The best German beers for watching the football

With a summer of sport ahead of us, drinks expert Mark Dredge shares his top beers from Germany, the Euro 2024 host nation. Perfect for cheering on your team from the sidelines (or sofa)…

The best German beers for watching the football

As we get ready for Euro 2024 in Germany, thirsty football fans will be filling the fridge ready for the games. While you may choose a favourite local beer to watch England or Scotland play, you might want to replicate the German drinking experience to feel closer to the action from the comfort of your own sofa.

Germany is one of the world’s greatest brewing nations, and while we tend to view it as a land of lager, there’s a regionality to drinking in Germany. In Munich you find golden helles lager, dark and toasty dunkel lager and cloudy weissbier (a type of wheat beer); in the north you find dry, bitter pils or pilsener; in Cologne you find pils-like kölsch served in small, straight 200ml glasses, while next door in Dusseldorf you get altbier, a bitter brown beer that’s like a cross between a lager and British bitter.

Football authorities have already warned fans travelling to Germany that the beer there is a bit stronger than here and, as it tastes so good, supporters need to make sure they don’t overdo it. Thankfully, Germany also makes many great alcohol-free beers, which are available in all bars – and available for us to drink at home too. Prost!

Did you know?

Many beers in Bavaria are called hell or helles. The name means it’s pale or light in colour and it’s often on tap next to dark dunkel lagerbiers.

Rothaus Tannenzäpfle Alkoholfrei, Germany 0.5%

German alcohol-free beer is typically great, and Rothaus makes one of the best alcohol-free pils. It’s hard to tell it’s 0.5% ABV! Great with your favourite crisps. £2.20 for 330ml, available from Beer Merchants

Schneider Weisse Tap 7, Germany 5.4%

A classic German wheat beer, this is deep hazy amber with an aroma of banana, light citrus, caramel and peppery spice. TV snacks like hot wings or bhajis pair wonderfully. £2.20 for 500ml, available from Sainsbury’s

Augustiner Lagerbier Hell, Germany 5.2%

One of the world’s highest-regarded lagers, this Munich helles is brilliant gold with a creamy white foam. An elegant yet robust brew, it’s great with sausages. £3.74 for 500ml, available from Beer Merchants

Hofbräu Original, Germany 5.2%

This classic Munich helles is golden, has a slight richness of malt and is perfectly balanced with a refreshing hop-bitter finish. A beer for big bready pretzels. £3.50 for 500ml, available from Morrisons

Früh Kölsch, Germany 4.8%

Kölsch is the beer of Cologne. It looks and tastes like a crisp pils but is technically an ale and has a slight fruity aroma. Pour a glass and enjoy with halloumi fries or just some chips. £3.50 for 500ml, available from Morrisons

For more summer drinks ideas, check out Mark’s guide to the best beers from sustainable breweries.

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