The Local takes on the Düsseldorf-Köln beer rivalry:
Whereas Cologne is all about drinking golden Kölsch in dainty glasses, Düsseldorf prefers the more ale-like favour of darker Alt.
To avoid ridicule while touring the Rhineland, caution is advised. A customer trying to order a glass of Alt beer in a Cologne pub will earn scorn and mockery from waiters and patrons alike. Conversely, asking for some Kölsch in a Düsseldorf locale is a sure-fire way of becoming the butt of many jokes for the rest of the night.
“It's a kind of love-hate relationship,” says Dirk Rouenhoff, master brewer at Schlüssel, a traditional brewery in Düsseldorf's historic centre. “Ultimately, it's something amusing that provides plenty of conversational fodder as well as funny anecdotes. And it can be a useful gimmick in advertising campaigns.”
The best example is a now-infamous billboard that adorned the streets of Düsseldorf last year. Früh, Cologne's third-largest beer brand by sales volume, depicted an empty Kölsch glass alongside the caption, “Before it gets old” – a stinging pun on “alt,” the German word for “old” as well as the beer. Another ad agency quickly pushed back in the name of Düsseldorf's brewers with a campaign claiming “Alt knallt,” which translates loosely as “Alt is the bomb.”
Read the whole story at The Local.