Guide to German Beer

BeerGirlsIt 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.