Created on 2016-03-09 at 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh may be known best for its industry and the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, but if you venture over to Penn Brewery in the historic North Side neighborhood, you will find a slice of Bavarian culture in the Steel City. We spoke to founder Rich Hahn of the Bayern Munich Pittsburgh fan club about how he came to be an FC Bayern fan in the first place and what led him to starting his own fan club.
How did you become an FC Bayern fan & what made you start a fan club?
It started by joining a cultural club in Pittsburgh called Teutonia Mannerchor back in 1999 where I got exposed to German activities and culture at the club. We would watch GolTV and I got hooked on Bayern. GolTV was mostly only broadcasting Bayern, so I wasn't exactly sure who the other teams in the Bundesliga even were at the time.
I would go to other bars to watch international matches against Germany and we were always outnumbered 2 to 1. When I asked the German fans what Bundesliga team they supported they would usually say Bayern Munich. I am an organizer by nature, so it just felt right to do so.
How do you overcome some of the challenges as a fan club so far away from the team?
It is difficult with time differences, but most people can break away from their jobs or families for a Champions League or Bundesliga match mid-afternoon once in awhile. It is important to utilize Facebook / emails for ample notice to members to schedule in match times.
Does your club take part in any activities beyond watching the matches?
Many of our members are also members of the German cultural club Teutonia Mannerchor which is one block away from our main viewing home - Penn Brewery. Teutonia supports cultural singing, dancing, and fellowship, all in a historic landmark.
How does your FC Bayern fan culture fit in within your local soccer culture?
Most people recognize our jerseys and ask if we watch many games, and where, etc. I tell them about the new FOX TV contract as well as our Facebook pages - USA and Pittsburgh.
Do you have a particularly fond story about or moment with the fan club?
It wasn't a Bayern game but watching the World Cup final game at HofBrau Haus Pittsburgh with a packed crowd with my son and other members. The place was packed and the crowd was electric once Gotze scored the winning goal!
Contact Bayern Munich Pittsburgh
Home Pub: Penn Brewery - Northside (Historic Deutchtown) Pittsburgh
Start your own fan club!
Want to start your very own official FC Bayern Fan Club? Check out the benefits of being a fan club member and how to get started here.