My Bag



Posted on 27 July, 2016


Brexit has caused a meltdown in British politics; Maggie Thatcher has returned in the form of Theresa May and that stubborn Geography sub Jeremy Corbyn just won’t budge. GS Club member and EU remainer Marcus Raymond was gutted about the result, so we sent him to Munich to drink his body weight in German fluid.  

It’s 10 am and I’m drinking beer. No, I’m not in Wetherspoons squaring up to your Uncle Kev. I’m in Munich, home to Oktoberfest where a glass of wheat-beer is the go-to breakfast option.

And this makes my morning pint completely ok, especially given every other table at Weisses Brauhaus restaurant is full of punters scoffing white sausages and chomping massive pretzels with a cold one.  

As we leave, my mate thinks the locals can tell what we’ve been up to from our staggering: “Look at these guys. They’ve definitely had a cheeky Weißbier breakfast. Lads.”

We head for the famous Deutsches Museum. Whilst drunkenly examining a really old spanner, I know I’ve become an actual Bavarian. But that morning’s beer, being on our last day, was far from the first of the trip.

On a walking tour on day one, it soon became obvious how much the Germans love the “liquid gold.”

In fact, the tour pretty much consisted of just two things: beer and Nazis. “If you answer ‘beer’ to all my questions today, 95% of the time you will be right”, said Hein, our South African guide who seemed equally as attracted to Bavaria’s beer as his supposedly beautiful wife.

One of Hein’s fun facts was that in the 1400s, Germans rioted when beer prices went up. So not only do they love a beer now, it sounds like they always have done.

He also told us a story about a significant historical fire not being put out due to the firemen drinking free beer instead, and one from the 1600s about the famous Hofbrauhaus beer hall:

Because locals often had their glasses nicked while pissing in the canal outside, they built under-the-table grates in which to relieve themselves instead. But because their trousers often got soaked, they invented piss-sticks to urinate down and into the grates: that’s some commitment to not losing your pint.

Hein sounded like he was taking the piss, but I definitely got the message about the locals.

This Hofbrauhaus was our port of call on the first night, said to be the most iconic but touristy beer hall in Munich. As we walked down the central walkway, rowdy chants erupted, backed by an Oompah Band. “What do we do?!” said my mate, sounding like Simon from the Inbetweeners

Having eventually found a table, we each ordered a litre of Hofbrau Original. It was über refreshing, and you would hope so for €8.40 (£7.04). But the thing was so heavy to hold, my hand was actually when you have a day off work with not much to do. How one barman in this Disneyland of beer was able to carry six full steins in one hand I will never know. 

Even more authentic than the Hofbrauhaus, though, was a beer festival on the final evening of our trip - the Festival Bayerisches Reinheitsgebot. This commemorated the 500 year anniversary of the Bavarian purity law. And if there’s one thing I’m happy to drink to, it’s a beer purity law.

This outdoor event included dozens of beer tents and hundreds of people dressed in Lederhosen. As we enjoyed 0.3l of Müllers Rotbier (€3/£2.51) to round off the trip, my friend scrawled on his beer mat: “If English beer was this nice, I’d probably be a pisshead.” Probably for the best that it isn’t.

On returning to GSHQ hungover and three pounds heavier, Marcus concluded that Munich’s a great place to get hammered off quality beer and that Brexit will have no impact on that fact whatsoever.

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