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Texas Brew Review: Hops & Grain’s Alt-eration

Posted 12:51pm on Wednesday, Jun. 11, 2014

Some beer styles get all the attention. Big hops, bold flavors, high-octane beers and the newest craze turn everyone’s heads. They have their place in the beer world, but many times it’s the unassuming, simple beers that do all the heavy lifting. We can’t all survive on beers with five adjectives in their name.

One of the more unassuming — and underrepresented styles — is the German-style altbier. Malty, light-to-medium bodied with a crisp, earthy hop finish, it’s an excellent style when you want something malt-forward that’s also easy drinking.

By employing techniques that are a mix of lager and ale brewing, altbiers share some similarities to another much lighter German style: Kolsch. Where kolsch is light in color and body, and a bit more hop-forward, altbiers are more like light brown ales.

Austin’s Hops & Grain makes one of the best representations of the style available in the state in Alt - eration. Bringing immediate notoriety to the exploding Texas beer scene, founder Josh Hare and crew won a gold medal at the World Beer Cup in 2012 against German brewers with years of experience brewing the style. And that was in Hops & Grain’s first year of brewing.

Alt-eration’s light sweetness is balanced with a touch of German hops. It has flavors of light chocolate and nuts, and is rich but finishes clean. It’s malty, but not too malty — and is great for hot weather when you want something that has more depth but isn’t heavy.

Quick sips

Collective Brewing is here: Fort Worth is finally catching up with the east side of DFW as Collective Brewing joins the ranks of breweries ( Rahr and Martin House) representing Cowtown. The new brewery is located only a few blocks from Rahr south of downtown, and Collective is now available on tap at Brewed and Pour House. It will open its own taproom as soon as the brewery is completed.

Sunday Funday in full swing: Panther Island Pavilion features tubing, food vendors and beer from Panther Island Brewing (formerly Wahoo Brewing) in its weekly Sunday Funday event that runs through August. For now, it’s the only place you can regularly enjoy beers from one of Fort Worth’s newest breweries.

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