The one thing you’ve gotta love about Munich and Germany in general is the great beer culture that they have. Munich of course is renowned for its Oktoberfest celebrations, and even though it’s not October, you can get really good beer all year round. The beer halls are definitely somewhere you have to visit for the great beer and even greater atmosphere – Germans are actually really friendly folk and very happy to make friends over a pint or two, even if they don’t speak much English, the international language of beer makes everything ok =)
Here are 3 places that I visited that I highly recommend anyone who goes to Munich to check out!
The Augustiner Bräustuben is located near the Theresienwiese where the Oktoberfest celebrations take place and it is one rowdy place and my favourite place of the lot. Hang up your coat and just find an empty seat at the communal tables to plonk your ass down at and get a beer. We were a little overwhelmed at first by the sheer crowds, but a kind waiter found my friend S and I a seat at the corner of a table and quickly set us up with a beer each – a litrebeer for him and a smaller 0.5L for me.
He also kindly got us an English menu, from which we picked a sampler of local German delicacies to share: Crackling pork, pork knuckle and duck with a potato dumpling and red cabbage on the side. Good thing we shared because even then we were totally stuffed.
The beer was so good that we had another beer each, which was where I encountered the awesomely yummy Dunkel beer as recommended by the friendly waiter, while S had the weissbier. We also had an awesome time making friends with our table mates, an elderly gentlemen and a group of executives.
You can find the beer house at Landsberger Straße 19, 80339 München. Go with friends or just go there to make friends, you’re bound to come away with beer buddies even if you’re alone!
We were first introduced to the Hofbrauhaus on the free walking tour, where we were taken upstairs and our guide explained the heritage of the place and beer to Munich – beer was both currency and akin to drinking water back in the day, and apparently brewed by women, so pooh to people saying that beer is a man’s drink!
Stories and history aside, we headed back to the hofbrauhaus for a post-dinner drink on S’s last night in town to check out the place, even though we already had had a drink at Augustiner earlier that afternoon. It’s a lot more touristy than Augustiner’s, this time we bypassed the long communal tables and headed right to the back where there were smaller tables, and joined a table with another couple at it.
The beer here only comes in litreglasses unfortunately, though I was really full up from Augustiner’s previously, so S helped me finish up the beer. I ordered a lager and S had a dunkel to share, though the dunkel was tastier and I made him swap glasses with me halfway through =P
The hofbrauhaus is pretty easy to find near Marienplatz at Platz 9, 80331. Check out their facebook page here.
While in Munich, I had the pleasure of being taken around the place by my cousin’s German family H and I living there. They had dinner reservations at a place right next to the Hofbrauhaus called Ayingers which they usually brought visiting guests to. We were a little early, so we had a drink at the bar first – H recommended the special Jarhundert beer, which is a seasonal beer from a barrel that comes in limited quantities and runs out quick! Also fabulous are the free pretzels that come with the beer, warm and fluffy, YUM.
When it finally came to dinner, I was really, really full, but I ordered the deer meatballs. Now when the Germans say meatballs, it isn’t anything like the Swedish Ikea sort which are small and bitesize, the German meatball is more like a patty than a ball! It was really, really good but I could not finish it unfortunately.
It was nice to have H and I do most of the ordering in German, though the waiters were friendly and accommodating, and even the guy in the next table joined in the conversation – I do love this casual beer bonding atmosphere that German beer houses have! This place was definitely less touristy than the Hofbrauhaus, but they had English menus so you can order even if you don’t speak German.
The Wirtshaus Ayinger is directly opposite the Hofbraushaus at Platzl 1A 80331 München.
Here’s a google map of the 3 places listed above for anyone curious on how to get there!
View Munich Meandering (2012) in a larger map