May 31, 2013 by Prost Brewing
It seems as though guests to Prost Brewing enjoy the taste of what Germans refer to as ‘old bier’ with its German name “Altbier.” Due to popular demand, Prost has decided to put this special beer back on the row of taps. Now for a limited time guests to Prost have the opportunity to taste one of the successful experiments carried out by German brewers that resulted in an ale with the lean dryness of a lager but with fruity notes more characteristic of an ale.
This peculiar taste combination is created through Altbier’s unique processing that was first attempted by brewers in the Rhineland. Unlike Bavarian brewers who had to follow the strict rules of the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot, making summer brewing illegal, the brewers of the Rhineland were allowed to brew all year long since the Rhineland had a slightly cooler climate that made brewing in the summer possible. This gave the Rhineland brewers the ability to experiment with storing fermented beer in cool caves and cellars.
Rhineland brewers expanded beyond lagering the typical bottom fermenting lagers that are well-suited for a slower fermentation and aging process in a cool environment. Instead, they tried their hand at lagering an ale made with top-fermenting yeasts that normally would thrive in a warmer setting. Fortunately, for Prost Brewing’s Altbier fans, the result of this experiment was a cleaner, crisper beer than other top-fermenting brews that seemed to offer the best of both the ale’s and the lager’s taste profile.
Perhaps getting labeled as “old” is a good thing, at least in the German beer world anyways…