We broadly agree with the sentiment expressed here: it would be a shame if ‘craft beer’ in Germany amounted to nothing more than mediocre imitations of American styles.
At the same time, we don’t demand that other beer cultures remain unchanged as a theme park for visiting beer geeks – we enjoy the fruits of fifty years of increasing diversity in UK brewing, so why would German beer geeks be any different?
What we would like to see, alongside properly traditional styles, is German brewers riffing upon their own brewing heritage, just as US and UK brewers have upon the idea of India Pale Ale and porter.
Perhaps it might have some or most of of its bittering hops reallocated to the late aroma stage, showcasing Perle and other traditional varieties: a change in process, not a change in ingredients.
It might use American hops while retaining the traditional colour, ABV and yeast character. (That would not make it an India Alt, by the way.)
Or maybe it could just be stronger, paler and more bitter? (Yes, we know about Sticke.)
An example of where something like this is already happening is the ‘Hopfen Weisse’ from venerable wheat beer brewer Schneider.
We haven’t conducted a thorough survey of German craft beer and we’re quite out of touch, so there may be many other examples of distinctly German beers which are also ‘modern’. Let us know below, especially if we can get our hands on them here in the UK.