Rats Kölsch
Privatbrauerei Robert Metzmacher KG (in Frechen/Köln)

Kölssch beers are typified by their light, sparkling smooth taste with plenty of hop - and by the tiny delicate glasses in which they are customarily served.

Privatbrauerei Robert Metzmacher is a family owned brewery founded in 1879. The brewery is one of the only two dozen or so in and around Köln (Cologne) that brew one of Germany's few top fermented beers, the Kölsch. Only breweries within a given radius around Köln may call their light malt heavily hopped ale a Kölsch.

Oktoberfest Bier
Augustiner Brauerei (in München)

Oktoberfest Bier was a German style Märzen beer with a deep copper color with a light beige head. It had a rich malty taste and an alcohol content of 5.7%. During the Oktoberfest celebrations, the beer is served in 1 liter mugs.

Augustiner Brauerei is located in München, a city in Germany's southernmost province of Bayern (or Bavaria). The brewery was started back in 1328 as an Augustine monastery and is the oldest brewery in München.

The label depicts the Augustinerbräu tent back in 1926. Six of these colossal structures (which scarcely resemble a tent but rather an absolutely enormous hall) decorate the Oktoberfest fairgrounds each year. The Augustinerbräu tent is always full and a favorite of the locals who are frequently clothed in the traditional attire of lederhosen and tufted felt hats. While the festival is named for the month of October, the actual festivities take place mostly in September. It's called Oktoberfest and not Septemberfest because the very first Oktoberfest was a one day celebration on 17 October 1810. Later the festival got lengthened to 16 days, which starts in September and ends on the first Sunday in October.

Klosterbrauerei Weltenburg (in Kelheim)

According to the label, this famous Bavarian specialty has been brewed from an old handed-down recipe for almost 950 years without interruption. This “dunkel exportbier” has an alcohol content of 5.1%. Like most beers of this sort, it has dark brown red color with a nice creamy head. With plenty of good roasted malt flavors and mild bitterness, it is a very easy beer to drink.

Established in the year 1050, Weltenburg is the oldest monastery brewery in the world. To visit the monastery, one must take a boat from Kelheim (located in the Bavaria’s subprovince of Niederbayern). The boat travels along the huge Danube River, through the “Donaudurchbruch” (a relatively narrow fissure lined by tall vertical cliffs), and eventually arrives at the huge monastery located right on the river’s edge. The label depicts the huge monastery complex, with its large exquisite Baroque-style church (designed by the famous Asam brothers) and beautiful surrounding green hills. Inside the monastery walls, there is also plenty of opportunity to taste the monestary’s other fine products such as their delicious Pils, hearty Asam-bock, tasty Hefe-Weissbier Dunkel, and many more.

Walk on the Wild Side
Brauerei Max Wolf (in Karlsruhe)

This is a Special Edition Pilsener style beer. Although the taste was nothing exceptional, the low 4.9% alcohol makes it a nice meal beer.

Founded in 1885, Brauerei Max Wolf is based in Karlsruhe, Germany. This city is located near the French border in the extreme western region of Germany's Badenwurttemberg province.

Privatbrauerei L. Ehnle (in Lauterbach)

Blitz (the German word for "lightning") is technically a beer mixed-drink. Filtered (non-cloudy) wheat beer is mixed in equal portions with a sweet-tasting, carbonated lemon drink. The very low alcohol (only 2.6%) makes it a good refreshing beverage for hot summer days.

Privatbrauerei L. Ehnle is based in Lauterbach, a small city located in the German province of Bavaria. It has been family owned since 1651, and produces approximately 100,000 hl per year. The brewery offers several other amusing labels as well.

Weißer Hase
Hasen-Bräu (in Augsburg)

Weißer Hase means "white hare" in German. The name is a bit of a play on words in that the beer is a Weissbier (literally meaning "white beer" but normally translated as 'wheat beer'). Weißer Hase was typical of the weissbier style: a cloudy lemon yellow color (due to the fine yeast sediment found in this beer sort), a large foamy white head, and a fresh tasting yeasty fruity beer with a mildly bitter aftertaste. All in all it was a very tasty, drinkable 5.2% alcohol beer.

The joyful white hare wearing the skirt of hops is holding a typical slender Weissbier glass in one paw and the symbol of the city of Augsburg in the other. Four corner screws "bolt" the label to the bottle. The white hare is the symbol of the brewery, Hasen-Bräu ("Hare Brew"), which is located in Germany's very large and southermost province of Bavaria.

Berliner Weisse Waldmeister
Schultheiss-Brauerei (in Berlin)

This label is technically a can, yet it seems a good way to celebrate St Patrick's Day on March 17th. Berliner Weisse Mix Waldmeister is mixed drink containing 94% Schultheiss Berliner Weisse-Schankbier and 6% Waldmeister-flavored syrup which gives it a very intense bright green color with a light green head. The 3.0% alcohol beer was very very tasty but also very difficult to describe. It clearly received its very sweet (but not sugary), fruity gummy-candy-like flavor from the Waldmeister-flavored syrup. Oddly enough, marshmallows and maraschino cherries also came to mind. However its mixing with the Berliner Weisse-Schankbier gave it a distinct slightly sour taste, as is typical of that beer style. A very delicious combination.

The brewery, Schultheiss-Brauerei AG, also makes an extremely tasty dark red raspberry version, Berliner Weisse Mix Himbeere, as well as a few other beer styles.

Heller Maibock
Privatbrauerei Ganter (in Freiburg)

Maibock is a bock style beer that used to only be available during this season ("Mai" is German for May). The "Heller Maibock", or light-colored Maibock, is generally dark yellow in color with a high alcohol content. Ganter's Heller Maibock is no exception. With 6.8% alcohol, this rather tasty beer is different from the Belgian style strong blond beers. It has more of a malt taste and is not quite so bitter.

The brewery is located in Freiburg, a picturesque town in the southern Badenwürttemberg region of Germany. Vermin Brewing records show the brewery as producing 500,000 hectaliters of beer per year, however, these numbers may be a bit outdated. The image of a ram (or "bock" in German) stems from a mispronounciation of "Einbeck," the city in which this style of beer originated. After two or three liters of this strong, tasty lager beer, slurring 'bock was probably the best one could do to order another one.

Oktoberfest Märzen
Hacker-Pschorr Bräu (in München)

A Märzen style beer is a bottom fermented beer with a dark amber color. It usually has strong hints of butterscotch and caramel in the taste. The Hacker-Pschorr version of this beer type is no exception. It has an alcohol content of 5.7%.

Hacker-Pschorr Bräu is one of the six large remaining breweries of München (Munich) Germany. The symbols at the feet of the horse depict the merger of the Hacker (represented by the white axes) and the Pschorr (the 'P' in the blue star) breweries. The label shows some of the rides and attractions found at the Oktoberfest celebration, such as the giant ferris wheel and the Hacker-Pschorr Beer tent named Bräurosl.

Schimpfle Festbier
Brauerei Schimpfle (in Gessertshausen)

Schimpfle Festbier is a "Weihnachts Bier" (German for "Christmas beer") with an alcohol content of 5.6%. Unfortunately due to several relocations of the Vermin Brewing headquarters, the tasting notes on this beer have been lost. Verming Brewing, however, did not want to deprive Santa from spreading the holiday cheer and sharing his appreciation for a good beer with his fellow beer drinkers out there.

Brauerei Josef Schimpfle was founded in 1864 and is located in Bavaria, a large southern province in Germany. The brewery makes several other beers, but the labels aren't quite as entertaining.

St. Bernhard Bräu
Engel-Brauerei (in Schwäbisch Gmünd)

Sometimes it's not a wonderful taste or an interesting label that makes a beer special, but rather a unique bottle. St. Bernhard Bräu was a good tasting beer with 5.0% alcohol, a bright golden color and foamy white head. It's charming monk-shaped bottle, however, was more the topic of conversation. The detail on the bottle is quite good, and one can see his cheerful smile, his opened book clutched in his hands, and even count the number of rosary beads on his cross. The information of the beer is found on a small bright paper label at his feet.

The Engel-Brauerei L Lang GmbH & Co KG is located in the city of Schwäbisch Gmünd, in Germany's southern province of Badenwürttemberg. The brewery also makes other beers in interesting bottles and cans, such as their Pilot Beer series and Biere des Druides.