Bitburger, Radeberger, Czechvar, Warsteiner, and similar

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Bitburger, Radeberger, Czechvar, Warsteiner, and similar

Postby duckdown » Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:57 pm

I have a question.. Now that it is public knowledge that almost ALL major macros are using additives like sweeteners and HFCS, I want to know how the European counterparts fare..

What I mean is; the 4 beers I listed in the topic are very safe (and IMO solid) choices in the session category, but the North American versions of these (which would be Bud, Canadian, etc.) are all doctored to hell with bizarre and totally unnecessary ingredients

Now, doing a bit of reading constantly refers to some of these brands being brewed according to "German Purity Law", which in theory sounds great because the law states there can be no additives. But most people on Google say that law has never been enforced and is simply a marketing tactic at best. Czechvar is not German, I know, but it's also commercially produced now so I included it..

Lastly, some preliminary research claims that while these brands (and others like them) may be free of impurities and additives while within their actual country of origin; they don't have to follow the same recipes or rules for their versions that are exported..

So long story short -- I just want to know which of these European session pils/lagers are actually "pure", and which of them contain junk that shouldn't be there.

Does anyone have the answer? It's just something that I've been curious about and figure no better place to ask than a Canadian forum on the subject

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Postby darmokandjalad » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:20 am

I drink most of these pilsners fairly regularly, because I live in a rural area with very poor beer selection in general and imported lagers are one of the few decent options.

All of these beers have ingredients lists on the can, and AFAIK none of them mention anything other than malts, hops, yeast, water, and maybe hop extract in one or two of them (I am thinking Warsteiner but not 100% sure).

I obviously can't say for certain if there's any rice, corn, etc. in these beers (I mean, if the ingredients lists are lying then they probably want to keep it a secret), but using my tongue as a judge I would have to guess 'No'. They simply lack the sweet corn syrup/Frito corn chip flavour I find in most macro lagers. Basically, my position on these pilseners is "they taste better, so I don't care what's in them." See no evil, hear no evil, taste no evil.
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Re: Bitburger, Radeberger, Czechvar, Warsteiner, and similar

Postby Belgian » Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:11 pm

duckdown wrote:I just want to know which of these European session pils/lagers
contain junk that shouldn't be there.

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Postby ercousin » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:05 pm

Are you looking for adjunct free beers? Or beers that don't use the "ingredients" listed in the notoriously uninformed food babe article?

Adjuncts are part of the style for American Lagers. Adjuncts like rice and corn are used to boost ABV while minimizing flavour contribution. As brewing scientists work to optimize the brewing process at these beer factories it makes sense that they use processed alternatives to get the same sugar content without the risk from varying agricultural crops. Some breweries even process the hops and extract the alpha acids (the bittering compound) to reduce the risk of skunking when the beer is on the shelves. Even if it is a flavourless product, American lagers are a brewing and engineering feat. Mass producing such a clean and flavourless product, with such consistency is very difficult to do and requires a very good brewing process.

It is very difficult to appreciate BMC beers as a craft beer fan, since there are many beers out there that have much more complex and enjoyable flavours, but once you start brewing you tend to gain an appreciation for what they are able to achieve, even if you don't enjoy drinking it.

There are many items used in brewing process that some may consider weird and bizarre, but many of them don't make it into the final product. Many are used in filtration, some are used in water treatment, some don't even make contact with the beer and are only used in the brewing equipment themselves.

In general I think many of the traditional german breweries still brew all-malt beers. Hofbrau, Weihenstephaner, Schneider, and many others brew great all-malt lagers.

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