|Munich. Credit: LonelyPlanet|
|Salvator Beer. Credit: bargaintraveleurope|
At Starkbierzeit, as the name suggests, people drink stronger beer. The meal-in-a-bottle, or "liquid bread," as it can be called, has an alcohol content of 7.5%, but can be as high as 9%. Compare that to the Marzen-style served at Oktoberfest, which has an ABV level between 5% and 6%. Needless to say, you will not lose out on beer or the guarantee of intoxicated bliss (or beligerance.)
|Lowenbraukeller. Credit: goworldtravel.com|
Other breweries and beer halls created their own doppelbock's, including Lowenbrau, which serves up a sweet, but deadly, brew called Triumphator. The brewery's Lowenbraukeller is also a popular place to go to enjoy the festivities, and on certain nights entertainment includes boulder-lifting. (Not sure that's the safest activity, but it is what it is.) At Weisses Brauhaus, the beer festival offering is Aventinus Weizenstarkbier, a stronger version of wheat beer, if the lighter brews are more your taste--like me.
Starkbierzeit is not just a mini version of Oktoberfest, but it is also a celebration of spring. It's a way for locals to shake off the cold chills of the winter months and embrace the warm weather and sunshine of the season. And really what better way to do that then to drink? If you think about it, that's what St. Patrick's Day is, a wonderful party to celebrate a new season--although it's a bit more well known than Starkbierzeit.
Another great aspect of this festival is that I don't have to be worried about the rooming situation. Since it isn't as widely publicized as Oktoberfest, there aren't as many tourists, which means less crowds and more available hotel rooms. That seems like a great alternative to me.
|Credit: Food from Bavaria|