I spent a recent long weekend on a visit to Munich. The following is not by any means a “Beer Guide to Munich” because we simply did not have enough time available to us to visit all the best places. But we did manage a number of brews in several excellent venues.
When one shops at Munich’s Marienplatz Christmas Market, it doesn’t take long to generate a thirst. Our first stop for beer was Der Pschorr, a fine recently renovated place just at Viktualienmarkt. This was an ideal oasis located close to the main centre of activity. It has high vaulted ceilings (as nearly all Bavarian bierhallen seem to have), but has quite a modern feel to it. And so, my first ever beer on German soil was a Hacker Pschorr Dunkel, quite a pleasant brew in a pleasant location.
Later that evening, after dining, our second stop for beer was Wirtshaus Ayinger Speis und Trank, located directly across the road from the Hofbraühaus. This establishment is a fairly posh affair by
That evening we mostly stayed at the Schneider Weisses Braühaus, just past the Isartor. This was my favourite place in
And so to the Hofbraühaus. I had deliberately stayed away from this place over the busy weekend. I had heard many stories about the place, mentioning “tourist trap”, “rudeness”, “football crowd”, “great craic” etc. so I was a little worried. We entered this enormous hall at about 6 pm on the Monday evening. Of course it was busy (I think it almost always is) with Bavarian band in full swing, but it was definitely not mayhem. We managed to find a table, and avoided sitting at a “stammtisch” – a table reserved for regulars. We were served our first litres by a Sandra Bullock look-alike waitress. She was fairly unfriendly, but improved considerably in demeanour when we ordered our second round. To sit back in the Hofbraühaus is quite an entertaining experience. There seems to be an endless flow of Japanese tourists that come and go, the majority of whom never even buy a beer. I even saw one of them ask a pretzel girl if she would pose with him so his friend could take their picture together. She agreed to this, even managing a nice smile. After the picture was taken, he shook her hand warmly and left; not so much as a euro tip! At €6.60 a litre, the Hofbraühaus is not bad value when considering the live entertainment and waitress service. I bought a large pretzel for €3.20, so they probably make about €3 profit on each one!
On our last day, we had lunch in the fine Augustiner Grossgastätte. This was another great beer hall, buzzing with lunchtime activity. The Augustiner Edeldoff tasted so much better on tap than the version I had had in a bottle in
On the morning of my departure, I made a quick visit to the local off-licence on Landwehrstrasse and selected five bottles of beer to throw in the suitcase. I bought 500ml bottles of Andechser Hell, Andechser Bergbock Hell, Paulaner Salvator, Augustiner Weissbier and Augustiner Dunkel. I handed the shopkeeper €20 and he proceeded to hand me back a little over €15 in change. This meant the beers were on average less than one euro each!
Even when we got as far as
John Stephens Dec 2007