About This Course

This course includes 57+ minutes of video

Altstadt Brewery in Fredericksburg, Texas, is fully dedicated to brewing and serving traditional German-style beers, from its impressive, copper-plated Rolec brewhouse to its high-ceilinged beer-hall atmosphere. That spirit and attention to detail naturally extend to the beers, including the Lager, a Munich-style helles that won gold—as did their Kölsch—at the Great American Beer Festival in 2019. 

In this 57-minute video course, head brewer Craig Rowan breaks down Altstadt’s entire approach to brewing an award-winning helles, including details on water, ingredients, grist ratio, mash steps, fermentation, lagering, carbonation, finishing, and more.


Alstadt's head brewer Craig Rowan's career began at Louisiana’s Abita Brewery, where he started in packaging and (over a decade) worked his way up to the brew deck and into the pilot brewery before leaving for the opportunity at Altstadt. But Rowan’s focus on precision made him well suited to take the reins of the brewery in 2018 when the previous brewmaster departed. In 2019, under the leadership of Rowan, the brewery took two gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival (for helles and Kölsch) and put Texas lager contemporaries on notice that they meant business.

Craig Rowan

Head Brewer, Altstadt Brewing

Course Curriculum

  • 01


    Show Content
    • Welcome, and About Altstadt

    • What Is Helles?

  • 02

    Brewing a Munich Helles

    Show Content
    • The Fundamentals of Brewing a Munich Helles

    • Selecting Your Ingredients

    • More Perspectives: Ashleigh Carter of Bierstadt Lagerhaus on Brewing a Proper Helles

    • Brew Day Techniques

    • Short and High: The Hochkurz Mash

  • 03

    Fermentation & Lagering

    Show Content
    • Lagering an Award-Winning Helles

    • Cold, Healthy & Crowded: Lager Fermentation, Simplified

    • Final Quality Assurance and Carbonation

    • More Perspectives: Firestone Walker’s Sam Tierney with a Practical View on Lager Brewing

  • 04

    Conclusion, Recipes & Further Reading/Listening

    Show Content
    • Final Thoughts

    • Podcast Episode 178: Altstadt Brewery’s Craig Rowan Can Taste the Hard Work in His Beer

    • Recipe: Altstadt Lager

    • Recipe: Dovetail Helles

    • Recipe: Erharting Vollbier Hell 1967

    • Recipe: Schilling Münchner-Style Helles

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