True Facts about Starkbierfest!
- Starkbierfest is a Strong Beer Festival also called Munich’s fifth season.
- Starkbierfest takes place every year during the Lenten season after Carnival and before Easter.
- Starkbierfest always begins on the third Thursday after Ash Wednesday. The first day, Thursday, is “Derbleckn” and isn’t open to the general public.
- Besides the Oktoberfest, the Starkbierfest is the second big beer festival in Munich and the perfect opportunity to soak up some Munich tradition and learn more about the art of brewing.
- Some Munich residents call it Starkbieranstich, or tapping of the strong beer, while others refer to it as the strong beer time or season: Starkbierzeit.
- The oldest, loudest and proudest Munich Strong Beer Festival, Paulaner’s Nockherberg festival hall has room for up to 2,500 partygoers.
- Celebrations are also held in other beer halls and cellars like the Löwenbräu Keller and the Augustiner Keller.
- This year festival will run from Friday, March 2 to Sunday, March 25.
- Entrance for a person is 12,90€ (including 2€ admission + 10,90€ for Maß (1 liter) of Salvator, Helles, Radler or a soft drink).
- The modern-day version of this festival is meant to help people forget the harshness of winter and celebrate the arrival of the spring season.
- Starkbier tradition started with monks - the pious Paulaner brothers-of-the-cloth started brewing their Starkbierin 1651. They dubbed the stuff 'Flüssiges Brot' (liquid bread) as it helped them survive their 40 days of Lent fasting with full bellies and good spirits.
- The friars called their brew Sankt-Vater-Bier(Holy Father Beer) and the name later evolved into Salvatorwhich is Latin for saviour.
- Liter of Paulaner Salvator has 183 grams of solids which equals roughly a third of a loaf of bread.
- Due to the strict rules of the city, monks were technically not allowed to give out the beer to anyone outside the convent – they did not have the appropriate brewing license for this.
- In 1780 Bavarian electorKarl Theodor decided to change the law, allowing the monks to serve the Starkbier to the entire public.
- Originally, the festivities were held because the monks were brewing their last draught before the summer, when brewing was too great a fire risk; to make sure the beer held through the hot months, they brewed it stronger, and were anxious to get stuck in straight away. This last draught was generally brewed in March.
- The "strength" of the beer is not referring to the alcohol content, instead it describes the concentration of dissolved solids: the starch, sugars, proteins and minerals. The technical name for these solids is the "Wort".
- Starkbierfest consists of much of the same kind of merriment and celebration as Oktoberfest: famous beer halls decked out with huge tables, dirndls, lederhosen, giant beer mugs, and hearty German fare.
- The original Paulaner Starkbier brew is called Salvator. This name began a trend of all Starkbiers donning-ator names: Trimphator, Aviator, Suffikator, Predator, Optimator, Spekulator, to name a few.
photo from: https://hopjacks.com/spaten-optimator-oktoberfest-beer-dinner/
- Starkbier has a very malty aroma that is sometimes toasty, even chocolatey. In addition to the dominating malty flavor, Starkbiers can have tasting notes like chocolate, raisins, and plums.
- Although the "Stark" in Starkbier is nothing to do with the alcohol content, the alcohol levels are indeed higher. A Bockbier is 7% whilst the Salvator Doppelbock is 7.5%. This is in comparison to the 5% for a normal beer.
- Starkbier pairs well with cheese, chocolate, spicy Asian foods, and roasted meats.
- Starkbier should be served cool at about 40 or 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
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As always, ideas and opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. - Erika