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As any beer drinker knows, the birthplace of modern beer is Germany. Not only did much of the beer we know now originate in Germany, but this country of robust beer makers continues to create new and exciting flavors of beer in addition to the respectable old German beer that has been keeping drinkers satisfied for centuries.
We have reviewed beer from Belgium, Japan, Italy, Poland, and Mexico, but now it is time to give credit to the Motherland of all beers.
A list of all the great beer from Germany would be pages long. Similarly, picking the absolute best German beer would be extremely subjective.
One thing to consider is that there are dozens of types of beer and we all have a different preference in style. We wanted to focus on a broad range of beers that are available for purchase in the United States (with one exception).
Table of Contents
11 Of the Best German Beers To Drink
This is only a small list from the 100s of German beers that are distributed around the world. Keep in mind that taste is subjective and everybody’s taste buds and preferences are different.
With that said, here are 11 beers from Germany we think are worth trying. In fact, many of these beers can be ordered online at Drizly.com, and have them delivered to your house.
1. Weihenstephan Hefe Weissbier - 5.4% ABV
Weihenstephan has been a champion brewer of Hefeweizens for NEARLY 1,000 YEARS so they kinda know what they are doing. This is the oldest brewery in the world that is still in existence.
This Bavarian-style German Wheat Beer is one of the best in the country, and dare we say it, the world. Light, sweet, and refreshing, with the traditional banana, and clove of a Hefeweizen.
This one goes well on a hot afternoon or before dinner. While this beer could rest on its laurels, it continually wins major awards, proving it’s worth again and again.
2. Paulaner Salvator Bock Lager - 7.9% ABV
As it goes with much of the established breweries in Europe, Old German Beer is tied to the church and the monks who were almost as devoted to their brewing as they were to God.
Paulaner was established at a Munich monastery in 1634 and has been earning accolades for centuries. It is currently one of six breweries which provide beer for Octoberfest, and is also one of the top ten best sellers of beer from Germany.
This Doppel Bock, a German lager, is darker and stronger than any other varietal offered by Paulaner. It has a lot of big flavor but is still clean. There are aromas of caramel, chocolate, sugar, and toasted spice. The malty taste comes from both a light barley malt and a dark barley malt, which is known as “Munich Malt.”
3. Schneider Weisse - 5.4% ABV
This original Bavarian wheat beer, also known as “Tap 7,” has been brewed with Georg I. Schneider’s unchanged original recipe for almost 150 years.
The carbonation of this weissbier is minimal and has a deep amber and mahogany color which looks great in a glass. It pairs best with hearty food and red meat.
The aroma hints to apple, clove and nutmeg, and the taste is fresh, clean, but also full bodied, that also comes with a slight sour aftertaste.
4. Spaten Oktoberfest - 5.0% ABV
The name should be a big hint: this beer is almost always brewed in March so it will be ready for Octoberfest. In fact, this is the world’s first Octoberfest beer, brewed in 1872 specifically for the annual celebration.
According to the brewer, the festivities do not begin until the Mayor of Munich taps the first keg of this beer.
It is amber in color. It is a medium bodied beer that balances the right amount of hops with a wonderful roasted malt flavor.
It’s very crisp for a sweet beer, and has a nice earthy finish. You don’t have to wait until Octoberfest for this classic, as it usually starts going on sale in August until late October or November.
5. Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock - 6.7% ABV
6. Augustiner-Brau Edelstoff - 5.6% ABV
What is it about the Germans and their longevity when it comes to beer? The Augustiner-Brau brewery is the oldest independent brewery in Germany, first opening in 1328.
The near 700 years of brewing experience is apparent in this slightly sweet, bright, and sparkly Helles (which means pale or bright) lager that tastes as good as it looks.
It has a golden-straw color with great clarity. The hop aroma is floral, grassy, earthy, and with a touch of hay. The taste is a mix of grain and bread tones. There are also hints of apple, lemon zest, and spice. Another great daytime beer, and it is perfect with a nice German pretzel.
7. Weihenstephaner Korbinian Bock Lager - 7.4% ABV
Another great beer from the thousand-year old Weihenstephaner monastary. This one was named after Saint Korbinian, the founder of the monastery.
While he probably never had this beer, he would love the strong malty aroma and rich flavor of its relatively high alcohol content.
Added bonus: the nice monks at the brewery think the perfect pairing for this beer is a Cookie Bar with Bacon, and they have kindly provided a recipe for this delicious treat.
8. Schöfferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen- 2.5% ABV
It’s unlikely that brewer Peter Schöffer dreamed of this modern mix way back in the 15th Century. This wheat beer is a combination of 50% Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen and 50% of juice and natural ingredients.
However, his legacy for quality and flavor lives on in the world’s first Hefeweizen Grapefruit beer, which was created in 2007, and the claim of the first Hefeweizen Grapefruit Bier ever brewed.
It is sweet yet crisp, tangy but not overtly sour, intense but not overpowering, and it is best served cold. Plus, with it’s low alcohol content, a few bottles can be enjoyed any time the mood strikes.
9. Bitburger Premium Pils- 4.8% ABV
A relative newcomer on the German beer scene, Bitburger was founded in 1817. Their beer is one of the most popular German brands, and is available year-round throughout much of the world.
The Bitburger Premium Pils is straw-colored, clear, and has a light taste that is bright, dry and very crisp. This beer has a moderate hop character, and has also been referred to as “Germany’s Number 1 Draft Beer”
A bowl of nuts or some cured meats, along with a can of this Pils would be a nice combination.
10. Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier - 5.9% ABV
Originally a 14th Century brewery that has changed ownership and names over the years without losing quality to their product.
This high carbonation German Hefeweizen is a continually top-rated beer that goes great with German cuisine, fish, shellfish, or any tangy style cheese.
The color is copper and golden, pours an off-white foamy head, and has an aroma of citrus fruits and a hint of banana, cloves, and other spices, along with a slight bitterness from the hops.
11. Stone (Berlin) White Ghost Berliner Weissem - 4.7% ABV
Okay, Stone Brewery is an American company. A popular craft brewer, of course, but definitely from the good old U.S. of A.
So why does this beer make the list?
Stone was so determined to get the flavors right and authentic that it is brewed in Germany. Stone has been in operation in Berlin since 2016 and the White Ghost is one of the fruits of their labor.
This refreshing beer, enjoyable year-round, has a cloudy golden pour with a white head. The aroma is of subtle fruits like melon and peach, mixed with lemon and rhubarb. It has a sour taste that is well balanced.
German Beer Purity Law
You may have heard about the German Beer Purity Law used in the marketing of various beers. This law was first adopted in Bavaria by William IV in 1516.
This came to be known as the 1516 Bavarian law, or Reinheitsgebot.
The law states that beer makers can only use the following ingredients:
- malted grains
It would be foolish to pick the Best German beer from this group. They are varied, just like all German beer, and each has a richness and a depth of flavor.
Whichever German Beer you choose, you are in for a flavorful ride through beer making history. This is why German beer brands are respected around the world, and why a variety of beer from Germany can be found in nearly every beer store.
If you would like to try some of these German beers, but can’t find them locally where you live, head over to Drizly.com and see if you can have them delivered to your front door.
P.S. You also might be interested in checking out a monthly beer club from MonthlyClubs.com. Beer of the Month Clubs are also a great way to experience a wide variety of beers from breweries throughout the United States and Europe.
Whether you prefer hoppy beers, rare beers, domestic beers, international beers, or a combination, check out our review page of the best beer of the month clubs.