Alt means “old” in this German top fermented Ale that was a push back to the popularity of lagers. It was brewed traditionally in the Dusseldorf region along the Rhine because of it’s moderate temperature; generally doesn’t freeze in the winter and never too hot in the summer.
Despite modern red ales only being around since the early twentieth century there is some reference of these malty, reddish hued ales being popular in the Middle Ages. More popular in the US than in Ireland they filled a need of bar keep wanting to serve an Irish beer that wasn’t a porter or stout.
The strongest of the bitters family these pale ales have a higher alcohol content and more pronounced hop and malt profile. They tend to use English hops or a combination of English and American hops and have a strong malt background to keep them balanced.