Red Flag | Fort Hill Brewery

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32 Ratings
Red FlagRed Flag

Brewed by:
Fort Hill Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: German Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This medium bodied lager has a smooth malty flavor, and finishes refreshingly clean with balanced hop notes. Lagered for 60 days, spending 4 weeks at 28 degrees Fahrenheit. At 4.5% ABV it is very drinkable and leaves room to have another.

Added by WillieThreebiers on 12-25-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by OnTheBusWithGus:
Photo of OnTheBusWithGus
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of migwell
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Went out for a ride on one of our 3 local rails-to-trails bike paths a few months back, in search of 2 of the 3 proposed breweries located in our neighbor town of Easthampton, MA (famous for its good water). Enjoyed a pint at Abandoned Building Brewery, right on the main path, and then took an alternate path to the impressive Fort Hill Brewery for a sample. Certainly makes for some interesting cycling! Recently, I bought a sixer of the Red Flag Lager/Marzen and shared it with friends. This is an enjoyable, well balanced reinheitsgebot friendly lager that makes a fine session beer. Great opening salvo from a new brewery.

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Photo of DrewBest
4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clean, simple take on a Marzen lager from an upstart brewery focusing on German lagers. Thank God for these guys- Western Mass needed just such a brewery!

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Photo of mlefebvre7
3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ColdOneKev
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MenardMa
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of CJRubes
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of cbutova
3.46/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Second or third time around with this one.

A- Can poured to a narrow tumbler with an amber body and a fizzy-frothy white cap. Decent head retention with the foam residing as a puffy ring at the edges. Lacing is underwhelming with just a few spots.

S- Malts for the most part with just a bit of fruit and lager yeast influence for me. Toasted, biscuit and bready grains.

T- Once again relies on a well rounded array of malts but spicy Noble hops are noticeable in the finish. Bready, biscuit, nutty, toasted barley and something that reminds me of smoke/cocoa a tiny bit. Hints of lager yeast and fruit. Signature Marzen sweetness throughout.

MF- Between light and medium bodied overall with a texture that is just slightly creamy and foamy. Carbonation is at a moderate level.

Flavorful malt profile with just a bit of hops in the finish of the flavor. Lager yeast not totally clean enough and even though the grains are well-rounded they just don't seem to be as rich as I would expect in this style.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.11/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

First of all, new brewery in MA, that's neat. Second, this can is not marked at all to describe the name of the beer. I had to look it up on the website, looking for "Lager Beer" but realized that there is actually a red flag in the fort, so I guess that's what it is. Surprised the TTB let them make this label without the actual name of the beer.

Pours a nice fizzy bubbly 2 finger head that fades at a med to quicker pace, little foamy lacing, crystal clear rosy chestnut color.

Nose brings some toasted malt, reddish toasted malt but not quite candy and not caramel, some Munich malt, mild overall, then with some fruity lager aromas which are fairly strong compared to the other characters, copper malt turns bistcuity later, with a faint hint of a grassy hop.

Taste brings more toasted malts, copper toasty reddish malts, without the candy notes or caramel, but I think Munich malt again, hard to tell, with a mild biscuity thing, and eventually a hint of sweet candy notes. Mostly dry, but a hint sweet, before getting into the fruity lager notes again, as well as a touch of a metallic twing from the lager. Hops don't come until very late on the finish, a touch of an earthy herbal hop, with almost not bitterness, and more copper malts and little sticky note lingering.

Mouth is med bod, fair softness, decent carb.

Overall, well the malt character is decent which at least they didn't go crazy with caramel malts like most Americans make their fest biers, the hops are almost non-existant which is not good, the lagering was decent but brought a touch of a metallic note that disappeared quickly thankfully, finish was meh as it got a bit sticky and not much to it, and almost every profile was just really light. So it was an OK beer, but I hope their other beers are better.

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Photo of billybob
3.91/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

pours a cloudy copper not much head or lace smell is pleasant fruity and sweet. taste is sweet and malty very little hops. carbonation and mouthfeel both on the light side. i only had the one 12oz. can for my review i would have liked at least a couple more.

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Photo of gdub
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.74/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Touted as a Marzen. Toasted grain, fruity malt esters and earthy noble hop bitterness. Hints of chocolate on the finish. Smooth. Not bad. This would be delicious for Oktoberfest. Not bad.

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Photo of smcolw
3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy amber color. Impressive starting head but it dies to rim bubbles quickly. Leaves few spots on the glass.

Light earthiness with a bit hard apple cider to the nose.

Caramel start but it leans to the dry side. Straight up bittering hop which shows up in the swallow but fades quickly in the aftertaste. Rich body for the style; muted carbonation. Overall, this is a decent example of the style with just a touch of "Americanisms".

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

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Thomas_Picton
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of FaradayUncaged
3.54/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of EatonHops
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of milkbone_underwear
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of NO13BABY
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice, sessionable Marzen.

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Photo of tb4475
2.85/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of ichorNet
4.04/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Craft Beer Cellar in Westford has this touted as a "doppelbock" on their shelves so I think they got confused somewhere along the line, but whatever. This is a very affordable Märzen/Fest Bier-style lager by local darlings Fort Hill Brewery. They started making primarily/solely German-style lagers but have recently started dipping into the NE-style IPA pot and have actually really succeeded quite handily. I've had their Wilbur rauch before but am just about to dip my toes into another of their original lagers.

Pours a copper/medium amber color with a solid head and decent body haze. An unfiltered Märzen, for sure. Underneath the really great chalk-white head with surprisingly-good lace lies a beer with solid color, good visible carbonation and some nearly-invisible particulate matter. A nice looking beer, for sure.

Nose is modest caramel maltiness, slight floral hops and Vienna-influenced crackery notes. This has a very modest and reserved nose with its cards held close to its proverbial chest. A bit of herbal and anonymous yeasty notes with clean lager yeast esters. Nothing out of the ordinary here in the nose.

Flavor is much more forward and honestly really impressive considering its low ABV. Strong Vienna malt backbone with some lighter Munich malt-y caramel and toasted bread crust notes. Lingering floral and herbal hop with slight bitterness clinging to the tongue on the back-end of each sip. Solid yeastiness present here with more bready and slightly spicy/earthy notes I don't expect in this style but appreciate when they're present. Just gives a little bit of character that otherwise gets lost in lighter/filtered German festbiers from my experience.

Feel is about in line with other lower-ABV Märzens, kind of straddling the line between Vienna-style lager and a more balanced bock-style bier. This is really solid and I hope to pick up more of it soon, given its great price point. Carbonation is nuanced but on the lower end of medium and body is a bit higher than expected for this low ABV. Nice stuff. Worthy!

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Photo of AGust82
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of strengthdoc
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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Red Flag from Fort Hill Brewery
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 32 ratings