Beer in Bavaria

I have an odd question. My husband and I will be in Munich in late April. He is not a beer drinker, but "when in Munich..." I was wondering if there were any "non-beer" folks out there who discovered some speicific Bavarian brews that suited them. Also, any guidance on favorite beer gardens (and why) are welcome! Thanks!

Posted by Tom
Lewiston, NY
10494 posts

Have him try a Radler. It's not a specific brand, but any beer mixed with lemon soda. It's intended as a lighter, more refreshing alternative for situations where drinking a full strength beer would be inappropriate, ie, riding a bicycle, hence the name (Fahrrad= bicycle).

Posted by Rik
Vicenza, Italy
708 posts

There are no shortage of beerhalls in munich of course and you should try a couple at the very least for the atmosphere. I'd recommend the Hofbrauhaus only because it's the biggest and most famous. As far as types of beer, I'd say try a few different styles and see if any of them appeal to you. Pils is the most common and is crisp and bitter but maybe a hefeweizen (wheat beer) is more your speed. I once met and drank with a German guy who was studying in Munich to be a Meister Brau and I asked him what he thought was the best German beer. He said for him it was Weissbrau. As an aside, I see you're from Claremont; both my parents were born and raised there. My mom's maiden name is Cote, her family owned and operated the Cote Restaurant (later Cote Motel) years ago. I still have a lot of family in Claremont. Small world...

Posted by Christine
Claremont, NH, USA
25 posts

Thanks for the tips -- I have been to Hofbrauhaus but my husband has not -- perhaps he should experience that atmosphere --- at least for a little :-) Rik, you are in Italy and you have Claremont roots? It IS a small world and I remember the Cote motel, though it is gone now....

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
808 posts

I know this sounds weird but don't knock it til you try it. Put a few drops of Tabasco in your beer - especially if it is really hoppy - it will end up a little sweet with just a little heat!

Posted by Joan
Gettysburg, PA, USA
363 posts

There is no need to drink beer in Munich. He can have a glass of good German wine, or a Coke, or a mineral water with or without gas. There is a very nice beer garden in the suburb of Thalkirchen where the excellent Munich zoo is located.
The beer garden is called the Alter Wirt and is only a few minutes away by subway.

Posted by Rob
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
377 posts

If you are looking for a favorite beer garden, whether drinking beer or not, I would suggest a couple. The Hirschgarten is the largest beer garden in the world. It can easily be combined with a visit to Nymphenburg Palace or the Munich Botanical Garden. They serve great food and in my opinion, the best beer in the world, the Augustiner. Half way between (actually only a few blocks from the train station) the main train station and the Hirschgarten is the Augustiner Keller. It, of course, sells the Augustiner beer (did I say it was my favorite) as well as some pretty great food. If you are near the Englischer Garten, I would suggest stopping at the Chinesischer Turm, or Chinese Tower beer garden for a snack or beer. It is the second largest beer garden, has great food, and some great beers. You might be able to catch some Oom-pah music being played from a band set up in the tower. There are many other great beer gardens in Munich, but those are 3 of the best, in my opinion. There are other great ones, but most are a little ways from downtown Munich and probably not worth the trip if you aren't a beer drinker or serious beer garden goer. Almost forgot, you are probably not interested, but the Fruhlingsfest will be happening while you are there. It's a miniture Oktoberfest with only 2 beer tents open. Very few tourists attend, so in my opinion it's much better than the October version! This will be the first time in 4 years that I will miss it! Have a great trip!

Posted by JERRY
Naperville, IL, USA
290 posts

Augustiner beer is Munich's best tasting IMHO. I like the dunkel (dark) best even brought back a 30L keg of this beer. A friend of ours knows one of the higher ups in management and we went right to the brewery to obtain our fresh keg. We even got a small tour even though they're not available. And yes they served us one. Many a great beer gardens in Munich. And I think it's time for your husband to become a beer drinker. No better place to "engage" than Munich, Germany.

Posted by Lo
1346 posts

Here's another vote for the Augustiner Keller in Munich. I don't drink alcohol at all, but my husband has an occasional beer or glass of wine. He made the mistake of ordering a liter and couldn't finish it, but he thought it was great. I love the beer garden, excuse me, biergarten, there. It's complete with a playground for the kids.

Posted by Christine
Claremont, NH, USA
25 posts

Thanks Everyone for all the good tips. Yes, I know he doesn't have to drink the beer, but I think it would be fun for him to try some -- after all, this won't be Bud in a can! I am looking forward to checking out some of the locations you mentioned -- I can't wait to go!

Posted by Christopher
27 posts

Let me just add to that, Augustiner is also my favorite Bavarian beer. But all the local beers follow the same standards. It is much fresher than the crap beer we get here in the US. There are no additives and preservatives in the beer by law. Beer there tastes cleaner and purer than anywhere else although people from Brussels and Prague would disagree. There is a great walking tour that tells more than ever wanted to know about beer and all the beer you can possibly drink. Also, Munich is very underrated internationally as a foodie city.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
2735 posts

I too am a non-drinker in the U.S. We only drink when on vacation. I've always been disappointed in the quality of American beer, as there's no reason quality brews are not produced in this country in bulk. (Some new mini-breweries are putting out quality beer, however.) The first time I drank bier en mass was when I went to college in Austria in 1970. To sit by the Rhine River in Koblenz drinking Konisbacher beer while watching the cruise boats go by is truly a great experience. Augustiner in Salzburg is also a great place to spend the afternoon "with the brothers." I no longer feel safe in the Hofbrauhaus in Munich, as I've seen too many incidents between customers and bouncers. Other places mentioned above will fill the bill, however. I do love Munich as a large city, however.
And the beers coming out of Munich are truly "nectar of the gods."

Posted by Tom
Lewiston, NY
10494 posts

"There are no additives and preservatives in the beer by law." The Reinheitsgebot is no longer an officially enforceable law. Otherwise, you couldn't sell a Radler, Berliner Weisse, Hefeweissen, or most Belgian brews as a "beer" in Germany. The Reinheitsgebot now only serves as a marketing tool for beer intended for export. Domestic bottles of beer don't mention it. And almost all beer from any country contains a preservative- it called "hops".