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Beer Styles

More Resources: Tasting Sheet Study Guide

German-Style Brown/Altbier

Originally from the Düsseldorf area of Germany, the German-Style Brown/Altbier strikes a balance between hop and malt flavors and aromas, but can have low fruity esters and some peppery and floral hop aromas. Before Germany had lager beer, it had ales. Alt, meaning “old,” pays homage to one rebel region in Germany which did not lean into lagering. U.S. producers celebrate the ale revolution beautifully with this top-fermented German beer style.

Category: Hybrid Beers

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Salmon
  • Emmental
  • Apple Pie

Glassware & Serving Temperature

Tulip
45-50 °F

Commercial Examples

Commercial Examples

Appearance

Color

Copper to Dark Brown

Clarity

Brilliant

Carbonation (Visual)

Medium to Fast Rising Bubbles

Flavor/Aroma

Alcohol

Not Detectable to Mild

Hop

Hop flavor is low to medium. Hop bitterness is medium to very high (although the 25 to 35 IBU range is more normal for the majority of Altbiers from Düsseldorf)

Malt

Sweet malt character that may have a rich, biscuity, and/or light caramel flavor

Esters

Fruity-ester flavors, if present, can be low

Phenols

Not common to style

Sensations

Body

Soft

Carbonation

Medium to High

Finish Length

Short

Attenuation

Medium - High

Ingredients

Hops

Spalt, Magnum, Tettnang

Malt

Pilsner, Munich, CaraMunich, Carafa Special II, Aromatic

Water

Moderate carbonate water

Yeast

Ale

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