Mike’s Hard Smashed Apple Ale
Mike's Hard Lemonade Co.

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Beer Geek Stats:
Fruit and Field Beer
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3.15 | pDev: 5.4%
Mike's Hard Lemonade Co.
Washington, United States
Notes: Cold filtered for a clean finish. Handcrafted with Washington Apples for an amazingly crisp and natural taste, Mike’s Hard Smashed Crisp Apple Ale is a crisp and refreshing brew.
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Reviews: 2 | Ratings: 5 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas from Louisiana

3.14/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

BOTTLE: small format. Clear glass (ugh...). Branded silver screw-off top. Decent label art.

By all accounts this is a beer. The label calls it: "flavored beer," an "apple ale," and an "ale brewed with natural flavors." Nothing on the label indicates it's a cider.

5% ABV. Reviewed live as an apple (fruit) ale per the label. Purchased at a local H-E-B grocery and served cold into a pilsner glass at low altitude in Austin, TX. Expectations are low given the brand.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: White, fizzy, effervescent, thin, and weak. Recedes fully within 30 seconds, leaving no lacing on the sides of the glass.

BODY: Clear pale copper with yellow hues. Translucent. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible. Clarity is such that text can easily be read through the beer.

Appears aptly carbonated. It's far from unique or special looking, but there's nothing egregiously wrong with the appearance.

AROMA: Apple juice, granny smith red apples, sparkling wine, and a hint of graham cracker. I don't find any hops, yeast, malts, or alcohol. But it's more evocative than I thought it would be, and nails a surprisingly genuine apple aroma; I'm not sure I'd know this was brewed with natural flavour if I had it blind. Surprisingly appealing.

Aromatic intensity is above average.

TASTE/TEXTURE : Apple juice throughout. On the climax, a wonderful note of crisp granny smith red apple emerges, and stays through the finish. Evokes apple, absolutely, without ever tasting cidery. Sparkling wine characteristics are noticeable too - particularly its effervescence. It has the spritzy crisp texture which complements the apple taste wonderfully well, and its smoothness, wetness, and light body keeps it refreshing. It's never too thick or weighty on the palate.

But unfortunately, aside from the apple, there's really nothing here. No yeast character, no hop profile, not even any detectable malts. The fruit is nice, but this beer ends up coming off barebones simple and disappointingly one-dimensional.

Shallow depth of flavour. Above average flavour duration. Average flavour intensity. It's balanced, but then there's not really much going on. It's not quite a gestalt build, nor is it an intricate or nuanced one. But I do like it and it succeeds in the execution of its premise.

OVERALL: If you're looking for a cheap alternative to Ephemere or New Glarus' Apple Ale, this might fit the bill. To be fair, I expected a far worse beer, and I think any fair reviewer would also find themselves pleasantly surprised. It's drinkable and enjoyable for what it is, and never tastes as artificial as it probably should. Its price point is more than fair and I think this is one budget brew worth trying. Many will shit on it because of the brand behind it, but it's by no means bad stuff.


Jan 20, 2015
Photo of archyquaffer
archyquaffer from Montana

3.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I bought this because I think it will make a good "black apple", which is apple ale or cider with Guinness floated on top. Before I do that, I will review the apple ale alone.

Poured from an 8 ounce can into a shaker. No head to speak of, lightly carbonated and a pale golden color- it looks like cider. The aroma and flavor is appley, with just a touch of artificiality. Maybe a little spice in there somewwhere. In this respect, it is a bit better than Redd's, which tastes really fake, yet is still drinkable. It has less tartness and acid bite than true cider. Like Redd's, it reminds me of Mexican apple soda.

I think this will work great for a black apple, and is OK on its own. It might be a good alternative for someone who gets acid stomach from cider.

If you want to make a "black apple" (a pretty good concoction), you just pour it like a black and tan, with the cider on the bottom. Pour the Guinness over a spoon. It floats readily on the "apple ale", and gradually acquires a unique flavor as the drink progresses, while cutting down on the sweetness. To me, this is a true "apple ale".

Dec 22, 2014
Mike’s Hard Smashed Apple Ale from Mike's Hard Lemonade Co.
Beer rating: 3.15 out of 5 with 5 ratings