FOOD AND DRINK
Eating and Drinking are what you have to do at some point over the four days, you have multiple options but when you find the time is another matter. Food is available at most venues, beer and drink is available at all the venues.
BUYING A DRINK AND 'PFAND' EXPLAINED
At some stage you will end up buy a drink at one of the venues, where the bar is permanent you will find a selection of drinks, at other venues like the Agra Halle 2 you will find a limited selection of drinks at makeshift bars. When you order your drink you will find that you are charged a small fee of 2 Euro's for each beaker/glass, this fee is called a ‘pfand’ (or Pledge), a notice should be displayed behind the bar with this cost displayed. When you return your beaker/glass you will receive 2 Euro's in exchange for every beaker/glass that you return (keep an eye out for unclaimed beakers/glasses and return them for a few extra Euro's). Restaurants and clubs that serve using proper glasses will not normally charge the pfand fee. At some venues you may also receive a token or a ticket, this must be returned with your beaker/glass to receive your money back (this is done to stop entrepreneurs from buying loads of empty beaker/glasses and making a fortune on returns). In my opinion this is one of the best rules of any festival, it solves the problem of empty beakers/glasses as you are forced to take them back to where you got them, hence there is very little litter and the place feels much cleaner for it (I just wish they would do the same in the UK).
German Beer is (in my opinion) the best in the world, brewed under the 1516 Purity Law (see below), drink it either in its light or dark / black form known in this part of Germany as Schwarzbier "shvahrts-beer" means "black beer" in German. It is a medium-bodied, malt-accented dark brew, very opaque and deep-sepia in color, with a chewy texture and a firm, creamy, long-lasting head. In spite of its dark color, it comes across as a soft and elegant brew that is rich, mild, and surprisingly balanced. It never tastes harsh, toasty or acrid. The beer is often referred to as a Schwarzpils, a "black Pils," but, unlike a blond Pils, which can be assertively bitter, the hop bitterness in Schwarzbier is always gentle and subdued. In a glass, Schwarzbier looks much like a British dark ale, but looks can be deceiving. Schwarzbier, unlike a British ale, has a clean lager taste that leaves next to no perception of fruitiness on the palate. Instead, Schwarzbier produces very mild, almost bittersweet, notes of chocolate, coffee, and vanilla. Like most traditional German lagers, Schwarzbier has a malty middle, but the sweetness is never cloying or overpowering. The beer is moderately to well attenuated and the finish tends to be dry. Its alcohol level by volume is in the range of 4.5 to 5%, rarely higher. To accentuate the Schwarzbier's dark elegance and appealing head, always serve it in a tall, fluted or tulip-shaped glass.
Coca Cola can be a pain in the arse to order, don’t ask for ‘Coke’ (unless you want a line of white powder) it’s generally called ‘Cola’, nothing that important until you try to get a drink. Most spirits are available at most bars (although it is quite common for spirits to be sold at different bars to the beer). If you get the chance you might want to find a local bar and try the local 'Gose' Beer. Gose is a top-fermented wheat beer, sometimes including oats, with added coriander and salt. The inclusion of coriander and salt is contrary to the excessively strict beer purity law ("Reinheitsgebot") but as the law was a Bavarian one and Gose originated outside Bavaria, this wasn't a problem until the unification of Germany and the wider application of the Reinheitsgebot. Gose was traditionally spontaneously fermented, like Belgian lambic ales or Berliner Weisse, with fermentation being initiated by natural wild yeasts carried in the air, instead of the addition of particular strains of yeast but today's brewers use their own yeasts. Gose is traditionally bottled in a flattish, near semicircular bottle, with a tall, narrow neck. The neck was designed to trap the foam of fermentation and thus produce a natural bung. Was not to my liking however In my opinion its rather mild in taste with a slight twang. Another drink to try in Leipzig is Pfeffi, its a peppermint schapps (they sell it in the Moritzbastei), very nice and refreshing.
German Beer Purity Law from 1516
The Complete Reinheitsgebot Text Translated
How beer is to be brewed and served throughout the duchy in Summer and Winter.
"We hereby proclaim and decree, by Authority of our Province, that henceforth in the Duchy of Bavaria, in the country as well as in the cities and marketplaces, the following rules apply to the sale of beer: From Michaelmas to Georgi, the price for one Mass [Bavarian Liter 1,069] or one Kopf [bowl-shaped container for fluids, not quite one Mass], is not to exceed one Pfennig Munich value, and From Georgi to Michaelmas, the Mass shall not be sold for more than two Pfennig of the same value, the Kopf not more than three Heller [Heller usually one-half Pfennig]. If this not be adhered to, the punishment stated below shall be administered.Should any person brew, or otherwise have, other beer than March beer, it is not to be sold any higher than one Pfennig per Mass. Furthermore, we wish to emphasize that in future in all cities, markets and in the country, the only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be Barley, Hops and Water. Whosoever knowingly disregards or transgresses upon this ordinance, shall be punished by the Court authorities' confiscating such barrels of beer, without fail. Should, however, an innkeeper in the country, city or markets buy two or three pails of beer (containing 60 Mass) and sell it again to the common peasantry, he alone shall be permitted to charge one Heller more for the Mass of the Kopf, than mentioned above. Furthermore, should there arise a scarcity and subsequent price increase of the barley (also considering that the times of harvest differ, due to location), WE, the Bavarian Duchy, shall have the right to order curtailments for the good of all concerned."
If you get the chance you might want to find a local bar and try the local 'Gose' Beer. Gose is a top-fermented wheat beer, sometimes including oats, with added coriander and salt. The inclusion of coriander and salt is contrary to the excessively strict beer purity law ("Reinheitsgebot" ) but as the law was a Bavarian one and Gose originated outside Bavaria, this wasn't a problem until the unification of Germany and the wider application of the Reinheitsgebot. Gose was traditionally spontaneously fermented, like Belgian lambic ales or Berliner Weisse, with fermentation being initiated by natural wild yeasts carried in the air, instead of the addition of particular strains of yeast but today's brewers use their own yeasts. Gose is traditionally bottled in a flattish, near semicircular bottle, with a tall, narrow neck. The neck was designed to trap the foam of fermentation and thus produce a natural bung e is an extract about Gose Beer.
Eating at the festival is quite easy as most venues have food being sold at them. However the only venues I would advise eating at are the Agra, Werk 2 and the Moritzbastei, all the others have food, or some approximation of what food should be. At the Agra there are loads of stalls selling food, every thing from German food to Indian and Pizza and Pastas. If your going to the Agra then get yourself outside and enjoy the good food being sold here (the pizza is particularly good, as are the Hot dogs with Onion sprinkles, the ice cream is very good too). The Food at the Moritzbastei is excellent, and served well into the night. Join the queue and order as quickly as you can, it will sell out by 2am. The choice is normally very good with a full range of Vegetarian foods, the Chilli is particularly excellent. Within the city there are numerous food shops and restaurants, take your pick. There are a few good Indians (although they do tend to take their time serving you), Thai restaurants, Italians and of course good German restaurants. You won’t starve and you can eat just about anything that you want should you have the time to even think about food. If you like fast food restaurants then I advise heading over to the Hauptbahnhof, where you will find Pizza Hut, MacDonald's etc. The Bagel Shop seems to be popular too, sited opposite the Hauptbahnhof down the side of the Seaside Park Hotel.
If you’re tired and want a very nice sit down meal then I highly recommend Auerbachs Keller the food is excellent and the setting is wonderful. It is quite expensive, but well worth it. The notoriety of "Auerbachs Keller" is due to the Keller-scene from Goethe's "Faust" and this explains why people will be taking pictures of the paintings on the wall. It’s quite hard to find down a small shopping arcade. Faust - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe THE boy, Goethe, was a precocious youngster. At the early age of eight he had already acquired some knowledge of Greek, Latin, French and Italian. He had likewise acquired from his mother the knack of story telling; and from a toy puppet show in his nursery his first interest in the stage. Goethe's early education was somewhat irregular and informal, and already he was marked by that apparent feeling of superiority that stayed by him throughout his life. When he was about 16 he was sent to Leipzig, ostensibly to study law. He apparently studied more life than law and put in his time expressing his reactions through some form of writing. On at least two occasions, this form was dramatic. Finally, in 1770 Goethe went to Strasbourg, this time really intent on passing his preliminary examinations in law, and with the somewhat more frivolous ambition of learning to dance. Along with his study of law, he studied art, music, anatomy and chemistry. A strong friendship with the writer, Herder, was likewise no part of Goethe's experience at this time, a contact which was of considerable importance in these formative years. In 1771 Goethe returned to Frankfurt, nominally to practice law, but he was soon deep in work on what was to be his first dramatic success, Götz von Berlichingen. While this was actually the story of a robber baron of the 16th century it really represented Goethe's youthful protest against the established order and his demand for intellectual freedom. Its success made its hitherto unknown author the literary leader of Germany. Goethe's invitation in 1775 to the court of Duke Karl August at Weimar was a turning point in the literary life of Germany. He became manager of the Court Theater, and interested himself in various other activities, so that for a period of some ten years not much actual writing was done. The writing of Faust, however, that best known of Goethe's works, extended over practically the whole of Goethe's literary life, a period of 57 years. It was finally finished when Goethe was 81. Faust is in reality a dramatic poem rather than a piece for the stage. While based on the same legend as Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, it far transcends both its legendary source and the English play. The latter is little more than a Morality illustrating the punishment of sin; Goethe's work is a drama of redemption.
There is a greater variety of restaurants in Leipzig than ever before: all tastes are catered for, offering everything from local dishes to, Chinese, Italian and American Since 1990, the number of restaurants has risen from 174 to 400. If all cafés and restaurants eateries are included in the count, from the Nobel Restaurant to ice-cream parlours, there are 900 to choose from, many of which are located in the city centre or along the so-called “Südmeile” or “Southern Mile”.
Leipzig’s restaurants includes famous names such as the "Auerbach’s Keller" which was the setting for a scene from Goethe’s "Faust" and "Zum Arabischen Coffebaum", where Goethe, Lessing, Wagner and Schumann drank their "Scheelchen Heeßen" (a type of coffee which is special to Saxony).
Vegans and Vegetarians are now well catered for, there are now many restaurants in and around Leipzig for you. You will also find good food at the Agra (although not at any of the other venues). Click on the Happy Cow link for more information
about where to eat in Leipzig.
TOP 30 RESTAURANTS IN LEIPZIG (Tripadvisor May 2016)
#1 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: German European Central European Brew Pub
#2 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: Mexican Brazilian South American Colombian International
#3 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: Central European German International Mediterranean European Contemporary
#4 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
#5 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: German European Central European International Gastropub
#6 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: French European Seafood
#7 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: Asian Vegetarian Vietnamese
#8 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: German Vegetarian Vegan
#9 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: Mediterranean European Asian Central European Gluten Free
#10 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
#11 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: German European Central European Mediterranean
#12 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: German Vegetarian Vegan
#13 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: German International European Gastropub Central European
Giorgio's Ristorante Pizzeria Cafe
#14 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: Italian Seafood Mediterranean Vegetarian Pizza European Soups
#15 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
#16 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: German European Central European
#17 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: European Central European International
L'Osteria Pizza E Pasta Leipzig
#18 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: Italian Pizza Mediterranean
#19 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: Mediterranean European Spanish
#20 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: German European Central European
#21 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: Italian Mediterranean Pizza
#22 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
#23 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
#24 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: Bar European German Irish Pub
#25 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
#26 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
#27 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: German European Vegetarian Central European Delicatessen
#28 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: International Pub
#29 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: German European Central European
#30 of 632 Restaurants in Leipzig
Cuisines: Italian Mediterranean European