Well, my bud Calvin is off in England right now enjoying some of the classic beer styles that have influenced so much that we know about beer today. I’m not jealous at all… And to show him what a good sport I am I am helping him find some amazing beers everywhere he goes. In Part 1 Calvin will enjoy the cask beers of England and some rich wild beers from The Netherlands. But now soon he will make his way into Paris and then one of the worlds greatest beer producing countries, Germany.
France is easy, I can give him a few beers to look for. But how do you limit all the beers in Germany to a few suggestions!? Not to mention the amazing selection that I don’t even know about! So Calvin, when you are in Germany, don’t drink water, just drink beer.
France: France is of course not primarily known for its beer production. Potentially the wine capital of the world, France has historically stuck up its nose to brewers, however there are many fine craft brewers in France, and people are starting to come around to the carbonated beverage. Hey, you can’t drink wine all the time.
Fischer: Fischer has been around since 1822 and eventually became an icon of Alsace beer. It is now owned by Heineken, but their most famous brew is still one worth trying. Please bring me back a bottle Cal! Go find the Adelscott (a 5.8 lager that is brewed with whisky malt giving this beer a distinct peat and whisky smoke flavor).
Brasseurs de Lorraine: Just opened in 2003, the Brasseurs de Lorraine brew unique beers the tradition way- each of their six main brands are distinct and delicious. Try to find the Abbaye des Premontres (an abbey style beer at 6% with a sweet, fruity malt character and delicate bitterness) or the Duchesse de Lorraine (this is a malty and spicey red beer at 5.5% that has dried fruit flavors originating from an 18th century recipe).
St-Sylvestre: When you are ready for a refreshing and lively beer go find anything by St-Sylvestre. These thrilling beers have been brewed traditionally since 1789. Look for the Trois Monts (a golden malty beer at 8.5%, but its lighter and more quenching than you may expect) and the Gavroche (another 8.5% ale, this with richer toasted flavors and a bitter spice at the end).
Germany: Where do you begin with Germany? The founders of many styles of beer, and the home of the world famous Oktoberfest and Hofbrauhaus is one of a few beer heavens on earth. You will find a plethora of crisp lagers and smoked beers all over Germany. The key will be to try everything you see. Have fun!
Aldersbach: This brewery began as a monastery in the 13th century, and now produces more than 13 different styles of beer classic to Germany. Look for the Freiherrn Pils (a crist and mildly bitter 4.5% pilsner with a clean grainy flavor and a fine taste) and the Kloster Dunkel (a full bodied and malty Dunkel with roast and freshness at 5%).
Einbecker: Its history dates back to the 1500’s, and its beers are worldly renowned. Anything with the name Einbecker on it will be worth your while. Seek out the Ur-Bock Hell (a classic 6.5% Bock Beer with a rich pale malt flavor) and the Spezial (this is a 5.2% lager with a fine, lightly sweet flavor and hugely quenching characteristics).
Hofbrau Munchen: These are the beers produced at the largest brewpub in the world. Since 1607 the Hofbrauhaus has been an icon for beer production and beer consumption. Go there and try everything you can, but I’d start with the Original (a Munchner Helles at 5.1% that is clean and dry with a creamy balance of pale malt and hops) then find the Dunkel (this is one of the oldest styles of Bavarian beer, it will be deep and dark amber in color with full malt flavors and a hint of smoke).
Schlenkerla: The home of the famous smoke beer. Since 1405 Schlenkerla has been producing the famous smoke beers of Bamberg, and they are now spread across the entire world. We even get a few of their bottles here in Ontario, so when you are there find anything you can on draught, and enjoy!
Schneider: This is another world famous German Brewery whose beers travel very well. But we only get a few of them here. So once again, go hunting for anything Schneider on draught. I am very jealous of you.