International Berlin Beer Festival
For a city globally known as being hip, electic, and global, it’s not a shocker that its annual beer fest follows suit. While more traditional German festivals showcase their own local brews, the Berliner Bierfest, in only its 16th year, is substantially more varied, contributing 2,000 different beers from all over the world – from the mainstream to microbrews and craft beers. Relating to other German beer festivals, the Biermiele is short but sweet including just three days over the first weekend in August.
Like Oktoberfest, the Erlangen Bergkirchwein, or ‘Berg’ to locals, is a traditional Bavarian beer festival but on a considerably smaller and more genuine scale. For two weeks in May, about one million people , come down on the festival and its ‘kellers’ which are essentially beer gardens along a hill, extending from street level to above the treeline –The Berg has a huge history as it was recognized in 1755, around the time when the brewers used to store their beer in cellers below the hill. Expect to find many similarities to Oktoberfest including locals clad in dirndls and lederhosen, lebkuchenherz and brezel. While Erlangen is a less significant town, it is very well situated given its close nearness to Nuremburg and simple access to Frankfurt and Munich.
By moving about 600km north to Bremen, or about an hour south west from Hamburg, is the oldest fair in Germany: the Bremen Freimarkt. Given its close nearness to the North Sea, fish is the main cookery offering with such delicacies as matje herring and smoked eel. Whereas not strictly a beer festival, there is sufficient of an importance on German beer to be incorporated here. Now all that’s left is to jump on the 150 ft ferris wheel, eat some smoked fish, grasp a half litre of Becks.
In northern Bavaria, deep in the Bamburg area – a region with the highest concentration of beer manufacturers in the world – something is brewing. As this “beer week” is certainly on a lesser scale than the others stated, it is the merely one that is completely beer focused. While the others have side attractions like rides, parades, and the infrequent shooting competition, this one is strictly all beer. What a glorious week. Located in the Thuringian Forest in the Franconian region, Kulmbach is located in the northern area of Bavaria and is preferably suited for more travel around Germany.
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