German beer exceptionalism
The Germans didn’t invent beer, but over the last 500 years, they have been at the forefront of perfecting it. Brewers worldwide respect German beer because of its history, culture, and passion.
Beer is in its history and culture
The 1516 Reinheitsgebot is Germany’s 500-year beer purity law. The German Purity Law decrees that brewers can only use hops, barley, yeast, and water to brew beer. Brewers use this as their foundation to mix over 100 kinds of hops, 40 sorts of malt, 200 yeast strains, and different water (soft or hard).
The Purity Law isn’t to be trifled with; it’s a source of pride and promise of quality that the Germans take seriously. It’s also the first law of its kind. It effectively regulated the industry and protected consumers; people knew what they got when buying German beer. You must understand that food and drink weren’t well regulated at the time; even drinking water was a hazard.
Germany produces more than 5000 different types of beers in approximately 1,500 breweries across the nation. More than half of the breweries are in Bavaria, a region renowned for its hops. There’s a German lore that if you were to try a different brew every day, it would take you 15 years to taste them all.
German emigrant brewers took their passion and skills to the United States, China, Japan, Mexico, and Africa, where they created beer empires.
The major German beer styles include;
- Helles or Dunkles Lager
- Export Lager
- Koelsch and Alt
- Weißbier (Wheat Beer)
- Berliner Weisse
- Märzen/Oktoberfest Beer
- Naturtrübe Biere
Pilsner’s origins are from a town in the present-day Czech Republic. It was developed in the 19th century in Pilsen, or Plzeň in Czech, a town in western Bohemia which at the time was part of the German-speaking Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Pilsner beer was so good that it quickly spread throughout Europe and still holds the largest share of the German market.
Defining the best beer is a matter of taste, but Germans have the most refined culture in beer. If you want a taste of the German culture, passion, and skills behind their beer culture, you can enjoy craft beer at Stormhouse Brewing.