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Archive for June, 2013

I kid you not. A musical at an open air theatre, presenting the story of Bavarian beers in song and dance. Tickets include a three course dinner and an exclusive beer brewed for the occation. The show opens on 19 July, and  it only runs for a short time. It’s down by the lake Ammersee, I don’t know how you are supposed to get there. Don’t drink and drive.

Amazing. That’s all I’m able to come up with. Amazing.

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I won’t bore you with details about accommodation etc, but I easily found my way to the flat I had reserved in central Munich.. With the lovely summer weather and the fact that the train ticket from the airport into town gave me unlimited travel on the S-bahn  or suburban lines for the rest of the day, I decided to explore a bit.

The village Aying lies to the south of Munich, surrounded by green fields. Rather sleepy in the heat, families on their bikes, people relaxing in their gardens. Everything looks spotless, this is not where down-and-outs live.

The Ayinger brewery is easy to spot, the brewery tap and beer garden are a bit further away. 15 minutes walk, perhaps. It is well worth both the train journey and the walk, this must be the ultimate beer garden. Benches and tables under huge chestnut trees. Several beers on tap, including a Kellerbier poured from wooden barrels. If there ever was an occation for ordering a full liter Maß, this was certainly it. This is a self service beer garden, where you get your food and refreshements from a cluster of booths. Fast and convenient. A mix of guests, quiet conversation, birds singing. No loud groups of American tourists, no laminated menus in English and Japanese.

And the beer? Well, this is as far from a blind test you can imagine. The whole setting is magic, so that adds to the enjoyment. Incredibly aromatic Bavarian hops, sweet malt, perfect balance. Grapefruit, peaches, a hint of vinegar, a touch of the oak barrel.

If you want to splurge, the brewery has a very upmarket hotel and restaurant across the street. But I felt no urge to explore that. There are brewery tours, too, check their web site for details.

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Mittagsessen

Mittagsessen

I personalkantinen faar man en treretters lunsj for to euro.

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The Brauerei Gasthof Lohof has possibly been a brewery, once upon a time. Now it is one of a number of inns and restaurants run by the the Schlossbrauerei Haimhausen,  of which I have no objection. The brewery is not far away, so it is a very local setup. Von die Heimat for die Heimat  – From the community  for the community  is their slogan.

It was almost 30 degrees in the sahde, so I did not venture inside, but found a seat in the beer garden. A half liter of Helles slides down without any edges, just the thing while looking through the menu.

Heavily slanted towards everything porky, but there are some daily specials that are more sophisticated. I go for the Münchner Schnitzel, the local twist is mustard mixed int the coating. Very nice, but the dark Kellerbier I had along with it was a bit too much on the sweet side for my liking, reminding me of a Russian kvass.

Very quiet, family friendly.

Don’t go here for amazing beers made with fruit and berries you never heard of. Not for beer aged in champagne barrels and refermented with yeast strains from ancient Egypt. Go for the real thing.

No dirndls, though.

Three stops  on the S8 train from the airport among green fields and rural calm. If you go in the other direction, it is 25 minutes from downtown Munich. The adress is  Südliche Ingolstädter Straße 1, 485716 Unterschleißheim, Deutschland. Try that one after a few beers!

And if you need a room for the night close to the airport, this is a splendid alternative to sterile chain hotels.

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I have visited the brewpub at Munich airport before,  I am quite surprised that this idea isn’t more widespread in Europe. Generally the global alcohol companies are in total control at airports, the worst examples being in Scandinavia, where Carlsberg rules with an iron fist. (Though someone has sneaked in a few bottles of Nøgne Ø in the Norwegian Duty Free shops, bless them!)

The menu is extensive, starting at the Hang Man’s Lunch, comprising a glass of water, a bread roll and a cigarette and ending at the Überschall  or Supersonic, consisting of roast pork, knuckle of pork and one piece of duck, served together with fresh dumplings and side dishes. The Supersonic policy  is, according to the management, to eat as much as you can (excl. the duck), including one liter of our famous home brewed beer served in a siphon.

 Well then. I was not particularly attracted to any of the above. But I wanted a beer. I was puzzled when I saw the beer glasses in the beer garden, with logos from Erdinger and other big Bavarian breweries. A sign explained that the brewery was closed for renovation – their own brews will be back on from June 24.

I’ll have to allow enogh time when I leave Munich, then. Good thing I had a plan B. The commuter train is just a few steps away.

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I haven’t been blogging much lately, and I have even skipped the major beer festivals in Norway and Denmark in May. Well, there are lots of others chronicling what is going on.

I guess it is very much a matter of inspiration – and a question of life outside of the beer blogosphere.

Anyway.

As I’ve told you, I took a course in German at the Goethe Intitut here in Oslo last year. This was very inspiring, and I will probably be doing more courses on a more advanced level in the future. But it is also a matter of practicing the language. Sue, I can do oval weekends in Hamburg or Frankfurt, becoming very proficient in ordering Scnitzel and Apfelwein. But I could also be more daring.

I work in the communications department of a major hospital in Oslo, and I asked my boss if I could approach a similar hospital in Germany and ask to do a few weeks’ internship. This was approved, and my e-mail to a university hospital in Munich got a prompt and positive answer.

I am sure the days will be busy enough, trying to keep up with what is happening around me. But there will hopefully be some mellow evenings and ample opportunities to sample the local brews. I hope to get out of Munich and see some of the nearby cities and countryside, too.

So I’ve been researching a bit, showing that there are some hidden gems besides the famous attractions. There are tiny family run inns with their own brewery if you look closely enough, even if they tend to be overshadowed by the giants of Lövenbräu, Hofbräuhaus and the others. So, I send out e-mails in awkward German and try to figure out bicycle paths and suburban train maps.

There is only one problem. As I’ve said before – It’s not the beer, it’s the water:

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