More European – the booze up!

The English drink way too much they say, but could this be just a question of perspective. It is the existence of townies, guys who are born and bred in one place, work there, go to town and get wasted that give us this bad name. At the one bar the phenomenon of binge drinking is said to be peculiar to a certain generation, at the other bar it is reputed that during the 12th to 15th century Henry the fifth got his cannon fodder troops drunk on gin. Then it could be said to be in the genes of the English. But lets forget the history lesson and get to the nitty gritty. I have lived in Germany awhile now and so have the best of both ways of painting a town red. The way we socialise is certainly quite different. England is predominately a pub culture, and apart from the “corner pub” Germany is a bar culture. In a local pub the Germans drink just as much as the townies, and both sets of English and German students have a rep for getting off their face. The way you do it may be different but the result is still the same. In England it is often an early evening start and an intensive 4-5 hour splurge because of the old but not forgotten system of getting the most in before last orders. In Germany the drinking lasts longer, but staggering home on autopilot is done albeit a bit later. Where as in the UK you may chase a beer with a whisky, here a snaps does the job. There is an appreciation of whisky in Germany, but you get a better selection at an average pub in the UK. The beer in the UK is mainly bitter and lager (Pils), where as here it is predominately lager. There is a very unknown market in the UK for wheat beer (Hefewiesen), but I know many a Brit who has acquired a taste for the “Hefe”. Dark beer exists if under a different guise, the dark beer here has some as, and in the UK thicker, smoother stout exists. Both are tasty though. The small breweries and real ales are many a number, but I heard that Germany has the most breweries in the world per head, or was it per square meter. The bars and pubs number about the same, depending on the locale. However the way the inside plays out is quite another world. There are many bouncers (doormen) controlling the revelers in the UK, and you go to the bar to get your rounds or drinks. Here table service with staff holding either machines to type in the order or old school note pads to scribble down your poison on, as well as those quaint large black leather purses. This could be what governs a difference in service. In both places you may have to wait. At a three deep queue at the bar or for attentive waiting staff at the table in a busy establishment. This could be why in the UK on a good night the staff are attentive to the customers face and their orders, in Germany a beer mat is used to chit up your drink count. Lastly I want to get to the games we play. In Germany I have picked up two dice games that are not common in England, that is “42 -18” and “bluff”, they are good fun drinking games. Many German pubs have “Fußball” but it ain´t my pint of bitter,and I miss the pool tables that adorn every third pub in the North of England. I am a big poker player and play sometimes here, one day I will learn “skat”, honest.




A native Brit, Stewart is from the East Midlands. He has worked all over England and has been in Germany since 2002. Through working with the youth and the disabled he has been able to fine tune his communication skills. A Cambridge qualified (CELTA/LCCI CerTEB) instructor of English as a Foreign Language, he also has experience as a copy editor/ proof reader specializing in Higher Education and Business English. He assists established companies & local English trainers (LELTA) in optimizing their platforms, markets & copy (texts). With a Bachelors degree in English & Art, he brings diverse skills within a broad palette to his academic courses, an English speakers community (So Social Club) & an art project (Lebenskunstler). Not only focusing on creative expression but exemplary use of language.


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