Why is the German military ditching 6,000 gallons of booze?

·2 min read
Stack of nearly empty beer steins in leafy beer garden
Stack of nearly empty beer steins in leafy beer garden

Would you join the military for free booze? And, if so, how much? In the past, the German military has employed some creative measures to tempt new recruits, including providing soldiers with two cans of beer—or an equivalent quantity of another beverage—per day. But, according to German Defense Ministry spokeswoman Christina Routsi, the German commander in Afghanistan has recently banned the consumption of alcohol for security reasons, resulting in a huge pile-up of untouched booze at Camp Marmal in Mazar-e-Sharif. Now, ABC News reports that the German military has figured out a way to ditch the excess booze: simply shipping it back home.

First, why is the pile-up a problem? ABC reports that the whopping 22,600 liters (almost 6,000 gallons) of alcohol—including nearly 60,000 cans of beer — couldn’t be sold in Afghanistan due to local religious restrictions that forbid Afghan nationals who practice Islam from imbibing. The booze also couldn’t be destroyed for “environmental reasons,” which I imagine has something to do with dumping gallons and gallons of booze into local waterways. Thus, the truly stunning quantity of alcohol at the German military base.

Read more

Fortunately, per ABC, Routsi said the military was able to connect with a civilian contractor who will remove the booze from the country. It’s excellent timing, as the NATO mission in the country ends this year and German troops will soon withdraw from Afghanistan. After removing the alcohol from the country, the contractor will work with the military to sell the booze elsewhere. This will, ideally, cover the cost of the international transport. As far as I know, the affected products won’t bear any sort of distinction marking them as German military rejects. But if you take a good, long sip, you might get just a hint of national security. I’m told it has a hoppy aftertaste.