When you arrive at the airport in Frankfurt, the first beer you'll see if Bitburger Premium Pils. As such, you could consider Bitburger to be a good example of an everyman's beer in Germany. In the US, the common beer category is dominated by the big three: Budweiser, Coors and Miller. This is simply not the case in Germany. To say Bitburger fulfills the role of Budweiser or the other two is both an insult to Bitburger itself and a vast shrinking of the number of common cheap beers available in Germany.
Bitburger, in it's current form, has been brewed since 1817, making it 192 years old. It is a typical Pilsner style which means a Lager yeast. Currently, the Bitburger brewery ships about a 120 million liters a year, making it easily one of the most common German beers. The name Bitburg, as is common in Germany, is the name of the host town. So, without further adieu, I will get on with the review.
I'll start with the situation I drank the beer in. This is important to note because how you're feeling and the time of day can make a big difference to how you feel about it. The beer was bought by the bottle (1/2 liter per bottle). I drank the beer at our apartment. At the time, we didn't have much furniture so this was only moderately comfortable. As shown in the picture I poured the beer into a small glass. It was 8:30 pm (20Uhr30) on a Monday evening. Work wasn't bad that day so I was pretty relaxed.
Well, onto the review. The beer is pale in color, normal for a Pils. It has a light body which is reflected in it's mere 4.8% alcohol by volume. It does have a slightly malty flavor though that sits well on the tongue. There was fair bitterness though nothing approaching a Pale Ale or an IPA. It was better than I thought it was going to be. A favorite German attribute is for their beers to have some spice to them and this was no exception. It even had a little bite. One can really taste the hops characteristics when you let it sit in your mouth. Nicely, there was little after-taste. At the time I remember desiring the beer to be a little cooler. Probably best served at about 45F or 6C.
In the final assessment, Bitburger is nothing special and it doesn't pretend to be. It's well made and meant for everyone. If you're a beer-nerd, this brew is not for you. If, on the other hand, you're in Germany and you happen to be looking for some refreshment and a very typical German experience, find a Bitburger sign and head in the door. However, I would not use the beer's motto when speaking to a bartender: "Bitte ein Bit". All together, two and a half stars out of five.
Preview for next week: While in Hanover I found a great brew-pub called HBX. It was very impressive.