Beer of the Week – Top Out Altbier

Friday means many things to many different people, depending largely on what you have planned for the weekend to come. For me it always means that the first item of business is to shine a light on another beer I feel is just not getting the full amount of love it deserves. That’s all relative of course, but this series is taking a look at the fifty-two beers I consider to be the most unsung in Scotland.

To round out the last full week of August – where does the time go – I’m going to talk about a German beer brewed just outside Edinburgh. One of the great things about the rise of craft beer, whether you choose to use the phrase or run a mile from it – is the fact that brewers now seem to have more freedom than ever to create new and different beers from all of the great brewing nations on earth. Except in this case, the connection is very real. The Beer of the Week this week is Top Out’s amazingly good Altbier.

34. Altbier (4.5%)
Top Out Brewery, Loanhead
Style: Alt
500ml bottle

Pick it up here:
At Alesela online shop (as individual 500ml bottles)

Alt means old in German, and these beers are true historic examples from the banks of the Rhine. And one of the great things about this particular example is the direct link between the country of origin and the man who created the beer. Top Out’s co-founder Michael Hopert hails from Germany and so you would expect would be able to nail one of his homeland’s quintessential beers. And you’d be absolutely right on the money.

Top Out’s Altbier is rich, doughy and well-balanced, holding that must-have clean smoothness that depicts the style. That’s because these beers are fermented with ale yeast, but at lower temperatures than for the majority of their counterparts, and extended lagering really makes them skim across the palate. So think a classic best bitter combined with a California Common but with spicy, bready noble hops and a bittersweet herbal edge. It’s such an easy beer to drink and an absolute pleasure from start to finish. This is an incredible beer on cask and a real find, if you happen to seek it out.

Beer of the Week Series:
1. Fyne Ales Highlander
2. Swannay Old Norway
3. Broughton Old Jock
4. Traquair House Ale
5. Tempest Easy Livin Pils
6. Cromarty Brewed Awakening
7. Fallen Chew Chew
8. Black Isle Hibernator
9. Isle of Skye Red
10. Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Engineer’s Reserve
11. Orkney Skull Splitter
12. Windswept Wolf
13. Kelburn Dark Moor
14. Alechemy 5ive Sisters
15. Loch Ness Light Ness
16. St Andrews Eighty Bob
17. Harviestoun The Ridge
18. Orkney Dark Island
19. Williams Bros Seven Giraffes
20. Cairngorm Black Gold
21. Strathaven Craigmill Mild
22. Black Isle Red Kite
23. Spey Valley Spey Stout
24. Top Out Schmankerl
25. Cross Borders Braw
26. Williams Bros Midnight Sun
27. BrewDog Kingpin
28. Fyne Ales Hurricane Jack
29. Deeside MacBeth
30. Drygate Ax Man Red Rye IPA
31. Swannay Orkney Session
32. Fallen Platform C
33. Black Isle Porter

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