Ok. I think its about time we spoke about beer. When I learned that the German version of our English phrase ‘that is not my cup of tea’ is ‘Das ist nicht mein Bier’ (that is not my beer) I was not even surprised. Bottles of beer are cheaper than bottles of water in Munich.
The love and devotion to this beverage is definitely something that you cannot turn a blind eye to in this city. The beer is very strong – can be up to 6% alcohol. This is a dangerous game for a small person such as myself and I do have to remind myself that even though it is cheap – it is not actually water and that it is strong stuff.
This doesn’t stop the youngsters getting started early on the beer. The drinking age is lower in Germany and you can in fact drink beer in the pub from the age of 16. I don’t feel I’ve been here long enough to make a thorough observation on Germany’s drinking culture or alcoholism however I feel like the atmosphere around drinking is very different. There doesn’t seem to be so much of the student binging that goes on in the UK at the weekend and this can only be a good thing.
Everywhere you go in Munich you will see people with bottles of beer in hand. There is no law against drinking in public – however seeing drunken people staggering about is almost completely unseen. No drunken bums staggering around with a bottle in hand in the bus stations which is a common sight in Edinburgh. I can’t help but get the feeling that the drinking is much more sensible in this part of the world.
You can buy beer absolutely anywhere – from supermarkets to newspaper kiosks. But yet it does not seem to be abused. The Germans take their beer seriously. You cannot simply just order a beer at a bar – you have to be exact about it (Weißes, Kölsch, Helles, Dunkel, Pils..etc etc).Or a Radler which is mixed with lemonade and is therefore sweeter and more to my taste!
Oktoberfest – Beer Festival
Or ‘die Wiesn’ as it is called here in Munich. An amazing festival with the the most wonderful atmosphere and the most welcoming of people. At Oktoberfest last year approximately 6,900,000 litres of beer were consumed. And these beers are served in ‘Maß’ which are litre glasses and much to my dismay they require me to use two hands to lift. Which isn’t the coolest look.
Oktoberfest’s ambience was truly electric. Now that Oktoberfest is over I am suffering majorly from the post-Wiesn blues. There’s a great word to describe my situation – ‘Kummerspeck’ (literal translation: Kummer = grief and Speck = bacon.) This is a wonderful German word which I cannot find the equivalent for in English but it sums up my current circumstances perfectly.. it can be translated as a sort of excess weight gained due to emotional overeating. Or maybe it’s not the overeating, maybe its just the excess beer that has been suddenly added into my diet. Whatever it is I feel its time to start some sort of exercise.