Prost to German Beer!

Updated for 2024

Hold onto your Lederhosen, we’re about to drop some knowledge. German Beer Day on April 23 traces its origin all the way back to 1516 when the beer purity law – or Reinheitsgebot – effectively outlawed any ingredient other than barley, hops and water in the brewing process.

What about yeast? They didn’t yet understand its function. Essentially, the law was consumer protection, keeping prices low and dangerous, sometimes hallucinogenic ingredients out of beer.

What about your favorite Hefeweizen or Weißbier which uses wheat instead of barley? Eventually, they expanded the law to include any malted grain and, of course, yeast.

And that’s it – four ingredients, yet so many possibilities! After extensive taste testing, we’ve compiled our favorite breweries that make the most out of what they’re working with to deliver prost-worthy flavor.


The inspiration is in the name! Old world standards executed with modern tech allow Altstadt – German for Old Town – to deliver beer with a smooth, crisp flavor, thanks in part to the fresh waters of Texas Hill Country.


Established in 1878, this family-owned brewery in the foothills of the Alps is famous for a full range of award-winning Bavarian specialty beers, all infused with the culture and rich brewing heritage of the region.


Nestled in the Rhineland near the Südeifel National Park, this brewery uses only the best hops from Hallertau in Bavaria and Holsthum near Bitburg. The care they take in gathering, examining and using superior hops shows in their premium beers.


Back in 1972, the innovators at this German brewery were cooking up the first non-alcoholic beer, all legal according to the Reinheitsgebot. The skeptical public fell in love once they tasted it, embracing NA beer and changing the beer world forever.


Perfecting beer since 1886, this traditional brewery strictly adheres to the Reinheitsgebot. They specialize in Weissbier – never brewed anything else, in fact – and consider themselves ambassadors of Bavarian hospitality.

Franziskaner Weissbier 

Tracing their roots back to 1363 and the Franziskaner cloister near Munich, this brewery both leans on tradition and innovates with the times. They’ve perfected Weissbier thanks to their Bavarian hops and malts, specialty wheat and waters from their very own spring.


Starting as a small brewery in Munich in 1417, they put their name on the map after the union of Joseph Pschorr and Maria Theresia Hacker, the brewmaster’s daughter. The rest is history, including the development of their signature lager, Münchner Gold.


Also hailing from Munich, Hofbräuhaus is beer royalty and claims their brews follow recipes descending from a Bavarian duke, a relative of the one who signed the Reinheitsgebot into law – no wonder their logo is a crown!


Brewing in western Germany since 1858, König defied the times and resisted the trend of brewing top-fermented beers, resulting in a pilsner that has withstood the test of time. In addition to the Reinheitsgebot, they are committed to sustainability in their sourcing, brewing and hiring practices.


From the home of Oktoberfest, this Munich-based brewery began with monks in a monastery and now delivers their delectable, purity law-compliant brews to 70 countries world-wide.


This brewery born near Dresden attributes some of their passion for pilsner to the crisp Saxon air – but don’t worry, they aren’t violating any laws by brewing with it.


The first to brew wheat beer outside Bavaria in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia, they made a name for themselves with beer mixes. Although the inclusion of fruit juices does violate the Reinheitsgebot, the wheat beer base is fully compliant.


This 125 year old brewery made a splash in Munich by brewing light beer in dark times – as in, times when everyone was drinking dark beer – and continue to brew exceptional quality beer thanks to the purity law and the purity of the water in their own wells.


Named for the small German town where they got their start, this family-owned brewery has an ace up their sleeve when it comes to one of the four ingredients: The extra-soft water from a reserve in the surrounding forest gives their brews a distinctive and delicious flavor.


With over 1,000 years of brewing experience, Weihenstephaner predates the Reinheitsgebot but claims some credit for the purity law, and they even boast the name Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan.


This iconic Belgian wheat beer takes a couple liberties from the Reinheitsgebot by adding coriander and orange peel to their beer – so if four ingredients just doesn’t sound like enough for you, this is our recommended cheat beer.


Summer Sippers


Long summer days offer a world of possibilities. How about grilling in the backyard or swinging in a hammock, fishing, or taking a trip to the beach, or just relaxing with friends? Whatever you get up to, you’ll need the perfect drink to pair with your many hours of daylight and fun. Read on for a list of 21 lighter-bodied yet full-flavored brews that you can session from sunup to sundown and beyond.



Altstadt Light German-style Lager

3.5% ABV

The smooth, light body on this low-cal Germany-style lager will have you sessioning deliciously this summer, especially with its clean, dry finish that keeps you coming back for another sip.


Community Texas Lager

4% ABV

At just under 100 calories, this uniquely Texas brew is perfect for enjoying the beautiful outdoors, celebrating with friends and family, or relaxing after a long day’s work.


Deschutes Crispy Pilsner

4.9% ABV

With its well-deserved crown, this light and refreshing winner of the Pilsner Fest Bitburger Challenge in Portland, Oregon, is perfectly crushable and, you guessed it, wonderfully crisp.


Dogfish Sea Quench Ale

4.9% ABV

A touch of salt on the tongue, a bit of malt sweetness in the finish – this ale is a summer-ready, citrusy-tart mash-up of Kölsch, Gose and Berliner Weiss, sure to win over margarita lovers, as well.


Founders All Day IPA

4.7% ABV

Celebrate the simple pleasures of summer with this IPA, boasting a complex array of malts, grains and hops, made for sessioning.


Independence Redbud Berliner Weisse

4.9% ABV

Dubbed the Champagne of the North by Napoleon’s troops, this delightfully refreshing brew is spritzy with a lemony tartness to balance the sweetness of the malted wheat.


Lagunitas Daytime IPA

4% ABV

Like bright rays of hops shining down on a gentle landscape of malts and oats, this low-cal, low-carb session IPA is ideal for sipping anytime.


Odell Sippin’ Pretty Fruited Sour

4% ABV

Summer goals: Sippin’ pretty in the sun! Balancing acai, guava and elderberry with a pinch of Himalayan sea salt, this fruited sour ale pops with a bright ruby color and a refreshing tart finish.


Oskar Blues Light Lager

4.2% ABV

Bask in the subtle aromas and flavors of this deceptively complex low-cal brew, teasing your senses with mild floral hops, biscuity malt and a light honeysuckle character.


Real Ale Firemans Light

4% ABV

This easy-drinking lager is light beer for craft beer drinkers – a perfect combination of a crisp, light body with a clean, malt-driven finish.


Saint Arnold Lawnmower German-style Kölsch

4.9% ABV

This slightly fruity Kölsch-style brew is particularly refreshing when paired with your favorite summer outdoor activities like fishing, golf, BBQ or backyard games, or to pick you up after a bike ride or hike.


Stone Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager

4.7% ABV

Bring a little SoCal to Texas. This Baja-inspired Mexican lager brewed with sea salt and lime is the perfect chaser for a hard day’s work or the ideal companion for a day of fun in the sun.


SweetWater High Light 

4% ABV

Dubbed an Easy IPA due to its low-calorie, low-ABV design, the secret to its supreme flavor/drinkability combination comes down to brewmaster genius and a little sticky Hop Hash.


Tupps Salted Lime Mexican Lager 

4.2% ABV

Elevate your summer Taco Tuesdays by serving this tart and refreshing Mexican lager alongside your favorite Tex-Mex fare.


Urban South Lime Cucumber Gose

4.2% ABV

Taking its role as a powerful thirst-quencher seriously, this salty, soured wheat beer goes from refreshing to invigorating with the addition of key lime and fresh cucumber juice.




Ace Guava Craft Cider

5% ABV

With a generous pour of Brazilian guava juice in the mix with semi-dry apple cider, this one will give you tropical vacation vibes in a can.


Woodchuck 100 Cider Variety Pack

4.2% ABV

A variety pack dedicated to sessionable ciders, these four fruity options – not a one being apple – will brighten up any summer day. Go ahead and have one of each (or two, or three).




Big Country Organic Hard Seltzer Variety Pack

4.5% ABV

Satisfy your summery fruit cravings with the creative combinations in this seltzer mix pack, ready to cater to everyone’s tastes at the pool party.


Blur Hard Seltzer Variety Pack

5.2% ABV

Surprising and sometimes exotic flavor combinations – like mango and dragon fruit – set these four seltzers apart, like a tastebud adventure to match any summer adventure you have in store.


Deep Ellum Ranch Water Hard Seltzer

4.5% ABV

Set up some giant umbrellas and put the patio to use, staying cool and refreshed with frequent sips of this lime-, salt- and electrolyte-infused seltzer.


Lone River Ranch Water Variety Pack

4% ABV

Brewed to slake the thirst of a hard-working cowpoke, these seltzers are sweetened with agave nectar and made tart with a squirt of lime – wrangle some friends and enjoy!