Buzzards Bay Altbier

Buzzards Bay Brewing
Westport, MA
Limited-release Altbier

Even before Buzzards Bay did away with its branded beers, this was a limited release. I’m not sure when I got it, but I didn’t want to sample the Shiner Light I have sitting in the fridge so I’m taking my chances.

With good clarity, you can see plenty of the slow, steady, large bubbles work their way through the soft honey copper pour. A rocky, slightly off-white head settles to a half-inch, sticking on the way down.

Apologies for the uncentered pic. I just love the light passing through the bottle...

The nose is a combination of grassy and malty. Cucumber and parsley meets carob and bread. It has a bit of damp canine as well.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin at first, then seems to coat the tongue slightly. The flavor is subtle, and your mind wants it to be malty because of the amber color, but the tastebuds just refuses to comply.  If anything, this comes across as a subtle Dortmunder, lacking the hoppy pizzazz of pilsners.

Altbiers are technically ales – using top-fermenting yeasts, even though lager’s pale malts are used – and this beer is crisp and clean and clear like lager. This particular beer is nice, it has some subtle complexity, but lacks any real body. Of course, this bottle is at least seven months old, so it’s not ideally fresh.

That said, it drinks like a session and would pair nicely with foods for anyone who wants something not too filling, but with less pop than a pils.


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