Here at Brasserie V, we’ve built our reputation (and a few signature food items) on a formidable selection of classic Belgian beer. Seriously, they don’t give one of those Gulden Draak tap towers to just anyone who asks nicely, we’re pretty sure…
But we pay respect to all of the old-world brewing traditions, and there is perhaps none more old-world than that of Germany. Not only does the nation boast the world’s longest continually operating brewery in Weihenstephaner, but it’s also responsible for two of the most ubiquitous beer styles in the world with pilsner and wheat beer.
So consider this a helpful reminder that, even during these weird, weird times we live in, Brasserie V is still your go-to for classic German beer. Here’s a few to pick up for your next curbside purchase:
Okay, so the now-immortal Birrificio Italiano Tipopils is widely considered the best in the world. Two things though: first, its import into the United States was halted recently for reasons too complex to get into during a humble list article. Second, it can be prohibitively expensive, especially for the style.
Bitburger presents no such issues. Insanely easy to come by and only a smidge more expensive per ounce than your typical American light lager, Bitburger’s clean, cracker-like malt profile and assertive noble hoppiness embody the German style of pilsner. The brewery switched to cans for export a few years back, and we’re all better for it.
Kolsch, essentially a light beer brewed with ale yeast but conditioned at lager temperatures, is one of the few beers to enjoy an appellation controllee. Much like true Champagne or port wine, a beer can only be called kolsch, as opposed to kolsch-style, if it is produced in the Cologne region of northern Germany. You can find affiliated cafes from the likes of Fruh, Gafffel, Reissdorf and others throughout the city, where the beer is served from bar-top gravity casks in the traditional seven-ounce “stange” glass.
Kolsch is a delicate beer, so we’re typically limited to standard draft or cans here, but the beer is no less beguiling. Reissdorf is our favorite: clean and immensely drinkable, the slight influence of ale yeast lends it notes of pear and honey.
We could write up literally any of Weihenstephaner’s beers. From the Dunkel Weisse, to Vitus weizenbock, to Korbinian doppelbock, they are all considered to be the pinnacle of their respective styles. But if we’re talking classic German beers, it doesn’t get more iconic than their absolutely untouchable Hefeweisse-Bier.
This is probably your dad’s favorite beer, and it should be yours too. Featuring a fluffy, almost creamy texture, this is a substantial yet deceptively light bodied ale with unbelievable character. The powerful hefeweizen yeast yields an explosion of bubblegum, banana and clove notes, underscored by the gentle, citrusy hop character.
Established in the late 1800s, Schneider was for years content to produce traditional, fastball-down-the-middle wheat beer. Their hefeweizen is still a classic, though perhaps the beer’s tendency towards a more caramel-like color and malt flavor was a harbinger of things to come…
Aventinus is a relatively new beer in the grand scheme of things, but it’s been around long enough to embody the style. The label still refers to it as a “wheat doppelbock,” and it’s hard to argue against that classification: dark and strong, but brewed with the same ration of wheat to barley, and fermented with Schneider’s house hefeweizen yeast. The result is an intensely toffee- and clove-forward beer, with the alcohol sweetness and dark malts hinting at cinnamon-flavored banana bread.