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artstuff Mar 1st, 2007 03:36 PM

What's the temperature of beer in Germany?
My husband and I are planning a trip to Germany this autumn and he is looking forward to sampling many different types of beer. He was wondering how the Germans serve their beer.

What temperature is the beer served at (room, basement or refrigerated temp)?

What size beer can you purchase?

Are different beers served in different type glasses? (He would like to stay away from the bucket size mugs that he sees in pictures of Octoberfest).

He'll be kicking back a Stella Artois from Belgium while he awaits your answer. Peace, Robyn :)>-

Budman Mar 1st, 2007 04:21 PM

Hi Robin, most of the beers in Germany are served at the same temperature as here in the States -- refrig temp. You can get them in many sizes, but generally draft beer comes in glasses and/or mugs that are 1/3 or 1/2 of a liter. Same with bottled beer. He's going to love the beer in Germany, especially in Bavaria. ((b)) ((b))

nytraveler Mar 1st, 2007 04:27 PM

Cool but not icy.

LN Mar 1st, 2007 05:15 PM

I've never been a real beer drinker - just an occasional beer with crabs!!

But in Germany - every beer is delicious - I didn't taste one that I didn't like - therefore the vodka and tonics went by the wayside and the local beers and wines were ordered every day for a month throughout Germany.

Fidel Mar 1st, 2007 05:25 PM

Hi Robyn, I traveled with a couple of beer nuts through Germany, Austria and CzechRep, and no matter what the activity, the worth of the place we were in was ultimately determined by the beer they drank. You'll have a blast.

artstuff Mar 1st, 2007 05:56 PM

Thanks, all, for your replies. I'm not a beer drinker, but even I'm looking forward to sampling the brews in Germany.

Budman - When I was typing the question, my husband happened to ask me, "Do you think Budman will respond to the thread?" So I was glad to see you were the first to post. It gave us a happy chuckle. Peace, Robyn :)>-

pja1 Mar 1st, 2007 06:10 PM

Hi Robyn,
I'm not a beer drinker either, but I actually found one I really like. It's called Radler, a mix of beer and lemon/lime soda, I believe. Fantastic!


ekellyga Mar 1st, 2007 06:29 PM

beer and lemon/lime???
Don't the Brits call that a "shandy"?

Also, they refer to L/L soda as "lemonade", I think

CAPH52 Mar 1st, 2007 06:46 PM

Many years ago, my husband worked with a guy whose wife was from Hamburg. She often drank her beer mixed with 7 UP. Don't ever remember hearing her refer to it as a Radler though. Maybe that actually is a brand name of something that comes mixed? And, yes, ekellyga, I think it is called a "shandy" in England.

Rastaguytoday Mar 1st, 2007 06:51 PM


Having visited Germany and Bavaria way too many times (25+) on business....

Beer is Bavaria and Bavaria is beer.

The Bavarian Purity Law of 1516, pretty much says it all. Only water, barly and hops. They didn't know about yeast, which was in the air. Stick with this and all is good.

One unit (mas) of beer is a liter. One half liter is Helles. Pils is in a smaller amount and often difficult to extract from a keg, for reasons only known to Bavarians.

For those Americans that love wheat beer (not me), in Germany it is considered in Bavaria to be breakfast beer and is low in alcohol. There is no such thing as fruit in or garnishing German beer. I think that it is a U.S. marketing thing left over from Corona Especial lime in a bottle.

If not Stella, then Kronenbourg 1664, both good Alsacian beers.

Bring a bottle of Tequila with you to Germany as the Bavarians will try to get you drunk on Schnappes and beer. Tequila is soooo smooth, it is not called To Kill Ya for nothing.

Each major Bavarian beer house will only have their own beer.

Remember that Oktoberfest ends in Munich on the first weekend in October and that there are small town Octoberfests leading up to this event.

ekellyga Mar 1st, 2007 06:55 PM

when I lived in Germany for a bit, in 03...I was introduced to a "wheat" beer called a hefe-weissen.
I like beer, but try to avoid due to calories...but that hefe-weissen was SO darn good.
Now, there are "wheat" beers available here, but they come no where near the german ones in flavor.
Also, they are stronger than american beers.....and I believe they are even stronger in Bavaria, due to some law from last century. So, be careful...and their blood alcohol limit is VERY low compared to the US and they don't fool around with drinking/driving.
I was pulled over in Sweden at 8am on a sunday morning, for going too fast. They automatically give everyone a breathalyzer, along with my speeding ticket!!!

OOOOO that hefe is SO good

hsv Mar 1st, 2007 10:12 PM

Just to put a few facts straight:

1. I don't think Budman's assessment is right. Beer is generally not as cold as in the U.S. (and definitely not served in chilled glasses). Temperature of a good beer is around 7 degrees Celsius, i.e. 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. A mix of lemonade (i.e. Sprite or 7UP) and beer is called "Radler" in most of Germany. In Northern Germany it is referred to as "Alsterwasser". It is not a brand name, but it explains why that Hamburg wife never referred to it as "Radler".

3. The Purity Law is no longer valid due to EU requirements.
Most German brews still are made according to it, though, for marketing reasons (and of course taste).
However, most of the bigger German breweries also produce beer/fruit mixes and flavoured beers nowadays. It is actually a very fast growing market.

4. There is no need to import a bottle of Tequila. If you crave it, buy it in any supermarket. This is not the third world, after all.

5. No law from a previous century dictates Bavarian beers to be stronger than others.
Actually the typical "Helles" in Bavaria is much lighter than most Pilseners that are more popular in most other regions of Germany.

6. Max. level of blood-alcohol concentration when driving in Germany is 0.05 %.
This should not be much lower than in most U.S. states.
Sweden is a different issue and as a sovereign country has the right to implement its own legislation. Current maximum in Sweden is 0.02%.

7. Wheat beer is either called &quot;Hefewei<b>z</b>en&quot; (if it still contains traces of yeast), &quot;Kristallwei<b>z</b>en&quot; (if it is clear) or &quot;Wei<b>ss</b>bier&quot;.

BTilke Mar 2nd, 2007 03:53 AM

Despite our many years in Belgium, we still prefer German (and Austrian beer), probably because we are pils drinkers (our favorite Belgian beer is Bel Pils, draft only, although we do have a weak spot for Tripel Karmeliet, esp. on tap).

In Germany, we found the best thing is to go for the local beer. In Detmold, for example, we drank Detmold Pilsener at their brewhouse (Detmold has Germany's first female brewmaster); in Dusseldorf, we happily guzzled Schlosser (das) Alt at their brewhouse/restaurant; in Franconia, we sought out Wolfshoeher (immer ein hochgenuss!)

We always knew the beer/lemonade combo as radler. That's how it was sold when we lived in Westphalia.

caroline_edinburgh Mar 2nd, 2007 03:59 AM

Many beers have their own special glass. Koln (Cologne) beer is always sold in 0.2l glasses.

Budman Mar 2nd, 2007 04:04 AM

hsv, my assessment is not right? :?

OK, your refrig is kept at 45, and ours at 42. LOL. :-&quot;

The mugs &amp; glasses are definitely at room temperature. In Germany that's 68, and in the States, that's 72. :-)((b))

caroline_edinburgh Mar 2nd, 2007 04:11 AM

Should have said, in my experience not fridge temperature but room or cellar temperature, depending on the beer.

quokka Mar 2nd, 2007 05:55 AM

Beer at room temperature?!? :-o That pub would have to close down in no time because of lack of customers.
Beer is served chilled/refrigerated, but not ice cold.

Go for the local beers. There are breweries everywhere. Small local breweries are most interesting, they usually have their specialities.

hsv Mar 2nd, 2007 06:03 AM

Room temperature is indeed right where Ales are concerned. These are not very prevalent in Germany, though.

Budman - my experience on countless trips to the U.S. has been that beer is generally considerably cooler over there. I will admit that with the rise of microbreweries beer culture has improved significantly and temperatures may have risen to more European standards in better pubs, bars and restaurants. I would have thought that was still the exception, though. Thus, I happened to utter disagreement. If you are actually in consent, all the better.

Budman Mar 2nd, 2007 06:48 AM

hsv, I wasn't in disagreement, just kidding with you. :-) ((b))

traveller1959 Mar 2nd, 2007 07:18 AM

Of course, German beer is always cooled.

Here a crash course on German beer:

1) There is quite a difference between draught beer and bottled beer. They are made differently and taste differently. Draught beer is much better.

2) There are different sorts (some of which are regional):

- Bier without any qualification (like Bavarian beers) - is a lager-like beer.

- Pilsener or Pils - is blond like lager, but has a slightly stronger taste, because it has a good share of hops. This is the most common beer outside Bavaria.

- Weizen, Wei&szlig;bier, Hefeweizen - is a fresh beer made with wheat rather than barley. It comes in different varieties: &quot;kristallklar&quot; (clear) or &quot;naturtr&uuml;b&quot; (with yeast) and &quot;hell&quot; (light) or &quot;dunkel&quot; (dark). Try all four.

- Altbier - is an light brown beer which is made in D&uuml;sseldorf. It has a hearty taste.

- K&ouml;lsch - is an amber beer brewed in Cologne with a rather light taste but full alcohol.

- Schwarzbier - is black and heavy, sweet and bitter.

- Bitterbier (e.g. H&ouml;vels) - is a slightly stronger brown beer.

- Duckstein - is an amber-colored, also slightly stronger beer.

- Bockbier - is high-alcoholic.

- Berliner Wei&szlig;e - is a light, low-alcoholic beer which you drink with a splash of raspberry or woodruff syrup.

There are many more special beers. The best beers you get at microbreweries (Brauhaus). Try the ones which are &quot;tr&uuml;b&quot; (hazy)!

3) The taste. In northern Germany, beers tend to be less sweet and more bitter than Bavarian beers. Typical German Pilsner beers with a northern taste are Becks (well known around the world), Jever or K&ouml;nig-Pils. Most people from Bavaria cannot drink these beers, while north German folks find the Bavarian beers quite tasteless.

4) The glasses. A small glass has 0.2 liters, a regular 0.3, a large 0.5 (a pint). 1-liter-mugs are only served in Bavaria or at beerfests.

5) Drinking very much beer (more than 2 liters) is not good for your stomach. Therefore, you have to drink a schnapps together which each glass of beer. The beer&amp;schnapps-combo is called &quot;Gedeck&quot; (cover).

6) Schnapps varieties include

- &quot;Korn&quot; - wheat or rye (like vodka),

- &quot;Wacholder&quot; - juniper,

- &quot;K&uuml;mmel&quot; - caraway,

- &quot;Kr&auml;uterbitter&quot; (e.g. J&auml;germeister) - herb liqueur,

- &quot;Obstler&quot; - apple &amp; pear,

- &quot;Birne&quot; - pear,

- &quot;Kirschwasser&quot; - cherry,

- &quot;Himbeergeist&quot; - raspberry spirit,

- &quot;Zwetschge&quot; - blue plum,

- &quot;Mirabelle&quot; - small yellow plum,

- and about five dozen more.

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