What beer should I try in Germany?

Answered by Charles Pate

When it comes to , Germany is renowned for its rich tradition and a wide variety of styles to choose from. As an expert sommelier and brewer, I have had the pleasure of exploring the beer scene in Germany and can recommend a few must-try beers.

1. Hefeweizen: This traditional German wheat beer is characterized by its cloudy appearance and fruity, spicy flavors. It is often served with a slice of lemon or orange to enhance the citrus notes. One of my personal favorites is the Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, a classic example of this style that is smooth, refreshing, and full of banana and clove aromas.

2. Pilsner: Germany is also known for its crisp and clean Pilsners, which are pale lagers with a hop-forward profile. The Bitburger Premium Pils is a popular choice that showcases the classic German brewing techniques, with a balance of floral and a light backbone.

3. Oktoberfest/Märzen: Of course, we cannot talk about German beer without mentioning Oktoberfest. The Märzen style is typically brewed for this festival and is characterized by its rich amber color, malty sweetness, and clean finish. Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen is a fantastic example of this style, with a smooth caramel flavor and a touch of spice.

4. Dunkel: For those who prefer darker beers, a Dunkel is a must-try. These Munich-style dark lagers have a rich, malt-forward character with hints of chocolate and caramel. Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel is a fantastic choice, with its smooth, velvety texture and toasty flavors.

5. Kölsch: Originating from Cologne, Kölsch is a light and crisp beer that is perfect for warm weather. It is pale in color and has a delicate balance of malt sweetness and subtle hop bitterness. Früh Kölsch is a classic example that is both refreshing and flavorful.

6. Bock: If you're looking for a stronger beer, Bocks are a great option. These full-bodied lagers are known for their malty sweetness and higher content. Celebrator Doppelbock is a renowned German beer that boasts complex flavors of dark fruits, chocolate, and a hint of roasted malt.

7. Rauchbier: For the adventurous beer enthusiasts, a Rauchbier is a unique choice. This style is brewed with smoked malt, resulting in a distinct smoky aroma and flavor. Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen is a famous example from Bamberg, with its intense smokiness and underlying malt sweetness.

When exploring the beer scene in Germany, don't be afraid to try different styles and brands. Each region has its own specialties and unique brewing methods, offering a wide range of flavors to discover. Remember to savor each sip, appreciate the craftsmanship, and embrace the rich beer culture that Germany has to offer. Prost!