Germany is well-known for high quality beer beer. They have some of the highest standards in the world of beer. There are many types of German beers, consumed both locally and internationally.
Pilsner – This is one of the most celebrated types of German beer. It is a light-colored lager beer that is the foundation for the more conventional American beers like Coors, Miller and Budweiser. It is a widely consumed beer. The Pilsner from Germany is usually more bitter and drier than the American type. Thus, if you have never used it, you will need some time to get used to it.
Helles – This is a light-colored lager beer as well. It is more balanced and malter than Pilsner. The beer is more popular in southern Germany’s Bavaria region.
Weissbier/Hefeweizen – This variety is rather popular outside Germany. It is a wheat alcoholic drink with clove and banana flavors. If you know Blue Moon, you definitely know what I am talking about. There are dark as well as light varieties. This type of beer is usually served with a lemon wedge. The name of the type of beer indicates “mit hefe” or “hefeweizen”, which implies that there is some yeast suspended in the drink. Nonetheless, this does not hurt the drinker, rather it adds a flavor that you may or may not enjoy. It also makes the beer cloudy. Some of the popular brands in this category include Erdinger, Ayinger and Franziskaner.
Dunkel – This type of beer is dusky-colored. It is sweet with roasted malt flavors. If you are a fan of popular dark beers such as Newcastle Brown Ale, you should try it out.
Märzen/Oktoberfest – This type is brewed every year for a festival with a similar name: Oktoberfest. The beer is rich, malty and copper-colored. Additionally, it is released in the month of March, during which it is named Märzen.
Radler – This type is also known as shandy in the United Kingdom. Radler is a strange-sounding variety, but it is very refreshing. It is a mix of light beer and lemon soda/lemonade. It is an enjoyable option for people who do not like strong beers. However, do not criticize it before you try it out!
Doppelbock/Bock – Bock is a type of beer that is rich, sweet and malty. In general, the beer is brewed for the Catholic season of Lent. It generally features a goat’s picture (this is what bock implies) on the label. Doppelbock is just like Bock. Nevertheless, it has a higher alcohol content (up to 9% alcohol) and a stronger flavor. Thus, it is definitely not for the faint hearted.
As seen, there are many types of German beers. Just like the Germans, you should treat drinking with the seriousness it deserves.
When you order a beer in Germany, it is generally served in a liter mug or a half-liter mug. Most Germans never serve their beer ice-cold, but closer to 55° F. This brings out more of the beer flavors. Since there are lots of beer types to choose from, there is always a beer for everyone. Once you have discovered the flavor and quality of German beers, you may find it difficult to go back to the beers you are used to. Happy drinking! Prosit!