Think of traditional German hospitality and what springs to mind? Probably wurst, pretzels and most definitely beer. Munich is well known for its popular festivals throughout the year – most notably Oktoberfest in the Autumn – and right now, the Starkbierzeit (Strong Beer Time) is in full swing running from February 19th to March 19th . The current festival is much less known to visitors but is very similar in nature to Oktoberfest, just less busy.
What To Expect
As you might imagine, the main focus of the festival is to enjoy the beer, drinking from extremely large glasses called steins. The festival actually originated from the Monks in the 1600s – but although older than Oktoberfest, Starkbierzeit is much less well known. This festival is more suitable for people who are looking for something slightly calmer, rather than continuous drinking throughout the day, it begins at around 6pm and ends at midnight. This gives you more opportunities to explore the wonderful city of Munich during the day, wandering through the medieval streets or cycling through the English gardens to soak up the real culture of the city whilst you’re there.
Activities at the Festival
Starkbierzeit is a celebration of all things Bavarian. You can dance the night away to the sounds of traditional oompah bands and marvel at the skill of waitresses carrying 10 steins at a time while in traditional costume. Expect to see plenty of locals wearing Lederhosen and Dirndl dresses, something that is unique to the region. To complement your festival drinking why not try a behind the scenes brewery tour? There are six main breweries that you can have the opportunity to visit and sample their delights.
While Munich’s ‘strong beer’ festival isn’t as famous as Oktoberfest, that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable! If you’re a fan of fresh beer and classic German culture, you don’t want to miss out on this celebration.