Bierbörse Karlsruhe

Bierbörse

On the weekend just gone, the Bierbörse came to Karlsruhe. Bier, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, means beer and Börse usually refers to the stock exchange but in this case means something more like market. Basically, it’s a beer festival… but you can erase all thoughts of Oktoberfest style happenings from your head now. There are no Mass glasses here, no tents and the beers are not served by well-endowed ladies in Dirndls. Instead, Bierbörse is more of a celebration of international beers, featuring more than 400 beers from around the world.

This stand was selling English beers
This stand was selling English beers

Some beers are only available in bottles, while others are on tap and can be purchased either in full size glasses or in a special trial-sized glass – the proBIERglas, as the signs proclaimed (probieren means to try, so a probierglas would be a trial or sample glass… and how could they possibly miss the opportunity for a play on words with Bier?). For the full-sized glasses, you pay a deposit (known as Pfand), which you get back when you return the glass. The small glasses are yours to keep (whether you want to or not!). This year, I was clever and remembered to bring some of the many sample glasses we’ve still got at home with me.

ProBIERglas
ProBIERglas

The Bierböse used to take place on a small patch of grass beside the castle, but it’s grown since then and is now held behind the castle in the Schlossgarten proper. Nice and central and in pretty surroundings. What more could you want?

The tower of the castle
The tower of the castle

A lot of the stands are literally just wooden structures with awnings over the top, but there are some more imaginative ones – like a windmill and a pirate ship (the ship photo is actually from the 2012 Bierbörse, but it was in the exact some position this year).

Bierbörse 4

Bierbörse 2012

This year, I tried a German cherry beer by a brewer that I no longer remember, a chocolate beer (Young’s Double Chocolate Stout), which was disappointing, a strawberry wheat beer by the Belgian brewery Floris (makers of Delirium Tremens for any beer experts out there!) and another Belgian beer, this time a raspberry one by Grimmbergen. And I tried a few sips of Jan’s beers as well, including an Austrian beer which he got so I could keep the glass (he remembered that I liked the glass when we had a beer by the same brewery in Berlin this year).

The Bierbörse has taken place in 14 cities so far this year, with one more to go (Osterode am Harz – if you’re in that area, get yourselves along) and will be back again next year, starting with a visit to Hückeswagen in Nordrhein-Westfalen (about 40 km from Cologne) from 2–4 May 2014.

And next weekend I’m off to a wine festival! You’ll be able to read all about that here in roughly a week’s time.

Advertisements

Friday Letters: I just want to sleep!!

I have been exhausted all week. Exhausted I’m telling you! And I have no idea why. I’ve actually managed to get to bed at a reasonable-ish time every night this week (before 11 anyway). This never happens and is the reason I’m pretty much always tired. And now, the one week that I actually manage to get some sleep (mainly because I didn’t have the energy to do anything other than go to bed!) I’m even more tired than usual. What’s that all about?! Meh.
Anyway… letters time.

Mailbox
Photo credit: Toronto Rob

Dear weekend. Welcome back It seems like forever since I last saw you!

Dear little brother. Happy Birthday for Sunday. Seven years old already… unbelievable.

Dear Bierbörse (annual beer festival thing). I may be exhausted, but I’m still coming to visit you tonight.

worcester sauce crisps
It’s a good job these aren’t permanently available in Germany… (Photo credit: leff)

Dear Karstadt. Loving your British Isles week! (And thank you K for telling me about it). I came in intending to only buy one or two little things, but that went right out the window when I discovered the Walkers crisps. Chicken flavour? Worcester Sauce flavour? Prawn Cocktail flavour? Get in my belly!!! (I *may* also have purchased Digestive Biscuits and Liquorice Allsorts… and be considering going back tomorrow for Cadburys chocolate and some tins of Spaghetti Loops…)

Dear coffee machine. Suddenly, I’m extremely glad I used some of my Bahn Bonus points to get you. Caffeine will definitely be needed before I go out!

Dear work. You keep switching between ridiculously quiet – to the point where I struggle to find anything to do –  and stupidly busy… as in loads of overtime busy. Could you maybe find a happy medium?

That’s all from me. I actually need to do some work now 😉 Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

Photobucket

Beelzebub in a bottle

Jan and I went to the Bierbörse again yesterday. We had to. We had to find beer for my dad. He’s a big fan of beer is my dad. Not just any beer though. Oh no, it has to be proper beer. No lager allowed. The kind of beer he has isn’t chock full of chemicals and – shock, horror – can actually go off. Over the last few years his friends and relatives (with the exception of my grandparents) have developed a kind of competition to find new beers for my dad. Everyone wants to be the one that presents him with the most beers he hasn’t already tried. Jan and I have a slight advantage here, being in Germany. Everyone else can only check out their local supermarket and hope my dad hasn’t already discovered the ones they find. The beers we find tend not to be available in England. Big points for us. So yesterday we headed to the Bierbörse and checked out the “113 beers from throughout the world” stand in search of interesting beers. We ended up getting three – one from Brazil, one from Ethiopia (cos it sounds dead cool, even if the beer turns out to be crap) and a French one that I chose purely for the name. It’s called Belzebuth and has a great picture of a demon on it. Beelzebub in a bottle.

Later we went and met some of Jan’s friends at Cafe Max. The group that he hung around with at university are planning a kind of reunion next weekend. Most of them still live here and we see them reasonably often, but some have moved away, so the Karlsruhe dwellers decided a reunion was in order. They are currently trying to plan activities for the weekend, so we met up last night to discuss it. A number of activities had been suggested, including clmbing, bowling, paintball and go karting. Personally I was for paintball (I’ve wanted to do that for sooo long) but I was outvoted. Boring gits! Bowling, they decided, is boring and can be done any time. So it’s been decided that climbing will be the first choice with karting as an indoor alternative for bad weather. Boo, the two things I least wanted to do.

Today we’ve mostly been looking at tourist activities in Scotland. The boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Edinburgh. In October. Are we insane? Yes, it is entirely possible that we are. Oh well, if it rains I suppose we can always just spend all our time in bed 😉