I just got back from a week in Frankfurt, Germany. I was over there for work, but fortunately had a bit of free time and was able to eat some great food and try some of the local beer. Of all the bars and restaurants I went to, the only major commercial beer I recognized was Beck's. None of the places had anything besides one or two drafts, and though I'm not complaining about not seeing anything American, I did expect to see Chimay somewhere. No big deal though.
I tried 5 different beers while in Frankfurt - Radeberger Pilsner, Schofferhofer Hefeweizen, Binding Romer Pils, Licher Dunkel, and a dark beer from the Czech brewery Krusovice. By the third day, I had decided that Romer Pils was to be my go-to beer for the rest of the trip. The Radeberger Pilsner seemed a little too hoppy and bitter for a pilsner, and didn't really have a lot of flavor after the first few sips. The Schofferhofer Hefeweizen was good but that's more of a summertime beer for me. The Romer Pils was great. It was creamy and well balanced, with a bit of an earthy character to it, but not bitter. The Licher Dunkel was my favorite of everything I tried, but I didn't have it until the last night I was there and didn't get a chance to have it again. The Dunkel had a thick, creamy head, with very slight hints of chocolate and coffee and a light body.
The craziest part of my beer journey in Frankfurt was my attempt to drink 5 liters of Romer Pils in one sitting. We went to a German steakhouse for dinner one night, known not only for the steak that you cook yourself on a fired stone that they bring to your table, but for their rather large portions of beer. Last year, my boss had 1 liter sized glass of beer. This year, we all asked for big beers, and I was making signals with my hands, but the waiter signaled that there was something bigger than the 1 liter glass, so I had him bring me one. It was 5 liters!!! That's 169 ounces, or 14 bottles of beer. In an hour's time, I managed wash down my goulash, fries, salad, and 10 ounces of steak with 4 out of the 5 liters of Romer Pils. That equates to 11 beers in under an hour. I didn't feel a thing until I stood up to leave, at which point I almost fell over. Now, just to be clear, I normally go for quality, not quantity, and I certainly do not condone binge drinking or anything stupid like that.
This was simply a unique experience, and if one is to conquer such a large portion of beer, it must be done quickly in order to have any hope of fitting it all in and not getting sick. I think the reason I didn't get sick is because of all the food I ate, and although I may have been able to finish all the beer if I didn't eat, I surely would have been sick. So, for someone of my size, I think 4 liters in under an hour is quite a feat. (I'm hoping the next time I'm in Europe it's on my own time so I can better document my travels and take more pictures. All I had with me this time was my iPhone.)