Detroit Beer Co. The Detroit Dwarf | Detroit Beer Co.

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Detroit Beer Co. The Detroit DwarfDetroit Beer Co. The Detroit Dwarf

Brewed by:
Detroit Beer Co.
Michigan, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"This beer has won a bronze, silver and gold as an Alt at the Great american beer festival, and now a silver at the world beer cup as an Alt."

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2005

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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 72
Photo of breakingbland
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle as a lovely deep brown with clear ruby highlights. There was scant head.

The aroma was of malt with a suggestion of hops. The taste was of roasty malt, medium sweet. There was astringency in the aftertaste. The body was slightly thin but still good, as was the level of carbonation.

Overall, I liked this beer, although the astringency seemed to increase as the beer warmed. I'll look for this beer again.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1635th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint

Thanks to my co-worker Kathleen for this one.

App- Along the lines of a very dark DIPA, with a little bit of brown mixed in. Head was huge and left a whole dollop of foam as a puck as the liquid slid underneath it. It wouldve rated higher except for the overcarbonation.

Smell- Pretty one dimensional with some thicker malts and maybe a touch of a citrus but hard to pinpoint which one. The aromatics dont remain very long either..

Taste- This was more along the lines of a small amber which I am not a fan of anymore. Small malts with a pungent orangey flavor.

Mouth- A medium bodied beer with a big medium carbonation level. Pretty thick malts remain on this one and a touch of a creme from the head on it as it slides.

Drink- Again, maybe Alts are for me, but regardless I was happy to try something new from a new brewery in MI and have a friend bring me a new tick.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Detroit Beer Co's The Detroit Dwarf today for $1.59 at The Lager Mill. I was trying to get some styles that I don't drink too often and I thought I would give this beer a shot, I have been seeing a lot of this brewery's beer around up lately and I am interested to see if it's any good, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I know it's fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- I like the label on this beer, it isn't too eye catching but it has very Detroit like look to it, I can dig it. It poured a very nice looking ruby red copper color with three fingers worth of fluffy off white head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left some nice lacing. This is one good looking beer.

S- The aroma is pretty simple and straightforward. It starts off with loads of malts that have a medium amount of sweetness to them and impart a caramel and brown bread like aroma. Next comes a slight fruity and nutty aroma then some spicy and earthy hops. The aroma is what I would expect from an Altbier.

T- The taste is pretty damn similar to the aroma. It starts off with loads of malts that impart some nice caramel, brown bread and grainy flavors. There is a good amount nuttiness that shows up towards the middle. After that is a light amount of spicy and earthy hops. The finish has a low amount of bitterness and a bready and nutty aftertaste. The flavor is nice but I wish there were some more hop flavors to balance out all those malts and the additional nutty flavor was a nice addition.

M- Really smooth, slightly creamy, medium bodied and it had a high amount of medium carbonation. No complaints here the mouthfeel is spot on.

Overall I thought this was a good Altbier and nice easy drinking beer. This beer didn't have a ton of flavor but what was there was good and true to style but the balance could be worked on a little. This beer had great drinkability, it went down really smooth and makes for a good malt forward beer that went perfect with a steak and it wasn't too heavy, I could drink three or four of these in a sitting. What I liked most about this beer was the drinkability, mouthfeel, and appearance, all three of those were on the above average end for the style. What I liked least about this beer was the lack of balance in the aroma and taste, the aroma was more balanced then the taste but it still needed some more hops to balance out all those malts. I would for sure buy this beer again when looking for a smooth easy drinking beer, this would make a good choice for taking to party's, it's sessionable while still having some good flavors. I recommend giving this beer a try, if you are a fan of the style you should find it as a pretty good representation of the style. This is the second beer I have had from The Detroit Beer Co. and so far they have both been pretty solid, they haven't wowed me but they are all solid for their style, so this brewery may have potential for greater things, I will be on the look out. So far this has been the best Altbier I have had to date and the best beer I have had from this brewery, good job guys, keep making solid beers in The D.

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Photo of nukem5
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a great red / brown color with an off white cap of foam.

S: Aromas fill the nose with a piney hop and sweet malty background.

T: Caramel. Malts and a great balance of piney/floral hops.

M: Mouthfeel is nice not at all weak, medium bodied with a good carbonation level.

O: Overall a very tasty offering. Would love another.

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Photo of jsisko01
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a very dark, amber/brown color with a small head that dissipates instantly.

Smell - Very sweet and malty. Caramel with a fruity aroma I can't name specifically..

Taste - Citrus, caramel, roasted nuts, and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel - Somewhat of a thick, creamy body and has medium carbonation. The beer foams on the tongue in a unique way.

Overall - I'm pretty impressed by the beer. I'm not usually a fan of nutty beers but it's not overwhelming. It's a great mixture of flavors.

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Photo of Tee76
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice amber/cooper color with a nice white head.... plenty of lacing.

S: Malty with a hint of fruitiness and spice..was really impressed by the smell alone.

T: Very creamy with some fruity notes as well as hints of cinnamon, spice and malts to it, although bitter and "warm" in taste, it goes down smooth.

M: Although creamy and bitter it has a clean feel to it, just the right amount of carbonation as well.

D: I will drink it again and again, and im not just saying that because i'm from Detroit. This is a damn good beer, a nice take on a "red lager" not to mention has almost 7% ABV

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.59/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer taster.

Appearance: Pours a bright copper color with light carbonation visible through the glass. Eggshell-white head is very sticky and settles at about 1/4 finger foam on the surface of the glass. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Ever heard of an incense oil called Dragon's Blood? That's totally what this beer reminds me of. A good, sweet malty base with fairly heavy berry tones (strawberry, blackberry). Floral hops blend into the malt backbone quite well. Just beautiful, I have never smelled a beer quite like this before.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Goes in with a slight citrus-type electric tongue-stab. Beer quickly begins to fizz on the tongue. The hops are a touch more bitter here, and are noticeable without being too forceful. The malt character is less-pronounced here, and gives way to the hops. After a moment or two, the beer stops fizzing, and goes down very smooth, with an earthy hop feeling.

Overall: A surprise! I thought this would just be a so-so kind of brew, having no knowledge whatsoever of the style or the beer itself. Very happy with this purchase, I will most definitely drink it again.

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Photo of rings
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I was delightfully surprised. I've actually taken the Detroit Dwarf for granted, I think.

While it pours thin, with a deep red or pale brown color and very little head, the first sip blows up any lack of expectation. The nose and initial taste opens with a big fruity, nutty sweetness and a slight alcohol burn on the roof of the palate--which is expected at nearly 7 percent ABV. It rolls over the tongue with hints of brown sugar, cherry, nuts and tea as it slides off the sides, complex and lingering. The potent body fends off any sourness, which can sometimes negatively decay the sweeter brews. Even better, the Dwarf opens up at warmer temperatures, with a firm, but not overpowering, flavoring of hops that rounds out the aftertaste and cleans things up in a satisfying and spicy finish.

Do me a solid and get to Detroit ... and for those who prefer the darker side of "red lagers," it's good stuff.

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Photo of DoctorDog
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle into a cylindrical glass. Thanks to beveritt for dragging this one back from Michigan for me.

A- Vibrant amber/copper and clear. Pours with a massive, tan head, which fades very slowly into a nice cap. Tons of thick, sticky lacing.

S- Sweet, bready malts with hints of spicy hops.

T- Bready, caramel malt notes. Somewhat spicy, herbal hops provide a moderate bitterness.

M- Moderate carbonation and medium feel.

D- Good. Flavorful and easy drinking.

Future outlook: Slightly surprised at how enjoyable this one was...but alas, not available to me locally...

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.67/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. No date or info.

A - Dwarf pours with a cream head that levels out to a small stature. Low patchy lace clings above the bronzy amber beer that's hazy from floating particles.

S - Interesting fruity hints of apricot and white grape blend interestingly with a low scent of toffee and nuts. The malt smells very dry and dusty and compliments the earthy, low-level hops nicely.

T - This overarching fruitiness isn't bad in flavor but seems out of place in this beer. It changes quickly into a grass-clipping filled, dusty and dry, lightly nutty garbled mess though. The rustic flavor seems to bounce all over the place haphazardly.

M - Medium-bodied with a dry and dirty texture, the Dwarf is lacking. It is smooth going down but it could use a crisper feel to it.

D - It progressed to a drain pour slowly. It's not a beer I'm keen on finishing as the texture and flavor don't appeal to me in the least.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is rich, yeasty and spicy, rather inviting. It pours out a nice dark coppery red-brown, almost mahogany, with a fairly thick, fluffy, off-white head. Flavor has a surprising hoppy bitter bite, along with woody and malty undertones. Texture is smooth, just a tad watery, leaving a minimal tingle. Not great, but worthy of a try.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from notes.

pitcher into a pint glass.

color is a gorgeous transparent copper. forms a dense, rocky, off white head that lasts forever and leaves thick sticky lace behind.

nose of grapefruit and orange with something darker like raisin or grape. taste does not follow but instead offers up toffee malts with notes of black tea and piney hop bitterness. finish is very dry and cleans up nicely.

light in body with a smooth, creamy feel.

highly drinkable and almost sessionable certainly one of the more unique beers i have had. seems to be to style. maybe not something i would have a lot of, but i'd definitely have it again.

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Photo of DiverDan88
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Schooner on tap.

A- Darker brown, plenty of visibility throughout.

S- Nothing overpowering, actually didn't get much of an aroma at all off of it.

T- Good, pleasant at first with slightly sweeter tones. More malt than I expected from an amber lager.

M- Thin, very like a lager.

D- Ehh, not anything I would care to session. By the time I got down to the end of the schooner I was basically done with it and ready for a different beer. But all in all, can be pounded if you can get past the flavor issues.

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Photo of GRPunk
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I initially ordered this beer on-tap. It was described as something near Killian's by my server. Having seen it listed as a Keller on the site, I didn't think she knew what she was talking about. However, after trying it and confirming with the bottled version, it's more of an Amber/Red Lager.

On-tap poured into a pint glass.

A- The kegged version had a thin eggshell to tan head that left nice, sticky rings. The body was a clean, copper color. The bottled version had a thicker head with better retention.

S- The aroma was full of caramel with hints of fruit and light hops. Not good as a keller. As a red lager, it's pretty spot on.

T- Loads of caramel flavor with a stronger hop presence than suggested in the aroma. The hopping really cleaned the flavor up in the finish.

M- Moderate carbonaiton with a slight hop bite. Much cleaner feel than I'd expect from it's current category of a keller. Right within the guidelines of an amber/red lager.

D- It's a pretty easy drinker. Going in I wasn't expecting so much malt flavor. The sweetness, and higher abv, keeps it from being a big session beer, but I had a couple of pints and have had it again since. I'd drink it again and would offer it to somebody as a good intro to the world of craft beers.

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Photo of semibaked
2.85/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Nice dark amber color with a big fluffy head that sinks into my glass quickly and produces some nice elongated lacing. Some bubbles are sticking to the side of the glass.

S - Very goodly smell of malts and some faint raspberry juice in the background, biscut qualities too.

T - A bit bitter to start out with malts but little sweetness, also tastes watered down, pretty disappointed since I like the smell so much.

M - Watery and thin, this wasn't the mouthfeel I was looking for.

D - Started off good but ended badly, not recommended.

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Photo of h00dak
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I saved my palette all night for this brew and when it finally arrived and I got to take a sip, I was heavily underwhelmed. The taste is sweet, one dimensional, but with a pleasant alcohol burn. Bahama Breeze brews something they call "Aruba Red" and it tastes exactly like this one, only Aruba Red has much more subtlety to it.

This won over a few people at the table so I'm not going to say this is a bad beer. Too much sweetness for me though.

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Photo of midnite2sixman
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a raisiny brown with a touch of ruby red.

This one smells like raisins and sweet malts.

Taste is slightly sweet with a fermented fruit taste.

Mouthfeel is a big up front with refreshing aftertaste. Makes you want more.

Pretty interesting beer. First time I've had this brewery or style. It is pretty good.

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Photo of GJ40
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the Detroit Brewing Co.

A - A light amber color with great clarity and a minimal head.

S - Sweet and toasted malts.

T - A subtle beer with sweet malts and some hop flavor. Very balanced and smooth. I found it very similar to a Fuller's ESB (although I know that's not supposed to be the style).

M - Moderate consistency with a nice low carbonation; almost like a cask beer.

D - Very enjoyable. A great beer for newbies.

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Photo of uno99
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from a bottle but had on tap at the brewery a few times. served a cold from my beerfridge about 40º

A: poured aggressively into my clean glass leaving a good one inch head that dissipated fairly quickly. A nice amber color with a hint of red.

S: Not getting much on the nose here; very sweet malt dominates.

T: Very balanced; very sweet malt up front and a decent hop bitterness to make you want to tilt the glass again.

M: good carbonation, dosent foam up too much in the mouth

D: I could drink ALOT of these, and at almost 7% ABV that's quite somthing.

This is DBC's signature brew and it deserves the good rating it has here.

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Photo of gearbike
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was surprised to find this beer on tap at a local restaurant. With no prior information is fun to try to classify this beer. I feel vindicated that I struggled to classify this one. I was thinking Marzan or Oktoberfest but I could. However, I suspected I was wrong because this beer has a deeper fuller taste. It starts out a bit sweet and finishes a bit spicy and hoppy. All contained in a medium malty body. After reading the Keller style description I can tell that this was laid down in some method for a while. Great deep copper color poured on draft.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This doesn't appear to be a keller bier at all, but rather an amber/red ale. It doesn't appear to be unfiltered, as it's a crisp and clear pour - plenty of bubbling going on, and a nice rolling head. Looks great.

S: Sweet malts, fruity aromas - particularly apple. Hints of bubblegum, and a light, leafy hop balance.

T: Sugary malt, a slightly tart fruitiness, some notes of bubblegum again, and a hoppy bitterness that slips out of the initial tart flavours.

M: Surprisingly full bodied, with an almost chewy creaminess. While a fuller bodied beer, it still manages to be quite refreshing.

D: A pretty quality brew, and easy drinker. Alcohol is hidden beautifully, but the content is a little higher than ideal for something like this. That said, one that I'd find to be a bit underrated... this is good drinking.

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Photo of BelgianAleSlut
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Recommended to me by a local beverage warehouse clerk.
I told him that I didn't like red beers, but he said this one is a little different. I attempted to rate the beer on style vs personal preferences.

Pours a nice reddish-rootbeer color with nice head that lingers throughout. Smells sweet, akin to candy apple coating or redpop, with a hint of hop aroma.

Taste is similar to a red ale, sweet with its candy-like quality. Bitterness is present which helps to keep the sweetness from making me stick my tongue out.

I am able to drink through this even with my dislike of red beers.

Not too bad even though I will never get it again. May try on draught next time I go down for a Tigers game.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice copper color, slightly cloudy, and with some beautiful streams of carbonation making its way to the top. The head is not that thick after a hard pour, but what is there is creamy and has some pretty good retention.

S- Wow, surprisngly aromatic and complex. I am getting some apples, brown sugar, vanilla, and bubble gum. Maybe it is just me, but this smells like a very simple quad.

T- Same as the aroma. There is also a little bit of a wheat aspect to this as well. Sweet and carmely.

M- Smooth and slightly creamy. The carbonation keeps things at a nice consistency. Very clean at the end.

D- The ABV is a bit high to make this a session beer, but it is very enjoyable and the alcohol is hidden well. I can definitely see myself getting this again to mix things up. Recommended.

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Photo of drxandy
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from 12oz bottle to tulip glass
poured a deep golden amber with great head retention

smells of malts, appley-ness

tasted lagery with a twist, nice use of malts, bitter with a sweet appley aspect, nicely done - the slight florally fruit note reminds me new holland brewing's red tulip

mouthfeel was thin and palatable, easy to session regardless of the abv%

would be a great beer with a meal

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a clear dark amber with a one finger tan head.

Aroma of sweet malts and bubblegum. A hint of booziness peeks through.

Taste is malty and slightly tart in a dark ripe fruit sort of way.

Medium mouthfeel, slightly dry, and moderately carbonated.

A solid and easy to drink beer from Deroit Beer Co.

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Detroit Beer Co. The Detroit Dwarf from Detroit Beer Co.
3.7 out of 5 based on 72 ratings.
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