Maibaumstüberl: 2700 pints of beer in one week – Ebersberg

Maypoles and beer tankards have always complemented each other symbiotically. At least that hasn’t changed before the Alte Post. Tavern guests sit around the maypole and toast each other with their mugs. Landlord Thomas Binder is standing in the door, the glasses clinking again and drowning out the ringing of the church bell. It’s almost like before. So like before the pandemic. Only one thing is different: the Ebersberg maypole is no longer in one piece vertically in the middle of the square. The trunk, painted white and blue, has now been divided and rearranged into a massive table complete with beer benches.

Thomas Binder, 55, the landlord of the Alte Post in Ebersberg, at the maypole beer table, donated by GTEV Ebrachtaler.

(Photo: Korbinian Eisenberger)

After a two-year Corona break, the boys’ clubs and breweries in Bavaria are celebrating the return of the Maypole Festival. On the first weekend of May, nine maypoles will be erected in the Ebersberg district: the Plieninger and Weißenfelder will start on Saturday, April 30th, who will not erect maypoles but April trees. The longest trunk will be erected in Glonn on May 1st, it is a good 38 meters high. The eleventh and thus latest maypole is to be pushed into the vertical in Kirchseeon, where the maypole festival has been postponed to May 15th. And in Ebersberg, the maypole beer table in front of the Alte Post will have company: a new tree will also be planted here on May 1st.

Maypole festivals: A maypole is converted into an inn table: The Alte Post in Ebersberg.

A maypole is converted into an inn table: The Old Post Office in Ebersberg.

(Photo: Korbinian Eisenberger)

For two years, many rules were established in Bavaria, but very few maypoles. Some tribes were never brought to their intended ceremony and were not painted or draped either. It is a difficult undertaking to store a log that is more than 30 meters long in such a way that it does not rot or dry out for two years. The Maibaum-Tüv would veto for security reasons. “If a tree is too dry, it is less elastic,” says Heinz Utschig, head of the Wasserburg forestry operation. This increases the risk of it breaking when it is set up. If the wood is rotten, something similar can happen.

In Kirchseeon they preserved the maypole for more than two years

Can you conserve a tree in such a way that it can still be used as a maypole two years later? In Kirchseeon they believe that this is possible. There has been a tree trunk under a hall canopy since the beginning of 2020. The maypole is debarked, otherwise untreated. On the open side it is protected by pallets, “although in such a way that air can get through and it doesn’t dry out so quickly,” explains Reinhold Schätz, head of the Kirchseeon fire brigade. The tree should have been put up on May 1st, 2020 – now it gets its chance two years and 14 days later. According to Schätz’s official statement, the ceremony in Kirchseeon was postponed “because some important people were absent due to illness”. Not by two years this time, but only by two weeks.

For lad clubs, their members and supporters, 2022 is the year to return to the essence of who they are. The weeks and months before May 1st in Bavaria are traditionally filled with appointments that have to take place in so-called Maibaumstüberl. Sometimes here, sometimes there. It is crucial that as few as possible filled beer kegs or carriers are left over at the meetings. Is it – after Corona – like it used to be?

Ask a man who is something like the interface between beer and boys. Rico Wagner, 27, is the party manager at the Grafinger Wildbräu brewery. In normal years, the brewery is engaged in three maypole festivals, this year there are six. The weeks before in the Maibaumstüberl are particularly important for beer sales. And this year, the comeback year, the beer is flowing in quantities like never before. “People are in the mood,” says Wagner. “It’s happening everywhere.”

“Power morning pint” in the Maibaumstüberl

In the villages around Ebersberg, people meet again for so-called “power morning pints”, which means nothing other than ensuring an intensive liquid intake in the morning, with non-alcoholic drinks being less important. Wagner reports of a Maibaumstüberl, where this tradition is apparently taken particularly seriously: “One Stüberl drank three pallets of light beer in one week,” says the Wildbräu festival officer. That corresponds to 45 carriers or, according to Wagner, “equivalent to 2700 half beers”.

According to reports, in some Maibaumstüberln things are going as they always have, as if Corona had been overcome. In the atmosphere of the parlors and fire stations, voices can also be heard for whom the euphoria goes too far, precisely because the virus is still a threat. In Kirchseeon, for example, they are “taking it a little easier” than usual this year. No special events like rum evenings, no buses like elsewhere in the district so that it doesn’t get too crowded and too wild.

The maypoles will still be put up again. Some are likely to last two years, the more stable three or four years. The maypole in front of the Alte Post from the Binders in Ebersberg is now a table and has a shiny sign on the backrest. Donated by the mountain costume preservation association Ebrachtaler Ebersberg. From 2018 to 2021 he was a few meters more vertical. Now he wears buttocks and vessels – and should outlast all the other maypoles.

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