How many different craft beer styles can you name? Can you rattle off a long list or is your style vocabulary limited to just IPA, Stout and perhaps a few others? I hope you can name a few more than that, but if you can’t don’t worry. You can always keep learning.
One style most casual beer drinkers aren’t familiar with is Altbier. When most people think of German beers, they think of lagers; and that’s true. Most German beer styles we know today are Lagers. However, long before they were known for Lagers, Germans brewed Ales – as far back as 3,000 years ago. “Not many specific styles of beer can be traced thousands of years, however Altbier is one of them. The name Altbier was put to use back in the 1800’s when much of central Europe decided to switch to onslaught of light-coloured lagers, while the local beer drinkers in the Rhineland stayed loyal to beers brewed the old school way (ales). ” (*)
Brewed with top-fermenting ale yeast, but then aged at cooler temperatures for a smoother and more Lager-like flavor and mouth feel, Altbier is usually dark copper/amber in color with a slightly sweet, biscuit-like malt character. There aren’t too many American craft brewers that produce traditional Altbier, since temperature control is an important aspect of creating it properly (and the fact that it’s not the most popular style for most craft beer drinkers). Also, and quite unfortunately, true German Altbiers seldom make it to this side of the pond these days. They can be fairly difficult to find.
If you’re a fan of the Altbier style or you’re interested in trying it, then you’ll want to take a trip out to Foggy Noggin Brewing in Bothell this coming Saturday, April 4th for the release of MLK Alt.
Here is some more information about this beer form Foggy Noggin Brewing Company:
Bothell, WA – March 31, 2015: Foggy Noggin Brewing is releasing a very limited seasonal beer this Saturday – April 4th (noon-5PM) at our tasting room in Bothell, WA.
This beer is in very limited and will have a very short run cycle. Only brewed one day each year, MLK day in January. This beer is only available at the brewery tasting room, while this beer lasts. You will not want to miss out on this.
MLK Alt – German Alt
Every beer has a dream and in respect of the great MLK, beer’s all over the world have gained equality. English, German, Belguim and even American beers are now seen on tap next to each other. MLK Alt is brewed as a traditional German Alt and fits in perfectly with the Foggy Noggin English beer line-up. Brewed in the winter and lagered until the spring provides a crisp, sharp flavor profile and a nice hop backbone. Prost!
Malts: German Pilsener, Vienna, Munich, CaraMunich
Hops: Magnum, Hallertau
Don’t delay because, as noted above, MLK Alt is very limited and won’t last long. So, get to Foggy Noggin early if you want to make sure you get a taste before it’s all gone.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.