About German Beer

About German Beer
Germany: A Matter of Purity

There is good evidence that grain beverages were brewed by ancient Egyptian and Middle Eastern cultures, but many Europeans commonly credit the development of beer as we know it to Bavarian brewers of the 16th century. It is no surprise, then, that Germany exemplifies a beer-drinking nation with rich historical ties to many of the styles consumers still encounter today.

Beer purity is a cornerstone of the German beer-making process. The Reinheitsgebot, or Beer Purity Law, originally stipulated the strict use of only water, barley and hops in brewing. The law was later modified to include yeast upon it’s discovery. German-brewed beer is still largely produced under this law.

Germany’s strong regional brewing traditions have given rise to many popular beer styles. Hamburg is known for its dry pilsner-style lagers. Berlin specializes in tart Berliner weisse beer. Dortmund is world famous for its rich “export” lagers. Dusseldorf clings to its traditional alt beers, and Cologne continues to produce refreshing kölsch beers. Luckily for U.S. consumers, Germany remains the world’s largest beer exporter by a wide margin, making these regional styles—along with others like Munich helles-style lagers and weizen beers—available in the U.S. market.

In recent years, German beer consumption has seen an uncharacteristic decline. The result of this decline has been a decrease in the number of commercial breweries in the country, though Germany still remains a major player in the beer industry overall.

Top Picks for Germany

Ayinger Bräuweisse
96 points
Hazy yellow straw color. Toasty, fruity aromas and flavors of frosted banana cake, cashew brittle, white macadamia cookie, and kiwi-mango relish with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, complex, long melon and nectarine and banana custard finish. A superb Hefeweizen with great flavor, balance, and sessionability.
Awards: 2017 Best Weizen Hefe , 2017 Best German Beer
Hofmühl Hofmühl Zerberus
96 points
Hazy amber color. Lively, interesting aromas and flavors of butter roasted peaches, nuts and bananas, hot iron, nettles, and spicy with a soft, shy, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, intricate, medium-long creamy banana custard, lettuce, and caramel nougat bar finish. A super smooth, creamy weizen bock that offers tons of enjoyment.
Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock
95 points
Dark bronze color. Fruity, smoky aromas and flavors of chocolate banana cake and pudding, toffee, smoked nuts, and sundried-tomato chutney with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, very long honeyed lettuce and mocha gelato finish. A fantastically flavorful and instantly appealing doppelbock with tremendous versatility.
Awards: 2017 Best Doppelbock
Hofmühl Märzen Gold
95 points
Amber color. Aromas and flavors of praline, sassafras, pear kefir, and honeyed baked biscuit with a silky, bright, effervescent, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length starfruit, arugula, hint of pepper and olive, and minerals finish. A nicely layered marzen with great savory flavors and drinkability.
Ayinger Bavarian Pils
94 points
Minutely hazy golden yellow color. Inviting aromas and flavors of cookie dough, corn flakes, hint of dried pineapple, and clay spice jar with a supple, bright, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, very long honey roasted nuts, bibb lettuce and radicchio, and pepper cracker finish. A pure, rich and flavorful Pilsner that is sure to please and finishes for a mile.
Weltenburger Kloster Barock Dunkel
94 points
Hazy bronze color. Artificial aromas and flavors of chocolate nuts and custard and fruitcake with a supple, bright, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, long root beer float, mocha fudge, and grainy dark bread pudding finish. A robust and satisfying dark lager that is sure to please.
Awards: 2017 Best Dark Lager
ABK Edel Spezialbier
94 points
Light gold color. Aromas and flavors of apple-banana nut muffin and hint of coconut oil with a supple, bright, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, stimulating, medium-long spiced fruits, sweet lettuces, and toasted corn bread finish. A lively and delicately fruity dortmunder that will be very versatile.
Awards: 2017 Best Dortmunder
Hofmühl Amadeus Pale Øl
94 points
Straw color. Grassy, herbal aromas and flavors of herb baguette, toasted nuts, dried lemon, and lemon basil grass and mint with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, layered, long hint of arugula, lemon, and tortilla finish. A delicious, vibrant, dry-hopped pilsner.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Pilsner
Hofmühl Hofmühl Dunkel
94 points
Brilliant bronze color. Aromas and flavors of fresh pretzel bread, nuts, and arugula with a satiny, crisp, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long chocolate fig muffin, sprouts, corn puff cereal, and clay finish. A finely balanced, very sessionable dark lager for the long haul.
Hofmühl Zerberus Doppelbock
93 points
Cloudy amber color. Aromas and flavors of spicy frosted banana cake, lemon pepper muffin, and pickled root and cruciform vegetables with a creamy, bright, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, intricate, medium-long banana creme brulee, spiced nuts, white chocolate rice bar, and kale finish. A remarkably vibrant and subtle weizenbock with fine flavor and a graceful style.