Beer obviously. Well, it’s no news that being in one of the beer capitals of the world, arguably the most iconic of all means you’ll have the chance to taste some of the best or most quaint beers in the world.
Although Bavaria had to catch up with the beer tradition of the German cities of the north like Hamburg & Hanover that had already established a good name in beer brewing before the famous Bavarian Beer Purity Statute in 1516, the years that followed established the region’s worldwide reputation in beer, making it one of the leaders in both consumption & production of the drink worldwide.
Today Bavaria has the greatest density of breweries in the world with a little less than 700 breweries operating within its limits a number that translates into more than 44% of all breweries in the European Union. Weissbier or Weizenbier & Dunkel or Dunkles are the two types of beer that are synonymous with Bavarian beer.
The key feature of Weiss (white) or Weizen (wheat) beer is the yellowish-white tinge that is imparted by the pale malted wheat from which the brew is made of. Dunkel (the German word for dark) ranges in color from amber to dark reddish brown. The latter was the typical beer in Munich in the 19th century while today the champion in Munich is considered the variety of Helles, a kind of pale lager first brewed in Munich in 1894.
The Bavarian Fastenstarkbiere (lent brewed strong beers) is the strongest Doppelbock (literally “double bock”, a stronger and usually darker version of the Bavarian Bockbier. It is exceptionally malty, with very little bitterness. Standard Doppelbocks may have as much as 7% alcohol by volume. In the strongest versions (around 10 to 13%), you can actually taste the alcohol.
It is available and popular during the Lenten Starkbierzeit (strong beer season), which begins on, or before St. Joseph’s Day (19 March). The beer served at Oktoberfest is a special type of Märzen beer with a higher alcohol content than regular Helles, a variety that has its origins in Bavaria probably before the 16th century.