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Germany - brewers fear beer price war!


read 5010 times • 87 replies • posted 4/22/2013 2:56:30 PM

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eaglefan538 2904:92
Bock, doublebock, eisbock, weizenbock, dunkel, pils, helles, krystalweizen, hellesweizen, dunkeweizen, altbier, koelsch, dortmunder, berliner weisse, landbier, zwickel, blah, blah, blah.... Germany has quite a variety of beer, don’t underestimate that. However, yes, regionally, they tend to focus on specializing in brewing and drinking a style (or two). In my years and years of drinking across all the styles, though, I return back to 2-3 that I drink regularly. I also do "tastings" way less nowadays. Rating wore on me for this very reason, once you’ve had 10-25 different beers of a style, they start to run together other than a few standouts. Germany is quite similar within a style, there is differentiation. Comments on here are like stating that all IPAs in America are the same. We all know that to be nonsense for even those that are within "purity law" guidelines.
4/24/2013 4:08:03 AM

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left_bank 69:47
i might be the only person on rb to say,but i love the taste of german bier and (as far as taste goes)i would not want them to change a thing!
and,i am doing more then just writing this down "on my computer";i will be spending time/and money in germany this year,i have various biz meetings where people who live in other european will be coming to germany and will also be spending money...all because german biers taste the way they do!
4/24/2013 4:20:20 AM

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chriso 7416:403
Originally posted by eaglefan538
Germany is quite similar within a style, there is differentiation. Comments on here are like stating that all IPAs in America are the same.

I don’t think many of the comments in this thread have suggested otherwise. There is, of course, variation in character and quality. However, the suggestion in the article is that pretty much all brewers have to compete at a low price point. Presumably, at least in part, because insufficient German consumers appreciate that variation enough to pay more for "the good stuff".
4/24/2013 4:52:19 AM

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jonas 5737:30
I think things are slowly changing in Germany though. I was very impressed with the amount of interesting German beers at the recent Braukunst Live festival in Munich. Both all the new microbrewers and the more established medium sized breweries were going absoutely nuts making IPAs, dryhopped, barrel aged beer sand all sorts of historic styles. Even Hofbräuhaus made a very nice festival special.
At one of the panel discussions it was mentioned that german brewers slowly are realizing they have to renew themselves to have a competitive product.
4/24/2013 5:17:27 AM

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pivnizub 9000:469
4/24/2013 1:03:02 PM

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McTapps 4463:153
Originally posted by finn1918
I’ve noticed that most of the world (especially the Germans) don’t know or care to learn about the American craft scene. To them, they are the last bastion of "real" beer, and megacorporations like ABInBev, MillerCoors, and Diaego are trying to destroy their traditions and introduce watered-down, adjunct-laden beer. And frankly, I could see their point of view if an ABInBev rep offered them a Bud as "the pinnacle of American quality."


Oh, I like your "especially the Germans" a lot....not. It is such a cliche, esp. if you are interested in beer and everything around, you get to know the wide market of the American beer scene. And I cannot tell you the amount of hours I spent on searching through the internet to get some proper online shop (one would do it) for ordering great American beers...I just couldn’t find one. The online market is limited to all the watery stuff like Coors Light, Anheuser Busch etc. and in German shops you really can’t get anything from America. I guess, the costs would be too high for too less people willing to pay that price when you have other world-class beers available for probably less than 1/10 that price ( like all the beers of Weihenstephan, Kloster Andechs, Schneider Weisse etc.).

And against your experience, there are quite some foreign beers available in Germany (not talking about Munich only, as Munich is a folk of is own).....there are many British beers around, as well as Belgian, Austrian, Czech -of course- and many many more. Sometimes it is also a matter of finding the bottle shop that suits you ;-)
4/24/2013 1:36:38 PM

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Marko 4030:212
More and more Polish too. In supermarkets especially.
4/24/2013 1:49:41 PM

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pivnizub 9000:469
Originally posted by jonas
I think things are slowly changing in Germany though. I was very impressed with the amount of interesting German beers at the recent Braukunst Live festival in Munich. Both all the new microbrewers and the more established medium sized breweries were going absoutely nuts making IPAs, dryhopped, barrel aged beer sand all sorts of historic styles. Even Hofbräuhaus made a very nice festival special.
At one of the panel discussions it was mentioned that german brewers slowly are realizing they have to renew themselves to have a competitive product.

Jonas is absolutely right:
1.Things are changing here... It has absolutely nothing to do with the purity law. This Reinheitsgebot neither forces brewers to produce crappy beers nor prevents it them from brewing I.P.A.’s, Stouts or dry hopped Lagers.
2. To too many germans beers is only "simple food"; they love cheap foodstuff! Slogan: get more, pay less! So they buy the cheapest crate of crappy Lager, with or without the Gebot.... Here it’s no problem to find people with the newest smart-phone, the hugest flat-screen TV and the biggest SUV, who are proud that they bought one chicken for two Euros!
3. Beer belongs in many parts of Germany (especially in Bavaria, Cologne and Düsseldorf) to the daily life; it accompanies the meals and is consumed in larger quantities in company. Do You really think that Baltic Porters or Quadruples are suitable for that?
4. For that reason nobody needs a Belgian Beer Shop in Germany. Many of the often overrated belgian beers are sweet, heavy, alcoholic and sticky. They would never be successful in a country of Lager lovers. If You really want to buy stuff from Belgium here, You’ll find the better examples in special shops (Orval, Westmalle, Chimay, Duvel, La Chouffe, Rochefort to name only a few...) without any problem.
4/24/2013 1:54:58 PM

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Oakes 12777:670
Originally posted by chriso
Originally posted by eaglefan538
Germany is quite similar within a style, there is differentiation. Comments on here are like stating that all IPAs in America are the same.

I don’t think many of the comments in this thread have suggested otherwise.


Oh I was definitely saying that. The average grocery store or getränkemarkt is a sea of indistinguishable pilsners and hefeweizens, priced in a race to the bottom.

IPA is a not at all a good analogy. IPAs are made with distinct hop varieties. German pilsners are usually made with hop extract, which has no distinctive signature. It just tastes like hopfenextrakt. The malts are approached in a similar manner. IPA varies much more in malt character. Alcoholic strength varies a lot more in IPA - show me similar variance in German pilsner. Even compare German pilsner with Czech svetly - nobody would accuse the Czechs of making samey beers.

You can’t really cite the wealth of German beer styles as examples of differentiation when most of those are regional and/or seasonal. In many regions, such specialties are hard to come by.

This is just a textbook economics case. Trying to wish away the differentiation runs against basic logic here. The problem is that German brewers are living in precisely this type of romantic fantasy land, and are struggling to accept and address market reality. That’s why they fear the price war. Everything in the German beer market suggests more price wars and more rationalization.

As Jonas said, there is hope with new generations who are becoming more experimental. This will happen. The bigger concern for drinkers, I think, isn’t the rationalization of undifferentiated regional breweries, but the continued declining consumption of village beer in Franconia. I know some places are too popular to ever close, but we’re still losing a few every year. In terms of vibrancy and contribution to the world brewing scene, one village brewpub in Oberfranken is worth at least 20 industrial pilsner breweries.
4/24/2013 2:06:16 PM

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pivnizub 9000:469



As Jonas said, there is hope with new generations who are becoming more experimental. This will happen. The bigger concern for drinkers, I think, isn’t the rationalization of undifferentiated regional breweries, but the continued declining consumption of village beer in Franconia. I know some places are too popular to ever close, but we’re still losing a few every year. In terms of vibrancy and contribution to the world brewing scene, one village brewpub in Oberfranken is worth at least 20 industrial pilsner breweries.

I totally agree...!!!
4/24/2013 2:30:24 PM

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