That time of the year is coming again when thousands of Aussies, Italians, New Zealanders, Brits and Northern Germans will be descending upon the beautiful city of Munich’s Theresienwiese for a few days of beer and dancing on tables.
However, the key to understanding the breweries and beers of Munich isn’t swaying on benches arm-in-arm with Dave from Melbourne and Gino from Milan – of course that is part of the journey but Munich’s beer scene is much more than just Oktoberfest.
To start with Oktoberfestbier is sweet and strong – served in litre jugs for obscene amounts of money, it serves one simple purpose – to get you drunk pretty quickly and, whilst the breweries proudly stand behind these beers, they’re a long way away from being the highlights of the Munich beer scene.
Let’s start with a simple introduction to the six main breweries of Munich – all of them located on the outskirts of the city with many outlets in which you can purchase their beer in the city centre.
If you drink in swanky London/New-York/Sydney bars, you’ll have heard of Paulaner – the brewery that makes the world’s second most-famous Weissbier (after Erdinger – located close to Munich). Löwenbräu is also a fairly famous brewery although the chances you have heard of it aren’t particularly high. The other four are fairly small players: Spaten, Hofbräu, Hacker-Pschorr and Augustiner.
Here are eight beer tips if you’re visiting Munich this (or next) month. A lot of the beers are available in the UK and USA and nearly all of them are to be found all over Germany, Austria and Switzerland in case you can’t manage it this year.