Our German Amber is an altbier-style ale. The name Altbier means Old Beer in German - referring to the old style of pre-lager beer. To learn about this style in detail, one must first have an understanding of brewers yeast. There are two primary strains of yeast brewers use to make beer, ale yeast and lager yeast. Ale yeast is generally fermented warm (70 dF), ferments at the top of the fermentor, and produces more fruity/estery characteristics. Lager yeast ferments cold (50 dF), ferments at the bottom of the fermentor, and produces a more clean/crisp flavor.
Prior to lager brewing which started in the 1400's, all beer was brewed with Ale yeast. As most brewers started switching over to lager yeast, some breweries in Germany, mostly centralized up north around Dusseldorf and Cologne, continued to use Ale yeast. Over time they started brewing it colder and colder to more mimic the lager style. And then in 1838 the term Altbier was coined by the Schumacher brewery who wanted to give tribute to the old style.