German Craft Beers

Craft beer might have become fashionable in the US over the past few decades, but anyone suggesting the Americans brought the craze to Germany will have to talk to the Bavarians. Sure, statistics show that Germany boasts just under one thousand small breweries and microbreweries in total, compared with just over two thousand in the United States. Despite their preference for the traditional golden brew of the brauhaus, however, Germans have seen steady production from small breweries for centuries. The home of Oktoberfest is also home to the oldest brewery in the world, after all. Some of the first images that come to mind when most people think of Germany include beer, lederhosen, and pretzels. More than a stereotype, the beverage is part of Germany's national identity. CBS reports that 2.5 billion gallons were produced in the country in 2013, as part of a 10-billion- dollar industry. Germany's Reinheitsgebot or beer purity law (circa 1500s), though, ensures high-quality brew by sacrificing diversity: 'beer'; can only be brewed with malted barley, hops, water, and yeast. Most of Germany's small breweries focus on India pale ales and stouts, with several boasting India pale ales with various fruit accents. One craft brewery offers a Black Forest Stout, which has possibly the most German name possible, as well as the prerequisite fruity pale ale. Although craft beer has a small share of the market, the industry has grown by one-third since 2005 and the number of small breweries and microbreweries are rising like suds.

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