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The Missing BJCP Styles, part 1: The Other Alts

In February of this year, the Beer Judges Certification Program (BJCP) updated their beer style guidelines.  Unfortunately, despite all the great updates they made, they didn’t add any new beer styles to the list.  So, I decided to chase down a few of the missing styles myself and create some basic style profiles.

My list is by no means exhaustive, but just a few of the beers, that to me, are the most obvious of the missing styles in the BJCP style guide.  Since there are still, quite a few of these missing beer styles in my list, I’ll break my post up into several installments, each covering a few of the “missing” styles.

Some of these styles even get brief mentions in the BJCP Style Guide as part of another similar or contrasting style.  Others are mentioned in BJCP Style Category 23A which is purposely labeled a “catch-all” category of beers that don’t have their own category.

The following style guides won’t be thorough style descriptions since, being relatively obscure styles of beer, data on these is hard to come by.  However, in the desire to make these (and futures posts) as complete as possible, I’ll update these posts indefinitely as I’m able to collect more information.

In trying to keep a theme here, I will start with the missing German beer stlyes, and Part 1 will focus specifically on two of the missing German beer styles: Sticke Alt, and Münster Alt.


STICKE ALT
also called “latzenbier”

Aroma: Malty, fresh, flowery.  Big noble hop aroma.

Appearance: Deep gold to dark-copper in color. Pours with a long lasting white head.

Flavor: Big malt and hops.

Mouthfeel: Malty yet crisp.

Overall Impression: Well balanced, with a light hoppy nose, middle maltiness and a dry finish.

Comments: A darker, stronger and hoppier version of the Düsseldorf Alt.  “Sticke” is sometimes said  to mean secret in the local dialect, though Uerige states that the term comes from “stickum”, the local dialect term for “whispering”, based on the story that that when tasting the strong beer, the customers would whisper to each other that the brewmaster must have been a little too generous when weighing out the ingredients. These beers are made seasonally to surprise the customers.  They are often brewed just once or twice a year and within a few days of tapping the kegs are gone. Sticke Alts are often dry-hopped in the conditioning tank for four to six weeks. Another name for these specialty Alt beers is “latzenbier” which means “slab beer”. Uerige also brews a Doppelsticke at 8.5% that is soley exported to the United States.

Ingredients: Two-row Pilsner malt, Munich malt, Caramel Malt and Black Malt.  Spalt hops are preferred in Düsseldorf, but Hallertauer Mittelfrüh, Mt. Hood and Perle can also be used for bittering and flavor hops, while Tettnanger will work as an aroma hop.

Vital Statistics:
OG:  1.053 – 1.066
IBUs:  35 – 60
FG: 1.010 – 1.014
SRM: 15 – 25
ABV: 5.2 – 6.5

Commercial Examples: Uerige sticke, Schumacher latzenbier, Schlüssel stike, Füchschen Weihnachtsbier

Real Stats
Füchschen Weihnachtsbier:  ABV: 5.2%
Uerige sticke: ABV: 6.5%
Schumacher latzenbier: ABV: 5.5%
Schlüssel stike: ABV: 6%


MÜNSTER ALT

Aroma: Pilsner malt, slightly sour, with a delicate noble hop nose.

Appearance: Pale, golden color.

Flavor: Excellent, herbaceous aroma, slightly sweet with a hint of sourness, delicate fruit-acid palate, and long dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body. Moderate to moderately high carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Overall Impression:
?

Comments:
A regional Altbier that is brewerd in and around Münster, which is about 80 miles (128km) northwest of Düsseldorf.  Münster alt is typically lower in gravity and alcohol, slightly sour, and lighter in color than other Alts.

Ingredients: Pilsener malt, light caramel malts, can include Munich or Vienna malts, can contain a significant portion of wheat.

Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.044 -1.050
IBUs: 30 -45
FG: ?
SRM: 7 – 10
ABV: 4.3 – 5.1

Commercial Examples:
Pinkus Organic Münster Alt


Other Missing Styles to Be Covered Soon:
Kellerbier, Gose, Wiess, Honey Beers (not Braggots), Classic American Cream Ale, Czech Dark Lager, English Pale Mild, Scottish 90/-, American Stock Ale, English Strong Ale, Non-alcoholic “Beer”, Malt Liquor, Australian Sparkling Ale, Imperial/Double Red Ale, Imperial/Double Brown Ale, Imperial Lager, Imperial Pilsner,
Imperial Porter, Rye IPA, Dark American Wheat/Rye.