Top 10 Beers to Try in Germany

Germany’s passion for well-made, delicious beer is known the world over. Many German brewers still make beer in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot (Beer Purity Law) of 1516, which states that beer may only be made with water, barley and hops. (The existence of yeast was unknown at the time.)

It wasn’t even until 1993 that brewers were legally allowed to add yeast and malts to beer.

Germans are renowned for their beer for good reason, and any trip to Germany is incomplete without a sampling of these top 10 brews.

1. Weihenstephan Hefe Weissbier

Hefeweizen, a cloudy, Bavarian-style wheat brew, tops the list of beers to try. A light, yeasty sweetness (which some liken to bananas or bubblegum) makes it an extremely refreshing beer to drink before a meal or with a light dinner. As the oldest brewery in the world, Weihenstephan has been producing phenomenal hefeweizens since 1040.

2. Erdinger Kristall

Erdinger is the world’s largest wheat beer brewery, and Kristall is one of its best-loved beers. A crystal-clear version of the traditional Hefeweizen, Kristall is the perfect thirst quencher on hot summer days. Serve it with a lemon wedge and enjoy after a long bike ride.

Image result for german beer photos

3. Spaten Oktoberfest

Traditionally brewed in March and served in Autumn, around the Oktoberfest celebration, Spaten Oktoberfest is a sweet, brown beer with a mildly malty taste and roasted notes. It’s surprisingly crisp for such a sweet beer but has a round, earthy finish. Spaten’s Oktoberfest is only available from August until October or November.

4. Aecht Schlenkeria Rauchbier

This beer is a little harder to find than most, but it’s well worth it if you can snag a bottle. The Schlenkeria brewery, located in the hills of Bamberg, was founded in 1405 and still brews this sweet, malty beer. Its distinctly smoky aroma – reminiscent of leather or even beef jerky – comes from exposing the malt to intense, aromatic beech smoke. You can best enjoy a glass with a hot meal served in the brewery’s beer garden.

5. Paulaner Salvator Doppel Bock

Paulaner is a major player in the German beer world, and their doppel bock is a fine example of this bottom-fermented beer. Darker and richer than a regular bock, doppel bock is full of big flavor, but still clean, with aromas of toasted spice, caramel and burnt sugar. Dark barley malt gives it its characteristically malty taste.

6. Schneider Weisse Aventinus Eisbock

Eisbock is a type of beer made by freezing off a portion of water in the brew and removing it. The resulting beer is super-concentrated, increasing its body, flavor and alcohol content. The Schneider Aventius is heavy and malty with nutty, caramel notes and a hint of ripe plum. It pairs extremely well with buttery cheeses like brie or gouda, as well as chocolate.

7. Augustiner Hell

Despite the name, this isn’t a place bad people go to roast, but an extremely cool beer made by the oldest brewery in Munich. Mild, sparkling, refreshing and dry, this easy-to-drink beer is a go-to for city dwellers, who grab a bottle from the local Späti (late night store) and wander the streets before heading to a party.

8. Gaffel Kölsch

If you’re ever in Cologne, you’ll see patrons at numerous outdoor cafés ordering round after round of Kölsch, a light, refreshing beer brewed only in and around the eponymous city. Less bitter than a pilsner, Kölsch is moderately hoppy and gently fruity. Don’t be surprised at the small 200 ml glasses in which it’s served – that’s the only way you’ll get it.

9. Berliner Kindl Weisse

A classic summer drink in Berlin, Berliner Weisse is a tart, tangy beer which gets its characteristic flavor from deliberately soured grains. It’s traditionally served in a large, boule-like glass and often colored green with a shot of sweet woodruff syrup or red with raspberry.

10. Radeberger Pils

A classic German pils in every way. This palatable beer is clean and refreshing and makes a nice, easy accompaniment to any meal. A predominant hop flavor gives the beer a verdant, herbal finish. Though there’s nothing out of the ordinary about this beer, it’s exactly on the list for this reason – because even the most standard of German beers is made to such high standards.

Image result for german beer photos







Festivals in Germany in October

Oktoberfest from within tent

What’s on in Germany in the month of October? World-famous Oktoberfest continues through the first week, pumpkin boat races, the biggest book fair in Germany, and a festival of lights in Berlin…just to name a few highlights.

This is the end of tourist season so expect transport, attraction, and accommodation prices to go down. The weather remains unpredictable in autumn, so pack that scarf, umbrella, and t-shirt.

Check out our list of the best German festivals, events, and holidays in October.

Oktoberfest Hacker Pschorr beer tent Oktoberfest in Munich is the highlight of Germany’s festival calendar. Every September and October, over 6.4 million visitors from around the world mingle with locals to celebrate Bavarianculture, cuisine, and – of course – beer.

During Oktoberfest, everyone is a bit German. Sing the beloved beer hallsongs, ride the riesenrad (Ferris Wheel) and dance on the tables.

Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival

Germany has the largest pumpkin festival in the world. There are 450,000 pumpkins on display, plus chainsaw carving competitions, pumpkin boats races, pumpkins on the menu, and giant pumpkins getting smashed – all with the backdrop of an elegant palace.


Stuttgart Spring Festival

The Cannstatter Wasen started as an autumn fair in 1818 and quickly became one of the leading beer festivals in Germany. Celebrate autumn with Swabian food, beer and wine, and bring the family for Oompah bands, parades, roller coasters, and the world’s largest mobile Ferris wheel.


Staufenberg Castle in the Black Forest of the Freiburg region

The German Wine Route has many wine festivals throughout the year with Deutsches Weinlesefest (German Wine Harvesting Festival) happening in October. This is the site of Germany’s largest wine festival parade with more than 100,000 visitors. It is also the second largest wine festival in the world, after the nearby Dürkheimer Wurstmarkt.

A wine queen and princess are crowned and visitors drink out of goblets known as dubbeglas, regional 50 cl glasses suited for wines of the Palatinate region.

Brandenburg Gate at sunset

RICOWde / Getty Images

October 3rd is Tag der deutschen Einheit (Day of German Unity) and celebrates the country’s reunification in 1990.

This is a national holiday and almost every German city celebrates October 3rd, but the best open-air festivities are held in a different German city each year. The party in 2018 will be held at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the national symbol of Germany.


Berlin festival of lights
 GettyImages / Thomas Kurmeier

During the Festival of Lights, more than 45 of Berlin’s most iconic landmarks and historic buildings are illuminated from 7 p.m. until 1 a.m. every night.

The festival features laser light shows and projections that transform sites like the Berlin TV TowerMuseum Island, the Brandenburg Gate, and many more of the city’s top sites into mystical visions. Special “lightseeing tours” are offered by bus, boat, or bicycle.


Frankfurt Book Fair
GettyImages / Hannelore Foerster

Frankfurter Buchmesse is the world’s largest trade fair for books. It is the place to be for book lovers, publishers, translators, and authors.

This year marks its 70th anniversary and they expect 286,000 visitors to peruse over 400,000 books from 100 countries.

During the week, the book fair is only open to accredited trade-visitors, but come on the last weekend of the fair, when everybody can take a peek into the international world of media. Enjoy readings, exhibitions, concerts, and films alongside the presentation of books.


Castle Church door in Wittenberg
GettyImages / Matthias Graber

On October 31st, Germans do not traditionally celebrate Halloween, they commemorate the religious holiday of Reformationstag (“Day of Reformation”).

Reformation Day dates back to 1517 when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the Wittenberg Castle Church door. This action brought forth the Protestant Reformation and massive changes in the church and society.

Events on Reformation Day are subdued, but the recent 500-year-anniversary was cause for celebration and most of Germany enjoyed the public holiday.





Weed in Germany: The Latest Laws You Need to Know

Weed 2

With the move towards the legalization of cannabis worldwide, many people are left confused as to what the laws are in different countries concerning weed – especially visitors. Today we will tackle Germany and the latest legal status of weed there. Stay tuned to future blogs for info on other destinations.

According to the most recent World Drug Report, marijuana is consumed, cultivated, and trafficked more than any other drug in the world. Its popularity is certainly undeniable. But, its legal status has been heavily debated for years.

A lot of countries are on the fence about legalizing marijuana for recreational use. But, more research is being produced every year about the medicinal benefits of marijuana. Many people have come around to supporting its legalization for medicinal purposes thanks to this research.

Medical weed laws in Germany

Weed 3

After much debate, the German parliament passed a law legalizing medical marijuana in January 2017. Don’t try to run off to a pharmacy just yet, though. There are some important details you need to know about that law:

1. Is the law in effect now?

The law legalizing medical marijuana went into effect in March of 2017.

2. What was the law like before?

Germans used to only be allowed to use cannabis for medicinal purposes in rare cases. The bar was set fairly high. And, patients had to go through a rigorous application process before they were legally allowed to use the drug.

Only about 1,000 people received permission to use medical weed in Germany prior to parliament’s ruling. Some people even died while waiting for their request to be processed. And, those who did get approval also had to cover the costs of treatment themselves.

3. Who can use marijuana under the current law?

Now, medical marijuana can be prescribed by a physician for any patient who is deemed “seriously ill.”

The law is not entirely clear on what “seriously ill” means. People can currently receive a medical marijuana prescription for many conditions, including:

Doctors can also write medical cannabis prescriptions if they see a possibility of that prescription having a positive effect on the patient. But, only those whose condition is deemed “severe” by public insurers will receive reimbursements.

It is important to note that not just anyone in Germany can have access to medical marijuana. Germany’s guidelines are must stricter than those in the United States. Doctors in Germany are very dedicated to making sure marijuana is only used for medicinal purposes.

4. Where can you get medical marijuana in Germany?

To get weed in Germany, patients must go through pharmacies to get medical marijuana. There are no dispensaries like there are in the United States. Doctors will also specify which type of cannabis a patient is allowed to use.

Experts have said that most doctors will likely prescribe their patients vaporizersCBD oil, or THC drops instead of smoking and edible options. However, pharmacies are allowed to sell cannabis in dried bud form as well, on top of these other options.

5. Is it available to tourists?

Unless they have a prescription from a German doctor, which is pretty unlikely, weed in Germany is not available to tourists. Doctors are very strict about who can have a medical marijuana prescription.

6. How is medical marijuana produced and regulated?

Germans aren’t yet growing their own weed — at least not legally. But, plans for domestic cultivation are in the works. So are plans for regulating that cultivation.

The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices is responsible for establishing a cannabis agency in Germany. The agency will be in charge of regulating the way medical cannabis is cultivated, manufactured, and sold at pharmacies.

Germany has plans to start producing its own cannabis by 2019. Until then, it is being imported from Canada and the Netherlands. The agency will also soon start accepting bids from companies in the European Union that want to expand into the German market.

The amount of cannabis imported to Germany has increased dramatically over the years.

In 2016, Germany imported 170 kilograms of cannabis. This is nearly double the amount it brought in in 2015 — 93 kilograms. The amount of cannabis that Germany has imported from other countries will surely increase even more in response to the new law.

7. Can medical marijuana users grow their own weed in Germany?

Currently, patients are not allowed to grow their own weed. German officials want to be sure that patients are only using pharmaceutical-grade marijuana. They’ve argued that the same quality cannot be guaranteed when weed is grown at home by amateurs.

8. How much weed are patients allowed to possess?

About 90 percent of patients are covered by public health insurance. These patients can have up to about 140 grams of medical marijuana per month.

As of June 2017, over a thousand patients had registered and were using medical marijuana. It’s anticipated that an additional 5,000 to 10,000 people will join in each year.

9. How does the law affect prices?

In addition to making medical marijuana more accessible, the new law also makes it more affordable. Before the legality of medical weed in Germany was expanded, 28 grams cost around 1700 euros. Now, the price has gone down to about 10 euros per gram.

What about recreational weed?

Current marijuana laws do not allow recreational weed in Germany. But, individuals can technically possess a limited amount without being prosecuted. Right now, that amount is between 3-5 grams in most states and up to 15 grams in Berlin.

Is a law for recreational weed in Germany in the works?

There currently is no federal proposal to fully legalize weed. But, the capital of western state North Rhine-Westphalia is planning a pilot project to sell recreational cannabis to adults.

Some politicians have proposed legalizing weed as a way to bring in additional funds. But, a 2014 poll found that only 30 percent of people supported the full legalization of marijuana. Eighty percent supported it being legalized for medicinal purposes.

What are the arguments against recreational weed?

The general consensus about recreational weed is that there is not yet enough research available on the long-term effects of marijuana to justify legalizing it for recreational use. Politicians want more time to see how people respond to marijuana. They also want to figure out the best ways to regulate it.

Is it legal to buy cannabis seeds in Germany?

It is legal to buy cannabis seeds, with two caveats.

Image result for pictures of medicinal cannabis seeds

First, the seeds must be purchased from a seed bank located in the Netherlands, like Weed Seed Shop. Second, they cannot be purchased for the purpose of cultivation. If a person is caught illicitly cultivating their own cannabis, they can face up to 5 years’ imprisonment or a fine.

Is weed popular in Germany?

Much of the German population does not currently smoke weed regularly. A 2015 study found that 18 percent of men aged 15-24 reported using cannabis, compared to 10 percent of women in the same age group.

At the same time, the 2016 European Drug Report found that nearly a quarter of the German population has tried marijuana at least once.

How does Germany compare to other countries?

As far as other European countries are concerned, Germany sits somewhere in the middle when it comes to its attitude toward cannabis.

Countries like Spain and the Netherlands have incredibly relaxed cannabis laws. They even hold massive events for enthusiasts. At the same time, countries like Latvia are much stricter.

Many countries throughout Europe support decriminalization of marijuana and its legalization for medical use. But they’re less supportive when it comes to recreational use. It’s expected that this will change over time, though, as more and more countries throughout the world start to fully legalize cannabis.

Benefits of medical marijuana

Many doctors in Germany are thrilled that they are now able to prescribe marijuana to their patients legally. These doctors have good reason to be excited, too. Marijuana provides a variety of medicinal benefits.

Some conditions that marijuana has been proven to treat include:

  • Eye pressure from glaucoma
  • Joint pain from arthritis
  • Epileptic seizures
  • Pain from Multiple sclerosis
  • Tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease
  • Inflammation from Crohn’s and other inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Anxiety
  • Pain and nausea from chemotherapy

Better than opioids

Marijuana doesn’t just treat a variety of illnesses. It has also been proven to help with the withdrawal symptoms that opioid addicts are suffering from.

Europe has seen a frightening increase in deaths related to opioid overdoses. In 2015, 15 percent of those deaths were in Germany (a nine percent increase from 2014. The only country with a higher percentage was Britain, with 31 percent.

The legalization of weed in Germany will hopefully decrease the number of overdose-related deaths in the country.

Cannabis can actually be prescribed to treat a number of the same conditions as prescription painkillers. It can also be used to treat opioid addiction. Studies have shown that cannabis helps minimize withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings.

Why vaping and drops over smoking?

As stated above, doctors in Germany are more likely to have their patients vaporizing marijuana or consume it as an oil, rather than having them smoke it or consume it through edibles. There are a lot of reasons for this distinction.

1. Fewer health risks

Smoking marijuana can be harmful to your lungs — although it’s not as harmful as tobacco. Vaporizing, on the other hand, allows you to get the same effects as smoking would, without exposing you to any actual smoke. A vaporizer only heats the product, it doesn’t actually burn it.

Cannabis oil and CBD oil also have the benefit of not harming your lungs. And the fact that, unlike vaping, it doesn’t even look like smoking is an extra benefit that makes it possible to prescribe to children and the elderly.

Image result for pictures of medicinal cannabis

2. Easier dosing

People who don’t enjoy smoking or vaping often turn to edibles as a way to consume marijuana. While there are benefits that come with using edibles, the correct dosage can be more difficult to figure out.

This can be explained by the fact that marijuana is absorbed much more slowly by the stomach than it is by the lungs. Its effects can be delayed by up to an hour, and absorption tends to be uneven. This is because cannabinoids are metabolized by the liver before they enter the bloodstream.

So, edibles are often inefficient and not the best method for those looking for pain relief or other medicinal benefits.

The lungs absorb cannabinoids in a matter of seconds, which is why vaporizing can lead to almost instant relief for patients. It’s also easier to control dosing through vaporizing, because patients can simply stop inhaling once the desired effect has been achieved.

3. No psychoactive properties

There are two main cannabinoids present in marijuana: THC and CBD.

THC is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana, and it interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain. These receptors exist in the central nervous and immune systems, respectively. They influence things like pleasure, appetite, memory, concentration, and pain sensations.

CBD, on the other hand, does not have psychoactive properties. Instead, it has a calming effect and interacts with receptors like serotonin and adenosine. These receptors regulate the body’s temperature, pain sensations, and inflammation.

Because of the positive effects of CBD, CBD oil is often considered to be a better option for people who struggle with anxiety, or are simply avoiding the psychoactive properties of THC. CBD oil’s anti-inflammatory properties also make it ideal for people with arthritis.

Key takeaways

Marijuana provides a number of medicinal benefits. Now, Germany’s citizens are able to experience those benefits.

The jury’s still out on recreational use for weed in Germany. But, the fact that so many people there can now experience relief from pain and other ailments is something that should be celebrated!











German man calls police because he was being chased by baby squirrel

When a patrol was sent to the scene to investigate, they did not have too much trouble diffusing the situation.

Karl-Friedrich the squirrel was rescued by police in the German city of Karlsruhe

Karl-Friedrich the squirrel was rescued by police in the German city of Karlsruhe ( Karlsruhe Police )

German man resorted to calling a police emergency number because he was being chased by a baby squirrel.

Officers in the city of Karlsruhe were sent to help the man after he became exasperated that he could not shake off the tiny rodent.    

However, when a patrol was sent to the scene to investigate on Thursday morning, they did not have too much trouble diffusing the situation.

Karl-Friedrich was taken in by police, who provided care for him until he was later taken to a rescue centre.

Orphaned baby squirrels can often exhibit strange behaviour, such as a lack of instinctual fear.

police spokesperson said officers were able to catch the infant red squirrel after it fell asleep from exhaustion from the chase.

“The squirrel has fallen asleep because of the horror,” police jokingly wrote in their report of the incident.

Officers appeared to have grown attached to the animal, which they named Karl-Friedrich, adding in their account of events he had become “a new mascot”.


Karl-Friedrich was not the only squirrel to hit the headlines in Germany for a run-in with the law in recent weeks.

In July, a man in Bonn called police after he heard noises coming from his basement, fearing there was an intruder inside the home.

However, when officers attended the scene to investigate, they discovered the commotion was being caused by a squirrel, according to Deutsche Welle.

Police later named that animal David Haselnuss, a pun on the actor David Hasselhoff’s name using the German word for hazelnut.


Author :  Tom Barnes @thomas_barnes





Tipping the scales: White lion cubs bulking up in Germany

White lions cubs. (AFP)

They’re still tiny, but the white lion cubs at the Magdeburg zoo in eastern Germany are putting on weight fast.

The cubs – three males and one female – took turns on the scales on Friday. The news agency dpa reported that the male cubs weighed in at an average of 6.5kg each, while their sister was a kilogram lighter.

The cubs weighed only 1.5kg each when they were born on July 5.

Zoo visitors were able to watch through a window as the feisty felines were weighed one by one, showing their teeth and claws.

Zoo curator Konstantin Ruske says “we are very satisfied with the animals’ development”.


2018-08-18 15:06  –  AP Associated Press




Restaurant bans children after 5pm so adults can eat in peace The Independent

A restaurant in Germany has imposed a ban on children under the age of 14 after 5pm.

Oma’s Küche, which translates to Grandma’s Kitchen, said the measure was implemented in an effort to stop diners from being disturbed by poorly-behaved children in the evenings.

Owner Rudolf Markl said he felt compelled to instigate the ban after witnessing children causing disruption at the restaurant while their parents struggled to keep them under control.

On one occasion, he said, children caused physical damage to the decor, leaving an antique photo stand broken.

Spilled drinks and torn tablecloths are also common occurrences with child diners, he claimed.

“We have been thinking about this for a very long time,” he told the DPA news agency.

“We have somehow reached that point where you say: This just can’t go on like this,”

He said the ban had less to do with children misbehaving and more to do with the parents who “acknowledge it with a smile, keep on eating, and don’t care at all.”

Mr Markl said he hoped his decision would enable his restaurant, which is in Binz on the island of Rügen, to become an “oasis of peace”, adding that it had already been well-received by some of his regular visitors.

However, the ban has sparked criticism online and across German media, with some labelling the move as “heartless”.

Source:  Olivia Petter –  Independent Life





Why we celebrate Women’s Day in SA

While many might think this is a kind of second Mother’s Day for women whether or not they have children, and use it as a good excuse to spend a day being pampered at a health spa or shopping for shoes, that’s not really what Women’s Day is all about.



How it all began

On 09 August 1956, 20 000 women participated in a national march in protest of pass laws (apartheid legislation that required people of colour to carry identity documentation to prove that they were allowed to enter a ‘white’s only’ area).

Four women led the march which had been organized by Fedsaw (Federation of South African Women.

They were  :  Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Sophy Williams and,Lilian Ngoyi
(pictured above right)

These were women of all races and ages who got together from all over South Africa and marched on the Pretoria Union Buildings, goaded into action by the fact that the law was about to be changed to restrict ‘African’ women’s freedom movement even further. They delivered their petitions, signed by frustrated and angry women across the land, to then Prime Minister JG Strijdom’s office, then sang freedom songs including the well known, powerful one

“When you strike the women, you strike a rock”

So use the day off to pamper yourself, to have fun with your family, to come and go as you please – but remember if it wasn’t for these brave women many of us would not enjoy the freedom we have today to do these simple things.