What Does "Export" In a Beer Name Mean

Frequently you will see european brewerys adding the name “Export” to their labels. Does this signify anything? Presumably, “Export” beer would be of good/better quality than the local swill-or maybe its the reverse?
Or is it a question of alcohol content? I think beer (in the USA) is less than 5% alcohol-is dometic beer (Germany) a lot higher?

It’s most likely none of the things you mentioned. It’s simply a different label. Same product in the bottle.

Since the US and other countries require different label information than the EU, they’d have to make labels specifically for export product. They may try to slam dunk USA/Australia/Canada/etc. info on one “Export” label.

You can find some of the requirements and guidelines for the US here.

Normal German beers - the ones most commonly drunk - seem to be the in the same alcohol range as US beers, about 4.8%.

Wikipedia says this about Dortmunder Union Export:

I don’t have an answer, but your question reminded me of a run in with stupid I had last year. For set-up, I’m from the U.S., my wife is from Quebec and we live in Phoenix, Arizona. I was wearing a long-sleeved T with a Canadian maple leaf and the slogan, “My wife is imported.”

I went to the grocery store and, as I was getting checked out, the bag girl, a young woman of about 16 with no obvious signs of mental deficiency, noticed my shirt and said, “You’re wife is imported?”

FA: Yep.

BG: Like beer?

FA: I’m sorry?

BG: Are you saying you’re, like, married to beer or something?

FA: I’m not following.

BG: Imported is another word for beer, like cerveza and biera and stuff. How can you be married to beer?

At this point I realize the girl has seen several containers of foreign beer and lumped the word, “imported,” in with non-English words for the beverage. Just as I’m about to say something, the penny drops for the checkout clerk as well who says, “Just shut up, sweetheart,” to the girl and, “I’ll explain it to her later,” to me. I took my bags and walked away, leaving the bag girl with the expression my Bulldog gets when I make her ball disappear behind my back.

I think it’s a marketing trick. The story goes that Heineken chose their green color for export beer, which was the same as the beer for domestic consumptions with red labels, which proofed to be so succesfull thay later changed all their labels to green. So again, marketing; they expect people to think like the OP does: ohh export, must be something special then!

I just asked my German husband, and he said that Export began as a beer that was a bit higher in alcohol content than a Pilsener, for example, since alcohol preserves and thus a beer with more alcohol can travel better.

The original export is the german Dortmunder beer. Made slightly stronger (5.5%) to keep better. All the others are yeast marketing.

Source: Engström, En ölbok

so an export beer is in the rounder dortmunder or “dort” style.

Hey, a lot of people do think that bringing Heineken to a party is some kind of super-classy thing to do.

Much how IPA was first made. Hops & alcohol help preserve beer, so the British added a more to the beer they were shipping to India, so the resulting India Pale Ale would be good when it finally made it there.

There have been times and places where it was not legal to sell beer domestically, but it remained legal for export. The legend “Export” or “For Export Only” on the label was a way of stressing that the brewery was operating legally. FTR I can definitely cite at least place where this was actually the case: Iceland. Until not very many years ago, you couldn’t legally get beer in Iceland; under one of the more bizarre alcohol control laws ever contrived by man, beer was essentially prohibited, although higher-powered beverages like Akvavit were obtainable, IIRC. I don’t know what the motivation was, unless they believed that beer specifically was an invitation to alcoholism aimed at youngsters.

Still, during that time Iceland’s Polar Beer, its label prominently featuring a polar bear on the label, was fairly well known among beer aficionados. As beer expert Michael Jackson said in his landmark World Guide To Beer (1978), the determined Icelander managed to get his hands on this product when he wanted it. Ummm…even given that alcohol regulation in the Nordic countries, at times, as veered towards official disapprobation and the strangulation of vital supplies, I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the notion of a European country where you have to be “determined” to “get your hands” on “prohibited” beer!

It’s not so hard to imagine. 30 years ago, people back east would give their left nut for Coors. :eek:

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is quite a bit stronger than ordinary Guinness.

The alcohol content of original Guinness varies from 4.1% in Germany to 6% in Japan, While the alcohol content of the Foreign Extra Stout varies from 5% in China to 8% in Singapore.

The ABV content of the Special Export Stout (a different version again) is 8%.

So, not just marketing.

And people out west would currently do the same for Yuengling.

I tried my first one in July and fail to understand the rep that Yuengling has attracted. It’s an ok American microbrewery beer but not a stand out.

Guinness Foreign Export Stout is nasty.

It’s fairly cheap, so I think of it as more of a competitor to the shitty macrobrews. In that context, it’s downright tasty. Whenever I head east, I get a pint at some point mostly for bragging rights, but it’s also a nice relief from $6 microbrews pints.

Yep, that’s the draw - cheap and tasty. It was my go to beer when I lived in PA, and almost all of the pubs in the area would have a Sunday football special - Yuengs & Wings - usually something like a dollar a pint along with a basket of buffalo wings for a couple of bucks more.

The lager is OK, but the Black & Tan is my personal favorite.

They still do for Fat Tire and other New Belgium products.

It’s marketing talk for

“Wow this beer must be good, because not only do people in this country like it but foreigners like it too” :slight_smile:

Sort of like Indian Pale Ale then? I’d always figured it was some sort of tax thing.

Yes, exactly! (The first thing, that is, not the second.)