Starkbierzeit is my favorite time of year in Germany.
The end of Fasching, what Bavarian Catholics call Carnival, heralds the beginning of Lent, the Christian season of fasting. Normally considered a period of abstinence, in beer-crazy Bavaria it's time to crack open extra strong Starkbier brews.
Starkbierzeit has become such a fixture of Munich's annual event calendar that locals refer to it as the year's 'fifth season.' The supermarkets are stocked with the strong Doppelbock lager beer brewed only during this time.
The festival hearkens back to the fasting Paulaner monks who brewed the extra strong beer to sustain themselves between Shrove Tuesday and Easter. Today the beer is served only during Lent - but is now quaffed for less pious reasons.
Wish I was there!