Fancy a beer? How about a brew from one of the best-known “beer countries” on earth – a German beer? I’m getting thirsty already!
But before taking that first tasty sip, let’s take a dive into some of the best brews amazing Deutschland has to offer.
German Beer Culture
I’ll start setting the mood with this cheeky vid on German beer culture:
All right, now on to the beers!
18 Amazing Types of German Beer
Many think that the main difference between the ales and the other German beer types is simply taste and color. While it’s partly true, it’s not the whole piece. Ales use traditional brewing recipes that have been practiced for thousands of years.
They have a quick brew cycle, which lasts for around a week. They are made with top fermentation at warm temperatures and rely on the yeast to get the desired consistency. With ales, you are basically getting a robust, assertive, and potent flavor.
Here are some of the most popular German ales you can try.
- IBU: 3 to 6
- ABV: 2.8% to 3.4%
Looking for the ultimate German beer for spring? Then, you’re in for a treat. This one is the perfect choice for a fun night out. It has a fruity taste with a nice mix of sweetness and bitterness. The drink is very fizzy and has a pale yellow color.
With the first sip, you will immediately notice the acidity and sourness. That’s exactly what makes this beer so unique. If you want to take the drink to a whole new level, you can squeeze in some berry syrup. It will reduce the bitterness and bring out the sourness. It goes well with some Havarti, buttery cheese, or camembert.
- IBU: 9
- ABV: 4%
For those who want the perfect balance between a floral aroma and fruity taste, it’s hard to go wrong with this one. Gose is a peculiar German beer, and it’s often appreciated for its salty, tarty, and sour taste.
A lot of people mix it with berry syrup or some fruits since it brings out that acidity. Others spice it up with some coriander and salt. The options are limitless. With spices such as these, you will get a crispy mouthfeel, which is super unique. That’s why it will go well with a fresh salad or some fish.
- IBU: 10 to 15
- ABV: 4.8% to 5.4%
If you’re in the mood for bold texture and vibrant colors, then you might like this one. Dunkelweizen has very low acidity levels. But, the darker the color, the more impactful the flavor. That’s because, with this kind of German beer, you’re getting a hint of chocolate. People drink it with desserts or roasted chicken. You can experiment a lot with it, which is why it’s a popular choice.
- IBU: 26
- ABV: 4.9%
This German beer features active, bold yeast strains. That’s the source of the fruity and spicy taste. Its color is a little bit on the paler side and will immediately remind you of honey.
It has a lot of fizziness to it, so you don’t have to worry about the foam losing its texture anytime soon. Due to the hint of tart, a lot of people serve it with fish and poultry dishes. In other words, you have plenty of options to pair it with.
- IBU: 20 to 30
- ABV: 4.4% to 5.2%
If you want a bright and light German beer with a hint of crispiness, this one will tick all the boxes.
In recent years, brewers have added their own unique styles to this type of beer. Now, when you take a sip, the taste will remind you of fizzy white wine. And it’s no wonder why. The look, flavor, sharpness, and aroma are pretty similar to white wine. The main difference is the wheat content and the crispiness. That’s why it goes well with burgers or grilled food.
Lagers are relatively new on the market. They use advanced brewing techniques, and the yeasts remain at the bottom of the drink for the entire manufacturing process. This kind of German beer is subtler, crispier, and a lot smoother than typical ales. Here are some of the most popular brews you can add to your bucket list.
- IBU: 8 to 20
- ABV: 4.2% to 6%
This beer comes with a very dark, roasty texture. The dark amber gives it a unique appeal and complexion.
If you serve it cold, it’s quite refreshing. With the first sip, you will immediately notice a hint of sugar. Don’t worry, that sugar is not overused. It’s there to give it a unique feel and taste.
Other than that, this beer is quite on the heavy side. But, can be paired with some cheese and sausages. While it may not be the most versatile German beer, it’s definitely a refreshing one.
- IBU: 10 to 20
- ABV: 4.5% to 6%
Instead of using wheat, as you would get with typical beers, breweries use rye. That’s why you will notice that these beers go by the name “rye beer.” You get a spicy taste with a hint of bitterness and a grainy aftertaste. It’s very similar to vanilla, but with a malty undertone. It has a reddish color and is a great choice for enjoying a pint.
- IBU: 24
- ABV: 6.9%
When you think of German lagers, the first thing that comes to mind is probably Bock. This is a typical beer for early spring or late winter. People love it for its heavy taste and dark texture. It’s very soothing on the stomach and perfect for a night out.
For those who prefer a nutty and toasty aroma with a hint of sweetness, you can’t go wrong with this one. That’s why you can pair it with any holiday dish, whether it is pork or veal. The choice is yours.
- IBU: 24
- ABV: 6.2%
The Helles Bock is the ultimate springtime beer. It has a light taste and flavorful aroma. The color is a little bit peculiar, but don’t let it put you off. The amber copper gives it a malty touch you’ll grow to love.
People love to drink it alongside salmon, pasta, and shellfish. Simply put, you are getting plenty of versatility in a single cup.
- IBU: 16 to 25
- ABV: 4.5% to 5.5%
This is a typical light lager with a bright color. The taste is pretty similar to that of the pilsner with a zesty touch and floral aroma, but it’s a lot more refreshing. If you want to pair it with a nice meal, you can always include it with fish, shrimp, and salads. It’s an excellent pick for a hot summer day.
- IBU: 18 to 25
- ABV: 5.1% to 6%
If you haven’t heard of Märzen, then you’ve definitely heard of Oktoberfest.
This beer often goes by the name Oktoberfest and is easily recognizable by its clear texture and brownish color. The taste is a little bit toasty and quite robust. With a super-rich flavor like this one, you can easily pair it with some meats, schnitzel, or knockwurst. It’s a practical choice when you have friends over, or you are trying to be the life of the party.
- IBU: 17 to 27
- ABV: 6.6% to 7.9%
Doppelbock is basically the bolder and stronger version of Bock. The color is much darker, and the flavor is foreboding. With a single sip, you can taste the caramel richness and chocolate compounds. The consistency makes it a perfect pick with richer meals, like meat pies, steaks, or root veggies.
Dortmunder Export Lager
- IBU: 27
- ABV: 5.5%
This German beer has a much lighter color than any of the other lager choices on this list. It is crispy and refreshing. This is the typical beer you would choose for a casual dinner. The excellent aroma and lightness make it an excellent choice for poultry or seafood pairings. You won’t be disappointed.
- IBU: 28
- ABV: 4.8%
This German beer will surprise you. Not only are you getting a dark and rich texture, but you are also enjoying a roasted, bitter flavor with a hint of chocolate.
After taking a sip, you will probably notice the burnt aftertaste. This is typical for the Schwarzbier. However, that aftertaste is exactly what you want. That bubbly brilliance and malty flavor set it apart from the rest.
This is why a lot of people enjoy it on a cold day. Since it’s a bit on the heavy side, it’s best to pair it with light meals. But, if you want to take your dish to a whole new level, feel free to drink it with some of your favorite pastries. Versatile and delicious.
- IBU: 20 to 35
- ABV: 4.7 to 5.4%
This is the kind of beer you often get served straight from the barrel. It’s tasty, refreshing, and full of flavor. When you take a sip, you will feel that creamy texture and maltiness. Some of the beers that fall into this category are very sweet. So, you might want to watch the sugar intake if it may damage your health.
- IBU: 25 to 35
- ABV: 9% to 14%
This German beer has higher alcohol content, concentration, and a more potent flavor.
It is a much darker alternative to the Doppelbock and more potent. The brew gives off a sense of maltiness that is quite similar to chocolate syrup. It’s strong booze if you are looking for a drink for a night out. Due to its heavy-like taste, not everyone wants to pair it with food. But you can try it out with a light dessert.
- IBU: 35
- ABV: 4.9%
If you want to get a taste of the most well-known German beer, then you can’t go wrong with this one.
It’s the first one you will notice in typical brewpubs, supermarkets, and beverage stores. The color can vary from pale to golden yellow. It has a bitter taste with a floral aroma, zesty touch, and a crispy finish. The texture is light, which is why a lot of people drink it in the summer. It goes well with barbequed meat or veggies.
- IBU: 45
- ABV: 4.8%
This is an unfiltered beer with an excellent taste and a powerful bitterness. It’s the perfect choice to freshen you up. The amber color makes it super easy to recognize. But, every brewery has its own unique style and flavor of the drink. You can enjoy it with any dish you like.
Hybrids are a mix. They use the fermentation process of the lagers and the warm temperature of the ale. The final result is a very peculiar taste that’s quite “out there.” Here are the most easily recognizable hybrid beer choices.
- IBU: 31
- ABV: 4.8%
If you are a fan of the traditional brewing methods with a complete style revamp, then you might like this one. The Altbier features a dark brown color with a crispy finish. It’s quite like a typical ale, but with a twist.
The fermentation process requires colder temperatures, which is why you are getting a refreshing drink. It’s the perfect combination with American desserts, especially apple pie.
- IBU: 10 to 14
- ABV: 5% to 6.1%
This beer is a light hybrid with not as much alcohol content as you might expect. It’s very foamy and bubbly.
If you are looking for a caramel flavor with a hint of banana, this will be the perfect pick. But, if you want something more on the bitter side, it may not be to your taste.
Overall, this copper-like beverage has a flavorful aroma you can pair with anything you want. It goes well with veggies, meat, and dessert. What you plan to drink it with is completely up to you.
- IBU: 20 to 23
- ABV: 5%
The typical recipe for this tasty German beer includes water, hops, and barley. Many breweries have kept the traditional recipe, but have also added a little bit of sweetness to make it even more refreshing. That’s exactly what you are getting with this beer. It’s flavorful, aromatic, and quite rejuvenating.
You know me…I love videos! Let’s check one out to review all of this beer goodness:
Summing Up the German Beer
Wow, that’s a lot of brews! With so much to choose from, you can’t go wrong reaching for a German beer the next time you’re thirsty.
What’s your favorite German beer?