Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Euro Lagers - Part 3: Germany

Germany is known for the Bavarian Purity Law (one of the older trade barriers) and its lagers (the word lager means 'storehouse' in German) and most of them taste very similar to each other. For that reason I am starting this post with one that tastes better than all the rest.

Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold (Germany - Munich) 5.5%

Full gold in a glass with a malty and sweet aroma tinged with a dry hops halo. The taste is bitter more than sweet and has a very dry hops taste than nearly masks the malt. A perfect pilsner style lager which should come as no surprise as all the Hacker-Pschorr's products that I have tried are of top quality (their Hefeweisen is truly wonderful). Because it's so much a true pilsner, people who prefer their lagers yellow and fizzy but bland probably won't like: it really is quite bitter. Oh and it comes in a cool (and very useful) swing-top bottle.

Beck's (Germany - Bremen) 5.0%

A lightly malted, slightly skunky lager (green bottle!) with a dry hoppy tone and a hint of spice. A nicely drinkable European style lager.

DAB (Germany) 5.0%

A malty aroma with more than a touch of dry hops. A sweet malty body with a watery mouthfeel with a dash of dry hops and a slightly bitter finish. The taste is sweeter at first than the average Euro lager but the dryness of hops prevents DAB from tasting too sweet, the end result of which is a slightly sweeter but mostly average Euro lager.

Wernesgruner (Germany) 4.9%

A very pale beer with a full frothy head. This beer, brewed in accordance with the German purity law of 1436, has the dry hops flavour I associate with a pilsner. It is quite bitter though otherwise a fairly mild malt flavour and sweetness. Not any surprises in this half-litre can, this beer is very typical of german pilsners: bitter and generally ordinary.

Warsteiner (Germany) 4.8%

Light gold colour in a glass with a malty smell. Musty very bitter taste, hoppy but not sprucy at all. A good lager taste and good with food because the bitterness clears the palate nicely.

Lowenbrau Original (Germany - Munich) 5.2%

Yellow and fizzy, obviously European with its dry hops flavour (not to be confused with beer that has been dry-hopped). A little sweeter than a Grolsch. Somewhat malty, a little bitter. A rather plain pilsner all-told. Drinkable but not remarkable.

Krombacher (Germany) 4.8%

Very pale gold in a glass. A bitter classic European pilsner with its trademark dry hops flavour. Some grain malt flavours also, and some sweetness but more or less a typical pilsner. Very pleasant and easy to drink but not exotic by any measure.

Bitburger (Germany) 4.8%

Malty sweet aroma with more than a hint of dry hops. Also a light fruity touch of something like white grape juice. Pale gold in a glass with a good frothy head.

A nice dry hops taste with plenty of bitterness and some light malt flavour. Bitburger is really quite bitter and as such would pair nicely with food and is nicely refreshing.

 In case you missed it, here are the earlier Parts to this Euro Lager Saga:

Euro Lagers - Part 1: The Czech Republic
Euro Lagers - Part 2: Scandinavia

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