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Altbier

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All about altbier

Altbier: Ancient roots with modern style

This German-style brown ale originally hails from 19th century Düsseldorf, Germany. Alt, German for "old beer," refers to its long period of conditioning that mellows out its fruitiness, ending in a smooth, clean, delicate beer. The addition of hops for flavor and aroma is minimal. This top-fermented brew's hues, spanning from amber or copper to dark brown, and moderate carbonation create a glistening effect when poured into the right glass. It lies on the cusp of ales and lagers with qualities that flatter them both. For a maltier, hoppier alt brew, try the less-frequently brewed secret Sticke Alt.

Distinguished character of altbier

This brown ale expresses a slightly spicy, herbal character of Noble hops. It has a dry, lingering bitterness that rivals that of India pale ales (IPAs). The essence of this German beer is a soft, lightly malty, sweet, toasty aroma that's clean and inviting. American Altbier styles feature fruity esters and hops as a supporting role in the background. Brown ale offers more of a malty flavor profile that's like a toasty, nutty, chocolatey, toffee biscuit.

Planning the menu

This fruity beer goes well next to hearty foods like roast pork, smoked sausage or grilled salmon. Crumbly cheeses, like Gouda and Cheshire, and desserts, such as almond or maple-walnut cake, pear fritters, and cashew brittle, bring life to this beer's essences.

The right glass for the right beer

Serving beer in the right glass helps tune in your sensory receptors as its hidden nuances become more pronounced and the colors shimmer. This craft beer sits best in a traditional German stange, a slender cylinder, to amplify its malt and hops. The stange enables the beer to retain its head, full of hoppy and fruity aromas. An alternative is a Tom Collins glass to get similar effects that let you thoroughly enjoy this fruity beer.

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