How to Taste 39 German Beers in 8 Days

Beer Tasting in BambergOnce upon a time, I promised I’d teach you how you, too, could taste 2o different kinds of German beer in 4 days or less. Well, my dear readers, I’m a fan of that whole “under promise and over deliver” concept of customer service, so today on, I will show you how you, too, could taste almost forty (that’s right, 4-0) different beer in a little over a week’s time.

There are really just three simple steps involved in how to taste 39 German beers in 8 days: Go shopping, get reinforcements, and start tasting. An option fourth step is to pick up random beer-pairing foods like cheese, breads, pretzels, and chocolate. I, for one, believe that it’s imperative to know what kind of chocolate pairs best with my favorite local brews.

1. Go Shopping

Shopping for beer in Germany is pretty much awesome. Every town has at least one Getränkemarkt; a smaller supermarket that’s (usually, but not always) attached to a grocery store. The Getränkemarkt is the place to go for bottled water, soda, juice, wine, and beer. Unlike in the United States, you can buy German beer by the bottle. Take note, my friends, because this is imperative to your plan to taste 40 beer in a a little over a week.

When you go into the Getränkemarkt, keep your eyes open for a mostly-empty plastic beer crate and grab it. As you walk through the Getränkemarkt, fill your crate up with one of each beer that looks interesting. Your crate will hold 20 beer, so for maximum variety, I recommend going to two different Getränkemarkte and filling one crate up at each, taking care not to double up on any one beer. This method will ensure that you have 40 different German beer on hand. If you plan to dine out or visit German breweries in addition to tasting at home, all the better.

Note: German gas station convenience stores are also a good place to watch for single bottles of unique brews, especially if you’re taking regional day trips. Remember that just about every little German town has a brewery, so you might find a very different selection of beer at a Getränkemarkt or convenience store just an hour away from home. If you’re traveling to a different region of Germany, you can snag a wide variety of oftentimes drastically different beer.

2. Get Reinforcements

Our reinforcements arrived on a Friday afternoon at the local train station. Toting a suitcase each and bearing warm, determined smiles, The Herr Doctor M. and Miss A. were obviously up for the beer tasting challenge. Culinary adventurers at heart, our dear friends had traveled all the way from the U.S. (via Belgium) to see just how many German beers they could taste on their 8 day visit.

Note: The Herr Doctor M. and Miss A. apparently wanted to do other things besides taste beer in Bavaria, so we took them around and showed them the sites. We didn’t lose focus though: on each leg of our well-traveled week together, German beer was consumed!

3. Start Tasting

Strategy is important here. Each time you open a beer, you should split it between as many tasters as are willing and able to participate. This ensures that everyone gets to taste the maximum number of beers without getting too tipsy. Let’s do the math, shall we?

39 Beer / 8 Days = 4.875 Beer Per Day

4.875 Beer Per Day / 4 People = 1.21875 Beer Per Person, Per Day

So, as you can see, spreading each beer out among four people means that you can taste 39 German beer in 8 days while only having a little over one beer each per day. I love math. (Okay, that’s a lie. I really don’t love math.)

How to Taste 39 German Beers in 8 Days: The Beer

Although the four of us did an accurate tally of total beers tasted during their visit, we unfortunately didn’t write down every single specific beer we tried. The following list was made using my notes and pictures from their visit. I managed to identify 35 of the 39 beers we tasted. We’ll just assume that those last four were so good that they made us forget to write them down.

  1. Augustiner Brau Helles
  2. Augustiner Edelstoff
  3. Augustiner Weißbier
  4. Brauerei Spezial Bockbier Rauchbier
  5. Brauerei Spezial Lager Rauchbier
  6. Brauerei Spezial Weißbier
  7. Winkler Brau Kupfer Spezial
  8. Winkler Brau Heffe Pils
  9. Winkler Brau Pear Brandy (not a beer, but…)
  10. Hofbräuhaus Dunkel
  11. Hofbräuhaus Hefe Weizen
  12. Weltenburger Asam Bock
  13. Weltenburger Anno 1050
  14. Weltenburger Dunkel
  15. Weltenburger Radler
  16. Tucher Brau Hefe Weizen
  17. A beer I made note of being called a “Frankel”. Google is not verifying this as being a real beer, so I probably wrote something down wrong.
  18. Lammsbrau Festbier
  19. Lammsbrau Helles
  20. Lammsbrau Radler
  21. Lammsbrau Pils
  22. Brauerei Fässla Gold Pils
  23. Brauerei Fässla Weizler Dark
  24. Schlenkerla Dunkel
  25. Schlenkerla Weißbier
  26. Tucher Pils
  27. Brauhaus Tegernsee Tegernseer Hell
  28. Hacker-Pschorr Münchner Hell
  29. Rothaus Pils Tannenzäpfle
  30. Kneitinger Dunkel
  31. Altenmünster Brauerei Helles Lager
  32. Bischofshof Original 1649
  33. Goss-Bräu Märzen
  34. Zwick’l Kellerbier
  35. Feinsburger Pilsner
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