The German Obsession with Beer

The production of beer in Germany is so prolific that picking up a bottle of standard, but still excellent, pilsner from your local shop remains alarmingly cheap.

Beer, it’s as German as a man in lederhosen eating a bratwurst. Pipped to the top spot by only by Austria and the Czech Republic, Germans are the third biggest beer drinkers in the world. It seems that beer in Germany is more than a drink, it’s part of their cultural heritage and forms part of the German identity.

All German beer must be brewed in compliance with the Reinheitsgebot. Loosely translated as the German Beer Purity Law, it tightly regulates the ingredients and brewing process of all German beers. The law origional stipulated that only water, hops and barley can be used in the production of beer. The paramters have been widened slightly since the Bavaria laws of 1516, and now allows the use of water, yeast, hops and grains.

Despite the growth in craft beers, pilsner still dominates in Germany, though international brands are making headway into the market. As well as pilsner, which is what we could consider your standard larger, they are also famed for their wheat beers and dark beers. Known as Weizen in Germany, wheat beers are brewed with a greater concentration of wheat to barley and give the drinks its famous cloudy apperence and malty taste. Dark, or dunkel, beer is produced by using malted barley prooducing a rich colour and often more pungent and delicioulsy unctious taste.

The production of beer in Germany is so prolific that picking up a bottle of standard, but still excellent, pislner from your local shop remains alarmingly cheap. Most shops in the capital will sell the local Berlin Pilsner for around a euro. It’s no surprise that their marketing campaign procliams ‘Berlin – Du bist so wunderbar’ or ‘Berlin – you are so wonderful.’

Germans are so passionate about beer that they even have their own way of washing the glasses. Go into even the newest of bars in Germany and you wont see them using a dishwasher but instead cleaning the steins with a special brush fitted into a sink of water. Oktoberfest is the ultimate celebration of German beer. Except, all beer which is served at the Bavaria -based festival must be brewed with the city limits of the capital Munich.

Beer is a way of life in Germany and in every city, large or small, there are plenty of bars and cafes serving up steins of one of the country’s best and most loved trademarks.

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