German Beer site
German Beer Institute
The German Beer Portal for North America
I did not know that Dortmund in the state of North-Rine Westphalia is actually the largest producer, however, Bavara still produces the most per state.
It states: "There are about 1,250 breweries in Germany, almost four times as many as in all other countries of the European Union combined."
Obviously, we but a tiny fraction of the German beer as export.
"Until the 16th century all German beer was ale. Until about the eighth century, it was brewed almost exclusively in the home, by tribal hausfraus. By the 11th century it was brewed mostly by professional brewmonks and brewnuns, until feudal lords took over most institutional brewing in southern Germany, while burgher-merchants did the same in northern Germany.
Germans have been brewing ales for at least three thousand years, but lagers (specifically: brown lagers) for only five centuries. The blond, crisp, clean lagers, for which Germans have become so famous in our age, have been around for a scant 150 years. The now ubiquitous hoppy Pils started its conquest only about 30 years ago."
http://www.germanbeerinstitute.com/styles.html - Beer styles....yummy
From Tacitus (Roman historian)
The Fenni (a German tribe) are astonishingly wild and horribly poor. They have no arms, no horses, no homes. They eat grass, dress in skins, and sleep on the ground. Their only hope is in their arrows, which, for lack of iron, they tip with bone. The same hunt provides food for men and women alike; for the women go everywhere with the men and claim a share in securing the prey. The only way they can protect their babies against wild beasts or foul weather is to hide them under a makeshift network of branches. This is the hovel to which the young men come back, this is where the old must lie. Yet they count their lot happier than that of others who groan over field labour, sweat over house-building, or hazard their own or other men's fortunes in the wild lottery of hope and fear. They care for nobody, man or god, and have gained the ultimate release: they have nothing to pray for. What comes after them is the stuff of fables—Hellusii and Oxiones with the faces and features of men, but the bodies and limbs of animals. On such unverifiable stories I will express no opinion.
> If they made a crude ale / mead they were probably truly happy! Talk about being "back to nature".
Re: German Beer site
"23. For drink they extract a juice from barley or grain, which is fermented to make something not unlike wine. The Germans who live nearest the Rhine can actually get wine in the market."
It appears Tacitus was not familiar with ale.
http://www.alabev.com/history.htm A History of Beer
"In Rome, wine became ambrosia from the god Bacchus. Beer was only brewed in the outer areas of the Roman Empire where wine was difficult to obtain. For the Romans beer was considered a barbarian drink. The oldest proof that beer was brewed on German soil, comes from around 800 B.C. in the early Hallstatt Period, where beer amphora found near the present day city of Kulmbach have been dated back to this time. As Tacitus, who first wrote about the ancient Germans or Teutons, put it like this: "To drink, the Teutons have a horrible brew fermented from barley or wheat, a brew which has only a very far removed similarity to wine". Beer of that era could not be stored, was cloudy and produced almost no foam."