What do Germans know about brewing beer? Everything! That being said, they most certainly do not have the market cornered when it comes to brewing beer that is worthy of being considered the world’s best. So, who are the best at brewing beer? (In this author’s opinion…)
Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Paso Robles, California
This beer brewer has not yet taken the world by storm – beers are distributed only in five states – but the fact that the brews are unpasteurized most certainly adds to the allure. Of note are the pale ales, which have netted Firestone championships in the World Beer Cup three times in a row. Its India Pale Ale medaled at the European Beer Star Award competition and its Honey Blonde also commanded some attention. With all this medaling and winning, it is surprising that Firestone still finds the time to brew beer, yet they do. Check out the Parabola, Firestone’s foray into the world of stout.
Pumphouse Brewery in Longmont, Colorado
The Pumphouse Brewery is home of the Shockwave Scottish ale with an ABV of 7.9 percent. While the Pumphouse and I might disagree on the Four Alarm Copper Ale being of the same style as a German Altbier, there is no doubt that the tasters heartily concur. Awards from the Great American Beer Festival and the Colorado State Fair abound.
Plzeňský Prazdroj a.k.a. Pilsner Urquell by SABMiller in Europe
If there is a perfect marriage between ale and lager, bottom-fermenting Pilsner Urquell would be considered its offspring. While brewing beer is now handled by a large conglomerate and no longer in the smaller Czech tradition of the old brew masters, the taste did not suffer. Sure, there are plenty of pilsener beers around, but until you have had a Pilsner Urquell, you just don’t know what they should taste like.
Guinness Stout by Diageo in the UK
The original beer brewer was Ireland’s Arthur Guinness, whose improvement upon the then-current state of porter resulted in the crafting of this world-famous stout. There have been some unsubstantiated rumors that the bottling plant no longer follows his original recipe to the letter, which may or may not be true. As long as you don’t go for the beers with the widget in the can or bottle, you’ll be just fine and sure to enjoy the taste.
Schlüssel Altfrom the Schlüssel Brewery in Germany
We shall end our world tour of the best beer brewers in the old town of Düsseldorf. The Schlüssel Brewery is a staple among the German beer scene. Schlüssel Alt is as much a national institution as it is the calling card of serious Altbier lovers. Hold up the glass against the light, enjoy the dark amber coloring and give this top-fermenting beer a chance. You’ll instantly recognize why Germans hold the distinction of being the cream of the beer crop.