The world of beer styles: Kellerbier

Continuing with our journey through the different beer styles with our head of Beer Culture, Fernando Iglesias.However, instead of speaking about a specific style, we are going to talk about a type or family of beers called Kellernier. This German name has a literal translation: “Basement beer” or “cellar beer” Sounds familiar?

Kellerbier Estrella Galicia Cerveza de Bodega

To learn about its origins, we have to travel back in time to the late Middle Ages and German Franconia. Its appearance coincides with the beginnings of beer storage in natural caves (the birth of Lagers). Lacking any type of refrigeration technology, the brewers of the time made their beers during the colder months of the year and then stored the barrels in caves that acted as natural cellars.

From the 19thcentury, the caves were replaced by stone cellars. These spaces allowed the beer to remain at a stable and fresh temperature during its slow maturation.

When the cooling technology began to spread, the term Kellerbier went on to describe the beers that were served directly from the factory’s storage tanks to the consumer’s ceramic jug, so that they were drunk in the manufacturers’ Biergartens.

Although not all Kellerbier are the same, they do have a series of common characteristics linked to the techniques used in their production and service process:

  • These are low fermentation beers (Lager beers) that require prolonged maturation periods.
  • Their natural carbonation point is very light and elegant.
  • In a classical way, they are not filtered, which gives them a natural turbidity that the Germans call naturtrüb.
  • No pasteurization technology is used.
  • Traditionally they are served directly from the vessels where they mature. These vessels evolved over the years, moving from wooden barrels to stainless steel barrels or tanks.

At the sensory level, this type of beers is characterized by:

  • Gold to amber colours, with more or less orange tones.
  • A pleasant balance between the flavours contributed by malts and hops. 
  • A relatively moderate alcohol content, between 4.7 and 5.4% (AVB).
  • Gentle characteristics, refreshing and high drinkability. Beers to enjoy at any time of day and every day.
  • Definitively, the Kellerbier are not a style but a type of beer. BJCP includes them in its 7C section, differentiating between Pale Kellerbier and Amber Kellerbier.

At Hijos de Rivera, we have our current interpretation of these classic German beers. Estrella Galicia Cerveza de Bodegaand 1906 Cerveza de Bodegatwo excellent representatives.

Freshly brewed, unpasteurized and cold-stored beers – straight from our cellars to the consumer’s glass. Served from the refrigerated tanks of our breweries, without direct contact with any dispensing gas, allowing us to enjoy them with a perfect and slight CO2 point from the first to the last round. I’ll have two!

So many styles still left to discover! See you on our next journey. 


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