Generalisations about beer culture Germany

Do you like our German meat?

A big German chef points at a little German priest drinking two litres of 8.5% Schneider Aventinus

This image from the very decent Schneider website captures something about Germany that it would be very hard to explain in words. It’s from their strong beer festival, held in March this year. We’ve never seen a German man rolling drunk: they just seem to smile more; their cheeks get rosier; and they sometimes indulge in very restrained displays of affection (back slapping, hand-shaking).

It reminded me, for no particular reason, of the first time we went to Bamberg, in 2005. We were sitting in a pub drinking Rauchbier and eating something that had been advertised as “meat for two” — an enormous sizzling black pan containing most of a pig, in various forms. A slightly tipsy and very portly businessman in an alpine jacket leaned over to us halfway through our meal and said in heavily accented English:

“So, do you like our German meat?”

He wasn’t offering us a good time — just very, very proud of his country’s pork products, and drunk enough to make conversation with some strangers. Once he was satisfied that we were enjoying our meal, he left us alone.


3 replies on “Do you like our German meat?”

When I’ve gone drinking in Munich and other parts of Bavaria it’s been hard to switch out of the London poker-faced privacy. The hardy, welcoming pride and curiosity from fellow drinkers initially came as a shock!

Though, if you are a vegetarian you have to be ready to laugh at your own expense. A lot.

I love that social aspect of table sharing. Space is in such short supply in Bavarian beergardens in high season that you’ve no choice but to get matey with strangers.

I once witnessed about a thousand members of a university cadet corps leaving Munich’s Augustiner Garten at closing time. They’d been drinking all day, and they were all carrying swords. They all staggered off in the direction of the main station, weapons aloft. Nobody got stabbed, and nobody had a limb or their head removed. There weren’t even any police around. Can you imagine that in Britain?

Strong beer festival – sounds like a headache in the morning to me!

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