Altbier
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

AltbierAltbier
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Altbier
Ranked #26
ABV:
4.5%
Score:
86
Ranked #20,605
Avg:
3.89 | pDev: 11.83%
Reviews:
25
Ratings:
65
From:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
 
Pennsylvania, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  10
Gots
  9
SCORE
86
Very Good
AltbierAltbier
Notes:
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 65 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by tempest:
Photo of tempest
tempest from New York

3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Liberty St for $5/pint. My beer arrived a dark amber color with a short white head. The aroma and flavor began with smooth caramel malts with a touch of garden spice and then finished with a very grassy orange rind hop flavor. All in all, a finely made alt. I just found there to be a dead spot in the initial flavor that detracted from an otherwise great beer.

May 10, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of Erix
Erix from Vermont

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a growler to a pint glass.
Appearance: A clear amber gold beer, head rather quickly disappearing. No haze whatsoever.
Smell: Both malt and hops come through assertively, making a nice sweet and slightly spicey profile. Clean.
Taste: Wonderful. The initial peppery hop bite is followed with a full malt profile, sliding again into a lingering bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Sharp, cleansing feel of carbonation, but not everwhelming. A little astringent as well, but no more than I'd like.
Drinkability: Quite a refreshing, satisfying beer, and still one that makes me want another. Ever since this showed up at Victory, it has been my first choice every visit.

Dec 01, 2004
Photo of stirgy
stirgy from Pennsylvania

4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An attractive looking beer. Was expecting a bit more lively looking head on the beer, but that's not a big deal. Poured bright, clear and a nice copper color. Spicy sweet malt nose. Some pepper notes. The taste is light and slightly creamy. Slight pepper spice with an interesting tang. The finish was dry and clear and had a spicy smoothness. The body is medium light with a tinge of lingering sweet citrus in the aftertaste. Well, again no surprises from Victory – As with their Kolsch, most of the characteristics for the style that I'm familiar with are here. They are truly one of the best U.S. brewers at recreating distinctive and fiercely regional old world beer styles. Another winner here. Very good.

Jan 28, 2005
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen from Alaska

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite the little altbier here. On-Tap at Victory this is a dark red/amber coloured brew with a nice white head that lasts and leaves nice lacing. The aromas scream fresh german hops, spices, and tea. The aromas of this altbier are quite subdued compared to the Sticke or even SPH Secret Ale. The taste is spicy hops up front with a lovely biscuity malt taste in the middle and a distinct finish of tea. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and lovely and the drinkability is awesome as well. Another winner from Victory!

Nov 01, 2004
Photo of John_M
John_M from Oregon

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a glowing copper amber color wit good head retention and lacing. The nose is impressive, showing cereal, sweet malt and a bit of black pepper. Mouthfeel replicates the nose, and I'm impressed by the amount of flavor this low abv. beer delivers. The beer also has a slight fruity flavor, that blends in well with the light hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and drinkability is exceptional. Could easily drink a bunch of this, and at 4.5% abv., can't imagine what would stop me.

Impressive beer from Victory.

May 20, 2010
Photo of Foxman
Foxman from New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It came to me crisp and clear, a golden amber with a nice bed of foam across the top. The lacing followed nicely down the side of the pint.

Hops and the tang of hops dueled nicely in the aroma, foretelling of a pleasant experience to come.


The malt and hops balanced very well, with the biscuity character of the malt well levened by the tangy bite of the hops.

Light-bodied, it came across the palate smoothly and left in the same way.

This is one emminently drinkable beer, a fine companion to most foods, or alone as a session beer. I found myself coming back to it as the evening wore on, and not because it was the only choice, but because it was the best choice.

Apr 19, 2005
Photo of cyguyjg
cyguyjg from Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

Mar 23, 2014
Photo of wedge
wedge from North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

@ Tyler's (Raleigh)

Clear, dark copper body under a fixed head of fluffy foam that leaves sheets of lace on the glass. Nutty sweet, toasty aromas...toffee, light brown sugar, and noble hops. Toasty malt flavor balanced by a solid bitterness. Spicy, noble hops, black tea, and slight minty notes. Medium-light bodied and very drinkable. I enjoyed this quite a bit.

Aug 21, 2012
Photo of Jacobier10
Jacobier10 from New Jersey

4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap @ As Is in NYC. Notes from 3/22/2017.

Deep copper/ruby color with a creamy off-white head. Toasted malt, nuts, and grassy/spicy hops fill the aroma. Hop aroma and flavor is a bit heavy handed with the grassy hops really shining through in the flavor. Toasted malt does its best to keep up and does provide some nice balance. Dry finish and very drinkable. Medium bodied and smooth.

After 2 Hill Farmstead beers, a Grimm, and a Jack's Abby, this might have been my favorite beer of the day. Victory nails another German style.

Apr 05, 2017
Photo of whartontallboy
whartontallboy from New York

4/5  rDev +2.8%

Jul 24, 2012
Photo of plaid75
plaid75 from New York

4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Barcade, Brooklyn, New York.

Poured a clear amber hue with a one finger foy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The ell featured a crisp toasted malt with an herbal earthy hop.

The taste was very well balanced with earth tones a elements of clean sharp careless and spicy hops.

The mouthfeel was toward te cleaner and drier side of the style.

Overall a duperior alt.

Apr 10, 2010
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sometimes thought of as an amber or red beer except made with all German ingredients and techniques, the fading style of Altbier has always had a for grip on the Dusseldorf and Norther German regions with its "old" style of brewing, but now mainly finds favor with the experimentation of American craft brewers like Victory.

Bright copper and slightly browned, the hybrid-type beer forms a creamy ecru cap, one with great persistence and decorative lace. A stern scent of toasted grain is off-caramel but is nutty, lightly charred, woodsy and crusted. Herbal hops come across peppery, rye-like and grassy while its taste is briskly sweet, again toasty and nutty but faintly honey-like instead of caramelized.

Malt-forward but drying rapidly on the middle palate, the beer's bright malt character is balanced with those grassy and bitter hops. More hoppy than typical compared to German versions, the combination of the fast fade of malt and the snappy rise of hops, the balance rapidly shifts toward the peppery, grassy and spicy bitterness.

A light mineral taste assists the beer's dry and drinkable finish. Closing with a medium body, the beer is as effortless on the palate as pilsner but as characterful as ale. As the bitterness lingers beyond the malt, the taste crispens and lingers with roasted pecan.

May 23, 2016
Photo of blackie
blackie from Oregon

4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: the color of dark maple syrup, off-white head with average retention and light lacing

s: crisp pilsner malt body with an underlying nutty/toasty note, bright floral/herbal noble hop nose, hoppier than most, good introduction

m: carbonation lively, somewhere along the medium-high border, with a light-medium body and a dryness that encourages frequent pulls from the glass

t: again the body carries nutty and toasty malt notes on a structure of snappy pilsner malt, superb noble hop presence - peppery and herbal, pulpy and pungent but balanced, with a cleansing bitterness, just a fine lager with a lot to offer in such a small package

d: very easy - a flavorful lager that's both satisfying and drinkable

the menu suggested comparisons to a dark Prima Pils, and I'll agree - it's got that same super-crisp pilsner structure and vivid noble hops that make both beers winners, 12 oz. serving at the brewpub

Mar 12, 2010
Photo of organicbrewer
organicbrewer from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

reviewed the day after purchasing the growler.
a-Dark Copper. Huge tan head with really tight bubbles. Head lingers for the entire glass leaving lacing behind. Brilliantly clear.

s-Light toasty malt aroma with a very low spicy hop aroma.

t-moderately malty. Lots of melandoidens. Moderatly bitter with a nice spicy hop flavor. Very low yeast esters. Very nice.

m-Fairly dry. Moderate carbonation. No alcohol heat.

d-Great altbier. Second to the ones I had fresh in dusseldorf.

May 17, 2010
Photo of david18
david18 from New York

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a big fan of German Ales (i.e. Kolsh and Altbier) and this one is quite good. Victory is very good at emulating styles and this in no exception.

A light brown color with a lighter brown head. Good fresh aroma and very drinkable. I hope to see this a lot this summer because I'll drink it when i do.

Apr 28, 2010
Photo of kmwilson76
kmwilson76 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2.8%

Dec 26, 2011
Photo of nickfl
nickfl from Florida

4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured with a small head of off white foam on a clear, amber brown body with good retention and lace.

S - Pungent and spicy hops with some lightly toasted malt.

T - Toasted grain up front with some spicy hop character. More dry toast in the middle and a bitter finish with a touch of citrus and lingering pine flavor.

M - Medium thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - A nice, flavorful alt overall.  The hops may be a bit more pungent than most examples, but they add a nice brightness to the beer and work pretty well with the malt.

Jul 27, 2012
Photo of Spade
Spade from Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jan 31, 2017
Photo of ZehrAlte
ZehrAlte from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2.8%

May 05, 2013
Photo of tubbnik
tubbnik from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2.8%

Dec 08, 2011
Photo of FickleBeast
FickleBeast from New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler purchased from the brewery. Poured into a nonic.

Pours a dark toffee brown color with great clarity and a nice head of foam on top. Aroma is malty, raisiny, with a touch of spicy hops.

First sip is substantially more bitter than expected. Nice munich malt body, but finishes pretty dry with a firm bitter aftertaste.

The dry finish combined with the strong bitter aftertaste knock it down a few points for me. I really like the flavor of the beer, for the split second before the bitters washes over my palate.

All in all, not too bad, but I sure wish I had brought home a growler of Hop Wallop instead :)

Jul 04, 2012
Photo of MrMcGibblets
MrMcGibblets from Illinois

3.16/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

on-tap at 3Fs pub.
A: served in an imperial pint glass. chestnut/deep copper and clear. decent off-white head and lacing is somewhat diminishing.
S: muted. some nuttiness and caramel.
T: quite dry and almost a bit sourish. get some nuttiness and dark bread from the malts. hops bring decent smooth spicy and earthy bitterness.
M: light to medium, astringency damages this for me.
D: a little more malt sweetness and a lack of the astringent/slightly sour character would have helped this beer immensely for me.

Jul 10, 2010
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Barcade in Jersey City, NJ

A: Pours a clear very dark amber to an almost brown in color (slightly darker than I am used to seeing for the style) with some moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy off-white head that very slowly reduces to a thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a very thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate amounts of toasted malts with just a hint of toffee sweetness and a fairly strong aroma of herbal and spicy hops.

T: Similar to the smell, the taste of this beer has a the light to moderate body of the toasted malts with just a hint of toffee sweetness followed by even stronger presence of the hops. There is definitely a strong presence of herbal and spicy hops with moderate amounts of pine and citrus. Strangely, there was just a hint of something that reminded me of star anise in the background.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Dry in the finish.

O: As someone that has visited Dusseldorf and tasted all of the Altbier available there, this beer has a slightly different twist and a much stronger presence of hops. Enjoyable but maybe not exactly true to the style.

Sep 02, 2012
Photo of nmann08
nmann08 from Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Jul 28, 2012
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Victory Altbier
(Listed ABV 5.0 %)

Pours a medium dark copper, with a slightly off white head and leaves lace down the pint. Aroma of herbal hops and caramel. In the flavor, surprisingly hop forward with a firm caramel\toasted malt backing. Resinous, spicy, fairly bitter leafy hops give a bit of oily balance. As the brew approaches room temperature, malty notes of chocolate and nut develop. Finishes with a more or less even balance. Medium to full bodied brew and well carbonated. Overall, this is one of the better altbiers I have come across . Without a doubt, a very good example of the style.

Apr 21, 2013
Altbier from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 65 ratings