Casting my memory back to July 2010 to an amazing trip Daniel and I took around Europe. We visited so many amazing places but Munich was a stand out for both of us! The weather was perfect, the beers were cold and we had so much fun! We visited Beer Gardens and Beer Halls. We drank our share of Bavarian beer in Munich and loved the atmoshere. I’m going to do my best at remembering as many details as possible to share them with you – I can’t quite believe it was almost 11 years ago!!
From the time I was a little girl, I had wanted to visit Germany and see Neuschwanstein (the real life Disney Castle)! Daniel didn’t have the same desire to travel to Munich as me but we went to see my bucket list location in any case. Looking back, Daniel has said it is one of his favourite places. The great beer history and atmosphere has a lot to do with that, I’m sure!
We took the overnight train from Venice and arrived in Munich early in the morning. Initially, we were struck by the architecture. Many of the buildings had been rebuilt after the war but still retained their original old charm. Deciding we wanted to look around the city some more, we joined a cycle tour. This was the start of our beer adventures around Munich as well!
Chinesischer Turm Beer Garden
Our tour showed us many of the main sights of Munich, amazing as they are, you’re not here to read about them… Our tour culminated in lunch at the second biggest beer garden in Munich, the Chinesischer Turm. The main feature of the beer garden is the large Chinese Tower that is the focal point of the garden. The Beer Garden gets it’s name from this tower.
While we were there, we partook in some Bavarian food – ham hock and sauerkraut if my memory serves me correctly. We washed that down with the famous Bavarian beer. A Radler was what I chose for my first drink. These are Bavarian Bier mixed with lemonade, created for cyclists as a low alcohol option! I have to admit, I wasn’t much of a beer drinker at the time. I do remember this being the first time I truly enjoyed the experience of drinking a beer, all be it a mixed drink. It would have been very easy to spend a long afternoon at the Chinesischer Turm, enjoying the busy atmosphere and the beautiful beers. Our tour was coming to an end though so we had to move on.
Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall
Hofbrauhaus was our location of choice for the evening. The spectacular Hofbrauhaus is more than 400 years old, founded in 1589 by Duke William the Fifth. The atmosphere inside was incredible. Bands were playing, people were talking and singing, food and drink were ordered from and served to you at the table! This is definitely an experience that will never be forgotten. Although I can’t remember what we ate that night, I do remember that I began to enjoy the Münchner Weisse and it is still one of my favourite styles of beer today! What an experience! Definitely a must visit destination for Bavarian beer in Munich.
Neauschwanstein – my Bucket List Destination
The next day, we made the journey for me to see Neuschwanstein. It was definitely worth the journey, and anyone trying to convince their partner to travel to Munich could almost certainly seal the deal with the promise of a trip to the magnificent castle! The scenery was incredible and the castle was everything I ever dreamed it would be. It was quite surreal to actually see it first hand, worth every penny we spent to get there. If you’re ever lucky enough to get to Munich, do yourself a favour and make the trip to Neuschwanstein. The history alone will blow your mind!
Lowenbrau Beer Garden
Our final meal in Munich was at the Parkrestaurant Lowenbrau. Again, a lovely atmosphere, delicious Bavarian food and fabulous beer. What I love most about the Beer gardens and Beer Halls in Munich are the long, communal tables. Daniel and I were travelling alone but we were able to chat and have a great time with others because it is expected of you to share tables.
Bavarian Purity Law
Did you know, all beer in Bavaria must be brewed following the Bavarian Purity Law (the Reinheitsgebot)? If not, it cannot be called Bier. This was the world’s first food law, enacted on the 23rd April 1516. This law states that beer can only be made using 4 ingredients – water, barley, hops and yeast. Interestingly, yeast was not listed as an ingredient in the first law as it’s role in fermentation was not fully understood. There was a later amendment to the law to include yeast in the ingredients. If you’re interested in reading more about the law, try this Beer Cartel blog post as a starting point.
As a girl who had never enjoyed beer before, beautiful Munich with it’s beer gardens, beer halls and amazing history is still one of my fondest travel memories. It is the point that I remember starting to enjoy beer, lucky because it has become such a big part of our lives in the years since! Daniel has become quite fond of brewing German beer styles including the Dunkel that he first tried at Hofbrauhaus. Weisbier is still one of my favourite styles and one that Daniel brews well. In fact, he has one almost ready to drink at the moment!
While it is hard not to sample Bavarian beer in Munich, it is so much more than just a location to enjoy beer. There is something for everyone there, amazing architecture, beautiful natural scenery just a short drive from town and of course, it is a great place for beer lovers!