The Paulaner / Hacker-Pschorr traveling biergarten made its way to Chicago this weekend and I was
happy that I attended. Unfortunately, the promotion of the event was subpar. I found out about it from the Hacker-Pschorr Facebook page on Thursday afternoon that they would be running from Thursday, August 23, 2012 through Sunday, August 26, 2012.
Of course like a lot of people I know, I had already made plans for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights so Sunday was my only option. The only problem with that was rain was in the forecast for the majority of the day. Thankfully I did not let a little rain ruin my fun.
I hopped in my car and drove from my home to Chicago. The expressways were actually not all that bad but Lake Shore Drive was exceptionally slow. Turns out they were also having a triathlon that day and using Lake Shore Drive for the bike route cutting it down to two lanes from four; combine that with the weather and the drive in took much longer than I would have expected. That’s ok because it made me want the beer even more.
I finally made my way to Montrose Harbor and found parking rather quickly on the street. I grabbed my umbrella and made the quick walk to The Dock where I was greeted with a Paulaner Willkommen sign. There were a handful of people sitting under the umbrellas on the biergarten tables but I opted to sit at the bar to better keep me out of the rain.
The first beer I ordered was the Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest because the Paulaner Oktoberfest was tapped out and they had to get another one from the truck. I befriended a very welcoming family who was in town to see their son who was also with them. They were a lot of fun to talk to and I was happy to tell them my stories from Oktoberfest in Munich as well as try and answer their questions about Oktoberfest.
What I came to find out over the course of the day was that the number of people I was talking to were completely unaware that this was a special event and they were either regulars at the beach or out-of-towners. Regardless of that fact, the day was a blast. I enjoyed meeting everyone at the bar and appreciating the joy of German beer. I was also pleasantly surprised that they had Paulaner Oktoberfest Wiesn bier on tap as well. This is the same beer that is served in the tents in Munich. The first sip brought me right back to Munich and all of the fun.
While there I also talked to a couple of guys who worked for Paulaner HP USA. They were the ones
managing this event. They were great people and pretty informative even though they couldn’t answer all of my questions. The staff at The Dock were also very polite and a lot of fun to converse with while enjoying your beer. Sadly, because of the rain and the lack of clients the party had to end somewhat early around 7:30p which was actually a blessing because the second I got back on Lake Shore Drive to go home the rain really started coming down and there was a lot of localized flooding on the streets. Thankfully, I made it home safely and did not see any accidents on the drive home.
I would gladly attend another Paulaner / Hacker-Pschorr event but they really do need to improve on their promotion. Luckily, when I did talk to the guys at the event they informed me of the upcoming schedule:
Weekend of August 31, 2012:
Bier Stube in Moline, IL
Weekend of September 7, 2012:
Martha Clara Vineyard in Long Island, NY
Weekend of September 14, 2012:
Olde Magourns Saloon in Somerville, MA