October 7, 2011

Oktoberfest Bites and Brews

The second part of our European adventure was spent in Munich for Oktoberfest. Some fellow beer guzzling fun loving friends of ours from high school (yes we still talk 14 years later) met us there for the party cultural enrichment. Before I get to the beers and food I wanted to share a few things about Oktoberfest that surprised me. First of all Oktoberfest is kid friendly. We saw tons of kids in the beer tents, playing carnival games, riding the rides, etc. They even have family nights where they discount the rides. Second, somehow they keep the bathrooms decently clean. I have been in bars with under 100 people that have bathrooms worse off than a port-o-potty, but somehow the Germans manage to keep the bathrooms used by thousands of beer drinkers clean. Amazing! Third, everyone is a happy drunk. In the US if a drunk guy standing on a bar bench spilled a liter beer on the unfortunate guy below him, I am pretty sure a fight would break out. At Oktoberfest the spiller hugs the spillee and invites him to join his table. We sat and talked with more strangers than I can count. At times we didn't even speak the same language but we were friends by the end of the night. I love happy drunks! :)

As far as beer goes, the Germans mainly still stick by the 'Reinheitsgebot' or German Beer Purity Law, that states beer can only be made with water, barley and hops.  You are not going to find any IPAs or Blueberry Wheat Beers at Oktoberfest. And the food, well it IS exactly what you imagine, Meat and Potatoes. The only green on the plate is usually a sprinkling of parsley over your Knodel (potato dumpling). I hope you enjoy the picture tour!

 A Few General Oktoberfest Pics

Me, Ron and a Million other Oktoberfesters

What happens if you drop your glasses on the floor

The whole crew

VERY patient waitress

A view from the swings

I told you it was kid friendly

Inside a Beer Tent. The tents hold 4 to 12 thousand people each!
Kegs of Beer

If you dare stand on the table you have to chug your beer


These waitresses must have biceps the size of my thigh. Even ONE liter beer is heavy!


Our first day in Munich. This was a daily special. I had no idea what I was ordering but sometimes that is fun. It was almost like a fresh spinach lasagna roll-up served with a side salad. Besides cabbage and potatoes I think this is the last vegetable I saw on the trip.
Pork Schnitzel and Fries
Bratwurst, sauerkraut, pretzel and mustard.

Beef Stew

Ribs and fries from the English Beer Garden. These had a very interesting curry powder rub and curry power BBQ sauce. The rub was ok but that sauce was overwhelming.

Beer Tent Pretzel Lady. A life saver when you are drinking beer by the liter.

The famous 1/2 chicken. I think every tent sells these and they are delicious!!!

A Platter of Meat and Cheese. Some of these meats were close to unidentifiable.  I think between everyone at the table we tried all of the mystery meat. Scary, but mostly tasty.

A typical dish. Beef, knodel and red cabbage. See all the green I was talking about?

A different night. Looks eerily similar to above. I told you it was a lot of meat and potatoes
Sweets Time! This whole tent was all sweet food.
A pastry from the tent above.

Decorated gingerbread cookies

Did anything I shared about Oktoberfest surprise you? Have you ever been on a trip expecting one thing and it ended up completely different?

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