Those two words are an acceptable excuse beyond Bavaria around the world. They bring people together with song, dance and litres of beer. The charm of Germanys traditional beer festivals ensured that they are celebrated around the world from New Zealand to Brazil and all across the USA.
Our Beer Festivals of the World Top 10 article will make an indian fall off the wagon at the thought of one drop of the amber nectar.
Traditional German beer festivals, often called Volkfests, feature a fair including rides, roller coasters and sometimes a strong man competition. These traditional beer festivals usually originate from religion or from town markets and many can trace their roots backs hundreds of years to the pious monks who created these tasty brews.
Behold the best 10 reasons in the world to get a hangover.
No. 10 Canstatter Wasen
September 27th - October 13th 2013
Canstatter Wasen, also known as the Stuttgart Volkfest, is a tradition dating back to the year 1818 to commemorate the opening of the University of Hohenheim. Today it is the second largest festival of its kind in Germany, this is an excellent alternative to Oktoberfest for those seeking a big party.
No. 9 Starkbierzeit
During a month long celebration of strong beers in Munich you got to get to the Paulaner Keller on St. Josephs day (19th March) in the Haidhausen and Au neighbourhood of Munich. As always check out the Hoffbrau house.The Paulenerkeller has a capacity of 5,000, also try and get to rival beer brewer tent Löwenbräukeller who serve large strong Lowenbraus.
The brews, known as doppelbocks (literally double beers) start at around 7.5% alcohol and contain a lot of malt. Local entertainment include strong man competitions as well as the usual brass band bravado.
This Bavarian tradition dates back hundreds of years to the techniques used by Paulaner monks. They figured a stronger beer would help them get drunk quicker. The festival gathered popularity after Napoleon sold the local monasteries
For one weekend a year the most diverse city in Europe boasts the longest beer garden in the world at 2.2kms long: between Straus Platz and Frankfurter. This festival usually brings an excess of 1 million visitors to Berlin. It is unusual as it is a Summer beer festival, which complements a great festival itinerary. There is usually around 300 breweries from 86 countries with about 2000 beers, many of which will be from micro-breweries- Privatbrauereien.
This beer festival literally means Bartholomew's (as in the saint)Market. This German festival occurs in Manching near Ingolstadt, Germany on the last weekend of August. The market is first mentioned in 1354 but its roots can be traced back to a Roman cattle market in the first century BC.
A cattle market is often re-enacted late in the night as passions run high :) Late nights are encouraged by the organisers.
No.6 Oregon Brewers Festival
July 24th - 28th 2013
Founded in 1985 along the banks of the Willamette River this festival has all specialises in craft beers - Ambers, Pales, Pilsners. A good show of music as well as educating people on honme brewing. This American beer festival preserves the values of independent brewers and usually occurs the last weekend in July.
No.5 Oktoberfest in Zinzinnati/Cincinnati
Mid/Late Spetember 2013 This American beer festival dates back to 1976 and is the largest beer festival in America with over 500,000 attending every year. Proceedings open the tapping of the keg and followed with the Running of the Weiners, beer barrell rolling and other bizarre Bavarian traditions all accompanied with lederhosen and a soothing backdrop of brass bands. Cincinnati Oktoberfest can also lay claim to the largest chicken dance ever (Guinness book of records certified) in 1994 with 48,000 participants.
Dates for Hamburger Dom Spring Festival March/ April 2013 Summer Festival/August 2012 Winter Festival November/ December 2013
The Hamburger Dom hosts three fairs throughout the year: spring, summer and winter. It is the biggest in Northern Germany with combined numbers of nine million visitors three fairs (spring, summer and winter) per year it is the biggest in Northern Germany and the longest fair throughout Germany.
It attracts approximately nine million visitors annually. Contrary to popular belief, the three different festivals did arise out of alcoholism.
According to Hans Wilhelm Eckardt there has been a market near Hamburg's cathedral since the year 1329. The origins of the Dom are unknown but popular theories point to Protestant Reformation in the 16th century which allowed people to celebrate the seasons and I guess they don't celebrate the change of Autumn into Winter!
September 21st - October 6th 2013
Munichs Beer festival needs no introduction. It is world renowned and has serviced bachelor parties, hen nights, Australian nomads doing the European camper-van thing. Did we mention that there is also a movie?
So there's 14 different beer tents, from the Hoffbrau and Lowenbrau with a capacity in excess of 9,000 people to the exclusive Hippodrome where you can find 1000 people, mostly celebs, being papped and looking trendy. Oktoberfest in Munich is often considered a good introduction to German beerfests however with such a variety of German beer festivals on offer it's tough to justify more than one visit.
Set in Kulmbach near the Thuringian Forest this beer festival is a 'cosy' affair. Whilst you will not see crowds to rival that of Oktoberfest or Canstatter Wasen you will find a brilliant atmosphere as well as choice and quality beer such as Festwirtin, Sandler-Bräu and the hangover inducing strong Kulminator 28.
Each year 500,000+ beer guzzlers populate the beer gardens. Despite having no tents there are 20 different beer gardens at Forcheim on the 'cellar-hill' which is one of the most scenic locations for a beer festival in Germany.
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