I have always been fascinated by the more rural parts of the world. In general, I enjoy learning about different ways of life, so it took me surprise the first time I ventured into Hermann, Missouri.
Hermann is a small town of roughly 3,000 people. It was officially developed in 1842, and settled by German immigrants in 1837.
You drive into this small town, located an hour or so outside of St. Louis, and you are absolutely amazed by what you find. I have no better explanation than this…you are driving in what feels like middle-of-nowhere Missouri and suddenly you pull up on this vibrant, Bavarian city that is sitting just south of the Missouri river.
Amazingly Hermann (and other small towns in that region) has become a hub for best-in-class wine production. There are dozens of wineries scattered throughout the countryside.
It is also home to some incredible authentic bbq (some of the best I have ever had).
I have now been to Hermann 3 times and have always enjoyed the change of pace.
My friends and I visited Hermann for Oktoberfest (this past October) and it was a super fun time – beer, pretzels, etc. You can still feel the German presence throughout the town, with several beer gardens and authentic fixtures.
I write this essay as a reminder to constantly be exploring. Hermann is located just an hour or so outside of St. Louis but I would bet that 90% of students at my school (WashU) have never heard of the small town – a real shame in my opinion.
Open your eyes – the world is huge!
Also published on Medium.