Put simply, an altbier has the smoothness of a classic lager with the flavors of an ale. A more rigorous definition must take history into account. 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 Düsseldorf, 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 United States, some amber ales are actually in the alt style.
In early April of this year, the World Beer Championships held their annual tasting of Continental European Ale styles. Maibocks
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