From monks to Czechs to malt to shandies, the history of the German beer is as fascinating and surprising as its flavors.
Read on to discover some fun and interesting facts that perhaps you didn’t know about German beers.
Fact #1. The world’s oldest brewery is located in Germany – and is still operating up to this day.
Evidence proves that as early as the 8th century AD, beer was brewing at Bavaria’s Weihenstephan monastery, although the brewery was only officially discovered in 1040. This was when it received its license to sell and brew beer from Freising. Another brewery was opened by the Weltenburg monastery, but only 10 years after Weihenstephan.
Up until today, the Weihenstephan brewery, now known as the Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan, has continued to brew delicious flavors of beer and has even won four beer awards.
Fact #2. The light beer Pilsner was made in the Czech Republic.
Pizen, or Pilsen, is a town in the western part of Bohemia but was earlier part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was German-speaking. When they decided to make a big brewery during the 1840s, they concocted a new kind of beer together with Bavarian brewer Josef Groll. The flavor was utterly delicious and so its popularity spread to the whole of Europe. This is exactly the reason why the Pilsner beer is sold in Germany and in fact holds the biggest market share.
Fact #3. Even if you drink beer daily for 15 years, you won’t taste the same kind of beer.
There are over 40 kinds of malt, a hundred sorts of hops, and 200 types of yeast strains. These 3 things are the only ingredients allowed by the purity law to be used to make beer, with the addition of water. So you can imagine how many variants of beer you can make out of these. Now, do you believe that you won’t drink the same beer if you keep drinking every day for 15 years in Germany? Amazing! And don’t worry, as per the German Brewers Federation, one can drink every single day for 15 straight years.
Fact #4. Liquid bread is what the German monks called it before.
Apparently, the monasteries were the first breweries in Germany. The monks would stew the hops and barley and boil them. They did not have any idea about the significance of yeast in fermentation.
According to history, the monks brewed near the bakeries; thus, the fermentation process took place even without them actually adding the yeast, as they were already surrounded with it because of these bakeries. They actually thought the fermentation method was a miracle.
When Lent came and the monks fasted for 40 days, they were forbidden to eat bread but they were allowed to drink beer, so they called it ‘Flussiges Brot,’ meaning ‘liquid bread.’
Fact #5. No great bonds between Germany and Namibia, but the beer relationship remains alive.
In the 2014 top beer consumers’ list, Germany came in 4th and Namibia followed 5th, which is odd that a country like Namibia could win over the United States and Europe, which are placed 17th and 27th respectively. Interestingly, from 1884 up until 1919, the Germans colonized Namibia, which is why the German culture remains alive there. And like Germany, Namibia also celebrates Oktoberfest in its capital city Windhoek.
To Sum It Up
There are a few more things you wouldn’t have thought about the beers of Germany, but we hope these five facts have perked your interest and you had fun reading the article. I, for one, can’t wait to grab an ice-cold beer right this minute!