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German Beer Festivals - More Than Just Beer

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Expat in Germany: German Beer Festivals - More Than Just Beer

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

German Beer Festivals - More Than Just Beer

As to be expected at German beer festivals there is a lot of beer, with more than 5 1/2 million litres of beer drank at Oktoberfest, the largest German beer festival in the world held in Munich every September - October.

 What may be unexpected if you are not familiar with German Beer Festivals, is that they are actually quite family friendly and I'm not just talking about allowing children in the beer tents until 8:00 pm (although some tents do).  German Beer Festivals, called Volkfests, or "Festivals of the People" really are for people of all ages. They did originally start off as Agricultural Festivals after all.   Most German Beer Festivals open with a family friendly parade and close with fireworks.  At the German beer festival in Stuttgart, (Cannstatter Volkfest) the fireworks are set to music – can’t wait to see that next year!
Fireworks closing the German Beer Festival in Stuttgart
There is also the carnival aspect of German beer festivals and I was impressed with the number and size of the rides at the German Beer Festival in Stuttgart.  There was something for everyone from small children to the more daring rides favoured by teens and some new ones I hadn't seen before, like the swing ride, but on steroids.  It was so tall; I got dizzy just looking up at it.  Now I just have to find someone to go with me.  J.P. made it very clear that it wouldn't be him.  Any takers?
 There's also the German carnival food, with not a hamburger in sight, but nowhere else in the world will you taste pretzels as yummy as these or as huge.  Come hungry!  There's also my personal favourite, the lebuchenherz - the gingerbread hearts with sweet sayings, i.e. "Ich liebe dich"  "I love you" in English.  I have yet to receive one of these romantic gestures - hint, hint J.P. 
Buy one of these traditional German treats (lebuchenherz) for your sweetie
Families and older children will also enjoy seeing many Germans and tourists alike dressed in the traditional lederhosen and dirndls.  I still get a kick out of, but perhaps none more than seeing American friends dressed in dirndls (they look fantastic by the way!).
Dirdnls and lederhosen are a common sight at German beer festivals
So while at first glance German beer festivals do not appear to be family friendly, they actually are very family friendly.  To maximize your enjoyment at a German beer festival, I would recommend checking the website of the German beer festival you are planning on attending in advance so you can plan accordingly.  You also have a year to find that perfect dirndl or lederhosen costume so no excuses -except from me of course :)

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4 Comments:

At October 5, 2010 at 7:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always thought beer and leiderhosen had to go together....

 
At October 11, 2010 at 1:06 PM , Anonymous Helene Oseen said...

My Grandparents lived near Stuttgart and over the years I have made many trips to visit them. We always made a point of going to a beer festival if we could. I haven't been back to Europe now for a number of years. Last year my adult son made his first trip to Germany and stayed in Munich for a week. Although he has travelled extensively in Europe over the years Germany is at the top of his list! German beer and hospitality rocks.

 
At October 13, 2010 at 9:47 AM , Blogger Expat in Germany said...

I agree that Germany rocks and nice to hear that you've had the opportunity to spend so much time here.

 
At November 11, 2010 at 5:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Recently came back from my first trip ever to Germany and since I have been back, I have been doing a lot of bragging!

For instance: I have been bragging about the food and the bakery's and the service in the restaurants and the cleanliness of the restaurants and the spotless "operating room" clean Bathrooms (where one never has to worry if there will be toilet paper or soap) and how excellent the Highways are and the extraordinary quality of the products produced (Especially the peerless quality of German Batteries) and last but not least, the exceptional quality of German Beer!

Well, as you might expect, people have been getting a little annoyed at this constant flow of "Deauchland Uber Everything!" and so, in an attempt to pigeonhole me into shutting up, I was presented with a flat out "America love it or leave it" proposition, Give us a clear example of why Germany is superior to America!..." and so Here it is:

An independent laboratory presented two glasses of liquid to the German Parliament committee of foods and drugs and said plainly, "In this glass is German Beer and in this Glass is German Piss, Which one do you want to drink?" And without deliberation, a unanimous "We will drink the German beer!", was exclaimed.

Then, the same situation was presented to the American Committee on food and drugs and the committee chair said, "Now lets take a closer look at this.....I move that we form a sub committee to analyze the various properties, benefits and liabilities of each and reconvene in a month to review the results.......and I propose a budget of 1 million dollars to fund the research necessary to properly analyze this problem." After 4 weeks and 1 million dollars, the Committee decided to choose beer over Piss.
Then, The independent laboratory presented two new glasses of liquid to the German Parliament committee on Food and drugs and said, "In this Glass is German Beer...and in this Glass there s German beer with one drop of Piss in it, Please choose one." And the Committee immediately resounded in Unison, "Pure German Beer!"...

When the Identical situation was Presented to the American Committee for Food and Drugs they said, "Well, this is something new! Beer with a drop of Piss in it! We need to analyze this to see if a drop of piss in the beer is harmful or beneficial or doesn't effect you enough to worry about it."

And so, 4 weeks (and another Million Dollars) later the committee decided that Pure German Beer was not only not harmful to the public but presented certain benefits....and that Pure German Beer with a Drop of Piss in it was not necessarily harmful to the Public..... but that only Pure German Beer (Without any piss) would be allowed in the Congress chambers!

Now, you might think this is a story of fiction, but in reality, if you replace the word "beer" with "whiskey", you will find it to be absolutely true and that Whiskey with Piss (Or anything else) in it, is not allowed in the American Congress, only Bourbon......and that Nothing, (AND I MEAN NOTHING) with piss in it (or anything else), is allowed in any consumable product in Germany, at all!

So, why is it that the Germans have this extraordinary ability to fathom excellence without having to think about it so much??? Well, they have been making excellent decisions like this for centuries and so by now it just comes natural. While we are still talking about wind power and solar power and hyper mileage vehicles, they looked at these things and instead of analyzing it to death, just nod in the affirmative with typical German excellence and go ahead and just do it!

Now, that is why I say, "Germany over everything!"

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