German UVA Students Try and Rank American Beers

If I had to name a stereotype about my country that is 100 percent true, it would be this: German people are really passionate about beer. We drink it, we cook with it, we have federal laws defining what you can and can't put in it, and we have Oktoberfest, the world's largest folk festival, which is basically just lots of people in traditional garments drinking beer out of 34 oz glasses. So yeah - we love the stuff.

American beer, on the other hand, doesn't have a great reputation with German people. It's pretty hard to find in regular stores and people who have tried it tend to think it's just … not that good. But is that really true, or just a tired old stereotype? To find out, I got together with some of my German friends here at UVA to conduct a highly scientific and highly objective taste test.

The (very serious) jury:

from left to right: Victoria, Irene, Indi, Larissa, Raphael and Katie (image by Katie Hahn)

(It should be said that two of our testers aren’t actually German; Irene is Valencian and Larissa is from the Netherlands. For this experiment they held the status as honorary Germans, though.)

The beers:



(image by Katie Hahn)



  1. 1. Coors Light

    Everyone: Wow, this is very watery.

    Larissa: Yeah, this doesn't taste like beer at all.

    Raphael: More like cider actually.

    Victoria: Very refreshing!

    Indi: This is like a brunch drink.


    Overall rating: 1/5 stars

  2. 2. Pabst Blue Ribbon


    Indi: Isn't this the one from that Lana del Rey song? The one where she sings “Pabst Blue Ribbon on ice.” Why would anyone drink beer on ice though?

    Victoria: This already smells much more beer-y than the last one.

    Indi: It tastes much more like European beer.

    Katie: Yeah, I like this one a lot.


    Overall rating: 3/5 stars

  3. 3. Bud Light

    Larissa: This is like a Frat party beer.

    Indi: Yeah, this brings back memories of high school.

    Katie: Bud Light is exactly what getting drunk for the first time tastes like: a bad decision.


    Overall rating: 2.5/5 stars

  4. 4. Three Notch'd Brewing Co. Watermelon Gose

    Everyone: Wow, this is reeeaally sour!

    Raphael: It has a vinegar aftertaste to it.

    Irene: It's almost salty.

    Katie: I actually like it, but I expected it to be sweeter.

    Indi: If you dissolve a bag of Sour Patch Kids in a can of seltzer, this is exactly what it would taste like.


    Overall rating: 1/5 stars

  5. 5. Blue Moon

    Larissa: It says “Belgian beer” on the bottle, so I have high hopes for this one.

    Raphael: This is like an IPA beer. I like it.

    Katie: The bottle design is very pretty. I actually like this one a lot.

    Larissa: Me too. It's a much more watery version of Belgian beer though.


    Overall rating: 5/5 stars

  6. 6. Legend Brewing Co. Oktoberfest Beer

    Everyone: Why is it so dark? Oktoberfest beer shouldn't be this dark.

    Katie: This smells so gross. I hate it.

    Irene: You hate it? I love it!

    Katie: Why is it orange, though?

    Indi: It's like, if you dumped a bag of brown sugar into Oktoberfest beer, you'd get this.


    Overall rating: 2/5

  7. 7. Final Thoughts:

    Raphael: I'm disappointed. I actually feel homesick now.

    Larissa: All of these tasted very watery.

    Katie: I would like most of these more if they were more watery. It's just so much flavor.

    Raphael: Most of these beers are trying to be something they're not supposed to be. Don't try so hard! Just be good beer!

    Irene: I know now that I prefer cider.