What? You're thinking of reading this post without first having read part 1, part 2, and part 3? What sort of mad person are ya?
When we got to Hofbräuhaus Kristof called a friend of his to check if he was in town. It was Diego, an Italian who sells Auer-Bier at his pub in Verona, and an all around great bloke.
Diego is one of those larger than life characters with a seemingly endless supply of unbelievable (say that with an Italian accent) anecdotes that could make a palace guard on duty laugh. Despite being a foreigner who comes to Munich only every other weekend or so, it took him only six months to be accepted among the Stammich at Hofbräuhaus, and he now has his own earthenware Maß that he keeps in the cage-like locker reserved for the most loyal regulars of the beer hall.
The prospect of waiting maybe half an hour to get another Maß of that bureaucrat of a beer wasn't too appealing, and it was decided we'd go somewhere else – Hofbräuhaus is, in general, one of those places that I'm glad I've been to, but I don't need to go there again.
Diego had taken over guide duties – he knows the city better than Kristof – and he promised he'd take us to a really cool spot.
We followed him into what can be described as a tiny square a few metres from the Neues Rathaus. The only thing that indicated we were near a pub was a group of people spilling out of a very regular looking doorway, some of whom were holding glasses of beer.
And we did go to a very fine place indeed, Andechser am Dom, which served very fine beer, too, Andechs Helles, also gravity dispensed. Delicious stuff.
What impressed me the most, though, was the way have the service outside sorted out. Instead of having the servers run back and forth to the bar of what must be a fairly large pub, this being Munich, they tap a 10-15l keg on table outside. So simple and so brilliant. No need for a cumbersome, top pressure dispensing system that will need cleaning, flushing and maintenance, and can start acting up at the worst possible time; the staff have their job a bit easier, while at the same time the service is quicker, and the clients get better beer.
|Yeah, I did drink an IPA in Bavaria, after all|
When we arrived at the brewery's restaurant in Au, one of the barrels had been tapped already. We were greeted by Michael, the Baron Beck von Peccoz, whose family have owned the brewery for six generations, his wife and his wife's parents, who are Czech born, Kristof's wife, and the Brewmaster and his very quiet girlfriend.
There was plenty of food, a seemingly endless flow of the glorious Masopustní Speciál. There were also a couple of rounds of Baronator, some Helles Naturtrüb, of course, and more glasses of delicious hazelnut schnapps than I dare count. But overall, a lot of fun.
We went to bed almost at midnight, leaning more to starboard than the evening before, but feeling better than teenage boy after getting his first blowjob.
I want to thank Líbor, Štěpán, Mírek, the people at Schlossbrauerei Au-Hallertau, Diego and everyone else for their generosity and for such an amazing weekend. I had more fun than anyone deserves. Thank all of you very much!