What are good beers without hops

The best beers in Germany in the Falstaff test

Artisanal beer, known internationally as craft beer, did not have it easy in Germany; at least not until his big one Hypethat started about ten years ago. This is largely due to the German purity law, about which there are still some errors. After the resolution of 1516, which states that only hops, malt, yeast and water have lost something in beer, more than 50 other auxiliary substances have been permitted up to the current Beer Tax Act. Although this regulation does not apply nationwide, it is now much easier for creative brewers.

That doesn't mean that you can't let off steam creatively within the prescribed purity law, it just needs a little more Nuance: a thoughtful compilation of different types of hops, the focus on the recency (i.e. the tingling sensation on the palate) or simply the strength of the hops.

A jury of different nationalities and three generations tasted their way through the German beer landscape and shared associations, aromas and comments. Welcome to Falstaff tasting of German beers in the Ale, Lager Hell, Pils, Wheat and Creative beer categories.


New Zealand nature poetry

Even if it is appropriate for alcoholic tastings of any kind to taste from the lowest volume percent towards the higher, we start with the ales. Although these usually contain more rotations than a pilsner or a lager, ales are grateful at the beginning, as the taste buds through the many hops nuances, invited to focus by the continually present tropical fruits and the ever-varying bitterness.

Because the craft beer scene and the sometimes revived top-fermented ale style flourished in Australia, New Zealand and the USA, the New Zealand section of the jury knew how to interpret the various exotic fruit notes with particular precision: The phrase “really ripe for harvest” is used Pineapple «at the Double IPA from Berliner Berg, and at BRLO, too, people quickly talk about a fresh fruit basket from the Matakana farmers' market.

And because in these climes one apparently likes to drink a beer with an espresso at lunchtime anyway, the caramel espresso notes from Crew Republics "In your Face" are also valued here. A tasting round that is not far from an aromatic vacation. In the case of the Störtebeker, the Norwegian faction of the jury even speaks of "bleeding trees" - that is, tree sap - and it is clear that natural poetry has never tasted better.

Category »Ale & Co.«

99 POINTS

  • Berliner Berg Double IPA, Berliner Berg Brewery
    Bittersweet orange peel and fully ripe pineapple on the nose, the first sip is followed by a complex finish full of caramel and even more fruit that you can occupy yourself with for a long time. 8.5% by volume, 0.33 l bottle
    € 2.19, bierlinie.de

97 POINTS

  • Brlo Pale Ale, BRLO
    As one of those ales that really always go, our group chooses the Berlin craft pioneers in the narrow reference range. From sour to bitter, in between spicy and sweet, no one needs more. 4.8% by volume, 0.33 l bottle
    € 2.49, craftbeer-shop.com

96 POINTS

  • Heidenpeters Thirsty Lady Heidenpeters
    Neither mint nor lemon balm, mango, not melon tastes exclusively feminine. But women should like it as a result; But so do men. 4.8% by volume, 0.33 l bottle
    € 2.39, craftbeermarket.de

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Easy and educational

We come to the most exciting category of tasting, certainly the most underrated, and thus the supreme discipline: light lager. A style that is characterized by the fact that it is always visually clear, aromatically spicy and fresh and slim in the mouth - a beer that simply always works. With a relatively low original wort of ten to twelve percent, the Helle has significantly less bitterness than, for example, the Pils.

A bright warehouse is categorically the most reliable beer through the summer and the aromatic intersection of the uncomplicated beer drinker, but it is also the beer that is most likely to assert itself. With the light-colored lager, it's a bit like a Wiener Schnitzel: It is almost only noticeable negatively when it is noticed. But I don't want it at all, because it usually corresponds exactly to expectations. The thinly pounded meat finds its counterpart in the slim mouthfeel, the crispy crust in the fine, spicy sweetness and the feeling of returning to bed after a blissful evening at Augustiner's. All needs met, no further questions.

Except for one last: What is the difference between all the bright ones? We'll talk about the schnitzel another time. However, we would like to summarize at the outset: Nobody comes close to Augustiner, Schönramer tingles the most beautifully, and when Tegernsee you can even eat something with it. Basically you should be on site, because the Herzoglich Bayerische Brauhaus Tegernsee owns one of the most beautiful breweries in Bavaria, perhaps even in Germany.

The rest remains easy, yet instructive. Like that too Bitburger Collabo, i.e. cooperation, with Sierra Nevada: If you want to explain to a traditionalist how drinking and brewing beer can be done today, take the one published at the beginning of March "Triple Hop'd" as the basis for the seminar, and the course is on the dry cloths.

Category »Light lager«

99 POINTS

  • Augustiner Edelstoff, Augustiner-Bräu
    The oldest brewery in Munich has launched a flagship of German lager Hell beers with this beer, also on the palate: a refreshing grain sweetness is followed by fresh grass notes and light roasted aromas. Rule of thumb: one thing is never enough. 5.2% by volume, 0.5 l bottle.
    1.69 €, bierlinie-shop.de

98 POINTS

  • Landgang Bright excitement Landgang Brewery
    Impressively amber-colored, this beer helps to escape the ever-sparse waters of the Hellen, and refreshes with fermented cherry aromas and a crunchy muesli sweetness; a beer for a good-humored breakfast! 5.0% by volume, 0.33 l bottle
    € 2.29, beyondbeer.de

97 POINTS

  • Tegernseer Hell, Herzoglich Bayerisches Brauhaus Tegernsee
    This is a little lighter than the Augustiner, with light aromas of freshly cut grass and reminiscent of a yellow floral scent, it is a little less filling. Depending on the project, this is also an advantage. 4.8% by volume, 0.5 l bottle
    1.69 €, biermarket.de

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Between beer garden and garden beer

Wheat beer has also not gained a golden reputation by inviting people to have tasting dialogues while concentrating, spitting out and dry bread. So what? Accurately brewed for every mood between beer garden and garden beer, it is the top-fermented favorite in the Bavarian summer and polarizes to this day about whether it can be drunk with banana juice or not.

The fact that this idea came up in the first place is due to the banana-heavy aroma of the wheat malt. At least fifty percent must make up that in the bed in order to Wheat beer to be called. Or a Hefeweizen, a wheat beer or simply: "a wheat". Fortunately, on the day of the tasting, it is hot, the Landwehr Canal close by and thirsty. Even if it initially seems as if you can only turn the banana, yeast and recency controls, new notes shimmer through with every look, every smell and every sip. Was there a child's memory of licking a bowl of raw batter in Pyraser's beer? Are those banana meringues in Weihenstephan? Dark chocolate in the Störtebeker? It almost looks like it.

Category »Wheat Beer«

98 POINTS

  • Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen Binding Brewery
    Even if we will never get the French navel out of our eyes and ears again - it remains citrusy and banana-like on the tongue, just like it is in the beer garden, there are orange notes and a freshness that you have ordered when you are thirsty. 5.0% by volume, 0.33 l bottle
    1.59 €, Lieferello.de

97 POINTS

  • Störtebeker Polar Wheat Störtebeker Brewery
    A shimmer of amber, the scent of green banana and the hint of a wheat IPA on the palate. This is followed by astringent notes of various citrus peel in the finish, before the dark chocolate arrives and puts all expectations into the corner. 9.5% by volume, 0.33 l bottle
    € 2.69, craftbeer-shop.com

96 POINTS

  • Paulaner Hefeweizen Naturtrüb, Paulaner Brewery
    A little less citrus than the Schöfferhofer, the banana is the aromatic top dog here. No beer to be amazed at, but to feel good, we are dealing here with a drinkable liveliness that also allows surprisingly tropical associations. 5.5% by volume, 0.5 l bottle
    € 2.39, beerwulf.com
     
  • Weihenstephan Hefeweissbier, Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan
    If you didn't know better, you would think of this beer as a banana meringue: With a strong fruity sweetness at the beginning, this beer has little acidity, is pleasantly full with its recent freshness and calls for the next after every bite. 5.4% by volume, 0.5 l bottle
    € 2.49, beerwulf.com

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The song of class and mass

A beer tasting is a bit like a survey about gray bread in Germany. The bread that is often sold in this country is not really a matter of taste; it is a staple food for many. And of course there are differences. But when it comes down to having a nice evening, they're rarely a reason to go home.

A Pils is a beer brewed in the Pilsener style with, in contrast to, for example, lager, a higher hop content. It is therefore characterized by its distinct bitterness and spiciness; it is difficult to differentiate from fruit notes in terms of pils. This beer style is not the favored of all large breweries for nothing, because it combines everything that is important to the beer-drinking people: Malty grain notes should romp around for a not too astringent bitterness, but not exert themselves and, just like the bright camp, provide an uncomplicated evening accompaniment.

As with people, it works in some places more original than in others; however, originality is often not in great demand with the "mass beer" project, after all, everyone can never be satisfied. Pearls like the Dresdner Vier Vogel Pils dare to take a courageous step forward - although you can't imagine who shouldn't taste it. The best thing to do, by the way, is to go straight by: In your own bar "Horst" (= Nest) this beer is at home - and it tastes different again.

Category »Pils«

98 POINTS

  • Vier Vogel Pils, Vier Vogel Pils GmbH
    Almost frighteningly good, because it is unspeakably fruity, malty, full and yet not too opulent, this beer comes along and makes the category tremble: Lemon, thanks to dry hopping, a whole lot of grassy hemp notes and zero exhausting. 5.0% by volume, 0.5 l bottle
    1.90 €, bierothek.de

96 POINTS

  • DAB Pilsener, Dortmund Actien-Brauerei GmbH
    Extremely mild for a Pils to drink, this beer builds up an increasing grassy freshness that lasts for a pleasantly long time. With a little bitter notes of citrus can be tasted, but hold back behind a delicately spicy drinkability. 4.8% by volume, 0.5 l bottle
    0.80 €, getraenke-dinslaken.de

95 POINTS

  • Rothaus Tannenzäpfle, Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus AG
    The beer is remarkably fresh and lasts a long time, combining nutty roasted aromas with sweet caramel notes. The part of the jury that is legally just drinkable also finds that a "sixer" of it "would go away very well". Our future has spoken. 5.1% by volume, 0.33 l bottle
    € 0.95, rewe.de

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From rare and sour beers

Work first, then pleasure - welcome to the creative beers! Under creative beer we mean all that beer that is difficult to contour stylistically; Partly because the brewing specifically bypasses the German purity law, partly because you don't want to be stipulated in the style or because there is still none for this particular beer. Then you do it directly like the island brewery on Rügen and just write "Rare Beer" on the label, that's it.

The fun of creative beers is that their brewers are independent kings of the categories. That's how she brews Snowy Owl Brewer Ulrike Genz in her distinctive varieties of the so-called "Northern Champagne" - the Berliner Weisse - not just a Berliner Weisse, as it died out before last year's hype of the sour beer, no, it goes one better. In her Hot Irmi, for example, she also processes ginger, habanero chilli, various citrus fruit peel and the original Brettanomyces yeast: It doesn't really get any more original than that, and it doesn't get any crazier, and it pays off. The good thing about creative beers: They usually taste very specific. Whether coffee or kirsch, sea salt or lactic acid - they are beers that require down-to-earth prudence. Traditional craftsmanship and daring heresy become one here.

Category »creative beer«

99 POINTS

  • Riegele Augustus 8, Riegele beer factory
    Brewed with Pilsner malt, wheat malt, Munich malt and top-fermented unique yeast, this beer is a dream come true for everyone who doesn't want to choose between fruit, bitterness, espresso and malt. Definitely one
    Jury darling. 8.8% by volume, 0.33 l bottle
    € 2.49, craftbeer-shop.com
     
  • Schneeeule Hot Irmi, Schneeeule Brewery
    If you have problems finding a topic with your conversation partner - Hot Irmi is the answer. An original Berliner Weisse, brewed with habanero chilli, ginger, grapefruit, orange and lemon peel. You don't have to like it, but you have to acknowledge it. 3.5% by volume, 0.33 l bottle
    € 3.99, brewcomer.com

96 POINTS

  • Baltic Gose Island Brewery, Rügen Island Brewery
    Brewed with sea salt, the liveliness and the palate of the almost forgotten beer style are strongly reminiscent of sparkling wine, but thanks to the dry, maritime acidity, ensure that it is not drunk as quickly, but rather makes you ponder over the summer at sea. 6.5% vol., 0.33 l bottle
    € 2.99, craftbeer-shop.com

All beers

DISCOVER MORE

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  • The best from the »Ale & Co.« category
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    All results in the category »Pale Lager« of the Falstaff Beer Trophy Germany 2020.
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    All results in the "Creative Beer" category of the Falstaff Beer Trophy Germany 2020.
  • The best from the »Pils« category
    All results in the "Pils" category of the Falstaff Beer Trophy Germany 2020.
  • The best from the »Wheat Beer« category
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