It’s not everyday that an American gets to drink beer in what I consider the motherland of all beers in the world: Germany.
Germany has such a rich history of brewing beer; it’s steeped in the culture and fabric of society. I’m not just saying that either. People in Germany—and Europe generally—but Germany in particular have a very different outlook on beer than Americans do and I’m not exactly sure why.
Americans for the most part drink beer as a party accessory and don’t take the time to get to know the beer, its tastes, its flavors, and its history. Germans have a much deeper respect for the beer making process and the history and ingredients that go into each brew. It has way better beer than any you will find in a variety beer membership.
Home Brewing Beer in Germany
While Germany has a rich culture of large-scale beer production (it’s one of their main exports), they also have a vibrant home brewing culture in the cities, and these are the places that I like to frequent.
During my recent trip to Switzerland, I simply had to venture over to Germany to knock back a few brews and enjoy the fellowship of my German comrades, and I used my stay to visit a few of my favorite local brew pubs.
You see, the beer from Germany that makes it to America as an export is only but a fraction of the beer that is produced in the country. Just think about it, it’s the same anywhere. Bourbon that’s made in Kentucky is considered a rare delicacy in Europe, but in the United States it’s just known as Wild Turkey. It’s the same with beers.
So, in Germany you have this huge subculture of smaller breweries that either or they have graduated into their own local pub. This is the stuff that you will only get to taste in person. Many of these pubs don’t have much regional or national distribution—let alone international distribution, so I make it a point to only get beers that are unavailable to me in Spain or America when I visit.
The home brewing phenomenon is also much more developed in Germany than it is in the United States. It’s much older and the main great brew kits are much more readily available.
Only recently has this become popular in America, but it has been popular in Germany for almost one hundred years now.
For a bit of context on Germans and their beer consumption, they rank third in the world for beer consumption—just behind the Czech Republic and Austria. There are approximately 1,300 breweries in Germany alone and these brew companies manufacture over 5,000 brands of beer. This truly is the place to be if you are a beer drinker.
I will warn you, however, if you want the full German experience, go to Bavaria. Almost half of Germany’s breweries are located there, so that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
That’s the number one place on my travel list when I visit.