notes: Just cause it's dark and German doesn't mean it's an alt. Based on the obscure Kottbusser style of beer, this surprisingly dry beer retains all the aroma and nuance of honey (from bees) and molasses (not from bees) creating a perception of sweetness through cool, controlled fermentation. Because we're sweet enough damn it.

18 IBU
Reviews: 117 | Ratings: 663 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Unknown vintage; drank 3/2/15 @ the Yarchives.

Murky brown/red appearance.

Big khaki head; decent lace.

Peanut butter, fresh earth & honey in the nose.

Medium thin mouthfeel.

Honey, peanut butter & graham cracker flavors up front; eucalyptus notes on the finish.

A bit watery despite all those flavors; it's enjoyable but won't stick in your memory too long.

Sep 14, 2019
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HorseheadsHophead from New York

3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Dark brown, almost opaque, with a touch of light translucent brown at the bottom of the glass. Off white head with good retention and some spotty lacing.

S: Honey, caramel, chewy cereal grains, maple syrup. Smells like Honey Nut Cheerios.

T: Milk chocolate, toasted brown bread, caramel, toffee, honey, molasses, cracked cereal grains, and hay.

F: Really thin and light for the rich aroma and complex taste. Quite watery.

O: A solid beer with a lot of interesting flavors. I just wish it had more oomph.

Aug 21, 2018
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craigbelly from Iowa

3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice dark tea color. No head or lacing. Smells of sweet malt and honey/molasses. I like how the sweetness ends with a heavy dryness. Minimum hop presence. Kind of thin mouthfeel for all that's going on here.

Jul 16, 2018
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BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle into 12oz tulip. Poured a very dark brown, with a thin cap of tan head that had no retention or lacing.

First scent is roasty malts. Some sweetness behind that.

Not as much roast on the tongue, more sweetness, and a hint of spiciness.

Body was on the thin side, with a semi-sweet finish.

Drinkability was good, probably wouldn't have two in a row though.

Overall, an nice little brew. Worth a shot if you see it.

Feb 23, 2018
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chicagobeerguy from Illinois

3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a coke like brown with no head, lots of bubbles. Bready, sweet caramel hops, slight hop profile but subdued, oatmeal, reminiscent to a bock smell. This beer is quite sweet with honey, sweet and roasted malts. Highly carbonated and very sweet. Overall this beer is not bad but a little too sweet for my liking.

Dec 31, 2017
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Whiteweasel from Illinois

3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Extremely aggressive head with large off-white bubbles that fizzles into almost nothing after a short while. Extremely thick opaque brown (not black) color.

S: A hearty roastiness from an assortment of grains. Caramel, dark molasses, and a bit of smoke and oats.

T: Very interesting and complex. Rich tastes of oats, roasted barley, molasses, and is almost like a lighter barleywine. Shares characteristics with a doppelbock, though notably without the savory component. Slightly herbal and earthy like a pu-er tea.

M: Very refreshing mouthfeel, lots of carbonation but with big bubbles. Alcohol is minimal, but it still has the sweetness that high abv beers tend to have. Smokey molasses mouthfeel lingers pleasantly. Clears up quickly.

Overall: A very interesting beer with a much larger presence than the mouse on its label would suggest.

Sep 13, 2017
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: It pours brilliant brown with ruby highlights under a 1" light tan foam collar with good retention.

S: rich molasses aromas, some honey, and hints of nuts, chocolate and dark malts.

T: The flavors suggest a mildly sweet molasses honey nut cereal. The bitterness is mild but enough to keep the malts, honey and molasses from becoming cloying. Scurry dries out a little on the finish.

F: The molasses and honey lighten up the beer's body while the oats add creaminess. The carbonation is average.

O: This is a perfect beer to drink while smoking a pork butt.

Jun 28, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is based only on observations, and will revisit as I learn more about whatever the hell "kossbussers" are. So, yeah, poured into a stange, here’s the rest: The appearance was a dark brown color ranging close to a black color with a one finger white to off white foamy head that dissipated within a quick minute. Lacing, uh...yeah, not there. The smell, wow, uh...there’s a whole lot going on - slight smokey to meatiness with a semi-thick sweet honey to somewhat thin molasses thing goin’ on. The taste was mainly sweet with a slight smokey to honey underneath rolling into a light dried molasses flavor. There’s no aftertaste and a slight quick dry finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium. Carbonation runs really light, and I don’t mind that as it leads to a sweet sticky sort of feel slyly clinging to my tongue. Overall, uh...well, I liked it for me.

Jun 17, 2017
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bwood06 from Wisconsin

3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at my local liquor store here in the burbs since my parents were coming into town and I wanted something local and interesting for my Dad and I to try out together. This once caught my eye as being a bit off the wall for American styles and the local craft scene.

This beer pours a dark brown (with a bit of copper to it) hue that is somewhat hard to see through but seems clear/filtered. Carbonation is moderate and the head is a khaki color, creamy, and dissipates slowly to a thin lacing. 4/5 The aroma is of moderate intensity and is evenly balanced with just a slight lean towards the sweet end of the spectrum with malt notes of grain, Hawaiian sweet bread, molasses, honey, hazelnuts, and baker's chocolate. None of these are particularly sticky sweet, they just bring out a light sweetness that is multi-layered. Earthy, grassy, and herbal hops come through, balancing the malt profile and lightening the aroma. The molasses and honey both come out more strongly as the beer warms (not so much early on when the beer is colder). 3.5/5 The flavor, as with the aroma, is evenly balanced with just a slight lean toward sweet with malted barley, Hawaiian sweet bread, hazelnuts, and baker's chocolate starting things off. The hops ease in with an earthy/grassy/herbal profile that brings any malt sweetness back down to Earth, although there is a bit of a chemical note that comes in with the hops. The molasses and honey from the aroma don't really come through for me in the flavor. The finish is moderately short and is somewhat faint with the malt, instead of the hops, coming through more strongly here and easing the flavor of the beer out the door. Bitterness is mild. 3.5/5 This is a light to medium bodied beer that has faint carbonation that comes across more as a tickle, and is slick but chalky on the tongue. It is not drying per se, but not wetting or coating either. The mouthfeel disappears quite quickly from the tongue after swallowing. 3.75/5 This is a very interesting beer with a multi-layered aroma and flavor, although neither are particularly strong. However this does make for an easy drinking beer that is quite versatile. 3.5/5

Mar 15, 2017
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kevanb from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at HopCat Chicago, served in a 14oz tulip glass. Reviewed live at the bar.

The beer pours a dark brown color, red hues, almost a cola brown, opaque with a thin, khaki head, hardly a finger that struggles with retention and lace, though a nice ring of head clings to the circumference of the glass. The aroma is pleasant, dark malts, rich and grainy, brown sugar, light chocolate, strong honey lingers with some caramel. The flavors match the nose well, lots of rich and hearty dark grain, bready and chewy with brown sugar, light chocolate, caramel with a really nice honey finish that helps to balance the beer nicely. The mouthfeel is good, coats incredibly well, smooth medium body that feels really full yet smooth and gentle with a creamy finish.

Verdict: A nice Altbier from Off Color. Nice and hearty without being too big and bold, easy drinking and definitely hits the spot on a cold afternoon. Nice complex flavors out of a seemingly "little" beer.

Feb 04, 2017
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Well this is the most different beer from Off Color I've had. Everything else is a tart/sour lactic kettle sour feel to it, this is one that is just a straight up traditional for the most part alt from my perspective.

Pours brown. 1/2" off white head. Better than average retention. Aroma hits the darker malts but not quite roasted feels, instead this has more of a darker honey nut Cheerios vibe to it. Slight woody impact.

Taste is smooth, backend mouth feel dry, nutty, malty, toffee. Tiny bit of dark fruit feels throughout. Carbonation on point. Unsweetened cola feels as well.

Feb 03, 2017
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SD-Alefan from South Dakota

4.27/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours from the bottle a dark brown with ruby highlights and a light tan, creamy head that fades to a skiff and leaves spotty lacing. Aroma is nutty and chocolate and a hint of dark fruit and brown sugar. Very tasty. Nuts an chocolate with a hint of fruit. A dry and slightly bitter finish is quite nice. Mouthfeel is medium, soft and smooth
Well carbonated. Excellent.

Oct 23, 2016
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottled on 19 May 16

Pours dark reddish-brown with a quickly dissolving frothy khaki colored foam head. Smells like roasty toasted malts, chocolate, dark nutty coffee, plum, cherry, fig, apple, pear, some honey, molasses, oat, vanilla, mild spice, with woody earthy herbal grass. Tastes like roasty toasted malts, chocolate, dark nutty coffee, pear, apple, plum, cherry, fig, some honey, molasses, oat, vanilla, mild spice, with woody earthy herbal grass. Feels light-medium bodied, crisp with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice brew.

Sep 06, 2016
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BloodSoakedAleMug from New York

4.16/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours a hazelnut hue with a one finger, cream colored head.

Smell: Fresh ground coffee, roasted chocolate malt, molasses. Notes of fudge and toasted bread.

Taste: Flavors of bittersweet dark chocolate, coffee, chocolate wafers and burnt toast upfront. Molasses is prominent but not overpowering. An understated and creamy oatmeal flavor lingers on the finish with more notes of smokey toasted malt and nuts.

Feel: Crisp. Medium body, light carbonation. Bittersweet and roasty, but not taxingly so on the palate.

Overall: Very refreshing with lots of roasted chocolate malt and nutty, smokey flavor. I very much enjoyed this.

Sep 05, 2016
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Smakawhat from Maryland

3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from the bottle into a stange glass. Bottled May 19th 2016.

Deep mahogany dark brown body color, with some good amount of cola sized carbonation. Head is quite foamy, manages a good easy three finger height, but has snapping carbonation and soapy quick dissolve. Light tan, and leaving a bubbly cola like collar and looking brew.

Very different aroma. Quite a noticeable honey accent on the nose with some dark malts that get towards a nutty tone. Sticky sensing, a big hint of brown sugar sweetness as well.

Wet bodied mouthfeel, with a lot of snapping carbonation and gas flavors on first sip. Honey like sweetness with a sharp dryness reminscent of an altbier in the mid palate. Parched cola gas, with a touch of acrid grain and bitterness on the finish as well.

There is an alt hiding in here somewhere but it's loaded down with odd flavors, really bad carbonation, and a mix that doesn't really do anything that positive.

Aug 24, 2016
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SaltofOH from Ohio

3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Date code across the front of the bottle, just below the label, think it's 085/16. What is that, March 25? Damn. DFH Tulip.

A: pours a dark brown, nearly black. Light penetrates, but only barely. Not much carb visible. One finger of bubbly khaki head faded quickly to a thin ring around the edge. No lacing to speak of. It's not much to look at.

S: very lagery, sort of sweet and grainy with a definite roasted component. Smells like a mild porter.

T: arrives with a slight twang of molasses, but the overriding initial sensation is indeed very light and lager like. Across the middle is where this turns incredibly complex: sweet cereal grain, toasted rye bread, honey, molasses, licorice, roasted barley. I don't really get coffee or cocoa here- but there is a distinct dark roasted barley grain aspect. Molasses is not overpowering, which is a good thing.

M: heavier side of lightweight, quite attenuated, very well carbonated, but not excessively so. Feels like a lager, which I love.

O: It's raining out, so I felt like having a darker beer. But it's above 80, so I didn't want a heavy malt bomb. This was the perfect choice. Tastes like a schwarzbier. Roasty and clean, without being too sweet. Great black beer for summertime. Would buy a sixer if I lived in Chicago, and will try again next time I visit.

Aug 14, 2016
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neenerzig from Ohio

3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Enjoying this on-tap at a bar called BlackFinn Ameripub that's up the street from my hotel in Chicago. Served in a standard pint glass, this beer draws a clear, dark brown color with some deep ruby highlights around the edges when held up to the light. Has a whitehead that's about an inch thick when first poured that settles eventually to a fairly thin ring lining the inside of the glass. Barely any lacing at all to speak of here. Aromas of roasted caramel malt sweetness and some honey to be sure. Not much else really. Not really discernible hop presence here. Tastewise this baby has a boatload of roasted caramel malt sweetness along with strong hints of honey and molasses. No discernible hop bitterness to balance out the sweetness really. But that's not really unexpected with this style of course. The honey and molasses to add an extra layer of sweetness that I don't think I've ever had in this style of beer before, and it works well here. Has a slightly crisp, mainly smooth, slightly sticky medium bodied mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in the good way.


Jul 30, 2016
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FBarber from Illinois

3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark black color that is reddish when held up to light. Mild thin head momentarily across the top of the beer, quickly dissipating.

Smell is initially dark roasted malts and molasses with undertones of sweet honey, cherries and oatmeal. Also catch some notes of dark wheat bread.

Taste follows the nose with lots of dark roasted malts coming through followed by notes of molasses, honey, oatmeal raisin cookies and dark bread. Most of the flavor is initially subdued by the carbonation on the tongue, but it really comes through strongly on the finish leaving a very pleasant aftertaste. Nothing in the way of bitterness, but there is certainly some german hops present.

Feel is a bit watery. The flavors are there, and really nice, but there is just a watery feel to it - something that is especially disappointing in a beer brewed with oats - you'd expect a bit more to the mouthfeel. Medium carbonation - I recommend a vigorous pour to counteract some of that carbonation. You get more of the flavors once it settles a bit.

Overall I've never had an Off Color beer I liked - until now. This one was actually quite enjoyable and tasty. They claim it is a Kottbusser - I can't rate this against other Kottbussers but on its own its actually very nice.

Apr 30, 2016
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spacecake9 from Illinois

3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a snifter.
A - Pours a clear very dark brown color with a small head of very tight bubbles which quickly disappear.
S - Aroma is coffee but not very strong.
T - Flavor is very cola-like. I do not get honey molasses in a way that I can appreciate.
M - Also cola like in the feel of the carbonation in my mouth. Mouth feel is thin.
O - I've had this beer before, and I'm not liking it the second time around either.

Mar 26, 2016
Photo of mnredsoxfan69
mnredsoxfan69 from Minnesota

2.83/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a 17 oz. beer goblet.

Scurry pours a dark brown with a minimal head that disappears almost immediately. The aroma is roasty with some molasses overtones. The flavor is vaguely similar but overshadowed by the extreme carbonation. The mouthfeel is prickly from carbonation at first before becoming a little smoother as the bubbles fade. Overall, this is a mediocre brew that I would not buy again.

Mar 06, 2016
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Trevor11 from Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I have enjoyed other Off Color offerings such as Le Predateur and Troublesome but Scurry really threw me for a loop. Maybe mine was opened significantly after the bottling date (not included) but it tasted very bland with no emphasized characteristics. Nothing came through to me. Then again, I just might no like altbiers.

Feb 19, 2016
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Beginner2 from Illinois

3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a stange. Pretty dark, let's call it ruby. No suds.
Smell has the malt character I prefer, but otherwise no big deal.
In the taste, this beer gets better. More than just the sweetness of the malt and honey blended together, the molasses is a stroke that adds character.
The low IBU seals the deal for me as the aftertaste is... well, let's keep Scurry around.

Overall, you gotta like these guys if you ever visit their website.
"We brew beer. We do other things, too. Just not as well."
This is a great tag.
But not every beer of theirs is as good as this for me... although the handful I've tasted are all interesting.
But, Scurry is one of the few beers I'd buy as a six-pack.

4/28/16 drank and reviewed. I only corrected my spelling. No change of opinion.
6/16/16. Ditto. Finished the sixer. Hunt this down.
11/26/16. Bought a single bottle. Guys, you may have a QC problem. This bottle produced far more suds and instead of the sugars massaging my palate, the spritz was prickling my tongue. Reduced Feel.
2/17/17 Had another single. Better. But no change in rating.
11/1/20 All Saints Day. I suppose my three year absence from a beer that I at first liked, well, it is a good lesson in the importance of QC... even for off-beat styles. Nonetheless, I've edited the above review and am largely satisfied and think that today's copy does seem to be an un-improved recipe or execution. That said, I'm ready to keep count over at Untappd.

Feb 19, 2016
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Stakebone from North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear dark brown with lot of carbonation. Smells sweet dark malt. The chocolate malt comes thru as do aromas of honey and molasses. Almost smells better than it tastes. The dark malt astringency is something I have a hard time getting over but it's what you get from the crispy malts in this beer and the dark malt flavors are pure, indicative of a well made beer. Tastes very much like eating a small portion of chocolate malt. And yes I've done it more than once. I like this beer. I don't think it's sweet other than in aroma. The purity of the flavors including some roundness from the adjuncts combined with the dryness from the black grains and minimal malt sugars is a great combination. I'm not a huge black/chocolate malt fan, especially the explosion of barrel aged stouts, but this is one I'll go back to. Plus it's a kottbusser style ale. Who knew?

Feb 16, 2016
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dorianmarley from Ohio

3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is cola borown with head that quickly fades and very little lacing.

Nose is semi-sweet chocolate, dried cherry, oatmeal cookie, dry malt.

Taste is mild, with RC Cola, old sourdough bread, oatmeal, chicory.

Mouthfeel is very refreshing with medium carbonation and clean finish.

Overall, high drinkability but not especially interesting.

Jan 16, 2016
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mothmanscott from Georgia

3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an almost clear, very dark brown with a garnet tint when held to the light. The pour produces a solid 2+ fingers of frothy, pale tan, shortlived, head that leaves only a little lace. Aroma is dark malty roast, molasses, cocoa, honey, nuts, some butterscotch, dark fruit & a faint hint of smoke. Taste is heavily roasted dark malt, molasses, honey, hints of cocoa, roasted nuts & a little earthy coffee with a roast, butter & faint smoke finish. Afrertaste is sweet but deeply roasted malts, roasted nuts & molasses. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied with moderate carbonation, creamy with oats, slightly chewy with a nice??peppery prickle in the finish.

Jan 08, 2016
Scurry from Off Color Brewing
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 663 ratings