“Experience the Bier – und Burgenstrasse”
– Motto 2015, International Berlin Beer Festival
If one lives in Germany, you’re expected to like beer. Not so much the case for me. The weather has been incredibly warm so last weekend we ventured out to see what the International Berlin Beer Festival was all about. Coincidentally, it fell on the same weekend as the Tattoo Convention so there were lots of inspiring tats to see too.
We purchased souvenir mugs that held 0.2 liters of beer. For 2 Euros, you could get your mug filled with your choice of beer. We started out with a light pilsner from somewhere in Germany (to be honest, I can’t remember where) and moved on to more stout beers as we made our way through the street. The pilsner was actually my favorite. I do think the brewery started with a B…hmmm…to be fair there were 2400 types of beer from 340 breweries in 87 countries so it’s unlikely I would remember.
Beer mixed with sprite, soda and energy drinks. I believe the British call them Shandies and Germans call them Radlers.
To say it was crowded is an understatement. 800,000 people were expected and boy, it was difficult to move along the street! The only nice thing about it was that it made for some interesting people watching. At one point, while I was standing alone, possibly with a goofy smile on my face, a man walked towards me and offered me a “high five”. He insisted. I laughed. He laughed. Then we “high-fived”. People are so friendly on Beer Festival day.
Beer from around the world, live bands, people dancing and singing on benches, women dressed in dirndls and bartenders in nurse’s uniforms made for a great experience. For me, the best part was the food. Thüringer region, in East Central Germany, is well known for their sausages so naturally, people flocked to their booths. They even roasted pork knuckles on-site. It seemed like we ate and drank our way through Karl-Marx-Allee. Every few meters we were either sipping beer or snacking on french fries served in parchment cones or a burger-like sandwich (not quite sure what it was) or gyros with tzatziki. There were many other choices too like warm baguettes topped with fresh mozzarella and tomato slices, fish soup, bratwursts, pan fried potatoes, sautéed mushrooms and of course, currywurst. Beers from Asia were surrounded by noodles, spring rolls and banana leaf goodies. So many choices. I guess that’s the point.
When we finally had enough beer, we decided to top the evening off with waffles.
Waffles make me happy. Beer makes Odd happy.