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Good Beer Guide Germany


Steve Thomas

The format is the same as for CAMRA’s other global Good Beer Guide titles – handsome colour production, lots of attractive pictures – but this one for Germany is a little different. That’s in the sense that author Steve Thomas has really bitten off rather a big mouthful in trying to pack such an enormous country (in beer terms) into one handy volume.

You’re certainly not stumped for information here. All of Germany’s breweries – yes, that’s right, all 1,200 or so of them – are featured, with a full list of the beers they produce. However, by dealing with such quantity, it’s hard to provide much depth.

The cheeky tasting notes of the sister Belgium guide, for instance, are not here. Pub and bar recommendations also play second fiddle, although the best places in the major cities are covered in good detail.

You also need to get used to the names of German regions in order to find breweries, which is a bit of a learning curve. The maps are a bit of a trial, too, given the absence of major city names to connect with the numbered dots that depict brewery locations.

Otherwise, the standard Good Beer Guide fundamentals of how to get there, how to order beer, major events to look out for, etc., are readily available, plus the all-important guide to the numerous beer styles that the country calls its own – Germany is more than a land of blond lager.

This is a great reference book – the most comprehensive guide to German breweries in the English language – and a useful travelling companion. Once he works out how to squeeze a quart into a pint pot, Steve will be able to confidently fill in more of the colourful descriptions and insightful opinions that make this series of guidebooks such a joy.

First edition (2006)

576-page paperback (CAMRA Books)


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