My dorkiness comes on many levels, it isn’t just limited to beer. I have mentioned before that I am a chemist in the “real world”, and I have many science-nerd tendencies. If I started my own brewery there would definitely be a tie-in to chemistry, and most likely some molecular structures or element symbols incorporated into the logo and artwork. Since I have no plans to be a brewer, I instead patronize like-minded craft breweries. Element Brewing Company has a great name, makes interesting beers that deftly fuse seemingly contrasting beer styles, and even has chemical structures right on their label. A perfect combination for a beer and science nerd like myself. Element’s fall seasonal is called Altoberfest, a fusion of a rich and malty marzen with a hoppier German altbier. The beer is fermented with Element’s house ale yeast. While these styles aren’t as far apart as some of the other fusions Element makes (like pilsner with stout in Interval), this is an interesting combination that seems perfect for a crisp fall day.
Element Altoberfest pours a deep amber red, slightly cloudy with a large but quickly dissipating khaki-colored head. The smell is a mixture of old world hops intermingled with some rich maltiness. The hops lead the flavor, earthy with some pine and grass. There is significant malt flavor too with notes of caramel and whole grain bread. The beer is medium bodied and pretty easy to drink so I was shocked to find that it is 8.35% ABV. The finish has a pleasant little hop bite on the tongue. This beer kind of reminds me of a British ESB, lots of old world hops mixed with significant maltiness. There is a little German malt character that sets it apart, but that is the closest “traditional” style that came to my mind. It is an interesting combination, not as crazy as the pilsner/stout hybrid, but worth a try this fall. Hoppy Boston score: 4.0/5.
Previous Element Reviews: