Thursday, September 24, 2009
By 11:00 I am ready with a group from the village of Hofolding, just south of Munich, at the doors of the Spaten brewery where our tour will begin. We start with a movie about the history of Spaten, Lowenbrau and Fransikaner breweries, how they make their product and how the rebuild after WW2. Next we tour the facility and see where the beer is brewed and bottled but what was most interesting to me was the recycling, washing and inspecting of old bottles in the facility. Something I think is not legal in the states anymore.
At the end of the tour our group heads to the top of the building for some beer tasting and Leberkäs a very traditional Bavarian meat product. Keeping up with my new Bavarian friends on beer tasting was my next task as every 10 minutes there was a toast for the Colorado Boy - 2 liters later they were departing for their spot in one of the tents to start celebrating Oktoberfest while I was going to meet Erika Bloch for dinner.
After shopping a little bit I head to Erika’s earlier than we had planned because the train backs to Grafing leaves the station at 11:00 and I don’t want to miss it. We spend the evening catching up as she takes me to places that she know where they will still let you smoke inside. At almost 90 she can stay up drinking and smoking well past midnight most of the time and is disappointed that I must leave so early.
For those who don’t know, it was Erika who first encouraged me to come to Munich 3 years ago after helping her with a dinner invite for handicap children that she puts on every year. If you ever have the chance to do something for someone for free you never know what the encounter may lead to.