Some people like to celebrate their birthday by having a huge party. Other people want to go to a bar or a restaurant. Still some people just want to do nothing. A Beer At Joe’s regular, Dan (you might know him from such posts as the Double IPA Fest, White Lightning Wedding, or Anniversary Beer), decided to spend his special day hiking through the woods with a bunch of his friends in search of German Beer and Food, good music, and lederhosen as far as the eye could see. Enter the marin branch of the German Tourist Club and their annual Summerfest.
You can read more about the Tourist Club at their site but basically they are a club that hangs out pretty deep in the woods in a beautiful wooden building. They were started by the Nature Friends a long time ago. Their hours are here and there and it isn’t easy to join (not that hard either a friend of a friend who is a member told us). And boy do they know how to hold a party.
Our group of merrymakers started in Mill Valley. We could have started in Muir Woods and do a two hour hike, but while that wouldn’t have been that bad going there it would not have been fun going home. After climbing the 676 steps of the Dipsea trail – we hiked through brush and trees (and a few sub-divisions) ending up in a nice secluded area in the woods. Of course it was over run with people.
While the crowds were definitly there in force – it was an amazingly beautiful day out and their was plenty of beer to be drunk. They had on tap – WELTENBURGER Barock Hell, Trumper Pils, and PAULANER Hefe Weizen – for me the Hefe was my favorite and felt perfect for the event. Of course there were bratwurst and other meaty products. Fresh baked soft pretzels were sold from trays carried through the crowd. All through this the band played a bunch of classic polkas. All in all a great day and a perfect way to celebrate a birthday. And hey we didn’t even fall off the moutain on the way down.
If you are thinking of making the trek out to the Tourist Club – make sure you check the website and call them to make sure they are open. I hear the Oakland one is a good place to visit too.