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BJCP 2015 Guideline

Amber Bitter European Beer Altbier


BJCP 2015 7B Altbier example
7B - Altbier


Overall Impression

A well-balanced, well-attenuated, bitter yet malty, clean, and smooth, amber- to copper-colored German beer. The bitterness is balanced by the malt richness, but the malt intensity and character can range from moderate to high (the bitterness increases with the malt richness).


A top-fermented lagered beer, fermented at cool ale temperature (59-68 °F), often conditioned at bottom-fermentation temperatures (about 50 °F) and then lagered at cold temperatures to produce a cleaner, smoother palate than is typical for most ales. Zum Uerige is a wonderful beer, but much more aggressively bitter and complex than most other German examples. It may be like the Fuller's ESB of the strong bitter category - well-known but somewhat of a stylistic outlier. Do not judge all Altbiers as if they were Zum Uerige clones; allow for a more balanced bitterness in the beer (25-35 IBUs is more typical for most other German examples). Stronger sticke and doppelsticke beers should not be entered here.

Commercial Examples

Bolten Alt, Diebels Alt, Füchschen Alt, Original Schlüssel Alt, Schlösser Alt, Schumacher Alt, Uerige Altbier

There are more details available on the BJCP website. Click below to view the complete style.

View Style on BJCP Website


  • OG:  1044 - 1052
  • FG:  1008 - 1014
  • ABV: 4.3 - 5.5
  • IBU: 25 - 50
  • SRM: 11 - 17
BJCP 2015 7B - Altbier Commercial Example