Thursday, May 24, 2012

Beer Team Visits Munich

Last Friday we trained to Munich with some friends. These friends enjoy a good German beer and so our goal was to visit some of the best beer gardens and beer halls in Munich. From the photos you’ll see that we were serious about this little adventure. We had team beer drinkers shirts and a well planned agenda. No driving was involved. We started our train trip to Munich in Kaiserslautern with one change in Mannheim. 


Here’s Jeff and Donk on the platform in Mannheim waiting for our high speed train to Munich.

We’re just an hour into the trip but you can see that we’re well into our training program to ensure that we’re ready for what awaits in Munich.

In the lounge car on the ICE 515 to Munich.  Cajun, Killer, me, Jeff, Donk and Harpo.

We made it, we’re in Munich and we’re ready to go.  Killer, Cajun, Jeff, Harpo, Greg (Donk’s son) and Donk.

We’re all checked in to our hotel, the Hotel Isartor, and on our way to the first stop. Group picture in front of Munich’s Isartor. (Isar is the name of a nearby, major river, "tor" is German for gate, so Isartor = Isar Gate.)

One of the most fun beer gardens in Munich is in the Viktualienmarkt, a large market square near the Marienplatz. Greg, Killer, Harpo and Cajun. Everyone liked our shirts.

Just a few blocks and we’re in the Hofbrauhaus for the night. We lucked out and got a table just inside the front door. Harpo, Beth, Cajun, Jeff, me, Killer, Donk and Sue.

We moved up to the third floor (second European floor) of the Hofbrauhaus to their festival hall for beer, food and a nights entertainment. Jeff seems rather happy.

The beer stands alone. This is why we’re here.

Hofbrauhaus festival hall. This is the same room where Hitler and his fledgling party first held their party rallies. Behind and above the stage is a small Hofbrauhaus museum.

Video of traditional German dancers. Nice lederhosen and hats on the men and pretty dirndls on the women.

Now this is interesting. Whips to music.

DAY 2 

Saturday we trained out to Kloster Andechs and it was a beautiful day. Jeff and I with the world’s greatest beer, Kloster Andechs Doppelbock Dunkle. Also, for our friend Snake, notice Jeff holding the beer in his left hand.

Besides good friends, the only thing that makes a Kloster Andechs Doppelbock Dunkle better is an excellent Schwein Hax’n.   Half for me, half for Jeff because they're big.

Jeff says the best urinals in the entire world are at Kloster Andechs because a guy can stand there and look out across the Bavarian countryside. Here’s one of three windows in the toilet.

Here’s the view outside that window.

The heart of the operations.  Well, at least the brewery operations. Inside the Kloster Andechs gasthaus is their very efficient beer serving operations.

Kloster Andechs sits at the top of a big hill. On clear days, like today, you can see the Alps just 40 miles to the south.

We’re back on the train returning to Munich. It’s a 50 minute trip so you’ve got to have your own supplies. Here’s Squint with water and beers.

On the train back, Cajun, Greg, Sue, Killer, Harpo, and I.

Sue, Beth and I went shopping for dirndls and took Greg and Donk for lederhosen. Harpo, Cajun and Killer at a nearby gasthaus beer garden waiting. How convenient, there’s beer there.

Greg and Donk actually stepped up and bought the whole lederhosen getup. Isn’t Greg cute in that pink shirt and the nice scarf accessory?

For the evening meal we had reservations at the Hofbraukeller (not to be confused with the Hofbrauhaus); kind of off the beaten path for most tourists.

Everyone in their new duds. Killer got a new lederhosen too. Cajun bought a Bayern München soccer Jersey (Bayern München was playing Chelsea for the championship of the European Champions League there in Munich that night.  Chelsea won.) and, of course, Greg and Donk. Donk looks like he’s got some menu sticker shock.


Sunday morning breakfast in the Hofbrauhaus.

Breakfast is done and we’re on our way to visit the largest beer gardens in Munich and the world.

We’re at the Hirschgarden, the world’s largest beer garden; seats 8000. Donk, Jeff, Cajun, me, Sue and Killer.

Big beer gardens like this are, for the most part, self-service. At Hirschgarden you pick up your one-liter mug off the shelf on the left and then wash it off with the cold water in the sinks on the right.

Then you proceed here where you give them your mug and they fill it with Augustiner beer, fresh from a just tapped wooden keg. A liter of beer cost 6.30€. Interestingly, that same liter of beer at the Oktoberfest this year will cost 9.80€.

Yeah, they drink a little beer at the beer gardens in Munich. When you’re done with a mug of beer you place it on one of the central collection points and these guys come by and pick them up.

A walk and a tram ride got us to the Augustiner Keller, the third largest beer garden in Munich, seats 5000.

On a warm day it’s nice to have some shade. They we are, you can find us.

At the Augustinerkeller; Sue, Cajun, me, Greg and Donk.

Our next destination was the Chinesicher Turm (Chinese Tower); a rather long tram ride but fun seeing the sights in the city. The Chinesicher Turm is located in the Englisher Garten and is the second largest beer garden in Munich, seating 7000.

The Chinesicher Turm on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Definitely most crowded of all the beer gardens we visited. There's a band playing on the second level of the tower.

At the Chinesicher Turm; Killer, Donk, Jeff, me, Cajun and Greg.

On our way to our final stop of the day we jumped off the train to watch some surfing. At the southern end of the English Garden you’ll usually find people surfing a wave in this manmade river, a tributary of the Isar River. They’ve been doing this since 1972 and until 2010 it was actually illegal.

One more stop, the Paulaner Keller, here’s a tower in the Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr brewery. Regretfully, because of an accidental camera drop that’s the last picture for this trip. I’m sure you can imagine the Paulaner Keller beer garden though; shaded trees, wooden tables, good friends with big beers.


Well, it's probably just as well that there's no pictures of the return train to Kaiserslautern.  Certainly not the kind of trip you'd want to do every weekend but it sure was fun with great friends.  PROST!!

1 comment:

  1. I love the beer drinking group and matching shirts. Very interesting that you guys were in the hall where Hitler had some of his early rallies.

    I remember Dad telling us about the urinals when we were there at Andechs. It really is a pretty view. What's the reasoning for holding the beer in the left hand?

    I love all the lederhosens. The English gardens look beautiful in the summer! I love the surfing video, crazy that it was illegal until 2010. It looks like it hurts when they fall.