When the demonstrations stop, Drupa visitors will head for the town, for food and beer, and of course to discuss the highlights of the day whether they be the impressive production or the demonstration that went wrong.
The Altstadt, old town, is the magnet that draws like no other, especially if the show is blessed by a few warm days when the printer can perch on tables along the main pedestrianised street and watch colleagues go by. There is almost as much to be gleaned about Drupa on the streets and in the bars of the Altstadt as in the halls of the Messe.
Firstly food. Spargelzeit, asparagus time, will be coming to its end. This is solid white asparagus that can appear in a multitude of guises as a starter or part of a main course. It can even appear in a dessert for the truly dedicated.
Then there is meat. Much of it pork and lots of it. The Schweinehaxe is a challenge for even the hungriest Anglo-Saxon. It is the part of a huge porker that is in contact with the ground, roasted and served with several ladles of sauerkraut. Beer is essential. As is some kind of digestion tablet.
In the Altstadt, head for Zum Uerige, the most traditional of traditional Bierkellers. This is where to don the lederhosen and feathered cap if so inclined. The locals will look askance. Beer is served from small kegs which are tapped and emptied with breathtaking speed. Your consumption of the distinctive Altbier is recorded by a chalk mark, totted up as you leave.
Im Goldener Ring and Zum Schlussel offer a similar traditional experience though with a less frenetic atmosphere thanks to more emphasis on the food than drinking. Tanta Anna delivers perhaps higher quality a more refined experience for this part of the town. Slightly away from the beaten track is Vente, a personal favourite. Nobody hurries you away and the food is worth dwelling over.
Be aware, however, that four years ago many of these establishments were insisting on cash payment rather than accept credit cards because of the levy imposed. Be prepared.
In the past UK suppliers have sponsored at least one of these bars and we happy to report that this continues with M Partners taking over the Tir Na Nog pub on Bolkerstrasse. There are other Guinness serving establishments around the centre, many offering the opportunity to catch the sport.
And then there is Bei Fatty’s around the corner in Huhnruckstrasse. This is the doyen of all Dusseldorf’s Irish pubs, the ceiling decorated with football scarves. Force your way to the back bar if you want to sit down, or else stand in the street and receive glasses of beer handed out through the window. On a good night the joint is jumping. Then it’s time to return to the exhibition.