A musing by co-Director Scott Owen
By the time we embarked on the German leg of filming Beers of Joy, I had had the opportunity, dare I say "luxury" to enjoy some of the best beers on earth. Which is no doubt is a true privilege and regrettably it had gone to my head. That's about how I felt before we arrived at the Hofbräuhaus. It seemed like just another stop on the comprehensive beer journey checklist. I mean come on, what more can there be to a biergarten that I haven't already seen? Shame on me, the cobblestone streets leading up to the Hofbräuhaus are somehow electrifying, the only thing I can closely relate it to would be Mardi Gras in New Orleans. People are crowded around live street performances, bands playing, people funneling in and out of coffee shops, pastry shops, it's a thing.
So here it is. I have been called a beers snob, which is a term I'm okay with, if it means that I like drinking good beer then so be it. Go ahead tag me @skofilm #beersnob I can live with it. But the fact that I enjoy good beer shouldn't keep me from enjoying all types of beer, in all different situations. A beer drinker is and should be about inclusion, beer is not exclusive but rather the beverage for all. So I should never have had my big nose lifted in the air as we entered the Hofbräuhaus hallowed grounds.
The Hofbräuhaus was for me an unexpected experience. First of all, let's talk about the beer. Frankly, and with full transparency I was expecting the beer to be kind of... well... ho hum - stadium beer, you know, beer that fits the scene but doesn't necessarily "wow" you with flavor. I was so wrong... Like really wrong. Wrong Wrong. The beer is GREAT and I don't use that term loosely when talking about the world's most important beverage. When you walk in, you see waiters and waitresses walking around - fists full of massive goblets sloshing with beer. You might think, that's a little bit excessive, isn't it? No. It is not, not at all. You see the Germans have the whole beer thing figured out. That's what happens when you've been brewing beer for thousands of years. Once you surrender to the happy vibe that is all around, you don't want a small flight of beers to sample, you want a massive tanker of beer so you don't have to keep asking for another one. It's brilliant, bloody brilliant. Centuries of perfecting beer, poured into massive glasses, mixed with live music, and friendly people. This should be part of everyone's beer pilgrimage.
IMHO don't even bother stopping by the Hofbräuhaus if you are just going to have a look around and then get back on your tour bus. You will have literally missed out on what the Hofbräuhaus IS. While it's german by location and history it really is just a human place, I bet there were no less than 10 or 15 different languages being spoken at different tables. Humans relaxing, slowing down, smiling, laughing, all the things we don't do enough of. You can't be in a hurry when you visit Hofbräuhaus because people deserve your attention, the beer deserves your attention and you can't rush through eating a Hofbräuhaus pig knuckle, definitely pig knuckle (mouth salivating).