Ordering German Beer

The other night out, I was reminded again of regional differences in the German beer language.

You might just order: Ein Bier, bitte. Around the Frankfurt area, they will ask whether you want a small one at 0.2 or 0.3 or a big one at 0.5. Just say, Ein grosses Bier, bitte. if you want to get a pint.

The following photo shows a normal sized beer. Normal to me, as I’m from the northern part of Bavaria.

In northern Bavaria, this glass 0.5 (one pint or 1/2 quart) is considered the normal size at the local guest house, and it could also be considered a small one at a beer fest.

Around the Frankfurt area (Hesse), this size is considered big as most people order a 0.2 or 0.3. During the summer time, out there in the beer garden, the pint becomes a bit more the norm.

I do dislike the 0.2 size. My nose is bigger than the glass and I have a hard time drinking from it. No, I do not generally order this, but I might get it, because I forgot to specify it. I have only been here for 17 years, so give me a break.

On the other hand, if you order a Schoppen (or Schöppchen, the diminutive form of Schoppen), you’d  get a beer in Hesse and wine in Bavaria.


What confusion. Many Bavarians would not order a 0,2 beer and certainly would not ask for a Schöppchen to get beer.

Enjoy your beer in Germany. It is one of the best things about our country.

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

– Benjamin Franklin –



  1. Of course, in Cologne 0.2l is the normal size for a “Kölsch”.

  2. This kind of beer is the size of a shot glass for Bavarians.

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