BeerAdvocate opinions on beers from other countries

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by bubseymour, Mar 31, 2014.

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  1. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (1,855) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    Just got me thinking as I've read how many US Beer Advocates really go crazy for Sam Smith brews but many UK Beer Advocates chime in saying "you really should try beer X, Y or Z from the UK its much better than Sam Smith.

    So I was thinking how interesting it would be to see
    US BA's rank order of US beers.
    Other countries BA's (not general population but beer advocates) rank order of US beers.

    US Beer advocates ranks of German, UK beers etc.

    And other countries rank orders of their own beers and foreign beers.

    See where we all in the big BA universe agree, where we differ and where we get old/stale beers and its just not fair to even evaluate.

    So is the Weihenstephaner Heffeweisen what German BA's consider their best Hef like us Yanks seem to agree on for the most part?

    Where do Germans or Brits rate Heady Topper or Pliny that have been lucky enough to acquire fresh compared to other US beers?

    Not sure if there is a way to sort by country location of the beer advocates on this site but that would be somewhat interesting anyway to see the rank order differences.
     
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  2. ONovoMexicano

    ONovoMexicano Poo-Bah (2,758) Jun 14, 2012 New Mexico
    Beer Trader

    Interesting idea, but I think we get a lot more beer from other countries than vice versa, so we wouldn't get a great sense of what American beers are really popular and revered in other countries. But yes, I'd love to know how Germans rate German beers as compared to how Americans, Brits, Brazilians, Mexicans and other countries' BAs do.
     
  3. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (1,731) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Just a quick note about Samuel Smith's- it would seem that the UK members and we are looking at different sides of the coin, and that can at least partially explain the differing opinions. They are talking about what is served in the pubs as well as lack of cask, while we are looking at the bottled porters and stouts for the most part.

    ETA- great idea for a thread, btw. I look forward to seeing how it develops.
     
  4. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (1,587) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Subscriber

    Early on in my experience of drinking beers other than BMC, I was trying many American craft beers and a fair amount of imports. However, the imports always seemed to be bordering on stale (even though I was buying at good beer stores) so that I gave up on buying any more imports. Whether it's the boat trips for the beer to get here, or if this stuff just doesn't move very fast from the store shelves so that the store doesn't order more so as to keep fresher stuff, I don't know. But I don't purchase any imports anymore.
     
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  5. Beric

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

    Cool thread idea. I have a little experience in international beer rating, since I lived in Germany for some time and I might return for a few years for graduate school soon.

    1) In Germany, even an APA would be considered incredibly hoppy. A German who does not like this will probably rate things that we Americans hold in high regard (such as Heady or Pliny) low since they are unenamored with hops as a dominate flavor profile. This is not unlike...

    2) Americans who scoff at well made German pilsners for being bland and uninteresting. Many Americans don't like what the see in German pilsners, even ones held in high regard like Rothaus Pils, and consider them weak examples of beer. Some BAs even call into question Germany's position in the brewing world, since it produces what they deem "uninteresting beers".

    If you read German, check out these links of Germans rating their own beers: bierbasis.de and aktiongutesbier.de.

    If you can't read German, here's what I can tell you:

    From BierBasis:
    The 5 "best" beers are: Augustiner Lagerbier Hell, Rothaus Pils Tannenzaepfle, Augustiner Edelstof, Jever, and Pilsner Urquell

    From Aktion Gutes Bier:
    Best Pils- Waldhaus Pils
    Best Helles Weissbier- Weihenstephaner
    Best Dunkelweizen- Ayinger Urweisse
    Best Doppelbock- Ayinger Celebrator
    Best Weizenbock- Ayinger Weizenbock

    With the exception of Jever and PU, most of the beers I listed are also rated very high on BA, so I guess most BAs, whether of German extraction or not, agree that the majority of these are high-quality, deserving beers.
     
  6. Dweedlebug

    Dweedlebug Disciple (368) Feb 28, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Pilsner Urquell is from Czech Republic, so it shouldn't be part of "Germans rating their own beers".

    Just sayin'
     
  7. rozzom

    rozzom Zealot (564) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    Availability is the main issue here, rather than differences in taste - though it plays a part.

    US BAs rate Samuel Smiths higher than UK BAs think is deserved, because it's one of the few widely distributed UK beers. I don't even need to buy it from a bottle shop (if I were inclined to buy it; I'm not) - I can pick it up at various delis/bodegas. And it's compounded by the fact (per TongoRad's point) that the styles they do are more bottle-friendly.

    Flip scenario is that Flying Dog has a better reputation than it deserves in Europe, because FD is widely available over there (relatively speaking). But in the same way, I'm sure plenty of US BAs shudder that a mediocre brewery is flying the flag and setting the standard for US beers abroad.

    As has been discussed ad nauseum, there are loads of breweries in Europe that make the 'best' beer that have and will never make it to the US. And vice versa. Best thing for any BA is to travel. Ranking another country's beers based on available imports is a little pointless.
     
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  8. Beric

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

    Yeah, sure, if you want to argue on technicalities, but I think that the overall number of styles consumed in Germany aligns more with a Czech pilsner brewed right next door than an American who's used to DIPAs rating a PU.

    A German used to German pils should be able to offer a decent, educated opinion on a Czech pils, I'd imagine. I'd also trust German's opinions of certain Belgian styles that are similar to native German styles (Wit- Weissbier; Dubbel- Doppelbock; Tripel- Weizenbock).

    And to that extent, I'd also trust people from other countries to rate German beer in a relatively unbiased manner if similar styles are most consumed in their countries (like a Czech rating a German pils, for instance). I'm more apprehensive of BAs whose palates are wrecked to accurately rate something from a "boring" German/Czech/Belgian style.
     
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  9. rozzom

    rozzom Zealot (564) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    Also - if you want to look at the top UK beers (you can do the same for Germany etc) according to US BAs, this is basically it, as the BA membership is so US-heavy:

    http://www.beeradvocate.com/lists/uk/

    And shockingly, looking at the top 20, the styles consist of only:

    Porter/Stout (various; mostly imperial)
    Barleywine
    Old Ale
    Scotch Ale
    Strong Ale

    Some of these are great beers. But they are not really representative of what BA's living in the UK are drinking on a regular basis. Oh, and Sam Smiths makes an appearance four times in the top 20 and seven times in the top 50. Take out their cider, and according to their website they only make 14 bottled beers (four of which are the nasty fruit ones). So they must be killing it right now. The Hill Farmstead of the UK.
     
    #9 rozzom, Apr 1, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
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  10. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (1,855) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    Nice, Flying Dog = David Hasselhoff of beer!
     
  11. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (1,855) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    Thanks this is the insites I was hoping to see. Beers that are really popular in other countries but the American BAs may be unaware of (because we either don't get them or our pallets are conditioned differently and have different preferences in beer. I have a colleague traveling to Germany in a few weeks. I'll try to see if he can smuggle back for me a few bottles in his suitcase of the Augustiner Lagerbier Helles or the Rothaus Pils. I've never seen either of those in the States and looking at the reviews, most all are European or Americans whom traveled there to sample. I'll see if he can locate them.
     
  12. -N8

    -N8 Aspirant (267) Feb 7, 2014 Germany

    I was a US centric beer drinker until I moved to Europe. I've learned a lot by broadening my life experience.
     
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  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,623) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I hope that you are able to receive a bottle of Rothaus Pils; it is indeed a tasty beer.

    Below is a write-up/review I constructed in the past and posted on a thread in the Germany forum. I conducted the tasting of Rothaus within the context of a side-by-side tasting of Troegs Sunshine Pils.

    "First, I want to take this opportunity to state a BIG thank you to Tony. He very generously made the effort to bring me beer from Germany. I fully recognize that his trip to the US had a number of other considerations and the fact that he took time and effort to think of me is something I truly appreciate!

    As I posted previously, below is my (long awaited?) review of Rothaus Tannenzäpfle. I am performing this review in the context of a compare & contrast with Troegs Sunshine Pils.

    Appearance

    Sunshine Pils: Light straw color with a nice fluffy white head.
    Tannenzäpfle: Light straw color with a nice fluffy white head.

    Aroma

    Sunshine Pils: Aroma is dominated by very noticeable pilsner malt aroma; there is some Noble hop aroma there as well.
    Tannenzäpfle: Aroma is basically a ‘twin’ of the Sunshine Pils. I mostly perceive the pilsner malt aroma but there is some Noble hop aroma in the background.

    Taste:

    Sunshine Pils: Substantial flavors of pilsner malt nicely balanced by the prominent hop bitterness/flavor with herbal and floral notes provided by the Noble hops.
    Tannenzäpfle: Very similar to the flavor of the Sunshine Pils. I would venture to say that the taste is a bit more dominated by the pilsner malt but there are indeed flavors from the hops. I would say that the Sunshine Pils is a tad more balanced in the malt/hop flavors.

    Mouthfeel

    Sunshine Pils: A nice ‘chewiness’ from the pilsner malt but finishes dry. Not as dry as a Jever but pleasingly dry nonetheless. Compared to the Tannenzäpfle it has a softer mouthfeel.
    Tannenzäpfle: A nice mouthfeel from the pilsner malt and on the dry side. The mouthfeel is more prickly than the Sunshine Pils but I do not think that is a liability; I like the mouthfeel. Maybe the Tannenzäpfle is a bit more highly carbonated?

    Overall

    Sunshine Pils: This beer rocks on every level: Substantial pilsner malt present, substantial hop presence from the generous use of Noble hops. The 2013 version of Sunshine Pils is a WINNER! The sound bite review of this beer is: WOW!

    Tannenzäpfle: This beer rocks too! It is like a battle of the bands!?!. I really enjoyed this beer as well. If it gets distributed to the US as BA Einhorn has posted (and it is reasonably priced and not too old) I will buy Tannenzäpfle in the future. It is also a WOW beer!

    For the ‘interested reader’ below are details on these two beers as provided by the breweries on their respective websites.

    “Tröegs Sunshine Pils®
    Alcohol by Volume: 4.5%
    Hop Bitterness (IBUs): 45
    Color (SRM): Straw / Golden
    Availability: Seasonal (April - August)
    Malts: Pilsner, Crystal
    Hops: Saaz, Hallertau Mitt.
    Yeast: Lager
    2012 Gold Medal Great American Beer Festival - German-Style Pilsner”

    Rothaus Tannenzäpfle

    “Das beliebteste Bier aus Rothaus ist das Rothaus Pils. Besonders beliebt ist unser Pils in der 0,33 l Flasche als Rothaus Pils Tannenzäpfle. Mit 12,4 % Stammwürze und 32 Bittereinheiten nimmt das Rothaus Pils eine herausragende Position unter den Pilsbieren ein.

    Untergärige Hefe aus eigener Reinzucht vergärt das Rothaus Pils, bevor es ca. 4 Wochen in Ruhe reift. Dabei bildet das Pils seinen kräftigen und eleganten Geschmack und seine hohe Rezenz aus. Rezenz nennt man das durch die Kohlensäure im Bier ausgelöste Frischegefühl.”

    The most popular beer from Rothaus is the Rothaus Pils. Very popular, our Pils in 0.33 l bottle as Rothaus is Pils Tannenzäpfle. With 12.4% Plato Wort and 32 IBUs, the Rothaus Pils takes an outstanding position among the Pils beers.

    Bottom-fermented yeast from your own selected ferments the Rothaus Pils, before it conditions about 4 weeks. The Pils possesses strong and elegant taste and its high Rezenz. The feeling of freshness that is triggered by the carbon dioxide in the beer called Rezenz.

    Cheers!
     
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  14. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    Interesting list, but it's probably skewed toward the more average and best known German beers by polling the "average" German drinker, instead of the more knowledgeable ones. Think of the results we'd get by polling USA Today readers.
     
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  15. Beric

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

    Yeah, I totally agree, but it's hard to find beer rating websites in Germany because they don't have a massive craft movement like in the US.

    However, we often forget that the majority of Americans are just fine and dandy drinking light AALs and arguing passionately about how Miller is better than Bud is better than Coors is better than Miller. A survey of the average American would reveal a very sobering list of "favorite" American beers, I fear, much like the BierBasis lists. I think the Aktion Gutes Bier list is much better in its Top # Lists of German beer.
     
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  16. herrburgess

    herrburgess Savant (993) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    From the handful of German beer pages/blogs I've seen, it seems beer geeks there are equally wowed by beers with tropical-fruit, coffee, and chocolate flavors -- and enamored of the concept of beer as a competition. As for actual German beer drinkers, they tend to drink either as regionally (or as inexpensively) as possible. I prefer the former, but am not opposed to the latter. As for German "craft" beer: I've had quite a few and have little interest in the stuff (I would like to try Andreas Bogk's Berlinerweisse, though).
     
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  17. Catracho5

    Catracho5 Meyvn (1,387) Aug 10, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    I work for a large beer distributor and our import products are given a code date of 180 days, while most of our domestic product is 110 days. I have never been given an explanation as to why the discrepancy in length of days allowable for a beer to lose it flavor.
     
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  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,623) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “I work for a large beer distributor and our import products are given a code date of 180 days…” Are you a wholesaler or a retailer? How do you know the bottled on dates for all of the imported beers? How do you manage the 180 days (do you pull the product?)?

    Some of the German beers that I like to drink have best by dates on the bottle/case. To the best of my knowledge, for German imports the best by timeframe is 1 year. How do you manage the fact that the best by dates are 1 year?

    Cheers!

    P.S. I am guessing by your post your are 'questioning' the extended timeframe of 180 days (vs. 110 days) but from my perspective 180 days is way better than 365 days.
     
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  19. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,181) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Subscriber

    "110 days" for domestic beers makes it sounds as if you're talking about an AB house. According to a St. Louis Post 2009 story, AB did up their shelf life periods for some of their other/lesser brand lines (Bud Ice, some of the now deleted Michelob specialty beers like Porter, Pale Ale, Honey Lager) to 180 days. I have no idea how their own AB-I imports are dated - don't buy them - but when they (dba Import Brands Alliance) were the importer for Czechvar, that seemed to be dated with the typical "1 year" shelf that many European beers are.

    As for "Why?" here's how MillerCoors explains it:

    In other words, they simply extend the period because of the longer time it takes the beer to get to the US :rolleyes: (in their case for bottles/cans, its primarily 17 weeks for domestics, 9 months for imports).
     
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  20. amano_h

    amano_h Defender (640) Mar 18, 2014 Korea (South)

    This is debatable. How do you explain Hill Farmstead, Lawson's, Kern, and just for craps and giggles let's also throw in Sint-Sixtus -- brewing companies with extremely limited distribution chains that have over 1000 reviews per flagship product (Westy XII at the moment stands at over 4k reviews) ?

    Sure, hype may play into it, but availability doesn't seem to be much of an issue when we have communities such as BA/RB/SA where some of these beers are seen exchanging hands on a daily basis.

    Perhaps the lack of mass appeal (i.e. Germans never had to market their beer as "craft" or "different" in any way since beer is the established alcoholic drink of choice, same way with the Brits and their ales/ciders) and the lack of hype is what's holding them back.

    I mean let's face it. If there was ever an olympiad or any competition among countries to see how fast commercialism and hype proliferate among the hoi polloi, 'Murica would take gold.
     
  21. rozzom

    rozzom Zealot (564) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    Don't disagree with you at all. It's just that that is not really relevant to the OP.

    OP was asking (amongst other things, but this was the main question) why US BAs may rank beers from another country (say UK) differently than BAs from that country would. He/she cited Sam Smiths as an example of a brewery that US BAs rate highly, but UK BAs don't.

    Being British, it is frustrating at the amount of love Sam Smiths gets over here. Anyone starts a thread along the lines of "recommend me some great British beers" and every second answer will be something from SS. And what I was saying in my post, was that the reason for this may partly be taste (US BAs tend towards imperial stouts, flavoured stouts, etc), but is mainly because... you can buy bottles of Sam Smiths in the US, whereas there are hundreds of much "better" breweries from the UK that a) don't make it over here, and b) whose best offerings are cask-only.

    Maybe there is a massive underground trading scene between US and UK BAs, that I'm not aware of - with lots of growlers of the "best" cask beer (although a. I would question the quality of the received product, and b. "growler" has an entirely different meaning in the UK, though I believe the concept is catching on) being sent over from the UK in return for American beers, yet still these American BAs prefer Sam Smiths. But I highly doubt that's happening.

    No the real reason that Sam Smiths is so "good" is that you can buy it over here. Simple as that.

    To your point about HF/Lawsons/Kern:

    1. I think a US BA is more likely to travel to these places than to the UK.
    2. For breweries within the US such as these, there is a big trading scene for both bottles and growlers. Hence someone in California can have access to HF.
    3. This is exactly my point, but in the reverse. How many "craft" beer fans in the UK would cite these breweries as being their favourite from the US? Probably only the very few who have been lucky enough to be able to visit or trade for them. Most would say something like Flying Dog (but hopefully something more like Sierra Nevada), because that's what they can get over there.

    Re: Westy XII - firstly it's bottled and secondly, most BAs from any country (US, Belgium or anywhere) are going to agree it's a great beer.

    I guess my point is, is that the best the UK has to offer never gets a chance to get hyped up over here, despite the best attempts by some US BAs, such as @Tut

    Haha - absolutely
     
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  22. amano_h

    amano_h Defender (640) Mar 18, 2014 Korea (South)

    Being American, I find the amount of love Budweiser/Miller gets on a world-wide scale and seems to be the image that people conjure up when they think of "American" beer absolutely frustrating

    Actually, I don't. I dread the moment when the world "finds out" about HT/HF/KBS and there's even more people I have to trample over to get my fix, but you get my point :p
     
  23. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,168) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Most Germans seem to enjoy either their local brew or some combination of major pilsner brands like Bitburger, Beck's, Rothaus, Flensburger, etc.
    Weissbier preferences are now probably similar. They're brewed all over now, so they can just get whatever is local...likely to the chagrin of the Bavarians. Since the yeast can really differentiate those more than most, preferences vary quite a bit.
    In terms of the list, I don't think it's too far off the mark with quality but it probably misses the mark with popularity.
    Augustiner seems to be universally beloved by most. They're still independent and locally owned, they don't need to go bonkers with advertising, and the beers are damn good. Ayinger is probably highly regarded, but it isn't even a major brand over there. I'd probably even venture a guess that it's better known over here than it is over there.
     
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  24. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,623) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Ayinger is probably highly regarded, but it isn't even a major brand over there. I'd probably even venture a guess that it's better known over here than it is over there.”

    Chris, doesn’t that get back to the availability topic that is discussed in above posts? I would guess that Ayinger is more widely available (available in most of the 50 states?) here than in Germany?

    Cheers!
     
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  25. -N8

    -N8 Aspirant (267) Feb 7, 2014 Germany

    Wiki says:

    "Approximately 10% of Ayinger beers are exported, mainly to Italy, the United States, and the rest of Europe."
     
  26. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,168) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I think it is, but probably just because of the nature of their beer business. For that matter, it might just be a great strategical move on their part. Win over the foreign market rather than try to win over a local market that is borderline inundated with similar beers. Munich is maybe 30 minutes from Aying and I'd say their beers are still pretty common around town. Pretty close to what I see here. Different styles, though. Over here Celebrator is common, over there I've only seen it at Leibhard's. Bigger beers just aren't a typical purchase over there.
    Once you get out of town I think that changes, though. At that point you're competing with neighboring Bavarian beers like Augustiner, Schneider, Kaltenberg, Weihenstephaner, etc. along with whatever beers are native to the area. You can probably find their beers if you really look...but I doubt most people do. It might even be similar to someone looking for Breckenridge 471 IPA in Chicago. You could, but you probably don't need to. Even if it's better than many, you just have too many quality substitutions. Over here, I think Celebrator opened the door for their other beers while that's just not a factor in their homeland.
    All of that said - quality is not an issue. Their beers truly are as good (if not better) than anyone else's.
     
  27. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,623) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Ayinger is one of my favorite German breweries and I very much concur with the sentiment of the Ayinger beers being of high quality.

    FWIW, at my local beer stores I consistently see Ayinger Ur-Weisse available year-round and during the fall Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen is always available. I purchase several bottles of those two beers. I mostly purchase Ur-Weisse mostly during the warm times of the year and needless to say the Oktober Fest-Märzen during the fall season.

    You have an interesting observation of “Over here Celebrator is common”. I do indeed see Celebrator (during the winter/spring time) but unfortunately I personally also see a price tag of 15 bucks for a 4-pack of 11.2 ounce bottles. As much as I like Celebrator (it is the epitome of a Doppelbock for my palate), my Doppelbock dollars go to Troegs and Victory where I can get a 6-pack for ten bucks (and sometimes less). As much as I personally love Celebrator, I do not love it 2.2 times better than Troegs/Victory. I suppose I am an outlier here?

    Cheers!
     
  28. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,400) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Well it should have between 1938 and 1945 anyway...
     
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  29. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,168) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Not sure if you're an outlier, but I take the Celebrator for some additional money. Elite doppelbocks are one of those styles I think we just haven't mastered over here. I think many breweries have done a pretty decent job at making beers similar to Salvator but we haven't made many that have the chocolate/raisin notes. Uff Da might be the closest I've encountered and that's pretty obscure.
    Price-wise, Celebrator isn't the value option but Korbinian is only $3-4 around here. I consider that one comparable. For the areas that get the Andechser, that's going for under $5.
     
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  30. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (2,940) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    That's pretty much me too. I used to spend almost as much time in the imports section as the US but, after being burned so many times on green glass bottle beers and beers that, like you said, don't move off the shelf even after making their way across the pond, I notice myself staying away much more. Unless, of course, I'm in a store with massive selection like Total Wine. But, when I'm at my local shops, I just check for any new Mikkeller or Evil Twin and then move on.
     
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  31. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,623) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I drank bottles of Korbian and Weltenberger Asam Bock a month or so ago. They were both tasty beers!

    Having stated that I enjoyed my two 6-pack of Troegs Troegenator and Victory. St. Victorious too.

    Cheers!
     
  32. Thoroughbred88

    Thoroughbred88 Initiate (0) Mar 27, 2014 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Some Polish beers are straight cash to the bank
     
  33. CoverMePorkins

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


    I live in Germany and can't get Ayinger. For the local drink markets it is mostly local breweries and the big boys such as Bittburger, Paulaner and whatever is controlled by the local distributors/owners of the markets. At the local Lidl I can get Weihenstephan, although I buy it on base as it is more fresh. I can drive 16km to get Schneider beers. I live about 2 hours from Koln and can't get a Kolsch beer.
     
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  34. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,623) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Whether it's the boat trips for the beer to get here, or if this stuff just doesn't move very fast from the store shelves so that the store doesn't order more so as to keep fresher stuff …”

    Both transport issues (e.g., the beer gets too hot in the shipping containers, excessive agitation, etc.) and age will yield stale beer.

    I personally will only purchase German imports that have dates (either bottled on dates or best by dates) or are seasonals. If a best by date appears on a German import I assume that it represents one year and I do the math to determine beer age. A cut-off date for most beers is 6 months and I use lesser timeframe for delicate beers (e.g., a Kolsch beer). I just use hope for the aspects of potential transport damages.

    I have purchased many Belgian imported beers (typically Abbey style beers) and ironically I have never experienced any staling issues with those beers. Maybe it is a function of higher alcohol (and sometimes bottle conditioning)?

    Cheers!
     
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  35. Inspired

    Inspired Initiate (47) Mar 4, 2008 Maryland

    I'm getting off topic here I know, but when did Flying Dog start being considered mediocre? I like almost everything I've had from them and find some of their brews to be absolutely stellar. I can think of a lot of breweries I'd label as mediocre, and FD ain't one of them.
     
  36. CoverMePorkins

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

    @JackHorzempa BTW, your post earlier in this thread had me drink a Tannenzäpfle. The local market just started stocking it.
     
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  37. CoverMePorkins

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

    Not about Flying Dog, but it is about Brooklyn IPA and Firestone Pale 31. Getting an American style pale ale or IPA in Western Germany is tough. Globus (think Wal-Mart for size for American readers) in Kaiserslautern has a deal with Braufactum out of Frankfurt. They import a those two along with a couple of Belgian brews along with there own beers. They restock that cooler every two weeks and it is almost always sold out. The Firestone and Brooklyn 355ml are 3euro a bottle. Their own pale ale is 2.50euro a bottle. The amount of Americans here probably distorts the sales, but damn that is a high price and it sells for an average beer.
     
  38. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,623) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “The local market just started stocking it.” Sweet!!

    Tannenzäpfle is a very tasty beer!

    Now you just got to convince the local market to start stocking Ayinger!?!

    Cheers!

    P.S. @einhorn, has Tannenzäpfle started being imported to the US yet?
     
    CoverMePorkins likes this.
  39. CoverMePorkins

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

    I wish on the Ayinger. Locally they only stock Tap7 which is a great beer. To get Tap6 I need to drive 16km. My deutsch nicht so gut.
     
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  40. rozzom

    rozzom Zealot (564) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    Homerism has hit MD now?!

    Joke. Everyone has their opinion. You like them. I think they're mediocre. But either way I think everyone would agree FD are not at the cutting edge of American brewing. Or are they?
     
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