Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Germany 24 hours in Munich

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Gutes_Bier, Apr 15, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    This trip report is probably more notable for the things I didn't do rather than the things I did do, but when you travel with a 19 month old, you don't always get to do the things you planned. I debated not even posting this, but what the heck it's a slow day.

    No Forshungsbrauerei, no Weihenstephaner Pilgrimage, no Ayinger Pub, no Weisses Brauhaus, no Paulaner am Tal...any and all of the things I thought I might be able to do got dropped.

    What I did do was meet a friend from the States in the English Garden for lunch and I enjoyed the heck out of a Hofbrau Urbock at the Chinese Tower biergarten on a nice Spring day. I had never been to the English Garden in my two previous visits to Munich, so this was a real treat. I should also note that I didn't particularly love the bottle of Hofbrau Maibock I bought a few weeks back, but there in the beer garden it was pretty darn delicious. My wife ended up with the Helles sort of by accident. I bought it for myself and then went looking for a dunkel-weizen for her. I couldn't find any (the Wiessbierschänke stand doesn't sell Wiessbier???:eek:) so I ordered an Urbock gave her the choice between the two.

    Earlier in the day I made a run to the beer store to check out their selection before they closed up for the day (...oh Germany, you and your weekend opening hours...). I was, of course, pleasantly surprised. Schlenkerla stacked three cases high, more than two varieties of Schneider Weisse (no Tap 5, sadly), cases upon cases of Ayinger, Weihenstephaner's Hefe-weissbier Dunkel...and many others of course. I loaded up mostly on Ayinger stuff - one Jahrhundertbier, one Helles Lagerbier, one Fruhlingsbier - but added a bottle of Aventinus and two bottles of Weihenstephaner's Hefe-weissbier Dunkel (a particular favorite). OK, so "loaded up" might be the wrong phrase I guess, but I had to stuff these into an already crowded backpack and there was only so much room.

    On Sunday we chatted up a local Cafe owner who told us we had bad timing - next weekend is their "Fruhlingsfest" which she described as being like Oktoberfest, only smaller. I'm sorry I'll miss it. We walked down to St. Paul's and then over to the Festwiese, where we stopped at the children's playground for an hour or so to let my son burn off some energy before the 3 hour train ride back. No beer for me of course, but I just sat there taking it all in: my boy running around like crazy...the view of St. Paul's...the Theresienwiese looking ready to go...all the rides set up and the Ferris Wheel turning. Unfortunately another trip to Munich is not in my immediate future.

    Which is too bad. I haven't been to Munich in two years...I forgot how much I really like this city.

    When we finally got home and even more finally put the boy to bed, my wife and I cracked the two Weihenstephaner Dunkels and toasted to a tiring but enjoyable 24 hours in Munich.

    They were delicious.
     
  2. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Nice report. You could do a LOT worse than visiting the English Garden, having (and buying) a few quality beers, and watching your kid play over the course of a 24-hour period. I was lucky enough to happen upon the Fruehlingsfest there one year, and it was so much more relaxed and enjoyable than O'fest (IMO). Prost!
     
    Gutes_Bier likes this.
  3. Domingo

    Domingo Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I *love* the Englischer Garten. While not the most beer geeky place around, it's beautiful, and shockingly pristine to be right in the middle of a major city. One of our favorite Munich passtimes has just been to wander the park. You can see everything from American football games being played to people surfing. There's one field with the old naked guys in warmer weather, but it's pretty easily avoided :p
    Funny enough, in my avatar I'm holding a 1/2L of the Hofbrau Urbock at the Chinese tower. It's definitely a beer that benefits from being served fresh on tap. We get bottles of it over here seasonally, but they can't touch the fresh stuff.
    If you (or anyone) ever hits up the Chinese tower again, keep an eye out for the "country potatoes." I can't recall what the German name for them was, but unlike most other items, the English translation was written big and bold. I haven't encountered anything like this version anywhere. They're kind of like seasoned wedge-cut French fries and they come with a creamy dill dipping sauce. Best snack food I think I've ever had.
     
    Bierman9 and Gutes_Bier like this.
  4. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    Our friend saw the surfers but I missed them. Sure was a great time, though, I'd love to go back. It's funny, I always assumed your avatar was from somewhere in Bamberg, but I can now easily recognize it. That Urbock was really good. Freshness shouldn't really be an issue here in Heidelberg, but for some reason it just wasn't the same bottled.

    Re the snack food: you're not talking about Bratkartoffeln are you? My wife got them on the side with her bratwurst (I went with the Leberkäse & Pommes). "Country Potatoes" would translate to maybe Landkartoffeln? I didn't really scour the menu, my wife asked for Bratkartoffeln so I didn't look too hard at the other offerings once I saw what I was looking for.
     
  5. Domingo

    Domingo Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I'm not 100% sure. Just looking on Google, it seems like most of the results for bratkartoffeln tend to look like home fries or hash browns. The country potatoes I'm thinking of are larger and are definitely finger food. Further down the results list on Google I ran into this picture, which is pretty close:
    http://cdn2.zentrum-der-gesundheit.de/images/titelbild/indische-bratkartoffeln.jpg
    I'll have to hunt through my old photos and see if I have any pictures of them.
     
  6. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Funny, the only complaint I ever had about the Chinesicher Turm Biergarten was the food. Everything we ordered seemed like food-service quality, and not fresh. I can imagine if the potatoes you got were fresh, then they were good. Augustiner's stuff just seemed miles better to me (and I believe they advertised everything as being "fresh").
     
  7. Domingo

    Domingo Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Found one of our photos from a few years ago. Not the best quality in the world, but it'll give you the right idea.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/domingo_x/8651366017/in/photostream
    The food at the Chinese Tower has been pretty good to us, although our orders tend to be pretty simple. Usually just the potatoes, which are fresh enough that they make you wait for them to fry a batch, and sausages. We got a hendl once that was extremely tasty, but based upon memory it was kind of expensive.
     
  8. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I wonder if they don't sell those as something like Quark Kartoffeln. Hell, maybe they themselves call them "Country Potatoes" ;)
     
    Gutes_Bier likes this.
  9. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    Good call. The dipping sauce was almost certainly Quark now that you mention it.
     
  10. Domingo

    Domingo Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Never heard of quark before, but after looking it up - that makes sense. This one was flavored with dill. Wonderful stuff either way!
     
  11. einhorn

    einhorn Nov 3, 2005 California
    Beer Trader

    FYI - my wife loves quark every once in a while and we now make it at home - basically buttermilk in a yoghurt maker.
     
    Gutes_Bier likes this.
  12. Bierman9

    Bierman9 Dec 20, 2001 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    I, too, have thoroughly enjoyed the Urbock at the ChinesischerTurm... Mmmm! And they do have an odd assortment of Kartoffeln there, though I usually get some Currywurst mit Pommes.... Have had some enjoyable days there, even when getting bombed from above by falling chestnuts! Prosit!
     
    Gutes_Bier likes this.
  13. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    How did you get a Maibock before Frühlingsfest? I tried in vain to get one on the day before when I was over for the festival (which starts April 19th this year) and was shot down every time.

    On the other hand, I was rewarded by stumbling on to the inaugural keg tapping on the first day of the fest -- as HerrB says, a great fest that's more low key (and enjoyable) than the Oktoberfest.
     
    Gutes_Bier likes this.
  14. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    I don't know, but they were selling it (i.e., the Urbock) right there at the Chinesicher Turm cafeteria alongside the Helles and the Radler. Never did see the wheat beer on the menu or at the drinks window, although I did see several people walking around with one. For what it's worth, the HB Maibock bottles came out several weeks ago in retail outlets near me.
     
  15. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    It seems like retailers around the Midwest U.S. don't remove HB Maibock when it's off season -- resulting in some pretty bad bottles. :confused:

    I'll have to see if there's any fresh stuff on shelves.
     
  16. Domingo

    Domingo Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    We have stores in Denver that will post when new stuff arrives. I haven't seen anything about the Urbock/Maibock yet, though. Even though they seem to be the same beer, there's something about the malt profile in that beer that truly shines on tap. While not quite the same or as good as the one from Munich, I have had it on draft here in the states and it is still pretty terrific. Funny enough, the place that had it on tap here listed it as Urbock (rather than maibock) so maybe there is a difference of some sort?
     
  17. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    If you get a bottle I'd like to hear your impressions. The draft version at the Chinesicher Turm was called "Urbock" on the menu, whereas the bottled version says "Maibock". Here they are listed as the same beer, but it was so good on draft that I did find myself wondering. Then again, something about sitting under the chestnut trees chatting with a friend while the brass band is playing may add to the experience...
     
  18. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Michael Jackson seemed to be a fan (gave it a "world-class" rating in his Pocket Guide to Beer):

    http://beeradvocate.com/community/threads/michael-jacksons-world-class-beers.20031/
     
  19. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    The HB Maibock we get here is darker and maltier than most Maibocks I've had -- it seems closer to a Märzen than the usual Maibock. I'm sure I drank the HB vom Faß when I was over for Frühlingsfest, but my memory has faded.

    On the other hand, HB exported a Winter Spezial over here last year that was closer to the Maibock I'm used to -- maybe even closer to their Wiesn Märzen they export at Oktoberfest time.
     
  20. SammyJ

    SammyJ Mar 14, 2013 North Carolina

    Went there this past Sunday and tried the "Country Potatoes with Sourcream" (exactly how it's written on the menu. Pretty decent.
     
    Domingo and Gutes_Bier like this.
  21. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Found some fresh HB Maibock -- deep amber to copper in color; big, bready, melanoidin malt that I just - can't - find in a U.S.-made, German-style lager. Damn good. Maibock? I guess there are many interpretations.
     
    Gutes_Bier likes this.
  22. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    Be sure to check out Klosterbräu's Maibock if you get a chance. Maybe on one of your weekend trips to Bamberg...;)
     
    herrburgess likes this.
  23. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    You know, I was in Bamberg on my trip to the Frühlingsfest in Munich and had a Maibock that was very good. I remember swiping the little table-tent advertisement -- which is buried in a box somewhere -- but I can never remember where it was brewed. If I saw the label I know I'd remember -- sort of hunter green and gold.

    (just looked up Klosterbräu and their labels and it's not the one I was thinking of -- anyone else in Bamberg have a Helles Bock that stands out?)
     
  24. TreinJan

    TreinJan Apr 13, 2006 Netherlands

  25. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Could'a been, I was there. Got an example of their label?
     
  26. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Keesmann's Bock label is brown:

    [​IMG]

    Looks like it may be a version of the Bambergator from Faessla? (although the typical label there is also brownish):

    [​IMG]
     
  27. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Yeah, I don't remember the little elf on Fässla, but my whole memory of the durn thing could just be fading -- just gonna have to grab a shovel and start digging thru the storage unit.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe