Society fights for accurate
beer pours as "Starkbierzeit" winds down
has been to a beer garden in Germany knows that the people who
idle there for hours take the accuracy of their pours seriously.
But that thick line on the mug meant to standardize the amount
of beer a patron gets hasn't made the "Society Against
Dishonest Pouring" any less popular — or necessary.
poured beers are among the largest problems in beer gardens,
restaurants, and at the Oktoberfest," the society notes
on its website.
The accuracy of German engineering spills over into the beer
world. dpa photo
The SADP estimates that beer maids who pour just a finger's
width less of beer cheat patrons out of 4.2 million Eur worth
of beer at Munich's annual Oktoberfest alone.
But the group
isn't just looking out for beer drinkers at the world's largest
beer festival. At any single beer event in Bavaria, the society
has as many as 20 pouring experts making the rounds to assure
drinkers of nothing less than a perfect pour.
members, the group includes major beer brewers as well as Munich
Mayor Christian Ude and Bavarian governor Edmund Stoiber. It
was initiated in 1899 to assure beer drinkers the right amount
of drink for their money, but its current incarnation was created
has also launched a campaign against the steadily rising price
of beer and a now defunct EU plan to harmonize beer taxes across
the 25-member bloc, calling the brew a "diet staple"
that is excluded from unwarranted price hikes.
price increases go through, there will be an uproar," said
Jan-Ulrich Bittlinger, a Society Against Dishonest Pouring representative.
gather every first and third Tuesday in the Munich's most famous
center-city beer hall, the Hofbraeuhaus.
the Munich-based organization have been on call in recent weeks
as festivals throughout Bavaria celebrate "Starkbierzeit,"
or "strong beer time." The last two weeks of March
and the end of Lent finds swillers in beer gardens and cellar
bars delighting in Bock beer that has alcohol content of 7.6%.
brewed during the end of Lent by Bavarian monks in the 17th
century, "Starkbier" is now celebrated by nearly all
of Munich's major breweries in a festival kicked off by keg-tapping
two week event, centered around the Paulaner brewery, is a much-loved
local tradition and the end to what Bavarians call the "fifth
season." It may be slower-paced and less touristy than
the Oktoberfest, but that doesn't make the beer maids working
there any more intent on a perfect pour, society members say.