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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Community > Commercial Brew Discussion > German Domestics vs. German Export bound for the US market.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:05 AM   #1
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Default German Domestics vs. German Export bound for the US market.

Ok.

So one of my closest companions and I have had an ongoing debate about something for around two years now. He a native of Bonn and recent immigrant to the US; I a NE'erner, born and raised near Philly and spent most of my life here. I've been to Germany and sampled, ( to put it lightly), many German beers, a lot of which are unavailable here in the states. I'm by NO means an expert, but I'm not a total neophyte either.

He SWEARS there is "something" different about most of the German beers he has had in the states. I sort of know what he is talking about, it's a sort of gross, malty sweetness. He claims that on his recent trip back to the Cologne area he sampled many of the same beers over there and that they were devoid of this flavor. I too must admit, that I am to a certain degree inclined to agree with him.


The ONLY three logical hypotheses I can come are:

1. The beers are way less than fresh and or skunked by the time we consume them here in the states.

OR

2. as is the case with some belgian beers, ( sours especially), they are artificially back-sweetening, either with crystal malts or some other sort of unfermentables, you know, b/c we americans are supposedly dumb and lacking in taste and crave cloying sweetness in everything we consume...blah blah blah.

OR


3. Our minds are playing tricks on us.




I've tried to google around a bit on this topic, but have yet to find a search string that leads to any sort of conclusive information.



Has anyone else ever thought this or have any idea whether or not we are totally off-base on this?

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Old 05-01-2012, 03:32 AM   #2
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bump

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Old 05-01-2012, 03:35 AM   #3
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Green bottle imports are generally always skunked. However, they're most likely skunked over there too. It doesn't take long for them to skunk in those bottles. They are probably more skunked here though. If you want to drink a Becks, Heineken, Pilsner Urqell or the like the way it's supposed to taste you should get it is a draft. There shouldn't be any different taste that way since light can't penetrate a keg.

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Old 05-01-2012, 04:01 AM   #4
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yeah, I getcha on the green bottles, but to be honest, it's not a skunky taste I'm talking about here.

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Old 05-01-2012, 04:04 AM   #5
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I guess I would need an example. Do you have some specific brews as examples?

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Old 05-01-2012, 04:09 AM   #6
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yeah, it's mostly in pils and lagers. One of the glaring examples is Bitburger. Mind you, I understand that Bitburger isn't exactly a world-class beer by ANY stretch of the imagination, but I've had it there and it was devoid of this artificial, sweet, malty flavor. Also, becks has it. I've had Becks in germany, and the weird thing is that once in a while, for whatever reason, it tastes amazing. Probably b/c it's quite fresh. However, it too was devoid of this flavor I speak of.

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Old 05-01-2012, 04:40 AM   #7
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Maybe the beer comes out of the brewery more balanced with hops that mellow out on the big boat ride to the states, resulting in an overly malty flavor.

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Old 05-01-2012, 04:46 AM   #8
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ok, that's the first plausible explanation actually.

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Old 05-01-2012, 03:08 PM   #9
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I'm suspicious it might relate to the beers being pastuerized for the US market and not for European consumption.

My favorite example is Uerige. The stuff in the bottles here has a definite sweetness to it, while I wouldn't say the stuff at the pub over there is sweet in the slightest.

PU on tap in the Czech republic is different from PU on tap here. There is a restaurant in NYC (Hospoda) that has it specially shipped to them in refrigerated containers. That tastes like the EU stuff. It is smoother all around.

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Old 05-01-2012, 04:29 PM   #10
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Pretty obvious to me: Freshness AND shipping/storing at high temperatures.

I experienced this first hand with Harpoon IPA when I worked in Boston and would fly back to SC on week-ends... I'd only get Harpoon IPA draft in the middle of the winter in SC. The IPA in the summer in SC was a waste.

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