9 Must-Attend German Beer Festivals That AREN’T Oktoberfest

Is it me or does attending Oktoberfest sound like a cluster? I’ve heard horror stories of overcrowded beer tents, gross displays of public drunkenness, and general pandemonium. Then there’s the reservation system. You need a German engineering degree to reserve a spot at one of the more desirable tents. Odds are, you’ll still be seated amongst other revelers from around the world. No thanks. I’ll set my sights to one of these smaller, and still authentic, German beer festivals.

Bryan Richards / Own Work

Bryan Richards / Own Work

Starkbierzeit in Munich

I just happened to be in Munich for Starkbierzeit – Munich’s Fifth Season. Starkbierzeit takes place during Lent and is a celebration of Doppelbock. As tradition holds, Paulener monks brewed the high-octane beer to help relieve the hunger pangs felt by the Catholic devout during Lenten fasting. What better way to numb the pain than with an 8% ABV beer, right?

While breweries throughout Munich brew their version of the Lenten brew, the main festival takes place at Paulaner-Keller in the Nockherberg district of Munich.

Bergkirchweih in Erlangen

The “berg” is a traditional Bavarian style beer festival that dates back to 1755. The festival takes place amongst the city’s many kellars (beer cellars). Back when the city founded the beer festival, brewers would store barrels of beer in cellars built into the hillside. Today’s festival resembles a giant pub-crawl as revelers hop from kellar to kellar, all of which now have outdoor
seating facilities.

Janericloebe / Own Work

International Beer Festival in Berlin

Berlin’s famed beer festival is a bit of a departure from a traditional German beer festival. Modeled closer to a craft beer festival in the United States, breweries from Berlin and around the world serve up over 2,000 beers for attendees to sample. The traditional liter steins are replaced with .2 liter mini-steins so that festival-goers can have a diverse tasting experience as they meander along what locals refer to as the Biermeile (Beer Mile).



The Best Gifts for Travelers

If you’re a traveler, chances are you’ve spent the last few holidays receiving kitschy, travel-themed gifts from friends and loved ones while wishing they had given you something more useful, like airport lounge passes or an Airbnb gift card. While there are some gifts like cash, and airline tickets that will always be useful, there are a few items that we’ve sourced that have amazing reputations and are appreciated by even the most minimalist travelers.

Stress Free Tips for Traveling with Kids

Going to the grocery store with children in tow can be hard enough, let alone going on a vacation; but that doesn’t mean that your globetrotting has to end when you become a parent. In fact, studies have shown that children who go on holiday with their families are happier and tend to score higher in math and reading. They also obtain more general knowledge than their fellow classmates who do not travel.

Don’t Fall for These 10 Scary Traveler Scams

Hopping aboard a transcontinental flight on route to a new, ready-to-explore destination is a rush. Traveling teaches us about the world, sure. But, more than that, it teaches us about ourselves. You also probably already know that, unlike your comfort zone, traveling presents a lot of inherent risks. It’s a sad reality, but it’s a reality that rings true. You, as a tourist, are a two-bit criminal’s dream target. After all, you have absolutely no idea where you are, no idea where to go for help, and no clue what the scammers have in store.