GERMANY, Munich Strong Beer Festival, Starkbierzeit, a 300-year traditional beer-swilling, belly-swinging, guttural-singing celebration takes place between Ash Wednesday and Easter. It lasts 2 to 4 weeks depending on the venues.
Most beer-loving tourists have Munich high on their must-do list for an autumn visit. That’s when it’s Oktoberfest. It is probably the second best beer event in Munich, Europe.
But the spring festival Starkbierzeit has crowds half as large, and beer twice as strong celebrating in different breweries around the town.
If Oktoberfest seems a little too crazy for a first visit to the city, the Strong Beer Festival is a slightly more pleasant introduction to Munich.
You can still dance on tables, sing rowdy drinking songs, admire the locals’ legs in “lederhosen”, and celebrate Bavarian culture. And of course, you can drink a lot of lovely local beer for around three weeks in early spring, breweries all across Munich set up their beer halls. This beer festival might be the city’s best-kept secret. It’s actually even older than Oktoberfest, started in the mid 1600s, by Munich’s Paulaner monks.
The crafty monks concocted a beer beverage to sustain them through the Lent fast, and called their pick-me-up ‘blessed father’s beer’ or ‘the holy oil of St. Francis’. Finally, they settled on ‘Salvator’ – Latin for saviour.