A pint of beer next to a Coca-Cola can in a pub.

Introducing the Colabier: Beer with Coca-Cola

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I have heard that many people mix beer and Coke. I’m not talking in the Maradona sense but as a cocktail. Beer with Coca-Cola is typically a 50/50 combination of beer and Coca-Cola’s mixing bitter and sweet. This results in a surprising taste experience. Some people call it a “Diesel” or “Colabier” in some places, and it’s a pretty intriguing drink. Let’s try to figure out more about how this high-schooller’s concoction has become a global sensation.

The Origins and Cultural Significance of Beer and Coke

Many mix beer with all sorts. But there’s this drink that some people are going crazy about. Beer mixed with Coke. People seem to love how refreshing and exciting it tastes. It may sound weird, but it actually has a pretty interesting history, and it’s a big part of German culture where they take their beer very seriously.

As Germans are pretty innovative, they were probably looking for a way to soften the bitterness of beer or create new taste sensations when they first mixed beer with Coca-Cola. The blend is colloquially known as “Colabier” and “Diesel”, among other names in Germany, and it has gained a dedicated following. 

Like a shandy or Radler, the mix usually consists of a 50/50 ratio of beer to Coca-Cola, but some prefer a more beer-dominant mix to adjust for sweetness and maintain the beer’s character.

In Germany, beer mixed with Coke isn’t only made at home or in bars but also commercially available. German breweries and beverage companies have embraced the trend, offering pre-mixed versions of the drink, which caters to a younger demographic that appreciates the novelty and the ease of consumption of such a blend. 

Branded bottle of Oettinger Bier Cola
Oettinger Bier Mixed with Cola

This has led to an increase in the variety of beer and Coke mixes available in the market, each aiming to capture the essence of this unconventional yet beloved drink combination.

How to Enjoy the Perfect Blend of Beer and Coke

Nailing the perfect blend of beer and Coca-Cola, or “Teichwasser (lake water)” as it’s also known, might seem like a walk in the park, but there’s an art to it. This, quite frankly, jarring concoction has won over many a sceptic, and here’s how to elevate your beer and Coke experience.

To make this beer and Coke mix, choose the right beer. While some folks might go for a bold and strong ale, a lighter lager or pilsner is the way to go. These types of beers are super refreshing and go well with the sweet taste of Coca-Cola. Domestic lagers or classic pilsners are good choices for the base.

The next step is getting the mix right. Typically, it’s a 50/50 ratio of beer and Coke, but you can change it to suit your taste. Some people like more beer in their mix, like a 70/30 ratio, for a less sweet taste that lets the beer’s flavour shine through and doesn’t make your teeth feel fuzzy. And remember to chill both the beer and Coke first so they’re super refreshing.

Mixing it up the right way is important, too. Start by pouring the Coke gently into your glass, and let the fizz settle before slowly adding the beer. This helps keep the carbonation right and ensures the mix isn’t too foamy. 

And for serving, go for any glass you fancy because, after all, people will be judging you enough! Fill up a stein; why not?

If you’re feeling adventurous because mixing beer and Coke is just too damn boring, don’t just stick to plain old Coca-Cola. There are many other colas to try, like cherry or vanilla. Each would bring a unique twist to the beer mix, giving your taste buds something new to explore. 

You can even change the beer up, mixing it up with a Weissbier and creating yourself a “Colaweizen“. I promise I’m not making this up. 

Global Variations and Adaptations

This German tradition of beer and Coke showcases the country’s open-minded approach to beer culture, blending the traditional with the modern in a single glass.

If you ever go to Spain, you must try “Calimocho” (or “Kalimotxo”), a drink that’s very popular with young people. It’s a mix of red wine and cola that tastes quite interesting. It’s not a beer drink, but it’s still versatile and shows how the Spanish can be creative with their drinks. They always come up with something new and exciting to try.

Across the Atlantic in South America, variations of beer and cola mixes are enjoyed with local beers, showcasing the universal appeal of combining cola with alcoholic beverages. Each country tweaks the mix to suit local tastes, often using lighter lagers to complement the sweetness of the cola, much like in Germany but with a distinctly South American flair.

In Asia, particularly in Japan, the practice of mixing alcoholic beverages with soft drinks extends to “Chu-Hi,” short for “Shochu Highball,” which consists of shochu (a Japanese distilled beverage) mixed with carbonated water and flavoured syrup. While not directly related to the beer and cola mix, I’m throwing it in the mix anyway.

These global variations and adaptations highlight a shared desire to experiment with flavours, pushing the boundaries of traditional beverage pairings. Whether it’s a German “Colabier,” a Spanish “Calimocho,” or a Japanese “Chu-Hi,” it just shows if you’re brave enough, you can mix anything together. 


Mixing beer and Coca-Cola, affectionately called “Colabier,” makes an interesting drink that’s famous all over the world. This blend shows how we just love to experiment with food and drinks. The key to making the perfect mix is getting the right balance between the crispness of the beer and the sweet fizz of Coke so it tastes just how you like it. So when your friend asks if you want some Coke with your beer, he’s not talking about drugs but teaching you ways of the Colabier! 

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