Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A visit from my Dad, beer and Bavarian fun.

Remember in my last post I told you all about my visit to the fascinating Dokumentationszentrum Reichsparteitagsgelände museum about the National Socialist regime in Germany? Well, I am having a VERY cultured week because I went to yet another museum the following day - the local, um, beer museum. I know, I'm such a culture vulture. Ahem.

Well, my Dad had come to visit for a couple of days, I obviously couldn't take him shopping, and a tour of Maisel's Brewery and Beer Museum is the third-highest rated attraction in Bayreuth according to TripAdvisor (Bayreuth ain't the most happenin' of places, to be fair...). I'll get to that little attraction further on.

While Mama Hosie is half German and can thus sprechen jolly good German, Daddio Hosie is less clued-up on Germany, German culture and most definitely can't speak the language! (No offence, Dad.) Sure, the man's been a few times on business trips over the years, but (rather tragically) he'd never been to Bavaria! Poor, poor guy.

So, I took it upon myself to show Dad the very best that Franconia, Bavaria and Germany have to offer - well, as much as can be done in less than 48 hours - and you guessed it, this mostly revolved around food and drink. That's gotta be one of the perks of a visiting parent, hasn't it? Eating ALL the food, drinking ALL the drinks and going to ALL the restaurants and cafés. #dadwaspaying may have been thrown around my Instagram, and yes, over two days I probably put on half a stone. Egal. 

Happy chappie
Within an hour of landing in Nuremberg, we were in one of the city's best traditional beer hall-style pubs, Barfüßer, and Dad was a happy man with a beer in his hand.

I showed Dad all the main city sights as the sun went down, before heading off to another traditional restaurant for some equally traditional grub.

Having been told I simply MUST try it before I leave, I opted for Käsespätzle: Essentially The German version of mac 'n' cheese, as far as I can tell. Spätzle are a type of egg noodle/pasta, and mine was then smothered with a stringy, creamy, cheesy sauce and crunchy roasted onions. Carbalicious comfort food at its finest. Also probably a heart-attack on a plate. But hey. #dadwaspaying. He went for a classic German dumpling thingymajig alongside a big meaty thingymajig, washed down with a different German beer. (You can tell I was paying attention and definitely wasn't just absorbed in my Käsespätzle, can't you...?)

Stuffed to the brim (I put it so eloquently, don't I?), we journeyed back to Bayreuth, had a cuppa and went to bed.

After school on Monday morning, I went to meet Dad for breakfast - yup, I finish that early. I'm usually back home, back in my dressing gown with a cup of tea in hand at the same time most Brits are heading off to work for the day. Don't be too jel.

So, out for breakfast we went (obvs, #dadwaspaying), pastries were devoured and off we went on our private tour of Bayreuth. And by 'private tour' I mean I showed Dad round. But hey, I'm totally a local now. Extremely pleasingly, the sun was shining and the sky was blue. Bayreuth's beauty and charm has yet to lose its novelty for me.

We even sat outside on a bench in a sunny sheltered spot in the gardens next to the Schloss for quite a while, just soaking up the glorious warmth.

All that sitting can get tiring though, so we decided a café stop was necessary.

Well hello there, hazelnut hot chocolate (#dadwaspaying). I'm so arty and edgy that I even made a photocollage and instagrammed it. Enjoy:

Pretty nice, huh?
My photography skills appreciated, let's move on, just as Dad and I did, continuing our stroll round the town.

A short while later, it was time for lunch. Now, there was only one place I was going to take Dad (this was all planned out on my itinerary, obvs) for a quick, delicious, German lunch, and that was to sample the local Bayreuther Bratwurst. I know the best place. Trust. And #dadwaspaying.

Dad was not best pleased that he'd been in Germany for nearly 24 hours and was yet to have any sausage, so it went down a treat. Having enjoyed our Bratwurst in the sunshine and watched the world bustle by one busy Monday lunchtime, it was off to the brewery to meet Emma for our tour of Maisel's Brauerei- & Büttnerei-Museum!

Love this
OK, here's the truth: I am not a big beer drinker. Before I came to Germany, I hated it. Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. Six months down, however, and I have made progress. I sort of kinda like it now. A bit. And I genuinely enjoy Radler (beer mixed with lemonade). How German am I?

However, as a complete beer-newbie and not much of a fan, I was totally hopeless at advising Dad on all the different options while we were out and about, and y'all know how much of a big deal beer is in Germany! It's right up there with football and sausages.

Maisel's Weisse is the locally-brewed Bayreuth beer and is also among the top four Bavarian wheat beer brands. The business was founded in 1887 by the Maisel brothers, and is still run by the same family, four generations down the line. Ain't that sweet?

Signs for Maisel's Weisse are literally EVERYWHERE in Bayreuth, and I think it's really nice that there's so much local pride in it. In 1974, the beer outgrew its original brewery due to its big success, but instead of tearing down the old building, the Maisels decided to turn it into a museum. And that, dear friends, is exactly where we found ourselves on Monday afternoon.

Sure, it was a random Monday in February but the tour was full and I'm really glad I booked us onto it - organisation and planning FTW! And get this: it lasts an hour and costs a mere 5 Euros per person including a big ole glass of beer each at the end! Even if Dad wasn't paying I wouldn't've argued with that. (But #dadwaspaying.)

In a small group of 10 to 12, we were led round the old brewery by an extremely knowledgeable guide. Potentially problematically, the guides only speak German, but we were given really good scripts in English that corresponded perfectly to each room and were easy to follow. We got English versions for Dad's benefit, of course. Emma and I could totally understand all the German. Ahem.

I tell you what, this whole beer brewing malarkey sure is a long and complex process! Whoever discovered it? I don't know. It was really interesting to learn a bit more about how it's all done though. Could I now explain to you how beer is made? No. Sorry. But I do still have the script for my own reference which could always be handy. (As well as an obsessive planner I am also a hoarder. Both traits have been inherited from Daddio himself.)

One of my favourite rooms on the tour was actually one in which the walls were covered with old metal plaques, each for a different regional beer. Do we have so many different regional beer specialities in the UK? I don't think so. I'm one of those awful clichés who LOVE vintage-style posters, and with German writing too, I just can't get enough.

Another thing I love about German beer culture is that they have so many unique glasses and mugs, and the beer museum had not one but TWO amazing rooms choc-full of them. It was quite the display.

And yes, the kitsch old Christmas ones were my faves. I totes want one of these:

Tour over, we sat down for a well-deserved rest and a drink. Prost!

What boozers.
Slightly awkwardly, Emma and I took so long to drink ours that we were somewhat hurried out by the staff who wanted to lock up, but it was so nice to just relax and chat with one of my new bezzie Ms and my dad. And seriously, if you're even remotely interested in beer and ever find yourself in Bayreuth, book yourself on to a tour (easily done online.) For just 5 Euros, why wouldn't you?

Fully swotted up on (and filled up with) beer, Dad and I went back to mine for some tea, having picked up pastries and cake en route. (Y'all know who was paying by now...)

That evening, I'd reserved a table at the best restaurant in town, Oskar (booked way in advance, naturally), and I was so looking forward to taking Dad there. Somewhat conveniently coincidentally, it was also their cheap cocktail night. Ohhh... Look how that worked out.

So, after my fave Oskar dinner of Schnitzel and Kartoffelsalat (potato salad) for potentially the final time in Germany (*sob*), the lovely Emma came back to join the party and have a few cheeky cocktails. Well, cocktails for the girls, more beer-sampling for Dad. But hey, don't judge the man - there are a lot of beers to try!

I tell you what, that was the most fun Monday-night-of-dinner-and-drinks-with-my-dad-and-a-good-girlfriend I've ever had. What? Haven't you ever done that?

(Don't worry though, Emma and I are totally responsible and committed language assistants and most definitely did not have so much or stay out so late as to impair our teaching abilities the following morning. When you have as few hours of work as we do, it'd be awful to rock up in a state. Not to mention extremely unprofesh. OK rant over, sorry.)

It was such a lovely evening. Good food, good drinks, good company, good atmosphere, good service... What more do you need? And it was even better for us because #DADWASPAYING. Tee hee love ya, Dad.

In all seriousness though, it was so lovely to be able to show my Dad where I've been living and what I've been doing for the past six months, and I really appreciate his generosity. What's more, having a visitor just a week and a bit before I'm leaving Bayreuth (*sob again*) gave me the perfect opportunity to be a tourist, see the main sights and visit my favourite restaurant one more time.

Dads are pretty great, and I've definitely got a good'un. We even established that he and Emma's dad would get on. This is partially due to their strangely similar Facebook behaviour and classic dad comments but still.

I said goodbye to Dad the next morning and sent him back home to the UK full of German goodness. And now it's just a matter of days until I'm leaving myself. Nooooooo!

PS I'm planning a whoooole post on my guide to Bayreuth, so keep your eyes peeled for that in the near future!

PPS Thanks for paying, Dad!


  1. Sounds like a great time with your dad! I love showing other people round places I know well, it makes you see things in a whole new light :)


    1. You're so right, Sophie, it most definitely does! X

  2. Hallo Rachel,
    ich darf dir doch auf Deutsch schreiben? Ich bin zufällig auf deinen Blog gestoßen und habe mir alle deine Beiträge des letzten halben Jahres durchgelesen. Ich finde es herrlich erfrischend, wie du über deine Erlebnisse in Deutschland schreibst und freue mich, dass es dir bisher so gut hier gefällt!! Schade, dass du uns bald schon wieder verlässt. Es gibt allein in Bayern und selbst in Franken noch so unglaublich viel Schönes zu sehen! Leider hast du dir die falsche Jahreszeit für deinen Aufenthalt ausgesucht ;-) Aber vielleicht kommst du ja irgendwann mal wieder. Noch etwas: Ich habe nirgendwo in deinem Blog etwas von der Eremitage oder dem Markgräflichen Opernhaus gesehen. Das sind zwei der bedeutendsten Sehenswürdigkeiten in Bayreuth, die du dir noch unbeding ansehen solltest, falls du das noch nicht getan hast! Vor allem das Opernhaus musst du auf jeden Fall von innen sehen, es ist wirklich wunderschön und beeindruckend (und UNESCO Weltkulturerbe)! Falls du noch einen Ausflug vor deiner Abreise machen willst, kann ich dir gerne Tipps geben, was in Bayern (oder anderswo) noch sehenswert ist! Liebe Grüße, Max

    1. Hallo Max,
      Natürlich kannst du mir auf Deutsch schreiben, aber du musst meine Fehler vergeben! Vielen Dank für deine nette Wörter, es macht mir ganz froh, dass du mein Blog genossen hast.
      Ja es ist echt schade, dass ich so bald Bayreuth verlassen muss. Ich würde gern die Stadt im Sommer erleben, aber ich werde bestimmt zurück kommen. Deutschland am Weihnachten war trotzdem ganz schön!
      Keine Sorge, ich habe natürlich die Eremitage und das Markgräflichen Opernhaus besucht - ich schreibe bald mein 'Guide to Bayreuth' und beide werden drin gehen :)
      Liebe Grüße und danke wieder,


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