Since 2009, Brauhaus Schmitz on South Street in Philadelphia has been serving up some of the best and most authentic German food anywhere outside of Munich. To enhance the culinary experience, Brauhaus Schmitz also offers the largest German beer list in the country with over 50 bottles and cans and 34 rotating German draft selections! Over the years Brauhaus has helped introduce over 70 new German imports to the region and country. The Bierhall features many German styles; Pilsners, Kölsch, Hefeweizens and even lesser-known ones like Rauchbiers, Zwicklbier and hard to find Bockbiers. But no Altbier?

Brauhaus’ owner Doug Hager is very particular about the beers his restaurant carries and with so many German imports to feature almost never has anything on draft not brewed in the Fatherland. “I’ve long lamented not having an Altbier available on draft as we have pretty much every other style covered. Last time we had a German Altbier on draft was 2015 when Füchschen Alt came to the states. We were the first place in America to pour that beer. I’ve been asking importers to look into it, without any luck. Time to take matters into my own hands I guess.” Says Hager.

This past summer, Hager was in Haddonfield enjoying a beer at King’s Road Brewing Company with its co-owner and managing director Bob Hochgertel. Hager was lamenting the fact that he could not get his hands on a good Altbier. Hochgertel saw an opportunity, and asked Hager to give King’s Road a chance to brew the perfect Altbier for Brauhaus Schmitz, while promising that the restaurant was under no obligation to buy any of the beer if it didn’t meet the necessary standards. Hager agreed.

King’s Road employs four brewers across its two locations in Haddonfield and Medford. Brian Murphy oversees Haddonfield’s brewing operations and is a lover and student of German beer. He was more than up to the challenge. Murphy and Hager met to discuss a recipe and devise a plan while tasting 4 different Altbiers shipped over from Germany.

“I really wanted these guys to succeed because there is nothing worse than telling a brewer you don’t like their beer. I wanted Brian to really taste the subtle differences between a decent Altbier and a great one. I had a friend coming to visit from the Dusseldorf area, where these biers are famous, and had her bring me a couple bottles. We came up with a profile and discussed what to try to avoid. We really went full on beer nerd that night. I am so impressed with Brian’s palette, understanding and scientific approach. A good Altbier should be crisp, clean-tasting, and full-bodied with a nutty bittersweet finish.He nailed it! Absolutely nailed it and I will be proud to serve it at Brauhaus Schmitz!” adds Hager.

The result is an authentically-delicious Altbier that goes on tap simultaneously at 4 PM at both Brauhaus Schmitz in Philadelphia, and King’s Road, Haddonfield, on Monday, October 24. Prost!

Altbier: German meaning“Old Beer” which is in reference to an older method of brewing in which it uses top-fermented ale yeast but is matured at cooler temperatures like lagers. It is copper in color with a flavor profile similar to an English Brown Ale. Traditionally brewed in the Rhineland, especially around the city of Dusseldorf, Germany.