Nothing says “I’ve been to Munich (and enjoyed it)” quite like those big, beautiful, one-liter glass beer steins!
The problem with getting one is that you either pay exorbitant prices, or try to steal one (!)
Both of scenes take place frequently at Munich’s Hofbräuhaus, a top tourist destination–especially when Oktoberfest is over and the beer gardens are closed. The Hofbräuhaus’ gift shop is crammed full of kitsch, and you’ll pay a hefty price for your krug (currently around €11.00!) With exchange rates as they are, this prompts some enterprising minds to try and stuff a freshly-emptied into their backpack.
Now, one-liter beer mugs are big, and they hold a lot of residual beer. Even if you manage to squeeze it into your day bag, your Let’s Go Europe ends up getting soaked, along with your mobile phone and that extra sweater. Plus, that “beer bulge” is easy for the security guards to spot, which can lead to inebriated tourists getting roughed up and penalized.
Fortunately, there is a reasonable alternative for those on a budget, and those who don’t need the honor of swiping a krug from which they actually drank.
For the last few years, Paulaner have been offering a great deal that will save you time, money and grief. Somebody over at the brewery came up with the brilliant idea of creating a 1-liter aluminum can that just fits inside a Maßkrug. So you get not only that precious jug, but also some contents to go with it!
Here’s one I just picked up (in mid-October) for just €5.99!
Considering that this year’s price-per-liter at the Wiesn was €8.80 (!!), this is a steal–you get to keep the glass!
Better yet, you can get this thing at local super markets in Munich. So you needn’t go to a tourist stand and suffer that “I’ve been ripped off” feeling. I’ve spotted these beer-plus-mugs at Rewe, Kaufhof and Karstadt, and I’m sure there are more.
When you’re out and about, you’ll recognize them more quickly by their logos:
Note: Kaufhof and Karstadt are department stores, so don’t be shocked when you go through the door and see clothing or perfume. But many of them have up-scale supermarkets in the basement, where you’ll find the Paulaner souvenir. So hop on the down escalator!
If you are wanting to bring a gift home to someone who couldn’t make the trip with you, I find this to be a super choice. Not only do they get an awe-inspiring monster beer stein, but they also get a whole liter of beer to fill it up with. This is so much more satisfying then emptying three bottles of Corona into the thing!
I don’t believe that the Paulaner kits are available all year long, however. Since that oil can contains a special Oktoberfest brew, and the packaging is Oktoberfest-themed it’s probably seasonal. However, I’ve seen it in the stores from August to November so you’ve got at least a 25% chance of picking one up! Especially if you’re one of those who came to Munich thinking that Oktoberfest is in October!