Tastings School - Germany - All around the world

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Germany - All around the world

Planning a trip to the World Cup? Richard Jones provides a guide as to what to drink and eat

Whether you’re fan or foe of the beautiful game, it’s impossible to ignore the 2006 World Cup in Germany this summer.

Thirty two teams from fanatical (and ambivalent) football nations will descend on 12 venue cities to play 64 matches in June and July. The World Cup Final in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on Sunday July 9 will take place before an estimated television audience of more than one billion people.

As you might expect, however, this focus is not primarily about football.

For as well as hosting the world’s single largest sporting event, Germany also happens to produce some rather splendid beers. Around 1,200 breweries to be not very precise, producing a host of classic styles such as Pilsner, Dunkel, Bock, Hefeweizen, and many others.

If you are lucky enough to be visiting Germany for the World Cup this guide will be of direct use to you. However should you have missed out in the ticket lottery, or failed to care that such a lottery existed in the first place, do not despair.

Even if you couldn’t give a 4-4-2 for David Beckham’s metatarsal or the defensive frailties of the Spanish team, this guide should inspire you to drink a bottle, stein or keg of world class German beer.

BERLIN

Gradually coming to terms with its divided past, Germany’s capital city is a hotspot for culture, architecture, cuisine and nightlife. Berlin hosts six games in the World Cup including a Quarter Final and the Final itself on Sunday July 9.

Beer
The local speciality in Berlin is a light (3% ABV), sour tasting, wheat beer called, in the tradition of Teutonic efficiency, Berliner Weisse. Locals normally drink it in the summer months with raspberry (Himbeere) or (Waldmeister) syrup to counteract the acidity, however it can be delicious on its own ( ask for it ‘ohne Schuss’ or ‘without a shot’).

Food
Could there be a better football food than Currywurst? Invented in Berlin and sold on many a street corner in the city, Currywurst is a spicy hotdog sausage served in a bread roll with a curried tomato sauce. Who knows you might feel sufficiently inspired to visit the Currywurst museum (see www.currywurstmuseum.de – website in German only)

Bars
Alt-Berliner Weissbierstuben Rathausstraße 21, 10178 Berlin-Mitte Zur letzten Instanz Waisenstraße 14-16, 10179 Berlin Paulaner’s im Spreebogen Alt Moabit 98, 10559 Berlin-Mitte

COLOGNE

Considered by many to be the oldest major city in Germany, Cologne today is a thriving, cosmopolitan conurbation and the nation’s unofficial gay capital.

Beer
There are more than 20 breweries in and around Cologne specialising in a local beer style known as Kölsch or Koelsch. Pale in appearance with a delicate, fruity taste, Kölsch could easily be mistaken for a lager but is, in fact, warm fermented.

Food
There are a number of local specialities in the city including Halve Hahn (rye roll sandwich served with cheese and mustard), Koelsch Kaviar (a black pudding-type sausage with mustard and onion) and Rheinischer Sauerbraten (slow roasted joint of beef marinated in a sweet and sour mixture then braised in the oven). Potato pancakes are a famous street snack in Cologne; one of the best stalls can be found immediately outside the railway station.

Bars
Biermuseum – sells more than 36 world beer varieties.
Buttermarkt 39,50667 Koeln (Altstadt) Frueh am Dom Am Hof, 50667 Koeln (Altstadt)

DORTMUND

Although its brewing industry has been in steady decline throughout the 20th century, Dortmund still manages to produce more beer than Munich. The bustling city centre is perfect for the beer loving visitor, with numerous opportunities to sample the local brews.

Beer
Today Pils is the preferred beer in Dortmund and its two major breweries Dortmunder Union Bier and Dortmunder Action Bier (DAB) produce decent examples. The classic Dortmunder Export can still be found, however – a more powerful cold fermented lager that was once the staple brew of the region’s industrial workforce.

Food
Try Pfefferpotthast (a type of goulash) or Wirsingroulade (savoy cabbage roll stuffed with meat).

Bars
There are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from in Dortmund particularly around Alter Markt and Kleppingerstraße.
Hoevels Hausbrauerei Hoher Wall 5-7, 44137 Dortmund Der Thueringer Markt 13, 44137 Dortmund

FRANKFURT

Frankfurt is an important financial and commercial city and has flashed its cash to build the spectacular Waldstadion in time for the World Cup.

Beer
Frankfurt is the home to two major breweries, Henninger and Binding, producing a range of classic German styles. Visitors to the city should also try Ebbelwoi (‘Apple Wine’) a crisp and refreshing apple cider.

Food
Frankfurt is famous for the smoky flavours of its Frankfurter sausage, made from pork and spices without the use of artificial additives. You should also try the German’s answer to pizza: tarts topped with fried onion rings, Black Forest ham and sour cream. Frankfurter Gruene Soße is another local speciality made from an eclectic mix of parsley, sorrel, dill, borage, chervil and chives mixed with yogurt, mayonnaise or sour cream. It’s traditionally served with potatoes and ox meat or eggs.

Bars
Klosterhof Weißfrauenstraße 3, 60311 Frankfurt Zu den Zwoelf Aposteln Rosenberger Straße 1, 60313 Frankfurt Gaststaette Doctor Flotte Graefstraße 87, 60487 Frankfurt am Mai www.doctor-flotte.com – in German

GELSENKIRCHEN

Renowned in football circles for local team FC Schalke 04 and its fanatical fan base, Gelsenkirchen is a former mining town in the Ruhr Valley, formerly the industrial heartland of Germany.

Beer
Like its near neighbour Dortmund, Pils is the prevailing beer style in Gelsenkirchen. The local Hibernia Brewery offers an excellent Pilsner named Ruhr Pott as well as a wheat beer and maibock (a lightly coloured style with a pronounced malty flavour).

Food
Look out for Haemmche Met Soore Kappes, a traditional dish consisting of knuckle of pork served with aromatic sauerkraut or try Panhas (black pudding) with gently fried onions, mashed potatoes and apple sauce.

Bars
Brauhaus Hibenria Werner Wulfert Brauhaus Gmb, Bhnhofsvorplatz 2,45879 Gelsenkirchen

HAMBURG

An important commercial city thanks to its large seaport and media sector.

Beer
Hamburg is home to breweries great and small including a number of excellent brewpubs. Holsten Maibock is also on the stronger side of the beer spectrum: pale in colour but intensely aromatic and full in flavour.

Food
Despite its association with red meat patties in sesame baps, Hamburg’s coastal location makes it an excellent venue for seafood. Herring is available in a number of different incarnations as well as Hamburger Aalsuppe, a sweet and sour eel soup flavoured with bacon, vegetables and, on occasion, pears and prunes. For something more bovine try Labskaus, boiled marinated, minced beef with mashed potatoes, herring and normally served with fried egg, red beetroot and pickles.

Bars
Anno 1905 Holstenplatz 17, 22765 Hamburg Brauhaus Joh. Albrecht Adolfsbruecke 7, 20457 Hamburg

HANNOVER

Hannover is lively and full of character. It is also a prime destination for beer lovers.

Beer
There is no shortage of local brews to try in Hannover from the crisp, light Gilde Lagen to the unfiltered Hannöversch Pilsner from the brewpub Ernst August. Herrenhäuser Pils, Broyhan Alt (a world class wheat beer) and the Duckstein range are also worth a try.

Food
Unfortunately for World Cup visitors, local delicacies such as white asparagus, spring potatoes and fresh green kale will be out of season during the summer tournament. You can take comfort, however, in Pumpernickel Ice Cream, vanilla ice cream containing tangy, rich pumpernickel crumbs (a dark, sourdough bread) and often served with poached plums in syrup or summer fruit pudding.

Bars
Broyhanhaus Kramerstraße 24, 30159 Hannover – Altstadt Brauhaus Ernst August Schmiedestraße 13, 30159 Hannover www.brauhaus.net – in German

KAISERSLAUTERN

Kaiserslautern is a passionate football city.

Beer
Brewed in Winnweiler to the north of Kaiserslautern, the beers of Bischoff can be found throughout the city. The producer’s Falkensteiner wheat beers are well worth investigating.

Food
Wurstplatte, cold cuts of meat and sausages served with sourdough bread and potato pancakes, is widely available in Kaiserslautern. Alternatively try sausage salad with fried potatoes or chips.

Bars
Hausbrauerei am Markt Stifstplatz 2, 67655 Kaiserslautern Gaststaette Leberecht Humboldstraße 31 – 35, 67655 Kaiserslautern Die Quinte Morlauterer-Straße 90, 67657 Kaiserslautern www.quinte.de – in German

LEIPZIG

The second city of the old East Germany (DDR.)

Beer
It is well worth seeking out the beers of two local breweries, Reudnitz and Ernst Bauer.

Bars
Gosenschenke ‘ohne Bedenken’ Menckestraße 5, Poetenweg 6, 04155 Leipzig Gasthof und Gosebrauerei Bayrischer Bahnhof Bayrischer Platz 1, 04103 Leipzig Sinfonie Gottschedstraße 15, 04109 Leipzig

MUNICH

Munich should be on any beer lover’s itinerary when they visit Germany – World Cup or not.

Beers
Home to one-fifth of all the breweries in Germany, the range of beers available in Munich is worthy of a guide book in its own right. The brews of Franziskaner, Lowenbrau and Augustiner are good place to start.

Food
Weisswurst (white sausage) is one of the most popular foods in the Munich area. It is normally served with sweet mustard. Hendl (grilled chicken) and Haxe (grilled pork hocks) are also worth a try.

Bars
Hofbraeuhaus – a must visit. One of the city’s oldest breweries and its most famous beer hall.
Am Platzl 9, 80331 München Augustinerkeller Arnulfstraße 52, 80335 Muenchen Weisses Bräuhaus Tal 7,80331 München www.weisses-brauhaus.de – in German

NUREMBERG

A quiet, picturesque city in the southwest of Germany.

Beer
Reputed to be the oldest brewery in Bavaria, Tucher Bräu produces a host of superb beers including a Pilsner and wheat beer. Lindenbräu Pils is also widely available.

Food
Nuremberg is famous for its gingerbread, as well as Nuernberger Rostbratwuerstchen, finger-sized pork sausages flavoured with caraway and usually served with horseradish and hot sauerkraut or potato salad.

Bars
Barfüßer Hallplatz 2, 90402 Nuernberg Kloster Andechs – Das Wirtshaus Koenigstraße 55, 90402 Nuernberg Tucherhof Marienbergstraße110, 90411 Nuernberg

STUTTGART

Situated in the southwest of the country, Stuttgart is an important industrial city with close links to the German car industry.

Beer
Schwaben Bräu is a classic pilsner with hoppy, flowery aromas, a touch of bitterness and a crisp finish. Sanwald wheat beer is also worth seeking out.

Food
Pasta is not simply an Italian tradition: in Stuttgart, Spaetzle is a thick noodle served either with butter, several varieties of cheese or fresh tomato sauce.

Maultaschen are pasta pockets filled with spinach, onions, eggs, bread and minced meat.

Bars
Mathäser Geißstraße 12, 70173 Stuttgart Zum Paulaner Calwerstraße 45, 70173 Stuttgart Deli Geißstraße 7, 70173 Stuttgart