Bavarian beer: history and traditions of brewing
Munich and beer — an inseparable union and, it seems, it has always been so, because the oldest brewery in the world is located in Bavaria, just thirty kilometers from Munich and has been operating since 1040(!). A beer called Weihenstephan was bottled at the monastery for eight centuries. In 1803, the monastery was dissolved, and it passed to the administration of the Bavarian state, which founded an agricultural school there, then an Academy, later the Academy became the Institute of agriculture and brewing, and in 1930 it became the Technical University of Munich. Despite all the perturbations, one thing remained unchanged — one never stopped brewing real Bavarian beer here.
Real Bavarian beer is brewed from three ingredients: barley, hops, and water. This recipe was legalized by Duke William IV in 1516 and has survived to the present day. A special mention should be made of the traditional place for drinking a hopped drink — beer gardens. Beer gardens of Munich appeared by coincidence; the fact is that in the old days’ breweries, like houses, were built mainly of wood; in summer, when the weather is dry and hot, they were the cause of frequent fires and brewing beer in the summer was prohibited by law.
There was a need to make supplies for the summer and store them somewhere. Brewers began to dig out cellars near the river Isar, but groundwater prevented them from being deep enough. To achieve thermal insulation, the Germans planted chestnuts, which would cover the cellar with their shadow. Over time, the cellars became not only a place where one could buy beer in Munich but also a kind of analog of inns and pubs, where people quenched their thirst and rested from the summer heat under the crowns of overgrown trees.
Best places in Munich to drink beer
A brief history tour ends here, and we finally get to the main point: Where to drink beer in Munich? Let’s just clarify that the pricing policy in most pubs is about the same: 5 euros for a half-liter glass and 10 euros for a liter, the difference in prices is noticeable only in the cost of food. In general, in Germany, you can drink beer even on the street, but the most popular place is certainly the Hofbräuhaus. You have definitely heard about this brewery somewhere; most likely, it is the most famous pub in the world, and there is no point in writing about it again. Briefly summarizing yes, it is worth going there at least once. But the world of beer restaurants in Munich is not limited to the Hofbräuhaus.
Visit Der Pschorr, which is located in the heart of the city, near the Viktualienmarkt market. Take a crunchy schnitzel with fried potatoes and cranberry sauce or a traditional knuckle and wash it down with Helles (this is what the traditional Bavarian lager is called in Munich). Visit Zum Dürnbräu, which is located in one of the cozy corners of the center. This is one of the oldest pubs in the city, operating since 1487, be sure to try the classic Bavarian lunch there — two Munich sausages with bezel and unfiltered Weißbier. If you want to experience the more fun atmosphere of Munich’s pubs, visit the Augustiner Stammhaus, which can be found between Marienplatz and Karlsplatz on Neuhauser Straße. Even if everything is full, do not hesitate to sit down at the long communal tables. By the way, one can see people holding bottles of Augustiner on the streets much more often than others, so it’s worth a try.
Also, one can find one of the most touristic, but no less atmospheric beer garden in the central market Viktualienmarkt. Don’t be afraid of the queue for beer; it moves very quickly. People there start drinking from the very first opening, so you will not be alone even if you come at 10 am to fight a hangover after a prolonged exercise in the bars of Munich.
In fact, pubs, beer gardens, and restaurants are located on every corner of the city, and wherever you live on your arrival in the capital of Bavaria, you can definitely find a secluded place that is steeped in German brewing traditions and has been working for decades.
Of course, there is a real beer festival in Munich — Oktoberfest. Huge tents packed with people, amusement parks, everywhere you can hear the clink of glasses and German songs. Oktoberfest has been held for more than two hundred years, and during this time, its fame has spread far beyond the borders of Germany, every year it attracts at least six million visitors from all over the world. Can you imagine an ideal place to drink in Munich? Hardly. But it is worth considering that if you come to a large company, then getting inside one of the tents will be quite problematic, at least in the evening. Admission to the festival is free, but it is better to book tables in advance because all the beer tents will be full. It is also possible to enjoy the atmosphere of a folk festival in a more relaxed atmosphere, but this should be done on weekdays, preferably before five o’clock in the evening.
It is best to come to Oktoberfest at two or three o’clock in the afternoon when the fest is already in full swing, but you do not have to wade through a long queue to get another glass of beer. However, whenever you decide to visit the main German festival, it will definitely not leave you indifferent.