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Here are the top 10 breweries to celebrate German Beer Day

Monday 23rd April marks German Beer Day, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by visiting one of Germany’s some 1,500 breweries.

Here are the top 10 breweries to celebrate German Beer Day
Andechs Monastery in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

The annual day was created more than 500 years ago, in the year 1516, to commemorate the German Reinheitsgebot (German Beer Purity Law) which decreed that beer may only be made with three ingredients: barley, hops and water. Here are some of the best breweries to visit.

Weihenstephan

Founded in 725 as the Weihenstephan Benedictine Alley, this monastery began producing beer in 1040. It is now impressively not only the oldest continually operating brewery in Germany, but also within the world. Nowadays owned by the state of Bavaria, it produces a large range of brews including pale lagers and wheat beers.

Rothaus

Claiming to be the brewery situated at the highest altitude in Germany, Rothaus is deep in the middle of Germany’s Black Forest. The company is almost as green as their leafy surroundings, boasting brews from a wood chip plant they say is completely carbon neutral and utilizes thermal energy. While their beer has been brewed since 1791, their most popular Tannenzäpfle brew has been around since 1956.

SEE ALSO: The German beer industry is failing to live up to its potential (opinion)

Köstritzer

If you drift towards the darker side of beer, Köstritzer arguably produces Germany’s most famous Schwarzbier (black beer). It even counts Goethe as one of its consumers, as he is said to have sustained himself on the brew when unable to eat due to illness. During the Cold War, it was one of the very few breweries in East Germany which produced beer for export, largely to West Germany.

Photo: DPA

Allgäuer Brauerei

One of Germany’s most classic brews hails from the alpine region of Allgäu in Bavaria. At the 600-year old Allgäuer Brauerei, guests can sample their famous, lightly carbonated “Büble Bier” as well as a long line up of other light and dark varieties. Not only can guests sample their beer on site, they can also take a trip in the brewery’s hot air balloon, taking in the scenery of the Austrian Alps.

Eschenbräu

Once you are inside, it’s hard to guess that this rustic beer hall with brewing equipment on display is just a stone’s throw from a busy Berlin street. The dimly lit interior with long wooden tables feels like a classic beer hall, with a trendy flare as befits Berlin. Especially memorable here is the Rauchbier (smoked beer) which – true to its name – has a subtle but strangely tasty meaty flavor. They also brew a mean pale ale, known for its intensely bitter taste.

Photo: DPA

Freigeist Bierkultur

This brewery lives up to its name, offering some of the most unusual and creative (depending on your perspective) beers we've heard of. Take, for example, the Strawberry Eisbock Forever, a fruity wheat ale, or a tomato beer with smoked chipotles. The craft brewery’s owner frequently travels to other breweries worldwide to bring their unique flavours and processes into deutsches Bier.

Brauerei Heller

Enjoying a cult status in Germany and centrally situated in Cologne, this organic-quality brewery offers a wide selection of white, wheat and of course the regional classic, Kölsch beer.

Brauerei Spezial

To visit the birthplace of Rauchbier, head to the beautiful town of Bamberg in northern Bavaria, which boasts 10 breweries famous for the smoky beer. The brewery gives guests a glimpse at the process of drying malt over an open fire that dates back to its opening in 1536. You’ll have to travel there yourself to sample the brew, which is only sold within about 15 kilometres of the city. They brew several different varieties, and if you have tried too many, they also double up as a bed and breakfast.

Photo: DPA

Bayerischer Bahnhof Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei

At first glance, it might seem that that the Gose wheat beer produced at this Leipzig brewery breaks the Reinheitsgebot – the famous 1516 Bavarian law that decreed that beer may only be made with hops, barley and water. 

After all, the Gose wheat beer is made with coriander and salty water. Yet it receives an exception due to it being a regional specialty of Leipzig, even though it originated in Goslar in the Harz mountains.

Bayerischer Bahnhof is an old train station turned brewery that was built to connect the Saxon city with Bavaria. Try the refreshing Goseator, brewed with spices and matured in a tequilla oak barrel on the sprawling outdoor premises.

Andechs Monastery

What better way is there to end an uphill hike than stopping at a scenic brewery? Located on the Holy Mountain on top of Lake Ammersee in Bavaria, and a pilgrimage site since the Middle Ages, the Andechs Monastery is one of the most unique spots in Deutschland to down a refreshing beer and take in the sweeping views.

This Statista infographic shows, among other things, the increasing number of breweries in Germany as well as which countries are the biggest fans of German beer.  

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LIVING IN GERMANY

REVEALED: The most commonly asked questions about Germans and Germany

Ever wondered what the world is asking about Germany and the Germans? We looked at Google’s most searched results to find out – and help clear some of these queries up.

Oktoberfest
Hasan Salihamidzic, the sports director of FC Bayern, arrives with his wife at Oktoberfest in full traditional dress. Photo: picture alliance/dpa |

According to popular searches, Germany is the go-to place for good coffee and bread (although only if you like the hard kind) and the place to avoid if what you’re looking for is good food, good internet connection and low taxes. Of course, this is subjective; some people will travel long stretches to get a fresh, hot pretzel or a juicy Bratwurst, while others will take a hard pass.

When it comes to the question on the bad Internet – there is some truth to this. German is known for being behind other rich nations when it comes to connectivity. And from personal experience, the internet connection can seem a little medieval. The incoming German coalition government has, however, vowed to improve internet connectivity as part of their plans to modernise the country.

There are also frequent questions on learning the German language, and people pointing out that it is hard and complicated. This is probably due to the long compound words and its extensive grammar rules, however, as both English and German are Germanic languages with similar words in common, it’s not impossible to learn as an English-speaker.

Here’s a look at some of those questions…

Why is German called Deutsch? Whereas ‘German’ comes from the Latin, ‘Deutsch’ instead derives itself from the Indo-European root “þeudō”, meaning “people”. This slowly became “Deutsch” as we know it today. It can be a bit confusing to English-speakers, who are right to think it sounds a little more like “Dutch”, however the two languages do have the same roots which may explain it.

And why is Germany so boring? Again, probably a generalisation, especially given that Germany has a landmass of over 350,000 km² with areas ranging from high rise, industrial cities to traditional old town villages and even mountain ranges, so you’re sure to find a place that doesn’t bore you to tears.

Perhaps it is a question that comes from the stereotype that Germans are obsessed with strict about rules, organised and analytical. Or that they have no sense of humour – all of these things being not the most exciting traits. 

Either way, from my experience I can confirm that, even though there is truth to German society enjoying order and rules, the vast majority of people are not boring, and I’m sure if you come to Germany you’ll meet many interesting, funny and exciting people. 

READ ALSO: 12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Germany

When it comes to the German weather, most people assume a cold and cloudy climate, however this isn’t entirely true. While the autumn and winter, especially in the north, comes with grey skies and sub-zero temperatures, Germany can have some beautiful summers, with temperatures frequently rising above 30C in some places.

Unsurprisingly, the power and wealth of the German nation is mentioned – Germany is the largest economy in Europe after all, with a GDP of 3.8 trillion dollars. This could be due to strong industry sectors in the country, including vehicle constructions (I was a little surprised to find no questions posed on German cars), chemical and electrical industry and engineering. There are also many strong economic cities in Germany, most notably Munich, Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg.

READ ALSO: Eight unique words and phrases that tell us something about Germany

Smart and tall?

Why are Germans so tall? They are indeed taller than many other nations, with the average German measuring a good 172.87cm (or 5 feet 8.06 inches), however this may be a question better posed to the Dutch, who make up the tallest people in the world.

Why are Germans so smart? While this is again a generalisation – as individuals have different levels of intelligence in all countries – this question may stem from Germany’s free higher education system or their seemingly efficient work ethic. Plus there does seem to be some scientific research behind this question, with a study done in 2006 finding that Germans had the highest IQ in Europe.

So, while many of the questions posed about Germany and Germans on Google stem from stereotypes, we can confirm that some aren’t entirely made up. If you’re looking to debunk some frequently asked questions about France and the French, check out this article by our sister site HERE.

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