22 March 2017
On March 24, 25 and 26, Philadelphia’s most authentic German bierhall Brauhaus Schmitz will host Starkbierfest, an ode to Munich’s second-largest beer festival, featuring 10-oz taster pours of 15 of Germany’s most iconic strong beers. The raucous party will transform their expansive Brauer Bund Bierhall into an Indoor Beer Barn, festively adorned in black and gold, where they will host five sessions over three days beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 24. Admission is just $15 per person (click here to purchase tickets; $20 at the door) and space atStarkbierfest is extremely limited, with only enough room for up to 140 guests per session.
In addition, Brauhaus Schmitz will host the United States Draft Release of Weihenstephaner Brewery’s famed Kristallweizenbock, a filtered variety of a traditional Hefeweizen with subtle banana and citrus notes. A long forgotten recipe from 100 years ago, this dangerously drinkable beer weighs in at 7.5% ABV and features four different hop varietals (Crystal, Opal, Emerald, Sapphire) before being rounded out by Hallertauer Perle.
“Kristallweizen has always been a unique German style, but I had never heard of a bock variety! Brauhaus Schmitz is proud to be the first in the country to offer this very special brew just in time for our Starkbierfest, our celebration of the best strong beers from Germany,” says Brauhaus Schmitz owner Doug Hager. “We’ll be offering some of the best tasting and most underappreciated beers in the world. We only ask that you please be responsible when drinking these extremely high ABV beers.”
At Starkbierfest, each guest will receive his or her first strong beer included with the price of admission, plus a pretzel necklace and 10-oz. ceramic beer stein, branded with a decorative Brauhaus Schmitz goat (bock is the German word for goat). In addition, revelers will have access to fun German entertainment, including an accordion player and live goats, available for photos and petting only at the 1 p.m. session on Saturday, March 25 – and, as always, guests are encouraged to come dressed in traditional Dirndl or Lederhosen.
While Munich – and Brauhaus Schmitz – are best known for their annual blowout Oktoberfest celebrations, Starkbierfest is a close second, and celebrates Germany’s darkest Bockbiers. The name Starkbier doesn’t refer to the supremely high alcohol content in the beers being served; instead, the name pays tribute to the beer’s Stammwürze or “original wort.” The historical origin of the fest traces its roots back to the Catholic religion and the days of fasting, when monks brewed stronger beers with more calories as a “liquid bread” of sorts to get through the Lenten fast. Today, few people fast, but many still indulge in strong, dark beers that are perfect for enjoying in the late winter and early spring.
Sessions will be held at 5 p.m. on March 24, as well as 1 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 25 and 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 26. Tickets are limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis. A special Fest Menu will be available for purchase to complement the libations.
One prized draft selection for guests to sample at Starkbierfest will be Samichlaus. Once considered the strongest and rarest beer in the world, Samichlaus is brewed only once a year and aged for 10 months before it is bottled, and the beer weighs in at 14% ABV. Other participating beers will include:
· Aecht Schlenkerla Oak Smoked Doppelbock
· Schneider Aventinus Eisbock
· Ettal Curator
· Zoller Hof Donator
· Arcobräu Coronator
· Andechs Doppelbock
· Paulaner Salvator
· Weihenstephaner Korbinian
· Hofbräu Delikator
· Weihenstephaner Vitus
· Schneider Aventinus
· Weihenstephaner Kristall Weizenbock
· Schneider Hopfen Weisse
· Ayinger Celebrator