Back to life, back to reality....
Well, it was everything I said it would be and more. I SO can’t believe you haven’t been! Wait...was that you? If not, it should have been.
It was Italian Week in Munich...means that this is the week that the entire crop of gorgeous Italian men come to Oktoberfest. Well, let me tell you, (redacted) And then, (redacted), at which point, we (redacted) I couldn’t believe it, so I said, “ (redacted)”. That seemed to work. So we relieved the server of her 40 lbs. of beer and proceeded to (redacted) Whew! It was so great!
But this is starting to look like a White House memo, so suffice to say, what goes on at Oktoberfest, stays at Oktoberfest. Our group now sees beer, and one another, through completely new eyes, which was the point. Mission truly accomplished, in so many and varied ways.
What is always the most striking to me in Germany is the interweaving of beer into the cultural fabric. They ‘do’ beer unlike any other culture I’ve experienced. I know The Beaumont might suggest that the Belgians have a lock on this, but I’ve not been to Belgium yet, so I can only go with what I have seen mit mein own eyes.
Beer is everywhere, not just the Thereseinwiese, but on the streets and in the squares; open air biergartens are everywhere. We made a game of seeing how far we could walk before we needed to sit down for a cold one...turns out, about 35 feet. Revelry is hard work!
The whole beverage culture is so much less uptight and puritanical than it is here at home; thus, it is a natural act, at any time of the day, to sit and sip a dunkel, a tasty Piesporter or a shot of what they quaintly call a ‘pear-apple schnapps’, (Das Official Bavarian Schnapps! Es ist so sehr gut!) but what I would call more like boiling mercury. It sounded so delish! Fruity! Sweet!
I’m still trying to grow the skin back in my esophagus....
But as a Bar Chick, it was like waking up in Bevvie Heaven, where responsible people could have a beer with their schnitzel mit nudel...at 11 AM! And no one died! Society didn’t collapse! No hairy eyeballs or clucking tongues were cast at the young, pierced people laughing and chatting over a bottle of wine in the public square! It was no big deal, just as it should be.
Of course, that IS as it should be...adults doing adult things, with the end result being an enhanced experience, not a slobbering meltdown. And it was delightful to behold. Certainly, we do have some public drinking occasions...when picnicking, tailgating or whatnot, on weekends, in parks... but you would be hard pressed to see business-attired people having a big ol’ liter of beer with their lunch on a Tuesday. That isn’t acceptable to the Nannies.
How much nicer a chicken salad would be with a crisp Weissbier on a lunch break! Or a porter with a steak sandwich! I’m pretty certain 12 ounces of beer or 6 ounces of wine wouldn’t render one unable to input data or return phone calls...but it is what it is.
So, it makes me a little sad that something so good, and good for you, as beer and wine should be made to be only a ‘special occasion’ or evening beverage. We’ve made it ‘naughty’ somehow in our culture, making it rife for abuse.
And that’s too bad. Because those laughing, happy folk sure seemed to be having a nice time with each other and there was nothing naughty about it. A little of that could go a long way these days.
So here’s to Oktoberfest and beer and Germany and happy, smiling revelers and drinking at noon. We had the time of our lives and we will bring this experience into our restaurants and our promos and our menus, hoping to capture and convey some of the joyous spirit of a culture of beer, where enjoying adult beverages at any time is the rule, not the exception. Prost!