US craft brews excite German drinkers

The Guardian Weekly, UK, reported 7 May on growing fascination in Germany for American beers – not the bland, thin mainstream brews, but the rich diversity now flowing from America’s very large craft brewing sector.

Non-German beers doubled to 8.1 per cent of the German market between 2004 and 2012, says the report. It also says many of the small breweries opening up in German cities “emulate American craft beer styles”.

With per capita consumption of beer declining in Germany, some brewers, claims the report, “say their only salvation lies in fostering a drinking culture less constrained by a 1516 purity law that they say crimps innovation”.

Thorsten Heiser of Bavaria’s ancient Weihenstephan brewery sees the phenomenon as a generational thing – the oldies drink beer for daily nutrition; young people seek flavour variety.

As a sometimes shopper in German supermarkets, I welcome the variety. But I’ll never say no to a traditional weiss beer or lager either.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 22 May 2013 in The Canberra Times