Put simply an Altbier has the smoothness of a classic lager with the flavors of an ale. A more rigorous definition must take account of history. Ale brewing in Germany predates the now predominant lager production. As the lager process spread from Bohemia, some brewers retained the top fermenting ale process but adopted the cold maturation associated with lager. Hence the name ‘Old Beer’ (Alt means old in German). Altbier is associated with Dusseldorf, Munster, and Hanover. This style of ale is light to medium-bodied, less fruity, less yeasty, and has lower acidity than a traditional English ale. In the US some amber ales are actually in the alt style.
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