When you imagine Germany and German beer brands, you might think of pilsner beers paired with sausage brats. However, the nation is home to diverse collections of beer that attract locals and tourists worldwide.
Germany’s history of beer making is rich with riots led by imposed beer taxes, purity law, and the German thirst for craft beer. Let’s look at some of the most popular German beer brands.
A Brief History of German Beer
While the oldest evidence of beer was actually discovered in Israel, German beer is iconic and known for its quality worldwide. It was southern German monasteries that started brewing beer in the country, back in the year 1,000 CE. Beer was drunk by everyone, children and adults, because it didn’t have the same impurities and diseases as the untreated water.
Becks German Beer
Beck’s German Beer is best known for its rich golden color, and full-body flavor finished with a dry floral hop aroma.
Coming from Bremen, Germany, Becks German beer is an easy find at your grocery store, appropriate for backyard parties or paired with red meat and nuts.
Alstadt Brewery in Texas
Alstadt Brewery upholds the German tradition of brewing world-class German beer with authentic technique and recipes immersed in the heart of Texas Hill Country in historic Fredericksburg, Texas.
Heavily influenced by Bavaria, Alstadt curates a total experience with live music at the grand hall. They have a spiraling staircase that leads to a basement bar, Rathskeller, and an outdoor patio Biergarten with a spectacular view of rolling hills, a restaurant, and a tap room.
Their world-class beer starts with a copper-plated Rolec imported from Germany that features a mash, kettle, lauters tun, wort, and a Kaspar Schulz brewing system founded before World War 2. The beer then ferments in their unique open and closed fermentation tanks.
Alstadt Brewery creates delicious smooth, clean-tasting ales and lagers such as:
- Euro pale lager Altstadt light
- German pilsner German Pils
- Belgian strong dark ale Dignified Dragon
- Smoked beer Maerzen Rauchbier
You can visit the Texas Brewery to taste exclusive beers or find them at your local retailer.
Weihenstaphan Hefe Weissbier
Weihenstephaner is an award-winning classic wheat beer from the thousand-year-old Weihenstephan Monastery Brewery on Weihenstephan hill. It is well known for its traditional Bavarian quality, Premium Bavaricum, that survived the Crusades and tests of time.
The brewhouse begins with a beer mash, boil, and adding hops to the wort of barley, wheat malt, and brew water. After brewing, the solids transfer from the wort, chill, and ferment into green beer– filtered for impurities, sent to a barrel, and bottled for consumption.
You can taste the finest original Helles, wheat beer, dark wheat beer, Kristall weissbier, traditional Bayerische Dunkel, and even non-alcohol options for aficionados cutting back on drinking.
Bierstadt Lagerhaus is a brewery fitted with a weatherproof indoor bier garden, a community-style taproom, a beer hall, and a traditional German craft beer collection in Denver, Colorado.
The brewery is known for its slow-pour 30-hour brewed pale, crisp, and soft aromatic pilsner—their golden yellow pure fizzy Gerstadt Helles malt brew. They also have a dark classic Bierstadt Dunkel that earned its reputation with its signature chocolate-bread-crust flavors.
Ayinger Marzen is an award-winning Bavarian heirloom specialty beer that celebrates the fall harvest with beer rich with amber biscuit malt and golden barley flavors. This beer warms festivities with full body and Aying Bavarian heritage-infused techniques for over 130 years.
Other beers to enjoy from Ayinger include:
- Bottom-fermented Celebrator Doppelbock
- Top-fermented wheat beer Brauweisse
- Bottom-fermented helles full beer Bairisch Pils
- Top-fermented dark wheat Urweisse
The quality of the world-famous Ayinger Marzen incorporates natural nutrient-dense ingredients from the Bavarian regions into Europe’s favorite genuine beers.
Von Trapp Brewing
Ever wondered what Austrian lager beers would taste like in Vermont? You can find out at the Von Trapp Brewery, which is rich with family heritage and is an Austrian-style brewery. They offer light and heavy beers year-round and bold hoppy or smooth sweet seasonal lagers at Trapp Family Lodge.
If you’re looking for American varietals with botanical aromas and peppery finishes, try Von Trapp’s dry finish Bohemian Pilsner beer. The Vienna Style Lager has caramel undertones with a complete grassy biscuit German malt taste. This beer tastes lovely paired with Vienna-style pigs-in-a-blanket.
Or try the Dunkel lager. It is dark in color, creamy, and has hints of bitter Munich malts and toffee with a dry and clean finish. Despite being dark in color, Dunkel has a medium body with a rich lager flavor that beer fans can enjoy year-round.
Von Trapp Brewing uses choice ingredients, traditional hops, and decade-old Austrian brewing methods using renewable solar-powered energy. You can enjoy Von Trapp beers at the Vermont lodge, local restaurants, or on the east coast.
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier
Schlenkerla’s 7-step brew process and delicious beers are award-winning. Aecht Schlenkerla is known for its historical smoke beer in Bamberg. Smokebeer is a strong beer bottom-fermented and dark with an aromatic flavor of smoked beech wood made by six family generations.
Schlenkerla malt is smoked over a wood fire making it one of the last traditionally smoked beers that modern artificial smoke-flavored malts cannot match.
Schlenkerla Smokebeer wheat is light with a smoky aroma blend of smoked barley malt and unsmoked wheat malt that presents a natural haze.
Choose the original Schlenkerla smoke beer, Urbock, most famous for its long brew and fresh oakwood and strong tasting beer available in fall into early December.
If you’re looking for an unfiltered smoke beer, choose Schlenkerla Lentbeer, brewed according to the Bavarian Purity Law: water, barley malt, and hops. This beer has a smokey aroma, intense malty flavor, and a bitter aftertaste. Unfortunately, you can only find this beer in select cities in the US.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about German beer brands.
What is the most popular beer brand in Germany?
The most popular beer brand in Germany is the notorious Krombacher from the Krombach family brewed with their 3 step process. They have been brewing, fermenting, and filtering since 1803.
Krombacher crafts award-winning beers adhering to the German Purity Law choice ingredients. Their beers include water from the Felsquellwasser rock spring, Premier Siegal hops from Hallertau, malt naturally derived from two-row spring barley, and high-quality fermented yeast.
What is the typical German beer?
The typical German beer upholds tradition and doesn’t opt for poor-quality ingredients. Instead, German beer companies opt for choice water, hops, and malt for their world-renowned pale lagers, dark lagers, and wheat beers.
The most favored beer brand in Germany is Krombacher, prized for its local mountain spring water, soft mineral nutrients, and pilsner style.
Final Thoughts on German Beer
Do your research, then sit back and enjoy a pint or two! It may take trial and error to find your new favorite German beer brand, but the journey itself should be enjoyable. Indulge in choice hops, quality malt, and the rich taste of great German beer.