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Sunday, December 11, 2016

It’s Been Such a Long Time

It has been too long since last I posted to my blog. So many things have happened since my arrival. Beer fests, brewery visits…the list goes on. Since my last post I have acquired traditional lederhosen, and worn said hosen in PUBLIC. I have visited a local craft beer brewery and discovered there is in fact a budding local craft beer scene.
Last October I donned my shiny new lederhosen, striking off to the second largest October fest in Germany.
The atmosphere at a German beer fest is electric. Thousands of people come together for one purpose, to drink beer. Visitors fill a multitude of beer tents where bands play everything from traditional polka to Supertramp. Singing is not optional, it’s mandatory while picnic tables are not for sitting, they are for standing!

The later it gets, the more table dancing there is.German fest beer may not be at the top of the quality chart but what it lacks in quality is certainly made up for in QUANTITY! A typical craft beer drinker would scoff at the  at the roughly 5.5% ABV of German fest beer Four beers (liters) of beer and several hours later I came to the conclusion that I’m no longer a young man, and lederhosen are not conducive to emergency   bathroom visits. (#LOTSOFBUTTONS).

My fest experience was followed by a visit to Kraftpaule, a German spin on a tap room combined with an interesting selection of bottled craft beer in their cellar. After sampling all six beers on tap (Full Pours) I ventured into the beer cellar where I discovered an eclectic selection of bottled beer. From a marketing perspective Kraftpaule nailed it. Six pints of beer and hundreds of Euro later I staggered away with an extensive array of bottled beer ranging from Californian brewed West Coast IPA’s to traditional Trappist Belgian beers.

CAST Braurei
In November I attended a hop fest at the local CAST Braurei. Located in what can only be described as an alley CAST brewery is what most in the U.S. would consider a nano brewery. Operating on a modest homebrew-like brewing system CAST members franticly poured flights of craft beer amid a fest-like atmosphere of a hundred or so people lining picnic tables. Despite the size limitation CAST is worth a visit. While their IPA is not what the average U.S Craft beer drinker would expect, by German craft beer standards it scratched my itch for hops.

Over the last few months I have gained a new appreciation for the craft beer scene in Germany. Much like the craft beer scene in the U.S. 10 years ago German Craft brewers strive for market share against the entrenched traditional German Beer culture.  It is nothing short of inspiring to witness first-hand the evolving German craft beer scene in the shadows of the big “Fest Tent” that has always been the international trademark of beer in Germany.

Until next time,

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