Written by Horst D. Dornbusch
The grain bill of the classic copper-colored altbier — which is internationally also known as a German Brown Ale — is almost Munich-like, but with a slightly less “caramelly” character than a Märzen, and less dark than a dunkel. It differs from a Munich brew, however, in its much more pronounced hoppiness. This creates a wonderful blend of malt-and-hop aromas in the finish, which is often described as bitter-sweet. The uniqueness of this beer — an ale after all — comes from the clean fermentation of a relatively cold-tolerant, top-fermenting specialty yeast.