A night at the Augustiner bräu
Salzburg may be politically part of Austria; but geographically, it's actually much closer to Bavaria. And when it comes to beer, it's clear that the closeness is measured by more than mere kilometres. The Augustiner Bräu is where Craig, Sarah, Kade, Lisa, Thierry, Wilson and myself went tonight — for something to drink, and for something to eat — and it's the kind of place that could only possibly exist somewhere whose heart is of Bavarian fibre. I kid you not when I say: the Augustiner Bräu is a beer hall that has been operated for centuries by Augustine monks; that serves the Augustine beer that the monks themselves brew and copiously drink; and that is physically connected to the monks' fully-functional church. Of course — this being the crazy beer-religion-wotzdadiff place that it is — all that is perfectly normal and acceptable. Anyway, all I can say is that these monks sure do a good job, because they brew some of the best beer known to mankind; job satisfaction is no doubt a part of life for them.
After meeting up and engaging in some warm-up "exercises" (i.e. "pints") at Yoho this evening, the seven of us trekked over to the Augustiner Bräuhaus, and wasted no time in moving on to the main event. With room for over 2,000 patrons, the Bräuhaus is massive — almost halfway to competing with Munich's Hofbräuhaus :P — nevertheless, we still had difficulty finding a table. We ended up sharing a long bench with a bunch of other travellers, where the whole crowd of us enjoyed a long evening of intense 1L stein-drinking (only size they serve), gluttonous pork knuckle eating (oy gevalt), and loud-mouthed conversation.
Once again, about the beer: I'm generally not a fan of the stuff; but around here, they brew it like nobody else knows how. It seems that like so many other products — e.g. pizza, ice-cream, tacos, fruit juice, cheese, sausage, and jam — beer is yet one more product that tastes (and that is) great when freshly and traditionally made in its home region; but that modern mass-producers manage to utterly f$#% up when they package it, freeze it, ship it halfway round the world, and fill it with all manner of preservatives and nasty chemicals. Long live real beer, and long live real food!
We had more than a couple of steins at the Augustiner Bräu; and we didn't leave until the place started to empty and to pack up, around 11:30pm. After that, most of us returned to Yoho and continued the festivities at the bar; but Thierry and Wilson hit some extra bars on the town. Anyway, things got hazy after that; and the only other thing I can say, is that I was still not-at-all-elegantly sufficed from all that beer the next morning.