I used to judge the sophistication of a country based on my "B&B Index" that's "B" for beer and "B" for bread.
Any country that has great bread and great beer has to be a fairly sophisticated country, in my estimation. Unfortunately, only Germany had really, REALLY great bread, my mouth waters at the thought of fresh strawberry jam and brochen, but I digress, beer.
When I was in Germany the breweries actually delivered the beer to your house weekly, just like the milkman used to do here. I wonder if they still do that.
Barfle mentioned “Bitbuger”, which is a good beer and very popular among service members who live(d) in Germany. There are so many good and different beers in Germany that it’s hard to pick any few as the best. Beer (and proper ales) run from light Bavarian weissens, or wheat beers - Two very popular ones are “Original Hefe-Weizen” and “Aventinus,” - to the darker beers brewed farther north. The only dark German beer I can remember drinking and liking was “Dortmunder.” That’s not to say there are other good, dark German beers, I just don’t remember any.
If you’re really brave, try some of the eisbock beers, high in alcoholic content. My favorite, well I drank it more than once but less than five times, is “Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock”, alcohol content runs 12.5%. Eisbock, or “ice bock,” is derived from by freezing it, then removing the ice. This leaves a more alcoholic beer.
I have tried Nicole’s beer “Sagres” and her comments reminded me that it had a high alcoholic content. I drank it in the Azores and remember it as being pilsner-like but not much beyond that.
Someone said something about drinking cold beer. I have (literally) been around the world and actively collected data on those beers that taste good cold. That’s not as easy as it sounds. Many U.S. beers drank cold have virtually no flavor other than a little yeast coming through.
In order of preference those rare beers that taste great cold are: (drum roll if you please)
Budweiser “Budvar Premium Czech Lager”
This is also my all time favorite beer; it just doesn’t get any better than this. It’s best on tap (there’s this gasthaus in Wiesbaden just down from the bahnhof…. sigh) but it’s still great bottled. You can get it here in the U.S. I encourage you to Google the name and find somewhere near that sells it and try it, cold.
“San Miguel Lager”
Unfortunately, “San Mick” (as the beer is known to U.S. service members) is brewed locally in the Philippines, as well as for the export market. I don’t know what they do to the export version but it doesn’t taste as good as the local brew. Among G.I.s the rumor (half believed by a lot of us) was the export version had to meet international sanitary standards so they had to control the ingredients like bug parts, mouse droppings etc, you know, the stuff that makes a good beer great!
“Tusker Premium Lager”
I drank this in Kenya during the U.S. support to Somalia. It was good, but not great. Hell Kenya was so hot and humid anything cold was welcomed, alcoholic or not!
Bread is a totally different subject. Next to German bread my favorite bread is found throughout the Middle East and Turkey. I can recall the name but it’s flat bread similar to pita bread, only flatter. They bake it inside an open oven shaped something like a beehive and made from clay (I think) The baker rolls out the dough then throws the dough onto the interior wall of the oven and uses a long hook thingy to get the baked product. Man some of that bread with fresh figs is a real meal, unfortunately, we couldn’t drink alcoholic beer in Saudi Arabia, only non-alcoholic beer, and really, drinking non-alcoholic beer is like kissing your sister, what’s the purpose?
A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing