The Hoffbrauhaus has nothing to do with David Hasselhoff (which is a damn shame!), it is in fact perhaps the most famous German pub (as opposed to Londons most famous pub). Sadly its greatest claim to fame is being the hall in which Hitler gave his propaganda speeches, which ultimately led to him running the country and starting a war. That is not a fact the Hoffbrauhaus like to advertise (and rightly so).
Gone are the crowds of blonde haired, blue eyed youths listening to the rantings of a mad man. Now there are blonde haired, blue eyed youths ranting madly after their third stein of lager.
These days, the place is full of tourists and the loud overbearing conversations of drunk travellers interspersed by the flash of cameras. But a special note for our American friends – please take plenty of Euro’s. Many times we have seen the uber-polite refusals from the waiters that American dollars are not accepted! “Nien mine heir, you ave ze euros?”
The beer is typically German lager (well it would be, wouldn’t it!) and not an unplesant drop on a warm afternoon. But if lager is not your thing, you can get wheat beers too, or coffee (although the Germanic politeness tends to wane at this point). However, it’s the size that hits you; 1.1 litres of the amber bubbly stuff. You can see a lot of the crowd knocking it back like they have been here every night, but you know in an hour they are going to be slaughtered.
Of course the most amazing thing about being in Germany, particularly for the Octoberfeast (September 17 – October 3 see out friend at About.com for more details), is the fraulines who manage to carry 10 steins full of beer. During a drunken evening at the bier keller, they are a sight to behold. But don’t mess with them as with arms like that they can snap you like a twig.
It is also good to remember that security at these bier halls is very good and any nonesense will see you being thrown bodily into the street. Some may say that is a bit extreme, but I have never seen an altercation in a German bar the likes of which can be so common here in England.
Could London have an Octoberfest?
Well it did many years ago and was run by Holsten. However, I believe that after about 2 years the event became too big and too hard to control and no doubt Westminster Council complained about the number of drunk people walking on their streets.
But here in England we do not really need a beirfest, as with the huge selection of real ales on offer (particularly here in London) every night can be your own personal beirfest. There are also a few pubs dotted over the city that have real ale festivals. A great festival is held at the Pinapple in Kentish Town , a great pub and well worth the trip up the Northern Line.