Drink and Talk Like a Berliner

Everyone knows that the Germans are very passionate about their beer and also that they are very good at it. They also excel at enjoying it in almost any situation. To get through this piece on the technicalities of drinking beer in Berlin you will need to learn some words:

Wegbier- A beer to drink on your way somewhere.

Fußpils- Directly translated means foot beer however it is a play on words as a Fußpilz (pronounced the same way,) translates to foot fungus.

Feierabendbier- A beer to celebrate the end of a work day.

Späti- An abbreviation for Spätkauf which is a late night shop. They sell beer and other beer and other liquor and some other things but mainly beer.

Each region has their styles of beer and preferred method of consumption. In Berlin, pilsners may dominate but this cosmopolitan and fashion-leading capital of Europe has also taken a liking to the new trend of craft beer spreading across the world. However, no matter the beer or beverage you are having it is less about what you are drinking and more about how and where you imbibe it.

Trendy small bars and pubs abound and are frequented by hordes of Germans and foreigners, with most bars serving in English. Though if you want to drink like a Berliner you must grab a beer from a Späti and either sit on the cheap plastic outdoor setting out the front or take it for the road. In Berlin you must have a drink in your hand to walk around. Beer, craft soft drink or ice tea, you must have something gracing your hand as you wander the streets. If you are on your way to a bar or a party even better, grab a Wegbier or a Fußpils. If you have just finished work, then it is necessary to have a Feierabendbier as you walk home or to the train station. With a 10c deposit on beer bottles, people leave their bottles next to bins as a donation to others who might be needing a few extra dollars to get by. These bottles are washed and reused.

If you are done walking around and don’t want to be cooped up in a little bar full of super cool Berliners then grab your Wegbier plus two more and head to the park. Maybe with a Frisbee and if the temperature is about 18 then it is permissible to take off your shirt because it is a scorcher!

With Berliners having such a love of beer and a passion for drinking it everywhere they go it is surprising that I didn’t see any raging drunks in Berlin. What I did see were people enjoying cheap and great beer, being good to each other – and the planet – in a fantastic urban playground. Berlin, you guys do alright.