Monday, January 19, 2015

Berkshire Mountain Alt - For Those Who Want a Craft Beer Without All the Hops (MA)

There seems to be a big backlash against hoppy beers in the new wave of craft brewing. From black IPAs to super hopped IPAs, to other new concoctions. There seems to be few beers untouched by the hop-monster mentality. It's almost like the Parkerization of craft beer. If there aren't tons of hops, what good is it. I am not bitching one way or another. I like beer like Heady Topper. But every once in a while you want some relief. 
The Barrington Brewery & Restaurant opened in 1995. They have been entertaining guests in the Berkshires since 1977. Barrington Brewery produces Berkshire Mountain Brewers beers. They have been successfully reviewed by the New York Times, Boston Globe, Newsday and many other respected papers. They are currently recommended by Zagat, Frommer’s Travel Guide, AAA and most recently included in Bon Appetite’s 50th Anniversary Issue (October 2006).
One of my favorite beers they produce is Alt, a German ale. It is also known as Altbier. According to Wikipedia, Altbier (German for 'old-beer') is a style of beer originating in Germany. It was first brewed in the historical region of Westphalia and is a speciality of the city of Düsseldorf. Its name comes from its production using the technique of top fermentation, an older method than bottom fermentation characteristic of lager styles of beer. Altbier is usually a dark copper colour. It is brewed at a moderate temperature using a top-fermenting yeast which gives its flavour some fruitiness, but matured at a cooler temperature, which gives it a cleaner and crisper taste more akin to lager beer styles than is the norm for top-fermented beers, such as British pale ale.
I love his beer. I am obviously not a beer expert. But I like this beer a lot. For those people looking for hops in the current craft beer boom, look away. While it's nicely balanced, there's fruit and malt galore, and only a little amount of hops for balancing.
For a more informed review, you should read Chad Polenz on the subject: