German beer is always a solid, delicious choice. The variety is impressive, and many German beers will please some of your most finicky, non-beer-drinking friends. The Germans have a long brewing tradition, and you can taste the skill with every sip.
Popular Styles of German Beer:
Germany makes a lot of beer and a lot of different styles of beer. From wheat ales to sour beers, you can find all kinds of beer in Germany. Start with some of the most well-known to figure out which German beers are for you. If you're a beginner to beer, you might want to start with Helle; if you're a beer aficionado with a taste for the dark, go for Schwarzbier.
This is a light, refreshing (originally Czech) beer that has inspired all the big American beers like Miller, Bud, and Michelob. If you pour a Pilsner and it has a gigantic, thick head, don't worry: That's supposed to happen. These straw-colored beers have their fair share of hops, which often comes with a slight citrus taste. You also might detect an herbal or floral scent coming off the beer. When you're not sure what kind of beer to buy or are trying to cater to a diverse crowd with a single type of beer, Pilsner is a smart choice because it pleases most palates.
You'll discover four main types of bocks: maibock, doppelbock, traditional and eisbock. The traditional bock is an amber beer with strong malt flavors. Maibocks tend to be a bit hoppier, crisp, and light. Doppelbock and eisbock are dark beers with intriguing caramel and sugar flavors. Eisbocks have an especially high alcohol content (10 to 14 percent) so don't give this one to your lightweight friends.
Wheat ales are another popular kind of beer in Germany and Hefeweizen is the most popular of the wheat ales. This beer comes from a specific strain of yeast, which gives it a cloudy appearance and extra yeast in the flavor. Hefeweizen might taste a little like bananas or cloves if you have the palate to detect these nuances. You can also get a stronger version, called a weizenbock. Dunkelweizen is another variation, and it's brewed with a darker kind of wheat.
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