Thursday, 23 April 2020
Beer in the news
First Oktoberfest. The 210-year-old festival, which attracts around 6 million visitors a year, is a major event in the German calendar, but fears that it could become a breeding ground for the corona-virus have led to its cancellation. I posted about this ten days ago, stating there were concerns that the world’s biggest and best-known beer festival would have to be cancelled.
In a joint declaration, Bavaria's Minister-President Markus Söder and Munich's Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter decided that the risk for the people is too high to let this year’s event take place. Bavaria has been one of the regions worst hit by the pandemic in Europe and allowing Oktoberfest to go ahead posed too big a public health risk. The risk to festival goers, who sit packed closely together in large beer tents, infecting each other was just too high.
Munich’s Lord Mayor added, “It is an emotionally difficult moment and of course it is also an economically difficult moment for our city.” Revenue from last year’s Oktoberfest amounted to around €1bn (£870m), so the event is not exactly small beer! Instead, they are looking forward to 18th September 2021, when a “particularly beautiful and intensive celebration of Oktoberfest” will take place.
This historic brewery was previously connected to the still active Molson Coors site, across Station Street, by an overhead bridge until 2017, when the last brew took place. The buildings were decommissioned the following year. I’m suspecting these buildings may once have been part of the Ind Coope brewery, so it’s ironic, that just seven short weeks ago, I should have had my final pre-lockdown pint in the Roebuck Inn opposite.
According to the local press, the former brewery is part of the Borough Road Conservation Area and provides an ideal opportunity to create a unique development in a location which is already primed for regeneration. The local authority has stated it is looking for high-quality residential-led proposals, which will complement the heritage of the site. The above photos, which were taken just a few weeks ago, illustrate the new and the old sections of the current Molson Coors brewing set up.
So, two unrelated news stories, both concerning beer, and both involving places I have visited, and drank in, during the past few years.