The end of September marks the start of Munich’s much celebrated Oktoberfest, the world’s largest folk festival, which celebrates its 185th edition this year. Its history dates back to October 1810, in honour of the wedding between Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the royal event.
Although the original festival lasted five full days, it eventually became an important fixture on the German calendar. For a country synonymous with beer, this is almost a no-brainer. There are the craft beers of Australia and Irish stouts, but German beers are in a league of their own.
For one, they are regulated by the Reinheitsgebot (Purity Decree) of 1516 — the oldest food and beverage law in the world — which dictates that only four ingredients can be used: malt, yeast, hops and water. Secondly, the beers all boast different styles, depending on which region they’re from.
If you’re heading to Germany anytime soon and planning to embark on a regional breweries trail, it may help to learn some of the most popular and iconic German beer styles. Here, we’ve sussed out a guide to some of the most iconic regional beer styles of Germany in their regions of origin, whether it’s Bamberg’s Rauchbier, Cologne’s Kölsch, or Bavaria’s Schwarzbier.
(All illustrations: Nadine Christmas, Lifestyle Asia Singapore)