Everyone knows that beer is very much a cultural tradition in Germany. So much that it has even become a way of life for some. However, what many do not think about is how German breweries played a large part in developing this beer phenomenon.
This intrigued me and I decided to dive into the world of German breweries to find out more. I was not only interested in the breweries themselves, but also in finding culturally comparable American beers. Here, I will take you on a tour of a few of Germany’s finest breweries and their American counterparts.
1. Becks Brewery
If you’re a fan of German beer, then undoubtedly you have heard of Becks. Becks brewery started brewing their first beers in 1875. It has certainly grown to be a widespread, well-established brand. Becks is the number one exported beer of Germany and is sold in more than 100 countries.
Their most popular product is their pale lager, which instantly made me think of Budweiser from Anheuser-Busch. Budweiser would be the culturally comparable beer in this case. Both Becks’ and Budweiser’s most popular beer are their versions of the pale lager. They are also very similar because of their widespread popularity domestically and internationally (Becks is Germany’s number one exported beer). This Australian ad for Becks below is just one of many examples of their success in foreign markets.
2. Monastery Brewery Andechs
Andechs is the pinnacle of German brewing history. Located on the Holy Mountain in Bavaria, this brewery has an interesting background. Andechs was originally a monastery dating back to the early 12th century. However, it was not until 1730 that the monks drilled a vault into the mountainside to brew beer. The very same vault is still in use, slightly updated of course. You can see some of the incredible art featured in Andechs in this video, only reaffirming the incredible sense of history that Andechs has. I imagine one would only be able to smell two things on Bavaria’s Holy Mountain, beer and history. I would call Andechs the Sam Adams of America. Sam Adams has managed to attain the stigma of pure American patriotism and Andechs certainly has been soaking in the culture around it since the 12th century.
The Weihenstephan brewery is the oldest brewery in the world. This is indeed another large reason why Germany has the reputation that it has for its beer. Established no later than 1040, Weihenstephan has today managed to properly modernize while keeping age-old traditions. Today, this brewery produces quite the selection of beer, from dark wheat bear to non-alcoholic beer beverages. Yuengling is the oldest American brewery and the second largest American owned brewery. They started in 1829 which hardly seems impressive after Weihenstephan. Both companies have managed to keep their traditions while still managing to adapt to the times.