Rauchbier, Schwarzbier and Pilsner
Travel north of Munich, past the rolling hop fields of Hallertauer, past Bavarian barley fields, you'll find yourself in Franconia. Famed for its rounder and richer Lagers, with a more traditional - albeit less refined- taste than a Munich Helles. And if you stop in Bamberg, you’ll also find Rauchbier, or smoked Lager, varying in colour from yellow to deep brown. Ranging from smokey bonfire tones to full-on smoked sausage. Unlike lower Bavaria, pale lagers appear amber in colour and unfiltered beer is more common.
Just north of Franconia, into Thuringia, and you’ll find the home of Schwarzbier, or black Lager. It might look very dark but close your eyes and you could easily mistake it for a pale beer. Light refreshing qualities complimented by the subtle savoury notes gained from the dark grain. Read more about dark beer
Pilsner is another of the ubiquitous German beer styles. It’s bright, light, bitter and refreshing. A beer style that has been replicated and copied all around the world, Pilsner is the world’s best-selling beer type. Incidentally it’s also Germany’s best-selling style (though in Bavaria Helles is probably holding on to the top spot). Bitterness varies in all Pilsners, with some being quite subtle and others much more intense and distinctive (London’s Fourpure make a good German-style Pils).
Traditional brews such as Pils, Helles or Weissbier are not just popular in recent years. But since many specialty breweries have popped up in this country, the conventional styles have been revived with creativity, blowing a new wind through the German beer landscape.
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