9 of the Best German Beers for 2023

9 of the Best German Beers for 2023

The German beer culture is deeply rooted, with the country producing some of the best brands and beer styles in the world. The keen and closely monitored fermentation processes have been passed down through generations. Ingredients used in making the beers are straight from the countryside farms, which helps maintain authenticity in their beers.

Some of the best German beers include:

  • Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier

  • Spaten Oktoberfest

  • Schneider Weisse

  • Erdinger Kristall

  • Paulaner Salvator Doppel Bock

  • Augustiner Brau Edelstoff

  • Kostritzer Schwarzbier

  • Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen

  • Ayinger Lager Helles lager

Statista projects that German beer consumption is set to rise from 2023 through 2027 by 7%annually. The high consumption doesn’t come as a surprise given the continued high demand worldwide for German alcoholic and non-alcoholic beers. Below is a guide to the best German beers.

  1. Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier

Coming from one of the oldest breweries in the world, this had to be top on the list as it has been brewed to perfection. Before the state took over in 1803, Weihenstephaner was brewed by monks from the year 1040.

It comes in different tasting notes, including banana, cinnamon, and cloves, making it a favorite choice for those looking for a balanced tasty beer. 

The longevity of Weihenstephan has been made possible by closely monitoring its manufacturing processes, from sourcing ingredients to fermenting. This attention to detail has won Weihenstephaner many global awards and has made it most people’s favorite.

Given a chance to have just one German hard drink, this should be the best German beer. 

2. Schneider Weisse

If you’re not a fan of bitter-tasting alcohol, then Schneider Weisse is your best option. Its unique notes include bananas, cloves, and nutmeg, making it one of the best German beer brands.

Its ABV metric is 5.4% placing it at the same level as Weihenstephaner. This is the best German beer option for new entrants into the drinking space.

Schneider is brewed using conventional methods, making it stick out even for beer critics. The yeast strain and wheat used in Schneider make it flavorful and suitable for any occasion. 

Since it’s carbonated, a sip on a warm summer afternoon feels refreshing, not forgetting the aroma that comes with it. So, if you’re looking to add a touch of class to your beer drinking with the best German beer, get yourself, Schneider Weisse.

3. Erdinger Kristall

Erdinger Kristall is a light wheat beer, making it the best German beer choice for anyone looking for a smooth, clean taste. 

A 500ml bottle of this wheat beer has an ABV of 5,3%, making it suitable for anyone looking to enjoy a light refreshing beer.

During its production, Erdinger Kristall goes through a double maturity method, giving the wheat beer  a smooth, crisp finish. The thorough fermentation process gives this tangy beer
a clear appeal, making its enthusiasts loyal. 

It comes in fruity, wheat, and spicy notes, best experienced when served cold. So, if you’re looking for a flavorful light wheat beer that will quench your thirst in a few sips, get yourself the Erdinger Kristall.

4. Paulaner Salvator Double Bock

Paulaner goes back in history as the brewery in Munich, Germany, began in the year 1634. The Salvator has always been among the flagship product of the brewery and one of the best German beers. 

Available worldwide, the Salvator has retained its original lager taste and dominated the Doppelbock market. It’s brewed to perfection with the Herkules and Tauras using authentic Munich malts.

Its global popularity has made it a common feature at the Munich Oktoberfest, and it remains the perfect example of a certified doppelbock from the Beer Judge Certification Program.

It has an ABV of 7.9%, making it a strong choice of beer for anyone looking to enjoy a perfect doppelbock.

Paulaner comes in various tasty notes that include:

  • Chocolate

  • Figs

  • Caramel

  • Toasted spicy hops

Paulaner Salvator is a perfect choice for doppelbock lovers looking for a healthy and tasty option for German beers.

5. Augustiner Brau Edelstoff

Augustiner-Brau is one of the oldest breweries in Munich, as it was started in 1328. The brewery stands out to date as it began as an independent brewery, unlike others from its time, which were founded by monasteries before the state took over.

The Edelstoff is the company’s flagship product and has a wide distribution across the globe. 

It’s a pale lager that is less malty than other heavily-bodied German beers within its group. This makes it a perfect choice if you’re looking for a lighter lager. 

It has an ABV of 5.6%, making it suitable for any occasion. The beer comes in different notes of biscuit, honey, and hay. Get yourself an Augustiner Edelstoff for the good times.

6. Kostritzer Schwarzbier

The Kostritzer is Germany’s best dark beer and has existed since 1543. This is Germany’s answer to Guinness, a dark but lean beer.

At an ABV of 4.8%, the Kostritzer comes off as a light beer. This makes it a perfect meal accompaniment. 

The Kostritzer is made from dark-roasted malt and comes in tasty notes of bitter chocolate, nutty, and pumpernickel. 

If you’re looking for a unique drinking experience, the Kostritzer will make a great choice as it’s made with special ingredients that give it an incredible aroma. Take note that the elegant black appeal and lasting foam head can lead you to take more than you initially planned.

7. Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen

Brewed in Bavaria, Germany, the Marzen is ranked as the best in its class of smoke beer. The Marzen follows this Bavarian Beer Purity law and goes through one of the best beer styles; a traditional fermentation process, which has rendered it to remain authentic over the ages.

Making this Marzen takes work, commitment, and time. It involves selecting the best barley malts and placing them on firewood logs. In unique copper-made vessels, the beer is allowed to mature for months. All these efforts are geared towards giving you a rewarding smoked beer experience.

The Marzen has an ABV of 5.4%, meaning you can enjoy this dark barley malt on a Sunday morning. It has different tasting notes of meat, roasted, and smoked malt.

8. Spaten Oktoberfest

The Spaten is the first Oktoberfest beer, founded in 1872 for the folk festival. Over the years, Spaten has continued quenching beer lovers with its flavorful taste and pleasant appeal. It has since grown to become one of the most loved German beer brands.

As a Marzen-style beer, the Spaten has more hops than other Oktoberfest beers. It has a strong roasted malt flavor, and the hop character makes it a great German beer.

The Spaten has an ABV of 5.9% and is best enjoyed with meat. This makes it harder to get knocked out than to take it plainly.

It has well-balanced tasting notes comprising barley malts, lemon, herbs, and toast.

Spaten has an excellent amber appeal topped by a cream-white foam, making it outstanding. It’s also a significant beer during Oktoberfest as the Munich mayor taps its first keg during the festival.

9. Ayinger Lager Hell

The Ayinger Lager falls under the Helles group of German beer styles. It has a low ABV of 4.9%, which makes it a light everyday drink.

In Bavaria South, the Ayinger Hell is popular for brewing beer. Its sweet aroma is welcoming from a distance, and its golden yellow appearance makes it a classy, sweet beer.

Some swear by its effectiveness in adding taste when cooking, while others always have a bottle by their side when having meals. So, if you’ve been looking for everyday beer, Ayinger lager Hell is your best bet. 

10. German Pilsner

The German Pilsner is the most popular style of beer in Germany. It has been around since the 19th century and has become a part of German culture over time.

German Pilsners are usually light-bodied beers with a golden color. They have an ABV of 5%, making them slightly higher than other styles, such as lagers or ales.

The German Pilsner has a crisp, hoppy flavor with notes of cracker and bread crust. It is often served with a lemon slice to add an additional layer of refreshing taste. While the beer is perfect for any occasion, it’s best enjoyed with Bavarian-style dishes such as sausages, pretzels, and pork knuckle.

German brewers strive to maintain Pilsner’s effervescent quality, making it a perfect choice for those who love subtle carbonation. Its creamy head and clean finish will ensure you have an enjoyable drinking experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Germany’s most popular beer?

It’s got to be the lager. Germany is globally known for producing the best lagers distributed worldwide. Below is a graph showing the most popular beers in the country.

Source: Statista

What distinguishes German beer from the rest of the world?

Longevity. The Germans have served the world with good beer since time immemorial. During the world wars, Germany served the world with beer. To date, the brewing industry thrives. The country has mastered making good beers and creating a market for them.

The country has also had laws governing the making and distribution of beer in and out of the country. The infamous German Beer Purity Law saw to it that the brewers maintained high standards and only used allowed ingredients, i.e., water, malt, hop, and barley.

Yeast was only allowed later on in 1993. These regulations ensured that German beer was harmless and of high standards

What is the average alcohol content of German beers?

There are different classes. Light beers range between 4% and 5.5%. Stronger brands like the doppelbocks have an ABV of between 5.5% and 8%. 

Germany also has stronger beers beyond the 10% ABV mark, although they are less widely consumed than those with lower alcohol content.

What is the Shelf-life of German beer?

Since alcohol is a preservative, German beer can go for months without going rancid. You need to store the beer properly in the refrigerator for better preservation.

The alcohol content in the beer will determine how long your beer can last.  Beers with a higher alcohol content last longer, so when you start consuming, start with the ones with a lower ABV.

How should I serve a German beer?

Ideally, beer is best-served cold.  Aim to serve the strong beers at 50% Fahrenheit and the mild ones at between 35 and 40 Fahrenheit.


The brewing and beer culture is deeply rooted and well-established in Germany. This has made the country the apex of global beer culture. 

Longstanding laws governing the beer production process have positioned the country as a global authority in the industry.

Anytime you get a chance to enjoy a German beer, don’t let it pass. Have a good time responsibly.

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