By Glenn Arnette, III
200 Year Anniversary Of The Bavarian Beer Gardens – Part I
Once Upon A Time ……. and then there was beer! Now I am not talking about the American brands of our famous beers, but the beer under the purity laws of Germany. There is nothing more enjoyable and there are no additives. You do not get a headache or find yourself staggering in a drunken stupor when enjoying delicious German beer. However on occasion, some do stagger and fall!
My introduction to the excitement in Munich and Bavaria was recently when I was invited to celebrate the 200 year anniversary of the Beer Gardens of Germany. The Munich Tourism Bureau, the Bavarian Tourism Office and the Upper Bavaria Tourism Office invited a group of international journalists to experience the event. This is an opportunity that all of you would certainly enjoy and should not miss. It is festive, historic, more fun than you can imagine, but most of all an event and time you will never forget. Start packing now for Oktoberfest 2012.
“Beer is a major part of German culture. For many years German beer was brewed in adherence to the Reinheitsgebot order or law which only permitted water, hops and malt as beer ingredients until its repeal in 1988. The order also required that beers not exclusively using barley-malts such as wheat beer must be top-fermented.” My knowledge is limited regarding the history of beer in Germany, but it is the best tasting and most enjoyable beer in the world and there is a real art to beer drinking!
There are many festivals saluting beer through the year, but the one we know the most is the 16- to 18-day festival from late September to the first weekend in October. It is the Munich, Bavaria, Germany Oktoberfest. They serve over seven million liters of beer during the festival with pretzels, baked chickens, sausages, and hundreds of delicious delights and the music alone will have you dancing on the tables.
For a beer to qualify for the Munich Oktoberfest, the beer companies must be within the city limits of Munich and must have a minimum of 13.5% Master Spice. If the beer meets the criteria, it is designated as Oktoberfest Beer!
To top off the quality of brewed beers all over Germany, you will find wonderful Beer Gardens where you can enjoy family, friends and food. How about bringing the family and your own prepared food to a Beer Garden? It is permissible as long as you buy a beer from the establishment. Imagine an afternoon not costing a fortune and you still have a good time! The German Beer Gardens are the gathering place for all to relax and have great conversation. For 200 years it has been a German tradition!
Next time I will be talking about some of the Beer Gardens we experienced during our week in Germany especially in Munich. Munich is proud to have close to 200 beer gardens; among them the largest beer garden in the world: Beer Garden Augustiner Keller.
Dating back to 1812, this beer garden is the oldest one in Munich. In former times, people came here to see the famous “beer bull” bringing up beer from its cool storage in the cellar. Although the bull is long gone, the beer garden looks exactly as it was back then. Fresh Augustiner beer is always served.
You can find beer gardens all over Germany, but the most traditional and charming beer gardens are still in Bavaria, where they first started growing in the early 19th century.
Next time I’ll tell you more about the beautiful beer gardens, all shaded by magnificent chestnut trees. Shame we do not have places like this throughout the United States.