Shiner Old-Time Alt

malt + hops = balance

Shiner Old-Time Alt, part of the Family Reunion 12-pack from Spoetzel Brewery of Shiner, TX pours a beautiful copper color, produces a big old white head and laces like whitewash on the sides of your glass.  This Dusseldorf-style altbier achieves the balance characteristic of the style from beginning to end.  The clean, crisp bouquet starts with a lightly floral hop vibe and ends with malt leaning toward the carmelly side.  Shiner Old-Time Alt is medium-bodied and is lively on the tongue despite not showing a lot of carbonation.  The malt is up front on the palate and hoppy dryness is at the back, in equal measures.  Again, balance is achieved and appreciated in this alt.  It’s not complex or daunting, just a good beer with some character, and a change from the ordinary.  Why do people drink Bud Light when beer like Old-Time Alt is available?

The answer to that semi-rhetorical question is:  83/100 on the beerbliorgapher scale for altbiers.  Good day.


Alt ternative to kolsch

Frankenheim_AltAs Kolsch beer is the signature brew of Cologne, Altbier (or Alt) is the signature brew of Duesseldorf.  A relative of kolsch, alt beer is also an ale, but as this ale is traditionally lagered in wooden barrels, it developes a crisper, cleaner flavor and has a deeper color than a pale ale.  Frankenheim Alt is relatively easy to find in the states, and a fine introduction to the style.  It has a nutty, roasted carmel bouquet with a hint of dryness.  It has a smooth, creamy mouthfeel and a clean finish.  The toasted malt is the first flavor to grace the tongue, followed by a light hoppy dryness.  There is even a hint of grape, reminiscent of Warsteiner Dunkel.  If you like crisp, brown ales, this is the beer for you.

Blue Grass and High Times

Looks good, eh?

Looks good, eh?

No, this is not an ad for NORML.  It is, however an ad for Bluegrass Brewing Company of Louisville, KY.  Their Amber Ale is a German-style Altbier and a tasty one at that.  It’s clear and amber with consistent carbonation and a whispy head.  There’s a touch of carmel in the bouquet, and it is a clean-smelling beer.  Not like soap, but just fresh and crisp.  It is bright and light on the tongue, mildly bitter with a grainy quality in the finish, followed by a little dryness.  It is light-textured but not weak.  If you go to Louisville, visit one of their two locations, pick up a growler, a bottle or a 6-pack.  You won’t be disappointed.  I will review more of their brews soon.