Sunday, May 28, 2006

Another beer festival: "Dirndl-clad waitresses weave through the crowds with huge mugs, more beer is finding its way to the floor than to drinkers' lips and even the tables seem to be moving as people sway to folk tunes played by a band. Yes, this is Bavaria. And the only way this beer festival could be more stereotypically Bavarian would be if it was played out against snowy alpine peaks. "Everybody gets together. All boundaries and borders merge into one," says Hans-Christian Brockerhoff as we chat over seemingly endless litres of beer that has been specially brewed for the annual festival called Bergkirchweih. For 12 days, every (northern) spring, the inhabitants of Erlangen, a university town near Nuremberg, forget their daily routines and devote themselves to the serious business of drinking beer - and lots of it. The Berg, as it is commonly called, has been held every year since 1755 and is Germany's second-largest beerfest after Oktoberfest, held in Munich."

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