|Dirndl's = German Culture|
October fest is definitely the most famous of the German drink until you become a jabbering idiot festivals, so this was the first I had to go to. I have vague memories from that weekend of Germans screaming an odd mix of Polka and ‘80’s power ballads and falling off tables as lovely ladies in Dirndls brought a never ending supply of beer. I seem to go with people who see the liter of beer as a challenge, a personal mountain to climb. Over that weekend we climbed the mountain, and became a group of roving drunkards stumbling from table to table, and beer to beer.
|Even I can translate this one.|
If you have the option however I suggest skipping October fest and visiting one of the many smaller festivals around Germany. People will be just as drunk, and the party will be just as hard – just slightly smaller crowds and easier access to beer and more importantly more free seats. Based on a friend being from Nurnberg I’ve ended up at the Erlangen Bergkirchweih festival several times over the years.
In Erlangen the festival is held on the side of a hill where the brewers historically would store the years beer. Now the beer stored there is probably not enough for the festival alone, much less for the nearby population over the course of the year. After a few liters you realize that this is all part of some strange game show where the goal is to see how many people will roll down parts of the hill. I’ve never managed to see the anointment of the winner, but I think it must be a great honor to have either won by not rolling or to have done the most dramatic roll (I’m not even sure how they would decide on a winner), and whoever that elusive winner is he or she must be held in high esteem for the next year, or at least until the hangover subsides.
Somehow it seems fitting that the Germans have been able to add an institutional efficiency to even something as indulgent as a beer festival. As I wander thru the crowds it is truly astounding how so many people are able to get absolutely shit faced without any hindrance. The only time I have seen police was at the October fest, and I think that was likely to contain the foreigners. In Erlangen I have only ever noticed them directing traffic during the mass egress as they shut down and everyone goes in search of any bar that will tolerate your arrival in this state.
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