German beers and breweries
Germany has so many beer brands from breweries of all sizes to offer. You will be fascinated by the variety of German beer!
In Germany, there is a vast number of breweries of all different sizes and many famous beer brands. Ranging from internationally operating, large-scale breweries with enormous beer output numbers to small local breweries linked to restaurants: Germany has lots to offer. Bavaria surely is the heart of beer in Germany and provides a long history of brewing tradition ready to be explored, but other regions in Germany also have extensive beer traditions and yield some of the world’s most delicious and noteworthy beers. For instance, Baden-Wurttemberg / Baden-Württemberg has the second highest beer output, while the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia / Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW) achieves a beer output of similar scale to that of Bavaria with only a fifth the number of registered breweries. The largest German brewery group is the Radeberger Gruppe KG, with its headquarters in Frankfurt / Frankfurt am Main in the federal state of Hesse / Hessen, located nearly 400 km North-West of Munich, which most people will associate with German beer to the greatest extent.
30+ famous German Beer Brands!
Surely, you already know the big German beer brands such as Warsteiner or Erdinger. However, there are far more beer brands to discover. Lets have a look or a quick gulp of German beer!
Germany, known to many as the beer country par excellence, has given rise to a very special beer culture which has evolved over time. Many of the German beer brands you know today have a long history often reaching back hundreds of years. Those German beer brands you have heard of probably originate from many different regions of Germany. Don’t make the mistake and think that there is one single large beer culture for the entire country. While some beer brands were able to expand beyond their regional markets, some very good beer brands are still only available in specific parts of Germany. Going to a German supermarket looking for some nice beer to buy, you will see a broad variety of the large German beer brands and some local exhibits. The larger a shop is, the more beer specialties it will sell. The best places to obtain some rare and really special beer brands and beer styles are usually beverage stores, known to the German beer enthusiast as “Getränkemarkt”. These shops often enable you to order particular beer brands – but please keep in mind that you usually have to buy a whole beer case consisting of 20 bottles!
If you buy a German beer in the US, you will probably drink a beer especially brewed for the overseas market. Those beer brands often have an entirely different flavor when bought in Germany!
Keep in mind that the degree of name recognition poses no real indication whether a German beer brand is worth trying. Some renowned brands are very good, while other ones are of such poor quality that is far more recommendable to stick with a glass of water. Especially the smaller German breweries produce excellent and very special beers, sometimes seasonal ones. Think of Gose beer, only brewed in Goslar and Leipzig or of local Hefeweizen beers solely obtainable in Bavaria. Each region in Germany has unique beer brands that are worth telling their story! Nevertheless, the beer novice should start with the popular German beer brands before taking a closer look at the smaller, more specialized breweries.
Try ordering an Alt beer in a pub of Köln (Cologne), and you will have little chances of making good friends. The same applies to Düsseldorf, if you attempt to drink a Kölsch beer in a local pub. By the way, Cologne and Düsseldorf are less than 50 kilometers apart! Speaking of Bavaria, ….
List of 30 +1 famous German beer brands (alphabetical order)
- Berliner Kindl
- König Pilsner
To complete the list, you could also add Tsingtao Beer! It may seem awkward, but it’s more or less true!
The 10 largest breweries in Germany
The Radeberger brewery group is the largest brewery in Germany, but which breweries are those among the Top 10 of Germany? Here’s the entire list!
Top 10 German breweries by output
- Radeberger Gruppe KG (Frankfurt am Main / Hesse, Beer brands: Berliner Kindl, Brinkhoff’s, (non alcoholic) Clausthaler, Jever, Radeberger, Schöfferhofer, Sion Kölsch etc.)
- Anheuser-Busch InBev (Brussels / Belgium, Beer brands: Beck’s, Diebels, Franziskaner, Hasseröder, Löwenbräu etc.)
- Bitburger Holding GmbH (Bitburg / Rhineland-Palatinate, Beer brands: Bitburger, König Pilsner, Köstritzer etc.)
- Oettinger Brauerei GmbH (Oettingen / Bavaria, Beer brands: Oettinger, Feldschlößchen, Karlsquell etc.)
- Krombacher Brauerei Bernhard Schadeberg GmbH & Co. KG (Kreuztal / North Rhine-Westphalia, Beer brands: Krombacher, Rhenania, Cab etc.)
- Brau Holding International GmbH & Co. KGaA (Munich / Bavaria, Beer brands: Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, Kulmbacher, Thurn & Taxis etc.)
- Warsteiner Brauerei Haus Cramer KG (Warstein / North Rhine-Westphalia, Beer brands: Warsteiner, Frankenheim, Paderborner etc.)
- TCB Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH (Frankfurt (Oder) / Brandenburg, Beer brands: Frankfurter Pils, Koenigsbier, Spitzkrug etc.)
- Carlsberg A/S (Copenhagen / Denmark, Beer brands: Holsten, Astra, Hannen Alt etc.)
- Brauerei C.& A. Veltins GmbH & Co. KG (Meschede-Grevenstein / North Rhine-Westphalia, Beer brands: Veltins, Grevensteiner etc.)
Of course, we will be looking at the beer brands produced by these top-ranking by output breweries, however especially smaller German beer brands are of great interest to the beer enthusiast and have lots of exceptional tastes awaiting discovery. Nearly every week, new beer brands are established in Germany, while other brands leave the German and / or the international market. It is often hard for smaller breweries to compete against the large breweries with their well-known brands and extensive marketing schemes. Many large breweries are sponsors of German football clubs, for instance Paulaner (FC Bayern München) or Veltins (FC Schalke 04).
Many of the smaller German beer brands and breweries are worth looking at.
German beer: quality is essential, but the taste counts!
As one can often determine the unbiased quality of a beer brewed by a German brewery, it is by nature hard to determine how good the taste is. Taste is a very personal thing and does not only vary regarding cultural background, gender and age. Some great-tasting beers may be best for a certain dish, while other famous German beers are better enjoyed as a pure beverage and not combined with any food at all. The best is to taste many German beers yourself! We intend to give you essential information on beer brands , on their history and on their background followed by a review. Yet, this review is always from a personal point of view and we do not claim to be “right” with our impression. It is just supposed to be an inspiration. You have to taste each German beer brand yourself! Considering the quality and variety offered by all German beers, you are bound to please you personal taste with one or often more German beer types. We would be happy in assisting you on your personal route through the world of German beer brands and breweries.
It is our goal to provide you with as many reviews on German beer brands and styles as possible. Yet, you yourself will have to find you favorite German beer brand or style!
German beer brands – Reviews!