“The Beer Connoisseur” web-based monthly magazine has released its “Top 250 Beers of 2018” in its “Beer in Review” annual print edition, and its #1 rated beer of 2018 has a strong Dayton connection.
The magazine declared that the world’s top beer is Privat, a German lager brewed by Brauhaus Riegele in Augsburg, Germany. The beer’s exclusive U.S. Importer is Centerville-based Luxe Brands, launched by David Klass, a developer and former president of the Home Builders Association of Dayton.
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It was Klass who brought Riegele’s beers to America in 2013 after he visited the brewery in Augsburg, Germany, as part of a Dayton Sister Cities tour.
Brauhaus Riegele started brewing beer in 1386 and is now under the direction of the 27th and 28th generation of its founding family.
When Klass first started importing Brauhaus Riegele’s beers in the summer of 2013, they were available only in Montgomery and Greene counties. The brand has grown considerably since then: it is now available in 13 states, and its biggest markets include New York City, Boston and Miami, Klass said.
Riegele has won dozens of prestigious brewery awards in Germany, including a “German Beer of the Decade” designation, but Klass said the “#1 Beer of 2018” designation by Atlanta-based The Beer Connoisseur is the most high-profile recognition the brewery has received in the U.S.
“This is very significant for us,” Klass told this news outlet.
Here’s how a judge for The Beer Connoisseur described the Privat:
“At first glance, the effervescent bubbles rapidly climb through this brilliantly clear, light golden beer and help to support a stand of white foam. The appearance of this beer is just the tip of the near-perfect iceberg, however. The clean lager fermentation allows the hops, but especially the malt, to shine through ... .”
“You won’t be disappointed in the very least with Brauhaus Riegele’s Privat. It’s a near-perfect interpretation of a Festbier that demands to be imbibed by the boot or the liter. ... This highly flavorful yet easy-to-drink beer can be appreciated by the beer connoisseur and the less-devoted beer drinker alike.”
Dan Apolito, co-founder of Archer’s Tavern, was among the first to support the “Dayton Sister Cities Beer,” and his Centerville tavern offered it on draught on the first day the Riegele Privat was available on tap in August 2013.
"When David approached me six years ago, I knew nothing about Reigele, but I could see the passion that David had for the beer,” Apolito said. “As soon as I tasted it, I knew we could sell it, but honestly I never imagined it would be as popular as it has become.”
“We are not only proud to be the first in the USA to ever sell a draught Riegele, we feel a sense of responsibility to always handle it with the high standards Reigele demands, which includes proper glassware, temperature and a perfect head on every Reigele beer we serve."
In addition to Privat’s selection as the magazine’s #1 overall beer, Riegele also was awarded the #1 ranking in the magazine’s “Top 5 Wheat Beers” for its Augustus. And the brewery itself was the Second Runner Up in the magazine’s “Best Breweries of 2018” list won by Pfriem Family Brewers in Hood River, Oregeon.
Southwest Ohio was well-represented in the “Top 250 Beers:” Four Cincinnati breweries placed beers on the list, including Urban Artifact (Fire Iron #100; The Gadget #126; Chariot #177); Listermann (Chickow #118; Team Fiona #233); Rhinegeist (Truth #177; Cheetah #209; Knowledge #228); and Streetside Brewery (Little Balls of Blue #121).
Breweries must submit their beers to the magazine to be considered for the “Top 250” list. Riegele’s beers are distributed in Ohio by Cavalier Distributing.