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What's the temperature of beer in Germany?

What's the temperature of beer in Germany?

Mar 2nd, 2007, 07:31 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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When I first went to Germany in the early 1970's some places still served beer at room temperature. In an American army pamphlet that I received as orientation, they mentioned that we might encounter warm beer. In fact there was a device that looked like a metal cigar holder with a clip on the side that was designed to hold hot water to be place in the mug to warm the beer. That was going out of fashion even before that time.

All that said, I did notice that German Beer could be comfortably drank at room temperature, because it seemed less gassy. Perhaps this question is related to that former practice.

Regards, Gary
Gary_Mc is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 08:08 AM
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Thanks for the clarification on the Radler, hsv.

Just to throw one more thing into the mix here, what part of the US you come from can make a difference on the temperature at which you're used to drinking your beer. For the most part, beer is served colder in the midwest than it is in the eastern US.
CAPH52 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 08:25 AM
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Just to confuse you more, Artstuff.

A mixture of Pils and Limonade (lemon-lime soda) is called a "Radler". A mixture of Weissbier and Limonade is called a "Russ", and is truly heavenly, especially on a warm summer day. Be sure to roll your r when you pronounce it (rrrooss).

Weissbier must be served in a Weizenglass. The large Oktoberfest-like mug is called a "Mass" and holds a liter of beer.

"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." I don't know about the low in alcohol part, but Hefeweizen is definitely the preferred drink at our "Frühschoppen".

lvk is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 11:28 AM
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Thank you, everyone, for the beer tutorial. I can't wait for my hubby to get home from work so we can share all this info with him. Sometimes I am amazed at the knowledge that is shared here at Fodors.com. Thank you for taking the time to write (particularly traveller1959, quite lengthy).

My husband and I gave up drinking alcohol in the 1970's, by choice...no problem. We started travelling to Europe in 1997, and realized after our third trip that we were missing out on an important part of the culture by not imbibing. Not to mention the cost of beer/wine is a lot cheaper than buying a can of soda!

Thanks to suggestions from our friends, and the annual beer-tasting benefit for our local theatre company, we discovered what we prefer, so far. My husband likes his beer, while I like my wine (although I hope to expand my tastebuds on this trip to Germany).

By the way, ekellyga, my husband, B.J., really enjoys a hefe-weissen, having purchased many cases of Franziskaner, which I believe is brewed in Munich. It's good to know that it is a breakfast beer; will make Sunday brunch all the more enjoyable.

Many a night we sit watching T.V. while B.J. drinks a hefe-weissen and I drink a 7-UP (lemon/lime). Never have I thought to combine the two! Please, someone tell me, is it a 50/50 mixture to make a Radler? I must try one this weekend.

BTilke - We spent some time in Belgium on our last trip to Europe, and B.J. will agree with you on the Tripel Karmeliet. A friend recommended a local brewery in Brugge and told us to order a Tripel Karmeliet. B.J. really enjoyed it! (BTW, I read in another post that you were from the Allentown area.?! B.J. & I are from Willow Grove/Hatboro, but spent some time during the middle 70's in Allentown/Bethlehem, doing rock & roll at the Roxy Theatre in Northampton.)

I lift a mug in thanks to everyone. Peace, Robyn >-
artstuff is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 12:36 PM
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for an Alsterwasser (aka Radler) you would need a Helles or a Pilsener to go with the lemonade - rather than a Hefeweizen like Franziskaner.

The mixture is up to your taste. Basically it's 50:50 - but depending on the occasion I would prefer mine to be around 60% beer, 40 % lemonade.
hsv is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 01:14 PM
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Has anyone mentioned to cola-weizen? Don't want it to be left out of this discussion I thought my husband was positively insane talking about cola and beer mixed together. When we got to Germany, he told me to try it, so being a good sport, I did - and it is very yummy We make them at home now.

On the issue of American wheat beers, I had tried several before going to Germany and was unimpressed, then I had one in Germany and was in love. Turns out the taste is very dependent upon the type of hops used. I have found that both Trader Joes and Gordon Biersch have good hefeweizens - use the same variety of hops as is common in Bavaria.
J_Correa is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2007, 02:14 AM
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Let me add "Diesel" to the list: Pils mixed with coke.
Local names of these mixes can differ.
quokka is online now  
Mar 3rd, 2007, 02:33 AM
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Geez, never thought there was this much info on beer!!!

I had never tried a wheat beer before going to Germany. Loved it there, but the wheat beer back here is no where near as good. Your hubby will LOVE it.
WHen I have one out of a bottle back here, it is almost like looking at photos of scenic places I have been. Just makes me wish I was really there.
ekellyga is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2007, 04:49 AM
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"Breakfast beer and is low in alcohol"? Must be a lot of Germans that wake up really late. And they must have a lower tolerance for alcohol than the rest of the world because I've seen some pretty drunk Germans quaffing tall glasses of Weissbier in the beer gardens.
Zeus is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2007, 05:42 AM
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I finally had a chance to review all this information with my husband.

Quoting Traveller1959 - 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&schnapps-combo is called "Gedeck" (cover).

We're not planning on drinking 2 liters of beer in one sitting, but are curious about the schnapps & beer combo.

Are there benefits to the stomach & digestion when drinking schnapps with beer?

Is it common to order a schnapps when drinking a smaller glass of beer?

How is the schapps consumed? One gulp, sipped with the beer, or dropped into the beer (thinking "Boilermaker")?

I haven't had a chance to try a Radler or a Russ yet. Apparently we only have lagers in the pantry at this time. Peace, Robyn >-

artstuff is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2007, 11:02 AM
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I've only recently introduced myself to the world of German beer, but I found the posts by Budman and hsv to be spot on. I'll just add a few notes that I've discovered in my beer exploration.

1. Regional variation is everything. Beer styles and beer specialties vary from region to region and many brews rarely are transported or sold outside of their region of origin. This provides great diversity for you to explore as you travel--and offers a reminder to try new things as you move around. A Helles in Bavaria can be quite different than a Helles from elsewhere in the country.

2. Glasses do indeed vary--according to both beer style (to enhance the aroma and taste of the particular beer) and producer. Indeed, you will find that many (if not most) eateries offer beers from only one producer. This is because in return for getting exclusive access to the eatery, the brewer provides glasses (with the producer's logo, of course), taps, and similar equipment. Which leads me to another point . . .

3. As BTilke recommended, a Brauerei (brewery) is a great place to both sample the local brews (can't get much more local than that!) and dine as well. I have made more astounding beer discoveries than at restaurants for two reasons. First, the Brauerei offers every beer the producer makes--whereas restaurants that 'carry' their beers often don't carry the full selection. Second, some producers are bigger and better marketed than others and hence have more exclusive deals with restaurants and eateries--but just because they are more prevalent doesn't mean they make better beer. And even if they make good beer--which many do--it doesn't represent the full range available. And the food has always been good! But then again it is difficult to find a bad meal dining out in Germany.

4. In addition to regional differences, it might be helpful to understand the difference in the brews available. I found the most exciting variety of beers and brewing in the United States to be centered around ales. In Germany, however, I have been astounded by the variety and inspiration within the lager category. I haven't been to most parts of Germany, but ales seem to be limited the various styles of wheat beer (Hefeweizen, et cetera)--excepting the regional specialties of Kölsch and Altbier. Lagers, on the other hand, offer incredible diversity, ranging from light to dark, strong to mild, sweet, dry, you name it--all widely available. A helpful chart can be found at <http://tinyurl.com/yuee2b> and in general I find the following page useful for figuring out the beer styles <http://www.germanbeerinstitute.com/index.html>

5. And fear not, you can make a Radler with the lagers you have! You just need to hold off until you have a wheat ale to make a Russ. Prost!
Bewohner is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2007, 11:52 AM
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You may not be PLANNING to drink 2 liters of beer at a sitting...

Well, I technically didn't drink 2 liters at a sitting either. I had to get up and find the toileten a couple times in the interum - LOL.

Actually though, I was surprised at the amount I drank in Munich. The weather was warm and hanging out in beer gardens was just the thing. We spent hours just relaxing under the trees, watching the people come and go with their picnics, talking to people who shared our table. And of course, sipping on our giant mugs of beer the entire time.
J_Correa is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2007, 12:06 PM
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Traveler 1959, thank you for the great run down on specifics of German beer types.

Wheat beer is truly a breakfast beer in Bavaria. At our manufacturing facility, the Worker's Council negotiated a certain period for 'breakfast', which included access to the beer vending machine.

We used to have unlimited access with the machine, but had too many incidences, so, the room was locked after breakfast until the day shift was over, then it was available again.

The factory was near Freising, so the local beer of choice was Moy, a beer going back, I'm guessing, to 1200 or so.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2007, 12:19 PM
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>PLANNING to drink 2 liters of beer at a sitting...
A "sitting" typically lasts for 7 hours at least. Only once a month, but it's a tradition.
logos999 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2007, 12:52 PM
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Regarding the Schnaps and beer "combo":

I don't think it's that prevalent in Bavaria. There is a tradition of this in more Northern regions, though.

What traveller1959 refers to as a "Gedeck", is known here in the North as "Luett un Luett" (Small and Small), i.e. one shot and one small (0.3 ltr.) beer.

The shot would be either "Korn" (from cereals) or rather Aquavit around here.

You'd drown the shot (served cool in an iced glas) and then sip the beer (a rather hoppy Pilsener, i.e. Jever, Holsten Pilsener or Flensburger) slowly.

In the region of Hannover this is known as "Litje Lage" and the "Korn" shot would be drunk along with a rather sweet tasting beer.

In any case, this is definitely not going to help you to digest the beer, but will rather aid any normal person to get plastered rather quickly.

It is also a tradition that is less and less pursued - and, unless you are part of a merry crowd, could easily shed some dubious light on you as rather addicted lowlifes.

I agree that there are times when hearty and rustic traditions as this are absolutely appropriate, but in general, there are more times when it's not exactly called for.

In order to try it, you could have one round after a rustic, hearty meal. On such occasions it is quite common for people to order a Schnaps (usually an Aquavit here, in Bavaria rather an Obstler or Enzian, I should think). You could then keep on sipping the beer that already accompanied your meal.

Never mix the liquor with your beer.
Apart from Alsterwasser/Radler and Russn, most other concoctions mentioned here are revolting enough.

Beer should normally be enjoyed purely!
hsv is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2007, 12:58 PM
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>I don't think it's that prevalent in Bavaria.
Absolutely correct. You don't drink Schnaps in Bavaria!
logos999 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 03:56 AM
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Re breakfast beer - when DH worked in Germany, his office canteen had beer - at breakfast time !
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 03:18 PM
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Wheat beer is truly a breakfast beer in Bavaria. At our manufacturing facility, the Worker's Council negotiated a certain period for 'breakfast', which included access to the beer vending machine. (quoting Rastaguytoday)

Re breakfast beer - when DH worked in Germany, his office canteen had beer - at breakfast time ! (quoting caroline)

I find Germany's attitude toward their beer amazing. If I had a beer vending machine at work, it would certainly make it much more fun to go in each morning!

Thanks for everyone's replies. We've certainly received an education (no pop quizzes, please). Peace, Robyn >-

artstuff is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 04:04 PM
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A German tablemate at the Hofbrau Haus once explained that the term "radler" meant bicyclist. A lighter brew so that the drinker could ride home safely.
logandog is online now  
Mar 5th, 2007, 04:32 PM
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This is a little off topic, but I was reminded that the autobahn gas stations sell beer which I thought was a little strange considering they were usually only accessible to the autobahn(or at least it appeared that why to me). We did not eat at the American chain restaurants until the very last day of the trip when we stopped at a McDonalds because my kids (adults but still my "kids")wanted to have McBeer for breakfast.

Ok, back to the temperature of beer ...
ltr is offline  

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