This year’s version of our Groundhog Brew is a German-Style Altbier. This is one of the few authentic ales brewed in the German tradition. Bavarian brewers invented lager beer in the 16th century. Before that, the old style of brewing utilized ale yeast. "Alt" is German for old, so the "Altbier" is a beer made "in the old German style."
Our Straub Altbier is our first all-malt beer. Copper in color, it was made with four malts: Imported German Pilsner and Vienna, and domestic Munich and Chocolate. We balanced the malty sweetness with a firm bitterness from Imported German Magnum hops, and made late hop additions for flavor and aroma with Imported German Hallertau Mittelfruh. We used authentic German ale yeast to ferment this beer and provide its characteristic smooth ale flavor.
This limited-release Altbier is the second of our new seasonal offerings, which began last fall with our 1872 Lager, brewed to begin the celebration of Straub’s 140th Anniversary. During 2012, leading up to our anniversary celebration, the brew team and I developed a number of beer recipes to expand the variety of beer that Straub will be brewing. We utilized our small R&D brew system to make a number of small-batch brews that we shared with friends, family, and customers, as well as offered at beer festivals and tastings, and even on tap locally. This brewing has been inspired by the rich, pre-prohibition traditions here at Straub, as well as by the wonderful variety of beers being brewed by America’s newer craft brewers, many of which are right here in Pennsylvania.
Alcohol: 5.3% ABV • Beginning Gravity: 12.5 Plato • Ending Gravity: 2.6 Plato • Bitterness Units: 40 IBU • Malts: German Pilsner, Vienna, Munich, and Black Malts • Color: Dark Copper • Yeast: German Ale Yeast • Hops: Imported German Magnum and Hallertau Mittelfruh