BeerBusiness

German Craft Beer Story


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We’re all about Craft Beer and the businesses that produce them. You know that from our introduction in how we intend to celebrate beer. So it would make sense that we take a look at one specific story of past influences on beer. Those influences have helped to give us the wonderful golden brew we enjoy today.

Since Markus is from Germany (remember?) we have a certain awareness of what’s going on there with respect to very tasty beers. Much progress has been made in the German Craft Beer industry. Some of that progress has been regional in nature and some more national. While there is much more to accomplish, the current state of the industry is tasty, and the future looks exciting!

Join us as we dive into the German Craft Beer industry and share interesting details about the German version of “nectar of the gods.”



German Craft Beer Industry

Germany has made great strides in their Craft Beer prowess. Craft Beers are now “a thing” – or at least they are on their way. For a country that has been doing beer for… like… forever, why are Craft Beers just now becoming a thing in Germany?

First, a little history.

German Beer Purity Law: Reinheitsgebot

Doing beer “forever” isn’t much of a stretch. Since 1434 (no, that’s not a typo) German brewers have been restricted in the way they brew their golden nectar. The Reinheitsgebot or “purity decree” stated originally that when producing beer, there could be only three ingredients:

  • Water
  • Barley
  • Hops

And even then, the hops could only be added while boiling the wort. When yeast was discovered, the Reinheitsgebot reigns were loosened a bit, and it was allowed to be the fourth ingredient.



More slack was given to allow sugar to be used when producing top fermenting beers.

First, it’s amazing that many, many great German Beers could even exist under a law that so tightly controlling the ingredients. Now add the artisan nature of Craft Beers, and the difficulty increases dramatically.

Getting Around the Reinheitsgebot

It’s no secret the German Beer Purity Law has kept beer clean and consistent. Noble in its intention, but restricting in its results. In spite of those restrictions, a growing number of German Craft Breweries are adhering to the legal requirements, but creatively getting around them at the same time.

There are a number of creative strategies employed by German Craft Breweries to allow them to stretch their creative muscles – legally. “Mixed Beer Drinks” or Biermischgetränke are alternative marketing strategies to move new ideas forward.

The process is something like this: to practice the “craft” of Craft Beer Brewing, additional flavoring components are added early in the process. However, before the beer is put in bottles, these components are filtered out.



Walking a narrow line? Sure.

New and exciting beers continuing to pop up across Germany? Absolutely!

German Craft Beer Industry Growing

This is a positive trend inside a negative trend. Overall, beer sales in Germany are down, but breweries continue to grow in number.

How?

Many smaller breweries instead of fewer large breweries.

Number of Microbreweries in Germany
2005 to 2018

German Craft Beer Industry Growth
Source: Statistica

Since we’re fond of Craft Beer, we think this “trend inside a trend” is very exciting!

More! I want more!

No, that’s not my order at the bar. (Well… sometimes.) That is what we intend to do for you here. We’ll just keep sharing our beer perspectives and you tell us what you like and what you don’t. (Be nice!)

Join us! We’ll be covering not just the exciting growth of Craft Breweries across Germany and the stories behind each of those brew masters, but everything related to beer there and in other parts of the world. If it’s beer, we’re on it!

We expect to have a great deal of fun bringing you this information and hope you will be a part of that journey.

Together, we’ll stamp your Passport to “Drink your way through Deutschland” and around the world!

Thank you!

Markus and Dave