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Journal Entries
Day 1 - Travel
Day 2 - London
Day 3 - London
Day 4 - Brussels
Day 5 - Brugse
Day 6 - E. Belgium
Day 7 - S. Belgium
Day 8 - Lucern
Day 9 - Munich
Day 10 - Fussen
Day 11 - Aying
Day 12 - Salzburg
Day 13 - Czech Rep.
Day 14 - Czech Rep.
Day 15 - Prague
Day 16 - Travel
Additional Info
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Tasting Notes

Doug and Mike's 1999 Drunken European Adventure

Breaded calves head and oak tongue. So many choices for lunch. Doug & Mike's Drunken Europe Trip '99
The malt bins of Paulaner. You can tell from this photo that this brewery produces a lot of beer.
More photos
After long trains ride from Luzern last night, and a slight mix up with the hotel (note: when calling for reservations in Europe, use the 24 hour clock. 11 means 11 am not 11 pm here), We had a very pleasant evening - and a wonderful shower at the Hotel Seibee. Special thanks goes out to the very nice man at the Hotel Kurpflaz that helped us find a new hotel. Around 10 (that's AM, the morning one), we headed for our tour at Paulaner, where we met up with Barbara Degnan, Director of Sales for North America and our tour guide.

In 1634, 10 monks from of St. Paul in Italy came to Germany. They started making beer, and when the Lenten season came around, and they were limited to one beer a day, they made a stronger beer to sustain themselves. They called it liquid bread or Salvator. Being a very strong beer it gave rise to the "double" bock style. All German made double bock beers bear names ending in -ator to reflect the origin. Eventually the Duke of Bavaria granted them a license to sell their beer to the public, and the scene you see on a bottle of Salvator today is that of the license being granted by the Duke to the monks. Each year the Mayor of Munich or Prime Minister of Bavaria ceremonially tapes the first new barrel of Salvator a few weeks before Easter. The brewery was secularized in the early 19th century and although it has had several owners, still stands on the same site. This is the biggest production on our tour to date. They work three 8-hour shifts (24 hours) 7 days a week, and produce 2.7 million hectoliters of beer per year. They have 4 bottling machines which can bottle 70,000 bottles each every day, and they can fill 316 kegs an hour.

Some other interesting information on the brewery includes:

  • They are the number 1 brewery (out of 6) in Munich, and also number 1 in Bavaria.
  • They are number 10 in Germany.
  • For export, they are number 7 in Germany
  • They export to 30 countries, which is 12% of their total business
  • 46% of their export goes to Italy, which is their largest export market
  • They have 1100 employees, 240 of which work in production.
  • They have the deepest lagering cellar in all of Europe (38 meters)
  • The brew process is completely computer controlled.
  • They brew 17 different beers for the German market.
  • Wooden kegs are filled once a week for their larger, more traditional clients. Once a wooden keg is opened, it has to be used that day.
  • Their hot water and beer supply tunnel runs under the Hochstrasse.

    Some other interesting facts about beer in Munich

  • Lowenbrau was the only brewery in Munich that survived World War II bombings.
  • In Bavaria beer consumption is 240 Liters per capita per year.
  • In Germany beer consumption is 130 Liters per capita per year.
  • The beer market in Germany is stagnant right now as younger generations are tending towards mixed drinks.

    Facts about Oktoberfest

  • The first Oktoberfest was in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of King Louis. Many Munich beers were there and it became an annual event.
  • It runs for 16 days and always ends on the first Sunday of October. It used to be later, but it gets too cold so it was moved to late September.
  • Paulaner brews a special Oktoberfest beer just for consumption at the festival.
  • On average there are 6 million visitors and 5 million Liters of beer are consumed over the 16 day period.
  • 5000 Hectoliters per tent are served at Oktoberfest
  • Only Munich breweries are allowed to participate in the event.

    It was a special treat to see the bottling facilities in action. It's amazing how being a product of the late 70's all we could think of was "Lavern and Shirley." If you've ever seen that TV show, you know what the bottling facility is like - only it's 500 times better in person.

    Special thanks to Barbara Degnan for all the information, the tour and the lunch. The Paulaner facilities are a beautiful site to behold.

    Sprechen Sie English?
    It's amazing how anyone could spend so much time almost flunking German classes and then go to Germany and get by. The most valuable phrase in the whole language is "Sprechen Sie English?" If they say yes (which most of them do), you're okay. If they say "nein" then just point at the menu and pray it doesn't say "head of calf" or "ox tongue". If you get in a pinch, beer is spoken everywhere. Munich is the third largest city in the Federal Republic and capital of the Free State of Bavaria.

    We spent the afternoon wandering the streets of Munich. We saw a whole bunch of sites - too many to go into here in detail, but some included the Glockenspiel (musical, animated clock in the town hall) Munze, Alter Hof (old palace), Alter Rathaus (Old City Hall), Marianplatz (a square with lots of good shopping), and the World War I and II monuments. It's hard to avoid shopping, but once again, we didn't purchase anything. Sabrina has been assured that good shopping time will be had later in the week. Munich is a beautiful city and different than any large city we have been to before. Most of the city was destroyed during the bombings of World War II, so the current city is a strange mix of very old buildings and new buildings. A street musician we saw in the garden sums up Munich in a nutshell. He was playing Mozart on a violin, which was plugged into a speaker and a tape deck, which was accompanying him with pre recorded piano. It's classical meets high tech to produce a wonderfully curious effect that somehow works - but only here, only in Munich.

    Do you serve Hasenpfeffer?
    No visit to Munich would be complete without an evening in at least one of the many beer gardens. Munich has more than 100 beer gardens, ranging from huge establishments that seat several hundred to small terraces. Beer gardens are such an integral part of Munich life that a council proposal to cut down their hours provoked one of the largest mass demonstrations in the city's history in 1995. We gratefully walked right by the world famous Hofbrauhaus, a.k.a. the tourist garden with beer, and headed across the street to the Schneider Weisses Brauhaus. The extent of Doug's German comes from an old Bugs Bunny cartoon where a king was bent on having Hasenpfeffer - or rabbit. Of course we have no idea if that is a German word, but Doug really likes to say it, so the word of the day has been Hasenpfeffer (please also feel free to correct us on the spelling). They didn't serve it, but we had a varitey of sausages instead. Not as fun to say. An interesting side note about sausage, as legend has it, Weisswurst (a type of sausage) was invented in 1857 by a butcher who had a hangover and mixed the wrong ingredients. The genuine Weisswurst is available only in and around Munich and served only between Midnight and noon. Maybe we'll give that a try for breakfast - only if we have a hangover. Unfortunately, (or fortunately for the people we are within 10 feet of) tonight is laundry night, so that was the extent of our beer halls for tonight, but we have several more scoped out for the rest of our stay here.

    A special note from today's author:
    Beer, especially the ones that don't filter the yeast can do things to a person. Lets just say the boys could power a country with their gas and leave it at that. Yes, we do sleep with the windows open.

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