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Festivals in Germany

When it comes to Beer and Wine festivals, nobody does it like Germany. The sheer amount of different beverages on offer and alcohol percentages are beyond belief. You can go wine tasting. Learning how to taste wines is a straightforward adventure that will deepen your appreciation for both wines and winemakers. Look, smell, taste – starting with your basic senses and expanding from there you will learn how to taste wines like the pros in no time! Keep in mind that you can smell thousands of unique scents, but your taste perception is limited to salty, sweet, sour and bitter. It is the combination of smell and taste that allows you to discern flavor. Beer drinking…. The largest beer festival in the world is Oktoberfest in Germany, need I say more?? Here is a list of some of the Beer and Wine festivals around Germany

Starkbierzeit

Munich’s Starkbierzeit spring festival usually begins during Lent after the end of Fasching (carnivale) and lasts for about four weeks. At the Starkbierzeit ask for “ein Doppelbockbitte” and you’ll be served with a very potent double strength beer! “Bock” stands for strong beer and “doppel” means double so the beers have an alcohol volume of no less than 7.5%. The Starkbierzeit official opening sees the first barrel of the new season’s Salvator Doppelbock tapped at the Paulaner Wirtshaus restaurant on the Nockherberg, Celebrations are also held in other beer halls and cellars like the Löwenbräu Keller, Unions-Bräu and theAugustiner Keller.

Mosel Wine Festivals

Mosel is one of 13 German wine regions and takes its name from the Moselle River. From Early Spring (end of April) right through to Autumn, the small towns scattered amongst the Mosel hold “Weinfeste” (or wine festivals).You can taste local wines as well as sampleing the local cuisine in the party atmosphere that is creates. With the Mosels winding roads and river banks and vineyards on every hill their will be a wine festival found in one town or another every weekend in the region.

Official Website – http://www.traben-trarbach.de

Munchener Fruhlingsfest

Think Oktoberfest, then shrink it. The Munich Spring Festival is sometimes called the “Kleine Wiesn” (Little Oktoberfest) or the “Kleine Schwester des Oktoberfestes”(Oktoberfest’s Little Sister). The fest runs over two weeks (17 days) and takes place at Munich’s Theresienwiese. The festival kicks off with a big parade and “Boellerschuetzen”, where aging artillery enthusiasts shoot with mini hand-cannons into the air. It’s a tradition that the Honorary Patron Helmut Schmid (City councilman for the Octoberfest) is leading the opening ceremony. He will tap the first keg of beer in the beer tent “Festhalle Bayernland”, owned by Heinz Schoeniger and his family. The Munich Spring Festival started in 1965 and many of the vendors are still represented.

Official Website – http://www.muenchnervolksfeste.de/

Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest

Stuttgart Spring Festival (in german called Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest or sometimes vernacular Cannstatter Wasen or just Wasen) is an annual fair that takes place in the German city of Stuttgart between the middle of April and the beginning of May. The festival takes place on the Cannstatter Wasen, traditional fairgrounds in Stuttgart’s Bad Cannstatt district. It is slightly smaller than the festival in the autumn (and therefore occasionally also called the “small Wasen”), but it is the largest spring festival in Europe. Like the autumn fair, the Frühlingsfest offers a variety of fairground attractions. The tallest attraction is the 47 meter Ferris wheel and the fair almost invariably features a major roller coaster. The Frühlingsfest starts on a Saturday with the traditional opening of a beer barrel by the Stuttgart mayor.

Official Website – http://stuttgarter-fruehlingsfest.de

Erlanger Bergkirchweih

The Bergkirchweih is an annual fair and beer festival in Erlangen, Germany. Locals nickname it Berch, which is the Franconian pronunciation of the German word Berg, meaning mountain or hill. The Bergkirchweih starts on the Thursday before Pentecost at 5PM. The opening ceremony called “Anstich”, which is carried out by the town’s mayor, takes place in a different beer cellar every year. Thousands gather to watch the opening spectacle hoping to get one of the free beers from the first barrel. Twelve days later the last beer barrel is buried in the cellar where the next Anstich will take place. The Bergkirchweih area is located in the northern extremities of the town of Erlangen and is roughly a kilometer long (0.6 mi). It contains beer cellars, booths and rides – a huge Ferris wheel is the Berch’s traditional landmark. With its wooden benches under elms, chestnuts and oaks it is the biggest Open-Air-Biergarten of Europe with more than 11,000 seats. The Bergkirchweih has taken place since 1755. Nowadays the time when the fair takes place is called the “fifth season”. Roughly a million people – about ten times the town’s population – visit the event, making the Bergkirchweih the third biggest fair in Bavaria after the Oktoberfest in Munich and the Gäubodenvolksfest in Straubing.

Official Website – http://www.der-berg-ruft.de/

Annafest Forchheim

In 1516, in a small place called Unterweilersbach near Forchheim, a chapel was consecrated to St. Anna. The Forchheim townsfolk encouraged others to undertake pilgrimages to the site. On the way back, the pilgrims would stop for a rest in the Kellerwald to regain their strength with a bit of help from the beer cellars established there by the local brewers (which explains the wood’s name). The pilgrims’ kin, who had stayed behind, would come to the wood, bringing their family members food and drink. At that time, of course, the beer would also be drunk. In 1840, when the Forchheim shooting club shifted its main shooting ground from the “shooting meadow” on the river Regnitz to the Kellerwald, the folk festival began to develop. The local breweries Hebendanz, Greif, Eichhorn and Neder all brew a strong Bock beer specially for this festival, the so-called Annafestbier. This is stored for several weeks before the festival begins.

Official Website – http://www.forchheim-annafest.de/

Berlin Beer Festival

A total of more than 300 breweries attend from 86 countries with about 2,000 beers on the 2.2 kilometer gourmet beer mile at the Karl-Marx-Allee between Straus Platz and Frankfurter Tor are expected. For their entertainment 18 stages provide artists from home and abroad with live music and entertainment shows and performances – and admission is free! Usually held on the first weekend of August annually, this festival boasts the longest beer garden in the world – one mile long! Each year a different country , a special region or theme is at the centre of attention

Official Website – http://www.bierfestival-berlin.de

Aachen Wine Festival

Aachen, (also known in English by its French name Aix-la-Chapelle) has historically been a spa town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Aachen was a favoured residence of Charlemagne, and the place of coronation of the Kings of Germany. Geographically, Aachen is the westernmost town of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands. This lovely town hosts a summer wine festival in the town center each year with over 400 wines on offer from 20 or more wineries in Rhineland Palatine. Featured wines include Riesling, Mueller-Thurgau, Kerner, Dornfelder and Spaetburgunder. Good food and wine, music and a generally great atmosphere make this Wine Festival a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Stuttgart Wine Village

The Stuttgart Wine Village is one of the largest and most beautiful wine festivals in Germany. From the end of August to the beginning of September, the Stuttgart city center is transformed into a festive wine village. 120 wine alcoves with traditional decor offer up over 250 wines from the region, including Trollinger, Riesling, Kerner, Müller-Thurgau, Schwarzriesling, Ruländer, Schillerwein, Lemberger and Weißherbst. With so much wine flowing, the atmosphere is bound to be electric. Great music and food complement the warm and friendly atmosphere.

Official Website – http://www.stuttgarter-weindorf.de

Rudesheim Wine Festival

Rüdesheim is a winemaking town in the Rhine Gorge and thereby part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It lies in the Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis district in the Regierungsbezirk of Darmstadt in Hesse, Germany. It is officially known as Rüdesheim am Rhein, which distinguishes it from Rüdesheim an der Nahe. The small Rhine wine village of Rudesheim hosts a Wine Festival that features the wineries of the region as well as food. The festival takes place on the main street where you can enjoy the beautiful views to the Rhine and the vineyards while you relax drinking away the wonderful wine of the region.

Official Website – http://www.ruedesheimer-weinfest.de/

Stuttgart Beer Festival

The Cannstatter Volksfest is an annual three-week festival in Stuttgart, Germany. It is sometimes also referred to by foreign visitors as the Stuttgart Beer Festival although it is actually more of an autumnal fair. Locals to Stuttgart var iously refer to the festival as the Cannstatter Wasen or just Wasen.The Volksfest takes place from the end of September to the beginning of October on an area called the Cannstatter Wasen. The extensive Wasen area is located in the Stuttgart city district of Bad Cannstatt, near the river Neckar. A smaller variant of the Stuttgart Festival – the Stuttgart Spring Festival is also held each year on the Wasen. The Volksfest begins one week later than the Oktoberfest.

Official Website – http://cannstatter-volksfest.de

Oktoberfest

The original “Oktoberfest” occurred in Munich, on October 12, 1810. Oktoberfest is a 16–18 day festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and the world’s largest fair, with more than 5 million people attending every year. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture. Other cities across the world also holdOktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the Munich event. The Munich Oktoberfest, traditionally, takes place during the sixteen days up to and including the first Sunday in October.

Discover more on Oktoberfest here