The art of beer

Yeast, hops, malt and water - these are the four central ingredients in beer brewing. Nevertheless, beer is more than just a sum of its parts, and the typical characteristics of each variety are created through the different methods of beer production. A distinction is made between two major subclasses: top-fermented and bottom-fermented beer. But what is the difference?

Different types of beer - it’s all about the yeast!

Top-fermented beer - ferment at room temperature

This distinction in beer production refers to the yeast cultures used in brewing. Top-fermented yeasts work best in warm temperatures of 15-20 ° C and settle on the top of the young beer during fermentation. In terms of taste, these beers are perceived as more aromatic, full-bodied and fruity.

  • Most famous representatives: ale, Berliner White beer, Kölsch, wheat beer
  • Alcohol content: 3% vol
  • Original wort: 7.5 to 32 ° Plato
  • Fermented at approx. 18 to 25 ° C
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Bottom-fermented beer - keep a cool head

A beer is referred to as bottom-fermented when the yeast settles at the bottom of the fermentation vessel during the brewing process. Until 150 years ago, this production was only possible in winter, because bottom-fermented yeast prefers colder temperatures. With the invention of the chiller in 1876, year-round production of bottom-fermented beers was made possible. As a rule, these are longer lasting, have a higher original wort and alcohol content.

  • Most famous representatives: light beer, Märzen, Lager, Pils
  • Alcohol content: up from 4,5 % vol
  • Original wort: 10 to 12 ° Plato
  • Fermented at approx. 4 to 9 ° C
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Beer varieties in Germany

These beers are very popular among Germans

Top-fermented beers

Pale Ale

This light brew from the British island is a relatively dry, bitter beer with a strong hops flavour and low alcohol content. Not for nothing is it called the ‘British long drink’.

Berliner Weiße

A popular refreshing drink on hot summer days which is often drunk with a dash of woodruff or raspberry syrup and a straw. But it also tastes great on its own!


This strawberry blonde highly-acclaimed specialty is suitable for every occasion. Restrained in taste and modest in alcohol content, it is always light and easy to drink.

Wheat beer

This traditional drink, which has developed into a lifestyle beer in recent years, is prized above all for its spicy, full taste. The typical banana aroma results from a by-product of fermentation.

Bottom-fermented beers

Helles lager (light laer)

This all-rounder among beers tastes good to almost everyone and goes well with almost everything. The light, clear beer with the slightly sweet, malty taste is very refreshing and easy to drink, especially in the heat.

March beer

Originally brewed in the last month of the cold season, this beer carries its brewing tradition in its name. With its mild hops and sweet character, March beer has become one of the most beloved beers over the years.


Pilsner beer, or pils for short, is the most popular variety among beer drinkers. This full beer with light golden colour has a hoppy-bitter taste and is much more bitter than other types of beer.

Black beer (dark lager)

Characteristic of this full beer is, as the name suggests, its deep dark colour. Its malty charm with the typical roasted flavour notes is currently enjoying ever greater popularity. It is best enjoyed from the typical black beer cup.

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