The end of summer in Germany brings with it the start of the bierfests (German beer festivals) season, which happen in diverse areas of the country and are particularly typical of the Bayern region. This year I had the privilege to visit Nuremberg, the city where I lived for one year and a half, exactly during the old city beer festival. The Altstadtfest Nuremberg happens between 12 and 24th of September at the Schütt island, located in the city centre and surrounded by the Pegnitz river, which brings a bucolic atmosphere to the festival.
The Nuremberg version is a lot smaller and more charming than its bigger sister from Munich, and the more compact approach from Altstadtfest Nuremberg if compared to Oktoberfest — which happens from 22nd of September until the 7th of October in the Bayern capital — doesn’t compromise beer or food quality nor fun.
While in Munich you can find the big breweries from Germany, such as Paulaner, Augustiner, among others, in Nuremberg it is possible to taste beers from smaller breweries, such as Schanzenbrëu, Grüner and Zindorfer, which have gone to the top of our list of favourite beers since we lived in Bayern back in 2013. One pint of beer costs around 4.5 euros.
Apart from the beers, the German beer festivals are a great opportunity to try the rich cuisine of the south of the country. The sausage and beer offer will depend on the city. For instance, in the Nuremberg festival, they serve my favourite sausage sandwich, drei im weckla, made with German bread and three small and tasty sausages.
Among all the delish dishes and snacks offered by the many stalls, it is possible to find pretzel, sauerkraut, kartoffelsatat, steak im brot and geröstete mandeln, also deeply appreciated as an after beer snack. If you are not a beer person, one tip is to try the federweisser, a fermented drink that is a kind of young and sweet wine. This was the first time I tasted it and I highly recommend it.
Food, drink and fun possibilities are endless, and please remember: everything starts to make more sense by the end of the second pint. Prost!