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Travelling to Bonn and Cologne

The better half is heading to Bonn and possibly Cologne for a week of endless diplomatic drivel… er an important conference for a week. She is offering to pick up a couple of beers for me. What should I have her buy that I cannot get in the US? What Kolsch should she drink while in the area?


If the beer is coming back on a plane It might not get past airport security. Something to consider anyways.

My then 17 year old daughter brought me beer from Germany and England when she visited friends there a few years ago. She did not have any problems coming back in the country. She even had a bottle of vodka for her grand father. Sorry, I can’t help you with selections. My daughter was in Berlin so she brought me Berliner Kindl Weisse and the blond bock from Kindl.

There is no problem traveling with beer as long as it is packed in a checked bag. I put bottles into socks, then make sure they are near the center of the bag; never had a problem yet.

Ask her to visit a shop with a friendly clerk and ask for the best small-brewery beer made in that town. Whatever she ends up with will be good.

You’re allowed to bring in a quantity that is reasonable for personal use, which is usually interpreted as ~1 case. I’ve brought a case of beer back from Germany in the past without a problem. Just don’t plan on having it in your carry on luggage.

I’d look for beer in cans, since it’s easier to carry lighter, and less apt to break, but that is limiting.

I’d have her get a couple different Alt biers and a couple Koelsch biers (something other than Reissdorf or Sunner might be nice, since they show up in the US, Gaffel). They are both styles that are somewhat hard to find in the US. I’d try and get an Alt or 2, first, since a more interesting beer. Diebels is the mainstream one, so I’d try to get a different one, but it is still a fine beer. Uerige is often found in the US, but a fresh one tastes much different than an old one you find warm on a shelf in the US. One of the rarer ones would be cool.

You should be able to find some decent Pilsners or Exports around Bonn, but I’m not familiar with that city. A good Pilsner, in a can so it isn’t skunked, would be an excellent choice.

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