Whether it’s Budweiser, Miller, or Coors, there are a lot of jokes out there about the quality of American beers.
Some fight against the reputation that beers from the United States are low quality—but there are plenty of American breweries who choose to continue the European legacy instead.
1. Alcohol Content
One of the main differences between the typical American beer and German beer is the alcohol content.
Alcohol content for a German beer ranges between 4.5 percent and 5.5 percent—but it can get as high as 16 percent. Beers in the U.S. generally range from 3.5 percent to 3.8 percent.
This doesn’t necessarily mean a difference in quality, but rather a difference in culture. People in Germany often consider American beers to taste bland and watered down, while Americans might think German beers are too strong and bitter.
2. Types of Beer
Germany is famous for its brewing law, “Reinheitsgebot,” which was designed to help preserve the purity of their beer. This law helps preserve the legacy of using barley and hops rather than substitutes to keep the authentic flavor.
While brewers now include yeast as an essential part of their beer, German beer is well known for these classic recipes.
American beer, on the other hand, is most known for its pale lager. Common brands of pale lager are Coors, Budweiser, and Miller.
Another defining element of German beer is its unique culture.
American beer has little defining tradition. Most American beer is imported from other countries—and many incorporate a blend of multiple brews.
In Germany, beer is both a national symbol and a crucial part of its culinary scene. You’ll never find a German brewery that makes another country’s beer. This national pride comes through in the quality and flavor of the beer.
4. Innovation vs. Tradition
The American market favors innovation over tradition. American beers relentlessly pursue new angles, even if it means breaking established rules. Whether it’s IPAs, fruit beers, imperial stouts, or cream porters, there’s always a wide variety of choices.
But on the other hand, German beer is less about innovation and more about tradition. There might be fewer choices, but they focus more closely on finding perfection.
While both American and German beers can be high quality, you’re much more likely to find cheaper, weaker beers in America.
For some, these reasonably priced beers are a benefit. But if you’re looking for strong, high quality, traditional beers, German beer might be a better bet. In Germany, beers are a luxury good, and they’re priced accordingly.
American Beer vs. German Beer
When it comes to American beer vs German beer, it’s all about the difference in culture. Above all, Germans value tradition, quality, purity, high alcohol content, and national pride.
If you’re tired of drinking Coors or Budweiser, it might be time to give German beer a try.
Ready to immerse yourself in the German tradition of beer? Take a look at the VIP tickets for the Nashville Oktoberfest.