By Iron Chef Leftovers
It is strange that many of the European styles of beer have not carried over to the U.S. Sure, the popular ones like lager, pilsner and stout have well established followings, but there are some hyper-regional styles that have never really had a mass following in the U.S. Altbier is one of them. Sure, there are a few out there (I had a blurb about one of them a few years back here), but you have to do some digging if you want to find one. Altbier is in that grouping. Fortunately for us, the fine guys at Reuben’s were kind enough to brew one. The Reuben’s version comes in at 5.1% ABV and 32 IBU. What is Altbier you might ask? Well, from Wikipedia:
Altbier (German for ‘old beer’) is a style of beer originating in Germany. It was first brewed in the historical region of Westphalia and is a speciality of the city of Düsseldorf. Its name comes from its production using the technique of top fermentation, an older method than bottom fermentation, characteristic of lager styles of beer.
The beer pours dark tan in color with a milk white head. Notes of malt and dried fruit dominate the nose with mild hints of citrus supporting. The beer starts out on the palate light and crisp before moving to a quick hit of toffee and stone fruit before finishing mildly bitter but in a very pleasant way – not a hop bitterness, but a coffee like bitterness. Refreshing with a good level of complexity and depth, slightly stronger flavors than a mild, but not as rich and deep as a brown. My only complaint is how quickly the beer moved between its layers – they were delicious and complex and I found myself wanting them to hang around longer. Otherwise, this beer is very easy drinking and refreshing and you could easily sit down with 2 or 3 in a session.
Reuben’s Altbier invades with 4 blitzkriegs out of 5.