Empty Weg Bier, © Visualhunt

What is the Weg­bi­er all about?

Simply Defined: A Beer On-The-Go

It’s time to break down that almighty term quite of­ten used around North Rhine-West­phalia - Weg­bi­er.

It’s time to break down that almighty term quite often used around North Rhine-Westphalia (more predominantly in Düsseldorf and Cologne) - Wegbier.

What is it? Why does it exist? And why it is such a popular thing?

In order to get a better understanding of what this Wegbier is all about, I went to Bilker Allee in Düsseldorf to check out a few of the most popular kiosks.


What is a Wegbier?

Wegbier quite literally means to drink a beer in public on the way home, to a party, or really just anytime you’re “on the go”. It’s like takeaway food, but a Wegbier can be purchased at any kiosk, convenience store, büdchen, späti, trinkhalle, or whatever you call a small corner shop store that offers all your favorite snacks and junk food.


Why does the Wegbier exist?

I guess the better question is, why not? Wegbier exists because it can. Unlike many countries around the world, drinking in public is legal in Germany. There’s no need to hide your beer in a water bottle and claim it’s apple juice or wrap your liquor bottles in paper bags. Alcohol is legal, and having a Wegbier is quite an enjoyable experience for many people around NRW.


What makes Wegbier so popular?

Even the tourists are doing it. That’s likely because the excitement of being able to drink a beer in public is quite overwhelming when you come from a country where public drinking is illegal (or at least that’s what it was like for me when I moved to Düsseldorf from Canada). Buying a Wegbier before you’re heading to an event is often a great way to start the party and get a few cheap drinks in before you pay 4 Euro at the doors.

Here are a few other reasons why the Wegbier is so popular:

  • The weather’s perfect? Grab a Wegbier.
  • On the way to a party? Pre drink on the go with a Wegbier.
  • Hoping to avoid the high priced beer at the club? Buy a Wegbier before you enter.
  • Catching up with a friend you haven’t met in a while? Wegbier time.
  • One hour commute home from work? Wegbier and a newspaper will do just fine.

On the weekends, the Düsseldorf Wegbier becomes almost a fashion accessory. Along the Rhine Promenade and through the streets of the Altstadt, it isn’t uncommon to see every third person with a Wegbier in hand. However, it’s also not unheard of to see people drinking beer during the weekdays either. This doesn’t mean we’re all alcoholics, it’s just another way to celebrate the Wegbier.

Why not go ahead and give it a try? Drink responsibly and explore the Kiosks around your area. I spent an hour or so exploring the Bilker Allee kiosks this week, here were a few of my favorites:

  • U-Bilk Dini (across from the Bilker Kirche and next to Pizzeria Uscana)
  • Trinkhalle & Stehcafé (next to the Bilker Kirche and Eisschmiede)
  • Happy Shop (across from Flora Park)

Thanks to the kiosks, convenience stores, büdchen’s, späti’s and trinkhalle’s of North Rhine-Westphalia, it’s easy to get anything on-the-go. They allow us to kick into our cravings whether it’s an ice cold cola, a pack of cigarettes, a chocolate bar or a Wegbier. There always seems to be a kiosk close by whenever you’re in need.

What do you think? A curse or a blessing? Where are your favorite kiosks? When do you find yourself embracing the German ‘Wegbier’?

Written by Jenna Davis | Life in Düsseldorf

Images and videos

Be inspired: images of your NRW

U-Bilk Dini, © Jenna Davis
Trinkhalle on Bilker Allee, © Jenna Davis
Bilker Allee Wegbier Experience, © Jenna Davis
Happy Shop Kiosk, © Jenna Davis