As Berlin experiences sustained summer temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius, the City on Friday launched a weekend of beer-drinking at the International Beer Festival at the Central boulevard.
The “world’s longest beer garden,” as the organisers dub it, stretches along the Karl Marx Allee between Strausberger Platz and Frankfurter Tor and runs until Sunday.
A total of 2,400 beers from 350 breweries from around the world including focus country New Zealand, will be on offer.
“This year’s motto is “Beers from the other side of the world,” the organisers said.
In addition to the beer, live music at 19 stages along the route is expected to draw more than 800,000 visitors to the festival, which has no entry fee.
The temperatures have prompted doctors to urge caution. “Alcohol enters the bloodstream more quickly in the heat,” Peter Sefrin, an emergency doctor with the German Red Cross, said.
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The more alcohol a drink contains, the more striking the effect; alcohol also reaches the brain more quickly in the heat, affecting concentration and allowing euphoria to take hold.
“A typical consequence is impaired self-awareness. This often leads to an overestimation of one’s abilities and arrogance: People often do things they would never do otherwise,” Sefrin said.
“We don’t want to take away people’s enjoyment of a refreshing beer,” Hannes Dietrich of the health insurance company Kaufmaennische Krankenkasse said, but he added that drinking too much alcohol in hot weather can lead to dizziness and even a loss of consciousness.