About that beer

I had a discussion today with a German colleague – about beer.  To be more precise about that beer – or glass of wine – for lunch and how acceptable or unacceptable it is in different places.

Not an acceptable lunch - neither in the US nor in Europe, pic: http://www.hauteliving.com/2010/08/amuse-channels-mad-men-with-new-three-martini-lunch/

Where I live nobody ever has an alcoholic beverage during a business lunch.  Never, ever!  It is completely unacceptable and would put the “perpetrator” in the uncomfortable position to have to explain that they don’t need that drink, just enjoy it.

In Germany, and in fact many other European countries having one beer or one glass of wine with lunch is perfectly acceptable.  Two, it get’s dicey, three will raise serious questions, but one is pretty much normal.  And we are talking beer or wine, not hard liquor.

So here is my little cultural advice for the cross-Atlantic business traveler:

As an American, if your German business partners have a beer during lunch they do not need to be institutionalized.  If you want to stay with water or a soda, that’s fine, nobody will think less of you.  If you like to participate, have a beer/wine.  One – not a three Martini lunch.

As a European: if you have a business lunch in the US have a coke, water, orange juice, ginger ale, whatever there is without alcohol in it  – no wine or beer, not even alcohol free or light.  It is just not done and people will think less of you if you do drink.


One Comment to “About that beer”

  1. well europeans are not prudeand a re not topped up by anxiety, that why its ok to drink beer at lunch and not have your toddler learn mandarin.

    losen up

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