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

Hofmühl Hell
97 points
$1.17
Brilliant light gold color. Floral, sweaty, sulfurous, grassy, clean aromas of butter toasted multi-grain baguette with scrambled eggs, lemongrass tea, and sandalwood with a soft, crisp, finely carbonated, dry light-to-medium body and a sleek, short honeyed citrus peels, pepper bread toast, classic old world hop, and honeyed quince and melon finish. A brilliant, vibrant Helles with pinpoint precision and generous flavor.
97 points $1.17
Hofmühl Weissbier
95 points
Cloudy hazy old gold color. Citrusy, fruity, peppery, inviting aromas of banana creme, big league bubble gum, orange Creamsicle, and croissant dough with a round, spritzy, medium body and a graceful, interesting, medium-length raw flour, lemon custard, allspice cookie, and spice cake finish. A delicious, mouth-filling Hefeweizen with fine balance and depth.
Hofmühl Zerberus Doppelbock
95 points
Cloudy medium golden amber color. Fruity, spicy, yeasty, complex, inviting aromas of caramelized banana, banana pudding, vanilla custard, and unglazed cinnamon bun with a creamy, petillant, moderately sweet medium body and a warming, distinctive, easy banana pancake with syrup, banana creme pie, allspice cake, and vanilla spice cake finish. A rich and flavorful Weizenbock with great texture and palate-satiating flavors.
Hofmühl Weissbier Leicht
95 points
Hazy light gold color. Pure aromas and flavors of fresh,spicy banana nut muffin and pudding with a creamy, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, complex, long finish revealing notes of wheat wafer, banana chip, jicama, and watercress finish. A fantastically pure and delicious hefeweizen that is a great example of the style; liquid sunshine.
Hofmühl Privat Pils
94 points
Brilliant yellow color. Grassy, clean, toasty, herbal, floral aromas of nougat and saltines, buttery egg croissant, and spanakopita with a velvety, soft, fizzy, dryish medium body and a graceful, charming, medium-length cracked pepper crackers, mango slices, and fresh thyme finish. A spot on Pilsner with impressive drinkability.
Hofmühl Original Rother Kellerbier
93 points
Minutely hazy gold color. Yeasty, woody, herbal, grassy, fruity aromas of graham crackers, hawaiian roll, and honeyed bread with a creamy, soft, petillant, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, appealing, medium-length toffee hard candy, caramel apple, toasted whole wheat english muffin, and roasted nuts finish. A round and chewy Zwickl.
Sigwart Hell
93 points
Brilliant light gold color. Clean aromas of dried fruits, toasted banana nut muffin, egg croissant, and cedar wood chips with a velvety, soft, spritzy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a silky, brisk praline, orange pepper, apple custard tart, and cornmeal finish. A crisp, malt-forward, appetizing Helles with instant appeal and flavorful crushability.
ABK Hell Das Blaue
93 points
Light gold color. Fresh aroma of dried flowers with a satiny, vibrant, effervescent, dryish light body and an engaging, medium-length creamy tapioca bread, flamed orange, grapefruit, and herb compound butter finish. A clean, balanced, refreshing Helles that hits the nail on the head.
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 finish with accents of 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.
ABK Hell Das Blaue
93 points
Minutely hazy light gold color. Citrusy aromas and flavors of lemon marmalade on raisin toast, thyme honey on an onion roll, lemon italian ice, and candied apple peel with a satiny, bright, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-long finish displaying accents of wafers with lemon cream, nut brittle, bibb lettuce, and clay finish. A fruity and expressive, lemony helles that begs for another sip.