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Starkbierfest – more catchup

Posted by weehaggis on Monday, April 14, 2008

In March the Starkbierfest in Munich called.

Before starting on about Munich, at one point I didn’t think I was even going to get there. On the morning of my flight to Munich, the weather over most of central Europe decided to throw a wobbly. On leaving Oslo the pilot announced that we should expect a smooth flight, but that it would get a bit bumpy on our final approach into Munich. Boy…was that an understatement. In all my years of flying never experienced anything quite like it…scary!! After trying to land several times, and failing, and with the airport being closed to incoming traffic, we were diverted across the Alps to Milan. After landing, about half the passengers took the opportunity to get off. The rest of us had to wait it out for about 4 hours on the tarmac, before we eventually took off again heading for and finally reaching Munich….. 6 and a half hours late. The reason why it took so long to get off the ground again was, surprisingly, not due to the weather in Munich (which apparently cleared up quite quickly) but because of the time it took to sort out the baggage of the passengers who decided to alight in Milan. When the cabin crew were asked why it was taking so long, the response was simply….this is Italy!!!

So, back to Munich…..what is this Sterkbierfest??

It is sort of like Oktoberfest for the locals, which turned out to be a surprisingly accurate description – with not too many tourists at the beer halls which were part of the festival. This is also the beer festival which sorts out the real beer drinkers from the wannabes (with beer up in the 7.5 – 8% range). The funny thing was, this escapade was Karla’s idea and she didn’t quite make it into the “real” category…..more on that in a bit 🙂

The first of the strong beers was encountered at the Löwenbräu Keller.

Lowenbrau beer selection

The ominously named Triumphator, Löwenbräu’s doppelbock, or sterkbier, was actually rather nice and went down very smoothly (that’s the beer in the BIG dimpled flower vase). Very soon it was a case of…look at me…I can fly….I can fly….off to Neverland….!!! The funny thing was, Karla made it to Neverland long before the rest of us 🙂

Later the same evening it was off to the “Weisses Brauhaus”, home of Schneider Weisse, and the Aventinus weizenstarkbier, or doppelbock. The was the beer hall of a brewery famous for its weiss, or wheat beers.

Didn’t know it was possible to have so many different types of weisse bier. Simply heaven. Great for washing down those huge helpings of brauhus pub grub – two big slabs of juicy suckling pig and a potato dumpling for decoration 🙂

Big brauhus food

Of course it wasn’t all beer drinking. We headed off south into the foothills of the Bavarian alps for a day trip to Schloss Neuschwanstein, the fairytale castle built by the supposedly mad king Ludwic. Remember that castle in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty“. Simply awesome, both inside and out.

Schloss Neuschwanstein

Enough of culture. On arriving back in Munich later that evening it was off to party central for some more beer drinking and drunken debauchery, Paulaner am Nockherberg. Here the strong stuff was flowing even more freely, prompting some to climb the tables, proclaiming to the world how wonderful this dark amber nectar really was.

Dancing on the table

So…that was Munich. Already thinking about heading back 🙂

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