In Munich it is looked upon as the fifth season of the year.
The bottom-wort of Starkbier (strong beer) is at least 18% and the alcohol level is ca.7.5% (so-called "double-bock"). The alcohol level of normal barrel beer is only ca.3,5%.
The traditional serving of the springtime strong beers in Munich begins always in Lent following Fasching.
People of Munich owe this "spring health cure" to the monks. When it was not allowed to
eat during lent, they invented a especilally nurishing beer to strengthen their bodies. The enjoyment of Lent beer
was not regarded as a sin: "Liquid nourishment doesn't break your fast".
Even if nowadays nearly nobody keeps to the Lent, the tradition of strong beer lives on to this day.
The names of the strong beer sorts of the Munich breweries end in "-ator", for example "Triumphotor" at the Augustiner Brewery, "Maximator" at the Augustiner Brewery and "Delicator" brewed by the Hofbräu. Most famous of course is "Salvator" at the Paulaner Brewery, where monks originally developed Starkbier (strong beer).
The Strong beer festival is celebrated in all the breweries' beer halls. There are live brass music and festive events on the programme. Although the Paulaner Cellar and the Löwenbräu Cellar are the focal points for this beer bust. In the Löwenbräu Cellar strong men from all over Bavaria take part in a stone lifting contest with a 508-pound stone. One of the highlights is the barrel tapping and the "Politiker-Derbleck'n" (the roasting of leading politicians by actors) in the Paulaner beer hall on the Nockherberg hill.
The 2017 Starkbier serving will be celebrated:
in the Augustiner Cellar from March 4 - April 8
in the Löwenbräu Cellar from March 10 - April 8
in the Paulaner Cellar from March 10 - April 2