Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Headless Man Amber Alt

Tyranena Brewing Company
Lake Mills, WI

Style: Altbier
ABV: 5.0%

Franz’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Recommended)

Hello again all you craft beer loving guzzlers. It’s your pal Franz here to comment on another fine beer from the great state of Wisconsin. But before we get to the flavor and aroma profile I would like to thank Tyranena Brewing for brewing many of the beer styles that would make my German ancestors proud. Examples like this would include their seasonals like Fighting Finches Mai Bock, Fargo Brothers Hefeweizen, Gemuetlichkeit Oktoberfest and Shantytown Doppelbock. They also produce a year round beer called Headless Man Amber Alt which is another German style brew that is the basis of this review.

I know you must be thinking, “What is it with these strange names?” If you are interested in the local history of certain small cities like I am, then I would recommend visiting their web site or, better yet, Lake Mills itself. Each of the beers they produce has some story behind it pertaining to the area. Headless Man Amber Alt has a story, so instead of me explaining it I suggest you go out and buy a six-pack (caution: do not try this when inebriated because you will end up forgetting how the beer tasted and the local history behind it).

Upon poring this beer into a glass I noticed that it had a different type of color, which is probably a result of the wheat and crystal malt used. The wheat malt usually gives a golden or yellow color and the crystal malt, depending on the degrees Lovibond, will give a reddish tint. The combination of these two malts results in a deep orange color. It is unfiltered, which is a plus because filtered beers, in my opinion, lose that certain yeast flavor and aroma that gives the beer more complexity. Take for example a wheat beer: this beer’s special characteristic is the yeast they use which give it the clove/banana aroma. With this beer, the yeast they used gives it a clean taste so the sweet Crystal and Munich malt characteristics are well defined. What gives this beer balance is the aging process that altbiers are known for. Back in the olden days the folks in Düsseldorf, Germany had decided that lagering, or aging at a cold temperatures, the beer mellowed out some of the unfavorable characteristics. I would just like to say that my ancestors are geniuses. Even though this is an amber ale and not the traditional brown ale that is typical of altbiers, I am still impressed. The only downfall of this beer is the absence of the hop aroma. I feel that part of the long aging process decreased the presence of the hop aroma. Even without hop aroma it is still a damn fine brew. As I finish the last of this six-pack of Headless Man Amber Alt I would like to say, “Prosit”.

Reviewed by Franz Mueller on March 5, 2007.
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