German Beer

Categories: BeerGerman


Beer is an immensely popular beverage, but it is one that is associated with a particular country. German beer in fact is seen as the king of all beers. Around the world, Germany’s beer is one of the most respected varieties, in part due to the strict legislation that governs brewing, but also because it seems that the German people take great pains to brew a good beer. It is customary and part of their social structure. The majority of people in Germany socialize in pubs, unlike the United States where bars and not as popular.

Although people go out to bars, the social structure in the U. S. is not conducive to alcohol, particularly in today’s society where drinking is shunned to an extent. That is not the case in Germany. German beer tastes good, but a student writing on this subject has to understand that beer is not just a beverage, but a part of German culture.

People frequent pubs in Germany and while that happens across the world, it seems that in Germany, the local pub is very significant to the culture of the people. While Germany not only services beer–it makes it–the number of breweries is not so prolific anymore.

When compared with the United States today, there are less German breweries. In fact, the amount of U. S. breweries had exceeded that of Germany, even though Germany is the country with the stronger brewing tradition (Carroll, Swaminathan & Anand, 2000). Still, Germany boasts the highest per capita consumption of beer (2000).

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In 1997, Germany claimed 1,234 (2000, p. 714) breweries. By 1999, the number of American breweries had increased to 1,414 (2000, p. 714). While that is the case, Germany continues to brew its beer under German law and with a tradition that is consistent with its heritage.

A Short History of German Beer

Beer has been a part of the diet for centuries at all levels of society (“German Beer,” 2002). In other words, beer transcends social boundaries and classes. In Germany, beer is regulated by authorities and it is an important source of tax revenue (2002). Beer was first regulated in Augsburg but when bars would serve bad beer, or dishonest amounts, and would be fined (2002). Again, beer has been around for centuries, but the oldest evidence available that demonstrates beer was brewed in Germany is around 800BC (2002).

How German Beer is Made.

Brewing beer and the law

The most famous brewing law is called the Reinheitsgebot and also, the “Purity Law” is the oldest food regulation (“German beer,” 2002). According to the law, beer should only be brewed from water, hops and barley (2002). Today, yeast is used as well and in fact viewed as a vital ingredient (2002). When the law was written, the effects of yeast were simply unknown (2002). When yeast was first used, brewers would just use the yeast that was found in the air (2002). The Reinheitsgebot still affects brewing in Germany today (2002).

A student writing on this subject will want to compare German beer to American beer in order to highlight the importance of the rules in Germany. It is essentially what makes German beer so good. In addition to the ordinary ingredients, Miller beer contains maize and Anheuser-Busch’s varieties include rice (“Brew-ha-ha,” 1997). The beers are viewed by German brewers as substitutes for native brews (1997). A student writing on this subject will want to point out that German beer is generally seen as a superior brew.

Who participates in the brewing of beer?

During the earliest centuries, brewing was considered to be women’s work and it was not until the first millennium that others took up the task (“German beer,” 2002). Monks were particularly interested in doing so, something that probably lead to the myth that Brabant King Gambrinus actually invented beer (2002). The monks did not brew the beer for their own benefit, but instead sold the beer as they were given the right to market it (2002). Brewing beer grew to be a respectable profession (2002).

A student writing on this subject might want to note that while it was a profession at the time, today’s beers are generally made by large companies. It has been proven that the production of good quality beer demanded certain temperatures, but temperatures at the time prior to refrigeration were only available during the winter (“German beer,” 2002). The invention of refrigeration made it possible and did allow for beer to be brewed year round (2002).

Another important development was the discovery of microorganisms and after that, the science of the fermentation process had finally been established (2002).

Location: Where the Beer is Made

With the increase in exports, Germany developed world famous beer cities by the time the 1300s rolled around ; Bremen had been the midpoint for beer exports to England, Holland and Scandinavia (“German beer,” 2002) . Hamburg had been the brewery of the Hanse but By 1500 there had been about 600 breweries there alone (2002).

The Hanse exported beer and some clients were as far away as India (2002). Braunschweig and Einbeck is aligned with bock beer and they are also considered important beer cities (2002). Munich is an important city for beer and the locale where Spaten beer is made.

Of course, German beer is found in Germany, but due to its reputation, it is a major export. Other nations, such as the United States, have embraced German beer as a good quality beer and serve it with pride. In fact, Reno Air had begun to offer Gordon Biersche Marzen lager, which is a premium German-style beer, on its flights (“Have a,” 1998). The new beer is served to provide a higher level of in-flight product and the airline has used the German beer to distinguish itself as a low-fare airline with quality products (1998).

Although most German beers are made in Germany, German brewing plants have been brought to the United States. The Acadian Brewing Company creates a light colored traditional German beer that is called Acadian Helles Bock and is made in New Orleans (Slaton, 1997). Acadian expanded in 1996 and began to bottle its pilsner and Vienna amber beers (1997). 5. 0 Types of Beer 5. 1 German Beers Spaten beers have been brewed for 600 years, and used a process that made the beer good and world-famous (“German beer,” 2002).

Spaten beer had been made in Munich and it is thought by many that the beer is the best because no other beer is purer or more natural in taste (2002). It seems that Fa? bier draught beer is Germany’s favorite drink as 73% of respondents buy a draught beer before a bottled beer (“German beer,” 2002). The beer is generally served cool and fresh, with a good head of foam, and it should have a pleasant taste as well (2002). While German beers are similar in that they are made in the same way, a student writing on this subject will want to point out that beers made in other parts of the world have more leeway.

The reason other locales should be named, and other beers discussed, is for comparison purposes. In the global economy, all types of beer should be evaluated in light of the popularity and quality of German beer. 5. 2 U. S. Beers U. S. beer brewing has risen and the survival of specialist breweries corresponds to presumed opening of product space which is created by consolidation among large breweries (Carroll, Swaminathan & Anand, 2000). In respect to U. S. beer, someone noted that there is little difference between the big brewers as it is all generic (2000).

One brewer called the generic type an ‘industrial beer’ something that has become a blight on the beer world (2000). Such brewing establishments decided to brew paler, more tasteless beers, like high alcohol ‘malt liquors,’ ‘dry beers’ and ‘ice beers ‘ (2000). 6. 0 Demographics It seems that almost everyone drinks beer. When closed off from the stress of daily life, friends, colleagues and neighbors meet and talk about a host of things with a glass of beer (“German beer,” 2002). About 78% (2002, p. PG) of German citizens visit their local pubs and see it as their most pleasurable activity.

Close to every other German has a “Lieblingslokal” or a favorite place where the host might be a friend and where one feels comfortable (2002). Some German pubs are decorated with pastoral or rustic decorations (2002). About 54 % (2002, p. PG) of Germans feel content in an ordinary pub, but 31 % (2002, p. PG) are more comfortable going to a restaurant to drink. Other places such as outdoor or ethnic restaurants, cafes or pastoral pubs have a good deal of people. 7. 0 Conclusion Beer is a staple around the world, but has a special association with Germany.

Germany is known for its beer. It is a nation where much beer is consumed and although the United States has increased its production of beer, the beer produced in the U. S. is decidedly weaker and not as good. The reason is because beer in the United States uses fillers. Although the United States embraces beer as a social drink and it is found at sports events and parties, it does not compare with the social value it has in Europe. By and large, German beer is the best. Beer is part of German culture and it is seen as a staple to a people who have grown up with the very best beer.


  1. Brew-ha-ha. (1997, September 27). Economist, 344 (8036), 97-98.
  2. Carroll, G. R. & Swaminathan, A. (2000). Why the Microbrewery Movement? Organizational Dynamics of Resource Partitioning in the U. S…. American Journal of Sociology, 106 (3), 715-761.
  3. German Beer-History. 2002. [Online]. Available: http://www. oldworld. ws/okbeerhist. html Have a beer. (1998). Air Transport World, 35 (5), 88.
  4. Slaton, J. (1997). German brew is the latest in Acadian’s growing line. New Orleans CityBusiness, 17 (34), 6-7. Note: PG refers to pagination of electronic sources.

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German Beer. (2017, Mar 03). Retrieved from

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