Germany 5 Favorite/Least Favorite German Beers

Discussion in 'Europe' started by herrburgess, Dec 21, 2013.

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  1. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,035) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    Apologies if this brings down the level of discourse.... :wink:

    Didn't see this BA "favorite" thread anywhere on here, so I though I'd throw it out, especially given some of the recent side-by-side comparisons and the talk about Oettinger, etc.

    So, here goes....

    1. Schlenkerla Maerzen
    2. Augustiner Helles
    3. Mahr's Ungespundet Kellerbier
    4. Schmitt-Brau Pils
    5. Paeffgen Koelsch

    1. Oettinger Pils
    2. Holsten Pils
    3. Astra Pils
    4. Krombacher Pils
    5. Some NORMA beer I bought once and never again.
    #1 herrburgess, Dec 21, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
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  2. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (390) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    As these usually go, the top is actually "too numerous to list". I could give you five different lists on five different days. But here goes.

    1) Uerige Alt
    2) Schlenkerla Eiche Dopplebock
    3) Rothaus Pils
    4) Weihenstephaner Hefe-weissbier Dunkel
    5) Eck Bräu's Wilderer Dunkel

    Bottom. Also hard. I try to avoid the beers that sit on the bottom of my lists. In no particular order, in my time in Germany...

    1) Hasseroder Pils
    2) Astra Rotlicht (good call reminding me about Astra)
    3) Lausitzer Porter, without a doubt the worst beer I've had since moving to Germany
    4) Berliner Kindl Green, just because I can't do the Woodruff syrup. Not for me.
    5) Last but not least, Oettinger's Kellerbier.
    ONovoMexicano, Zimbo and herrburgess like this.
  3. einhorn

    einhorn Aspirant (298) Nov 3, 2005 California
    Beer Trader

    I have had my share of average/bad pilsners, and I don't like to judge a (bad) beer by a potentially dirty line or the infamous poorly poured, flat-as-a-pancake 7-minute pilsner, so I'll concentrate on my favorites.

    1) Guttmann Hefeweizen
    2) Augustiner helles
    3) Wäldches helles (no longer being brewed)
    4) Rothaus Tannenzäpfle
    5) Flensburger (sorry, my love runs too deep for Flens not to keep her always in my heart)
    ONovoMexicano and herrburgess like this.
  4. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,035) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    To be fair to NORMA -- who just had the stuff contract brewed -- I probably should replace them with Braugold Pils from my old stomping grounds of Erfurt.

    Einhorn: sounds like Flensburg is for you what Greifenklau is for me.
    einhorn likes this.
  5. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Zealot (579) Nov 6, 2007 California

    Really like Ayinger Jarhundert from the wood for a helles.
    Schlenkerla Märzen from the wood as well.
    Uerige Alt, ditto.
    Augustiner Pils is a beautiful beer that I don't hear much about.
    I had Faust Doppelbock from an aged keg at their old pub in Miltenberg and it was maybe the best I've ever had.

    Only had Oettinger once on a bus back from the Brau Beviale after getting tanked on free Orval at some suppliers booth, so my memory of it isn't bad at all, though German brewers I know consider it to be the cheapest swill in the country.
    herrburgess likes this.
  6. danfue

    danfue Initiate (0) Sep 16, 2012 Germany

    You mean this one?
    I see it regularly in REWE-stores, also tried it once. The bottle doesn't state who brews this (and their cherry beer), but gives Possmann (the biggest Frankfurt Äppelwoi/cider-producer) as distributor. According to the commercial description on that site, it is brewed at Will Bräu.
    einhorn likes this.
  7. spartan1979

    spartan1979 Disciple (302) Dec 29, 2005 Missouri

    I haven't had enough to list the worst biers, but my five favorites are:

    Kneitinger Bock
    Spezial Lagerbier
    Weltenburger Asam Bock
    Faust Schwarzviertler
    Uerige Alt

    It's hard to pick only 5.
    herrburgess likes this.
  8. einhorn

    einhorn Aspirant (298) Nov 3, 2005 California
    Beer Trader

    That is the beer @danfue , not sure if Will Bräu did the beer justice. Also, it was a very popular brewpub in Ginnheim that unfortunately closed, and it was always very fresh which surely led to the great quality they were producing.
  9. spartan1979

    spartan1979 Disciple (302) Dec 29, 2005 Missouri

    This is the brauerei in Thuisbrunn?
  10. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (390) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    No, this one is in Böbrach, near the Czech border.
  11. spartan1979

    spartan1979 Disciple (302) Dec 29, 2005 Missouri

    I just checked and the brauerei in Thuisbrunn is Elch-Brau.
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  12. danfue

    danfue Initiate (0) Sep 16, 2012 Germany

    Probably not. I did not try the old original one from Frankfurt, but one of the bottles from REWE. It was kind of moldy, not very balanced, one of those rather poor Kellerbiers you sometimes get.
  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,106) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    My favorite German brewed beers in no particular order:
    • Jever Pils
    • Mahr's Ungespundet-hefetrüb (particularly on cask)
    • Weihenstephan Hefeweizen (if I can find it super fresh)
    • Rothaus Tannenzäpfle
    • Schlenkerla Fastenbier
    I have had a number of ‘popular’ German brewed beers that I have found to be unremarkable.

  14. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,243) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    My all-time faves (in no particular order) are: Andechser Doppelbock, Mahr's U, Keesmann Herren Pils, Augustiner Helles, and Mahr's Weiss. On my last trip I'd put the HB helles and Forschungs dunkel very close to to the beers on this list.
    For "worst" - I'd probably just go with their standard pilsners like Beck's, Veltin's, St. Pauli Girl, etc.
    None are particularly bad, but they're unremarkable at best.
    In terms of full-on bad, I think my worst experiences with (fresh) German beers have been because of bad lines and/or old kegs. Diacetyl-laden and oxidized beers that I *know* are usually good.
    herrburgess likes this.
  15. Darwin553

    Darwin553 Initiate (67) Jan 5, 2009 Australia

    My favourite German beers are (in order):

    1. Schneider Weisse Aventinus (Doppelbock)
    2. Weihenstephan Vitus
    3. Weihenstephan Hefe
    4. Radeberger
    5. Konig

    Honourable mentions to Weihenstephan Dunkel, Hofbrau Dunkel and Hofbrau Munchner Weisse

    My least favourite German beers are (in order)

    1. Schofferhofer Kristallweizen
    2. Berliner Weisse
    3. Henninger
    4. Furstenberg
    5. Erdinger Weißbier
    Oktoberfestgirl and Zimbo like this.
  16. the_trystero

    the_trystero Disciple (369) Mar 19, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Henninger was too available back when I was in college and the result was I got turned off from German beers for decades because of it. So I don't have a top 5 of either yet.

    I do know I love Schneider Weisse Aventinus and Weihenstephan Vitus.

    And I really enjoyed the first Ritterguts Gose I had yesterday.
  17. Darwin553

    Darwin553 Initiate (67) Jan 5, 2009 Australia

    Well to be fair I meant to put a note at the bottom of my post that says I don't really have an objection to any of my 3 last beers in my 'least favourites', it is just that the quality of the beers over in Germany are so high that it is hard to leave any out.

    In terms of henninger, sure the beer is bland and there is not much taste to it but it still goes down pretty smoothly and I would choose it ahead of most Australian BMCs.
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  18. jonb5

    jonb5 Savant (976) May 11, 2010 United Kingdom (England)

    (In no particular order)

    Schlenkerla Fastenbier
    Augustiner Helles
    Schlenkerla Helles
    Weltenburger Asam Bock
    St Georgen Brau Kellerbier

    Holsten Pils
    Norten-Hardenburger Pils
    Paderborner Pils
    Flensburger Dunkel
    herrburgess likes this.
  19. Bierman9

    Bierman9 Poo-Bah (4,295) Dec 20, 2001 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Not sure about a bottom 5, but a top five, off the top of my head, would include these:

    Andechs Doppelbock Dunkel
    Schneider Aventinus
    Schlenkerla Urbock
    Forschungsbrau St Jakobus Blonder Bock
    Düll Pils

    Domingo likes this.
  20. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    All my favourites are what most people on BA would derogatorily call "session beers". I don't really care to rank anything so I'd rather list one per style.

    Emmer Bier from the Brauhaus Riedenburg
    Märzen from Brauerei Pürner Etzelwang
    Edelpils from Kneitinger Regensburg
    Braunbier from "Communbrauhaus Hemau" (yet made by Brauerei Plank in Laaber)
    Zoigl from "Bürstenbinder" in Kallmünz
    Domingo, Gutes_Bier and boddhitree like this.
  21. whatsgoody

    whatsgoody Disciple (308) Nov 16, 2012 Vermont

    So many good ones to pick from, but looking back on my lists from the 5 months I spent playing soccer in Germany (and taking routine trips to Bavaria), I'll go with:

    Schneider Aventinus (clear favorite)
    Mahr's U
    Andechs Dopplebock
    Alpirsbacher Weihnachtsbier
    Augustiner Weissbier

    Bottom isn't as much fun or exciting, but I'll give it a shot (in no particular order):

    Norten-Hardenberger Pils
    Tucher Helles Hefe
    Binding Export
    Leikiem Landbier
    Something labeled PILS
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  22. Beric

    Beric Champion (896) Jun 1, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Best I've had:

    Aventinus Weizenbock
    Rothaus Tannenzaepfle Pils
    Weihenstephaner Hefewiessbier
    Feierling Inselhopf (Helles)

    Worst I've had:

    Ratskrone Pils
    Hasseroeder Pils
    Ganter Badisch Weizen-Kristallklar
  23. JHDStein

    JHDStein Initiate (29) Aug 16, 2013 Germany

    I love this thread, not least because it highlights a number of beers that I really need to hunt down and try out! Having said that, here's my best effort at a top and bottom 5 (right now...).

    Der Vogel Weizendoppelbock
    Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier
    Ayinger Weizenbock
    Schneider Weisse Tap X Mein Nelson Sauvin
    Andechser Doppelbock

    Lausitzer Porter
    Neuzeller Kloster-Bräu Schwarzer Abt
    Oettinger Bock
    Klosterhof Heidelberg Heidaleberg Roggen Pale Ale
    Eichbaum Winterbock

    One thing I noticed looking over my notes to put this list together is that, as much as I love trying out all of the "new" styles that German brewers are putting out there, and as much as I enjoyed some of those beers, several of them made my bottom 5 and none of them came close to being in my top 5 (unless you consider the Schneider Tap X a "new" style, which is arguable). I don't see that as a condemnation of those "new" beers, so much as an affirmation of just how great a really top-notch traditional-German-style beer can be.
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  24. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (390) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    I have heard bad things about this one. I've seen it a few times but passed every time, thankfully I guess.

    Klosterhof's dunkel tasted to me like it contained pureed peas. It was most unpleasant.
    JHDStein likes this.
  25. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (390) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    Wait, what? Did we all as a group just overlook this? Did you play for Dortmund? (avatar) If so, awesome! Or did you play for someone else? If so, still awesome!
  26. whatsgoody

    whatsgoody Disciple (308) Nov 16, 2012 Vermont

    No no... took a "gap year" and lived in Bad Homburg (outside of Frankfurt). Played for a local team and fell in love with Dortmund as they made their Champions League run. This was before I started school back home, and I'm now playing college soccer.

    I've been meaning to start posting in this forum for a while, because frankly, Germany was my first exposure to good beer, and though I've fully enjoyed exploring the New England (and especially Vermont) craft beer scene, still nothing can beat a good weissbier or dopplebock in my book.

    I certainly have my limited knowledge of German beer and culture to share, and hopefully I'll find a bit more time to spend reading this forum. It's great reading posts and seeing so many of my favorite places and beers in photos and discussions. And I'm happy to share my stories, because I look back on my time in Germany so fondly and I wish I had the $$ to make regular trips back.

    So take this as my "introduction"... I rarely read the main forum but I find the discussion here more fun and insightful. And Germany's beer tends to speak for itself...

  27. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (390) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    Welcome! Feel free to chime in any time. I always root for Dortmund to do well because I'm a fan of their coach. I like Bayern's coach, too, I guess, but that's like rooting for Goliath, so Dortmund it is!
  28. JHDStein

    JHDStein Initiate (29) Aug 16, 2013 Germany

    I generally don't like to slam beers, mainly because tastes differ and someone put alot of work into making it, so as my Mom always taught me, "if you can't say anything nice..." Having said that...

    Neuzeller Kloster-Bräu Schwarzer Abt - You should continue to avoid this. It is remarkably bad. So overly sweet that you are basically just drinking a Coke. I've tried it on several occasions and it was the same every time.

    Strangely enough, I find the Dunkel to be inoffensive. I don't buy it, but if it is the only dark beer around, then I'll take that over a Pils (I'm not a big Pils fan...). The Roggen Pale Ale was epically bad, though. I drainpoured after 4-5 sips. The only way to describe it is that it tasted like a hospital ward. It had a medical flavor like chewing on a band-aid. Maybe it was spoiled, but at €8 for a 750ml bottle, I don't think I'll ever pay to give it a second chance.
    Gutes_Bier likes this.
  29. paulaner

    paulaner Initiate (175) Jan 10, 2004 Germany

    Bitburger cause it's local and fresh and I'm attached to the area since I've lived here for so long. Anything from Ayinger, But my all time favorite is Schlenkerla.
  30. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Not fond of lists but I'm sick of how German beer often gets knocked by some American craft beer enthusiasts so here are my top five.

    Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche
    Schneider Aventinus
    Uerige Alt
    Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier
    Ayinger Celebrator
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  31. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Just thought I'd add that German beer often gets equally knocked by the new generation of UK craft beer drinkers as well. Unjustifiably of course.
  32. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,106) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Just thought I'd add that German beer often gets equally knocked by the new generation of UK craft beer drinkers as well.” Are the UK craft beer drinkers knocking the ‘popular’ German beers (e.g., Beck’s, Warsteiner, Bitburger, Oettinger, etc.) or all Germans beers (including Ayinger, Weihenstephaner, etc.)?

    boddhitree likes this.
  33. boddhitree

    boddhitree Devotee (482) Apr 13, 2008 Germany

    Doesn't that sound like what a lot of U.S. craft beer drinkers say about German Pils beers, don't they? I agree with Jack that what most regular people INSIDE & OUTSIDE of Germany imagine what they think of when the term "German beer" is mentioned is Becks, Warsteiner, Fransizkaner, and other crap conglomerates. So it's also plausible that craft drinkers in U.K. haven't gone much beyond those and learned about the smaller, more "craft" brewers who use top ingredients for German styles, nor a few of the new, smaller, up-and-coming brews that mix German and more modern styles, such as Camba Bavaria, Pax or Schönramer, to name the ones I can think of at the moment. The last 3 are what are called a Geheimtipp, literally secret tip, or insider's tip.

    Hell, most people in Germany still think American beer consists only of Budweiser, Coors and Miller Lite and still think all American beer is crap.
    #33 boddhitree, Jan 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
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  34. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    I often hear new beer enthusiasts who have tried the likes of Beck's and Warsteiner say they are (understandably) unimpressed but many will still try Ayinger, etc etc without prejudice. But because the better German breweries/beers also brew different /traditional styles which don't appeal to their new found tastes tastes (ie highly hopped IPAs, extreme Imperial Stouts etc) many seem to think that all German beer is a write off and that the nation is a brewing dinosaur. I've even heard similar attitudes from some experienced tickers who should know better.
  35. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,106) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “ …many seem to think that all German beer is a write off and that the nation is a brewing dinosaur.”
    I am saddened to hear that. Thank you for your report.

    Zimbo likes this.
  36. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)


    Yes, it does go both ways.

    Its also sad how some of the old stalwarts of German brewing (Jever pils or Paulaner Salvator for example) seem to be in terminal decline. Jever is a good example. Even before it was acquired by Brau und Brunnen in 1994 it had lost a lot of its character and even in its glory days under Bavaria-St. Pauli it had a reputation for not travelling well. A shame because in its prime it was one of the very best pilsners I have ever drunk but that's the way things are. No need to dwell on it. Sadly many BAs (and RBs) see this sort of change as endemic, stick to their BA Top 250 'Extreme Comfort List' (which caters for their narrow tastes), and seem deliberately oblivious to how the German beer scene is evolving.
    digita7693 likes this.
  37. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    In the past I have had many conversations something like this:

    Craft beer enthusiast: Can't stand pilsners(''for example').
    Me: How many have you tried?
    Craft beer enthusiast: Enough to know I don't like them.
    Me: Have you tried them in Germany?
    Craft beer enthusiast: No, but I've drunk enough to know not to try them in Germany either.

    I don't even bother to engage in the conversation now. I just cringe whenever I see people trying to organise styles by rank. There's just no accounting for taste.
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  38. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,106) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Its also sad how some of the old stalwarts of German brewing (Jever pils or Paulaner Salvator for example) seem to be in terminal decline.”

    “ …seem deliberately oblivious to how the German beer scene is evolving.”

    How do you personally see how the German beer scene is evolving? Your lead in sentence concerning Jever Pils and Paulaner Salvator could be interpreted as meaning that German beer scene evolving equates to decline. There are some German BAs who post on this forum who have unfavorable opinions on some of the Munich big breweries since they are now owned by bigger conglomerates (e.g., Spaten-Lowenbrau is owned by AB-InBev). They then view the beers coming from those breweries of being of lower quality.

  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,106) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Engaging in a conversation on Pilsners (including German Pilsners) can be tricky since the Craft beer enthusiast that you are speaking to can readily associate the style of German Pilsners to mean Warsteiner, Bitburger, Beck’s, Krombacher, etc.

    Have you had similar conversations for non-Pilsner styles like Uerige Altbier, Weihenstephan Hefeweisse or Ayinger Celebrator?

  40. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    The way I see it some of the com
    To me the German beer scene seems relatively healthy. There remain many quality non conglomerate breweries and there are now new brewers with a new dynamic but the scene seems pretty inclusive. Outsiders sometimes see the supposed 'lack of revolutionary innovation' as a sign of stagnation when in reality its just stability. German beer is not and never was in a situation which required so much improvement like in the desperately dreadful days of American beer just 25 years ago.

    I don't see the the evolution of German beer scene equating with decline. Sorry if I gave you that impression. The example of Jever was just made to show that decline of even the best known most loved beers can happen anywhere in the world, even Germany (like the demise of Boddington's Bitter in England or Belhaven 80/ in Scotland). Its sad but its something we shouldn't get sentimental about as it hasn't stopped the rise of England or Scotland's increasingly dynamic beer scene in recent years. Unfortunately some people with agendas or indifference to certain styles (or even brewing nations) just use these examples to perpetuate their own prejudices and ignorance.
    LBerges, Crusader, TreinJan and 2 others like this.
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