While spring has finally sprung in the West, and with that comes Brotzeit German Bier Bar‘s Maifest celebration! Maifest (or Mayfest in English) is the traditional German celebration of the arrival of spring. Maifest is still celebrated throughout Germany with the maibaum (maypole) decorated to show off the history and crafts of the town.
Much like Oktoberfest, the spring festival involves a lot of drinking, beer-related games, and a whole lot of drunk singing. It is also recommended to sit with a bunch of strangers and get to know them pint by pint.
Before all the drinking begins, Breaded Camembert with Cranberry Sauce would be a good place to start and is one of Brotzeit’s popular appetizers. The soft cheese is covered with light, crisp breading that makes for contrasting textures, with a sweet and slightly tart cranberry sauce with grapes.
Brotzeit even has a special beer to celebrate spring – Paulaner’s Münchner Märzen. It is light, fluffy and fades out quickly leaving only a little spotty lacing at the top of the glass. Its aroma is full of sweet bready, toasted and roasted malts with a touch of nutty character, caramel candy and noble hops.
There were quizzes and drinking games held all throughout the night, but what would the Maifest be without a maypole dance, eh? I have to admit, I found this a bit odd – non-Germans dancing round an oversized umbrella. But points for effort on bringing the spirit of Maifest to Manila!
The highlight of the evening was the huge Maifest Platter (Php 2,400) that is probably best to be shared between 6 hungry people. The platter is made up of two big slabs of grilled pork chops, schwenkbraten (pork skewers), four different kinds of sausages, as well as some steamed vegetables and potato salad on the side.
You can also add Php 900 for six big glasses of 500ml Paulaner beer, which is a really good deal if you split it up between six people, or two really thirsty ones.
I mistook the schwenkbraten for chicken kebabs, as the grilled pork was just really tender and the spicy rub had just enough heat, I could’ve mistaken this for a shish kebab with the vegetables – it was juicy, tender, very nicely spiced, and absolutely delicious.
The grilled pork chops were two hunking slabs of well-seasoned meat, served with melting butter that fuels the heavenly aroma of meat that makes one just want to get in there and start eating. Jericho and I successfully shared one slab, thoroughly enjoying the tender meat with the melt-in-your-mouth fat (fat is flavor, after all!) and the crispy, chewy rind.
The sausages were a treat and I had a fun time discovering which was which. There were spicy chicken sausages, grilled pork sausages, pork cheese sausages, garlic sausages and veal sausages – my favorite of the lot being the garlic pork and the spicy chicken. I found the veal interesting, but it isn’t something I’d want in sausage form.
After all that meat and beer came a whole lot of sweets! Brotzeit’s Dessert Platter (Php 650), a plethora of indulgent Bavarian desserts such as Apple Strudel, Chocolate Cake, three flavors of homemade ice cream, layered crêpes, and a bunch of grapes. Personally, I was so happy to have discovered real apple strudel – in Mandaluyong, of all places – that I promised myself to be back for more of this old school German pastry.
We continued on with out night of drinking, quizzes, and drinking games, and overall drunken merriment, and I left with a better appreciation for beer as well as the fun folks who drink it. Celebrate Maifest this June at Brozeit Bier Bar and Restaurant with their Maifest Platter and other limited time dishes and beer, available until June 30, 2014. Prost!
Brotzeit German Bier Bar is located at Unit 112 Streetscape, EDSA Shangri-la Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong and open from 11am to 2am daily. For inquiries or to reserve a table, please call +63 2 631 1489.