Driving in Germany Tip of the Day Part 2

Be extra cautious when spending New Years in Germany. The parties are bigger, and the beers are bigger. Not only are the beers about 60% larger than they are in the states, but they also contain 5% alcohol rather than the US standard of 3.5%. Yes, getting a beer at a bar is cheaper than buying a carbonated beverage, but if you're driving, that one beer thing might not be low enough. The legal limit for driving under the influence in Germany (DUI), is .05, unlike in the states where it is .08. Now, they do grade the punishment based on how over the limit you are, but all punishments come with at least a night in the slammer waiting for your buddies to bail you out. Or, the higher ranking officer if you're in the military. Or, the principal if you are a teacher. I've been told, however, that for the German New Year's celebration, the fireworks start at 11 and go well past 2 am with the whole town firing them off so you can see them at all 360 degrees!
To review, bigger parties, bigger beer, more alcohol per amount, and lower legal limit.


Pete said…
Actually more US beers have closer to 5% Alcohol by Volume
CGrim said…
Alcohol content depends on the kind of beer, not the country of origin.
Stouts are around 4%
Lagers & Pilsners are around 5%
Brown Ales are around 6%
Pale Ales are around 7%
Or you could get a Triple Bock at around 18% alcohol.
(The link Peter put up is a good reference.) The only beer that has a 3.5% alcohol is like... Amstel Light, which might actually be rain water.

Obviously, the precise measurement varies amongst these categories, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the country you're in.

As for the size of the beer, it just depends what size glass you get.
Pilsner glass = approx 10 oz.
Bottles = 12+ oz (usually)
German Weißbier glass = 16 oz.
Pint glass = 20oz (i.e. one British Imperial pint)
These sizes are universal worldwide.

The Weißbier glass is 60% larger than the similarly-shaped Pilsner glass, so maybe that's what you were thinking of.

As for the parties being bigger, so I'll take your word for it. :)
JCo said…
I had no idea you were such a beer expert grim. Are your taste buds reflect your abundant knowledge as well?
JCo said…
How about DO your taste buds reflect...
CGrim said…
I hope to one day be a wine, beer, and possibly coffee connoisseur. Or at least an enthusiast. ha :)

I also need to learn to sail. Because I think that would be awesome as well.
Amanda said…
It would be impossible to be a snob without those skills...keep working Andy, we believe in you.

Aside: You can major in studying wine. I met a girl down in Argentina who was training to be a wine critic.
CGrim said…
It's true. The requirements for Snob certification are very stringent:

- Must be a wine expert
- Must own a sailboat
- Must love caviar
- Minimum wealth: $875,000

Sadly, those last two probably prevent me from even reaching level one.

That's okay, though, because Level Two involves swearing off firearms forever.
Amanda said…
"So you're getting a sailboat?!?!" she asks excitedly.

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