The traditional annual Strong Beer Festival in Munich starts every year with the beginning of lent and ends on Good Friday. In Lent, when fasting monks were only allowed liquids, this developed into a dark beer style called ‘Salvator’ that was ‘double’ strong (doppel). Salvator is still brewed today.
The Bavarian Purity Law of 1516 insists that beer brewed in Germany can contain only water, malt, hops and yeast. Yet the result is a medley of highly complex aromas and tastes across an astonishing spectrum. In spring, when it’s still too cold to enjoy a stein outdoors in the beer garden, the beers of choice are bocks - Bockbier and Doppelbock: strong, malty and warming. These beers are produced in March, during the ‘Strong Beer Season’ (Starkbierzeit), a tradition begun by 17th century Paulaner monks brewing what they called ‘Holy Father Beer’ (Sankt Vater Bier).
The whole concept of the festival is better explained in below video. You’ll probably have to watch it multiple times, since it’s kind of hard to concentrate on what the lady is talking about, if you like dirndls that is.
Here is a list of Munich’s strong beers:
Salvator: 18.3% original wort, 7.5% alcohol, Paulaner brewery
Triumphator: 18.2% original wort, 7.6% alcohol, Löwenbräu/Spaten
Maximator: 7.5% alcohol, Augustiner brewery
Gottfried Jakobs Blonder Bock: 19.7% original wort, 8.2% alcohol, Forschungsbrauerei Jakob, Perlach (the only “blonde” amongst the strong beers)
Animator: 19.3% original wort, 8.1% alcohol, Hacker-Pschorr
Giesinger Sternhagel: 9.5% alcohol. Giesinger Bräu
February 12th - March 19th, 2016
February 26th - March 13th, 2016
Various Starkbier events take place at other locations too.