Thursday, September 19, 2002

Knip's Eye View

Prince can sell his beer right here

        So is this any way to treat a member of the royal family? Ban him from a festival his ancestors invented?

        Apparently so. Turns out HRH Prince Luitpold von Bayern, in town even as we speak to introduce his Konig Ludwig Weiss beer at Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati, is a descendant of the very same King Ludwig who invented Munich's Oktoberfest in 1810 to celebrate his marriage.

        His family has been in the brewing business for 700 years — his beers are huge in Europe — and invented the microbrewery concept. “In the 1600s my family had a chain of 40 breweries and they were the biggest moneymaker for the family. Even more than taxes and land holdings.”

        Right, so why is a guy who brews one of Germany's top selling beers in a castle that stands almost in the shadow of Oktoberfest not allowed to sell it there?

        “In the early 20th century, about the 100th Oktoberfest,” he says, “Munich was broke and almost canceled the festival. So a group of brewers got together and financed it.

        “The catch was that only those brewers were allowed to sell at the festival and my family wasn't one of them. Today, only a handful of the original breweries are still in business, but they're still the only ones allowed to sell, and Munich won't budge on the issue.

        “We actually marched on Munich with beer, sausage, 2,000 friends and a brass band one year, 1989 I think. We were still refused admittance. Everyone called it the "siege of Oktoberfest.' ”

        That won't be happening here. The Prince will sell his beer 1-3 p.m. Saturday in the King Ludwig Fest Tent.

        Which, we might add, was specially designed for the festive occasion by local artist Hans-Joachim Papke. The prince invited him to Bavaria for a medieval jousting tournament and asked him to recreate the color, pageantry and tradition for the tent. Which he did.

        Selling out: Well, that's one way to unload the past and move on with your life: Sell your emotional baggage on e-bay.

        Exactly, says Cincinnatian Jen Ridenour, who says in a note on e-bay that she has spent eight months trying to get over a hideously bad relationship and pay off her debts, so she could move on.

        So she assembled all those memories — CDs he gave her, his mail still coming to her house (he left no forwarding address), pictures, e-mails, dried flowers and a hot pink Marilyn Monroe-style dress that holds too much meaning to go on hanging in her closet.

        “I've been quite surprised at the traffic,” she says. “There have been 1,800 hits. But no one bought it yet.

        “But it has been really cathartic for me. A friend suggested I sell him on e-bay, but this isn't about revenge. It's about finding a funny way to deal with something difficult. I think it's had so many visits because we've all been there and can relate.”

        You can find her emotional baggage by going to and typing emotional baggage in the find-it box. She's hoping to get about $4,000 for the package, nicely assembled in a leatherette case. One that he gave her.




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