Bayerische Erste say the Bavarians. Bavarian First. You are always struck how Bavaria is simply different. The yokel accent, the traditional dress, the huge skies, the beer gardens, the food and the "blasmusik" make for somewhere that is quite unique. It's why we always love going there and why it rarely disappoints. It was thus we arrived in Pfronten, a mere two miles from the Austrian border but firmly in Bavaria, with hope in our hearts, despite the pissing rain, so heavy it precluded our cycling. We went in the luggage van, neither of us fancying 55km in a monsoon. Others from the same company agreed and we spent quite a time picking up waifs and strays and their sodden bikes.
Our hotel was a pub. A big pub and early signs were hopeful. Kloster Andechs said the sign. Alas after checking in, it was not to be. The Andechs had been swept aside in favour of Kaltenberg, whose brewery tap in Neuschwanstein we had just passed on our way there. It could have been worse. We had a couple and then, braving the rain which had eased off to a downpour, we explored the town. I knew there was a brewpub and this was our target, both for beer and lunch. Braugasthof Falkenstein was easy to find, just in front of the station and impressive inside as these kind of places tend to be. In fact very impressive. The coppers were on show, but a quick look around had my heart sinking. Was this going to be yet another German brewpub with a crap unfiltered helles and a sweet, worty dunkel? You bet your life it was.
Now I could start a rant here about why this pointless style exists, but I won't. OK. I will. What is the bloody point of all that expensive brewing kit if you are simply going to sell tasteless, unfinished beer that is full of trub? It isn't smart and it isn't clever. You might as well buy some partially feremented beer from a big brewery, bung it in glasses, save the wages of the brewing staff and flog the kit to the Chinese for scrap. Stop it and use your kit to produce something decent and drinkable you morons! A glass of each was enough and we departed in a persistant drizzle to find a decent drink. At least the grub was good.
Later that night we went to yet another Munich Brewery's outlet. This time Augustiner, where glasses of Edelstoff and giant portions of schnitzel in a very "gemütlich" atmosphere restored our equilibrium. In honesty the beaming Bavarian waitresses in their dirndls did just as much to do that as the beer - for me at least. That's another thing I like about Bavaria!
Tap & Bottles acoustic song session - This monthly singaround in the Tap & Bottles, 19 Cambridge Walks, Southport, Merseyside, PR8 1EN. Next Monday 26 June will be the fourth at this venue. A...
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