National Beer Day in Germany

Every year on 23 April, we celebrate National Beer Day in Germany. This was started in 1994 to mark the German Reinheitsgebot (German Purity Requirement), which dates back to 1516.

The International Beer Day, on the other hand, is set for 2 August 2019.

It is recommended to drink certain types of beer from certain kinds of glasses to bring out the flavor.

  • Tulpe: most suited for Pils and Schwarzbier
  • Kölschstange: for Kölsch beer (dialect for Cologne) served in a tiny glass of just 0.2 liter
  • Weißbierglas: for Weizenbier
  • Flöte: for light Edelbier (select beer)
  • Schwenker: especially for Dunkel- und Spezialbier
  • Glaskrug: universal usage for all types of beer
Glaskrug for any kind of beer


“Im Himmel gibt’s kein Bier, darum trinken wir es hier!” 🙂

Notes From Cairo

Nobuko left Nepal a couple of days ago and is now in Cairo. This is what she has to say.

Hi! I arrived in Cairo today. Staying at the apartment of a couch-surfing host. What a place! It’s kind of quiet, surprisingly. But perhaps, other areas of the city are more crowded and noisy.
The airport was quiet and almost dead as well, with only my prime time flight coming in at 1 pm.

But the locals are fun loving and enjoy using a soft greediness, wrapped in humorous jokes that I could not help but to laugh and give in a little!! Women, on the back of motorcycles noticing me sitting in a taxi and cracking a big smile and waving with a loud “hello!!” Even women, fully clothed  in Muslim black attire complete with hijab headscarves walk into a local bar and …(gulp), not only drinking, but also smoking cigarettes! An unbelievable and unacceptable sight if this had taken place in India. I was  shocked. But in a ticklish, giddy, comradely way.

(Note: Before passing through Nepal to come to Egypt, Nobuko spent some time again in India)

What stands out here is the good and hearty sense of humor people possess, which is proudly and happily displayed with a big grin or a wink. It’s contagious. And its a good thing. Since I have turned into such a hardened and cold bitch, I welcome their easy and  fun loving attitude to melt me back into my natural outgoing, open self.

I like this shift  in my outlook. I feel that  I can finish my trip in a good way.
Tomorrow I’m viewing the pyramids!

All Gizah Pyramids

All Gizah Pyramids

(Photo credit: Wikipedia.file.All_Gizah_Pyramids)

I went ahead and got a preview of what Nobuko is going to see today.

Wonder what she has to say about Egyptian street vendors based on this excerpt:

“You can’t walk down here at all. It can’t be a short cut because you get stopped every few seconds.” [moves aside to let an elderly woman pass] “See? I bet she left the house when she was 10!”

— Karl Pilkington, travel host of “An Idiot Abroad”

Autumn Fest in Oberursel

The annual Autumn Fest is being held in Oberursel this weekend. While this is in its 17th year of running, we are in our 18th year of residing here. So much for the two years we had initially planned on being here…

Yesterday evening, my husband and went out for our not-so-often weekly Friday night date. Last Friday, we couldn’t as he sat in the ICE to Paris and the Friday before, he was sitting on a bus returning from a school trip to Austria.

On our way to our Stammkneipe (regular pub) “Zum Adler”, we happened to cross paths with the Herbsttreiben Fest in Oberursel. A good Bratwurst smell was coming our way and so we made a little detour to find that a real fest was going on.

Here are some photos of how Germans can celebrate in all kinds of temperatures – yesterday, it was 8°C – 14°C only, but feasible with a bit of alcohol, good company and the right clothing.

At first glance, I thought we were hitting the Christmas market in September.

Herbsttreiben in Oberursel 2012

The Thuringia vendor, where the Bratwurst smell came from, also sold roast suckling pig. But after seeing the pig on display, I decided not to order it.

This must be something for the hard-core meat lovers.

Roast Suckling Pig

Instead, I went for the Kohlroulade mit Bratkartoffeln (stuffed cabbage with fried potatoes for€ 5,50) and I honestly expected a 10 cm (or four-inch) long Kohlroulade stuffed with seasoned mince meat.

But what I got was a double in length and quadruple in size. My, oh my, these Thuringians (former East Germany) are very generous with their helpings. The Kohlroulade was almost as big as our pork roast on Sundays.


Next we passed the 2012 Ebbelwoi (apple wine) tasting area. It was crowded with young people, working their way around the St. Ursula Brunnen (fountain), tasting the many new wines. They seemed to have a lot of fun doing this.

Now, in regards to the charge for the apple wine testing, the proceeds are going to the Kinderkrebshilfe (children’s cancer support group) which is a noble thing to do.

Regarding the advertisement though, calling this a Vertestigung, someone was either trying really hard to be playful with words or just had had too many already. This is not a German word and probably never will be.

Trinken für einen guten Zweck  (Drink for a good cause) – you’ve got to like this one.


Just before night was settling in, I was able to take this photo. The drink-for-a-good-cause folks were still making their rounds around the fountain, while testing, talking, and occasionally dumping what they didn’t like.

Apple wine tasting in Oberursel

It got a bit fresh by this point, so we headed to our Stammkneipe for a sundowner anyway.

For more information about the fest (14 – 16 September 2012), visit AllThingsGerman.

Father’s Day in Germany

The German public holiday Christi Himmelfahrt (Ascension Day) is celebrated on the 40th day after Easter Monday.

This has been a holiday since 1936, although it was not celebrated in the GDR between 1967 and 1989.

The same day is also known as Vatertag (Father’s Day) and many clubs and organizations hold their annual parties, mostly for drinking. This is a day when some fathers, do not spend any time with their families, but with other men (drinking buddies) instead.

We went to the Schützenhof again as we do every year. The fest itself seems to get smaller and so does the menu selection – they only had steaks and Bratwurst available, but it was good as always.

Bollerwagen on Father's Day in Germany

This year, we only saw guys with a Bollerwagen, a hand-drawn cart for drinking supplies. Wonder what happened to the guys coming up on tractors and wagons on Father’s Day, such as in previous years.

Austerity measures?

A Special Activity on Father’s Day in Germany

For quite a few years, we have attended this little Bierfest at the local Schützenverein (gun club), somewhere hidden in the forest around Oberursel.

Every year, this fest seems to get smaller. Last year, we missed the music, as there was no band playing. This year again, there was no band, and we even had to ask for a Bierbank (table and benches), so we could sit down.

A very small German Bierfest in Oberursel

No longer was there a menu pinned up either. All they had was Bratwurst, Rindwurst or steaks. We were very happy, nevertheless. Very little was offered, but it was still a very typical German Bierfest.

The highlight was the arrival of the typical Father’s Day group of young men. They, young fathers included, get to take the day off from family. They start drinking as early as they get together and by tractor and wagon, they go fest-hopping. There are so many little beer fests happening on Father’s Day, so by the time they hit the third fest at 2 p.m., they are halfway drunk.

Father's Day wagon ride

They arrived with loud music, loud conversation, and approached the fest in a very cheerful mood.

Portable Bierfest on Father's Day

On our way out, we got to take a look at their tractor and wagon. They drink while traveling around in the wagon, and they drink again at every Bierfest or Biergarten.

This is not only tolerated, but also normal in rural German culture.

I grew up with this tradition, but find it most surprising how popular it still is today.

And by the way – today, 2 June 2011, is Christ Ascension Day. Father’s Day in Germany is always on this public holiday.

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