Last weekend I was fortunate to travel for work to Munich, for the Ispo tradeshow. The plan was to check out products, materials and new innovations that could be applied to future boardshort seasons. I was shocked at how large the convention center was as I often got lost in the 12 Costco-sized hubs full of brands and vendors. But let’s skip the boring stuff and talk about Munich.
Tom (my boss) and his wife have really good friends in Munich, and they were able to give us a nice tour in the short time we stayed in Munich. The picture below shows Marienplatz, which I later learned is where Hitler delivered his “Beer Hall Putsch” speech, and attempted to take over the government. His speech was so “impressive” that he had a ‘hokus pokus’ effect on the crowd which lead to a fight killing 4 policeman and 16 Nazis. Apparently he failed at overtaking the government and served 9 months in prison. Hitler was released and soon after became known as the famous…Hitler. Alright enough of the history.
Close to the Marienplatz was bar and restaurant called Weisses Brauhaus. I was told this place served traditional Bavarian food and that is something Munich is proud of and embraces, compared to a city like Berlin, where big beers and sausages aren’t as common. I was told I either had to have the Pork Knuckle or the Suckling Pork Roast. I picked the suckling pork roast because I was afraid of what a pork knuckle would look like. Tom picked the pork knuckle and I had “orderers regret”. You can see the yummy, crispy skin and weird potato, that Tom let me try, in the photo below. The potato had a weird gnocchi texture to it, so I soaked it up in the beer gravy, and chased it with more wheat beer.
These Bavarians know how to live! I don’t know where my roots come from but I’ll pick Bavaria simply because beer and sausage are awesome. I like to think it’s in my blood. Weisses Brauhaus only serves wheat beer, but for some reason the Munich Germans don’t call it Hefeweizen, they call them Weissbiers and after doing a little research Weissbier means white beer. Before the invention of pale ales and pale lagers, Weissbiers were the only light beers and all other beers where mostly dark… Ohh snap! That was a beer fact. I drank many Weissbiers and I had to order a full stein (1 liter) you know… because Germany. No joke I even saw John McCain at this place because they had a G7 defense convention going on in Munich. Our local Munich friend noticed and pointed out John McCain and said all the American politicians looked like they came from Netflix’s “House of Cards” and I couldn’t have agreed more with him.
We came back on Sunday for a proper sausage breakfast. We were too late for the sausage, but they did have plenty of beer. So like a traditional German, I sat and drank beer and listened to these awesome men play traditional bavarian music in traditional bavarian clothing. Apparently some people come every Sunday. This one old local had a seat in the corner with a sign that read ‘since 1973′. Every freaking Sunday this old bastard would sit in his corner table (with a surely depressed wife at home) since 1973. It’s so awesome but also so sad at the same time. If he missed a Sunday, his sign would have to be taken down and he would have to start the family tradition all over again. Some families even have Stein lockers at the restaurant where they store their family Stein and drink from it every Sunday. Could you imagine if you had a beer stein/glass locker?
Initially I wasn’t so in love with Munich… I still don’t know if I am, but it was awesome to see the Bavarian culture and drink good beer and eat awesome sausages/bratwurst. Have I mentioned I love beer and sausages yet? I didn’t have lot of time to see the city because I actually had to work…. you know, the reason why I came to Munich in the first place. But I am glad I got to explore and see a little bit of Munich and someday might try and make it back for Oktoberfest…. to drink more beer and eat sausages!