If you’ve picked up your copy of West Coaster, you’ve read “Into the Brew” which chronicles my journey to becoming a professional brewer at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago. As part of our course, we’ve jetted off to Europe for some hands-on training. Here are a few of my electronic diary entries, with more to come – cheers!
October 30th – After dropping off my stuff at Siebel, I met up with a couple other guys to get a couple final beers at our favorite local spots (Revolution had a great new double IPA on) before catching the bus with everyone to the airport. Checked in for our flight to Munich around 6 pm and then hit up the Goose Island bar for a final pint of Matilda before boarding. Fellow students Simon and Mike got into a heated debate about being a craft beer geek taking a job at a major brewery instead of one of the micros.
October 31st – After a restful flight, we landed in Munich around noon local time. Thankfully our brewing school here in Munich, Doemens Academy, sent taxis to take us to our hostels and we were in the city center in no time. After checking in, a group of students decided to hit up the Augustiner Keller, which is just down the street. A liter of Edelstoff mixed very nicely with my jet lag. It was a little chilly outside but we couldn’t pass up the chance to sit under the golden leaves of the trees in the beer garden. It felt like it was getting pretty late when we left, but it wasn’t even 6pm yet! The rest of the night was spent at the hostel bar that actually serves the full range of Augustiner beers.
November 1st – Slept in and then cruised Munich for the afternoon. With no class until tomorrow due to a school holiday, this was the last day to sleep in and attempt to reset the bio clock. We cruised by the Oktoberfest grounds and it looked like they were just finishing taking down the tents from the festival, which ended the first weekend of Oktober. It’s a little surreal as the last time I was in Munich it was for Oktoberfest and the place was an absolute madhouse. After meeting up with some other guys back at the hostel we went to the Hofbräuhaus for dinner. It’s bar-none the biggest and most intense beer hall I’ve ever been to.
November 2nd – Finally, our first day of class at Doemens, which is in a suburb of Munich called Gräfelfing. It’s bigger than I expected, and they have 200 full-time German brewing students. When not in the lab or brewery, we have our own classroom on the second floor where all the lectures take place.