Brewing School in Bavaria: Part One

April 5, 2011

Man, it’s been a crazy week and a half. On Saturday March 26th our class lifted off from Chicago to head to Munich in southern Germany to attend classes at the Doeman’s Academy. It was a truly crazy weekend that involved a lot of not sleeping and a lot of getting completely trashed.

We all met up at the school Saturday afternoon with our luggage and hung out drinking from the beer taps in the main room. Most of us were hammered by the time the bus showed up to take us to O’Hare. Now typically my body hates flying. When the plane reaches cruising altitude and levels off, that’s when my stomach usually gets in bad shape. This time, with a much bigger plane that I’m used to flying on, that wasn’t an issue. It was a mostly uneventful eight our flight, though I had an incredibly hard time falling asleep (like I usually seem to on planes). That being said, Lufthansa is a fantastic airline! Hands down that was the best airline food I’ve had, the hottest flight attendants ever, and so much free booze (including wine after dinner)!

The class arrived in Munich’s airport around 1pm, and we all decided to basically stay out drinking until late that night instead of giving in to jet lag. That wasn’t exactly hard considering the street that a lot of us were staying on at the time. There were three hostels next to each other on a side street near the Hauptbahnhof (central train station), two of which had bars. Between the two hostel bars, most of us were pretty content to drink litre after litre of Augustiner Helles Lagerbier all night. That was, of course, after we all went to the ATM to make sure we could pull out cash without our cards being shut down for tripping fraud detection systems (I wasn’t sure if my travel notification to the bank went through quickly enough, but apparently it did).

I think that first night involved about four litres of beer and two or three shots of stuff I don’t remember. Probably two thirds of the class blacked out that night, and I’d assume we all showed up to class still drunk the next day. Oh, and it would seem that this part of the city has strip clubs, brothels and casinos on almost every block. That was Connor’s undoing that night…

Oh, right, some of that drinking involved visiting the Hofbrauhaus, where a bunch of angry/drunk Irishmen drank with us, and the Augustiner Keller. I do plan to go into detail about all of these places I’ve been visiting, but that’s not happening tonight.

Considering how burnt out and tired I am currently, I think I’ll save the typing about class for tomorrow. It’s been a blast so far, though not quite as hands on as I was expecting. And I’m definitely starting to get sick of getting the same three styles of beer at every bar. Germany needs to loosen up a bit on the strict traditions and laws.

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