September 10, 2011

Remembering Oktoberfest 2006 in Munich

Exactly two years ago yesterday, I brewed my very first batch of beer, an Oktoberfest Märzen. It was the right time of year for the style, but it was also a great way to remember a 2006 visit to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. So, last night, to commemorate two years of brewing, I made an Oregano Pale Ale, dubbed Oregano Hoptoberfest and inspired by a recipe in The Homebrewer's Garden. I'll get into that shortly, but first, a trip down memory lane...

Oktoberfest was one hell of a celebration. The event typically lasts for a couple weeks and draws millions of visitors. I had a week off from classes, so I bought a Eurail train pass and visited Holland and Germany. I met up with a college buddy, whom we'll call Double G (aka Gregg), and we descended on Munich without much of a plan, but with a massive appetite for beer.


I was surprised to find there was more to Oktoberfest than just beer -- there were rides and games and really incredible food, too, but of course we started with beer: Spaten Oktoberfest in giant, 1-liter steins.

After several liters of beer, a few turkey legs, a roller coaster ride, and a bratwurst or two, we took a quick break to recharge for the evening festivities.


Our mission for the night was to get into one of the giant beer tents, which we were able to do without too much delay (I seem to recall sneaking in).


That's when things got a little out of hand...

PROST!!!
Soon after this picture was taken, Double G and I followed some Australians to figure out our accommodations, but we managed to get split up.  I ended up sleeping in public areas all over the city: inside the train station, outside the train station, in an ATM kiosk, in a church.  But we met up again the next day and an Erdinger Weissbier made everything better:


We even got to see some sights:

A famous clock, the Rathaus Glockenspiel, at Marienplatz.
View of Marienplatz, the inner city square, from a tower in the Frauenkirche.
The sun going down in the English Gardens.

Oktoberfest was a blast and I wouldn't change a thing about that trip.  I would, however, like to return and plan the accommodations ahead of time.  I plan on going back sometime in the next three years.  Anyone up for an adventure?

Thanks, GG, for the photos and the good times.

Alright, next up, the Oregano Hoptoberfest experiment...