German beer brands that are famous in the United States include Beck's, Paulaner and St. Pauli Girl. Although these are the most famous brands, they are not typically considered to be the best German import beers available to Americans; according to Beer Advocate magazine, the highest-rated German beer brands include Weihenstephaner, Ayinger, Schneider Weisse and Klosterbrauerei Andechs. These highly rated beers may not be widely available in the U.S., and are likely not as famous as the above-mentioned brands, which can typically be purchased in grocery and convenience stores.
The most famous German beers in America tend to be light, lager or pilsner style beverages, but German beer comes in many alternate varieties, including weissbier, or hefeweizen, kölsch, doppelbock, schwarzbier, weizenbock and dunkel, or dark, beers. Americans may also be familiar with German brands such as Erdinger, Spaten, Konig Ludwig, Oettinger, Krombacher, Radeberger and Löwenbrau. Those people who particularly enjoy German beers may want to familiarize themselves with some basic German vocabulary words in order to understand what they are drinking. For example, the inclusion of "weizen" in a beer's name (hefeweizen, for example), indicates the use of wheat during brewing while the "hefe" part of hefeweizen indicates the use of yeast.