Guide to German Beer

Beer GirlsIt is no secret that Germans love to drink beer. So, it is probably not surprising that there are now well over 7,000 varieties of beer in Germany brewed in 1,300 breweries. A good fifth of these are found in the southern region of Bavaria, whose capital, Munich, is home to the world-famous Oktoberfest beer festival. Throughout Germany beer is drunk at various times of day, generally with meals or alongside the most popular bar nibble, lightly salted pretzels.

So seriously was the science of brewing taken in the past that it gave rise to what was perhaps Europe’s first food purity law, passed in 1516 by Duke William IV of Bavaria, and still in force today. The law states that only barley, malt, hops and water are allowed in the beer-making process — a revolutionary edict in the days when adulteration of foodstuffs was rife.

Following is an overview of German beer styles and varieties. Not all German beers are imported into the US, of course. To view our database of German beers currently available to the US market, visit the Beer page in our Product Gallery.


A Brief History of German Beer, from the first millennium forward
Beer and Cheese: A Match Made in Heaven, a guide to pairing beer and cheese
8 Steps to Make a Good German Brew  how German beer is made
Forty Ways to Describe Your Beer, a guide to describing beer’s many tastes
Is Beer Good for You?, short answer is yes
German Beers Available in North America, the brands you can actually purchase nearby!
Recipes with German Beer, sauces, soups, roasts and more