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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Munich Landing

MUNICH. Sally and I hit Munich yesterday afternoon and somehow found ourselves inside the cathedral. (No matter what town we visit, we seem to gravitate toward the spires.) Then to Augustiner for some food and beer.

Although Augustiner is a huge Munich institution, I've never had their beer. As always, I started with the dunkel, Sally the helles. We get so few of either in our parts that I never want to miss the opportunity. Generally speaking, these are beers marked by characteristic yeastiness. Not in the exotic sense, but as Sally said, "this is exactly what a brewery smells like." (Breweries, full of fermenting beer, are scented with raw yeast.) The helles (called Hell) is a bit mild on the hops side, but the yeast is sharp and tangy and the beer tasted a bit like kolsch. The dunkel is inspired. Frothy and creamy but light- bodied and very crisp, it has a richly nutty malt flavor but is far from heavy. My best dunkel thus far. The pils was rich and lightly hopped (with a pils, you want a bit of zip). After a liter, I'm usually ready to call the session quits, so we strolled around the city snacking on a digestif of roasted chestnuts.

I will say I'm getting tired of the cuisine (keeping in mind that I eat nearly every meal at a brauerei or pub). Intensely meaty dishes with very little in the way of green vegetables. I doubt anyone was supposed to live on these meals every day--my kingdom for a caesar salad.

I'm actually a day behind on blogging because of a wi-fi blunder. Weiheinstephan and Ayinger today, with reports tomorrow. Here's a couple from Augustiner.


  1. You are living a trip I want to do soon! Living vicariously through you.

  2. Dominic, Thornbridge brewery10:28 AM, October 23, 2012

    We missed each other by a few days - I was beer hunting in Bavaria last week. Whilst the beer, brewing and pub culture was wonderful, I was sick to death of pork/sausages with sauerkraut and craved deeply perhaps a bowl of steamed broccoli.

  3. Are there no grocery stores?

  4. When I was in Germany last summer there was a salmonella outbreak where no one was eating any raw vegetables or salads. It was brutal! Nothing but the diet you describe. It was nice to get home and eat some fresh veggies.

  5. While I love German food and am not a vegetarian, many German pubs and, yes, even breweries, serve a vegetarian menu. Looking at Augustiner, for example, they have a regular or vegetarian option for each day of the week. Yesterday's option was home-made ravioli (actually a German version) stuffed with vegetables, tomato sauce with Parmesan cheese and a small salad.

    If you think that Germans don't eat vegetables, I guess you aren't familiar with German football history.

  6. If you have the time, I hope you can try the Nuerenburger Bratwurst Gloekel, across the square from the Marienkirche in Munich. They serve Augustiner Helles from oak casks. They also serve huge plates of mini bratwurst, but it doesn't sound like that's what you want. Have fun in Aying.

  7. The outbreak last year wasn't salmonella, but one form of nasty intestinal bacteria. It was first suspected to be in Spanish cucumbers, so lots of people stopped eating salad, but it turned out to be in German bean sprouts.

    Anyone visiting Germany from PDX might consider trying an Italian place for a break from Brauhausküche (Küche = kitchen as well as cuisine). Ask a local for a good one. Different than you can get in OR, run by real Italians.

    Or even Turkish, yes, starting with a Döner. Or Lamacun with Döner meat. Or fish, ask where a good fish place is.

    The big brewery places in Munich and Düsseldorf tend to be more mass production type food as well, out of necessity.

    Did you have a Bamberger Zwiebel at Schlenkerla?