Most of you have probably heard of the German purity law - Reinheitsgebot. Simply stated, there are only four ingredients allowed in the making of beer - water, barley, hops and yeast. The very first version did not include hops. The law originated on the 30th of November, 1847. There have been slight modifications over the last 500 years to apply for top-fermented beers (think wheat beers) versus bottom-fermented beers, but the basics still hold true - water, barley and hops plus yeast. It's not an easy process to deviate from if you want to sell beer in Germany. Germany actually produces about a third of the world's 15,000 different beer varieties. Beer is absolutely a big part of German culture. And craft beer is definitely a part of it. It just takes a little more creativity.
Germany has an enormous amount of regional breweries throughout the country. There are about 1,250 breweries in Germany, almost four times as many as in all other countries of the European Union combined. So where ever you are in Germany you will be able to find beer from small local brewers you probably have never heard of before. The most common types are lagers and wheats (Hefe-weizens).