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In Germany, a U.S. Beer Invasion. That’s Backwards!

on 01/05/13 at 1:01 pm


germany-beerAlmost 65 years after Allied planes flew Western supplies into blockaded Berlin, a new American import is arriving by air: craft beer.

The beer is being flown in as part of a new surge of German interest in American brewing, upending a centuries-old relationship in which German beer defined the golden standard for brewing and Americans emulated it.

Now, with craft brewers in the United States capturing an ever-greater share of their home market, they are expanding in Germany as well. German consumers, intrigued by unfamiliar flavors, are purchasing more imported beer and are increasingly copying American efforts with their own small-scale brewing operations.

In the last year in Berlin, high-end U.S. beer — including one from California that is flown over in coolers — has become available in some grocery stores, and several U.S.-style craft breweries have opened. The efforts aim to challenge the dominance of plain-old pilsner, the mild lager that dominates more than half of beer sales in Germany. Beer consumption is slipping in Germany, and some brewers say their only salvation lies in fostering a drinking culture less constrained by a 1516 purity law that they say crimps innovation.


FULL STORY via Washington Post