Saturday, 10 October 2009

Munich (day 3.2)

Only one page of notes to go. This really will be the last post about my Oktoberfest trip.

Somehow I managed to miss the Hugendubel on Marienplatz on my first pass. Not sure how, as it occupies several storeys of a corner building. At the "drinks" section it was the same old story. A library of books on wine, shelves of whisky books, dozens of volumes on cocktails. Beer was represented by a couple of Michael Jackson translations. The Munich section was slightly better. They had the book I'd bought an hour earlier. It was hot enough to melt marble in the bookshop. I made a quick exit.

I didn't write down anything about my next stop. It was purely for pleasure. Look, I'm not going to walk past Augustiner Grossgaststätte without nipping in for a quick beer. Not when it's sitting there all inviting, doors provocatively open. If I lived in Munich, this would be my post-shopping destination. It being too early in the day for cask Edelstoff, I stuck with Dunkles. Very nice it was, too. Nutty and malty without being too sweet. Dunkelicious.

I was on the downward slope. Did I mention I was trying to fill out my Munich Pub Guide? I did? No harm in mentioning it again. I was on the lookout for new entries for my Munich Pub Guide. I'd noticed (and snapped) a likely candidate on the outward leg of my wander: Paulaner im Tal.

It's easy enough to find, being directly opposite Weisses Brauhaus. Though not in quite so nice a building. It's one of those postwar jobs where the architects seem to have had blandness as their main goal. Inside, it's a different story. They've done their best to create a traditional* pub within the less than promising environment of a single large, square room. It could be worse.

The original building, which had been a pub since 1612, survived the war. Though it was badly damaged. Paulaner, who had acquired it in 1921, continued to run it as a pub until 1993, when it was demolished. In 1996 the pub reopened in the new (and incredibly dull) building. History lesson over.

What it does have is good outside space. A courtyard beer garden and seating on the street. Which is where I sat. Rather too close to a group of blokes teetering on the brink of middle age who were enthusiastically demolishing beer and schnapps in a way I would have loved to. If I hadn't been feeling crap.

What to drink? Not really much a discussion in my head about that one. I do quite often silently argue with myself (if I did it out loud people would think I'm crazy). No need. In Munich, drink Dunkles. Paulaner Dunkles, in this case. It was a challenge. Finding any flavour at all apart from a trace of caramel sweetness. Paulaner's beers have really turned to shit.

By now Weisses Brauhaus was calling me. I could see the grannies flitting in and out with beer. That's enough to get anyone excited.

I was served by the same granny as on Saturday night. Must keep you young, this waitressing. My order was the same, too. Eisbock. Mmmm. High-alcohol deliciousness. Bocktastic. It really is a lovely beer. Having a second was a real temptation, but I had an appointment with a pig, Or at least part of one.

What was that smell? Was it my socks or the cheese I bought at Victualienmarkt? I moved my nose closer to my bag. I was pretty sure it was the cheese. I hope everyone else realised that and didn't assume I had personal hygiene issues.

I'd taken a few snaps outside Augustiner am Platzl earlier in the day. A delivery was in process and four wooden barrels were stacked outside. Sad, isn't it, how excited that sort of thing gets me. The pub is a welcome addition for a couple of reasons. It has beer from the wood and is handily placed right next to the Hofbräuhaus, a place I can only stomach in small doses.

I was too early for the cask Helles, sadly. Just for variety, I tried the standard Helles. It was OK, if you like that sort of thing. Me, I prefer the Dunkles. The pub has all the features you come to know and love in Bavaria. Panelled walls, pine-topped tables, waitresses in dirndls. (You try finding new ways to write these descriptions. Lapsing into cliché is difficult to avoid.)

The pig turned up on time for our appointment. At least its leg did. Didn't know where the rest of it got to. And I didn't particularly care, either. The crackling was particularly tasty. A crunchy, fatty delight. I always allow myself one Schweinehaxe on every German trip. Just the one, mind. Otherwise I'll be wearing kecks the size of tents and having my arteries scraped every month.

And that's it. The relief I felt at getting through to the end in obne piece is probably matched by your oen relief that I'm finally flipping finished with telling you this crap. Back to the tables of numbers.

* In this sense "traditional" means 1890 to 1940.

22 Marienplatz,
80331 München.

Augustiner Großgaststätte
Neuhauserstr 27,
80331 München
Tel. 089 - 231 83257
Fax: 089 - 260 5379

Paulaner im Tal
Tel: 089 - 2199 400
Fax: 089 - 2199 4022
geöffnet von 10:00 Uhr bis 24:00 Uhr
Snacks 4-10, meals 12-18

Weisses Bräuhaus
Tal 7,
80331 München.
Tel. 089 - 299 875
Fax: 089 - 290 13815

Augustiner am Platzl
Munzstrasse 8,
80331 München (Munich).
Tel: 089 - 2111 356
Fax: 089 - 2111 3577


Tandleman said...

"My order was the same, too. Eisbock. Mmmm. High-alcohol deliciousness. Bocktastic. "

Good job we don't all like the same thing. I found it an undrinkable alcohol bomb. Or, rather, an undrinkable alcohol IED.

Unknown said...

The Weisses Brauhaus is one of my favorite places in the world. Having an Aventinus right now, matter of fact.

Bailey said...

I only allow myself the one Schweinehaxe per night when in Germany.