How to Order a Beer in German


Be honest with me! What do you associate with Germany the most?

I guess there is โ€œbeerโ€ among your first three thoughts. 

And there is nothing wrong with that. Germany is famous for its beer, and above everything else, the celebration of this beverage that takes place yearly in Munich – the โ€œOktoberfestโ€.

Maybe the Germans arenโ€™t big vodka drinkers but do not try to challenge a German at the Oktoberfest to a beer-drinking duel.  

But this also applies to smaller parties in Germany. A birthday? A graduation party? Just a barbecue? It doesnโ€™t matter. There is no party without this golden drink. 

Therefore, it is essential to know some basics about this when traveling to Germany, so let us look at how to order a beer in German

How to Order a Beer – Basic vocabulary

  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช der Alkohol – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ alcohol 
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช das/ein Bier – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a beer
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช das/ein Radler – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a shandy
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช das/ein Diesel – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ beer and cola
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช die/eine Kneipe ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a pub
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช der/ein Kneipenwirt or die/eine Kneipenwirtin – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a barkeeper
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช die/eine Bar – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a bar
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช die/eine Theke – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a bar counter
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช der/ein Bierdeckel  – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a beer mat
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช der/ein Flaschenรถffner ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a bottle-opener
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช die/eine Brauerei – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a brewery
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช das/ein Glas ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a glass
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช der/ein Bierkrug – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a beer tankard
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช alkoholfrei – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ alcohol-free
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช trinken – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ to drink
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช bestellen ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ to order
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Flaschenbier ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ bottled beer
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช frisch gezapftes Bier – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ fresh draught beer

Ordering a beer in German – 6 Useful Phrases

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Wir haben eine Reservierung fรผr fรผnf Personen.
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ We have a reservation for five people. 

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Wir hรคtten gerne zwei groรŸe Pils.
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ We would like to have two big Pils. 

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Eine Runde Weizen fรผr alle.
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ One round of Weizen for everyone. 

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Noch mal dasselbe. 
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ The same again, please. 

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Ich nehme ein kleines Radler. 
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iโ€™ll have one small shandy. 

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Eine MaรŸ Bier fรผr mich. 
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ One liter of beer for me, please. 

Here is a short dialogue to sum up what we have learned so far:

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Hallo, wir haben eine Reservierung fรผr drei Personen.
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Hello, we have a reservation for three people.

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Guten Abend, warten Sie bitte an der Theke. 
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Good evening. Please wait at the bar counter. 

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Ihr Tisch ist bereit. Was kann ich Ihnen zum trinken bringen?
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Your table is ready. Can I bring you something to drink?

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Ich nehme ein groรŸes Pils und meine Freundin ein Diesel. Haben sie auch alkoholfreies Bier?
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iโ€™ll have one big Pils and my girlfriend would like a beer and cola. Do you also have any alcohol-free beer?

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Natรผrlich, aber nur als Flaschenbier. 
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Certainly, but only as bottled beer.

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Dann nehmen wir eins davon und noch eine Portion Nachos mit Kรคse.
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Then weโ€™ll take one of them and a portion of nachos with cheese.

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Alles klar, Ihre Bestellung kommt gleich.
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ All right then, your order will be ready soon. 

German Beer Culture

Before the big companies took over the German beer market, there were breweries in almost every village in Germany. And I really mean village. 

Maybe it is one of the reasons why there are so many types of beer in Germany. 

Here is a list of the most common kinds:

das Pils
This is the most famous beer in Germany. You can find it in every pub all over the country. It has an intense hop taste and a clear golden color. 

das Weizen
This one belongs to the most popular beer from South Germany. It is also called โ€œWeiรŸbierโ€, and for its production, they use wheat malt instead of a hop. It tastes intensively fruity. 

dunkles Bier
It is produced from dark wheat, which gives it its color. This one is a strong beer with an alcohol content of 11-15%. 

das Altbier
means โ€œthe old beerโ€, which comes from the old method of brewing. It was produced as long ago as the 13th century. Itโ€™s not as strong as dunkles Bier, but it is also dark and bitter. 

das Kรถlsch
Copyrights protect the name of this beer, and only beer produced in Cologne can be named like this. Also, it is the main cultural rival of Altbier. They both come from the same part of the country and have an alcohol content of about 4,8%.

So thatโ€™s all about the beer kinds for now. But there are many more!

If you are not interested in alcoholic beverages, maybe you would prefer to learn about how to order a coffee or a tea in German. 

It would be a pity not to read some more about the worldโ€™s largest celebration of beer here.

Das Oktoberfest in Germany 

It always takes place from mid- or late September and lasts until the first Sunday of October. Over these 16-18 days, millions of people stroll through Munich with a glass of beer in their hands. 

Another word for Oktoberfest, which is used mainly by locals, is dโ€™Wiesen. It is derived from the square where the celebration takes place –  the Theresienwiese.

If you ever visit this city during Oktoberfest, you should know some handy phrases and facts, especially how to order a beer: 

  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช die/eine MaรŸ Bier ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ one litre of beer
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช das/ein Bierzelt – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a beer tent
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช die/eine Lederhose – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ leather trousers
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช das/ein Dirndlkleid – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a traditional dress for ladies
  • ๐Ÿฅจ die/eine Bretzel or Brezel ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a pretzel
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช mit Butter – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ with butter
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช ohne Butter – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ without butter
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช die/eine Bockwurst – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a type of sausage, popular in Germany
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช die/eine Bratwurst – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a banger sausage
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช die/eine Currywurst – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Bratwurst served with curry-flavored ketchup
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช das Sauerkraut ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ pickled cabbage
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช das/ein Riesenrad – ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ the Ferris wheel
  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช die/eine Achterbahn ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ a roller-coster

When going to the Oktoberfest, you have to keep in mind that it is the wrong place to save money. In the year 2019, one MaรŸ Bier cost up to 11,80โ‚ฌ. And believe me, you wonโ€™t drink just the one. 

Besides, you will also need extra money for food and some of the attractions. They arenโ€™t cheap either. 

One last tip: When you are in Cologne in a pub enjoying a beer with your friends, you should put the beer mat on top of your glass to show that you have had enough. Otherwise, the waiter or the barkeeper will automatically pour some more beer into your glass. 


Image Source

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Weronika Olszewska

Weronika Olszewska

Living and studying in Germany for as long as she can remember. German tutor by day, Italian learner by night. When she's not learning new languages, you can find her enjoying great rock bands on stage.

Your German Journey
Starts Here