Many weeks ago, Merideth posted her Top 10 List. And as promised, here is my version of my best beer experiences. I have to admit that I had the benefit of going to the Berg for a second time and it moved up many spots on my list.
10. Anchorage, Alaska – It might have been the cold and the fact I was overawed by being in Alaska but combine great beer with really friendly people and you get a top 10 beer experience.
9. Real Ale in London – What is a worse sin for a tourist in London?
- Not visiting Buckingham Palace
- Not drinking real ale in a London pub
I would say number 2. If you have seen one palace, you have seen them all. On the other hand, drinking real ale in a London pub is a unique experience.
8 . Weisses Brauhaus – The German beer hall is my favorite place to drink a beer. The atmosphere, the snarkey waitresses, the pretzels, the beer. And Weisses Brauhaus, home to my favorite hefeweizen, is my favorite beer hall in my favorite city… Munich.
7. Pints of Guinness in Dublin – You have never really had Guinness until you have had a pint in Ireland. It was almost 1o years ago that I had a pint of Guinness in Dublin for the first time and I can still remember that special moment. Of course, we don’t have a picture of it but here is Merideth enjoying her moment.
6. Oregon Brewers Festival – We have been to OBF more than any other festival; 2008 will be our ninth visit to this celebration of craft beer. What keeps us coming back? Great beer… great weather… friends… and the fact that Portland is one of the beer capitols of the USA.
5. Bamberg – A beautiful medieval city, Bamberg is also the center of one of the most amazing brewing regions in the world. Spending a day or two walking the old city and visiting its breweries and beer halls is truly an experience to remember.
4. Alpine Hiking – Combine two loves… beer and hiking… well three loves, if you throw in Merideth, and you make the top 10 list. Spend two hours hiking in the some of the most amazing scenery in the world and then come upon a hut to get rewarded with a beer and some food.
3. The Berg – In a forest setting in Bavaria, combine liters of beer with beautiful weather and an enthusiastic German crowd and you get the Bergkirchweih. Though older than Oktoberfest, the Berg only gets a million people over 12 days and is much more relaxing time.
2. Andechs Pilgrimage – There is something really special about making the 3km (or 5km if you go the long way) walk from the S-Bahn station in Herrsching to the Andechs Monastery. Mingling with not only beer pilgrims but also religious pilgrims, you are rewarded with arguably the best German beer in the world. And great food, too.
1. Oktoberfest – After our second visit to the Berg, I agreed with Merideth that it was a more enjoyable festival than Oktoberfest. So, why then is Oktoberfest #1?
Oktoberfest is the ultimate test and thus, the ultimate beer experience for any beer geek. The atmosphere is truly electric, the crowd festive and the liters are endless. You leave Oktoberfest with a sense of wonderment, awe and a feeling that you just climbed Mt. Everest.