Category Archives: Germany

2018 – Augustiner Keller Munich

Was in Munich again this year for the Oktoberfest but arrived earlier than my friend coming on the bus from Switzerland.  So having dropped my luggage at the hotel I headed off to the central bus station (right by Hackerbruke S-Bahn station).  We had decided to meet in the Augustiner Keller gardens which is a great place to meet or just to go.  Although this is just about 1Km from the fest it was completely deserted Sunday lunchtime.

Significantly the price of a beer is much less than at the fest but of course there is no atmosphere.  Also they sell halves which might be important if you are “recovering”.  This was my first beer of the day and I have to say was delicious.  We later found that it tastes even better from the earthen ware jugs.  I made sure that I sat under an umbrella here as the conkers are a problem (and painful).  Returned here on our last day for lunch before boarding the bus, the front entrance with waitress service is recommended for eating.

There is a separate part of the fest called the Oide Wiesn which you pay to enter, but here there is a separate, calmer, world with two or three tents, old fashioned rides and crucially beer in earthen ware steins.  One of these tents is an Augustiner tent if it’s your favourite like mine.  Music is also tradition and we saw a remarkable demonstration of musical whip cracking – see this old youtube clip.

Just 10 more years to the 700th anniversary of this brewer – Be there!

Oktoberfest report 2017

Arrived in Munich airport stupid early having got up at 4am UK time.  Not scheduled to meet my friend until close to midday, so took the leisurely bus into the Hauptbahnhof (€10.60 – remember this figure more later).  Wandered around the shops under the station looking for bottles of water, all the main shops closed because it’s Sunday so only expensive convenience stores.  Walked up to the bus station to meet him, thought I’d get a beer.  Now the bus station is super busy but again the shops are shut (there is a Lidl there but not going – people don’t need supplies before getting on a bus for a few hours).  So got a beer from the cafe and sat outside waiting.

Once we met up we went to the Augustiner beer garden opposite the bus station for a quick couple of halves.  Then walked on to the Lowenbrau garden for lunch.  Good to see that you can now order half a schweinhaxen ‘cos a full one is a Sunday roast for six!  Always order bratkartoffeln because generally everything comes with potato slop.

Sunday evening at the fest but sadly raining for the early part, so in walking there ended up at a small microbrewery which served several beer types made on the premises.  Not my favourite but welcome relief from the rain.  Entrance to the fest area is well controlled by the police: bag checks etc.  We spent most of the evening at the Old Oktoberfest (Oide Wiesn).  You pay €3 to get in but the big plus is that it is quieter, so can get a seat inside easily which is important if it’s raining and plus the beer is served in earthen ware mugs which for some reason tastes better and keeps cool longer.   Bad news is the music is a bit “traditional” too.   Back to local pub at chucking out time.

Monday went to a long walk by the river and finally crossing over at the Stauwehr Weir into the Englisher Garten where we stumbled across the Mini Hofbrauhaus.  Nice lunch sitting in the sunshine place is very popular with dog walkers but all very well behaved dogs.

Back to the fest and first a visit to Marstalls (used to be Hippodrome), nice Spartenbrau and great heaters in the garden.  After a couple we go off for our traditional fish supper, a great, and expensive treat, we share barbecued sea trout.

All the fish is cooked on metal sticks over the coals or on a gas BBQ.  The taste is fantastic cooking in its own oils quite slowly.

Brilliant!

More beer at Paulaner before ending up at the Lowebrau tent.  Now this is the place for atmosphere and music.   See a rather drunken video below.

Couple of shots on the way back to the pub then off to the hotel.

Tuesday is all about going home, couple of beers at the Augustiner garden, which is massive and empty with good beer, have to dodge the falling conkers though!  I took the bus to Stuttgart airport  because the flight back was cheaper, this bus was €9.60; compare this to the bus from Munich airport at the start of this blog.  It’s five or six times the distance!  It seems long distance buses are reasonable in mainland Europe.

Needless to say the plane is delayed over an hour and the restaurant closes at something like 8pm, did manage to get a Dinkelacker, a beer with a personal history involving Liverpool football match in the early 80’s!  No I won’t tell.

If you’ve never been you should….

Oktoberfest report

This was the 40th year since I first went to Oktoberfest in 1972 after the Olympics, and I’ve been  most years since.  Then I was in a VW camper with a bunch of guys and we had been driving around Europe, spending a month or more in Greece with the hippies.  On the way back we went through Hungry and Czechoslovakia (as it was until January 1st, 1993).  We re-entered Germany on the Nuremberg road and picked up an Australian hitch hiker who told us that the Oktoberfest started that day – so off we went.  We lasted a whole week in those days now we are down to a few days!

So as usual flight from Gatwick at crack of dawn and checked into the hotel (need to do this first or else!).  We went straight to the Hippodrome tent and sat in the garden, Sparten is one of my favourite beers and we always start here.  I was very nervous about the weather but it all held up well for the three days we were there.  My travelling companion is a smoker and there is no smoking in the tents anymore.  The Hippodrome is a smaller tent but the size of these things has to be seen to be appreciated and there are great videos of them putting the site together on Youtube.

We sampled three or four more tents and their beers including the Paulaner Weissbier, I can’t remember seeing this little corner that sells only Weissbier before but it makes a refreshing change.  Unfortunately at this stage I can’t remember which of this family of beers we actually sampled but it sure wasn’t one of the no alcohols ones!  I also forgot to take pictures!

This went on for two more days and and on the day we were to go to the airport we went for our favourite location for lunch: the Lowenbraukeller (go to Stiglmaierplatz station or walk from the Hauptbahnhof).  This is without doubt the best place to drink Lowenbrau – maybe it doesn’t travel I don’t know but it’s great here.  Try the sausages, Wiener Schnitzel or if you feel like a family roast for four to yourself the Schweinshaxe (actually you can now get a cut down version).  Brilliant.  I apologise for drinking half litres here but it was the third day, and I didn’t have just one.

Now normally at this point my drinking companion would head for the station and I would head for the airport but for once he had decided to fly so we headed out to the airport together.  The airport has grown and grown and now has two terminals with a large covered open area between them  (I don’t normally venture here but we were flying from different terminals) and what did we find there but micro brewery Airbrau with its own beer garden – where else in the world is there an airport with a microbrewery?  And it’s 2/3 the price of in town drinking so why not just stay there.

One last thing when you fly to Munich seek out one of the helpful assistants at the S-bahn ticket machines and make sure you get the best tickets for your stay – we bought a family (several adults and children and a dog) go anywhere 3 day ticket because we wanted to go out to he lakes south of the city for less frantic lunches but there are many options and its worth getting help as you can save a fortune.  These family tickets make sense even if there are only two of you but with three or four its a big save.