Updated: Nov 8, 2019
11 hours of flying, sitting up straight on a small seat (that's economy by the way) and then -3 degrees weather when you get there. I am not complaining or anything, because this lead me to the oldest bar in Munich, the Augustiner and of course my first beer on this Europe trip. A proper German restaurant with huge pretzels and a very tasty house lager made for the perfect entry into my holiday.
On the plane to Denmark, which would be my home for the next few weeks, the friendly (and Danish) air-hostess offered me my second beer on this journey: a Warsteiner Lager (German). By this time I was used to a very different style of beer making: what we call 'craft' here in South Africa, they call a 'cold one after a hard day's work'. I loved it.
So if you haven't noticed by now, they take beer very serious that side...this is where Christmas beer comes in. Every brewery makes their own seasonal festive beer every November and spreads holiday cheer with creative cans or bottles and beers that taste like Christmas. Yes, that is a type of taste, and it helped a lot in picking which beer to drink each day.
In Denmark Jacobsen's Jule Brau (Christmas beer) was the first I had and it was fantastic. With a cigar in hand, at a local pub I sat alone at a table drinking the beer that the barman suggested. It was like a scene out of a movie: the old guy with the football (soccer) jersey at the bar, the barman with a cloth on his shoulder and a cloud-like layer of smoke on the roof from the cigarettes. With a few rock classics from Ozzy Osborne and the Rolling Stones I sat in my booth and tried a few holiday beers wearing a fittingly 'ugly Christmas sweater' while talking to myself.
The other days in Denmark were a bit more social. More Christmas beers, local beers, strong beers and some really unpleasant tasting stouts. The thing is that if you buy a beer there, you have to finish it because a standard beer costs around 60 Danish Krone (this, by the time of writing was about R130 worth for a 500 ml beer).
Whether the beers were expensive or not, somehow you forget what it costs, because if you are like me, drinking a beer from a tap, served by a bar lady with an accent in a strange country in 5 degrees weather...it just makes the experience a bit more worth it. The idea behind the beer is tastier than the beer in some cases, but that's just fine by me.
When lying in the sun on my lilo, years from now, 14000 kilometers away from that place with a Castle Lite in my hand will I trade all those days from this day to that to go back there and tell that barman that he may take my money, but he will never take my Europe trip? Yes, yes I would.