Posted: 7/17/2006


  I picked up a Bier Newspaper in Passau and saw a piece about Bestes
Dunkel de Welt`'-The best dark beer in the world. Well, I thought I
knew a think or two about dark beer, being `raised`at university on
Newcastle Brown Ale, and I have a fancy for some Dutch dark beers as
well Tilburg being  my favorite.
Anyway, its quite a journey. You take the train the Regensburg first
of all. Its a great city on the Danube with an imposing cathedral, and
12th Century stone bridge, and a host of breweries and bier gartens
with cobbled courtyards.
  Also visited Jahn Regensburg, the ambitious Bundeliga 3 team with
an imposing stadium. You then take a slow train into the countryside
for 30 minutes then a local bus for 10 to the banks of the Danube at
Kelheim. There you go upstream for 40 minutes on a pleasure ship
though the Jurassic Gorge less than 100 yards wide in one place and
towering 1,000 feet high, .to the Monastery of Weltenburg founded by
Columbian monks around 600 A.D., and Bavaria's oldest brewery, since
1056. It has a VERY baroque Abbey Church, with a giant St. George on
horseback slaying the dragon behind the alter. and a fantastic painted
  The church was secularized in 1803 and King Ludwig III made it an
abbey again in 1913.  Today 17 monks live in the monastery and
continue a 1400 year old tradition, and try and stay sober.
There in the courtyard under 9 huge chestnut trees I am served THE
ULTIMATE Dunkel bier-`Weltenburger Kloster Barock Dunkel', winner of
the Beer World Cup in 2005 for Dunkel Bier!!!
It's cold, and smooth and goes down easy, accompanied by a traditional
local dish Weltenburger monastry sausage, as huge as  a rolling pin
with spiced melted cheese and boiled potatoes and a salad! DE-LICIOUS.
I passed on the other traditional dishes; Sour lungs with bread
dumplings or Sucking pig head jellies with radishes, or Warm liver
  Chef de Cuisine Andreas Jutzis personally stopped by.   The quest has
ended, and the beer is to be well remembered. Budweiser indeed!!!
NOT TO FORGET Passau the day before. A visit with FC Passau at the
Drie Flusss Stadion (Three Rivers) Passau is on the border with
Austria and almost equidistant from the 3 major cities of Vienna,
Prague and Munich.
The River Danube(blue), River Inn b(green) and River Inz (black) all
converge on this island city and you can see the 3 colors of water
finally mix.
Passau has a church with 3 steeples to match the rivers, and
beautifully preserved medieval streets, and a monastery on a cliff,
where the local youth hostel is. Lots of tour boats sail as far as
Vienna and Budapest. The Danube is over 1500 miles long and finishes
up at the Black Sea in Bulgaria.
  By the way, the chestnut tree is very important in Bavaria. Since the
water table is not too far below the surface, deep cellars were out
for brewers, so they planted the shady chestnut trees and put table
and benches under them to cool their bier and customers, and business
was good. Now you know a little about bier gartens!!!
  I was at a restaurant next to the Old Town Hall in Munchen the other
day and wanted to go to the pissoir. There were half a dozen beautiful
urinals, all with a little white plastic goals and nets and a little
red ball attached to a plastic spring. If you aimed successfully you
scored a goal. Have a few beers and go back a couple of more times and
score a `hat trick`' I am sure that England would have missed again.
Next -Life with the World Champions and OFF WITH THEIR HEADS, the
World Cup failures!!