Tag: Otto

The Beers of Bavaria

Wow, this is an interesting topic. You might be thinking “ok, this is a bit of a niche topic” but boy are you so so wrong. Your naivety almost makes me laugh.

Beer is such an important part of German culture not only because of the ability to get drunk but actually, the history of beer in Germany dates back hundreds of years and the brewing in some parts of Germany is just a magnificent art of perfect ratios and impeccable facilities. The art has been perfected over the years and yes, it is most definitely an art.

Whilst we are talking about the extensive history of beer, I want to cast you back to 1040. You are in the origin place of the world’s oldest brewery. You are in Weihenstephan. Now a part of modern-day Bavaria. This brewery is home to Kloster Weihenstephan. Where I am going with this is that Bavaria is essentially the birthplace of beer and if you truly want to experience a real beer that is the region you should be buying from.

Bavarian beer is usually slightly more alcoholic between 5% and 6% alcohol. One of the more popular ones is Augustiner (6%) which is one of the best of the bunch; it is basic yet so good, described as “pale, sweet, malty, buttery and of medium carbonation”. It’s also one of the only breweries still storing their beer in wooden barrels. Another top-notch Bavarian beer is Paulaner (6%) which is one of the newer breweries of the group being founded in 1624 (a bit of a latecomer). It’s a full beer with some fruity and dark toffee richness. 

I can’t list all the many great beers coming out of Bavaria, but I hope that even if you had no clue that Bavaria was such a prevalent beer-making region, that you have come out with some knowledge about what beers to try and why the Germans are so skilled at their art of brewing.

If you enjoyed this then I’d definitely consider heading over to my other blog post about Oktoberfest to learn about that side of the “beer culture” in Germany. 

Extreme Sports 101: No.2

14th April 2021

By Otto

The purpose of last week’s post was to begin to bring peoples attention to extreme sports. It often flies under the radar as simply a subsection of sports in general, which might seem like a fair assumption. Actually, extreme sports are in a completely different ballpark and often not considered when people talk about sports.

Well, for this week I will be talking you through snow sports specifically, the number of different snow sports there are and why they are actually more interesting and beneficial than they may seem.

Let me start off with a brief list of the different snow sports there are: skiing, snowboarding, dog sledging, snowshoeing, ice climbing, ski biking, snow driving, sledging and I can assure you the list goes on. If you have something you really enjoy doing in the summer, then I can almost guarantee that it will exist on either the snow or the ice. There are arguments suggesting that not all of these activities can be considered extreme sports and I believe that’s fair when taking into consideration sports like cross-country skiing, but on average these sports require great skill and bravery to be able to be taken part in at a reasonably good level. This wide range of activities only emphasises the opportunities within snow extreme sports and how many options there are for everyone whether you fear dogs or heights there is always something for you. 

At first thought you might think, “Oh, extreme sports, sounds kind of like an unnecessary risk to take for some adrenaline,” and sometimes I have to agree with that, but I truly believe some people just don’t understand how beneficial an experience of extreme sports can be. I think snow sports is a great example of this because there are so many papers and research projects that suggest there are far more benefits that outweigh the positives in Winter Extreme sports. The main topic of conversation in these projects is the connection some of the athletes build with their surroundings and environment. Many describe it as one of the most beautiful feelings you can experience and to me that just sounds so perfect; getting more in touch with the world that has given us so much. Putting our safety in the hands of gravity. That just appeals so greatly to me and something I think all people should try to experience in their lifetime.

Oktoberfest

6th April 2021

By Otto

The Oktoberfest is the festival of the year for Germans and party enthusiasts across the world; a two-and-a-half week constant flow of music and traditional Bavarian pints to excite the party animals. 

This festival takes place in mid-September and finishes on the first Sunday of October. It is held in the famous German city and the Bavarian state capital of Munich where over 6 million people attend the festival each year. Not only is there the main event in Munich but most major cities will hold their own “Mini-Oktoberfest” like London where they comparatively attract a measly 5,000 people each year.

One of the most famous and significant parts of the festival is the beers. Choice of beer is definitely not taken lightly in the state capital of Bavaria. Due to this only six locally sourced beers are allowed to be served at the festival; these being Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, and Spaten all of which must present their newly brewed beers a few weeks before the festival commences to increase the anticipation of the highlight of the year. Most of these breweries have been going for a long time – Augustiner for example has been brewing since the early 14th century. In 2019, 7.3 million litres of beer were poured out at the Oktoberfest which apparently was a poor year compared to the numbers of 2014: then a record 7.7 million litres were poured. And all of this beer is being consumed before 7pm, which is the traditional closing time in the evening – drinking starts at 11am most days. While beer is a crucial part of the Oktoberfest, it’s also becoming a luxury if price trends continue to develop the way they have in recent years. The prices for a Maß (a traditional 1 litre mug) have been going up, amounting to almost 12 euros per mug in 2019.

The original Oktoberfest was in celebration of the marriage of King Ludwig the first and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on 12th October 1810. The festival began as a horse racing event but later quickly developed into more of a festival, with beer quickly overtaking horses as the main attraction.

Another tradition of the Oktoberfest is the dress code. It is custom for the men to wear the classic Lederhosen, short leather breeches, and for women to wear a Dirndl, a Bavarian dress usually blue or green. These outfits will assure you blend into the crowd even if you are just a tourist visiting for the thrills of the Oktoberfest.

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