German Beer Terminology 101 - The Half Wall (2024)

German Beer Terminology 101 - The Half Wall (1)

Every year thousands of people flock to Munich, Germany to attend the world’s largest fair – Oktoberfest. This year, the festival took place from September 17th through October 3, 2017. However, for many people across the globe, the Oktoberfest celebrations carry on throughout the whole month of October.

Area bars, pubs and breweries often host their own Oktoberfest events and celebrate with lots of German beer, food and traditional garb. If you plan on attending a local Oktoberfest celebration or are thinking about a trip to Munich next year, here is some German beer terminology that you’ll definitely want to know:


This one may be a no-brainer, but at Oktoberfest everything revolves around beer. In fact, over 6 million liters of this liquid gold are consumed at the event each year! There is even a beer brewed exclusively for Oktoberfest, fittingly named Oktoberfestbier. So when you order a liter at Oktoberfest, remember to use this important phrase: ‘Ein Bier, bitte!’, meaning ‘A beer, please!’.


At Oktoberfest, lift your liter high and exclaim prost! which is German for cheers. Make a toast, or Prosit, to Zum Wohl (To your health).


Pronounced ‘moss kroogh’ in English, a Makrug is used to describe the giant beer mugs visitors drink out of during Oktoberfest. Made of double-walled dimpled glass, a Makrug weighs in at around 2 lbs empty and holds one liter of beer. That’s 33.8 oz or just under 3 American bottles!


For women planning on attending an Oktoberfest celebration, be prepared to wear a Dirndl – a traditional Bavarian dress. The outfit is very popular among Oktoberfest visitors and consists of a bodice, a low-cut blouse with short puff sleeves, full skirt and apron.


Lederhosen (leather shorts) are a must for men at Oktoberfest. Originally worn by the German peasant community as work clothes, Lederhosen have evolved as the costume of choice for men celebrating Oktoberfest. They are usually worn along with a white shirt, knee-length socks, and special shoes.

Kellner /Kellnerin

German for Beer Maids and Beer Waiters. Staff at Oktoberfest Munich have to be incredibly tough! Servers must be able to carry at least 10 Makrugs at a time and handle massive plates of food all while battling large and boisterous crowds.

Now that you’re familiar with German Oktoberfest lingo, come to our own Oktoberfest celebration at The Half Wall in DeLand on October 27, 2017. Enjoy a refreshing bier and share a Prost! – with friends and family! Click here for more event details.

German Beer Terminology 101 - The Half Wall (2024)


German Beer Terminology 101 - The Half Wall? ›

Depends on the region. In most places, you order a large or a small (glass of) beer ("ein großes Bier", "ein kleines Bier"), which would be 0.5 litres / 0.3 litres. In Bavaria, you order "eine Halbe" (half a litre) or "eine Maß" (a full litre glass).

What is a half litre of beer called in Germany? ›

Depends on the region. In most places, you order a large or a small (glass of) beer ("ein großes Bier", "ein kleines Bier"), which would be 0.5 litres / 0.3 litres. In Bavaria, you order "eine Halbe" (half a litre) or "eine Maß" (a full litre glass).

What is beer in German slang? ›

Das Bier – “das beer” : The Beer. Ein Bier, bitte – “eye-n beer, bit-eh” : A beer, please. This will most likely get you whatever is on tap and local. Almost every restaurant has an agreement with one brewery or another and will have that brewery's beer as a standard on tap.

What is the difference between dunkel and Märzen? ›

Dunkels might just as easily be confused with Vienna-style lagers, or with Märzen, a German beer often consumed at Oktoberfests. These, too, are dark lagers but generally more reddish than dunkels, with the aroma of hops a little more apparent.

What is the German word for drinking beer outside? ›

On the go: There also is a German expression for a beer you drink on the go – Wegbier (Road beer).

What is half a beer called? ›

It got called a pint. Because people often remember that a pint is half of something. The 375 ml bottle is a half bottle compared to the standard most common bottle size sold in the US. Half sized anything gets called a pint. It's a nickname now rather than an official measurement.

What are the beer sizes in Germany? ›

Most of the time, a small beer is about a third of a liter and a large is a half-liter. If you're at Oktoberfest, the traditional Maß (mug) is a full liter.

What do Germans say before they drink beer? ›

German Beer Drinking Etiqutte

From the first drink to the fourth round, don't forget a quick “Prost!” or “Ein Prosit” before taking your first sip. Always make eye contact when toasting. Don't toast with water. It's considered bad luck in Germany.

What is beer German rule? ›

It is the oldest regulation related to food and drink in the world. To achieve a consistent level of quality in beer brewing, the German Beer Purity Law dictate that the ingredients for beer must be water, barley malt and hops. The important role that yeast plays in brewing was only recognised in the 19th century.

What is beer and co*ke called in Germany? ›

Aghast, I confronted my BuzzFeed Germany colleagues, who told me that, yes, people drink "Colabier" all over Germany, though it goes by different names depending on region, and the type of beer used. "You get a little bit drunk and awake at the same time. Perfect."

What is a dark German lager called? ›

Yet in all the beer world, I know of only one style that's just as suitable for the beer garden as it is for the fireside—schwarzbier, the dark lager from the heart of Germany. It's session-strength and lager-crisp, yet its sweet undertones and dark malts can warm like a cup of cocoa.

What does Marzen mean in German? ›

Originating in Germany, this style was traditionally brewed in the spring (“Marzen” meaning “March”) and aged, or lagered, throughout the summer. A stronger version was served at early Oktoberfest celebrations and became known as Oktoberfest.

Is a bock a dunkel? ›

Dunkel just means dark and Bock is a strength category (a strong one... aka Starkbier). So you can have a German beer that's one of those two things and not the other... or you can have a beer that's both - aka a Dunkler Bock... so don't view them as two opposing things.

What do Germans say instead of cheers? ›

Easily the most common way of saying cheers in German, prost is an expression that means “to life” or “to health.” (It also rhymes with toast!) Additionally, you can say ain prost, meaning “a toast,” to let everyone know you're in the mood to raise your glass.

What are German beer waitresses called? ›

Kellner /Kellnerin. German for Beer Maids and Beer Waiters. Staff at Oktoberfest Munich have to be incredibly tough!

What is a jigger in German? ›

[ˈdʒɪɡəʳ] noun. 1. (= sieve) Schüttelsieb nt.

What is a 500ml beer called? ›

Metric Pint: = 500ml or 17.6 fl oz (Imperial) or 16.9 fl oz (US) If beers aren't served by the pint were you live then it will usually be in half litres (500ml), 25cl or 30cl. in most of Europe on draught or 330ml bottles; although some European Breweries (including British) sell bottled beer in 500ml bottles.

What is a 1 Litre beer in Germany? ›

In modern times, a Maß is defined as exactly 1 litre.

What is half a Litre of beer? ›

A half-litre (500 ml) of standard lager or ale (5%) contains 2.5 units. One litre (1000 ml) of typical Oktoberfest beer (5.5–6%) contains 5.5–6 units of alcohol. A beer bottle is typically 333-355ml, approximately 1.7 units at 5%.

What is a large German beer called? ›

Its feminine version, "die Maß", is used in southern Germany and Austria to refer to a one-liter glass beer mug or its contents. It is spelled "Maß" or "Mass" (both spellings are permissible) in Germany and Austria, and "Mass" in Switzerland. The plural is also Maß.

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