A lorry driver lost a massive load of beer on a German highway, with the spilt suds and broken glass causing traffic to come to a standstill, police said on Tuesday.

The beer crates tumbled off the sides of the truck outside of the northern city of Bremen on Monday night, snarling traffic on the busy motorway, reports Xinhua news agency.

To get things moving again, some of the stuck motorists left their vehicles to help clear away the mess.

After one lane was clear, highway maintenance crews and a towing service took over the clean-up operation, which was only completed at around 1.30 a.m. Tuesday.

The beer crates that were still intact were transferred onto a second lorry for delivery.

The 28-year-old driver was being investigated for failing to properly secure the load, police said.