Germany is famous for its beer… at least as far as Americans are concerned. In all actuality the country has an unbelievable amount of history, cultural depth, and amazing people worth celebrating. But beer. Most people (not just Americans, to be fair) can only really remember three things at a time about any given country, and the other two for Germany are: sauerkraut, and a man famous for genocide and ruining a particular style of mustache (due to aforementioned genocide).

But to be completely fair, there’s nothing wrong with being famous for beer. In fact, other then maybe Belgium, Germany has some of the best damn beers in the world, regardless of what kind you’re into. Every store here carries a wide variety of delicious and refreshing brews, appealing to any and every kind of discerning drinker in the world.

And I’m not drinking any of those. I’m drinking the worst ones. Only the worst ones.

See, plenty of people can and have written articles about the best beer in Germany, so that subject is tapped (get it? Tapped? It’s a little drinking joke for you) and also I can’t afford any of those nice beers. So I decided to go cheap.

I went to every different major chain of grocery stores around here, and found the absolute cheapest beer offered by all of them. Then I bought it and drank it. The results are about as depressing as you might expect, but hey let’s go on this little journey/unanswered cry for help together, shall we?

1. Turmbrau Premium Pils

Grocery Store: Rewe

Price: 29 cents

Rewe is a grocery store known exclusively for how hard to pronounce its name it is to people not already familiar with how to pronounce its name. However you’re thinking it’s pronounced, you’re wrong. Don’t get too choked up about it though, it happens to all of us that aren’t German. Hell, I generally refuse to shop there based simply on the fact that if anyone asks me where I went shopping, instead of answering, I just break down in tears at my complete inability to pronounce a simple, four-letter word.

Moving on to the beer itself, I would first like to point out that I would gladly give a cash prize to the first beer company to have the gonads to brand itself as “cheap as shit” and not try and play up how it’s “Premium” or something similar. This is a can of beer for less than thirty cents. There’s nothing “Premium” about it. I also enjoy the fact that the can proudly displays the fact that this is the “Original” Turmbrau, as if there are other companies out there trying to rip off customers by cashing in on the good Turmbrau name.

How does it taste? you might be wondering by this point.

Well at first I was pleasantly surprised. At first. See, really cheap pilsners usually taste more like old water that was once in a room where people occasionally discussed the idea of beer. This however, had a moderately pronounced taste and flavor. I had a sip, put it down to open up my writing program to start this article, and by the time I took a second sip, I found that it had somehow already lost all of its bubbles and that apparently without the bubbles it tastes more like your grandfathers bath water.

Would not recommend.

2. Adelskronen Premium Pils

Grocery Store: Penny

Price: 29 cents

A lot of budget stores (both grocery or otherwise) like to play up their value. Words like “premium,” “savings,” or “deals” often turn up, if not in the name of the store itself, then in their advertisements and sales pitches. They really seem to be trying to say “Yeah, sure, we’re cheap, but only because we’re passing on such great value to you, our customers.”

Penny isn’t having none of that shit. You know what the German word for “penny” is? You’re goddamned right, it’s “penny.” That’s the name, because they know that’s all that their customers have, so fuck it, why put time into coming up with a better name?

Being broke as shit, I honestly adore Penny markets, because of the previously discussed pricing practices. I do not, however, honestly adore their beer.

Once again we have another entry where they seem to be doing their damnedest to test the absolute limits of German advertising laws by labeling this as a “Premium” beverage, in staunch denial of everything about this beverage that would suggest otherwise. On the front of the (plastic) bottle it mentions how it is “Brewed Traditionally”, which given the flavor, is a process that I must assume involves everyone at the brewery stealing water from those fountains that people throw coins into (hence the coppery taste) and then sitting down next to the water and reading off a list of mankind's greatest sins to it (hence the everything else).

And once again, it comes in a plastic bottle. Plastic.

3. Perlenbacher Premium (goddammit) Pils

Grocery Store: Lidl

Price: 29 cents

Lidl, like Rewe, is a store that I greatly enjoy watching people try and say the name of, because I’m kind of an asshole. Just thought I’d point that out in case you somehow haven't gleaned that from all of my other articles. Or, if you’ve never read any of my other articles…hi! I’m Cole. I’m kind of an asshole. Now that we have those introductions out of the way, let me tell you about this weird beer that tastes like curry.

No, seriously. Like, more ginger, then curry, to be fair, but there are definite notes of curry in the flavor of this cheap-ass beer. And it’s not like I’ve eaten something that might taint my taste-buds. The only things I’ve eaten today are some Ritz-like crackers and the other beers in this article. It’s 2:30 right now. On a Tuesday. Somebody help me? Or not, that’s cool, I’ll just drink myself into oblivion for your amusement. Don’t even worry about it.

But seriously this beer tastes like someone put a ginger-curry stir-fry into a blender with the water from the back tank of your toilet.

4. Faxe

Grocery Store: Getranke Hoffman

Price: $1.79

In a country where even the cheapest, back-alley convenience mart manages to stock a fairly respectable selection of beer and liquors, there isn’t really much of a need for dedicated liquor shops. However there are a few of them, and Getranke Hoffman is one of them.

Honesty time here. I’m gonna level with you. Lay down some real talk. Sidebar: the truth. This was not the cheapest beer at Hoffman. Not even close.

The cheapest one they had was actually Perlenbacher, again. And as excited as I was to relive that Indian-inspired culinary adventure once again, I figured that I would grab something different, here. But what to get? This, obviously:

Holy shit, right? Haha! That is the dumbest most awesome shit I’ve ever seen! Look at the Viking nonsense! And no, I don’t have tiny, adorable little Donald Trump hands, that is actually a one liter can of beer, and it’s awesome. Well…the can is awesome. It’s the best mural that was airbrushed on the side of every van in the seventies (and your dreams). The flavor…not so much.

I don’t know why every Nordic country has spent the last couple of centuries saving up all of their urine. I just know that they did, and then they marketed it as FAXE, and then apparently squeezed a few berries into it, because this huge can of urine has an oddly fruity taste to it.

5. Lammsbräu Blond

Grocery Store: Denn’s Biomarkt

Price: 99 cents

“Bio” is the German version of “Organic,” more or less, so “Bio Market” translates roughly to “smaller, only slightly less pretentious version of Whole Foods.” It’s an organic market, and while I can’t speak for all of Germany, they are everywhere here in Berlin, so I felt inclined to include them on my great, drunken endeavor of comparison.

Honesty time, again, this was not the cheapest beer they had there. That honor goes to an eighty nine cent beverage that was not only organic and Gluten-Free, but was also Alcohol-Free, like some sort of Hipster-Voltron. However, with it being alcohol free, I didn’t feel it qualifies as beer, because I am a rational adult and realize that beer without alcohol is just old bread-water, and should never be consumed. So, on to the next most expensive.

And in all honesty, there were four choices. All of them ninety nine cents, and all of them from a company called Lammsbrau (Lambs Brew). The first three looked pretty generic, but for whatever reason, the fourth one, the blond beer, looked like some sort of video game mana-potion:

So naturally I went for that one. And actually, after some of the other Tin Man Piss in this article, it was a welcome change. Not, like…good, or anything. I would describe the taste as “neutral,” at best. But at this point, I consider that a victory.

6. Magners Irish Cider

Grocery Store: Kaisers

Price: $2.49

I generally avoid going to Kaisers if I can help it, because it seems to try very hard to act like it’s a gourmet grocery store, without actually going through the trouble of stocking any gourmet products. It more or less just slaps some higher prices on everything and congratulates itself for being so clever. And I’d really love to make fun of it some more for that fact, but since this is the store I spent the most money at, I guess their line of thinking seems to be working.

Now, to be fair, I could have bought a cheaper beverage, as there where in fact several options well below the one euro price-line. I would like to counter that, however, with the well thought out counter-argument of no seriously go fuck yourself for just one minute, alright? I’ve spent this article filling my body with more piss-water then a night club toilet, I’ve earned one drink I can actually tolerate.

I like apple cider. Doesn’t even have to be good apple cider, and I’ll like it. So while, yes, Magners is not only what I’m going to name my first born (gender is irrelevant,) it is also a decent cider that is oddly pink in color. However, I can’t help but be reminded of the fact, that in England, it’s possible to buy 3-liter bottles of apple cider, for around a Pound per liter. So, while the taste is pleasant enough, every sip just feels like money wasted.

7. Schloss Export

Grocery Store: Netto

Price: 29 cents

Netto is responsible for this commercial:

Yeah. You’re welcome for that.

As for the beer the cheapest option was a brand called Schloss, with an option for either Pilsner or “Export”. And since this article has in fact caused me to develop a rare neurological condition wherein if I hear the words “quality” and “Pilsner” in conjecture with a beer I know costs barely more than a well thrown quarter to purchase, then I immediately find the nearest discount grocery store, and burn it to the ground. So needless to say I went with the “export” option. I could make some really low-bar jokes about how I want to “export” this beer from my stomach after drinking it (that is to say, vomit it back up) but I’m better than that and it just tastes like what I imagine old person sweat must taste like if for some reason someone chilled it first.

8. OeTTINGER Radler (their spelling, not mine)

Grocery Store: Edeka

Price: 45 cents

I have to thank the otherwise completely generic grocery store that is Edeka for providing something new to this article. If I had to drink even one more “Worlds Fucking Best” Pilsner I might have actually beaten a child to death with a small- to medium-sized halibut. Because things don’t need to make sense when roiling in the throes of Pilsner-Poisoning, that’ why.

It might be almost twice as expensive as the average buy in for this article, but the fact that it’s a radler makes it completely worth the steep price. So, according to Google, the English name for a Radler is a “Shandy.” Which…yeah, no, point to the German version here, because a “shandy” does not sound like something I want in my body. Either way you choose to call it, it’s a beer that’s part beer, and part carbonated drink, like sparkling lemonade or ginger ale. They’re normally low on the alcohol and pack a bit more flavor then beer. This one is pretty damned sweet, but other than that is a welcome change from the premium quality of the rest of this article.

9. Freiberger

Grocery Store: Kaufland

Price: 27 cents

In Germany, most grocery stores are not particularly large. Even the “big” ones are only about a quarter of the size of the grocery section at a Walmart Supercenter. Or, if you’ve ever been to an Aldies in America, then you have a good frame of reference for how big things get over here (Aldies is based here in Germany).

Kaufland is the exception to that rule. It’s still not as big as a proper Supercenter (to be fair there are at least a couple dozen nations that aren’t), but it’s still pretty big. To the point where my roommate (she’s German) hates shopping there. It’s too big and she gets distracted. I, on the other hand, find the overcompensation and excess wonderfully reminiscent of my homeland, and I do most of my food based shopping there.

And go figure, at the place where they have the biggest and the best of everything, they also have the cheapest. Weighing in at a whopping 27 cents, Freiberger is the cheapest beer on this list. After a while of working on this article, I was starting to think that 29 cents was like, the legal minimum or something. And maybe it is. For all I know, the German government says that twenty nine cents for a single beer is the lowest a company can sell it for. But, since Freiberger is not beer, but instead a glorious mixture of bread-sweat and semi-coagulated pond water, they are mercifully free from this pricing law.

I don’t know what else you expect in description about this thing. I mean, you’re reading a list of the cheapest, worst beers a dedicated pseudo-alcoholic could find, and this is the cheapest one on that list. It is not a good beer. It is not a good anything. If aliens ever come to this planet, we need to hide all of our Freiberger beer, because if the aliens drink one, they will use that as justification to destroy our planet.

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