Soak up strong suds in Munich
If the cold and dreary start to the spring weather has you missing the sunny days of summer, dust off your Dirndl and Lederhosen! Warm up with a stein of Starkbierzeit or strong beer during the Starkbierfest in Munich. Stretching over three weeks, beer aficionados come together to celebrate the stronger, darker counterparts to the traditional German hefeweizens and dunkels.
Known as Flüssiges Brot (liquid bread), the hearty Bockbier and Dopplebocks were created by fasting 17th century Paulaner monks during Lent. It proved successful in keeping their bellies full and dispositions cheery during the solemn season. The word “strong” actually refers to the amount of Stammwürze or wort (dissolved solids) in the beer — not necessarily the alcohol content (although the average bock comes in at 7.5-percent alcohol). To qualify as a legit strong beer, Bockbier must have at least 16 percent wort and 18 percent for a Doppelbock.
Where to go
Paulaner am Nockherberg
Hockstraße 77, 81541 Munich
Dates: Friday, March 10 through Sunday, March 26.
Hours: Weekdays 2 to 10:30 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Cost: Entry is 2 euros before 5 p.m. on weekdays (3 p.m. on weekends). After 5 p.m. the price increases to 9 euros but includes a voucher for a beer. Try the Salvator Starkbier for authentic malty goodness.
Nymphenburgerstraße 2 am Stiglmaierplatz, 80335 Munich
Dates: Friday, March 10 through Saturday, April 8.
Hours: 6 to 11 p.m. daily.
Cost: 16.50 euros. Try the Triumphator to warm up your taste buds.