A Taste of Bavaria comes to Berlin!
November 15, 2011
What promises to be the biggest beer hall in Europe has opened in Berlin, prompting a culture clash by bringing Bavarian boozing culture to the Prussian-accented German capital.
An homage to Bavaria’s famed beer culture, the new Hofbräuhaus Berlin has room for 2,500 jolly beer-chugging revellers - slap bang in the middle of what was communist East Berlin near Alexanderplatz.
Hofbräuhaus owner Björn Schwarz is convinced Bavarian culture, which has never made much of an inroad in Germany’s capital, will win Berlin over. Schwarz has filled the hall with barrels of beer as well as wooden tables and benches reminiscent of an Oktoberfest tent – in a communist-built 1970s building.
Waiters dressed in lederhosen carry around massive one-litre mugs of genuine Munich Hofbräu beer. Waitresses in dirndls deliver steaming plates of Bavarian specialities like Weißwurst and Leberkäse. On a massive stage, musicians play German Schlager tunes.
“It’s not going to be perfectly like Bavaria, but everyone understands that we are in Berlin,” Schwarz says.
There are many beer halls in Germany, but nothing conjures up images of wild, beer-swigging parties like the name Hofbräuhaus, which has been a Munich staple since its founding in the 16th century.
The original Staatliches Hofbräuhaus lives on in Munich, but entrepreneurs around the world, from Pittsburgh to Dubai – and now Berlin – license the brewery’s name to create their own restaurants.