German Style question

I can actually write a little in German but it would be much easier for you all to use your excellent English and save us all a lot of time :wink:

There’s a brewpub in west London called Marko Paulo … I highly recommend a visit as you’ll likely pick up 10 or more ticks.

The English brewer loves his German styles and as such there’s nearly always 2 or 3 on offer and he particularly likes to brew historical recipes and sometimes extinct styles.

Last week I had a new to RB ‘Steinfurter’, Obergariges lagerbier.

So a top fermented lager I believe.

Came over as either a Helles or perhaps a festbier to me. Could also be traditional ?

What do you guys think from the naming in terms of choosing a style?

Topfermented Lagerbeer is contradictory by its name already. But a Kölsch ist actually this kind of thing.


Yeah, it’s a Kölsch. Only they can’t call it Kölsch.

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Didn’t taste much like a kolsch.

I’m no expert on German beers but blind tasting I’d probably have gone for a Marzen looking at my notes with a light smokey edge.

Which is why I was pondering as to whether this beer is some old style or obscure item … perhaps a traditional ale?

Same brewer did a Broyhan or two a few years back which I listed as Traditional ale.

“You just opened up an old can of worms that fosters a lot of debate on these forums. Prepare for sh!t to hit the fan soon.
To sum up the argument, modern Americans and old and new Europeans have different understandings of these terms, with Americans focusing on type of yeast and Europeans focusing on process used.”

From a non-RB 2016 post

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I added as a traditional ale until someone can give me a different spin.

I’ve done a few visits to Koln and trawled the bars and brewpubs but this tasted like no Kolsch I’ve had.

I’ve obviously cross referenced untapped, taken with a fuck off pinch of salt as always, and those two aren’t the beer I had … would you believe I added a beer to RB before Untappd got it !

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I’m just here to mention that any German-style beer can be put into Zwickel/Keller/Landbier, especially if it happens to be unfiltered.


Past few times I was at the brewpub the brewer was there so I’ve asked questions but not this time.

The beer was lightly hazed so guessing it could have been unfiltered but I can’t say for sure.

Most beers marketed as Kölsch taste nothing like Kölsch tho. And they definitely can’t call it a Kölsch, at least until Brexit maybe. I can find no mention of “Steinfurter” being a thing, other than in this case. Several places call it a Köln/Cologne-style beer…

Given the origin of the beer (in the nearby of Münster) and the description you made, looks like a Münsterländer Altbier, even if not sour. (maybe the one you are referring to had not secondary fermentation).

An example of this style being the Pinkus Münstersch Alt

As per European Beer Guide:

" Heavily-hopped, beers of 12-18º Plato.(…) Münsterländer Altbier were the best-known beers of this type. They became sour much like Porter - through a long secondary fermentation. Bacteria in the lagering vessels slowly changed the beer’s character. They needed to be stored for at least a year for this process to take place. At the end of the primary fermentation the beer it was not sour at all. The only beer of this type to survive is Münsterländer Altbier - stilll brewed by Pinkus Müller in Münster today."

Otherwise, always from the same source, maybe a Keut

As early as the 16th century Münster) was a renowned brewing centre. The main product of the town’s breweries was Keut , a beer brewed from wheat, barley and hops. During the 1500’s it had gradually pushed out the older Grutbier (or Grussink ). In 1591 the town boasted 56 Keut brewers, who exported as far as Emden, Osnabrück and Ravensberg. The trade became a major source of income and local officials checked the quality of every barrel before it left the town gates.

Keut had developed in the low countries during the late Middle Ages, where it was called " Koyt " or " Koit ". It was originally unhopped, being flavoured with a mixture of herbs called “gruit” (or “grut”) and brewed from a combination of oats, wheat and barley. In the Netherlands, beer firm Jopen markets a Koyt inspired by a 15th century recipe from Haarlem.

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The brewer there is (or was) working through Andreas Krennmair’s book “Historic German and Austrian Beers for the Home Brewer” so if anyone here has a copy, that’s where I would look for references.

In the absence of evidence though, I’d label it an Alt - old-style, top fermented and lagered.

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I’ve gone Alt until someone convinces me otherwise.
Cheers for all the info folks.

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