*Packaging may vary
Zipline Copper Alt.
Altbier /5.2% ABV / Nebraska, United States
Enter a delivery address
- Nebraska, United States
- Suggested Glassware
- Suggested Serving Temperature
- 45-50° F
A hybrid style between an ale and a lager, this bronze-hued brew goes down easy with subtle nuances of chocolate and hazelnut.View all products by Zipline Brewing Co.California Residents: Click here for Proposition 65 WARNING
This product doesn't have any reviews yet. Be the first to leave one!
Altbier is an amber-colored, hoppy beer that hails from Germany’s western border, near the country’s boundary with the Netherlands and Belgium; it’s a unique, easy-drinking, lighter beer that’s categorized as a hybrid, meaning it’s neither ale nor a lager. Altbier has a malty aroma and initial taste, like most European-style ales, but the overall experience and finish are simple, clean and surprisingly dry — evocative of a lager, like a German pilsner. The name, altbier, comes from a German word that means “old bier,” a descriptor for the ale yeast used in the recipe; lager yeasts arrived in Germany far later than the traditional yeasts used in ales.
If you haven’t yet had the chance to indulge in an altbier, it’s very much worth your while to try a pint (or three) if you can track some down; altbiers have the strange quality of smelling and looking like an ale yet drinking more similarly to a lager. Altbiers have a warm, malty aroma that you’d associate with any European-style amber ale, and yet, the bitterness and lack of fruit and spice are more like a German lager, with its crisp and satisfying finish. Skip the dainty, tulip-shaped stemware used for high gravity beers; this style of brew befits a heavy-handled beer stein, worthy of big, refreshing gulps.
While altbiers tend to lean towards an easy drinkability and crisp finish, its milder taste belies its actual ABV; while not exceptionally high as is common among the region’s beers, an altbier’s alcohol content falls between 4-6% (though there is such a thing as a double altbier, which tends to top 8% ABV). A traditional altbier drinks like a pale ale, though it doesn’t carry as much malt flavor and presents as coppery in color, though the ABV is similar in both. Overall, you shouldn’t notice much alcohol in either its aroma or taste, and you’ll have no trouble drinking more than one pint.
Most European-style beers, like Germany’s altbier, rely on gluten-based grains like wheat and barley to craft their mash; the liquid extracted from the mash which ultimately produces the beer carries those gluten molecules along, leaving gluten-free individuals to seek other alcoholic beverages besides beer (difficult for most to consider). To be honest, finding an altbier on draft at your local taproom is challenging enough; there are not any common gluten-free altbiers on the market, though to be fair, some brewers have attempted using millet- and rice-based grains. Some lagers are naturally more gluten-safe than most ales, but altbiers, unfortunately, fall somewhere in between.
Interestingly, altbier is considered a hybrid form of beer, meaning it has some qualities of ale and others more akin to a lager; the designations refer to the process by which the beer is fermented, and in altbier’s case, it’s a little of both. Traditionally, ale yeasts are added to the top of the mashed grain at 70 degrees Fahrenheit; lager yeasts sink to the bottom of the wort, fermenting instead around 32-36 degrees Fahrenheit. Altbier, which typically uses ale-based strains, ferments in a range of 55-65 degrees before conditioning for months to optimize carbonation and mellow the flavor —a technique employed for lagers.
The biggest contributor to the calories in any beer is the alcohol, and because altbier has a low-to-medium ABV (generally between 4-6%), you can expect a 12-ounce bottle to contain roughly 150 calories — similar to a German-style pale ale or amber ale. As far as carbohydrates, you can expect an altbier to contain a minimum of 10 grams; all beers contain carbohydrates thanks to their grain-based foundations, but altbier is far less heavy and sweet than most darker Bavarian ales, and you’ll experience less of a bread-like taste. Instead, altbiers tend to be refreshing and crisp, even with their deceptive copper color and toasty aroma.
Enter a delivery address