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Speaking the language of beer – beer slang

Beer_Oct02_ALast week we talked about tasting beer and how that can increase your overall enjoyment of the world’s most popular drink. Another way to increase how you enjoy beer is to be able to talk about it, and understand the terms associated with beer. While we are making our way through the more important terms, it’s the slang terms used by beer drinkers the world over that make drinking beer interesting.

This week, we are looking at some of the more popular slang terms used to talk about beer in various countries around the world. Personally, I find beer and liquor related slang terms mentioned in various languages and nations to be funny, and sometimes even better than the ones used where I am from. Beyond that, they make for good topics to talk about at the bar. Anyways, here are some of our favorites.

Barley pop
Pop is a common term used for drinks like Coke or Pepsi. Because many beers have slight carbonation and are made of barley, you can think of beer as a barley flavored pop.

Road pop
In Canada, when we are walking somewhere, usually the bar, we often take a beer with us to drink on the way. When we do this, many will call it a road pop because you drink it while walking down the road.

This is a common name applied to beer, used by people around the world and also commonly heard on TV.

The DD is the Designated Driver, a person who won’t drink at a party or bar and drive their buddies home after a night on the town. In a perfect world, people will take turns being the DD because no one likes to always go to a party or gathering and not be able to enjoy their favorite beer.

Brick/Full sack/Case/Twelver
These words are used in various countries to talk about 12 packs of beer cans or bottles. In the US, Canada and Australia these 12 packs come in cardboard cases. In some countries in Europe like the Netherlands, 12 packs are plastic crates that you can carry home and return to the store for a discount on your next 12 pack!

These are all terms applied to 24 and 30 packs of beer cans or bottles. A flat is usually a cardboard case, where the sides come about half way up the cans, while a cube, case and two-four are used when talking about beer that comes fully enclosed in a cardboard box.

Roadside Olympics
Tests or ‘events’ that you must go through when pulled over by police officers who think you are driving drunk. These sobriety tests can be hilarious to watch, but are probably not so fun to actually ‘compete’ in.

Radler and Russ’n
In Munich you can order a lager mixed with a lemonade, which they call a radler which is the German word for cyclist. A wheat beer mixed with lemonade is often called a russ’n (the German word for Russian.)

The black stuff
In the UK, you don’t order a Guinness, you order a pint of the black stuff.

In Vietnam, especially in Ho Chi Minh, you can order a beer by simply asking for a “Ba-Ba-Ba”, or 3-3-3, which is a popular beer in Vietnam.

Bieselen/Break the seal
There is a common saying related to beer “You don’t buy beer, you only rent it.” What this saying refers to is the fact that when you drink beer, you often have to go to the bathroom. When you are out drinking and go for the first time, this is commonly referred to as breaking the seal. Or, Bieselen in German.

These are just a few of possibly hundreds of slang terms associated with beer. We are interested to know what your favorites are. Let us know!

Wish of the week
Lagunitas New Dogtown Pale Ale
Pale Ales are as Californian as Redwood trees and Los Angeles. This is one heck of a refreshing, and awesome beer. With a pleasant piney and citrusy aroma and taste those of you who love the hoppier beers like IPAs will find this right up your alley. If you are looking to get into IPAs, this one is a great place to start, because the bitterness and strong flavor usually associated with the IPA are more muted in this American Pale Ale.

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