Munich, Redux


After my hiatus in Prague, I was lucky enough to return to Munich and find sunny, cloudless skies for a change. I avoided the Oktoberfest tents and headed out to the English Gardens, which aren't too far from the city center. Now, you may wonder why I'm spending my last day in Munich at a park and not in a beer tent. Am I completely beered out? Do I need a brew break? Hardly. I went to the park because, in its center, at the foot of a Chinese pagoda, lies a sprawling beer garden serviced by the good people of the Hofbräuhaus. Sitting in the beautiful weather, drinking steins of strong bock beer and eating the various meats, cheeses, pickles and salads that I had picked up earlier at the outdoor market, I had a chance to think about all the ideas I wanted to cram in here in my last post.


Despite its occasional resemblance to some Candyland-themed frat party gone awry, Oktoberfest is a legitimate festival and an authentic celebration of Bavaria's beloved beer and food culture. Sharing in this celebration is an experience that everyone should have. In Bavaria, the pig is king. This is the place to go and indulge in all of your porcine fantasies. Germans use everything from snout to tail in every preparation you can imagine: roasted, braised, boiled, grilled, salted, smoked, ground, emulsified, encased, cured, suspended in aspic… you get the idea. Nary a meal goes by without some sort of porky element, and we're all the better because of it. What makes the beer here so special isn't just the rich brewing traditions. Throughout the region, the beer is an expression of great ingredients. By law, brewers can't use any additives, and those classic brewing traditions leave little room for error. There are many unique styles, but they're all united by a love of the ingredients and a desire to let them speak for themselves. And with that, it's back to Brooklyn, where there's a pretty good beer scene waiting. And if I find myself craving any of these Bavarian brews, I know sites like Beer Advocate will be there to help me get my fix.

Subscribe to Gourmet