Do you want a true taste of German culture and cuisine? Then explore the rich history of century-old beer making in Germany. There are many ways to educate yourself in German beer culture, and almost all of it includes raising a mass (liter of beer). Get ready to say "Prost"!
Take a look behind the scenes and find out how German beer is made. From thousand-year-old monasteries to modern state-of-the-art facilities, take a tour through one of these German breweries before you sample your fresh beer right then and there.
For example, the Hofbrau Brewery Tour allows you behind the scenes in one of the most iconic German breweries.
Beer lovers may be surprised to find that beers have traditionally been quite regional. While generic pilsners from mega-brewers can be found everywhere, there are specialties in each area. Along with learning about the many regions of Germany, delve into the smoked brews in Bavaria, sample the woodruff-laced wheat beer in Berlin, and throw back many petite stange of crisp Kölsch in Cologne. Every city offers a beer adventure.
Munich is home to one of the most famous beer halls in the world, the Hofbräuhaus. Established in 1589 as the Royal Brewery of the Kingdom of Bavaria, the Hofbräuhaus is an essential part of Munich’s culture and cuisine, treasured by tourists and locals alike.
After leading the beer scene in medieval times, corporate breweries slowly crushed the little guys in Germany. For a time, only mass-produced Berliner Pils or foreign beers such as Beck's were commonly on offer. And that fits the clientele who was happy to walk into any kneipe (bar) and simply ask for a pilsner—whatever that may be.
But as the people of Berlin have changed, so has the beer scene. There is currently a craft beer renaissance with new breweries opening in every corner.
One of the best places to enjoy your handcrafted beer is in a German beer garden, sitting at long wooden tables, shaded by century-old chestnut trees. You aren't experiencing a true German summer without a visit.
So what traditional food should you try? How do you find a good table, and can you also bring your own picnic?
Germany's Best Beers
According to the Purity Law of 1516, German beer is only made with four ingredients—water, hops, malt, and yeast—but that doesn't mean that all German beer tastes the same. You can wet your whistle with more than 5,000 types of beers.
Also note that in a country of tradition, a brand-new beer scene is making a splash. Craft brewing has arrived and taken the reins back from major brewers. Small, craft brewers have popped up around the country and are re-inventing German beer.
The famous Oktoberfest is a colorful celebration of German beer, culture, and cuisine. Get a taste of Bavaria in more than 30 Oktoberfest beer tents, each one proudly serving different local beers, which were handcrafted in some of Bavaria’s finest breweries. Don't forget to taste some of the delicious food and sweets served at this event.
Did you miss Oktoberfest? Germany has many great drinking festivals to fill out the rest of the year. Discover lesser-known festivals such as spring festivals in Stuttgart and Munich, Berlin's International Beer Festival, and wine festivals such as the Werder's fruit wine festival. Prost!
Beer and Oktoberfest Museum
Educate yourself about Germany's favorite drink in Munich's Beer and Oktoberfest Museum. The exhibition showcases the art and culture of beer making around the world and explores the history of Oktoberfest.
For the Non-Beer Drinker
Are you not a beer-drinker? Despite its reputation, Germany has many unique non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy during the summer and in the winter. Branch out into wines, sodas, seasonal drinks, and spirits such as Jagermeister.