European beer tends to be considerably stronger than American beer. Also, European beer can vary tremendously in appearance and flavour. European countries well known for their beers are Germany, England, Belgium and the Czech Republic, but other countries also produce famous beers.

Germany has a law known as the “Reinheitsgebot,” or purity law. This specifies that German beer can’t be made with chemicals or artificial preservatives. Beck’s is a well-known German beer, but there are many others. Weissbier is a wheat beer, which is relatively pale in colour and has a lot of foam.

English beers can be a little bitter for some people. England is a country that produces many ales. Ales are beers that have a yeast that ferments on the top. Many English ales have a slightly bitter flavour. A famous English beer is Newcastle Brown Ale. In contrast to ales, lagers are beers that have a yeast that ferments on the bottom. Germany is famous for this kind of beer.

Belgium is a small country, but produces over 300 kinds of beer. Tarwebier is a wheat beer that is very pale in colour. Rodenbach is a dark beer aged in oak barrels. It has a very distinctive flavour. Duvel is a very strong beer with an alcohol content around 8 percent. In fact, the word “duvel” means devil in Dutch. Belgium is also known for beers with fruit flavours, such as raspberry and cherry.

The Czech Republic also produces excellent beers. Many people may not be aware that the original Budweiser beer is from the Czech Republic. In Czech, the name of this beer is Budvar. The name “Budweiser” is simply the German name of the Czech town of Budvar. Pilsner Urquell is also a Czech beer from the town of Plzen.

Other European countries also produce fine beers. Denmark has two very famous ones, Tuborg and Carlsberg. The most famous Dutch beer is undoubtedly Heineken, a beer that is exported all around the world. Poland has a beer called Zywiec, which has an alcohol content close to 10 percent. McEwan’s is a strong, dark Scottish ale with a slightly sweet flavour. Guiness is a strong beer from Ireland with a very distinctive flavour, which some say should never be poured out of a can.

Finnish and Swedish beers are not the most famous in Europe, but they also have their fans. In Sweden and Finland, beer is classified into three categories: weak, medium and strong. Weak beers can be purchased in supermarkets, but medium and strong beers must be purchased at a government liquor store. As you can probably imagine, weak beer is very weak, around 1 percent alcohol content, medium beer is around 3 percent and strong beer is 5 percent or higher. As an alternative to beer, Sweden and Finland have excellent ciders, such as apple and pear, which have a relatively low alcohol content.

European beer tends to vary greatly in both flavour and alcohol content, especially in countries such as Belgium that produce so many different beers. England is known for its ales, beers that are fermented on the top, and Germany is known for its lagers, beers that are fermented on the bottom. Because Europe produces so many kinds of beer, it’s fun to experiment and find a beer that you really enjoy.


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