Concord Grape Ale | Concord Brewery

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Concord Grape AleConcord Grape Ale
27 Ratings
Concord Grape AleConcord Grape Ale

Brewed by:
Concord Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-13-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 27 |  Reviews: 25
Reviews by StevieW:
Photo of StevieW
4.03/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Rsuty golden to copper. Darker color than expected. Rich creamy beige head. Visually impressive in the glass. Lots of concord grape smell right up front. Hints of toasted malt underneath. Think grape jelly on toasted biscuits. Taste is full of grape, but not overwhelming or too fuzzy. Grape flavors never waver. Very good balance. Light to medium bodied. Easy to drink, tasty and refreshing. Grape flavors didn't bother me at all. Bought this at Harrington's during the Sept. '03 trip and just found it in the back of my fridge yesterday. Well past it's prime, but still very good.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Todd
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. Freshness date on the back.

Appearance: Pour a bright, clear amber with rich red hues. Head is near creamy with a pillowy white froth that sticks and stays.

Smell: Bold aromas of grape, distinctly of the Concord variety, with a backdrop of light malts.

Taste: Medium-bodied, smooth/creamy, with some malty meat to it. The grape flavours are quite refreshing on the palate, they don't over-power and blend very nicely with a mildly sweet malty caramel character. Hop bitterness is tame, balanced, a bit spicy/herbal-like. Earth, hop leaf, dry crispness and some light tannins in the back. Finish is dry, with hop, grain and grape residuals.

Notes: This is very unique and tasty brew. It not only acts as an ideal and refreshing session beer, but it brings a lot of depth to the palate. The use of Concord grapes is spot on, and as a result this beer also proves that American fruit beers can actually be quite pleasant, if done well.

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Photo of yankeeheel
3.06/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber with a small thin head. Very little retention or lacing. I was really hoping it would be purple.

Smells wonderfully of grapes. A lot like grape soda. Very appealing.

A bit of grape at the start but then it just kind of changes over and sits there. I get a little pale malt, a bunch of carbonation, and not much in the way of hop. Just turns to bubbles in my mouth.

Mouthfeel is thin at best. Lots of fizz. Not much in the way of texture that's enjoyable.

Lots of people love this stuff. It's just not my thing. However, everything else I've had by Concorde is top shelf.

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Photo of edchicma
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not bad at..wonderful concord grape smell and amber color. Head stayed for awhile too. Grape flavor with a few leafy after effects. Taste was somewhat sweet with a maltiness and a touch of hops in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was of medium character and mostly balanced between malt and hops. An interesting brew that is worth a taste.

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Photo of LPorter33
2.31/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Purchased single bottle from Martignetti's

Appearance = Clear root beer like brown with tinges of red throughout. Minimal head that dissipates quickly.

Smell = Overpowering grape like smell. Seems sweet and yummy however I cannot help to think it's an artificial grape scent and not one of natural decent, like a fake grape "drink" or a grape Jolly Rancher. If I had to judge the beer's taste on the smell, I'd say it would be a sickly sweet "flavored beer."

Taste = Wow, what a contrast between the smell and taste. I like the initial flavor blast as I can discern a nice gentle grape like falavor. However this quickly fades and what hits next is a bitter, flavorless alcohol like flavor, almost like watered down whiskey. Good initial flavor. Terrible mid-after taste.

Overall = A unique fruit beer but not one I can recommend. It had a lot of promise but that taste that hits after the initial flavor does not agree with my senses.

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Photo of Gusler
3.52/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear deep copper color, the head is "Voluminous", the lace in thick sheets, had to let it rest a bit to get to the beer. Nose is as promised, "Grapes", fresh and sweet, hints of malt, quite pleasant. Cloyingly sweet at the start, top skinny in feel. The finish continues the taste of the grapes, nicely acidic, pleasantly hopped, dry and the sweet aftertaste lingers on. Not a bad "Fruit beer", better than most that I've tasted.

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Photo of bewley
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle, dated on side 10/06

Nose was pleasant, not overwhelmingly "grapey" to me as others have noted below.

Pours a tannish white head that dissipates quickly. Amber in color.

Taste is maltly with a judicious use of grapes. Slight bitterness from hops. Aftertaste may be a bit off. Definitely dry--not sweet as others suggest--new batch??

My wife is upset that it is not "grapey" enough, and this is exactly why I like it more than her.

I wouldn't go out of my way for this, but I wouldn't refuse another one either.

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Photo of powoo19
2.95/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I tried this beer on a whim and I will say, it smelled real good.
It even looked good, but when I drank it, the feel was sticky and not real drinkable.The sugar in it must be real high. The residue was real sticky like a soda, which was a big turnoff.
For a small brewery it isn't bad but I would not purchase this again.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.3/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a nice amber ale I had on tap at the Connecticut River Brewfest. It had a good creamy head, and I was eager to try it. The only other beer I had had that used grapes was Midas Touch by Dogfish Head, and it had a definite white wine taste. This one sounded like it would be different.

The aroma was simple... sweet grapes. Not much malt or hops... primarily the grape was king.

The taste was very good... slightly bitter foretaste, with a long sweet grape finish. I loved it. I can understand why some would not, however.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.34/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A refreshing, light body beer, just an essence of grape noted. Not an easy beer to find even here in NH.

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Photo of eheff
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a coppery color with a 1-inch head that settles down to about half that size. It smells faintly grape-y, but not in an overpowering way. It tastes so good! The only downside is that when it first hits my mouth, it tastes slightly metallic with a big carbonation explosion that almost detracts from the flavor. After that, it has a delicious grape aftertaste without being too sweet. I would say that it's pretty drinkable--I could go for another one.

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Photo of eclectic
2.69/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle best before 9 05 (at least I think that’s what it says, its horribly smudged)

Pours a clear copper brown with a very fizzy head that dissipates quickly. Smells very inviting, a nice grape aroma (initially stronger and reminds me of welch's grape juice, but as it sits it becomes more mild.)

Tastes absolutely awful.. several different flavors roll across my tongue as I sip this and none go well together.. the initial taste is malty with some odd hop flavors in the background.. aftertaste is oddly bitter.. where is the grape that I was so fond of in the nose. Watery mouthfeel and not very drinkable, would not recommend this to anyone

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A unique fruit beer. Pours out to a deep reddish brown color, similar to Virginia soil. Medium low level of carbonation, and no lacing. Aromas of grape, light malt, fresh hops and juices. Not overly grape-like. Taste was a blend of traditional ale, and grape rind. Not so much sweet grape, but more grape skin with bitter hops, minor notes of malt. Not overly complex or exciting, but good. Mouthfeel was kind of flat, with some bubbles hitting the tastebuds and triggering the grape notes. Pretty good drinkability. This would be best for a summer dessert beer. Recommended for the style. Special thanks goes out to conneticutpoet for providing the sample.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

simple bottle, beer pours a deep red with cascading pillows of soapy foam. clear and carbonated, some burnt sienna highlights running along the outer edges. nose is grapey.. not in a vinous way, more of a grape soda way. jovial in its utter unapologetic nature. that fruit juice mingles nicely with corn husks and fresh hop twist. mouthfeel is both creamy and bubbly, adding more refreshment to a fun break from everyday beer. tastes mellow and hoppy, with subtle purple grape flavor additions. combination of said ingredients with its lively bubbly nature creates a defining dryness that makes the experience of drinking a grape ale unique. pulpy aftertaste of malt and grape skins completes the experience and rounds out an interesting, simplistic, beer experiment. good session summer brew.. and while not the most impressive achievement a good drink nonetheless.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

08/17/05- Received via trade with Connecticutpoet.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no dating. Poured into my Englander pint glass.

Appearance- Amber colored pour with a very small spritzy head and very little lacing.

Smell- Huge sugary sweet grape soda or grape jolly rancher scent. IMO, this is a good thing. Brings back good memories.

Taste- Not as much grape as I was expecting after the scent, but still a decent amount. Hardcore deep roasted flavor backing the grape flavor. Tastes like grape jam on a burnt piece of toast. Mild hops in the mix as well.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation, leaves nice grape aftertaste.

Drinkability- Hmmm, interesting and not bad. One of the better fruit beers I have encountered. Seems like a good fruit beer is few and far between. Good job here.

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Photo of Stimack
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

OK, gave this brew a try the other night over at Mahars. Wow this is a different brew! It poured to a amber color with a think white head that stays around and leaves great lacing for the entire brew. The aroma is all about the grape; I cannot really pick up much else except a very strong sweet grape smell that reminds me of grape soda. The taste is nice and smooth with some heavier malt flavors of sweet caramel and a very dominant grape flavor that seemed perfect for the warmer days of summer. You will notice only a slight hop character to this brew. Over all I really liked this brew but can see why some people would not. This is a brew I would try again.

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Photo of mschofield
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a red-amber topped with a three finger off-white to light tan head well structured head, laces in wide rings.
The aroma is full of grape, touch of malt underneath
Sweet taste, grape, "juicy". Some tea-like hops.
Medium bodied, can get cloyingly sweet

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Photo of beernut7
4.8/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great dry refreshing flavor. The grape doesn't overscore the other flavors of the brew. Only thing is it is almost impossible to get ouside of the brewwery local area.

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Photo of kaszeta
2.45/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Sampled at the 2003 Vermont Brewers Festival.

Every festival needs at least one "novelty" beer, usually a fruit beer. Concord Grape is just such a novelty fruit beer, pouring with a hazy amber body. The smell was pure concord grape, as if I was sniffing a jar of jelly, and actually rather appealing. The taste, however, was mostly malt, with a heavy tannic component due to the grapes, which lingered long after the beer was gone. Not much hops character, and the mouthfeel was a bit dry. Not bad for a novelty beer, but not really worth a second drinking.

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Photo of Andy
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells like Concord grapes, doesn't taste like them. That might be ok. There is a rather unpleasant yeast bite in the aftertaste on top of this.

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Photo of UnionMade
2.86/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a pale straw gold, topped with a big, frothy white head. The head diminishes, yet retains some misting throughout the entire glass.
The aroma is mainly a strong red grape smell. Some mild malt, very light, with nearly undetectable hops. It's mostly a grape fruitiness, while not unpleasant, reminds me of Welch's grape soda.
The flavor is eerily similar to grape soda. A very light maltiness, with perhaps a bit of wheat malt. The grape flavor comes through almost immediately, with an effervescent, sodalike carbonation. Light body, with no detectable hops in the finish. The finish is dry and some light malt comes through, but the grape dominates the beer.
Easily one of the most unusual fruit beers I've tried. I can understand why a lot of breweries don't make this, because it takes on a very distinct soda-like taste and aroma. It's like drinking Welch's Grape Beer.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.32/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Interesting thought. I like grape juice. It sure smells a lot like really good grape juice. But tastes like a beer way past its "Best Before" date. Pours an almost red--perhaps brick red. Essentially flat. No head. Nose is my favorite part--full of grape juice. Flavor is at first malts , but the grapes make me think the beer has gone bad. If this was a blind taste test that would be my thought. Fortunately, I be knowing what I drink so I can taste test appropriately. Mouthfeel is flat with medium body.

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Photo of pentathlete
3.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer just makes me smile. From the label, a simple purple clump of grapes with the words "Concord Grape Ale" to the nostalgic aroma of grape candy/jelly, this beer just seems fun. Dark red (purple?) with a off white head that dissipates quickly. Nose is dominated by those Concord grapes and their sugars. Ah, the taste...starts off with the grape taste, sweet and slick. Then the beer flavors kick in with some mild hops. The mouthfeel thins at this point and it is a big drop from the early fullness. It's drinkable but the wildly differing flavors in a single sip this could be tough for some.

Thanks to warriorsoul for tracking this down and including it in a trade.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz amber bottle with a purple label.

This ale poured an orangish amber color, slightly hazy, with lively carbonation, and rich off-white foam (slight hint of orange in the foam). This foam last quite a while and left a good coat on the glass. The smell was initially strong concord grapes, but the aroma faded before the glass was empty. There was a hint of malt through the grapes in the smell. The taste was initially malt (some slight sweetness), giving way to hop bitterness, and finally to floral hops, with a concord grape flavor overlaid on all the others. This was like an IPA mixed with grape juice. The mouthfeel was medium body, crisp, hoppy, and not overly sweet, with a lingering hop and grape taste. The drinkability was OK, though I usually don't want to drink too many fruit beers in one session.

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Photo of purplehops
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Concord Grape poured a clear deep copper red with an off-white head that left plenty of lace on the glass. The aroma was grape and not soft sweet seedless grape but big bold concord grape. Oh yea, there was a whiff of malt in there also. The taste starts with a good dose of caramel and crystal malt flavors. This is followed by the introduction of the grape to your palate. It is pleasant and grapey (is that a word?) yet it doesn't over power the malt. By the time you have adjusted your taste buds for the grape you start to notice earthy flavors of oak, herbal hops, and a hint of citrus flavors. The finish is dry with a nice crispness and a pleasant light bitterness. Aftertaste is a lingering malty grape sweetness that is light and refreshing. Mouthfeel is clean and lightly sweet with a medium body.
Overall a nice refreshing ale. It took a while for me to try this one for fear it would be Welch's with alcohol. It isn't! The Welch's flavor (concord grape) is there but not to the point that it takes over. This ale is balanced very nicely to the point where the grapes are a part of the complexity and make for a refreshing fruit ale.

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Concord Grape Ale from Concord Brewery
Beer rating: 3.54 out of 5 with 27 ratings