It is no secret that Germans love to drink beer. So, it is probably not surprising that there are now well over 5,000 varieties brewed in 1,500 breweries. A good fifth of these are found in the southern region of Bavaria, the capital of which is Munich, home to the world-famous Oktoberfest beer festival. Many styles and strengths have developed over the years. Beer is drunk at different times during the 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 stated that only barley, malt, hops and water were allowed in the beer-making process — a revolutionary edict in the days when adulteration of foodstuffs was rife.
Universally popular. Pils is a good all-round lager-style, bottom-fermented light beer made in many regions of Germany. It has a strong, hoppy aroma and flavor, with what experts describe as a long, dry finish. Bavarian Pils has a more malty taste. Both average 4.8 — 5% alcohol.
Altbier and Kölsch
These are aromatic, hoppy, bitter beers. Altbier is darker. Kölsch is lighter. They are good beers for everyday drinking.
Wheat Beers: Kristall, Hefe and Dark
Described as having the zest of a lager and the complexity of an ale with a bubblegum finish, these are totally distinct, lightly spicy wheat and barley malt beers breed in a variety of strengths.
These are “big” flavor beers with a malty, aromatic and lightly hoppy bitterness and ideal for those who like a strong brew. Colors range from light golden to dark More on Bockbier
Export, Pils and Dark beer
Dark beer (Schwarzbier) is aromatic and malty. Export beers vary depending on the region, but in general they are full bodies, malty, light to dark brews.