Germany American craft in Germany

Discussion in 'Europe' started by apriori, Oct 24, 2013.

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  1. russpowell

    russpowell Poo-Bah (7,360) May 24, 2005 Arkansas
    Beer Trader

    That AAFES for ya, giving the troops all the best, not. I remember when I was stationed in Korea (95-96), some craft beer showed up by mistake (was supposed to go to Okinowa (sic) ) and when asked for more I was told that was impossible. I'm guessing there was no blackmarket for it :p
    I visited that Cora quite a bit & seemed to buy a lot of Belgians when I hit Battle of the Bulge sites. I used to buy quite a bit of German Beer at Real. The class 6 at Vogelweh used to have the best selection of German stuff for on-base options.
  2. CoverMePorkins

    CoverMePorkins Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2012 Delaware
    Beer Trader

    I hit up the Real in Homburg and the local Lidl and Wasgau for German beers. The class 6 at Vogelweh and Ramstein don't have much, if anything different. One thing about Vogelweh that is better is they have the beer at the back of the shop vs Ramstein which puts many of the beers in the front window getting crushed by sunlight. I mentioned something once but that went on deaf ears.
  3. russpowell

    russpowell Poo-Bah (7,360) May 24, 2005 Arkansas
    Beer Trader

    Probably thing I miss the least about the Military, beside the shitty hours; AAFES awesome customer service.
  4. CoverMePorkins

    CoverMePorkins Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2012 Delaware
    Beer Trader

    Civilian jobs in the military and customer service don't go hand in hand except maybe rec services.
  5. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (611) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    You could never be a BA Enforcer. 100,000 hop heads from Beeradvocate would throw you in a Sierra Nevada-esque hop torpedo the moment you claimed they were all "thrill seekers" more interested in bold flavor than actual beer.
  6. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    That sounds a lot like "600 Million Chinese can't be wrong". They were and so are thrill seekers. But as long as they leave me alone I'll be that old guy on the porch, snickering about the flooy of youth.
    russpowell likes this.
  7. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,254) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Was at Sierra Nevada recently. Started talking to the young German guy setting next to me. He had been in the USA for 6 months, with his brother and their wives/girlfriends. They had another year to go on their trip, as they were heading south through CA on their way to South America, driving. They were on the adventure of a lifetime, which is what I told them! Maybe they will be on the porch in later years.
  8. YamBag

    YamBag Initiate (179) Feb 2, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I lived in zweibrucken in the 80s and parkbrau and karlsberg were the go to breweries. Are the still around
  9. CoverMePorkins

    CoverMePorkins Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2012 Delaware
    Beer Trader

    Both are still around. The pub that is a block from my house is tied in with Park. I do enjoy their Valentine Weiss. Karlsberg seems to be the most popular beer in the town I live in. The UrPils is ok, but I don't usually have any of their brews in my fridge.
  10. LBerges

    LBerges Initiate (0) Feb 14, 2010 Germany

    The following beers were available as regular imports most of the year 2013 : Sierra Nevada, Adams, Flying Dog, Anchor, Left Hand, Anderson Valley, Victory, Alaskan, Brooklyn, Firestone Walker, Rogue, Hoppin Frog, Kona, Red Hook & Widmer.
    Some others are available occaisonally due to private import activities. For example at the Berliner Biermeile, there were these beers: Ballast Point, Boulevard, Cisco, Dogfish, Epic, Odell, OscarBlues, Shipyard, Sixpoint and Woodfour.
    spartan1979 and boddhitree like this.
  11. spartan1979

    spartan1979 Aspirant (296) Dec 29, 2005 Missouri

    I can't get a lot of those in St. Louis!
  12. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,005) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    Me either. Man those Germans have it good for U.S. craft beer! ;)
  13. CoverMePorkins

    CoverMePorkins Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2012 Delaware
    Beer Trader

    Where at in Germany?
  14. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (389) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    Sierra Nevada: Torpedo is available in at least some Galeria Kaufhof stores. Boddhitree has reported seeing it in Frankfurt and I have seen it myself in Mannheim. I think Mahruhn's in Darmstadt has SNPA.
    Brooklyn and Firestone Walker: Anywhere BrauFactum has a refrigerator.
    Sam Adams and Anchor: Seen at Maruhn's.
    All others listed: I have never seen them, although I do not doubt LBerges. I assume he carries them - or has the opportunity to import them? - in his shop in Berlin.
    boddhitree likes this.
  15. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    As an American who has just settled in to living Germany (had been living in France for the last 3 years, now in Germany for the next 3 years) I have to admit, I was thrilled to see that I could grab a FW Pale for 3 euros at the grocery store in my area (bottled 3 months ago at that)! I've been to Germany a dozen times in the last 3 years and it was mind bowing for me, to see this, at a Globus no less!

    I was aware of Braufactum's beers (fancy Italian bottles, Barleywines, etc.) before I came over here, but after seeing their cooler, I got very curious. So, I did a bit of research, figured out what was going on and decided to buy a few of their beers to see what they were doing, aside from importing and distributing some nice beers you would have never seen in Germany before.

    I agree with you, they are pricing themselves too high, so high, that I only grabbed the 2 12oz. bottles (bitter, pale) and a couple of the bombers (Roog, Schwarz) as a starting point. I wasn't about to pay, 10 or 15 euros for an IPA that was (from what I could tell) bottled 6-8 months prior. Their beers, were decent. I actually really liked the Roog though (a super creamy and balanced dunkel with a nice body and a bit of smokiness). I would buy it again and think that their 5-6 euro bomber price is more than fair.

    What isn't, is the Italian bottle for their IPAs, Scotch Ale, and the price point that comes with it of an average of 13 euros. Granted, I haven't tried them, so I don't know if they are worth it, but at this point, I have had so many IPAs over the years, I rarely have to spend more than a couple of bucks to get a great one when stateside.

    Other than their high pricing for a good amount of their own beers, I don't have any gripes with them or what they are doing. I think the beers they've imported are all (aside from Sorachi Ace) of a fair price (Brooklyn Local 1 and 2 generally go for 10+tax bucks in the states, FW beers are all right on par dollars to euros, the Belgians are reasonable, granted uninteresting to me) and so on.

    I had the exact same thought as you in terms of Braufactum realizing (most likely based on sales or the lack there of) that their price-points are just too high and hopefully will adjust accordingly. If they do that, I think that they will be better received by everyone.

    Just out of curiosity, how long have the Braufactum coolers been around and have you ever seen fresh Double Jack in them? I would have no problem paying the 12 euros for a bomber of it, if it was as fresh as the Pale31.
  16. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    Why even bother bringing up RR, The Alchemist, and HF. Of course we won't see this in German. Shit, you will never see them in GA. CCB just now started sending some stuff to GA again this fall and you're the state over...btw, CCB is occasionally available in Scandinavia, I think we will see more of it in Europe considering they started to brew huge batches down in Puerto Rico.

    In terms of the beers imported by Braufactum, you said "with a few exceptions, most of their US craft isn't that great". They only import two US breweries currently and they are Brooklyn and FW.
    From those breweries, we are seeing:

    Local 1 (12.50 euros)
    Local 2 (12.50 euros)
    Sorachi Ace (20 euros a bottle, compared to US pricing, this is pretty high)
    Lager and EIPA (3 euros a bottle, sure it's high compared to the US, but what do you pay for a Chimay or Duvel in Georgia? Shit costs, .89 in Belgium)

    Pale31 (again, 3 euros a bottle)
    You mentioned the "you might see a trickle of their best stuff, please tell me what you consider better than Parabola and the Anniversary Ales from FW Lineup".
    Parabola (20 euros, on par with US pricing ignoring exchange rate)
    Anniversary (25 euros, on par as well)

    I'm sorry, but I just had so many problems with your post that I felt the need to address them. Unless you've lived outside of your country (maybe you have, I don't know) you won't know the feeling of seeing something you miss from your own country and the joy you have seeing it available, in a grocery store no less. Do you have any idea what something as simple as cornbread mix costs in Paris? Or what you would be willing to pay for a Dr. Pepper in Europe (if you like that soda, I personally think it's garbage and don't drink soda in general).
    Seeing some beers that I really love, available to me at a grocery store in Germany for a fair fucking price (Parabola is 15-20 bucks in the states) is awesome.

    So yeah, I'm happy with what Braufactum is doing, aside from pricing their own beer so highly. It really doesn't affect me though, I just won't be buying them. I just feel bad for all the perfectly good beer that should be drank fresh, that is probably sitting in grocery stores all over Germany and may or may not be sold before the expiration date. However, given all of the old hefeweizen and pils I have been seeing in Grocery stores, it seems like Germans aren't drinking enough of the beer produced (the opposite problem we have in the states with "craft beer").
    boddhitree likes this.
  17. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    Do you live in Mannheim, or have just seen Torpedo there?
  18. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    For those of you familiar with Maruhn's, what are the odds that their on-line list of US beers is current?

    They've got numerous beers on there that would warrant an hour drive for me.
  19. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (389) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    I live in Heidelberg, but I've been over to Mannheim a few times on shopping excursions. The Galleria Kaufhof there has some nice things - British beer, some big name Belgian stuff (Leffe), and Torpedo. They also have one of the aforementioned Braufactum beer refrigerators in their wine section. Are you nearby? I ask because I am also an hour from Maruhn's.

    Re: Maruhn's online selection, I'd guess it is not up to date, however it's always worth a trip up to see what they have in my opinion. Some Belgian stuff like Orval & Chimay, some American stuff, and some other things you'll have trouble finding in Germany. Lots of good German stuff, too - that Ayinger Ur-Weiss, Schneider's Aventinus and Eisbock, Weihenstephaner's line-up and others.

    Re: Braufactum, I've never really checked their dates. More often than not I just walk on by. I can never justify the price tag.
    pixieskid likes this.
  20. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    I live in Hochstetten, basically an hour south.
    That's good to know about stuff like Weihenstephan, Schneider, Ayinger (I love the Ur-Weiss!). Belgian/most American stuff won't be of much interest to me because for the time being I intend to go back to Paris twice a month for work (I work at a beer shop there) so I can easily stock up whenever I need to.

    I'm more interested in discovering what's going on in Germany (the country as a whole, as I have a car here and not a whole lot to do for the time being). Hour-long trips are nothing, so I plan to take as many weekend trips with my wife as often as possible.

    I plan on making my way up to Heidelberg now and again as well because there is a solid skatepark (skateboarding was the previous/younger passion of mine, that I am still trying to hold on to), so maybe we can meet up some time!

    I can imagine that for most Germans, or people living in Germany and used to the low price of beer, that Braufactum's stuff is too expensive, but after living in Paris for 3 years, I'm used to a much higher price for beer, among other things.
  21. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (389) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    Having a car plus lots of time is a good thing here! If I were in your situation and looking to do a beer trip, I think I'd take a ride out to Regensburg and then on into Eastern Bavaria and probably up into Plzen. All those little towns...that'd be sort of a dream 4-ish day weekend for me.

    Otherwise I can't recommend Düsseldorf enough. Plus they have a big skatepark there, I passed it while walking from the Altstadt down along the river to the Medienhafen. If it's what I'm thinking it is, HD's skatepark is more or less just a couple of square meters wedged under a bridge? If you make it out this way though do look me up. Myself and @JHDStein are living up this way, I'm sure we could all meet at Vetter's or elsewhere. (All excursions out require spousal approval, though).

    Check out the NY Times article that was posted elsewhere on this forum for interesting Berlin craft. Faust in Miltenberg is making some nice beers, and @boddhitree is a big fan of Pax Brau's stuff in...I can never remember...Oberelsbach?...and Camba Bavaria in...well, Bavaria. Lots of interesting stuff in the works here!
  22. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    Thanks for the recommendation for that Eastern roadtrip, I will be doing some serious research to cover all the areas of Germany that I can, while we are here.

    My wife and I have been to Düsseldorf as well as Köln; had a great time in both cities. The skatepark you're referring to is actually in Köln, well, if we are talking about the same one along the river that resembles a plaza. Yeah HD skatepark is the one under the bridge, it is reminiscent of a very famous skatepark in Portland Oregon, which I've only been to once. It doesn't take a lot of space or money to make a skatepark "good/interesting" and the one in Heidelberg has enough to make it both (at least from the pictures/video I have seen).

    I will be sure to let you know when I head up that way and hopefully with enough time so that we can get together.

    I've seen the article on Berlin craft, good stuff, can't wait to visit that city as well! I spend far too much time on-line researching beer so I'm usually in the know. I absolutely have a lot of time on my hands (moving from one of the biggest cities in the world, to Hochstetten certainly allows me that.

    I noticed boddhitree reviewed a lot of Pax brau, wasn't really familiar with them, so happy to see all the recommendations I can get.

    Really stoked to see that there is a little BA community here in Germany, it was basically non-existent in France. Most people who were into good beer, if they did get on-line, were into RB, which I don't use much.

    I realize Germany is a fairly large country and that a lot of people (especially Germans) tend to stay in their regions most of the time, but do you guys ever get together for meet-ups/tastings/etc? If so, I'd love to be a part of it, if not, maybe we should set something up...
  23. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,005) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    That puts you pretty close to Vogelbräu in Karlsruhe. Maybe you can sample that hoppy pils they brew and let us know how it compares to U.S. versions such as Prima.
    PancakeMcWaffles and pixieskid like this.
  24. boddhitree

    boddhitree Devotee (482) Apr 13, 2008 Germany

    Not very. Last time I was there, the online list wasn't even close to the actual products on the shelves. Take that list as a wish list and allow yourself to be surprised, either in a good or bad way, of what's there.
    JHDStein and pixieskid like this.
  25. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (389) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    Full disclosure, I do not skate and have never skated. I would probably break a bone just trying to stand on a skateboard. That said, the place I'm referring to is definitely in Düsseldorf, in a place called the Apolloplatz along the Rhine, near the TV tower. If you walk from the Altstadt to the Gehry buildings in the Medienhafen you will walk through the skate park. My knowledge of Köln is far too little considering I am only two hours away.
  26. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    Yup, had the Vogel Pils earlier this year when visiting the area before the move. Good stuff, not doubt. It was one of the beers this year that actually made me go, "wow, that's nice". Doesn't happen very often anymore.
    The other one that gave me the same feeling was Welde's Kellerbier, same deal. Beautiful, full bodied Pils, super drinkable and balanced, fresh, clean, and hoppy (obviously not in the american IPA sense).
    Prime example of how good, classical German beer can be.

    It's been too long since I've had Prima Pils because whenever I see it, it's close to or past it's BB date. My honest opinion/best guess is that by comparison, it doesn't hold a candle to fresh pils brewed in Germany on a "small" scale.
    PancakeMcWaffles and boddhitree like this.
  27. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    That's about what I figured. Sounds like it's worth the trip up there to get access to solid German stuff that otherwise aren't available. I'll just cross my fingers and hope for the best...once in a while I have good luck.
  28. boddhitree

    boddhitree Devotee (482) Apr 13, 2008 Germany

    This sounds like a great idea... I suggest meeting at the end of February at BauKunstLive in München next year, or Regensburg in Stahlsturm's basement. Yet so far, we're all so far flung, we've never even thought about, at least seriously.
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  29. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    Most of Germany is rather forgettable in terms of beer.
    hopfenunmaltz and boddhitree like this.
  30. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    No worries, at this point my skating consists of making it to the park once a month and my main goal is to just not hurt my back. If I am able to do that and have fun for a couple hours, it was a good day! To think in highschool, I would skate for 4+ hours every day is ridiculous.

    Maybe there just happen to be two skateparks along the river. I will have to check it out. Either way, a trip to that region is definitely in the works sooner or later, hopefully in the summer.
    Gutes_Bier likes this.
  31. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    I could probably organise some tours into the wilderness of east bavarian beer if there was any interest. I would suggest a time in May 2014 based on the next Festival Der 100 Biere.
    JHDStein, herrburgess and pixieskid like this.
  32. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    I realize there are certainly areas that aren't worth much to anything, but the places that are, are scattered about. Of the beer cities, I've been to Koln, Dusseldorf, Munich, and Bamberg (plan on going back to all of those places at some point).

    Leipzig, Berlin, Hamburg are all on my list of general places to visit (beer plays somewhat of a role in the interest to visit these cities).
    My geographical knowlege of Germany (in German especially) is slightly vague, someone correct me if I mix up/misunderstand the translations. But trips to the general area of Franconia (Franken) including Bavaria (Bayern) and such are definitely on the list.

    What region/cities am I missing at this point?
    Gutes_Bier likes this.
  33. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (389) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    This is an interesting thought. Last May I was up in Holland while that was going on. A rental car to Regensburg is doable (3 hours) vs. the 4+ hour, multi-connection train ride. It depends on a lot of things, including my wife's schedule. We may be going back to the States permanently in July, and if that's the case I might be able to talk her into a countryside tour of Ostbayern. No promises, but hmmm...
  34. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    You need to concentrate on small towns and villages. Contrary to the US (and other "recent" beer places) good beer in Bavaria and Franconia is out in the villages. I'd say your first stops should be the Bamberg - Forchheim region in Frankonia and the triangle of Amberg - Neumarkt - Regensburg in Eastern Bavaria. I reside rather squarely in the later BTW.
    Bierman9, pixieskid and boddhitree like this.
  35. boddhitree

    boddhitree Devotee (482) Apr 13, 2008 Germany

    Mid or end of May is when Fest der Bierkulturen in Köln is... maybe it's possible to swing both? You mean... leave us in the wilderness?
  36. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    I have done this before. Rented a small bus (9 seats) and then my wife and I took a week off from work and we and 6 guests hit an average of 3 or 4 breweries a day.
    Bierman9, herrburgess and Gutes_Bier like this.
  37. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (389) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    What I would do when I first moved here was ask waiters, waitresses, or really any German I got to talking to, "what is your favorite German city besides your home town". Always, always mentioned were Hamburg and Berlin. I haven't been to Hamburg yet, and Berlin is just the best. I'd like to go back to check out some of those new places that were in the NY Times article, too.
  38. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    I mean to missionize you all and then send you home sobbing for Kneitinger Pils and other yummies you can't get.
    steveh likes this.
  39. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    Those places are both very americanized. I do not mean that as a compliment either.
    herrburgess likes this.
  40. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,005) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    Agreed. I go to Berlin and Hamburg primarily for concerts, shopping, and ethnic food.

    EDIT: On second thought, I guess it's logical to add "craft" beer to that list.
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