Sunday, June 10, 2012
It's all in the wrist of the beer holder
I watched Saturday's Germany-Portugal football game with some German friends at the Paulaner am Nockherberg in Munich. Here the options were one litre beer mugs, or nothing. Having freshly moved over here from the Cape wine country, I am still getting used to drinking beer. Never mind those massive glasses.
When it comes to beer and football it seems the only options are; go big or go home. The problem with that is that I found myself utterly lacking in beer holding skills. While some of the women there were walking around with up to four beers held in one hand, I used both hands to support my beer when no one was looking.
What's more, with my consistency the party would have been over pretty soon if I had to finish a few litres of beer back to back before they get warm. The trick for keeping up with the drinkers and still have a beer at hand for a toast at any given time was to order the Radler, a (more or less) 50/50 mix of beer and German style lemonade. Quite refreshing and, of course, easier on the already high percentage of alcohol typical of the Bavarian beers.
It was all fun and games at the Paulaner am Nockherberg until the German football team set foot on the pitch. There was a lot riding on this game, especially for the Bavarians. Some winning celebrations were still outstanding after that recent doomsday at the Allianz Arena. This Euro 2012 game was a real nail-biting one too and everyone's eyes were silently glued to the big screen right up until the moment when German striker Mario Gomez scored a goal in the second half.
The only other time when I have ever seen that much joy and passion from the normally reserved German people was during the 4-0 win over Argentina in the 2010 World Cup in Cape Town. Perhaps the recent study by a Cologne based research institute is wrong. Germans are not lacking in 'joy genes' or pleasure DNA; they are simply selective about where they find their joy.
Street parties in the city lasted until late into the night and we ended up dancing off the beer (to cancel out all probability of a beer belly, of course) somewhere in the VIP area of a nightclub. While the absence of beer jugs here was a huge relief, my wrist still ached way more than my head today.