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Expat in Germany: The German Beer Festival in Stuttgart

Monday, October 4, 2010

The German Beer Festival in Stuttgart

This past weekend I went to the German beer festival in Stuttgart, known locally as the Cannstatter Beer Festival.  We were in the Göckelsmaier tent, one of the smaller tents with "only" a capacity of 3800 people.  I was told this was one of the "older" people tents and was a good thing since we were less likely to have 16 year olds throwing up on us.  All of a sudden, I wasn't so sure about this German beer festival thing.  I had been before, but it had been at 2:00 on a Sunday afternoon, not on a Saturday night.  J.P. dropped a friend and I off at 4:00 having declined to come saying he "was too old for German beer festivals" and that he was curious to see what I would think of it.  Mmmm, that was an interesting comment.  

We found our group and it soon became apparent that a German beer festival is much more fun if you have had a few beers.  Everyone around us was dancing on the benches to mediore music and we soon joined in after a few drinks.  I had thought my dancing on table days were long past, but clearly not tonight.  I enjoyed myself but was feeling worse by the minute, suffering from a bad cold and being slightly allergic to smoke.  Despite this, I made it to the wee hour of 9:00 pm then called J.P. for a ride home.  I had enjoyed myself but would have enjoyed myself a lot more when I was 10 years younger.

A few odd facts I learned about German beer festivals:
- the Göckele (roasted chicken) was surprisingly delicious and steaming hot
-a dirdnl or lederhosen is perfectly acceptable attire (but jeans are fine as well)
-the bathrooms were actually clean (this shocked me, I had dreaded going) and the wait was less than 5 minutes
-there is a lot of smoke in the beer tents and they are not well ventilated (note for those allergic to smoke)
-they do serve wine at beer festivals (note, I'm not usually that picky, but am allergic to beer, yeah, I know, but I still went to a German beer festival)
-they allow children in the beer tents until 8:00 (I ran into a lady with a 2 year old waiting in line for the washroom - who knew?)

See also:  German Beer Festivals

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