View Full Version : Could Someone Recommend Me a Good German Beer?

Friday, July 24th, 2009, 10:09 AM
I was wondering if anyone can recommend a good Deutsches Bier. Preferably something that I could order online, brewed in the Heimat, preferably, because I don't live in Germany (or Europe). For possible comparisons, I am most partial to Killian's Irish Red, but would rather find a German Bier.

Friday, July 24th, 2009, 04:13 PM
First you should know what kind of beer you want? Pils, Weißbier, Dunkles...;)

I could recommend you Weihenstephan, the oldest brewery in the world - since 1040 A.D.



Friday, July 24th, 2009, 04:58 PM
Really depends on your taste. There are MASSES of great german beers. If you like a more acerb/strong taste in beer, try Flensburger Pilsener (recommended) or Jever Pilsener from north germany. In my opinion, these are among the most character-strong beers in the world. Serve cool, they don't taste well if they get warm. If you feel comfortable with a more quaffable, light taste, go for south german beer. A few south german Weizenbiere also pretty much equal a good meal ;). Also, a Weizen still tastes good if it's not perfectly cool anymore. If you like Weizenbier, then Valkyrie gave you pretty much the best advice I can imagine. It's really the best Weizen I know. If you prefer Pils, you should really consider the less famous (but often excellent) north german ones.

Friday, July 24th, 2009, 05:05 PM
I have yet to taste a German beer I didn't at least somewhat like.

Friday, July 24th, 2009, 07:10 PM
When I have been on festivals in Germany we always drank becks. Its cheap and is ok. Here is a german beer I found in a store here:

Friday, July 24th, 2009, 07:46 PM
There is only one sort of beer I like (since I drink no alcohol) - and I can recommend it: Malzbier (malt beer). And yes, it´s German.


http://www.germanbeerinstitute.com/Malzbier.html (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.germ anbeerinstitute.com%2FMalzbier.html)

Friday, July 24th, 2009, 08:08 PM
I agree with Valkyrie's choice, Weihenstephaner is my favorite 'normal' beer to drink :P it seems you can buy it online in the USA here (http://beergeek.stores.yahoo.net/wehewewhbe.html). Personally I like wheatbeers (which this is) best.

I've never tried 'Killian's Irish Red' so I don't know what it's similar too, but according to wiki it's a 'Vienna Lager' and most German beers we get here are light/lagers/pilsners, so, you should like them too I guess ;)

Not German but 'germanic' from flanders in belgium are the other ones I've liked best: Duvel (better than Champagne, and cheaper ;))

and 'kriekbiers' (cherry beer) and 'frambozenbier' (raspberry beer), if you can find them you must try them too ;)

Friday, July 24th, 2009, 08:54 PM

Alfadir, I think those are Flensburger's you are holding, right?

Here are a few of my own recommendations:

Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel - Has a powerful yeast aroma, but tastes very smooth. Expensive.


Ayinger Celebrator - Smells and tastes kind of like coffee. A little expensive.


Jever - A pilsener that is along the same lines as Beck's, but better tasting in my opinion. Goes very well with a meal. Inexpensive.

Saturday, July 25th, 2009, 02:57 PM
Beck's Dark or St. Pauli Girl Dark are boith good solid Beers, my favorites.
I've had a few Warsteiner lagers, not bad.
I like Heinekins (sic) too but I think that's Dutch from Holland.

Sunday, July 26th, 2009, 07:02 PM
Since we are moving into Germanic beers now I would like to recommend Westmalle, a dark and wonderfully rich beer from Vlaandern. :guinness

Sunday, July 26th, 2009, 07:39 PM
I have to agree that it all depends on your personal taste and the situation.

But after extensive research in the field of beer drinking it's my conclusion that the best over all German beer is Flensburger Pils.


Jever might be one of the best runners up.

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009, 12:45 AM
Bamberger - Mahr's Bräu Hel

This one goes down very smoothly and tastes kind of like baked bread with a little citrus.


Saturday, September 5th, 2009, 02:49 AM
When I went to Munich Oktoberfest, I sampled all the Munich main breweries. For a lager I think Augustinerbrau is the best. It is the oldest brewery in Munich, founded in 1328 by Augustinian monks. After all that time, they seem to have gotten it right.

Friday, October 2nd, 2009, 06:27 AM
For West Germany i would recommend Gilden Kölsch. ;)
Otherwise i like bavarian beer too..unless they are weaker.

Friday, October 2nd, 2009, 08:57 PM

Saturday, October 31st, 2009, 04:26 AM
Hottenroth Berliner Weisse by The Bruery


Smells and tastes like lemons. Pleasantly sour.
Upon finishing one I immediately wanted to drink another. I am on my third as I write this.
There is also a slight after-taste of wheat.

Saturday, October 31st, 2009, 05:03 AM
I don't drink, but this is a very interesting resource.:D

Brewing in Style
Germans are very conscious of distinct beer styles. When they order a beer, they rarely ask for it by its brand name. Rather they order beer by its style designation, asking for a Pils, an Alt, a Kölsch, a Weissbier, a Helles or a Dunkel, for instance. Depending on your definition of beer style, there are arguably between two and four or five dozen styles in Germany. Some people consider Bockbier, for instance, a broad style that comprises many subcategories, such as the stronger Doppelbock and the even stronger Eisbock, while others count each of these brews as a separate style. The same goes for Altbier and its stronger version, the Sticke Alt, for instance. Likewise, the large family of yeast-turbid German wheat ales, called Weissbiers or Hefeweizens, has a clear, filtered member, called Kristallweizen, as well as a strong member, called, Weizenbock, which many consider separate styles.

Except perhaps for the ubiquitous Pils, which holds a roughly 60% market share throughout Germany, most styles have a stronger following in their regions of origin but are much less known, though usually available, elsewhere. The unfiltered, low-carbonation, malty Kellerbier, for instance, is a specialty of Franconia in northern Bavaria, but it can be hard to find along the Atlantic and Baltic coastlines. Likewise, the blond Kölsch, which is by far the most popular beer in and around Cologne as well as the copper-colored Altbier, which holds the same rank in and around Düsseldorf, would be hard to find in, say, southern Bavaria. Conversely, Weissbier, which is the most popular beer style in Bavaria, with more than a one-third market share there, holds only about a 10% market in the rest of Germany.

German Beer Regions
German beer making has taken different paths in different parts of the country. Broadly speaking, beers become maltier as you travel from north to south and hoppier as you travel in the reverse direction. In addition, some styles have more than one, often regional, name. A Kellerbier, for instance, may also be called Zwickelbier, Kräusenbier or Zoigl; a Dortmunder may be called Export; a Maibock, Helles Bock.

Among all the German regions, the southern-most state, Bavaria, clearly has spawned the greatest variety of beer styles. They vary in shades of color and strength. There are very blond and almost black lagers as well as clear and yeast-turbid, pale and brown wheat ales. Some brews, like the Helles, are quaffing, or easy-drinking, beers, while others, like the Eisbock, are sipping beers.

Neighboring Bohemia to the east of Bavaria (once part of the German-speaking Autro-Hungarian Empire and now part of the Czech Republic) has produced, under Bavarian influence, the world's most popular style, the Pilsner, which is the mother of all modern lagers, including the popular German Pils, the Dortmunder Export, and the Bavarian Helles.

Rhineland and Westphalia, which together now form the state of North-Rhine-Westphalia, probably rank second in contributions to the German beer landscape. The Rhineland, with its Alt and Kölsch ales, has become the custodian of the ancient German ale tradition, while Westphalia has enriched the world with its peculiar interpretation of the blond lager, the Dortmunder Export.

The northern regions, until the late Middle Ages hot-beds of ale brewing, have given us the dry, assertively hoppy Pils, the original Bock from Einbeck (which was an ale in the Middle Ages), and a light, acidic wheat beer called Berliner Weisse.

Understanding German Beer Labels
German breweries often use prefixes or adjectives in conjunction with their style names to highlight a particular characteristic of their beer. For instance, ungespundet means a low-effervescence beer that was fermented to the finish in an unpressurized fermenter. The carbon dioxide in the solution, therefore, is minimal and the beer tastes only gently pétillant and very smooth.

The word hell or helles means "light," but, unlike in North America, this designation refers to color only, not to the beer's calories or alcoholic strength. A light beer in the North American sense would be called leicht or, more commonly, by the English term "light."

If a beer features the prefix ur or urtyp, which mean "original" or "original type," the brewery tries to emphasize the authenticity of its beverage.

A spezial is just what you suspect it is: A beer that the brewery made as a seasonal special or one it considers especially good.

If a brewery designates its brew as edel, which means "noble," it points to the lofty rank of its hops, because the best hop varieties in Germany are called Edelhopfen noble hops).

German breweries pay taxes by the "heaviness" of their sweet wort (which is the run-off from the malted grain in the mash tun, i.e., unfermented beer). Wort heaviness is measured as the percentage of non-water substances—mostly fermentable malt sugars—dissolved in the wort. Most German beers contain around 88% water and 12% extract. As a rough rule, depending on the fermentation method used, one extract point contributes about 0.3 to 0.4% alcohol by volume to the finished beer. The higher the extract level of the unfermented beer, the more tax the government collects on the brew, regardless of the final alcohol content of the beer that results. Thus, in additon to belonging to style categories, German beers also belong to one of four official tax categories, which are sometimes noted on the label:

By law, a Vollbier (literally "full" or "entire" beer) contains 11 to 14% extract. This category holds about 99% market share in Germany. A completely fermented Vollbier usually has between 3 and 5.3% alcohol by volume. Pils, Helles and Weissbier (Hefeweizen) belong in this category. Three other beer categories occupy the remaining 1% of the market: Einfachbier (literally "simple" or "plain" beer) has about 0.1% market share. It is defined by a taxable extract value of 2 to 5.5% and generally has no more than 0.5 to 1.5% alcohol by volume. Schankbier (literally "tap" or "draft" beer) has a 0.2% market share. Its extract value is 7 to 8%, and its alcohol by volume level tends to be between 0.5 and 2.6%. Berliner Weisse, for instance, falls into this category. Finally, Starkbier (literally "strong" beer) has a 0.7% market share. All beers with an extract value exceeding 16% are Starkbiers. Their alcohol level is invariable above 5% and usually no more than 10%. All Bockbiers, Doppelbocks, and Eisbocks belong in this category. Until 1990, beers outside these extract bands — that is, beers with 5.5 to 7%, 8 to 11%, and 14 to 16% extract — were not permitted to be brewed, by law. Oddly, the law has since been changed, but the definition of beer categories has not.

From the Brewery to the Consumer
Germany never had Prohibition, as did the United States and Canada in the early part of the 20th century. As a result, Germany lacks the stringent alcoholic beverage regulations that prevail in North America. There are no state-run or province-run beverage stores, nor is there a three-tier system that rigidly separates licensed producers from licensed distributors, and both from on- and off-premise retailers. Instead, anybody in the beer trading chain — including breweries and wholesalers—can sell beer directly to the public and many beer distributors make "house calls." In Germany, therefore, beer is just another food commodity. It is readily available just about anywhere, any time, including on Sundays, at convenience stores, supermarkets, department stores, newspaper kiosks, gas stations, company cafeterias, and even vending machines.

Every brewery—national or local—makes several beer styles, and a brand is a brewery's particular interpretation of a style. While stores are likely to carry more than one brewery's brands, pubs and restaurants tend to be tied to just one, often local, brewery and serve only that supplier's brands. The brewery, in turn, supplies all the establishment's glasses, taps, trays, and neons, and often even the pub's or restaurant's entire furnishings. Thus, unlike in North America, when you order a beer, you can rarely choose the brand you will be served.

Still, with such a great variety of beer styles, from the racy, edgy Pils to the mellow, malty Schwarbier (black lager), there is usually a beer for just about any mood and any occasion. On a hot summer afternoon, for example, the lazy quaffer may crave a Helles to keep his internal temperature in check, while on a wintry afternoon, he may crave a tankard of nourishing Doppelbock to warm his insides and to help him forget the frosty punishment from his long wait at the commuter bus stop.

In Germany, brewers are much like great chefts. They emphasize technique as much as they do ingredients. Restricted by the so-called Reinheitsgebot (purity law), which allows them to use only four ingredients in their beer — malt, hops, yeast, and water — they insist on working only with quality raw materials. The incredible variety of German beers, therefore, stems largely from technique in the service of a traditional style. At right is a complete list of the styles that you might encounter while traveling in Germany or while shopping for a German beer in North America.



Saturday, October 31st, 2009, 10:31 PM
For a lager I think Augustinerbrau is the best. It is the oldest brewery in Munich, founded in 1328 by Augustinian monks. After all that time, they seem to have gotten it right.

Absolutely! Augustiner tastes awesome! :thumbup

And I recommend Erdinger and Paulaner, as well. I don't know why but the best beers come from Bavaria only.
When my father went to the Oktoberfest he was surprised the majority drank Berliner Pilsner. You Bavarians make such great beer but you won't sell it on the biggest beer festival of the world - weird. Just weird.

Thursday, January 7th, 2010, 06:49 AM
My favorite German beer is

Ottakringer (Helles)

from the Heimat of the Führer. It is a Märzen beer which is slightly stronger than the normal lager beers.

Thursday, January 7th, 2010, 08:47 AM
If I might suggest the Zillertal Bier range, from...well... the Ziller Valley in Tyrol, Austria. (I'm extending this to being "German beer" ;))

The very best - Zillertal Weißbier (Hell & Dunkel) - no picture for the dark one as it's only been added to the range very recently.
http://www.zillertal-bier.at/images/sidebar/wb_hell_dunkel_bild6.jpg http://www.zillertal-bier.at/images/themen/wb1_bild2.gif

Also excellent - Zillertal Schwarzes

Of course also - Zillertal Dunkel

Zillertal Pils - not as much a fan, but still excellent.

Zillertal Gauderbock - for those who like it stronger. ;)

Zillertal Märzen

Believe me, you will not regret it --- especially if you try the Wheat Beer (Weißbier/Weizenbier) variations or the Schwarzes ("Black" beer). One of the reasons why we go to the bar we always go to! :thumbup

Thursday, January 7th, 2010, 09:08 AM
Like I said earlier, I don't drink except on rare special occasions, but I still found this article to be very fascinating.

An 'all malt' beer is made according to the Reinheitsgebot and traditional beer brewing techniques. The deep and rich flavor of an 'all malt' beer certainly differentiates itself from non all-malt beers. Hite Prime, proudly an all-malt beer, received its name because of its purity and inimitable quality.

The Reinheitsgebot is a German proclamation announced by the provincial council of Bavaria on April 23, 1516. It can be translated as the Pure Beer Law and was designed to protect the quality of beer. This 1516 proclamation states: "The only ingredients of beer must be Barley, Hops, and Water." To date, the majority of beers produced in Germany, and indeed in Europe, are made of pure barley, following the Reinheitsgebot. In a word, the Reinheitsgebot is a symbol of pride for beer brewers.

1. Hite Prime is a prime-quality beer brewed faithfully to the spirit of the Reinheitsgebot and German beer brewing tradition. - Korean beers have been made of mixed ingredients, which include corn flour. Hite Prime, however, following the sprit of the Reinheitsgebot, is a top-quality beer, made purely of 100% barley.

2. Hite Prime, as it is made of 100% barley unlike the existing Korean beers, boasts a rich aroma and deep flavor. It also generates a long-lasting fine foam that preserves the cool and refreshing taste of freshly poured beer.

3. World renowned beers are all purely made of 100% barely. All-malt beer dominates most of the European beer market, and world-renowned brands such as Carlsberg, Heineken, and Beck's are all pure barley beer. Unfortunately, Korea has not produced pure barley beer till now. However, Hite is going to change that history with its new product Hite Prime, Korea's first pure barley beer made by the traditional German beer brewing techniques, but developed independently by Hite.

4. Hite Prime will become the second legend by Hite. Hite, which has led the Korean beer market, created a legend in the beer market with the success of the first Hite Beer with emphasis on clean water drawn up from deep underground rock beds. It is once again going to create a legend, with its new 100% pure barley beer, Hite Prime. The second landmark achievement of Hite Brewery Company, Hite Prime! This was only possible because of Hite's dedication to develop clean and pure beer and its belief in 'brand-keeperism'. The rich flavor of 100% barley beer along with the pure deep-underground water will once again shake the Korean beer market.

5. Hite Prime is made for consumers. It was developed based on years of research and after several rounds of consumer surveys, to best reflect consumer taste. According to a 2001 consumer survey, over 87% of the surveyed said they would buy the new beer and showed a higher satisfaction with Hite Prime than with existing beers.

Retrieved From:http://english.hite.com/h_brand/html/brand_beer02.asp


Thursday, January 7th, 2010, 09:24 AM
There is some long-time relaxation to the strict wording of "barley, hops and water", especially as concerns traditional methods of brewing:

Wheat beer is brewed "according to the Bavarian Beer Purity Law" even though by direct definition, wheat is not to be included.

Using malt from non-barley grain is permitted for top-fermenting beers, but not for bottom-fermenting bers.

Whilst bottom-fermenting beers must use barley only, this can be ignored if it is top-fermented first and only later bottom-fermented.

Some German states allow the use of sugar for top-fermenting beer whilst other forbid it. It is generally forbidden for bottom-fermenting beer.

However, what is never allowed is the use of other natural ingredients, including non-malted grain or fruit. These are part of many traditional beers in other old beer-brewing countries such as Belgium, but in Germany this is not allowed --- and before an ECJ decision from 1987 it could not have been sold as "beer" but would have had to be labelled as something else.

That ECJ decision is of course highly controversial down here, because it means that people can sell "fermented maize water" [non-malted grain/crop!] like Corona under the label of "beer" which is TBH quite an atrocity. :thumbdown