| Bischofshof Original 1649 German Beer 17OZ (20 bottles)|
'Beer turns thurst into a beautiful thing', goes an old German saying ... And thus it is, especially if the beer is a German brew, sublimely crafted and perfected over centuries, even millennia. Germany has one of the oldest beer traditions and greatest beer varieties in the world.
Though made from just four ingredients malt, hops, yeast and water German beers come in all decriptions: From mild to strong, from straw-blond to jet-black, from assertive to delicate, from robust to sublime, from seductive to matter-of-fact, from elegant to earthy, from racy to substantial ... And they all taste absolutely magnificient. There are about 1,200 breweries in Germany producing over 5,000 brands of beer in some two dozen major beer styles scores of mostly regional styles.
German beer is highly diverse and an important part of Germany's culture. There are around 1300 breweries in Germany, second only to the United States which has 1,419 as of 2006. The German beer market is a bit sheltered from the rest of the world beer market by the German brewers' adherence to the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot (purity requirement) dating from 1516, according to which the only allowed ingredients of beer are water, hops and barley-malt. Many breweries worldwide adopted the Reinheitsgebot for their own beers. After its discovery, yeast became the fourth legal ingredient, though for top-fermenting beers the use of sugar is also permitted. Through this law (which since 1988 has not applied to imported beer, but is still compulsory for German brewers), beers from Germany have a good reputation for their quality. The Germans are behind only the Czechs and the Irish in their per capita consumption of beer.
There are a variety of different styles of German beer, such as:
Altbier a dark amber, hoppy beer brewed around Dusseldorf and Lower Rhine.
Kφlsch pale, light-bodied, top-fermented beer which can only legally be brewed in the Cologne region.
Weizen top-fermented wheat beer.
Weizenbock strong, dark, top-fermented wheat beer.
Berliner Weisse a pale, very sour, top-fermented wheat beer brewed in Berlin. Usually drunk with the addition of fruit syrup.
Leipziger Gose an amber, very sour, top-fermented wheat beer brewed around Leipzig. It disappeared between 1966 and 1985, when it was revived by Lothar Goldhahn.
Helles a pale, malty lager from Bavaria.
Schwarzbier a bottom-fermented, dark lager beer with a full, roasty, chocolatey flavor.
Pilsener a pale lager with a light body and a more prominent hop character. By far the most popular style, with around two thirds of the market.
Export a pale lager that is fuller, maltier and less hoppy than Pilsner. Germany's most popular style in the 1950's and 1960's, it's becoming increasingly rare.
Spezial a pale, full, bitter-sweet and delicately hopped lager.
Dunkel dark lager which comes in two main varieties: the sweetish, malty Munich style and the drier, hoppy Franconian style
Rauchbier usually dark in color and smoky in taste from the use of smoked malt. A speciality of the Bamberg region.
Bock an amber, heavy-bodied, bitter-sweet lager.
DunklesBock a dark, heavy bodied lager darkened by high-coloured malts.
MaiBock a pale, strong lager darkened brewed in the Spring.
Doppelbock a powerful, very full-bodied lager darkened by high-coloured malts.
Eisbock a freeze distilled variation of Doppelbock.
Mδrzen medium body, malty lagers that come in pale, amber and dark varieties. The type of beer traditionally served at the Munich Oktoberfest.
For more information on German Beer and history of German Beer, please visit http://www.germanbeerinstitute.com/.