Visiting Oktoberfest & visiting the famous Breweries has always topped my list when planning a trip to Munich. Somehow Oktoberfest has never happened & I’ve visited Munich 3 times now & I wonder why Oktoberfest is such a highlight of this city when it has so much more to offer. Let me take you through my beer journey & Munich.
Beer & I have a love hate relationship. And visiting Munich, exploring the Beer (Gardens, beers, culture, food pairing, etc) was on top of my list. And luckily enough, timing matched & I went to the Spring Beer festival- Fruhlingsfest in Munich & did I love it or what 🙂
The Spring beerfest happens at the same venue as Oktoberfest, with same brew houses, same beer, just think of shrinking the crowds to a couple of thousands instead of a million. They have 2 big beer tents, they still have the amusement park, the fireworks & live music. The ambiance is so Bavarian with people dressed in Lederhosen & Dirndl and the Traditional Bavarian music is plain badass. There are bands that perform everyday & the whole feel is so lively and exciting. I loved every part of being there.
No visit to Munich is complete without trying local beers at the local Munich’s Breweries.
During my first visit, I headed to the world famous Hofbrauhaus. As soon as I got in, I was overwhelmed by the ambience inside- people singing, chatting, laughing, stuffing those huge beer glasses, it all made for a sight. And the setup of Hoffbrauhaus was like a Government building on the outside & inside. There were long wooden tables with wooden benches for people to sit. It was community seating style and very difficult to find a place to sit! I sat with a bunch of Italian teenage boys who were singing their national anthem aloud and having a ball of a time. I ordered my litre of Weiss Beer and another and some more till it got so packed that it took 15 mins to make a bathroom visit.
It’s located in a more commercial part of the city hence very touristy but I guess a good idea to pay a visit on your first trip to Munich for sure.
Over the years, I have learned that the locals skip the crowded Hofbrauhaus & I decided to check out the locally popular Augustiner instead. It is the oldest brewery in Munich I was told & clearly they took their craft of brewing rather seriously. I was also told by a local that the Brewery has been designated a historical monument. It has close proximity to the Oktoberfest venue & apparently there are horse carriages during Oktoberfest that take the barrels of beer, some ceremony of sortsJ Its an absolute must visit Brewery if you like your beer and food alike. The food here is also very Bavarian & you won’t be disappointed. I am Weiss beer drinker & Augustiner hands down won my vote for the best Weiss beer I’ve ever had.
The next Brewery on my list was Lowenbrau (means Lions Brew in German), which can house almost 1000 people shaded by Chestnut trees. They also have an alternative seating at the adjoining Beer hall. Lowenbrau has a huge screen where they play all big sporting events & it’s a sight when the Munich team is playing. And it is not as touristy as Hoffbrauhaus. Lowenbrau beer has been served at every single Oktoberfest in Munich since 1810 & its one of the 6 local Munich breweries represented at the fest.
Next on my list was Paulaner Brewhouse. Paulaner boosts of making some of the best Lagers in Germany. If you’re visiting the beer garden, make sure to ask for the Seasonal beers. They also let you take home some beer in bottles & you can bring them back for a refill on your next visit.
I have not been able to make it to the Oktoberfest and sure will try to squeeze it in my September plan in the coming years, but trust me Munich is worth a visit irrespective of the fest. The beautiful English Gardens, the Surfing in the city, museums and breweries.
Until next time, PROST my friends!