There are two things that are essential for Germans: beer and bureaucracy. They might seem contrary but in Germany, they are not.
My magazine has asked me to brew beer at home and write about it, so I prepared myself thoroughly online, started the first beer and two days later read through the recipe for a second one. There, a user comment asked everyone to notice that when you brew you have to tell customs about it – even as a hobby brewer and before you start. As I planned to write about my tries, I couldn’t ignore this and called customs, somewhat nervous. The officer kindly explained that all I need to do is receiving their letter with my personal home brewer number, which took her about twenty minutes because she explained the whole beer taxation directive in detail. In between, she even congratulated me on the chance of talking to nice custom officers. My number, by the way, is only valid until the end of the year. If I want to brew again in 2018, I need a new one. Cause Germany.