The German State Protection Office responsible for political crimes has launched an investigation after beer dubbed Deutsches Reichsbräu (German Reich beer) which was labeled with Nazi symbols was sold earlier this week at a drinks retailer in the small town of Bad Bibra in Saxony-Anhalt. A police spokeswoman said the allegation was that unconstitutional symbols were being used.
The beer brand belongs to the former neo-Nazi politician Tommy Frenck, who had the beer brewed by an still unknown brewery. In the beginning he sold the beer at his online shop along with a variety of other right-wing extremist merchandise. However, the public did not take notice until the beer was sold at the local drinks retailer. The police was made aware of the beer after two complaints were filed.
The beer sold at a price of EUR 18.88. The number "18" is a scene code for the first and eighth letters in the alphabet, the initials of Adolf Hitler. The 88 stands for "Heil Hitler" in the scene and is often used instead of the forbidden Nazi salute.
As a consequence for the drinks retailer, the franchisor Getränke-Quelle immediately announced to terminate the cooperation with the owner of the store. "This is incredible, we reacted immediately," said the managing director of the beverage wholesaler WVG, Thomas Scharf. After finding out about the beer in the morning Scharf immediately informed the owner of the shop in Bad Bibra that he would end the collaboration. "Of course, we dissociate ourselves from this matter."