US splash in Germany

Chris Shanahan
Coopers Pale Ale and James Squire Stow Away IPA.
Coopers Pale Ale and James Squire Stow Away IPA. 

The Guardian Weekly in Britain reports a growing fascination in Germany for American beers - not the bland, thin mainstream brews, but the rich diversity now flowing from the US's very large craft-brewing sector.

Non-German beers doubled to 8.1 per cent of the German market between 2004 and 2012, the article says. It also says many of the small breweries opening up in German cities "emulate American craft beer styles".

With per capita consumption of beer declining in Germany, some brewers, the article says, "say their only salvation lies in fostering a drinking culture less constrained by a 1516 purity law that they say crimps innovation".

Thorsten Heiser of Bavaria's ancient Weihenstephan brewery sees the phenomenon as a generational thing - the oldies drink beer for daily nutrition; young people seek flavour variety.

As a sometimes shopper in German supermarkets, I welcome the variety. But I'll never say no to a traditional weiss beer or lager.

Coopers Pale Ale

375ml 6-pack $16

The wholemeal appeal of Cooper's cloudy, bottle-conditioned ales spread from mung-bean-eating hippies into the mainstream some years back. So much so that the company now sells more beer in NSW than at home in South Australia, Glen Cooper says. Little wonder, we say, savouring a cold one in a village pub near Wollongong.



James Squire Stow Away IPA

345ml 6-pack $19

The original India pale ales packed a power of alcohol, malt and hops to survive the pre-refrigeration-era journey from England to India. James Squire's burly-but-balanced version of the brew uses rampant apricot-like hops aromas and flavours - and attendant intense bitterness - to shackle opulent malt and warm, sweet alcohol flavours.