If you like beer, you must visit Germany! As one of the top beer-consuming countries in the world, they have a lot to offer! Especially in Bavaria and certainly in Munich’s Oktoberfest, there is a beer to fit everyone’s taste- whether you want dark beer or light, high alcohol or low. Once you find your beer, it can be like finding your soul mate.
With all the choices of what to drink come just ask many choices of where to drink it. Of course, beer can easily be found in restaurants and bars, but in Germany you can also buy it at any corner shop or market and enjoy it while walking down the street. Most shops even have a bottle opener behind the counter and can pop it open for you. Of course, public intoxication is looked down upon, but nothing is thought of someone enjoying an afternoon beer on a sidewalk bench, main square or park.
Ok, so I’m not a huge drinker by any means (even though I may sound like an alcoholic while going on about different brews), but I do enjoy a good beer! I’m not claiming to be an expert by any means and I don’t know all the technical words to describe beer, but I know what I like. So, pull up a barstool, grab your Maß (1 liter mug- see picture below) and read on about three of my favorite beers I found in Germany.
Weißbier, also known as Weissbier (directly translated as ‘white beer’) or Weizenbier (the more correct translation of ‘wheat beer’), is my hands down favorite Bavarian beer. A hefeweizen is an example of a Weißbier. The Franziskaner Weißbier was my typical order on nights out in Munich and apparently I ordered it so much that I was able to do it with a German accent!!!
A Hell beer is a typical lager and another basic German beer. ‘Hell’ means ‘light’ in German and ‘helles’ translates to ‘the light one’. Of course, this is Germany, so it doesn’t mean ‘light’ as in lower in calories or less alcohol, like in the States. ‘Helles’ refers to the light color of the beer. I like Augustiner’s Hell beer and it was my next choice if Augustiner’s Weißbier wasn’t available.
If I was in the mood for a sweet drink or wanted to go easy on the alcohol, a Radler beer was my solution. Also called a Shandy outside of Germany, a Radler (German for cyclist) is half beer and half lemon-lime soda. Note that in Europe, lemon-lime soda is called lemonade. While this may sound disgusting to some people and seem like a sin to beer purists, I absolutely fell in love with Radlers. It’s a great thirst-quencher on hot days and the lemon-lime soda satisfies any sweet cravings you might have.
Sampling the variety of beers in Germany is something that cannot be missed. You don’t need to go on a brewery tour or be in Munich for Oktoberfest to try them. Just order a different beer with each meal until you find the one that suits you. Just like trying on shoes, some will fit and some will not. Keep searching until you find what’s best for you!
For my recommendations on Irish beers, check out my post There’s More To Ireland Than Guinness.