wrote a thought-provoking article on the signs you might look for to tell if somewhere has a healthy beer culture - apparently where they live in Cornwall now qualifies - and I found myself thinking about where we lived in Germany... I thought about discussing it in a reply, but then after seeing Leigh's response about Leeds realised it merited a post of its own. So here we are!
1. There is a drinking establishment within walking distance of where you live where you like to spend time, and which serves decent beer.
Depends on your definition of "walking distance" - Lüneburg is a medium-small town (~75,000 residents) so nowhere is very far. Maybe 25 minutes walk to somewhere decent?
2. If you are skint, there is an acceptable drinking establishment within walking distance which sells decent beer at ‘bargain’ prices.
Nope, pretty much city (or even London) prices - maybe €7-8 a litre.
3. If you fancy something special, there is a pub or bar within reach on public transport (WRPT) which sells imports and ‘craft beer’.
The closest would be in Hamburg, about an hour by public transport on a good day. Is that WRPT?
4. The nearest town/city centre has a range of pubs serving different demographics, and offering between them a range of locally-produced beers alongside national brands.
Yes, and no, unless you count Hamburg (30 miles away) as local.
5. There is a well-established family/regional brewery.
Not since Carlsberg killed off Kronen.
6. There are several breweries founded since 1975.
Two brewpubs, and a small brewery in a village not far away.
7. There is at least one brewery founded since 2005.
That village one, but it's tiny and has no regular tap.
8. There is a regional speciality — a beer people ‘must drink’ when they visit.
9. There is an independent off licence (‘bottle shop’) WRPT.
Yes, with a fairly good range of German (only) beer.
10. There is a shop selling home brewing supplies WRPT.
11. There is at least one beer festival in the region.
Hamburg again - and not really regular. Good, though! Oh, and a mock-Bavarian Oktoberfest, but I don't count having a choice of two beers as a festival.
Of course, as they note at the end of their article, their list is a bit UK-specific. It did make me think about what I had missed about London while I was in Germany however.