About Alt

About Alt
Alts, or altbiers, are copper to medium brown in color and range in alcohol from 4.5-5.5%. These beers are light-to-medium bodied and have a clean, crisp finish as a result of fermentation at cooler temperatures. A gentle maltiness and crisp noble hop bitterness contribute to the aromas and flavor profiles of these beers. Similar to the kölsch style, these beers are fermented with a top-fermenting yeast at cooler temperatures, giving these beers a clean, crisp finish reminiscent of lagers. Alt directly translates to “old” in German and is in reference to the old style of brewing before the advent of lager style beers. While still closely associated with the German cities of Dusseldorf, Munster and Hanover, this style is fairly rare with only a handful of German breweries still brewing traditional altbiers. Noteworthy examples of this style include: Pinkus Münster Alt, Samuel Adams Boston Ale and Metropolitan Brewing Iron Works Alt.

Top Picks for Alt

Brauerei Pinkus Müller Münster Alt
90 points
Dusty gold color. Grainy aromas and flavors of roasted grains, bread dough, clay, and honeyed pear skin with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an interesting, medium-long finish with accents of roasted root vegetable and mesclun finish. A delicious, wonderfully savory and mouthwatering alt that will triumph at the table.
Samuel Adams Boston Ale
90 points
Medium bright copper color. Mild, toasty aromas of caramel fruit tart and praline with a silky, crisp, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, charming, medium-long watercress, dried fruits, and orange pepper finish. A delicious and nicely balanced super-sessionable alt.
Samuel Adams Boston Ale
89 points
Dusty copper color. Toasty aromas and flavors of phyllo and gingerbread pastry, caramelized citrus and fruits, and rosehips with a supple, tangy, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, stimulating, medium-long finish displaying notes of peppered citrus and fruit butter on toast finish. A nice lightly hoppy alt with nice fruity malt and snappy hops.
Port Huron Brewing Company Amber Alt
87 points
Brilliant dark copper color. Toasty aromas and flavors of bread crust, lemon peel, and kefir with a supple, effervescent, light-to-medium body and a tingling, brisk finish with notes of roasted nuts, orange zest, and kale finish. A nice astringent and zesty malt-driven session alt.