Iron Range Amber Lager | James Page Brewing Company

54 Reviews
Read the review
Iron Range Amber LagerIron Range Amber Lager

Brewed by:
James Page Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.48%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-03-1999

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 66
Photo of supercolter
4.42/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't know if you all have noticed but the midwest makes the best American Ambers out there. Appearance was pretty good but the head faded quite quickly.
Smell and taste are the closest to perfect I have had for this style to date, a decent amount of malt, but also some unknown sweetness- maybe grape.
Mouthfeel is a bit light but good.
Drinkability is well- ask my 12 pack.

 380 characters

Photo of terrabyte
3.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear, light-amber brown color. Medium sized white head, with waves of lacing.

Aroma contains a bit of caramel and pine nut. Normally I'd say the aroma was way below average, but compared to the wheat beer I just had by this brewer, I'd say this is almost pleasant.

Flavor is similar to the aroma. There is a little more hops, and a little more bitterness, and just a hint of caramel and nut flavors to make this stand out a little bit more from the James Page Brewing Sample Box it came from.

Mouthful is light and lends towards a decent drinkability.

Drinkability is ok. I like the nuttiness, but as with most ambers, I'm not impressed enough to seek this out.

 691 characters

Photo of mac56
3.66/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

James Page was our "neighborhood" brewery when I lived in Northeast Mpls. Financial misadventures ensued, resulting in the draught versions still being brewed in NE while the bottled versions (and eventual canned versions) were farmed out hither and yon. Not the same products at all anymore. Eventually the brands were bought by Stevens Point - a good home for them.

I like this beer. Others have reviewed it as being flat and weak. But I think it's one of the better examples I've had of an American Amber. Just the right balance of hop and sweet malt. Good mouthfeel, very sessionable. It compares well to Schell Firebrick, both of which are constantly available in my fridge.

A very good go-to beer.

 709 characters

Photo of Doppelmax
3.45/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

In a can, on a plane, served in a plastic "glass" but wait, with the second can I had a real glass...we up graded to first class with ff miles.
By far the best canned lager I've had.
Clear medium amber with a good head with moderate retention and a nice veil. Decent malt nose, little if and hops detected. The initial taste was a sweetish malt flavor, to my liking then it developed into a balance, quite pleasing in my opinion. Medium body with the right amount of carbonation. I wish I could get this beer in NH. I've been looking for a canned beer I enjoy for carrying during various outdoor type activities, Iron Range would fit the bill.
As a side bar, the flight attendant gave me 3 cans as I got off the plane for our sampling group to savor.

 755 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In a can. On a plane, in a plastic cup is how I enjoyed this little brew. no freshness dating to be seen. Poured clear light amber, sporting a decent looking off white head. Even left some respectable looking lacing. Just a hit of malt in the nasel aroma department. Middle of theorad amber, minor maple/malt notes. Can declares "Hand crafted, quality brewed" Best I can say is "Decent drinking, better then M.B & C."

 417 characters

Photo of objectivemonkey
3.2/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber with decent beginning head, ok lacing, decent. Aroma is light, slightly fruity and sweet caramel malts, meh. Taste is a little funky, slight sweet caramel malts, a bit grainy, hops are weak and hardly there, Mouth is decent enough, carbonation decent. All in all, weak, decent and ok are words used too often here. Just, meh.

 345 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coppery orange with bright tangerine edges and a creamy cap that is somewhere between pale orange, pale gold and beige in color. I'd like to see some semblance of red in a red lager, but there's none to be found here. Interestingly, the brewery says that this is a red lager, but has used Amber Lager in the name (Same style? Probably). The head is nicely persistent, so the lace assessment will have to wait. I don't see a whole lot wrong with the appearance; it's more than passable.

The nose is way too weak to be considered above average. I get a whiff of barely toasted caramel malt coupled with a little Munich malt earthy nuttiness, along with a hint of fruit that I would attribute to an ale yeast... except that this is a lager. Underwhelming.

Actually, this is pretty good beer for what it is. Munich malt makes much more of a statement on the palate and hogs the lion's share of the flavor profile (how's that for a mixed animal metaphor?). The beer is lightly malty sweet with just enough hop flavor and hop bitterness to make a stab at balance.

The more I drink Iron Range Amber Lager, the more I like it. It doesn't do anything exceptionally well, but it's definitely a good version of the style and suits the purpose for which it was brewed. It's a solid, flavorful lager that would match up well with a wide range of picnic-type foods. If there was any justice in the world, IRAL, rather than BMC, would be the easy drinking beer of choice up there in Badgerland.

I have no problem at all with the mouthfeel. It's lagery light with a wonderful smoothness and a laid back amount of carbonation that would make sessioning a pleasure. It even manages to hold together reasonably well as it sits.

The only other James Page Brewing Company beer that I've had was Voyageur Extra Pale Ale and I was pretty lukewarm about it. It may be nothing more than the circumstances surrounding the consumption of each, but Iron Range strikes me as a better beer. I'll be sure to keep an eye out for more from this brewery whenever I next take a trip up Madison way.

 2,078 characters

Photo of dmowen
3.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle a nice reddish color. The smell is of roasted grains with a slightly sweet smell detected also. Has very little
head that dissappers rapidley to nothing. Not much carbonation either. Mouth-feel is a little slick and it goes down pretty good with a very slightly dry finish. Taste is good for this style and I would recommend giving this brew a try.

 372 characters

Photo of Suds
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this brew on an airplane, after being upgraded to first class. It was the only semi-interesting beer selection available.
Poured from a can, this beer is a clear amber-bronze color with an average-white head. The aroma is somewhat enticing…a little caramel malt, a little grain, some lightly toasted malts. There’s very little hops in the aroma. The taste is similar, this is a very malt-centric beer. The malt flavor, though, is very light. Slight, extremely slight, hop bitter in the finish. Moderate carbonation, and a moderate but solidly appropriate mouthfeel. The brew does produce a minor slickness on the tongue. It’s enjoyable and fairly flavorful. It’s definitely more than I expected.

 707 characters

Photo of hanco005
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of my James Page sampler pack. Label on the bottle is a western railroad scene with a guy holding a pick axe wearing a red bandana…unclear if he works there or is planning on robbing the train.

12oz bottle into a pint glass

A—clear orange amber color with off white 1 inch fluffy head, leaves medium lacing on the glass

S—spicy hops and sweet malts. Peppery

T—perfect balance between the hops and malts, neither is dominate, sweet and mild, is going down way too smooth and fast

M—smooth and mellow, but a bit watery, not much carbonation…a little bit flat.

D—I like it. Smooth and very drinkable. It reminds me a of a slightly flat Samuel Adams Boston Lager. I expect this would be good with spicy foods.

 736 characters

Photo of beveragecaptain
2.54/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle. Pours out a dark amber color with a small head. Stale corn and cooked veggie aroma. A little bit of caramel flavor, but mainly this beer has the same cooked veggie flavor as in the aroma. Perhaps a bit of fruitiness. No hop flavor. Mouthfeel is medium. Poor drinkability. I really enjoyed their pale ale, so this beer was a real disappointment. Tastes like macro crap.

 385 characters

Photo of cokes
2.71/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another perfectly amber brew, matching the EPA nearly exactly in color. The head is a fleeting yellowed snow.
The nose is odd more than any thing. It has that rubbery, corn-fed sweetness of a macro, along with a wisp of grain and caramel. Hopping is not noted, scentwise.
From the offset, this is maple-syrup waffles, caramel malt, and prune juice. It dries quite a bit in the middle, with a salted nacho impression (one that leads yet again to macro comparisions). It ends with a few, stray residual sugar that hint at sweet berries, and no associated hop traits.
The structure in generally medium, but the carbonation is uppity and in your grill. It is drinkable, especially as the glass goes along, but this seems much more like an "MGD Dark" than a Vienna Lager.

For a second, after just retrying Page's Voyaguer EPA, I thought the move brought some recipe tweaking. Nope. This is as pesdestrian as ever, and maybe even worse than I remember.

 954 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.3/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

on tap at Acadia Cafe...

Clear coppery/amber color, with no head at all.

Aroma, sweet, amlty, light graininess, minimal hops.

Grainy on the palate, as well, but overall clean and smooth. Light bodied, but not thin, flavor, and it's not a bad one, remains sip after sip, gulp after gulp. Not bad at all.
A tasty little lager, when you're not in the mood for anything more challenging.
Good crossover brew, for the less adventurous.

 441 characters

Photo of RBorsato
3.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted on-tap 09/14/05 at Brit's Pub in Minneapolis, MN.

Striking amber color with a low off-white head that didn't last for long. Almost no aroma but had a slight malty character. Mellow caramel flavored malts with just a touch of Munich malt character. Fairly light bodied in my book but a very clean lager.

Nothing really stood out enough in this one to be memorable... surprised about the Gold medal...

Per JPBC website:
Gold - GABF
A smooth, malty Vienna Lager. This beer is a true European red with 100% two-row malted barley, Spalter hops and Munich malts, German lager yeast and a minimum six weeks of cool cellaring.

 637 characters

Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.8/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A little hoppy, but not much depth, seems thin. Aroma lacks, but has smooth and malty tones throughout. Excellent complex finish with a sweet aftertaste. Warm. These guys are out of business now, but the Stevens Point Brewery seems to be picking them up, although I haven't seen anything new on the shelves in this label.

 321 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
3.98/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Written From Notes Compiled 6/04-8/04:
Crystal clear light copper color, big white head dissipates to a solid layer of bubbles on top of the beer. Smell is carmel malt through and through. Maybe a little biscuit and alcohol scent also. Flavor is also carmel malt and a solid hops backing. Flavorful, and a thicker mouthfeel for a lager. Very good.

 348 characters

Photo of PCaravan
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Like a previous post, I too was introduced to this brew courtesy of Northwest Airlines. I was told by the flight attendant that the beers available were Bud, Bud Light, and James Page. I said "What's that?" and I was told it was a Minnisota Ale. Well when I got the can I saw that it said amber lager so I knew she lied to me but to me it resembled a cleaner version of an American Brown Ale. There's way more hop character than in an Oktoberfest/Marzen as this website has it classified.

Overall, it's good boot not great, worth a try... particularly if you like the clean taste of lagers and the hopy yet sweet balance of an American Brown Ale (Pete's Wicked Ale for example).

 681 characters

Photo of Gump
3.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

James Page
Iron Range Amber - bottle

A simple lager. Pours simple, looks simple, tastes simple.
Clear, light amber color with good carbonation and adequate head.
Nothing in this beer stood out to catch my senses. It was neither spectacular, nor offensive.
In Minnesota, you might find this beer offered at weddings, or other open bars, and it's a fine choice for the masses. But I need something more.

 408 characters

Photo of UnionMade
3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden amber, slight coppery hue, with a frothy white head. Not too big, but enough. The head dies away to a thick ring about 1/4 through the glass.
Aroma is rich and malty, with a light woody and egg bagel aroma. No hop presence. Possibly a touch of alcohol.
Flavor is full bodied and malty. Some caramel and woody flavors, mild hopping in the finish, giving it a crisp dryness. Medium carbonation. Very slight alcoholic sweetness in the finish, much like a single malt. A rather nice beer, and a good marzen with a lot of character.

 550 characters

Photo of budgood1
2.63/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours out a clear amberish/copper colour. medium foamy head dies down to very thin wispy lace. light toasted caramel malts on the nose...smells vienna in style. earth and grass hoppiness is detected also. tastes sort of bockish in dimensional without a real flavor that sticks out. i can detect the munich malts, but it's thin. in fact the whole mouthfeel seems thin...not watery thin, but flavorless thin. a bit of earthy hoppiness can be found too. i'm sorry to say that jp iron range amber lager is nothing but a crossover beer and nothing more. i'd drink it if it was offered, but i won't be spending my $$$ on this again....good thing it was on sale.

 668 characters

Photo of jackndan
2.7/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

James page iron range: twelve ounce bottle. Amber color (duh). Very little head, no lace whatsoever. Sweet, unpleasant cidery taste, way too much cloying malts. Some hops help to clean up the finish. Carmel aftertaste, long after the last swallow. Not worth one’s while.

 271 characters

Photo of ZAP
3.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an orangish-gold with no head....mouthfeel is low on carbonation and oversweet for this style...smell is good...big time bockish malt on the nostrils...taste is average at best...too sweet, and an odd sweet flavor..there are some spicy hops on the finish, but they don't work well with the malt....not a good complement(the hops to the malt)...overall I wouldn't buy this one again, but would drink it if someone offered to me out of their fridge.....

 457 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This clear amber beer throws out a hefty white head that is well retained. Nice malty aroma tainted with some slight spicy hop notes. Taste is a nice blend of hops and malt, but nothing above the norm. Some vienna malt notes are noticeable. Some munich malt notes as well if I'm not mistaken. Noble hops make their presence slightly throughout the beer. This medium bodied beer is drinkable, but not one of my favorites. Pretty average.

 442 characters

Photo of aracauna
3.6/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear brown with odd grayish head. Light hops on the nose on thick malt backbone. Taste is good malt with hint of caramel. Floral hops play in the background. Good match with pretzels; brings out the malt.

 205 characters

Photo of stoutman
3.97/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never heard of this beer until a stewardess recommended I try one. Had 4 cans on a flight to Detroit from St. Louis.. Its caramelly, malt flavor produced quite a surprise. Since this is a "canned beer", I was shocked to see a a nice frothy foam when poured and a steady stream of bubbles. This brew is perhaps the tastiest "canned" brew I have tried in many years.

 366 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Iron Range Amber Lager from James Page Brewing Company
3.34 out of 5 based on 66 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.