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Eurotrip Takes Oktoberfest

Travelogue Entry
Tags: Beer, festival, food, germany
City: Munich, Germany
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The Oktoberfest in Munchen is always a good time for me. Getting together with old and new friends and enjoying the world’s best beer is not a painful undertaking to say the least. As usual, I departed the U.S. on a Monday, landing in Munchen early on Tuesday, 9/23 afternoon. We spent a few hours in the Schottenhamel tent, sipping litres (Mas) of Spatenbrau. Later in the day, we moved to the outdoor bier garten at the Hippodrom, continuing the Spaten consumption. I was able to meet-up with Chris from Vienna, a Eurotrip regular known as ‘Luvbeers’, along with four new friends from Milwaukee, WI. It was a cool night, as they usually are in Munchen during the month of September, but we huddled together under the little portable heaters, and had a good time.

Wednesday brought more of the same, cool, damp, good drinking weather. This is the kind of Fall day I am used to, having lived in Bavaria and Southern Germany for a few years. We moved to the Augustiner tent at about 1200 noon, enjoying the sweeter, just a bit lighter beer most popular with the Munchener locals. There is an excellent atmosphere, good music, very good service, and good food in Augustiner tent. Augustiner brau has been brewed basically at the same location in Munchen since the Augustine Monks began doing so in 1328. It is likely the most popular with the Munchen local folks for it’s “old world” brewing style, and staying power. Augustiner brau is still being brewed and shipped around the area the same way it was hundreds of years ago. This is always one of my favorite tents.

Thursday, we moved to the Winzerer Fahndl zelt. I was fortunate enough, thanks to the good folks at Starbrand Imports to enjoy a free ride. I was issued two V.I.P. passes for 5 hours in this tent, enjoying excellent Paulaner beer, and very good food. My friend had the Halb Hendl and German Potato salad. This is a Half roasted chicken, better than anything you can get here in the U.S. at KFC, and it’s not even close! I enjoyed the “Schwein Haxn”, which is bascially a large piece of pork, still attached to the bone, slow roasted for many hours, and the taste is to die for. We stayed in the Winzerer Fahndl for several hours, meeting-up with Chris’ boss and co-workers from Vienna. A very good day, and the first time I had enjoyed any decent amount of time in this Paulaner tent in several years.
Thursday night, it was on to the Augustiner Braustubl. A very typical dark, rustic looking, beautifully decorated and painted interior within this legendary beer hall. My friend Ger from Holland was kind enough to invite me, as he had secured reservations for 6 people a couple of weeks in advance. This was a good plan, as the place was full with several people waiting outside to get it. I enjoyed three different kinds of Augustiner beer, including Dunkel (dark), and the Weisse bier. Yummy! We also enjoyed the company of Maik and Peter, also from Holland, and the lovely Nicole from America. We all had the “Grille Mixed” plate, consisting of a half chicken, three kinds of sausage, a piece or two of roasted pork, a German potato, and the traditional red cabbage. It was excellent. We were joined by an older gentleman named Hans, who is somewhat of a local celeb. He has been coming to the Augustiner Braustubl every day since WWII.

Friday was the day to spend more time in the Munchen City Centre, and get out to do some people watching away from the hustle & bustle of the Wiesn. We spent the day walking around the city, visiting several local shops, bier gartens, and the famous Viktualienmarkt. This is perhaps the best place in the city, especially when the weather is decent – to enjoy lunch. The Viktualienmarkt is a myriad of little sandwich, bratwurst, beverage, fresh fruit & veggie, bier, and local cuisine stands. Muncheners know this place very well. My friend Glenn visitied the Hofbrau zelt at the fest, and stayed there all night. I hear it was a rowdy time, as usual.

Saturday was a day to spoil myself. I checked-in to the 5-star BayerischerHof Hotel, my favorite in all of Germany. After dropping off my bags, while waiting for the suite to be readied, I visitited a fairly new Irish Pub called Kilians, located right next to the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) in the city centre. They were broadcasting Australian Rules football, and the pub was filled with Aussie and Irish fans, as well as local Deutsch Volk, enjoying Augustiner, Guiness, and Irish hard cider. I stayed there for two hours, then went to my suite at the BayerischerHof. We were blessed enough to get the marvelous double suite (#435 & 436) on the 4th floor, over-looking the historic courtyard. The large room is immaculately decorated, with gorgeous furnishings, paintings, and curtains. I spoiled myself further by making 9pm reservations at the world class Garden Restaurant, located on the 1st floor of this massive, wonderfully managed hotel. I had a 5-star meal, and enjoyed the best service anywhere in Europe over the past ten years. A wonderful trip, topped by a wonderful meal. Of course, I had to top the evening off with a few glasses of Bavarian Pils, and a snifter of Hennessy Paradise Congnac. Sometimes, it is tough to be me.

MICHAEL KAISER

Photo by Rambohoho

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Thanks to Luvbeers and everyone for their help. I had another good time in Munchen.