Pour me another one …

Leni mentioned the Hofbräuhaus in her comment to the last post, and that a friend of her would visit the place in October.
“In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus …” – exactly. Since 1607 (Ger.).
A Brauhaus – or Bräu(haus) in dialect – is a brewery, commonly with a taproom where the brew is sold. “Hof” means simply court, the brewery belongs to the court, in this case to the founder duke Maximilian I. of Bavaria (Ger., Eng.); a Bürgerbräu belongs to the citizens of a town: The brewery is lent out to a landlord who administers and manages the business, the responsible entrepreneur or contractor; he pays a fixed rate or a share of the profit to the proprietor, who gains a steady income, be it the court or the civil administration of a town.
The Munich Hofbräuhaus is in possession of the stately Bayerische Hofbräu. The main and original parent house am Platz’l has room for more than 2000 guests, smaller Hofbräuhäuser still exist(ed) in Bavaria and other places. For example the Hofbräuhaus in Coburg was founded in the 19th century by the duke of Coburg. After the end of Coburg’s independence 1919 the brewery was taken over by the Bavarian firm Paulaner (1921), who finally ended the tradition there 1981, after 123 years. Today the buildings house the Hochschule Coburg. In a way this is a typical story for the development of brewing in Bavaria: In Alt-Bayern few large breweries emerged, while in Franken small breweries stayed independent, struggled and at least partly survived. If you count the numbers on this list of “Breweries in Bavaria”,  you will find that 287 are in Franconia (179 alone in Upper Franconia), while Alt-Bayern (Lower Bavaria, Upper Bavaria and the Oberpfalz) sum up only 237, with no particular centre. This is a detailed list of Brauereien in Franken.

The Hofbräuhaus am Platz’l is a unique place: I hope your friend, Leni, will have a good time there.



I lived for a pretty long time in a Kneipe. There is no English word for it, I think the old pup was something adequate, but I never visited the British islands. A Kneipe is a place where you go for some beer, meet people like yourself, hang around and go home. It is a kind of larger living room.
The publikum, the people, the general atmosphere depend strongly on the inn-keeper and
it is up to your choice where you go and where you stay. After some time you know the regulars, people know you and your behavior, a kind of company can develop.
If you hang around in such places on a regular basis you sooner or later are confronted with the Kneipen food. Generally it is no restaurant, it is a watering hole. There is a simple oven and a pan in the backroom and a fridge. Of course from time to time the health-official comes by, mostly to have some free beer, tell the innkeeper to stop the worst things and to announce his official visit some days later … it’s not that bad, simply because when the inn-keeper starts to litter the streets of the area with vomiting customers his economical existence is over – that will never be forgotten and he can close the shag immediately.

In the comments for last post I mentioned some Kneipen food. One of the classics is “Strammer Max” (Ger., Eng.). That is basically a slice of bread with ham and a fried egg over it. Variations abound from different kinds of bread (toasted?), with different vegetables, spices, different sorts of meat or lack of it when replaced by cheese – what must be on top is the fried egg. What I saw in Kneipen of my youth, but not anymore for a long time, is “Russische Eier“, and I never heared that word “Deviled Egg” before. Eggs cooked hard, divided and a spoonful of fake-caviar on top, maybe with a tip of Remoulade. Variations are innummerable. Something you could always get in any Kneipe was Frikadelle, but that is after all a matter of trust. In the end it is a meatball, here you find a list of meatballs of the world.
The Russian eggs are – at least in my memory and cultural mind-map – a thing of the 50s. It is accompanied by another classic that is hard to find today, the unforgettable “Toast Hawai“. As one put it: On these few square-centimeters all the desires for the “Great World” (“die große weite Welt”) culminated – and Hawai was not in reach, but Italian beaches for some, the quarry pond (Baggersee) for all.
Something nearly vegetarian was and still is (after more then 100 years) the “Erbswurst“. That is one of the very first instant foods, highly concentrated peas. It is still manufactured by Knorr in Heilbronn. The Erbswurst is as the Margarine a military invention of the 19th century, a result of the wars from 1866 and 1870/71. As long as I can think back there is a quarrel whether Margarine is good for humans or whether it is just a kind of grease for weapons – hail butter, hail Margarine.
It is Friday, so in a Kneipe at least in a Catholic region and a bishop’s residence, you should find something fishy, no pun intended, and that means “Fischbrötchen“. That is no goddam “fishburger”! The fish is recognizable as have-been-fish! It is a dead herring with onions in a Brötchen. Bread rolls are no Brötchen – but something nasty Anglo-Saxons eat. Maybe that’s the reason why they had to leave the rest of Europe.
In a Kneipe you drink beer. Smoking is all right, I’d like to have a pack of Eckstein please, hard to find these days. Maybe shortly before closing you have a Schnaps “auf den Weg”, for yer way home. You leave the area on your own feet, quietly. You want to come back and still be respected. When the damage is done you better think about moving to a new area.

Here you can see two men on their way to a Kneipe, better go out of their way.