Everyone knows about Munich's Oktoberfest, but the one fest that people know little about is the Starkbierfest, or "Strong Beer Fest," or 8.1 alcohol beer. Ompahh music, dancing on the benches, singing along to the music in the beer halls and eating Schweinehaxe, Pig Knuckles, while drinking a Maß (one liter) is the drill.
Supposedly a monk, Salvatore, in Munich, during lent, was observing the fast by refraining from food. However, he reckoned that drinking was not the same as eating and consequently developed a strong beer by brewing it with less water. That was the birth of Salvatore Starkbier.
Today, during the days of Lent, all of Bavaria's breweries create their version of Starkbier. Perhaps the most famous brewery is the Kloster Andechs located in a small monastery outside of Munich. Locals call it "the holy mountain" where the monks "Dopplebock Beer" is produced. The monks maintain a contained life and have their own gardens, fields, butchery, dairy, distillery, and brewery.
Our first Starkbier excursion wasn't to Koster Andechs, that will come next weekend. Instead, we chose the popular Rusticana Steak and Rib joint here in Munich. That is one pile of tender ribs that were set in front of us. They were supposed to feed five, but we had nearly a dozen left when we all became too full. The Rusticana allows two hour seating and believe me when I say that one needs to reserve a table at least two weeks in advance when planning to eat here.
The guys were ready to dig in! A full tummy and a couple of Maß later, we were ready to head out to Juleps for a pitcher of margaritas. It was a fun night and Starkbier season has just begun! We have a full 3 weeks to enjoy strong beer!