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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Basic German Beer Brew Types

The Germans are all business when it comes to beer. They have the "national brewing laws" established in the year 1516 that specifies what goes into brewing recipes for beer.
German brewers adhere to the Reinheitsgebothops ("purity order") dating from 1516 (and most recently updated in the Vorläufiges Biergesetz of 1993). Only hops, malt, water, and yeast are the ingredients. They have a "National Beer Day" which is celebrated every April 23rd. The Germans are behind only the Czechs and the Irish in their per capita consumption of beer.Germans produce about 10% of all the beer volume in the world, having 1200 breweries offering five to six thousand beer varieties (however the U.S. has the most breweries in the world numbering around 1500). So, here is the list of German beer brew types:

ALTBIER - from Dusseldorf / light- to medium-bodied beer with a hint of bitterness in the finish.
brand: Diebels

- from Berlin / tart, sour tasting wheat beer with a low alcohol content known as the "Champagne of German beers"
brand: Berliner Kindl Weisse or Schultheiss Berliner Weisse.

- from Munich / "granddaddy of German beers" is a full-bodied, rich, malty lager, dark in color, not bitter and fairly high in alcohol content...the varieties of bock are "Helles bock" (lighter than traditional bock and is medium-bodied with a gold to light amber color); "Doppelbock" (stronger version that is very full-bodied with a balanced bitterness); "Eisbock" (strongest type of bock, is chilled until ice crystals form on the beer and as a result is very concentrated and high in alcohol content after the ice is removed during the brewing process; its a very full-bodied beer with a high degree of sweetness)

brand: Franziskaner but Zology prefers Celabrator Doppelbock

DORTMUNDER - from Dortmund (a.k.a "export") / strong, pale lager with a good balance of hops and malt and a touch of sweetness, light- to medium-bodied beer, gold in color brand: Royal Fürstenberg or Henninger

MUNICH DUNKEL - from Munich / medium-bodied, dark, low to moderate alcohol content, high in malt, medium bitterness
brand: Erdinger Dunkel

WEIZENBIER - from South Germany (a.k.a "weissbier") / light- to medium-bodied wheat beer sometimes cloudy-looking in appearance; varieties are "Hefeweizen" (bottle- or keg-conditioned); "Dunkelweizen" (darker, stronger version, medium- to full-bodied taste); "Weizenbock" (stronger, medium- to full-bodied beer that can be light or dark in color)
brand: Erdinger

KöLSCH - from Köln (a.k.a Cologne ) / blonde, light to medium body, very fruity, acidic, medium bitterness
brand: Reissdorf

- Munich / medium-bodied lager, bitterness, high in alcohol content, amber color
brand: Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen

- from Munich / caramel sweetness, mildly hopped, malty beer, golden in color
brand: Augustiner Helles.

- national / flowery, medium-hop bouquet, dry, light to medium body

brand: Holsten or Astra

- from Bamberg, Northern Bavaria / smoke-flavored, dark and generally sweeter beer with low bitterness, dark amber color.

brand: Heller-Trum Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier.

Prost! (source:

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