It happens that someone puts a lot of effort into writing a purported answers that fails to address the question. For example as a reply to a question asking for the different meanings and usages of a particular German word, someone may explain different German words for the same thing. Should non-answers of this kind be deleted?
It should be decided case by case. In the example case from the question I'm against deleting the answer. It's true that the answer doesn't answer the original question per se. But it's on topic as covers the topic indicated by the question in general. And it adds useful information to the accepted answer.
So as long as the answer is elaborated and adds useful information the accepted answer or for user who read the question I don't see a reason why the answer should be deleted.
If the answer doesn't add anything for the general context of the question, delete it.
I didn't vote on Cartens answers as in my opinion this question can not be answered with a clear yes or no.
For those who are not aware that we already heave a minimum guide on deleting let me quote what we say in the guide for Truster User privileges:
When should I vote to delete an answer?
You may vote to delete answers in the following cases:
- The answer is extremely low quality: There is little to no scope for improvement
- The answer doesn't attempt to answer the question; it may be a comment or a separate question altogether.
So deleting should be reserved for obvious cases, be it a user who cannot comment yet but writes an answer instead, or people writing a new question as an answer.
Not without reason there is a focus put on "attempt"", that is whenever a user who posted a poor answer it may have been from good intentions but they failed. Still, this is to be regarded as an attempt. Such answer may be not-voted, downvoted or (best) ignored but we should not delete it.
Also consider this: somebody writes an answer on a question that was edited later. In these cases we should not overhastily pull the delete trigger but we should politely but clearly comment to say what's wrong.
Sometimes another edit to a question could turn a now off-topic answer into a great answer (e.g. a very small edit to the question you quoted would instantly allow answers for names of such drinks in Austria or Switzerland). I we had deleted it this would not be possible.
Only in case an answer is misleading, dangerous, or entirely poor beyond hope we may consider deleting. But this should not be the primary action we take whenever we see a poor answer.