Pete Robinson: What we can learn from the Germans

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Germany, Alcoholic beverage

The 'business' part of my sojourn was completed mercifully quickly leaving plenty of time to explore some of Germany's finest bars, bierkellers,...

The 'business' part of my sojourn was completed mercifully quickly leaving plenty of time to explore some of Germany's finest bars, bierkellers, taverns and sausage houses.

It must be said from the outset - the Germans don't have Pubs as we know them. The 'Pub' is a glorious but fast-disappearing Anglo-Irish institution unique to these islands. These endangered icons of our culture are often mimicked, reproduced and cloned all over the world by enterprising ex-pats and envious foreigners.

But without that subtle relationship between landlord, customer and fellow drinker those overseas faux-British watering holes are like tinned steak n' kidney pie.

However most Germanic drinking establishments are pretty damned good in their own right. There are some odd habits like dunking giant pretzels into your beer but in most places a warm and friendly welcome is guaranteed.

Hostelries vary widely from the Bierstubes, tiny, one room bars, to cavernous Brauhauses echoing to the sound of Umpah bands clad in lederhosen. My favourites are the German 'Brown Pubs', stone built with carved furniture, where walls and ceilings have been nicotine-stained over countless decades to a most intriguing shade.

And German beers are exceptionally good with a vast range to suit all tastes. Our own CAMRA now produces a Good Beer Guide for Germany comprehensively listing 1005 German breweries for the die-hard fan. Black beers, brown, white, gold, seasonal beers, an endless array other than yer stereotypical Bavarian lager.

What's more the Germans seem better able to take their booze than many of our home-grown drinkers. When they're drunk they laugh, sing and swagger but never seem to fight.

Even as a seasoned Oktoberfest 'regular' I've yet to witness a punch up. Surprising when you consider the sheer number of inebriants shoe-horned into Munich's underground at the end of each festive night.

In England it would all too rapidly descend into a bloodbath leading to a ban on the event due to elf n' safety. In Germany they shout greetings rather than provocation. Those too pissed to stand are picked up and carried home by complete strangers.

The worst bar confrontations generally end in a handshake or a pat on the back rather than a glass in the face or a good kicking in the street.

This is probably because the average age of bar dwellers is considerably older then here. Town and city centres are well policed and never became the loutish 'no go areas' permitted by our own boys in blue.

If anything Germany's young folk are better behaved than their elders. It's not uncommon to see large groups of old women in their sixties and seventies out on the razz, noisily knocking back schnapps as if they were auditioning for an episode of 'Booze Britain'.

Neither do they share our late drinking culture. Most German towns have no night clubs. They go out earlier, drink their fill, then go home to bed.

And drink they do. Germans also have uber-cheap supermarket beer and booze. Many do drink at home but equal numbers still prefer to go out.

Why? Because they're not being brainwashed by the pee-cee, sociopath minority of antis into believing that having a good time and a skinfull is somehow a 'bad' thing. Free of guilt or nannying advice from State health bullies they just open their throats and pour it down regardless of the number of 'units' consumed.

All drinking is 'sensible' in Germany, the more the merrier. Much as it once was here before we moved on to today's more enlightened, joyless society.

I guess that's the main difference between our two cultures, that Germany has preserved old fashioned ideas we gave up in the late 70's and 80's.

Patriotism for example. It's okay in Germany to say German is best, because it usually is. The startling quality of their meat, fruit and veg puts ours to shame. You simply cannot find the second-rate rubbish that graces our own supermarket shelves.

Germans would never buy it at any price. So they retain their finest produce for the home market and export the tat to us.

Due to the vagaries of the Common Agricultural Policy we tend to do exactly the opposite here in Britain. In fact we Brits have become so accustomed to putting up with second best that we no longer even question it.

Do as you're told, take what you're given, don't make a fuss. Don't drink, don't smoke, eat only as the State tells you to. Obey all new laws no matter how petty and rediculous. Big Brother Brown is ALWAYS right.

The German psyche is entirely different. They have been raised to accept nothing less than the very best so don't dare suggest otherwise because they won't be pushed around. Political correctness has yet to pollute their environment. Politicians live on borrowed time and are quickly ousted if they underperform.

Now I'm not saying Germany is perfect, nor it's inhabitants. For me the best part of these trips is always the ritual visit to my local pub on returning home.

But there's a lot we could learn from the Germans about tolerance. They understand that it begins at home, with each other both collectively and as individuals.

Or as we used to say: "live and let live". We believe we are the most tolerant nation on the planet but that's far from true. British tolerance was sqandered on the failed social experiment of multi-culturalism.

Our tolerance has been exhausted on ethic and sexual minorities together with criminal offenders, orchestrated and shepherded by Government social engineers. Unfortunately we forgot to save any for our own indiginous population. Hence we are made to feel little but shame for our once-proud culture, heritage and history - our greatest riches now under threat as never before.

P.S. Don't worry! In my next blog I'll be moving on to the German smoking ban.

Related topics: Other operators

Property of the week

The Hazeldene Hotel

- Tenancy

The Hazeldene Hotel is opposite the Famous Blacksmiths Shop in Gretna Green. With 11 letting rooms, it is in a prime location to offer fantastic...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more