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).

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Weirdest American Holiday Traditions

The holiday season is here and businesses across the United States are going all-out to make sure that their decorations are better than the year before. The majority of Americans get so excited about holidays that it’s easy to forget how many traditions are strangely unique to the American culture. Actually, there are a large number of uniquely American holiday traditions that seem strange to those who didn’t grow up here. Let’s explore some of the weirdest American holiday traditions that are out there today.

Top Neighborhoods to Live in If You Love Christmas

If you can’t wait to get into the Christmas spirit every year, it’s probably evident from the outside of your home. Many people put up traditional decorations like twinkling lights, evergreen branches, and even inflatable figures in the form of Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Even though we all love Christmas, some people take it to the extreme by choosing where to live based on the town’s level of Christmas cheer. There are tons of towns scattered around the United States that are known for their extreme decorating style, and over-the-top Christmas events. Here are the best neighborhoods to live in if you love Christmas.

Top 11 U.S. Destinations to Hit the Slopes This Holiday

If your choice is to embrace the season, a skiing or snowboarding vacation is the perfect winter getaway. It may feel intimidating, but you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy it. Most ski resorts offer group or individual lessons, as well as rentals for all the equipment you require — it really couldn’t be easier. There are so many amazing ski slopes and resorts all over the United States. Today, we’re going to check out some of the best options for American winter sporting destinations.