Alt, Kolsch & Smoked Beer

Alt, Kolsch & Smoked Beer

These are three styles that, until the recent craft beer revolution, were almost exclusive to Germany. Now though they are being made all over the world and with good reason. Altbiers are copper coloured, top-fermented beers that gain a yeasty fruitiness from the high fermentation, but is then cold conditioned like a lager to create a smooth, crisp finish. Kolsch is made the same way, but with only light malts which reduces the roasted flavours but retains most of the fruity character. Both can look and feel like a lager, but have more fruity depth and less of a bitter, rasping finish. Smoked beers such as the world-famous Schlenkerla can come in any style (usually a marzen or weiss) but are made using malts that are smoked rather than roasted. This creates a gorgeous smoked bacon-like aroma that surprises most first-time drinkers but is fantastic with food and as a fireside beer.