Fact Check: About Countertop Beer and World Champions: Barley Juice Myths – Germany and the World

Berlin – “Water is also a fine drop if you mix it with malt and hops.” Many Germans apparently follow this proverb and consume around 100 liters per capita each year.

So it’s no wonder that there are many myths surrounding the cool blonde. Does the alcohol-free version really contain no alcohol? And do Germans really drink world champions? It’s time to check the facts on International Beer Day on August 7th.

CLAIM: “Beer over wine, let it go …”


FACTS: “… wine over beer, I recommend you.” If a guest walks around the corner with this saying at the next party, you know this wisdom is not true. Studies have shown that a morning hangover is just as intense, no matter what type of alcohol you drink first the night before. For the German Brewers Association, the toast symbolized social differences in the Middle Ages. “At that time, beer was considered a drink for the simple class, while wine was reserved for an elite upper class,” a statement read.

CLAIM: Hot beer helps with colds.


FACTS: Drinking beer can make you feel pleasantly warm. Hops and malt provide essential oils and bitter substances that have an antibacterial and calming effect, explains Antje Gahl of the German Nutrition Society. “Additionally, alcohol has a certain ‘narcotic’ effect and may promote sleep.” And sleep is known to be the best medicine, isn’t it?

According to Gahl, however, the pleasant feeling is deceptive. The expert advises to avoid beer and alcohol during a cold. Because: It weakens the immune system and removes water from the body. Herbal teas or fruit teas are the best alternative.

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CLAIM: Alcohol is more effective in hot weather.

EVALUATION: That’s right.

FACTS: Beer is not suitable as a thirst quencher at high temperatures, as the Federal Center for Health Education says. “When the sun is shining, alcohol works faster and more intensely in the body,” say the experts. Your blood pressure drops and you feel tired and limp. The consequences can be circulatory problems or even loss of consciousness. In addition, authorities have warned against combining alcohol and bathing. Because the vessels have widened and you could experience a cold shock even at a water temperature of 20-22 degrees.

COMPLAINT: Counter-beer helps fight hangovers.

EVALUATION: Short term only.

FACTS: If you drink a lot, you often get the receipt the next morning – headache or nausea. Drinking fluids helps alleviate these symptoms. “It works with beer,” explains laboratory doctor Nicolas von Ahsen. Noble gout, however, only helps for a short time by delaying the thickness of the skull. Drinks rich in electrolytes such as fruit juice spritzers are therefore better.

CLAIM: Beer can’t go wrong.

EVALUATION: That’s right.

FACTS: Beer can also be drunk without hesitation after the expiration date (BBD). The alcohol, carbonic acid and the hops it contains would prevent the multiplication of harmful germs, explains Holger Eichele of the German Brewers Association. “As long as a bottle is leak proof, there is no risk to health of going past the expiration date.” However, the color and taste often changed towards hints of sherry.

CLAIM: Beer and sport do not go hand in hand.

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EVALUATION: Partly correct.

FACTS: Have a beer after your workout – that’s great. At least as long as it is a beer with 0.0% alcohol, explains Helen Bauhaus of the Cologne Sports University. Alcohol-free beer is therefore rich in carbohydrates and sodium – and therefore perfect for athletes who have lost fluids while sweating. You should absolutely avoid beer with percentages. Because it increases the risk of injury and reduces the quality of sleep.

CLAIM: There is no beer in Hawaii.


FACTS: Singer Paul Kuhn spread this rumor in 1963 with his catchy song of the same name. But of course, Hawaiians have more to offer than colorful cocktails. The Kona Brewery in the US state produces beers with the sonorous names “Fire Rock”, “Longboard” or “Gold Cliff”.

CLAIM: Germans drink the most beer in the world.


FACTS: Oktoberfest visitors must be strong now: Germany is not the beer world champion. According to information from national brewing associations, the Czech Republic leads the rankings with around 140 liters per capita – followed by Austria, where everyone drinks an average of 106 liters per year. The Germans only land in third place with almost 100 liters.

CLAIM: Non-alcoholic beer does not contain alcohol.

EVALUATION: this is not true in many cases.

FACTS: Like any other beer, alcohol-free beer is brewed in strict accordance with German Purity Law: from water, barley, yeast and hops. According to the German Brewers Association, a tiny alcohol residue may also be contained in so-called non-alcoholic beer to round off the taste. A cool blonde can be described as alcohol-free if the alcohol content is less than 0.5 percent. However, some breweries also offer completely alcohol-free varieties with 0.0 percent.

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© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200811-99-132450 / 2

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