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German Beer

Beer is an alcoholic and carbonated beverage, which is made through fermentation of its main ingredients - water, malted grain, and hops.

Germany is widely recognized as one of the greatest beer centers and its beer is among of the best the world has to offer. Beer is engrained both into Germany's history and culture. Germany has over 1,200 breweries, which produce the largest variety of beer styles in the world. Bavaria (Bayern) is Germany's leading beer producing region, and Dortmund, in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen), is Germany's largest beer-producing city (producing over 4 million barrels of beer annually).

German Beer is All Natural!

The German beer industry is regulated by the "German Beer Purity Law" (Reinheitsgebot). This law, first created on April 23, 1516, by the Bavarian co-rulers Duke Wilhelm IV and Duke Ludwig X, is designed to keep German beer pure, natural, and free from unhealthy and cheap ingredients. The law states that lager beer must be made only from barley malt, hops, yeast and water. Spices, corn, rice, sugar, unmalted grains, chemical additives, or stabilizers are not permitted ingredients for lagers. Brewers have a little more flexibility when it comes to ale beers- this is to accomodate Germany's ancient barley-based ale and wheat-based ale traditions. German ales may contain to barley malt, hops, yeast, water, other malted grains (such as wheat, rye, spelt), sugars, and coloring agents derived from sugar.

German Beer
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German Beer Styles

The range of German beer varieties is huge:  Alt, Bock, Dunkel, Export, Hell, Kölsch, Lager, Malzbier, Märzen, Pils, and Weizenbier, to name just a few. Search our beer dictionary to get details of German beer styles that are available in the U.S.
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Ale vs Lager

Beers are classified as either ales or lagers. But what does this mean ... and what is the difference between the two? Here we describe the technical differences, as well as the differences evident in the final products.

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Beer Raw Materials

Beer is made from just 4 main ingredients. By varying these ingredients, brewers develop the uniqueness in their beers. Here we describe those four main ingredients. We also explain how each plays a role in beer production.

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German Beers
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