German Beer Tradition: What is a Schnitt?


So you are in Bavaria, or some other part of Germany perhaps, and you are in for a few rounds of beer at the local bier garten. It’s getting about time to head home or back to the hotel and you’ve finished your beer, but your friends, not showing the incredible beer guzzling abilities that you have, are still only halfway through their last glasses. What to do? Sit and watch with envy? Order yourself ein Schnitt!

What is a Schnitt, you say? Literally translated this is German for a “cut.” Rather than tipping your glass and getting a proper fill, the bartender just opens the tap for a burst and lets it hit bottom. There is a varying amount of head produced and whatever fits in the glass is what you get. Whatever the amount, you get a standard reduced-priced beer, something perhaps 20-40% off the usual price of your beer. The price may be on the menu or you may need to ask. My friend Chris says it’s a bit like a lottery: sometimes it is closer to full, sometimes closer to half full (or half empty for you grumpy pessimistic drinkers).

A Schnitt is often your last beer as you are heading out or if you are waiting for friends to finish their full beers and you just don’t want them to be lonely. You cannot order a Schnitt as your first or only beer, but it makes for a nice closer.

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About Kevin Revolinski

Kevin Revolinski is a beer-friendly travel writer and author of a number of travel books including a couple of brewery road-trip guidebooks. While traveling the world, he makes a point to seek out the local brewers and best beer bars. He has had a beer in at least 60 different countries. His home website is Google Plus