Strong Beer Fest – Oktoberfest’S Lesser Known Counterpart
While Germany recovers from Oktoberfest and the many drinking festivals it inspires around the world another beer festival is being planned.
The setting is very similar to the Oktoberfest and one could be forgiven for confusing the two, but the Strong beer fest, also known as “Starkbierzeit”, features much stronger brews than the Oktoberfest. The “Starkbierzeit” or “strong beer festival” runs between the 9th or March to the 25th of March.
With everyone decked out the traditional dirndls and lederhosen, oompah bands belting out the old favourites and people swigging big jugs of beer the atmosphere is a rather cheerful and festive one and people can be tempted to behave irresponsibly.
This post on CNN’s website, www.Edition.CNN.com has more:
Paulaner am Nockherberg is Munich’s most famous watering hole for the two-week Lenten celebration, which has monastic origins.
The Bavarian brewery takes its name from the Paulaner monks who produced the original doppelbock called Salvator, Latin for savior.
“Doppelbocks are usually reddish-brown bottom-fermented lagers, and generally show a toffee-like, bready aroma and a rich malty palate with notable residual sweetness,” according to “The Oxford companion to Beer.”
“While Salvator is the most well-known doppelbock, almost 200 other breweries indicate the style by adding ‘-ator’ to the beer’s name,” continues the comprehensive book.
The monks brewed the high-gravity beers to provide liquid nourishment while they fasted for the 40 days of Lent.
The meal-in-a-bottle, or “liquid bread,” contains an alcohol by volume (ABV) of at least 7.5% but often clocks in closer to the 9% range. To put that in perspective, the typical märzen-style beer served at Oktoberfest falls between 5% and 6% ABV.
During the festival, participating beer halls keep shorter hours than in Oktoberfest to account for the potency of the beer served in the one-liter ceramic steins.
Popular travel guide publisher Lonely Planet urges revelers in its book “A Year of Festivals” to “Come with good beer legs — doppelbocks are going to really test them.”
Planning on visiting the festival next year or any other festival for that matter? There are certain drinking rules and etiquette you should keep in mind.
Most importantly drink responsibly. This applies to any drinking occasion but even more so in a foreign country. Visitors to Germany probably do not their way around as well as locals and any consequences could seem 100 times worse when they happen on the other side of the world. Common occurrences have been travellers getting so drunk that they lose their luggage or even passports, which could cause a bureaucratic nightmare.
Tourists, especially drunk tourists are definitely an easier target for criminals. So don’t be caught in a bad state without safe transport back to the hotel. If you have a hired car, never drink and drive, you could end up spending time in a foreign prison if you cause a crash. People that are over intoxicated are also more likely to engage in dangerous sexual encounters which could have serious repercussions.
Basically all the negative consequences of binge drinking that occur at home are made even worse when they occur in a foreign country, so be safe and prepared.