German beer has a long and varied history. It started as a simple drink made in monasteries and now it’s being served by hipsters in craft breweries. When you’re looking at buying German beer as a gift or planning an overseas trip that includes stops at a few local pubs, don’t make these mistakes.
Do NOT assume all beers are the same
This is a cardinal sin. Forget bar brawls, you’re more likely to get driven out of the pub for a mistake like this.
The base recipe for beer is the same thanks to the Beer Purity Law. Water, hops, and barley are the ingredients found in most beers. However, brews from brands like Meisel’s use wheat. Furthermore, the three key ingredients have dozens of variations each. Enough that you’d be drinking a different German beer everyday for over a decade.
Not all beers are the same and you don’t need to look beyond the title to see the truth in this. Variations of German beer include:
- Ales (strong/pale)
Do NOT forget to read the tasting notes
No, not all beers taste like yeast. Over the hundreds of years, breweries have experimented with variations of hops, yeast, and brewing techniques. These all affect the flavours of the final product.
The common criteria when reviewing tasting notes is aroma, appearance, and mouthfeel. If you’re not a born beer critic, there’s a website section detailing the aromas, body, and flavour from some of the beers. We also included what goes best when you want to pair it with a meal.
Do NOT forget to read up about the regions and breweries
When you go to Germany it’s likely you’ll find yourself on a beer tour. It’s a given that you’ll find yourself in a pub for a meal or five.
But like we said in our first point, not all beers are the same. And neither are the pubs. The beauty of the German-Austrian region, even the Czech Republic, is there’s so many local breweries and pubs to experience. Local beers, pilsners, and lagers are on tap as opposed to mass-produced brands. So before you order your favourite, stop yourself. Save the embarrassment and the dirty look from the barman and order the local special.
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