Friday, October 12, 2007


In the early part of the 21st century I took two work-related trips to Dusseldorf, Germany, and fell pretty hard for altbier, the city’s contribution to native, homegrown beer styles. You can read about my epiphany right here. Alt, as I came to find, is a hoppy, very lightly carbonated version of a traditional English old ale, but of course is barely, if it all, informed by its English counterparts - being a native Dusseldorfian style that goes back centuries. Someone once told me that Dusseldorf and Cologne actually went to war long ago over their cities’ respective beer styles (Alt vs. Kolsch), but I have a hard time believing that one. If there’s a book about this epic war, I can tell you that I’d be zapping my credit card over to Amazon in about five minutes. So let me know!

This UERIGE DOPPELSTICKE is my first taste of German alt in the US of A. DOPPELSTICKE is a beer that ZUM UERIGE, where I spent most of my alt-drinking time whilst in Dusseldorf, exports solely to the United States, perhaps because we love the big-ass, high-ABV, hoppy beers or something. This one’s 8.5%, and is essentially a “double” version of the 6% STICKE beer, the one served seasonally throughout the city’s taverns in the Altstadt (old city). I can tell you right now I’m buying this one again, because it’s outstanding. DOPPELSTICKE is a malty, slightly sweet ale, with really pronounced tastes of burnt toffee and perhaps of raisins. It has a refreshing, clean taste, almost totally cleansed of carbonation – which is something I remember well from its German cousins at the brewery. It also poured with a big, white, fluffy head, and though I’m sure it had been in a bottle for the better part of a year, it tasted like it just came out of a cask. Wonderful, more like a Belgian dubbel than I’d ever thought before. 8.5/10!

1 comment:

Hans said...

Ok so I was born in Duesseldorf and I can tell you that such a war did not exists. However there is a huge rivalry between the two cities, and I would not recommend ordering an Altbier in Cologne or a Koelsch in Duesseldorf.