Anvil Ale | Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

24 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
United States

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Medium-bodied and copper-colored English-style best bitter with a noticeable malt flavor. Finishes with a hop bitterness and floral hop flavor.

30 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-11-2002

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Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 49
Photo of Slatetank
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I enjoyed this on tap at Iron Hill in Lancaster served chlled in a pint.

The color is very nice translucent copper with gradually receding almost white head with tiny bead and retention is great with lace that sticks. The smell is slightly fruity yeast ester followed by a hop aroma with mild malt smell -aroma is subtle overall. The feel is decent with ordinary bitter, very light yeast and slight diacetyl with medium high carbonation and slight toasted malt texture with mostly dry /bitter finish with a bready quality.

The taste is very nicely balanced with hops and a bit more hop forward than malt with slight dry and roasted flavor in middle with slight yeast in the back and dried fruitiness with herbal hop taste continuing into the bready yet toasted type finish. Overall I think this is a very good ale, not overly bitter -not outstanding but solid could use more English yeast character but hop balance makes up for that -quality sessionable English style.

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Photo of ShawnB
3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap.

The beer looked inviting, with minimal head but a nice reddish-golden color.

It smelled just as inviting. A subtle bitter, hoppy smell that didn't overwhelm, but was simply pleasant.

The taste, unfortunately, was just average. My first impression was that it tasted watered down, but the aftertaste was a bit stronger and very nice.

The mouthfeel was the same: watery and light.

All in all a nice beer, but nothing special. Tasted more like a macro than some macros.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.11/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

App: very clear, dark gold/copper color, average-sized head with decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Clean and simple, light floral aroma, bready malt.

Taste: Mild floral hops and grainy, generic caramel malt; both mildly sweet and bitter.

Mf: Medium carbonation and body; fairly crisp, dry and clean. A light bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.

Overall: Easy drinking, kinda boring and forgettable. Yes, it’s a session beer, but it’s a bit dull and simplistic for me.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass.

A: Clear orange-tinted amber color with one-finger, white head that diminished slowly. Fantastic lacing.

S: Mild malty aroma.

T: Light sweetness and moderate bitterness. Very toasted flavor that lingered for a while. The hops complement the toast nicely.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

O: This is a great session beer. Good to have for lunch at Iron Hill. Will drink again.

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Photo of MsRif
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Iron Hill in Media, PA. Poured a hazy orange-yellow color with a thin head that mostly receded, leaving only a ring of bubbles throughout the session. Had an aroma of wheat, citrus, spices and sweet malts. Taste followed the nose with additional notes of earthiness and grass. Complex and well-balanced.

Medium-bodied with light carbonation. Very sessionable...a good brew to start the evening with!

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Photo of Rifugium
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Iron Hill, Media, PA

Poured a crystal clear copper-amber color with a small lacy head that fades to a thin layer of stray bubbles. Not much in the aroma: faint scents of caramel, grains, and light hops. Very pleasant taste of caramel, toasted bread, apple skin, and mild, floral hops. Smooth and light in the mouthfeel, with a nice low ABV for extra easy drinkability. Very nice and highly sessionable.

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Photo of DIM
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a cloudy caramel color. It was served to me with a thin, short lived, soapy head.

s: Mild aromas of lemon zest, sweet toffee, and a little pepper.

t: What a pleasant surprise! This was moderately sweet upfront with flavors of toffee and biscuits. The finish is grassy, herbal and lemony. The aftertaste is the best part of this, super fresh, floral, and citric.

m: Pretty spot-on for a low ABV casked ale. Gentle carbonation and a medium body.

d: I liked this more than I thought I would, I'll certainly be back for more.

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Photo of Biscuit033
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light golden-orange With ample white head and clinging lace.

S: Malts and metallic hops but also some caramel and toffee.

T: Sweet malts, toffee, butter, and a slight bitter taste almost chocolate or coffee like.

M: Good carbination and a clean crisp finish wit ha mild hop bitterness.

D: This is a session beer through and through. Nothing really dominating or overpowering and nothing really awesome which is on par for the style.

Note: Had this on cask a month or so ago and was quite pleased. Try it on cask if you get the chance. I think that on cask it is almost on par with Victory's Uncle Teddy's.

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Photo of MmmIPA
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden color with a really nice cap.Not much carbonation,nice malty taste,slight fruity taste and smell.Easy drinking.Would have again in the future.I had it on nitro also and it was the same beer but with a creamy head.It was a good example of the style.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this to start off the dinner session last night. The server highly recommended this and lauded the nitro tap in the description.
A -nice light redish brown with an inch high off -white head.
S - Light biscuit / caramel aromas with almost no hops present.
T - similar to the aroma.
M - light bodied, medium carbonated. clean dry finish.
D - sessionable but leaves me wanting a more classic english bitter aroma and flavor.

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Photo of rodrot
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had the pleasure of sampling a pint of this brew on cask and was quite impressed. Served in a traditional Imperial pint glass, the beer had a light amber color with a small head that lingered in the glass. Carbonation was light and the beer was served at the typical cask conditioned temperature of around 50-55 degrees. Aroma was fruity and malty with a hint of flowery hops in the nose. Taste was fruity as well, but finished with a light hop bitterness. Mouthfeel was light in the palate and very smooth. This is without a doubt a session beer. I could have easily downed 3 or 4 pints if not for the fact that I planned to do some more drinking later in the evening. You locals need to seek this out before the cask runs dry.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Iron Hill- Anvil Ale

Appearance- Golden reddish browh with a small soapy head.
Smell- Light floral hops with an equal balance of sweet berry fruits.
Taste- Big floral hops with doses of Lavender and raspberries.
Mouthfeel- Sweet up front but becoming dry throughout and the flavor really bursts through in the end.

Overall- A very good session beer. Worthy of a growler.

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Photo of Boto
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draught @ Brewpub: This one pours a clear, light coppery color. There was not much of a head on it at all. The aroma is a bit light. It is a touch floral and a touch malty. Not too much else comes through. It has a dry and somewhat bitter taste. Slight aftertaste, but I can’t quite pin it down.

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Photo of Sammy
3.01/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

They seem to offer this as an English pale. Some significant bitterness. Golden colour with lots of lace. Bitter more than malty, and drying finish. While nothing to come back for, better than average for their product line.Kent Golding came through.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another of the nicer regulars @ Iron Hill.

It pours a medium copper colour with a mild but sticky head.

The aromas are a bit faint at times, but include a fairly simple mix of basic malt, some earthiness, floral hops and caramel.

The flavour is a touch fruity from the hops but the malt cuts into this nicely for a well-balanced brew. Caramel sweetness lends a different flavour to enjoy as it is laced in throughout the drink. This one is medium bodied and quite crisp with a touch of bitterness to it that us quite right for the style.

Like a few other Iron Hill regulars, this one is simple but well made and quite enjoyable overall.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serverd as a medium copper colored beer with modest slightly off-white head. Marginal lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is mainly of a light malt type, with little on no hops present. Taste is caramelly with some light hop presence showing through. Finish is malty with some hops. Very nice drinking beer with a pleasant refreshing taste. Drinkability would make this a nice session beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a copper amber hue with a n off white head which leaves behind evenly dispersed lacing around my pint. Aroma is British hop heavy namingly I would say some Fuggles with some subtle caramel malt sweetness delicate but hoppy bitter. Taste has an interesting gingerbread note caramel herbal earthy English hop mix very nicely done session ale. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied evenly carbonated silky smooth on the palate. Drinkability, well this is a great staple to have on draft at any brewpub a quality English bitter not boring pretty darn flavorful and I could definitely enjoy a few pints.

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Photo of Gavage
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: clear copper with a 1 inch head that falls quickly to surface spots. Spotty lacing develops through the drink.

Smell: caramel candy and some hints of hop bitterness.

Taste: a very simple but nice brew. Mainly caramel, with some ripe red fruits and soft bitterness rounding it out. A touch of citrus lingers in the background.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start and finish, and relatively clean finish as some soft caramel candy lingers for a second or two.

Drinkability: ultimate session beer, this can be consumed all day long. Not overexciting compared to some other Iron Hill offerings, but a solid beer to pair with any dishes they serve at the brewpub.

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Photo of BuckSpin
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a fantastic orange rusted hue, reflective in its clarity, just a great color. Head was equally appealing as a soft, cream colored cloud of clinging lace. This is a beer for the eyes to savor for a little while.

Nose was pleasant and welcoming, warm with roasted malts, mildly sweet and ripe with warm bread - very inviting.

Its nice and even on the tongue, with no real noticable peaks, somewhat malted. It slides into a soft hop peak on the pallete, then vanishes into a clean throat feel with an equally clean aftertaste. This was an enjoyable ale for all the senses - give your eyes, nose & mouth a treat and try it.

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Photo of francisweizen
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5 with a small off-white head. The aromas of this brew were pleasing enough. Biscuity British malts, and nice American hops meld nicely in this run-of-the-mill version. Taste is a bit hoppy, but light for an APA, the mouthfeel also seems a bit light to me. Never-the-less, this is a very drinkable APA, that is not extreme in any way, shape, or form.

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Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

By far my favorite of the three beers I had while at Iron Hill,pours a deep amber with a nice rather creamy head that leaves some decent lace.Aroma is malty/fruity with a light metallic tone,taste a a malt mavens dream bicuity with some great fruitiness with a light touch of hop in the finish.A real nice ESB Iam glad I gotta chance to try before I moved.

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Photo of pezoids
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at their brewpub in Newark, Delaware. Poured a golden amber color with a thinning white head of foam. Some buttery notes in the aroma. This is a fruity and flavorful ale. A decent malt body that harmonizes well with the pleasant hop bite. Buttery sweetness in the flavor with a hint of citrus fruits. Bitter and oily in the finish. Not bad. I enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of FoolCircle
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the kind of beer you find yourself curled-up next to for the entire night.

After the generous 20oz. hand-pumped English-pub style glass arrives with the final steps of the cascade still flowing, one is captured. The beer is served "warm" maybe 55+ degrees F. This difference in temperature sky rockets the smell of this beer into a new dimention, really bringing out the hops in it. The taste is dangerous in the sense that you find yourself diving in for more to try and identify the carmel and cereal like flavors along with the more presence of hops. Creamy smooth goodness runs all the way from lips down ones throught, very refreshing. After about the third or fourth one of these don't forget to check your watch, time has a way of speeding up when your with good company.

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Photo of beernbbq
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fine drinking ale that that adheres more to the English style. I am learning to like this as it does not get in the way of the food as I feel that the more citrusy Ironbound ale would with salads and burgers. This was a good complement to the food and a nice version of the style.

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Anvil Ale from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
3.71 out of 5 based on 49 ratings.
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