Germany has a long list of things to boast about; from luxurious, efficient powered automobiles, mouth-watering football to culture rich museums and most notoriously their exquisite beer brewing. The Berlin beer festival or the ‘Internationales Berliner Bierfestival’ as it is popularly known to Berliners is an annual event crafted to celebrate the extraordinary quality and production capacity of brewers. It usually runs for three days and comes up in the first week of August.
This year’s Beer festival marks the 21st edition of the event. The event will also be held at the same ground on Karl-Marx-Allee, between the Frankfurter Tor and Strausberger Platz!
The Berlin beer festival has developed over the years from traditional beer brewing celebration among Berliners to an internationally engaging festival, attracting millions of tourists from around the globe every year. The Berlin beer festival is expected to be a record breaker with approximately 320 brewers expected from over 86 countries, and about 2,000 beer varieties and concoctions to be on fleek on the 2.2 Km street housing the beer festival.
Although, it is an all-beer event, the festival tends to be colourful for some reasons; for instance, there could be a theme and categorization comprising of beers from particular countries or brewing styles such as ales or lager. There is always a landmark volume of beer available and although the festival focuses mainly on draught real ale, bottle beers and ciders will often come out to play. Thinking of coming to this year’s Berlin beer festival? Here are the possible tips you might need;
The Festival Ground
The Festival site is carved into 22 regions each one representing a beer. The first thing you and every beer lover should do when you get there is to avail yourself some warm up drinks. There are usually festival kits available, get one with a 20 cl beer glass and a strap holder to move around with during these festive 3 days.
There are also beer maps available that gives you an overview of all beer scenes at a glance, other useful information such as where to find some type of beers and brewing styles may be available in the map. The kit can readily be found at the information stalls at both ends of the festival arena. You will also find them near the U-bahn stations for Strausberger Platz and Frankfurter Tor.
You will discover hundreds of casks of ale from different brewers on stillage behind the trestle tables. The workers and attenders will serve the desired beer from these casks directly and take payment in cash. Tokens purchased at the festival entrance are also tenderable as a means of payment. The beers are always kept chilled and fresh, assuring you high quality drinks all the way. The entrance fee also covers some unique glasses that are purpose-designed for the festival, a beer list that indicates what’s on the menu and where to find it.
Needless to say that it is not too much of a good habit to drink all day and eat nothing, food is readily available and there is also no shortage of entertainment as Live music, Games, Trivia or lotteries are also organized.
Just last year at the 20th edition of the Berlin beer festival, over 700,000 visitors from around the globe were present, we even expect more this year at the enviable ground. The location which is at the centre of Berlin holds the Guinness world record as the longest beer garden over the 2.2 Km span. Visitors are guaranteed to find unique beer preferences, tastes, people, culture and music.
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The music only gets better when the live performance sets in from both local and international bands. The admission for the music is totally free. Each year a special region or beer theme is made the centre of attention; In years 2008, 2009 and 2010, It was Czech Republic, Belgium and Vietnam respectively. In 2012, the ‘beers of the Baltic region theme’, in 2014 ‘craft-brewed beer specialties’ and ‘Experience the Bier –und BurgenstraBe’ was the focus of 2015.
Although when beer festival comes to mind, the Munich’s Oktoberfest usually comes to mind, but Berlin surely holds its own with the Bierfestival, not to mention that a smaller version called Oktoberfest also holds in Berlin during the same period of Munich’s event.
A detail of ‘specifics’ below will be surely useful to anyone planning or will attend the Berlin Beer festival.
- The Festival comes up on the first weekend in August from Friday to Sunday.
- Festival entry is free – just walk in, find your favourite beer and drink on.
- The festival holds as usual along the Karl-Marx-Allee with either the beginning or end at either Strausberger Platz or Frankfurter Tor.
- The Beer at the festival is not free. There are variations in prices. Except to pay anything between €1.50 to €4 for a quarter of a litre. The more exoctic the beer, the higher the price, although some rebates and deals may be available.
- There are souvenirs mugs and can be purchased at info stands each going for €3.50. This keeps you from paying a bottle deposit fee at every stand. There is also affordable festival-designed glassware purchasable.
Get A Map
This provides substantial information, lets you tick off where you have been and which beers you have sampled. If you went with a friend, part ways and mark a rendezvous point, the map is a great way to always find your way back.
Sing And Dance
With so many cultures on display and live music performance, feel free to let your hair down – after all you are drinking. Meet someone new, sing some songs and shake your body!
Get A Festival kit And Costume
Don’t forget to grab a festival kit, if you are one for dress-ups and makeovers, get a costume, be colourful and take a tour.
You know your limits, do not overdo it. Although some first time trials of some drinks may put you off balance, adapt as it goes. It is also important that you are not taking the wheel after you’ve had a couple of drinks. Safety first!
If you can’t make up your mind, just come already. The Berlin beer festival is an excellent festival that guarantees all your favourite drinks and more. Get ready to be blown away by brewers, music and culture. If you are in berlin, this is something you don’t want to miss.
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