Wisconsin Amber | Capital Brewery

173 Reviews
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Wisconsin AmberWisconsin Amber

Brewed by:
Capital Brewery
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-15-2001

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Reviews: 173 | Ratings: 437
Photo of KarlHungus
2.73/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This brew pours a clear pale amber color with a small white head that recedes quickly. The aroma is the usual generic lager aroma. Sweet and crisp. The taste is more than I expected from my impressions of the aroma. It is clean, crisp, and mildly sweet...nothing spectacular. The mouthfeel is light bodied with too much carbonation. Overall, this is not a beer that I plan on drinking again. It is by no means a horrid brew, but there are better ones out there.

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Photo of granger10
3.42/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid amber here. Bright amber color with a smaller off white head. Minimal lacing. Aroma was of caramel malts and floral and spicy hops. Taste was quite different though as a dry grain body seemed to really dominate. Sweetness was low and hoppiness was low too. Slick, smooth body, almost too much. Drawn out finish of spicy hops and grain astringency. Nice beer, easy to drink but not the best I have ever had.

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Photo of aquatonex
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Kev for picking up some brew while on-site in Wisconsin...

Pours amber with 2 fingers of foamy head, very slight retention and lacing. Looks normal enough. Smells are pretty standard, some hops in there, but no skunk. Taste was not expected from the normalcy of its look and smell. Very smooth, somewhat hoppy but not gross, not skunky at all, malts round out the finish. Very good drinkability, especially out of a can.

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Photo of battlekow
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There were a bunch of cans of this left over after a party, so I thought I'd give the non-bottled version a shot.

As advertised, it's amber. White fluffy head, okay lacing. It smells and tastes pleasantly malty, not a whole lot of character, but what's there is easy enough to get along with. The hops are also there, again lightly, well-balanced with the malt. There's just not a whole lot of total flavor. Mouthfeel is good.

This is actually better than I remember, but last time I was drinking it side-by-side with Lakefront's Riverwest Stein, which is quite good, so Wisconsin Amber ended up looking like the ugly stepsister. It's actually a solid lager, a good session beer, and, from what I hear, a popular BMC substitute--as it should be.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, no freshness date. Hazed copper body, head is never very much, just a little wisp on the top of the beer. Smell is very nice, sweet carmel malts, floral hops, which are both also reflected in the flavor. Swet and malty, bready, but the hop finish is above average for the style. Could use more carbonation, but still a good beer.

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Photo of thechaacster
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Heaven on 7. Pours a nice golden-orange with one finger of foam. Sweet, highly malty aroma. Tasty, extra sweet slam of caramel maltiness. Slightly fruity as well. Minimal hop bitterness, oh well. Highly drinkable, this made for a quality session beer. Could have used a bit more bitterness, but it was a tasty lager in its own right.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.08/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: I had to pour it pretty aggressively to get a head on it. The beer is a super clear reddish-orange color with very few bubbles rising. The half-inch head that I gained by the aggressive pour disappeared within about a minute to a very small ring around the glass.

Aroma: I get some fruity esters that mix pretty pleasantly with the caramel notes in the aroma. This example may have a bit of age on it, as it has a slight sherry note to it.

Taste: Very fruity flavor. Not that I can really pick any one out, but it is a nice medley of fruit presence. There is a bit of cardboard that is definitely discernable in this beer...further leading me to believe that the beer is past it's prime. There is no date present on the bottle...bummer.

Opinion: This seems like it was a lot nicer beer in it's prime, but since it is such a light-flavored beer, it is showing the first signs of age. It tastes clean enough that I would keep an eye out for it to try again sometime...especially in Wisconsin.

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Photo of jimbotrost
3.37/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at Grant's Olde Stage Station in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin. Pours a deep copper, not quite amber as name would suggest. Topped with a full creamy white head with lace on glass. Nose is of malty sweetness. Flavor follows the malt lead and is big and sweet, overly cloyingly sweet. Finish is long and balances the beer out.

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Photo of RBorsato
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted on 5/12/05 at Bricks (Beer Bar) in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Light amberish in color. Munich malt aroma and flavor dominate in aroma and flavor. I could not detect any hoppiness underneath but it was not overly sweet so the balance was nice. Medium bodied, smooth and creamy.

I'd put this in the Vienna Lager category if it were me...

Per Label : "German Style"

Per CB website: Loosely based on Vienna style, Wisconsin Amber is a rich, malty lager balanced out with mild hop bittering and enticing hop flavor. Very fulfilling. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Gruntlumber
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not usually a big fan of Ambers, probably because there's a large variety of popular bad ones out there. This may be one of my favorites however (up there with Bell's). It looks meaty in the glass compared to more typical ambers; a good start. "Malted caramel" seems to be mentioned a lot in these reviews, and I certainly agree that is the overall defining characteristic of this tastey brew. A few intangibles don't seem quite perfect about this overall, but it's still high on my list of dependable ambers. Capital does a great job with so many beers, and this is one of them.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a festive bronze color into the glass (with a sign on it that reads 'drink me')

There is a nice clean, floral smell with a light hop odor too. It is strong enough to cut through a smoke filled room but subtle enough to not make your head hurt from smelling it.

The taste is very refreshing - a nice blend of hops, bready grains and sweet alcohol. It really cleans the palette.

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Photo of mentor
3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz screw-top bottle obtained from John’s Grocery (Iowa City) in January 2005 and consumed the next evening. Pours almost no head…just a ring around the glass. Crystal clear light copper-orange. Smells of caramel and woody hop. Tastes sweet wet with caramel pear and just a hint of chocolate. Some hop bitter I’m not familiar with, but which I will describe as dry and woody. There is fizz on my tongue and the caramel hangs on the roof of my mouth, persisting deep into the aftertaste. The flavors are quite mild, but then, the beer is quite cold. Medium-light body and carbonated well for the style.

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Photo of skybluewater
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice light amber color. Not much lace. Smells of toffeeish malt. Taste is very nice, almost like Autumnal Fire, but with more of a thin mouthfeel, which isn't a big deal at all.

Overall, this is a darn good beer, very sessionable, and a darn good choice for conversion purposes. (It even comes in cans!)

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.02/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Transparent bronze appearance, short-lived, slim off-white head.
Nose is a bouquet of caramel malt sweetness, with herbal, grassy notes, as well...rich and arousing.
Caramel and toffee tones return on the palate, big and brash in taste, sticks long in the senses, before slipping away. Medium-bodied, long, slick finish. Full-forward sweetness, a constant pleasure and easy as pie to travel down the throat.
Unbeatable, as far as Vienna lagers go.
I'd take one any time.

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Photo of redmosquito
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber to orange in color with a nice head whitish head. Aroma of sweet caramel malt with light flowery hops. Clean and sweet in flavor and it finishes very smooth. This beer is refreshing and goes down really easy. This is a good crossover beer for anybody new to craft brews.

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Photo of donnebaby
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich, dark bronze, nice and dark for an amber. Off-white and sticky uneven foam. Spicy medium malt nose, not really too wild.

Taste takes back seat to the smooth mouthfeel and low carbonation, which bubbles the brew down before some lingering grainy maltiness. Ample maltiness in the mouth, however, with some accents of honey.

Nicely put together somewhat complex amber.

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Photo of Ahhdball
3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Red in color, slight 1/4 inch head leaving good Brussels lacing.
Flowery hops came right out to grab the olfactory senses. Sweet malt/sugar slowly followed.
Prosperous portion of malt, good follow up with mild use of hops slightly bittering, nothing overboard.
With an average smooth as glass finish, and slight oily feel which disappeared quickly I could have it again if offered but I won't hunt it down anytime soon.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: The third Capital brew that I received from a trade. As with all of the other Capitals it has the generic label design, this time the oval label for the Wisconsin Amber has a dark orange background. As with all the other Capital brews, it has a similar, but smaller scale, neck label with the usual health warning and cash refund bollocks that no-one ever reads. No freshness date, not strength listed either.

Appearance: I decided to use a tall thin Ourdaller Glass that I bought last year when I was in Luxembourg. It proved to be a great choice for the tall slender body of the glass perfectly displayed the lovely definitive amber body in all its glory. Massive light tan forms a tall creamy plug in the glass and threatens to escape over the top, but it slows just at it reaches the edge. Plenty of carbonation in this one! Nice head retention and some fine sticky lacing.

Nose: Sweet malts, crusty baked bread, light caramel and a fruity feel in the latter part. Lights hints of orange flavored candle oils.

Taste: Slick feel to this one. It slips down so well that at times it feels like the tastes are trying to catch up. Lovely caramel malts, light Devon toffee, thick home baked crusts from slightly over baked Cobs and some dark fruity strata in the back end. Tastes like a Terry’s Chocolate smells sometimes. Has a very delicate clean bitterness in the quick aerodynamic finish.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is big, but not overwhelming and this most certainly maintains an above average feel in the light but very smooth body, start to finish, as well as a toasted malt feel with licks of caramel on the cheeks.

Drinkability: A tasty brew that I found quite quaffable, and I am not that partial to Ambers, I soon get bored with them, but I could manage a couple of these quite easily. If I had any complaint it is that the finish is too sudden, however, this invites the next mouthful earlier than planned usually.

Overall: I am not a big Amber fan to be honest, but I really enjoyed this one. A solid effort from Capital, they rarely disappoint, even with styles I am not that partial to. Dependable Amber.

Nice One Huge!!

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Photo of RoyalT
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Orange as the label with a good, foamy head that went down fairly quickly.

Smell - These malts have a big, orangey sweetness to them that was a bit overpowering for me. I would have liked to have seen a bit more balance in the smell.

Taste - I could pick up a slight hop note or two at the taste, but mostly this is orangey malts.

Mouthfeel - I thought this was the ale's strong point. It is very smooth and refined and very pleasing in the mouth. It is a bit bigger than light-bodied.

Drinkability - If you enjoy the flavor, this would make a terrific session ale.

Update - I originally reviewed this four years ago in 2004 so thought I'd take another crack at it after my bro-in-law was nice enough to send me another one from Wisconsin.

I liked it a little bit more this time around. The orange didn't seem as sharp and this beer has a wonderful body - medium at least maybe bigger and incredibly smooth. Also, I don't know what it looked like before (I gave it a low score) but it is a brilliant dark orange in color with a gorgeous off-white head. I raised the overall score from 3.1 to 3.7, an unusually large increase for a re-review in my book.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.12/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pretty blah and average lager. The head was virtually absent and the color was pretty flat looking. The aroma wasn't too bad with wheat, grass and malt hints. The taste was pretty dry and uneventful with a sugary finish. Not the greatest brew from capital, but then again, not too many lagers blow me away.

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Photo of stoutman
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured a medium sized head of fine to large sized mostly lasting bubbles that left behind a fair lacing and a transparent carbonated light brown colored body. The aroma is a medium strength malt hop one with a smooth mouthfeel and a slight hop bite in the finish. The flavors in this brew contain elements of malt caramel and mild hops. A good beer.

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pleasing little malty brew. Nice beery aroma when you crack the bottle. Pours like most bottled beer, with an even head that fades to a nice little lace. A roasty malt taste brings notes of caramel or molasses. Hops flavor very mild. Again, a fine representative of the style, and I hope Capital will sometime take the chance to do something a little more extreme.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Even though my opinion of this beer is that it could use some character to it, it was indeed a good beer to drink and rate. It poured a small sized ivory creamy and smooth head. The body was carbonated and clear with an amber hue. The nose was malty, fruity and some caramel notes. The flavor was sweet along with a bitter taste. The mouthfeel was smooth, tingly, thin textured, watery and light bodied. It left a good lacing on the sides of my glass.

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Photo of steelreign
4.42/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a major revelation for me. I bought this on a whim, not expecting much, but when I got it home and poured it out, I was pleasantly surprised! Very nice golden/amber hue with hints of orange. Wispy off white head that formed little clusters of foam on top after dying down. Huge floral, citrus hop presence entwined with a pleasant malt thickness.

Quite a nice blend of malt sweetness and hop bite. The hops were more up front as it was still cold, but as it warmed, the malts kicked in and balanced this one nicely indeed! So smooth and velvety on the tongue, it just got better as it went on. Perfect carbonation level, and quaffability is way up there. Find this and enjoy it! Recommended.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one is a amber colored liquid with about a half inch tan cream colored head on the top. The aroma is a malty caramel scent. As for the taste, it is a smooth malty taste with a nice hop bite. Citrusy flavors come out as well. This is a well balanced beer, and one that i will be getting again.

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Wisconsin Amber from Capital Brewery
3.58 out of 5 based on 437 ratings.
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