The one thing I love about Munich is of course the beer and the great Bavarian beer culture. Munich is renowned for its Oktoberfest celebrations, but you can get really good beer all year round. The beer halls are definitely a must visit for beer lovers to have a pint and they also have great atmosphere.
Germans are stereotyped as being quite stern, but I encountered some really friendly folk who were happy to make friends over a pint or two, even if they didn’t speak much English – the international language of beer makes everything ok.
Here are 3 beer halls that I visited in Munich where I drank a lot of beer. Check out all the posts from my Munich trip before Christmas.
The Augustiner Bräustuben is located near the Theresienwiese where the Oktoberfest celebrations take place and it is one rowdy place – but it ended up being my favourite place of all the beer places we visited. 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 crowd, 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 litre beer 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 mostly 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. Hofbrauhaus is 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.
The beer here only comes in litre glasses 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 – I decided I liked the dunkel better and made him swap glasses with me.
The hofbrauhaus is pretty easy to find near Marienplatz at Platz 9, 80331.
While in Munich, I had the pleasure of being taken around the place by my cousin’s German family H and I. They made dinner reservations at a place right next to the Hofbrauhaus called Ayingers where they usually brought guests from overseas.
We were a little early for our table, 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 already 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