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German Beer-Different Kinds-Different Tastes

Updated on August 30, 2011

German Beer

There are more than 1200 Breweries in Germany. Together, they offer more than 5000 different kinds of beer according to the German "Reinhaltsgebot" (Purity Law) from April 23rd in 1516.

You will be able to find about 50% of these Breweries in Bavaria, but also in Baden-Wuerttemberg and Nordrhein Westfalen. You could actually drink a different kind of beer for 13 1/2 years straight, one every night!

There are so many kinds and different tastes of German Beer, that I have created a list to introduce them.


Alt (Old)

A dark-amber colored beer with 4.8% alcohol, which people mostly drink in Duesseldorf and the Niederrhein. The name originated from the old kind of brewing. People drink Alt out of small, 0,2 l glasses and it will taste something like bitter hops to malty sweet, depending on the recipe.

An example for an Alt-Beer would be the Altbier by Karlskrone.


Berliner Weisse (Berlin Weisse)

This beer is stored for a long time. The taste of the Berlin Weisse is kind of sour, but very refreshing during the Summer months. It is usually served in large trophy glasses with a shot of raspberry-or woodruff syrup. You can only get Berlin Weisse in Berlin and surroundings. It has a percentage of 2,8 alcohol and is brewed out of barley and wheat malt.

Berlin Weisse is made by "Berliner Kindl".



The Bock is a very strong beer with about 7% alcohol. People in the North prefer to drink Bock Beer a little lighter, in the German South it is prefered to be dark. Bock Bier is brewed for special occasions.

Einbecker's dark Ur-Bock is an example for a Bock beer.


Cord Broyhan was brewing the first batch of this kind of beer in 1526, it was named after him. Broyhan beer is made from light malt and hops only.



This beer is created with the help of steam machines. It is warm-fermented with Weissbier yeast at a temperature above 70°F (21°C), which gives the beer a slightly phenolic aftertaste. Brewed mostly in the summer, it is medium-bodied, very mildly hopped, and low in effervescence.



Dinkel Malt is used in the "Dinkel Bier" instead of Barley Malt.

This beer is sort of sweet with a banana-taste like finish.


Diaetpils (Diet Pilsner)

Carbohydrates will be turned into alcohol during a special brewing process. The beer has less calories, but more alcohol. This beer is mostly for diabetics.



The Doppelbock is a Bock Beer with an alcohol content of 6%-8% and a spice content of 18% or more. Weihenstephaner is an example for brewing Doppelbock in Germany.


Eisbock (Ice Bock)

Eisbock is a Bockbeer with around 7% of alcohol. Water content is removed by freezing the Eisbock. This process got very popular in the US in the last few years and is called "Ice-Rifing". The Bock Beer is a product of certain seasons and festivities.



A beer with a malty flavor, it consists of less barley than Pilsener Beer. The Export's alcohol content is between 5-51/2%.



The Lager has a light yellow color and consists of 4,6-5% alcohol. This beer is called "Lager" since it's spice content is less than 12,5%. It does not belong to the strong barley family of the Pilsner brew.


Leichtbier (Light Beer)

This beer is low in calories and it's alcohol content is 40% lower than the Pilsner. The development of alcohol is either stopped during fermentation or it will be extracted afterwards.


Maerzen (March)

This beer has a 4-5% alcohol content. The Maerzen is brewed at the end of winter season, in March. It has a very mild, malty flavor. The classic Maerzen will be a golden yellow, but is also available in a dark beer variation.


Malzbier (Malt Beer)

The dark colored Malzbier has an alcohol content of 0,1-0.4% and is therefore almost alcohol free. Malt Beer is actually not quite a beer since it gets it's sweet taste from added sugar.



The Pilsner is probably the most famous and known beer of them all. It was brewed for the first time in 1842 by "Brewmeister" Josef Groll. The Pilsner is made of mostly hops and has a refreshing taste. The alcohol content is about 5%. The pilsner is also used widely to create mixed beer drinks like the "Gemischtes". (Sprite is mixed with beer)

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