Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bavaria Part 3

We arrived in Munich at night and while I had been there 8 years ago, it was especially eerie to walk up to the massive Glockenspiel tower without daylight. After a beer at the Paulaner brewpub, we tried to go to Hofbrauhaus and some of the other must-sees, but (despite the fact that it was only midnight on a Saturday???) everything was closing down. We ended up at a crappy Irish bar where we drank draft Augustiner. I used to work at a brewery that supposedly used Augustiner yeast and always wondered if it really was the same yeast. I can now confirm that it most certainly is - the yeast flavor signature was nearly identical. Our friend from AmBev, however, ruined me forever on both beers when he identified the butyric acid off-flavor after the first sip. I learned in class a few days later that butyric acid (industry term: "baby vomit") is also the main ingredient in stink bombs. true story.

While that night was a bit of a let down, the next day made up for it. We got started with an incredible farmer's breakfast and then strolled around a huge park, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. The beer gardens were open and packed, so we each had a liter. Afterwards, we went to Hofbrauhaus so that those who hadn't already been could say that they had. We had a hard time getting a waiter to come to our table, but after unsuccessfully attempting to do so by splitting up into different empty tables (I took the shot zoomed in from table 2 and you can see Erica staking out table 3 in the background) and eventually belting out a spontaneous (and pretty, pretty good) group rendition of "Never There" by CAKE, we were eventually served. Hofbrauhaus has a few more beer steins under lock and key than Eschenbrau did (Jan 18 post).

Simon is from Hamburg and since the Munich vs. Hamburg soccer match was that evening, we went to the stadium to see if we could get tickets. They weren't cheap and none of the seats were together, but we went. It was awesome, but honestly (with the exception of the group directly behind the Munich goal tender) had less energy than Hokie football. The subway ride back to center city was a little more crowded than Erica's, (she decided not to go to the game) but at least Munich's subway system wasn't on strike (Berlin's finally ended yesterday!).

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