If there is one thing that most football fans will begrudgingly admit, it's that when it comes to playing, the Germans generally do it better. But do they do footy pubs better too?

To find out, Inapub travelled to Munich with BT Sport and got a feel for how they bring the Champions League to our screens.

As we witnessed Bayern humiliate Arsenal 5-1 at the Allianz Arena, one or two weissbiers would have been needed that night to drown the sorrows of the away fans.

A few hours before the game, we had a couple of our own as we did our journalistic duty by checking out a bar that specialises in football.

Stadion, as it is now called, was a regular haunt of football fan Holger Pritzius. When he heard it was about to close he stepped up to the spot and took on the responsibility himself, turning the then student bar into a football fan's paradise.

That was back in 2006, just after the World Cup in Germany had created even more of a buzz around the sport. Ever since, along with Michael Jachan, who joined the Stadion squad four years ago, he has been building the business.

 

Holger takes up his position at Stadion with Michael slotting in behind.

 

The floorspace at Stadion is not much bigger than a penalty box, but as we all know, this is an area where the Germans feel extremely comfortable. Every inch of every wall is crammed full of scarves, shirts and other pieces of football memorabilia.

Holger explains: "It is all donated by people who come here. They bring it and ask if we can hang it up because then they have a part of the bar."

That sense of ownership helps to create the unified and friendly atmosphere they are after. It is why they attract fans from all over Germany and the rest of the world rather than, say, being a specialist Bayern Munich pub.

"It's all about tolerance," adds Holger. "Everybody who loves football can come together here without any problems. In the 10 years we have had no clashes.

"During the match there is shouting of course, and after the match you drink your beer together and talk to each other."

 

 

There isn't much choice but to sit near fans from opposition teams. They only allow 150 people in to watch the games on two big screens. They sit on benches and enjoy table service for both food and drink.

Just like in England, beer (there are three local brews on draught) tends to dominate. It makes up 80 per cent of all drink sales. Food — German classics such as schnitzels and pretzels — accounts for roughly a third of sales. The gender mix is also fairly typically male-dominated but the pair say they are now seeing more women coming to the bar.

It is such a popular spot that people generally book slots on the benches in advance of matches. However, a third of places are left for walk-ins on the day, in order to add to the atmosphere.

 

Munich's answer to Motson

The match day feel is generated largely by the fans but it is added to with goal announcements and the occasional use of an in-house commentator who can perhaps capture the mood better than the chaps in the gantry back at the stadium.

As you would expect, the most popular games are Bundesliga, Champions League or German international matches, though there is also a following for Premier League and Spanish football.

It is a football bar, which Michael says means other sports do not get much of a look-in. "We show the Super Bowl and handball is quite popular in Germany. Also if a group of 15 to 20 people request another sport we will consider it, but football is the priority."

 

Students of the game

While the passion in the pub could be replicated in the UK, whether we are ready for the "football culture" nights Stadion runs during quieter periods of the season remains to be seen.

 

 

Holger explains the appeal of the events: "We generally get footballers in here at the podium when we do football culture nights.

"They read from books and have discussions about football. That is a thing that we do during the winter break or the international breaks."

What is even less likely to happen in one of our own pubs is a night or two like Stadion experienced in 2014.

"Maybe you remember Germany won the World Cup?" laughs Holger. "But the best night was the 7-1 against Brazil in the semi-final."

Thanks Holger, we remember only too well.

 

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