The Best Independent Craft Breweries In Germany

Beer Tap
Beer Tap | © viganhajdari/Pixabay
Varia Fedko-Blake

The Germans have always been recognized as brewing artisans, and any visitor to the country is faced with a myriad of ales, stouts, IPAs and bitter options. In recent years, however, avid beer drinkers have seen the emergence of small independent local breweries specializing in unique and creative handcrafted brews. Local, sustainable and innovative, here are some of the noteworthy breweries that merge the tradition of German beer with exceptional modern-day brewing.


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Vagabund

Located in the depths of Berlin’s northern district Wedding, the Vagabund Brauerei brews its own selection of new and original styles of craft beer. Created by three American friends, the fully-fledged brewing company opened its doors in 2011, equipped with its own nano-brewery and taproom next door. Just big enough to welcome eager beer enthusiasts through its doors, the company is also just small enough to foster optimal creativity and experimentation. From wheat beers with an American twist, delectable APA’s and hoppy IPAs, word on the street is that this really is a local craft community at its best.

Riedenburger Brauhaus

Located in Germany’s Altmühl Valley, the Riedenburger brewery has been around since 1866 and has been preoccupied with organic beer production since 1994. Alongside specialty beers made from einkorn, emmer and spelt, the brewery also began offering an organic India Pale Ale called Dolden Sud and a variety of IPAs two years ago. With citrusy hops and lime, orange and tangerine flavors, this German-made beer is the epitome of pioneering beer craftsmanship.

Crew Republic

Mario Hanel and Timm Schnigula run the Crew Republic craft beer brewery in Munich, proudly boasting the motto ‘Craft Beer is Not a Crime’. Creating a pioneering beer establishment in a city whose culture is so heavily based on the mainstream breweries catering to Oktoberfest and the rest of the country, their range of ‘outsider’ brews is really worth a try. Highly recommended is the Foundation 11 pale ale, as well as the Summer Beer and the double IPA. Paving the way for the future success of microbreweries, Crew Republic is really in the lead when it comes to staying true to the ethics of crafting and the delivery of high-quality artisanal brews.

Eschenbräu

One of the longest-running craft breweries in the capital is Berlin Wedding’s Eschenbräu, operating since 2001. As well as offering three own-brand main beers on tap, the establishment also offers monthly guest beers and ciders to its loyal following. The small brewery is located in the space above the taproom, containing impressive 700-litre kettles. Besides producing exceptional beer, Eschenbräu also offers a variety of spirits from its very own distillery and delicious apple juice made from apples carefully sourced from local farmers.

Pax Bräu

The slogan of Pax Bräu is ‘let’s forge swords into taps’, and in this small brewery in Oberelscbach in der Röhn, this is exactly what founder Andreas Seufert does. Having previously worked as a brewer in Vietnam, in 2009, Seufert decided to take beer matters into his own hands and began brewing for himself on a small scale in 2002 in an old cow shed. Today, although the brewing capacity at the brewery is very limited, the demand is astronomically high. Try the Cissy IPA or the Licorice Oatmeal Stout to get an idea of what Pax is really all about.

Riegele Brewery

Merging tradition and modern ideas, the Reigele Brewery has been owned by the same family since 1884, having been a fully-fledged beer establishment in Augsburg since 1386. Today, the brewery continues to excel at making beer and is an active player in the craft beer league, producing specialties prepared in a micro brew house for the last ten years. Unafraid to scare traditional beer lovers away, Reigele offers eight craft beers, with unique variations always in the making. Visitors should rest assured that the most popular beers, the Simco 3-IPA or the Noctus 100 Imperial Stout, are always available.

Flying Turtle

For the Flying Turtle brewing company, brewing is much more than just hops, malt, yeast and water. Tapping into the German craft beer scene in Berlin, brew master Thorsten Shoppe runs a brewery that caters to bars and restaurants all over the city. Whilst honouring the long-standing tradition of German beer making, the Flying Turtle also endeavours to create new tastes and styles. In particular, the Pils is a favourite amongst customers, offering a delectable combination of aromatic bitterness and German hops. Alternatively, the Flying Turtle Pale Ale is also an exceptional choice, consisting of all-natural deep gold colored ale, balanced out with a touch of citrus.

Ale-Mania

Ale-Mania is a company started by Fritz Wülfing and brews diverse craft beers that merge new creations with techniques deeply rooted in Germany’s rich brewing history. As well as producing ‘The Gose’, ale modeled after old Prussian beer from the 19th century, the brewery also offers an IPA consisting of light caramel malt and classic American hops. In addition to this, Ale-Mania also brews the fantastic Imperial Red, which is so exceptional that is has been sold out for entire seasons in the past. With impeccable taste innovation and creativity, this brewery is a pioneering leader on the German craft beer market.

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