World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

A brilliant beer beaker, eureka!

sam_wilson.gifBERLIN - You know when you go abroad and see an idea so simple you think "why don’t we do that at home?"

glasses203.jpg

Well some German boffin with a fondness for his ale has come up with these plastic glasses being used at some stadiums and Fan Fests.

You can carry five pints in each hand! Not that I’d ever get such a journalistic experiment past the BBC expenses department, you’ll be glad to hear. Which meant having to ask an obliging young German fan to demonstrate with empties (see picture).

Basically, a cone-shaped hollow handle means you can stack them up a bit like a spiral staircase.

Now I know the idea of English football fans carrying ten pints each at matches might have Her Majesty’s constabularies coughing and spluttering – but there must be a use for these in the UK – at music festivals, or even just in beer gardens.

The Germans, avid recyclers that they are, also put a euro deposit on each one, no doubt halving their tidying-up-afterwards bill.

That’s just one great idea from Germany. Don’t even get me started on the escalators that carry you whichever way you want to go…

Comments  Post your comment

Indeed it is a great thing. i've been here a few years, and the brits (and many others) could learn a thing or two from the germans in loads of areas, from recycling to cycling paths.

and those escalators amaze every single person that has visited me here in germany

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  • 2.
  • At 10:21 AM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Chris Kennedy wrote:

I'm living in Germany at the moment, and I've spoken to loads of England fans about their experiences. The one comment I've had over and over is how great the organisation has been and "We couldn't do this in England".

And the system they have for paying in restaurants is inspired. "Zusammen oder getrennt?" (together or separately) the nice German waitress with the big bosoms will ask. If you say 'together', she'll leave you the receipt and the traditional British scrummage of hassle, counting, being short and underestimation begins. But if you say "separately" (which I would recommend) she will come round everyone in turn, ask each of you what you had and then tell you what you owe. You tip by rounding up (i.e. if she asks for €14.50, you ask for change from €16).

Truly this is a land of wonder...

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  • 3.
  • At 10:29 AM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Kev seymour wrote:

Escalators??? Surely you get on one end and know where the other end will be?

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  • 4.
  • At 10:30 AM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Nick wrote:

Germans may be alright, in fact i´m sure they're lovely people, i'm currently travelling in Central America and have met a lovely Geram girl in Guatemala, but what's the deal with the early rise and the towels on the sunbeds? Why do they seemingly show no emotion as well? Answers on a postcard please...

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  • 5.
  • At 10:35 AM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Eric wrote:

Ey, mates, the good thing about the cone-shaped plastic german beer-glasses is ok with me, but please, please tell me what is so great with the german escalators? An escalator is supposed to take you up or down or even sideways and that is what they do, be it in the UK or in Germay. What's so special with them in Germany?? Huh???
Eric

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  • 6.
  • At 11:06 AM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Eva wrote:

The escalators people are refering to are the ones that go either direction. If they stand still, you can enter downstairs to be carried upstairs, or upstairs to get down. At least I think this is what Sam talked about.

I don't like them at all. They hardly ever stand still, so you have to wait if you want to go opposite direction. Also, they are prone to have failures quite often, that is my experience at least.

The plastic glasses look like a clever idea!

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  • 7.
  • At 11:18 AM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Tobias wrote:

Hey Nick,
you said Germans show no emotions. I guess you don´t get much media coverage travelling Central America. Germany is currently loaded with emotions - by Germans. Maybe the girl you met didn´t get too emotional about you ;-))?

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  • 8.
  • At 11:26 AM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Sir Dearlove wrote:

What are these escalators about?!?! I have searched for them but to no avail. Can anyone link to them?

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  • 9.
  • At 11:34 AM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Flo wrote:

It's been a while that I've been to Britain: Please don't tell me you're still not putting any effort in recycling and still throw your empty batteries in the domestic waste???

Shame on you! ;)

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  • 10.
  • At 12:00 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Superjim wrote:

@Flo:
yes !! shame on us ! I try to recycle, but its so hard - the authorities seem to hinder us in every way. ok, Dudley (where I live) has a recycle box, every fortnight, but they dont take: plastic bottles (I ask you!), plastic bags, cardboard - and no- they dont take batteries either !!
to recycle cardboard and plastic bottles, I must collect a sufficient quantity to warrant it (much to the annoyance of the mrs.) and DRIVE to the Wolverhampton refuse depot, 3 miles away!!!!!

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  • 11.
  • At 12:27 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Blake wrote:

Those plastic tumblers are great, deposit or not I took mine home as a nice souvenir of the tournament.

You're right about the 1 euro deposit helping with tidying - when leaving the England v T&T game I noticed a few enterprising Japanese fans picking up all the tumblers that had been left behind under seats etc., one of them must have had 20 euros worth!

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  • 12.
  • At 12:39 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Axel wrote:

I hope someone has told you about the secrets of the "Einwegpfand"...

The deposit system ("Einwegpfand") is a bit tricky. It's nationwide, it's valid for nearly all *one-way* drinks in tins, PET or glass bottles, and you get back your particular 25 cents EVERYWHERE in Germany where they sell one-way drinks. It has nothing to do with the regular deposit scheme for *returnable* bottles.

Watch out for this symbol on your tins or bottles!
http://www.dpg-pfandsystem.de/dpg/img/logo.gif

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  • 13.
  • At 12:48 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • GiantRobot wrote:

I have one of those stackable plastic beer glasses on my desk. It's from the Kennedy Space Center (circa 2001) and it says "Packer Stacker, Evansville, Indiana" at the bottom. So Germans may not have invented the thing but they seem to recognize a good idea when they see one.

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Folks,
I have spoken to Sam (very quietly as he was in an art gallery) and he promises to post an update later which will reveal all re. the genius of German escalators..with a photo hopefully.
I've no idea what he's on about either but here are some nice pics of escalators if you can't wait..

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  • 15.
  • At 01:26 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Bea wrote:

@giantrobot

I have one of this stackable pints in my cupboard. It has a picture of Olaf Thon on it and "1997 Schalke 04" on it. We have them in German football stadiums for ages.

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  • 16.
  • At 01:49 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Adam Sanis wrote:

Are there any more people who are proud of owning "one" stackable beer glass?
That's fantastic!
Although how the hell d'ya stack one glass?
Surely it would be better to have the "five" maximum that can be held at a time. Just a thought ...

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  • 17.
  • At 02:13 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Jim wrote:

Ah, the joys of recycling! From the heady days before Milton Keynes county council revealed to a shocked 200,000 residents that it was "uneconomical" to collect recyclables more than once a fortnight and even then they'd refuse your refuse if it was higher than the Tesco's hand-basket sized box.......to the joys of Germany and Sweden where we can sort out our trash into skip-sized buckets - batteries included!!! As a Brit, I found it quite tedious at first, having to be that organised with trash, but after three years I have found that it is, dare I say, therapeutic to have to sort it all out! Plus I get money back from cans and bottles - great when you're short of a few € or SEK!

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  • 18.
  • At 02:20 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Matt wrote:

I'd say they're a great idea! My friend and I drank for free all day by simply spotting empties and taking them back to the bar for the deposits!

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  • 19.
  • At 02:30 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Michael wrote:

Being German I also have no clue what it is about the escalators, so I can't wait to get Sam's update. The plastic glasses are a cool idea, but look at the logo... American soft drink maker, so GiantRobot is most likely right and they were invented in the US (saw them there several times).
@Adam Sanis: You forgot about the annual "stackable plastic glass owner convention" where they all meet and stack their glasses... :-D

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  • 20.
  • At 02:31 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Tim wrote:

The English are fairly inventive too. I was at The Oval last night for a 20/20 match and they had a device that allowed 8 pints to be carried with ease. Basically a long piece of cardboard with 4 holes in a line. Place pint glasses in holes. Pull cardboard up to the top of the glass (it will go no further due to the size of the hole/width of glass) then fold the sides of the cardboard over the top of the glasses, put your hand through the pre cut hole and voi-la you can carry 4 pints in each hand much like carrying a briefcase.

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  • 21.
  • At 02:35 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Patsie wrote:

As a frequent visitor to Germany I have to say I love the stackable beer mugs and games and the kids scrambling about collecting them for the deposit - the one I see are experts and have at least 20 stacked! (My one is from the olympiastadion Muenchen probably the most beautiful stadium not in use).
Any-direction-escalators are wonderful and you just make a point of waiting for them to stop so you can get on because you can!
Recycling - GB at least 20 years behind Germany...

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  • 22.
  • At 02:48 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Birgit wrote:

@ Michael

re the logo on the plastic cups - it isn't the soft drink logo everywhere. My favourite cups were those handed out in Kaiserslautern. Being the smallest of the host cities they turned their "provincialism" into a trademark feature - their cup label read: Kaiserslautern 2006 - I was there. In three languages. High German, the local dialect and English ;-)

Absolutely everyone I know took home a couple of those...

Birgit

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  • 23.
  • At 02:53 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Birgit wrote:

@ Tim

re the nifty cardboard for carrying pint glasses.

Not bad. The drawback however is that you end up with more litter on the ground. Or do you have to pay a deposit on the cardboard as well and can return it? Alternatively - are there paper/cardboard recycling boxes available at the venues? Or is everyone just using the "big trash can on the ground" ;-)


Birgit

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  • 24.
  • At 02:55 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Michael wrote:

@Birgit: Oh well, then I've got to see what they've got in Nürnberg tomorrow. Last time I was there (England vs. T&T) they only had some cheap simple plastic cups. Maybe they were out of the good ones. After all that was the day when they had that beer record... 114 liters of beer PER MINUTE... and that for 14 minutes.

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  • 25.
  • At 03:12 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Eva wrote:

@ Patsie:
You are right that waiting is not so much an issue if you have the added value of being able to go both directions. The escalators in my home town that have this feature are unfortunately out of order most of the times, so you can't get on in either direction. That is why I lost hope in them.

Maybe the World Cup host cities installed more reliable ones.

I second the recycling comments - here in Nottingham it is close to impossible to recycle plastics. Yet everything seems to be wrapped in plastic. Very bad!

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  • 26.
  • At 03:39 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Andrew Graham wrote:

But please? Do you know any dedicated beer drinkers who like drinking out of plastic? Especially in warmer climates, the beer warms up uncontrollably and tastes awful! O to be in Munich, now that September is nearly here! (Oktoberfest is held in September, with large, thick, litre glass jugs!.

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  • 27.
  • At 03:41 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • rahul wrote:

Or you could do what they do at the Lords cricket ground - charge £10 for a pint of Pimms. That way no one can afford to drink and so no litter.

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  • 28.
  • At 03:56 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Jamie wrote:

Well, one thing to be learnt is not about plastic cups but about the diplomacy in us lot from all over the place talking to each other. Maybe Mr PM can learn something from this then do something about the COMPANIES responsible for creating so much packaging which adds to our terrible national focus on recycling!Tim - do we really need cardboard invloved to carry beer glasses??!

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  • 29.
  • At 03:57 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Mike E wrote:

Germans don't let their beer last long enough in the 'glass' for it to get warm...

I drank out of the deposit "Becher" when I watched ice hockey in Rosenheim, great idea, stopped a lot of them from being thrown at the clueless referees...

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  • 30.
  • At 06:00 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Ben wrote:

I've been living in Austria for a few months now .. of which Germany is just a region of it according to my Tyrolian friends and whilst they haven't invented the "Human Thinking Esculator" that just goes with the crowd ... they do have:
- Clean cities
- Safe cities
- Trains that run on time to the minute
- Buses that run on time to the minute
- Trams that .... bla bla bla
- Drinking in front of big screens showing games of football without crowd trouble
- In fact, drinking anywhere in public without having a big £1000 slapped on you (Manchester :-( )
- Drinking lots ... and quickly ... with many beers in hand

Now that's German efficiency

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  • 31.
  • At 06:20 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • Amelle wrote:

I still don't get how the beer can be stacked. Anyone got any clearer pictures or explanation.

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