One of the things that I see on my many trips to Europe, is the quantity of cheaper, as in MUCH cheaper, alcohol.
Not wanting to get into any debate or arguments here about the nanny state in the UK, but to state facts – the alcohol has much less tax on it in Germany than here in the UK; and it seems to work out just fine.
The excise rates can be seen here. And above in the graph, with it not taking a genius to see that this merely confirms what I said above.
And this is what I saw again the past month. Please look at these two photos that I took in a hyper market in Bavaria.
And your eyes are not deceiving you here! That’s correct, bottles of wine from €1.49, or to state in pounds, about £1.15!
In my life, I’ve always wanted to do this; go to a brewery and see just how the stuff of Gods is produced; I was not disappointed.
There were about 12 of us that took part in, the almost 2 hour long tour, and all seemed to be fascinated by it, both in the smelling of the hops, grains, etc – and in the tasting later!
I thought that it was:
* Interesting; it was very local oriented about their beer and their philosophy in making beer.
* Fascinating and new, when they spoke about malts, particularly the ones that are used to brew the alcohol, and then some that are only used to flavour the beer. I have made beer before, but simply didn’t know that they used this type of technique
* Links –
An interesting site, where many tours can be booked, here.
Another, where Visit England has some that are recommended.
I went into a LIDL whilst in Bavaria, naturally as they are both German and exceedingly good value. But the prices and variety of the “bevvy” was exceptional.
As you can see, a bottle of perfectly fine Merlot (Ed; In your opinion), will only set you back a quid! Extraordinary. Though this may have something to do with both the number of local wines produced in Germany as well as the tax structure in the UK and Glasgow.
What I also saw, and have seen before, were the different types of “whiskey” – Queen Margot? But now, this “formula” has been applied to gin and gin schnapps, that have a very similar look to other, more famous real gins.
But the last thing I saw, was the beer; with unbelievable prices.
Whether that be a very fine bottle of wheat beer, Patronus, to a nice can of Spaten (from Munich).
The week ahead, will once again be filled with Germany, as I am at present in Bavaria, but first. . .
After Frankfurt from last week, I decided to go to one of the many different wine producing areas in Germany (they have a lot!) and arrived in the area referred to as Der Pfalz; which also happens to be the hottest area in Germany.
I was based for several days in a delightful village called Nussdorf (just north of Landau), that as is common practice here, seems to have that every other house produces there own wine, to a very acceptable level!
The food is delicious; I as usual had my favourite, Flammkuchen, thrown down with a beautifully fresh and fruity Muscatel (Muskateller), that I had on more than one occasion.
I’ve been here before and of course will be back, but what always strikes me here is the utter lack of any pretension. Believe me, if this place was in France or Italy the entire world would know about the region. But if you were to read this ridiculously pretentious article, I’m glad that they don’t know about it as much.
It’s hot, inexpensive (a class bottle can set you back 7 Euros), the walking and bike riding (as it is actually quite flat) is superb, and the proximity to other regions in Germany are easily traversed, whether by car or train.
I’ve been here before in order to watch the World Cup in 2006, where I only had a few of these (in cans), but they still blew my head off!
For this latest trip, we went to Kannonesteppel, on the Textorstrasse, which seemed to be a mecca for Apfelwein enthusiasts, as there were other of these types of pub / restaurants here.
First of all, the Apfelwein is served here in something called a Bembel; that’s the pitcher that you see here (above).
Secondly, it was a bit more flat than before and less strong (though similar to a British Scrumpy).
Finally, I was told that it is only about 4 -5 percent alcohol, and I was mixing it with mineral water so that I could stand upright at the end of the night! This combined with the schnitzel and “Frankfurter Grüne Sosse” made this meal divine. I loved it, and the hof that was packed with punters loved it too!
I simply LOVE sweet alcohol! Always, and always will, but even at times in the past, from that truly great shop in the UK known as Home Bargains, I had to refrain. This involved a cheap, toffy concoction, that I should’ve chilled before consuming. My recent attempt was with a Smoked Apple Whiskey Liqueur – It’s beautiful.
Made by Manchester Drinks, which produces a myriad of “different” treats to be drank, this had me enamoured, as normally, something smoked is NOT my scene.
This works a treat and will certainly buy more of in the future.