How to deal/understand alcohol culture in Germany

107 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi everybody!

Im a italian that has been living in the south of Germany for around 4 years. I was going out in the beggining a lot with people from other countries but since I got a german boyfriend I hang out more with germans. I have noticed that they always use alcohol for social gathering. They seem not to be able to open up without they had already 2 or 3 big beers. It looks to me that they use alcohol because they need it to talk to other people. I find this particularly disturbing because in my culture, we use alcohol as a part of enjoyment with meals and we drink moderately. Here it looks more as if they need it, because it relaxes them and they can open up. Anybody could explain me a bit what is the german drinking culture? I asked already some germans and they just say its normal and everybody does it. That doesnt help too much...

Thanks! :)

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Posted

Booze is like a 20 tonne polar bear... A darned good ice-brenaker!

You Italians have a lot to learn!!!

Hic..hic..hic

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Posted

It looks to me that they use alcohol because they need it to talk to other people.

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Posted

Thanks for your answers until now :). I also have problems with drinking too much alcohol. In fact im suffering a hangover at the moment due to "try to drink like a german" and I was wondering why they do it...and maybe thinking that I just have to be strong and not do it.

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Posted

My German spouse and I (he also works with Brits) have discussed this a lot.

We both think Germans drink quite a lot (and The Tagesschau had a big program on this recently, saying very many Germans drink far too much and will have health issues as a result) but that Brits are quite mean with it, and drink to ill health and blacking out/vomiting/violence far more.

As a US citizen (where more than 20% of the population drinks no alcohol, I have often thought it was my background that made me see the incipient alcoholism, so I was reassured to see German drs and US drs say the same thing about health negatives of too much alcohol.

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Posted

I think she feels pressured, and I can understand that.

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Posted

Pressured to troll?

New Account today... controversial topic... ??

Yeah, right!

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Posted

I admit, I do drink. Beer, wine. 1 litre . Per year, sometimes even less.

I've been asked about it. I have been invited to do, but I never have been pressed to do. And how weak would I be if I would do something I don't want to do?

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Posted

I find this particularly disturbing because in my culture, we use alcohol as a part of enjoyment with meals and we drink moderately.

I wouldn't describe the alcohol consumption here as immoderate. They drink faster because they drink beer whereas you probably drink wine back home, but the volume of alcohol at the end of the night is probably similar. Your hangover is because your body isn't used to beer.

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Posted

SBT, I don't think you are correct. I think Germans drink more than Italians and not because there is more water in beer. Otoh, Irish drink more than either.

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Posted

Here's your link, showing there is a substantial difference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_alcohol_consumption

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Posted

I think it is an economic thing. Generally, beer is cheaper than water and soft drinks here. I often go out thinking yeap won't drink tonight and then see the prices and go F that for a joke give me a beer.

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Posted

Beer is cheaper than water- I really resent that.

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Posted

My diet resents it I myself am perfectly ok with it.

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Posted

I try to understand what it is that motivates germans to drink so much (yes, specially beer). Like I said, for me drinking is a perfect way to enjoy your meal. We dont drink "just to drink". I was just wondering if you also think germans need to alcohol as a "social catalyzer" and not so much because they really like beer. They dont realize it because its part of their culture and they dont even think about why they drink so much, but for me it is shocking to see how they empty 0.5L beers at a 1beer/hour rate.

Of course I can decide not to drink, but sometimes it is really difficult, specially because everytime somebody joins/leaves my work, sekt will be drunk and it is really inpolite to say no. Also if you go to the Biergarten with friends, you have no choice but only the 0.5L beer (and I am also surprised that this is the only available size). I like beer but with a 0.2L beer I would have enough.

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Posted

The most part of alcohol people don't drink in a pub or restaurant, but at home where the difference in price is another thing. Water then is cheaper.

The amount of (pure) alcohol consumed in Italy is about 15% lower than in Germany.

The difference between Germany (and other countries north the alps )to Spain, Greece Italy etc is- in the south there seems to be a much higher percentage of people who do not drink at all. About 20%. While e.g. in Germany this are only 3 %. Means that down there fewer drink , and they drink more than the average in Germany.

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Posted

Most of the Germans I know drink hardly any alcohol. A couple might drink two big Weizen beers in an evening.

When I invite people for lunch and open a bottle of wine, I usually find myself the only one drinking any wine. (And even I don't usually finish the glass.)

No, the people I know drink very, very little.

Now... I was at my sister's wedding last year and the groom's family.. they were knocking back vodka and cokes like there was no tomorrow. I was quite shocked. (I've never seen people drink that much in such a short time.)

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Posted

Beer is cheaper than water- I really resent that.

I am going way off topic here, but think about the bottled water scam started by Fiji water and remember that the bottled water market is largely manufactured demand. The water in Germany is perfectly safe to drink from the tap, I do everyday. Also bear in mind that 30% of bottled water in the USA comes from the TAP!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se12y9hSOM0

In the UK, restaurants, cafes and bars are obliged to serve tap water free of charge to customers and with the tax heavy alcohol prices there is only 1 winner ;)

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